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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon What Is Pornography? ]



What Is Pornography?

Webster's Dictionary tells us that pornography is the depiction of erotic behavior designed primarily to cause sexual excitement. Its intent is thus to arouse, incite, and intensify sexual or erotic lust in the hearts (psyche) and minds of the people, mostly in men. It is usually the external beginning of sexual fantasy or imagination, harassment psychic seduction, masturbation, fornication, adultery, rape and other sexual abuses. The “prostitutes of writing” are no longer disgusted and become addicted to the obscene literature. After having become insensitive, and to arouse sexual excitement, they start watching more kinky activities and may even start acting them out. The Bible speaks of all such conduct as lasciviousness. Jesus Christ warned against sexual lust in Matt. 5:28: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” 2 Peter 2:14 speaks of wicked people who “have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin”, and 1 John 2:16 of “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes” of worldly people.

By looking at a woman lustfully, especially when having eye contact, it may stir up lustful thoughts in her, which may result in a psychic sexual relationship. It often begins when men(also women), by looking at pornographic pictures, start to fantasize about the women or men they see, which creates in them sexual arousal. They either repress those thoughts or they look at women or men they meet with a roving eye and seductive look. This eventually creates an insatiable lustful desire, when simple sexual intercourse with one spouse is no longer satisfactory. They are looking instead for sexual gratification with many women. Most men will do most anything for a sexual climactic gratification with a woman, and most women will do most anything for an orgasm with a man. Men are weaker than women in this regard. However under the right circumstance women can hardly control this desire. I counseled with a woman who was a Christian who loved her husband and her children, but her husband took her to a dance one night and put her in the arms of another man. She said, “When I am around that man I am totally helpless. This man greatly aroused her sexual desire simply by physical attraction, and she was willing to leave her husband and her children for this man. As a last resort, she came to me,her Minister, for counsel. I counseled her never to see this man again and never go around him. That was her only hope. So far as I know it saved her marriage. I would have liked to have had a few words with her foolish husband who put her in the arms of a another man whose physical attraction swept her off her feet. But I did not. Suffice it to say that the inability to control sexual desire is one of the greatest weaknesses of the flesh

In Timothy 5:2, young men are commanded to “treat younger women like sisters, in all purity”. Albeit, young women may send mixed messages, when they reject sexual advances while wearing sexy clothes that attract attention to their body. Young men should remember that they can want a woman for her body, but they can only love her for her character. Pornography, therefore, encourages rape and sexual assault. Women are seen as sex objects by men, to be used to satisfy one's pleasures. Because the relationship is only superficial, it does not see the other person as a valuable human being with a unique character. Many men therefore say, “Love ‘em and leave ‘em.” The message of pornography is to follow your impulses and desires and not to worry about how your behavior affects others, while morality, marriage, true love, and procreation are not important. Their slogan is, “When it feels good, do it.” It exploits and dehumanizes sex, so that human beings are treated as "things," or an “it” instead of a “you.” It cheapens, debases, and pollutes sex. Wherever it is found, it is a sure sign of the decadence of society.

Some people say that pornography is harmless because it is only a fantasy, like horror films, science fiction, and dreams. There is, however, no harm in merely seeing and thinking about porn in an objective or in a nonattached way, that is, without any emotional and mental involvement--and thus without stirring up any sexual desires and thoughts. On the other hand, when individuals begin to fantasize and imagine themselves of wanting to have sex and allow their desires and thoughts, which are creative, to strengthen their imaginations or fantasies, then the imagination will become very powerful. The result is that the buildup of fantasy seeks to express itself and yearns to become a reality. Sexual fantasy will also become a psychic and physical reality, not only by looking at porn images, but when the viewer starts to have a fantasy relationship with humans portrayed in those images. We must learn to discipline our unruly emotions and careless play of thoughts. We should therefore learn to give due respect to our emotions and thoughts and to understand what they are and how they operate. The new life Christians have in Christ teaches us to control evil emotions and thoughts. The Bible says, “There is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus...who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh mind the the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit”(Romans 8:1-9). From the above we can readily see and understand that it is very important to control and discipline our thoughts while living on earth.

