RESISTING PORNOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION:

1.      Rick Billingsham of Wheaton, Illinois, spent the first 14 years of his marriage addicted to pornography. Over that span, he graduated from magazines to videotapes and ultimately to computer pornography.   His addiction to pornography alienated him from his three children, from God, and almost cost him his marriage.

2.      Pornography is a sin that is not only invading our society…it is invading our churches…it is invading Christians.  It is destroying families and relationships with God.

3.      Pornography is everywhere!  It is not just not found on the Internet, local convenient stores, or video stores, it is found on network television. A December 1998 episode of NYPD Blue, for instance, featured new series star Rick Schroeder lying nude in bed with an equally nude female co-star draped over him.

4.      What's the bottom Line? Gone are the days when pornography was just associated with dirty theatres in bad neighborhoods and wrapped-up magazines under the counter at the convenience store. Gone are the days when persons had to make a deliberate, premeditated choice to get involved with porn. In the "Information Age," by contrast, we each must make a deliberate, premeditated choice not to get involved.

5.      As we consider the words of Scripture, I pray that you will stay away from pornography.   Or, if you have already fallen prey to pornography’s grip, I pray that you will allow the Lord God to heal you and create a new heart in you (Psalm 51:10).

THIS MORNING, I WILL PRESENT SEVERAL POINTS ON PORNOGRAPHY.

I.                         FIRST, WHAT IS PORNOGRAPHY?

1.      The Longford report defines pornography as "the commercial exploitation of sex designed to stimulate sexual excitement."  Pornography is designed for one purpose…stimulate sexual excitement.

2.      When I speak of pornography, I do not distinguish between soft-core and hard-core pornography. 

3.      We have gotten so sophisticated as a society, that we try to distinguish between a crime within a crime.  Have you ever read a newspaper that described a murder as "particularly brutal."  It doesn't matter whether a fellow is murdered by chopping his head off or by shooting him very cleanly through the head.  All murder is brutal!

4.      Likewise, I do not distinguish between soft-core and hard-core pornography.  Pornography is pornography.  And pornography is dirty and filthy and perverted and wrong, whether it is soft or whether it is hard.  A soft bullet will kill you just as surely as a hard bullet.  A dull knife will kill you just as surely as a sharp knife.  Soft-core pornography will kill you spiritually as surely as hard-core pornography will kill you.

5.      Even the word pornography itself is a very interesting word.  It comes from a combination of Greek words.  The Greek word porne means "harlot" or a "prostitute" and the graphos is a word for which we get the word graphic or graph, and it means "to write" or "to depict graphically."  So the word literally means to write about or graphically depict the life and actions of a harlot or a prostitute.  In other words, it means to depict graphically the use and abuse and perversion of sex in any form or fashion…that is what we mean by pornography.

II.                       SECOND, THE DESTRUCTION OF PORNOGRAPHY.

1.      We are being sold a bill of goods today that tell us that pornography is an innocent exercise.  It is a harmless pastime.  We ought to have the right to look at it if we choose.
 

2.      I want to tell you that there is not a more destructive force to the life and soul of people.  It destroys everything it touches.

A.     PORNAGRAPHY DESTROYS SOCIALLY.

1.      There are between 260 and 280 monthly magazines that cater to pedophiles…people who get their kicks by looking at the nude bodies of children 8 years old and younger.  These magazines are full of stories telling their readers that all women and children secretly desire sex, and that to seduce or rape then is to do them a favor.  They even suggest that when a victim resists by screaming…their screams are screams of pleasure and that in a matter of minutes those victims will become willing and passionate lovers.

2.      Pornography is a cancer that is producing sexual perverts that is destroying the traditional family unit and is eating at the very roots of our country.

B.    PORNAGRAPHY DESTROYS SPIRITUALLY.

1.      Pornography denies the purity of sex.  It takes a beautiful creation of God and drags it through the filthiest perverted dirt that Satan can dig up.

2.      Pornography denies the privacy of sex.  It denies the fact that sex was meant to be a private expression of one man and one woman expressing their marital love to one another.

