Can Christians View Pornography?

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Gman
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Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Gman » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:45 pm

This is a great article for people who have ever struggled with pornography.. Pornography and other sexual sins are a very strong drugs that have destroyed many many lives. Unfortunately society teaches that it is ok. Be very careful of this addiction.

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/p ... tians.html

Again... This is a unique truth of the Bible. We are to flee from all sins. No where will you ever find such commandments as sexual immorality. This is another proof that God truly does exist. Want to prove God in your life? Follow his commandments and live..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Phantom » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:26 pm

This will defintely help with the..... struggles of an adolescent haha ;)

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Gman » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:56 pm

Phantom wrote:This will defintely help with the..... struggles of an adolescent haha ;)


Not just the adolescent... But grown-ups too..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby smiley » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:38 am

While I am not advocating pornography in any way (I can even proudly confess that I've never seen a single porn in my life), it should be pointed out that Jesus says at the beginning of His sermon that the commands He's about give concern the quality of rewards one will receive in Heaven, not one's status as a saved person. So, all this talk about how you will be "separated from God" if you happen to find yourself staring at the swimsuit model billboard on your way home is really meaningless. I'd even call it ridiculous.
"Imagine if we picked the wrong god. Every time we go to church, we're just make him madder and madder." - Homer Simpson

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby jlay » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:32 am

Smiley,
That depends if they are referring to seperation as hell, or broken fellowwhip. Sin will most certainly seperate the believer from God.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby zoegirl » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:18 pm

Agreed Jlay....good post Gman...it is very very destructive
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby CeT-To » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:18 am

Would that include masturbation to your spouse?( for example if she isn't there at the moment) ... is that destructive?
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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby jlay » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:28 am

Does masturbation demonstrate love towards one's spouse, or the act of selfishly pleasing one's self?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Canuckster1127 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:26 pm

Nothing can separate a believer from the love of God. Entertaining known and deliberate sin in our lives will certainly move us to a position where God feels distant (He's not but we're creating the distance in our hearts and minds by isolating ourselves and entertaining things that grieve the Spirit of God within us).

Pornography is indeed a huge problem with the organized church and society at large. I'm taking these from the top of my head, but the known revenue derived from pornography in the US exceeds the revenues from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL combined.

Further, I'll tell you from my experience in churches and leadership that it is a huge problem in the local church. Statistically on average, almost half the elders in most churches admit in surveys viewing pornography at least on occassion. Further, pastors are often caught into this as well. I know from a first-hand account in the demonination and district I worked in for several years I know that there has had to be some changes in church discipline to allow for pastors to remain in ministry while working through some of these issues, because the numbers are so great that too many churches would be without pastors if the old methods were used which involved som time out of ministry to work on recovery.

What I've found is that sin usually has more power over us when we focus upon it and attempt to use behavioral methods such as accountibility groups, covenant eyes (a soft-ware that sends images and logs from your computer to another person who then holds you accountible). These aren't bad things and can help. At the core however is a heart issue that can't be changed behaviorally. Grace that brings righteousness, doesn't overlook sin or diminish it, but it recognizes that when the focus is on sin we actually give it more power. The focus has to be upon Christ and allowing the power of God's Holy Spirit to bring to reality the victory Christ has already won. If that isn't in place then we enter into a spiritual game of "whack-a-mole" where we suppress and push down behaviors only to have them pop-up somewhere else. We can experience "victory" for a season but then the speed of the games moves up and we're dealing with more and more sin and unable to continue pushing them down on our own strength.

I think this is what Paul is talking about in Romans 5 - 8. Who will save us from this body of SIn? The Spirit of God living through us.

I appreciate the article and it makes a good case from the OT as to why things are wrong. Frankly, I don't need all of that to know that pornography is wrong. The Spirit of God within me makes that very clear and what is more, gives me the power to walk away from it, when I'm focused on Christ and trusting Him. Frankly, I don't find many churches that really teach and practice that. There's usually a great deal of guilt, shame and thundering from the pulpit about the wrongness of things without giving the Good News of grace and the power of the Spirit free rein.

