Lie #6: No One Gets Hurt

We’ve looked at this one extensively already as well.  Some of this needs to be revisited, however, because these are the tactics and weapons of the enemy.  He deceives us with lies, and then makes us believe them until they become our own.  Once we believe them, they begin to seem like the truth.  James describes this process in graphic imagery:

James 1:15
Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (NAS)

These lies seem to true, in fact, that faithless Christians (if there is such a thing) laugh at the notion that a person can make it through this life without viewing pornography, or that even a teenager can maintain sexual purity in this present age.  These kinds of Christians have denied the power of God’s grace.  What kind of a Christian can do that, and still call themselves one?

That’s the whole point of what God did through Jesus.

But, wait a minute.  Who exactly gets hurt?  We’ve heard about the girls, and the exploited women, and the slave industry.  What about us?

The religious left denies the suffering of the women.  Or, if it accepts it, it denies the connection between their suffering and our sexual sins.  It calls sex slavery a crime, a human rights issue, an atrocity, but it feverishly denies the link between it and the 12-year-old finding his father’s porn stash in the closet.  They talk about the slippery slope that doesn’t exist with regard to censorship, but they deny the true and real slippery slope between innocence tarnished by porn and adult men victimizing women.  Not every boy who gets exposed at an early age slips down the same slope, and not every sex criminal necessarily started that early.  It doesn’t mean there’s no link.  Again, people love to use contradictory exceptions to refute and deny blatantly obvious generalizations.

God uses generalizations all the time.  Proverbs is an entire book full of them.  Almost every proverb can be contradicted by exceptions of people who haven’t experienced either the positive or negative outcomes promised there based upon moral or immoral conduct.  I just looked up a random one that says to not associate with a hot-tempered man, or you will become ensnared.  So this means that every single person who associates with angry people gets ensnared as a result?

No. It’s a generalization that is undeniably true, but there are exceptions.  What does it mean to “associate?”  How “angry” does the person have to be?  What constitutes “ensnared?”  See, Proverbs is not written by lawyers, and it cannot be read as such.  In general though, you will be better off if you don’t make your closest friendships with people who become angry and bitter all the time.  That’s what it means.  Prudence.  In general, this is a better way to live, so I’m going to live that way.  That’s prudence.

So who gets hurt by porn?  You do.  The viewer.  It suffocates your self-worth.  It coddles your flesh, and exsanguinates your spirit.  Sucks you dry of any spiritual vitality.  As we’ve already seen in the last chapter, it also ties you down with five debilitating sins of the mind and heart that spread though your soul and infect your whole life, rendering you an impotent Christian, useless to the spread of the Kingdom, and disconnected from God.

That sounds pretty painful to me.  Not the kind of pain the religious left might acknowledge, but only because they’ve re-labeled it as “depression,” and think they can treat it with drugs and counseling.  Yes, some depression may fall into that category, but the enemy is after your heart, and this is one of his most effective ways of squashing its massively untapped potential for greatness.  For non-Christians, all those things happen to them too; they just don’t perceive it.  And, in addition, their spiritual deadness makes it that much harder for them to hear God calling out, offering life and forgiveness.  Porn is just another layer of blindness.

The ‘not as bad’ morality, also known as relativism, says that even if there are some negative social effects from too much porn consumption, it’s still a free country, and there are a lot worse things in the world.  Like war and stuff.

Defeating the Lie
The Bible verse that counters this lie is found in the promises of God.  Many similar verses can be found elsewhere, but this one works well.

Deut 5:33
You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess. (NAS)

God makes a promise here that if we live by the Law, it will be well with us.  In the new covenant available through Jesus, we must live by the Spirit, and the same promise still applies.  Don’t make the mistake of many Christians who have been deceived into believing the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us anymore.  Jesus said He came to “fulfill the Law,” not abolish it.  We just have to learn to translate our position before God in the Spirit to the one under the Law that the Old Testament was written for.

We are not under law, Romans says, but under grace.  Under grace, therefore, we are able to keep the Law, even the one revealed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  And when we live by the power of His grace, it will be well with us.  This means internally, in our spirits, where wellness matters most.  And externally too, to a degree.

God makes us new when we come to Him, and He keeps us that way when we stay.  All this is to say that, when we walk away, when we set aside the grace of God, when we live for ourselves, then the opposite of this promise becomes our reality–it will not be well with us.  We will not possess the land, and will not be able to prolong our days in it.  And the Israelites, as we just saw, experienced exactly this.  They walked away from God, did not trust Him with in their hearts, words, or deeds, and it did not go well with them.  They never received God’s blessings, and did not possess their destiny.

Read Deuteronomy 28 for an incredible set of promises–blessings and curses–that were conditional on the conduct of Israel.  When ruled by righteousness under King David, the nation saw all the blessings promised.  When ruled by evil, idolatry, greed, and selfishness, they saw all the curses, which culminated in their destruction by Assyria and Babylon.

Porn hurts you in the worst possible way: It robs you of your destiny in Christ.  With a distracted heart, stifled by the thorns, God won’t be able to use you for anything significant.  He’ll find someone else, someone like Esther, who was willing to lay it all on the line for God.