One of he extreme dangers of sexual desire is drape. As the rapist is directly responsible for his conduct, women who want the attention of men also invite or risk being raped by wearing a sexy skirt and (or) a neckline too low. In addition, many rapists are also strongly influenced by pornographic material, which not only increases their desire for sex with anyone, but it also tells them that women like to be seen and admired as sex objects. Rapists are usually poorly educated, suffer of hopelessness and despair, have complete disregard for others, and have a strong inclination towards evil. Rapists have to pay a heavy toll for their wrongdoing. If they are nota caught and punished by the criminal justice systerm, the universal law of justice will be against them- and relentlessly pursue them in every step they take. It is able to incite the criminals to make “stupid mistakes” or to cause other “unlucky” things to happen to them, so that sooner or later they are caught by the criminal justice system. They cannot find a place to hide.

Many people, especially in the Western world (since the sexual revolution or “liberation” of the 1960s), have become obsessed with sex. However, what have been liberated are the perversions of human sexuality and the destruction of wholesome human relationships. It is therefore a false liberation, based on the selfish pursuit of the good/evil personality for sensual pleasure, without any responsibility, and thus enslaving themselves to the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16; 2 Pet 2:19; John 8:34)
Besides getting too little moral teaching, people in general have been increasingly and relentlessly bombarded by sexual images, sounds, and overt and subliminal suggestions from the entertainment, advertisement, and media industries. Being exposed daily, consciously as well as subconsciously, to those images of magazines, newspapers, books, plays, television, motion pictures, videos, internet, and pseudo art, ordinary human beings have become desensitized and find it no longer repulsive and shocking. In other words, the evil part within themselves has been growing and has gotten a stronger hold on the life of their personalities.

Commercials are no longer innocent, but have become more and more pornographic, which is an exaggerated, unnatural, or artificial stimulation of the sex drive. In order to sell products, services, or clinch a deal, businesses use “commercial love-making” or appealing to the sex instinct, as a means to lure customers. This “love-making” is put in an attractive package, that sex for fun is not only a good thing to do, but is also progressive, which is eagerly bought by the young generation. Those enterprises, especially the television networks, continually dangle before the people's eyes that the goal of the relationship between the sexes is to fall in love and stay madly in love. This form of romance is only an “emotional high” or foolish passion and cannot endure the stress of everyday life. Those who are looking for this immature and shallow love as the perfect love in their mates are disappointed again and again, as their mates do not or rather cannot fulfill those ideal expectations. As sex sells, it provides huge profits for those enterprises, especially for publishers of pornography and their distributors. Those industries that entice the people to live “below the belt” so that the population becomes more selfish, materialistic, greedy, prideful, deceitful, and depressive, and so forth, have to pay a heavy price. They and the many individuals employed in those enterprises and many other people are the cause of the downfall of civilizations, and the service men who fought to protect their nations and its high principles will have died in vain. Are those sexual perpetrators not the real enemies of the people?

Societies almost everywhere have become sex-ridden to such an extent that most intellectuals and even many clergymen of all faiths, whom are supposed to be the leaders of the peopleL (I Tim. 3), do hardly oppose sexual misconduct of their parishioners. A great number of clergy has engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with parishioners or employees and have also become slaves to lusthil desires. Therefore, they should be disqualified from practicing the profession of ministry because they no longer belong to Christ (Gal. 5:24). Nevertheless, they continue to preach a false Christ that panders to their desires (2 Tim. 3:5-9). They have become spiritually weak and unsure of what is good and evil and are therefore no longer willing or able to coerce the people under their care to “straighten” out their life, because they have lost moral authority and the power of conviction (Isaiah 59:2). Clerical immorality and abuse has been the greatest cause of the failures of churches and religious organizations and resulted also in the Protestant Reformation.

As long as Israel was under God's protection, Balaam could not curse Israel. The Moabites then set out to lure Israel into committing idolatry and sexual inunorality. This tactic succeeded, and Israel lost God's protection (Num. 22; 24:10; 25:1-9; Rev. 2:14). There was a time in the history of Europe that France, who could not conquer England by force, planned to send over 100 prostitutes to demoralize English people, first, so that they lose the will to fight and second, defeat them in battle. In another period of time, the behavior of English soldiers whom occupied France was so immoral that they were easily beaten by the French soldiers, under the leadership of Joan of Arc (1412-1431), the “maid of Orleans”. At the urging of Joan of Arc, French soldiers purified themselves morally so that they not only became more energeticd, but also the God forces were able to work through and with them to bring them victory.

