Most Christians would not like to talk about it. However, in an age of information where every imaginable information is available at the click of a button, you might have come into contact with pornography in one shape or form in your life. The truth is that nudity is no longer a hushed subject in today’s society. Men and women, young and old alike are constantly inundated with nudity in the print and electronic media.
Recently, I had a Bible study with some Christian friends on Ephesians 5:3-4, during which I shared my testimony of how the Lord delivered me from what could have easily become an addiction to pornography. What humbled me was the fact that a number of them afterwards admitted how they too had experienced the enthralling captivity of pornography, or knew other Christians who had or were still indulging in it.The question that begs answering is, what does the Bible say about Pornography? Do we have Biblical grounds to call it sin? In this article I present 6 Biblical reasons why I believe pornography is a ‘no’ for Christians.
To start with, I invite you to review with me the verse we discussed. Paul there says “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”(Ephesians 5:3-5).
Simply put, all who practice the above will not make it to heaven.
We may ask, what does sexual impurity mean in this text?
In answer I will say sexual impurity or immorality is anything that goes against the God – ordained and prescribed use of sex and sexuality as described in the Bible. By saying in the text above that those who do these will not inherit the kingdom of God, Paul means that those who practice these things as a lifestyle (not the believer who falls into sin for example; but those who live in sin) are destined for hell. 1Corinthians 6:9-10, a parallel to this verse carries this same meaning.
If you or someone you know is caught up in addiction to pornography, here are six things I trust will encourage you to deal with this sinful behaviour:
1 Pornography Is Not God Glorifying
Pornography does not lead to the giving of thanks. We are called upon to avoid filthiness and in contrast, give thanks! (Ephesians 5:4b). Another way to put this, is to say that whatever does not lead to the giving of thanks to God, is out of place for the believer. Colossians 3:17 also affirms that whatever we do should lead to the giving of thanks, and to the Glory of God. I’m yet to meet anyone who after watching pornography can straightaway give thanks to God for watching it. Nor can we watch a pornographic movie in Church on Sunday. That’s because we know it’s not glorifying to God and out of place. We are called upon to think on things that are true, honourable, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent, worthy of praise – Philippians 4:8. I doubt any one will say pornography has any of these holy attributes.
2 Pornography Is Sexual Sin
Engaging in pornography is committing sexual sin. Even if a married couple engage in it together, they are violating the first sacred rule of marriage, which is that the marriage bed is holy and honourable and undefiled (Hebrews 13:4); and private – something that God ordained to be shared between only two people, and not a spectator sport to be watched by the whole world. If these things are true (and they are), then it means that our viewing of Pornography is an express statement of our acceptance, and endorsement, and promotion of a sinful lifestyle. We should not join in celebrating sin. It is sinful to partake in sin. Ephesians 5:11 says to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather to expose them.
3 Pornography Is Defilement Of The Body
Paul admonishes us to not take our bodies (which are members of the Body of Christ) and join them to a prostitute (1Cor. 6:15-16). He explains that if we did this, we’ll be one flesh with them. If looking at a woman with lust is adultery according to Jesus, then watching pornography is adultery for the married and fornication for the unmarried. Jesus calls us to purge out our eyes instead of committing adultery. Jesus died to purify us (Titus 2:14). He died to save us from sin, adultery included. Why would we want to play with it? Choosing to endorse and enjoy impurity is akin to crucifying Christ yet again. 2Corinthians 7:1 says to cleanse ourselves from every defilement. Pornography does not advance our holiness. It defiles the mind and takes away from our spirituality and holiness.
4 Pornography Revels In Works Of Darkness
Someone has noted in a song that when you’re watching a sexually explicit movie, it’s actually the movie that is watching you! It’s like you’re held in prison – you hide what you’re doing and you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. Jesus said in John3:19-21 that the reason we prefer darkness to light is because we know what we’re doing is evil. Watching nudity in secret suggests that we know it is something that doesn’t belong to the light.
5 Pornography Celebrates Immodesty
1Timothy 2:9 admonishes Christian women to adorn themselves in respectable apparel; in modesty and self-control. Watching pornography directly endorses women who do the exact opposite and bare their bodies on screen and promote the height of immodesty. It contradicts our beliefs as Christians, and amounts to hypocrisy.
6 Pornography Degrades Human Dignity
Pornography is unloving to women (and I believe to men – for women who indulge in it as well). Pornography invites a third party; a competitor into a marriage. Pornography uses women as sex objects. It is a devilish ploy to turn many a man’s thoughts and desire away from their wives.
Pornography reduces women to sex toys. Addicts see women as objects to satisfy their sexual desires only; however there is more to intimacy between man and wife than just sex. The Biblical teaching is that a wife is a help ‘meet’ for the husband; not a sex partner only. Pornography also promotes unholy sexual practices, such as lesbianism, homosexuality and sex orgies. Pornography promotes lust. Lust gives birth to sin. (James 1:14-15) Romans 14:23 says whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
It is important to note that all the aforementioned hold for all forms of nudity in movies, electronic and print media.
Need I say more?
Just going through these points sends a shiver of holy trepidation and trembling down my spine, to think that indulging in pornography as children of God means our promoting everything that assaults the holiness of God. And I trust that every child of God will come to the realization that pornography is a tool of the devil that is aimed at defiling something holy and honourable and sacred, that God created to be enjoyed only in the sacredness of the marriage covenant.
I pray that each of us will, with the power of the Holy Spirit, vow from today to never condone sexual immorality in any shape or form. Amen.