3.      Pornography denies the purpose of sex…which God intended to have.  Sex was given for procreation…to continue the human race.  Sex was given for pleasure.  It was given so that men and women could satisfy through the marital bond.  It is a gift of God to allow the husband and wife to express to each other in the most intimate way possible their love for each other.

4.      The Bible says, "Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned."  The answer to that is…no.  No man, how pure, how clean, how wholesome, how strong, can get around the stench of pornography and not get the smell on him.  He cannot touch the filth of pornography without getting dirty or burned.  He cannot jump into the lake of sexual immorality without getting wet. 

5.      Pornography will destroy you spiritually.  If you are engaged in pornography, if you are satisfying your sexual desires by observing pornography on the Internet, or through videos or magazines, then beware.  It can lead you to hell!

*  "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

6.      Pornography is a spiritual killer!

III.                     THIRD, THE DEFEAT OF PORNOGRAPHY.

A.        TO DEFEAT PORNOGRAPHY, WE MUST DETERMINE IN OUR HEARTS NOT TO ENGAGE IN IT.

1.                        The psalmist determines in (Psalm 101:3-4)—with future-tense phrases—that he will avoid sights which are "base" (NIV "vile"; KJV "wicked"): 
 

*  "I will not set before my eyes anything that is base."

*  "Perverseness of heart shall be far from me."

*  "I will know nothing of evil." 

2.       If the moment at which you finally ask yourself, "Will I or won’t I permit porn in my life?" is when you’re already reaching for the magazine on the top shelf at Waldenbooks, or when you’re already typing in the URL of a porn site, you’ve already lost the battle. At that point, no amount of last-second "willpower" will be sufficient to cancel the action you’ve already set into motion. The time to ask the question, "Will I or won’t I?" is beforehand. In fact, it’s right now. "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes..." (Psalm 101:3, KJV).
 
3.       We must predetermine in our mind that we will not engage in sexually sin.

B.       TO DEFEAT PORNOGRAPHY, WE MUST DISCIPLINE OUR SENSES.

1.         (Job 31:1) states, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin?" In other words, Job made a covenant that he would not fix his eyes upon potential objects of lust. Job’s use of "covenant language" here indicates that he takes his commitment seriously; Israelites understood that the penalties were steep for breaking a covenant (especially when the name of God was invoked in the making of the covenant—either directly, as with the Israelite’s Sinai Covenant with the Lord, or indirectly, as Job does here by suggesting that he will incur divine punishment if he breaks the covenant,

2.         We must make a covenant with God promising Him that we will not allow our eyes to take in the filth of the world.  We must turn away from the things that cause us to lust.  We must maintain purity.  We must have discipline over our senses.

CONCLUSION:

1.       When minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual politically correct generalities. But on January 23, 1996, what they heard instead was a stirring prayer, passionately calling our country to repentance and righteousness.

2.       The response was immediate—with a number of legislators walking out during the prayer. In six short weeks Central Christian Church logged more than 5,000 phone calls. Commentator Paul Harvey aired Pastor Joe Wright's prayer on the radio and received a larger response to this program than any other program Paul Harvey has ever aired. In addition, Central Christian Church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.

3.       Here is the prayer...

Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values. We confess that...

...We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism;
...We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism;
...We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;
...We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
...We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation;
...We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
...We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
...We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
...We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self- esteem;
...We have abused power and called it political savvy;
...We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition;
...We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;
...We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

4.       Wright’s prayer reminds us that the proliferation of pornography is just one symptom of a deeper problem: collectively drifting away from God.

5.       If you are struggling with Pornography, chances are you are drifting away from God. 

6.       Pornography is not your big problem.  Your relationship with God is main problem.  When you get your life in tune with God, then your desire for pornography will wear away.

7.       If you struggle with pornography, rededicate your life to God, and your struggle with pornography will lessen each day.

8.       If you are subject to the Lord's invitation, please come now as we stand and sing.

 

Primary Resource Used To Develop This Lesson: 

 

 

Sermon by James Merritt