Fiinally, older people also have problems with sexual desire. The following article appeared some time ago in the Los Angeles Times on this subject. You may or may not agree with all that is said in it, but I think there is some excellent advice on the subject. I present it for your consideration.

Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2007

“Consider the older man who slips into the bathroom before bedtime and surreptitiously swallows a Viagra pill. He decides against telling his wife, afraid she might he's having a problem because he's no longer attracted to her. Now consider the older woman who admits to her girlfriend that sex with her husband isn't what it used to be. She'd like to suggest he try Viagra but hasn't, afraid that he'll feel more inadequate than she suspects he already does. A widely reported survey showed recently that older Americans have active sex lives. They are supported in this endeavor by an active phannaceutical industry that reaps increasing profits from sales of sex-enhancing drugs.. Viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction, brought in $1.7 billion in 2006, for example; its rival Cialis, 971 million.

But no matter how many pills, shots and creams drug companies dispense, therapists say:
they are far from finding the potion that will truly enhance the sex lives of an aging population, the ability to talk freely about sex or a lack thereof. Mortgage payments, Iraq, even a sick child are easier to discuss than sex, especially for boomers who grew up thinking they could have all the sex they wanted, at any time, ouly to find that they no longer can. When people are younger, in the 20s and 30s, the parts hum. But as bodies age, hormonal levels in both men and women change, sometimes not at the same time. One partner may be up for sex, the other not. A woman in her 40s, therapists say, frequently experiences and imcrease in desire while a man's performance in those years is taking a dive. At about 50, the avenge age for menopause, her desire may begin to decline and reach a level lower than his. Add to this the routine of a marriage or long relationship, as opposed to the fireworks of new attraction, and you've got the setup for a long night's snooze every night. “Most of us really care about our partners and want to be in those relationships,” says Gina Ogden, a Cambridge, Mass., therapist. "But sexual pleasure after 20-plus years of being together? The blush is off the rose, and we don't have a language for talking about it. The experience is larger than you can count or “measure.”

Sexual satisfaction contributes to overall health, experts say. Couples who enjoy sex together fight less often and relax more easily. If they have childen, family life uns more smoothly. A good sex life “helps build the bond of family and makes up for things that wear and tear the family,” says David Scharff, a Washington psychiatrist and former president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Carolyn Shaffer, a Bethesda, Md. psychologist, has seen this patterrn among her clients as well, particularly men. “A man can have all these problems with his wife, but when we fix the sex life, the other things go away,” she says. That said, older Amerlcans, in large numbers, are enjoying sex. The recent survey of Am cans ages 57 to 85, which was headed by researchers at the University of Chicago and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that more than half were sexually active at least two or three times a month. But almost half of the sexually active also said they had problems with sex. Number 1 for men, according to the Chicago study, was erectile dysfunction, or ED. Most sexual problems have multiple possible causes, which is why they're difficult to talk about with any clarity, and ED is no exception. It can occur because of disease, excessive drinking, concerns about work or family. Is it that he can't or doesn't want to? He may not know, Schaff says.

In the Chicago study women reported more problems with sex than men; almost half had experienced lack of desire. For some, that may have been for physical reasons such as pain during intercourse. They may be quite happy simply spending a quiet evening ogether watching a movie. “I don't have a lot of these women saying, "1 want my husband to take Viagra," Washington social worker Gwen Pearl says. Emotional reasons, particularly if tied to their relatlonshlp with their partner, can also diminish the quality of sex for woman Sex, Schaff says, is a ture psychosomatic function for both . If a woman is angry at her partner, that will show up in the bed. Other couples agree on change ; therapists advise them to vary what leads up to the lovemaking. Shaffer recomments her clients to to go on a weekly date, a picnic or a long walk, anything that reminds them why they picked eath other. She also suggests they couples relax together each night alone.*

Many thoughts in this message come from a sermon by an unknown author. I have supllement the message with many thoughts of my own.
-----Lonnie Branam



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