My opinion and experience anyway. Sadly, the statistics in most churches aren't really all that different from society at large. At the very least that should cause us to ask why that is and examine what most churches are teaching and how the leadership themselves are managing to walk in freedom from this sin. If that's not there, then there's something fundamentally wrong.

bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby jlay » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:42 pm

Very well said Bart.


Sadly, the statistics in most churches aren't really all that different from society at large.

Could be because congregations are not really teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby BavarianWheels » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:15 pm

jlay wrote:Very well said Bart.
Sadly, the statistics in most churches aren't really all that different from society at large.

Could be because congregations are not really teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

I think one reason is that when things are pointed out as "wrong", everyone screams, "Legalist!".

However, I believe/agree as Canuckster does (I gather at least) that while wrongs may be pointed out, the bigger message should be on the Grace God has for us inspite of our stupidity. (yes?...something like that?)
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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Canuckster1127 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:31 pm

Yes Bav, I agree the bigger message is grace. I don't have a problem either with pointing out when things are wrong.

You know what I think though with every fiber of my being as I get older? One of the greatest empowerment of sin on our lives is fear and shame. Grace isn't about ignoring sin. Far from it.

The best way I know to say it is in the form of a question.

What if there were a circle of Christians to whom you could be completely honest and drop the mask and reveal everything about yourself including the sin and crap in your life and those people instead of distancing themselves from you loved you even more and stood with you while owning their own problems and together you sought God together to be free?

Sin thrives in secrecy, shame and where people put on masks pretending in front of one another that nothing is wrong. The power of sin is broken by love, honesty and bringing it out into the light where it fades. Sadly, most churches I've ever been a part of encourage people to put on a mask and pretend that all is well even when all is not well and they are struggling with all kinds of issues, including pornography. Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. It's not sweeping it under the carpet, it's brining it out into the light, affirming God's love and loving one another.

We've got it so wrong in so many ways. We put on the mask. We draw away from one another. When sin comes out in this type of religious community the response is to run away from the person, shun them, judge them and try to send them away because they threaten the equilibrium of community of dishonesty, shame and judgement we've created when Christ said that this is how the world treats one another and that people would know we are of Christ because of our love for one another.

You want to see the power of pornography fade in a church? Let it begin with the leaders there being honest with God and with one another of their own temptations and falling and let them love each other and band together in a true community of love and grace and you'll see things begin to happen that can only be explained by the moving of God in their midst. As victory comes there, it will spread like wild-fire through the rest of the Church and nothing less than revival will break out.

I've seen it happen in isolated instances. Sadly I've seen much more the ungracious judgement and hiding that takes place in most settings and the shunning and casting out of sinners whom God called us to love. It's the biggest reason why I'm so disillusioned with so much of what passes for church in the institutional setting. Church is a community and no better than how they love the weakest, most wretched sinner in their midst. Give me a group of honest and open believers who cultivate this kind of grace filled community and you can call it whatever you want, I'll be there in a heartbeat over what passes for church in far too many instances.

This is probably more than any of you want to hear or to know about me. But it's the heart and soul of what I most long to see in my own life and the life of those brothers and sisters whom I join in community.

Now you know. ;)

bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby jlay » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:34 am

Bart, I guess all that depends on whether there is a desire to repent, or any godly sorrow, from the one who has stumbled. Obviously grace is already written into, teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteouness. Only one of those involves judgment on a person. Rebuking. The others all require selfless concern and action towards those in the body.

I can assure you for every finger wagging church that lacks grace there is one that is full of apathy towards such sin, and do NOTHING. It requires just as much if not more grace, to enforce biblical discipline in a loving way.

