Let’s talk honestly about pornography
Pornography has been with us a very long time. Since people first started scrawling pictures on cave walls, there have been words and images designed to offer an easy physical climax. Now the internet age has made the most explicit content available at the merest click of a button or swipe of a finger. However, what we’ve never been able to detach from porn is the accompanying guilt and shame we feel, even as we do it. And this in a society that broadly accepts porn and champions it as a public good.
An estimated 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume some form of porn (The Journal of Sex Research, 2018). That number includes Christians. So this is an issue we ignore at our peril.
The reality is that porn is a vile perversion of God’s good design and plan for human sexuality. No good results from porn use. It only fuels selfishness, misogyny and violence, and destroys relationships. And countless Christian men and women, boys and girls struggle with secret porn addictions, stuck in a downward spiral of guilt and shame in their bedrooms.
Of course the battlefield is the heart (Matthew 5:28). You may not be watching the more explicit or violent material. Porn is often dressed up; our minds do the undressing… But whether as Hollywood movies, best-selling books or online videos, the result of giving in is still the same: a heart consumed by idolatry, a body enslaved to lust, a mind numbed to evil, and a soul lost to sin.
But there is a way out, there is hope for the captives and sinners. For the Christian, the ultimate answer lies not in behaviour modification techniques or tips and tricks (though they may help), but in renewed awe and wonder at the love of Jesus for lost sinners.
When we stand before the cross, sin forgiven, we cannot but be changed – if an all-powerful God came down to earth to die on a cross, then surely that same God by His Spirit can change the heart of a poor, repentant sinner.
So come listen to our new podcast from a pair of sexual sinners who have discovered that all things are possible when we bring our sins under the Gospel light of the Lord Jesus. We’re not yet saved from sin’s presence, but Christ has paid sin’s penalty and freed us from sin’s power, so we can indeed be free and put sin to death (John 8:36, Colossians 3:5).
- Fight the New Drug. Secular organisation describing the harmful effects of porn on society.
- The Gospel Coalition on pornography. Various articles with practical guidance and scriptural pointers.
- The Mortification of Sin, John Owen. One of those books that every Christian needs to read. It’s short but it doesn’t half pack a punch!
- Surviving the Trenches: Killing Sin Before it Kills You, Joe Barnard (Christian Focus, 2022). An excellent, practical guide (aimed at men but applicable to all) to fighting sin, including pornography. The author emphasises the need to destroy not only the fruits of sin, but to root out the sinful desires that cause such sins. And it’s about more than just defensive action, you have go on the offensive and replace the space with Christ-like holiness.
- The Porn Problem, Vaughan Roberts (The Good Book Company, 2018).
- Talk to your pastor, find a friend you can trust to hold you accountable, warn your children!