I know of a pastor who stood before his congregation and said, 'God told me to divorce my wife and marry this woman.' This guy still has a show on TBN, and his congregation keeps the $$ rolling in. The church should always be ready to forgive, but not at the expense of discipline and accountability. Church discipline is all but gone. Divorce is expressively forbidden by Christ except in instances of adultery. I see cases where adultery and divorce exists, and people are allowed to continue in fellowship as if nothing happened. There is no contrition (visible at least), no repentance.

I see error on each side, and very view that follow a biblical model. A friend of mine pastors a small flock. Their piano player was caught embezzling money from her job. Red handed. Arrested, legal case, etc. It was very difficulat, but he asked her to step asside from her role in the church, and deal with her issues. Offered her support and prayer, but would not let her hold any position of leadership. She left the church, and so did her parents and others. They refused to yield to church discipline. I see this as a big problem, as I work in children's minsitry and I have very little tolerance for just letting anyone teach and instruct our young people. Yet often we have people come to volunteer, and they have divorce issues, adultery issues. And it isn't addressed.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Canuckster1127 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:12 pm

Jlay,

There's no shortage of anecdotal evidence that can be provided from either direction on this issue. I agree motivation on the part of the person struggling is key. That's key in what I said as well. There's no accountibility, church discipline or any other approach you can mention that takes the place of a sincere desire to walk with God free from habitual sin.

I see no "sides". Christianity is not a system, an institution, a hierarchical organization etc. Christianity is at it core a relationship we enter into with the God of the Universe through the Savior Jesus Christ. As part of that relationship, under the headship of Christ we are part of a body in relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. God said that love would characterize that relationship and that the world looking upon us would know that we are christians by our love.

Frankly, I'm not all that impressed with Church discipline. I understand the need for it, but it is a meaningless and sadly abused concept applied in churches where love is not pre-eminent or even a primary element. If church leadership isn't modeling love toward the congregation the discipline quickly leads to spiritual abuse. If church leadership isn't modeling transparency and honesty before their congregation in confessing their own sins and temptations and operating out of the gifts given them from God in shepherding those people who trust them, then institutional hierarchy and church polity isn't any better than what you can find in the Boy Scouts and Kiwanas club down the street.

The statistics in terms of porn usage, divorce, adultery, abortions etc, within the Christian Community is hardly discernible from society at large. It isn't for a lack of discipline in some sectors of that Christian community and there's no question that in many others relationship is so shallow and non-existent that love is mistaken for tolerance of most any behavior.

Genuine relationship, dropping the mask and operating in honesty with one another is not easy. It's risky. It takes time to cultivate and develop. It means difficult conversations. It means a willingness to sacrifice personally for the benefit of others. It's modelled however, upon the relationship within the Trinity itself, and in some ways, an entering into that type of relationship with God and others.

I see the bigger problem as what we've replaced this with in Western Christianity. More than that I won't say now.

blessings,

bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: Can Christians View Pornography?

Postby Gman » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:01 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:
Frankly, I'm not all that impressed with Church discipline. I understand the need for it, but it is a meaningless and sadly abused concept applied in churches where love is not pre-eminent or even a primary element. If church leadership isn't modeling love toward the congregation the discipline quickly leads to spiritual abuse. If church leadership isn't modeling transparency and honesty before their congregation in confessing their own sins and temptations and operating out of the gifts given them from God in shepherding those people who trust them, then institutional hierarchy and church polity isn't any better than what you can find in the Boy Scouts and Kiwanas club down the street.

The statistics in terms of porn usage, divorce, adultery, abortions etc, within the Christian Community is hardly discernible from society at large. It isn't for a lack of discipline in some sectors of that Christian community and there's no question that in many others relationship is so shallow and non-existent that love is mistaken for tolerance of most any behavior.


Agreed Bart, I think that in some cases the Church has become a group of people pleasers. I think what the Church needs to do is focus on the dead ends of sin. In the case of pornography, it is a relationship killer, leaving the sinner cold and abandoned. I believe they should not only teach against it, but also WHY it is wrong and the consequences of those who practice it. That would probably get more heads to turn..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8


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