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To porn, or not to porn; that is the question



A friend and I were considering the purchase of some outdoor equipment a few years ago, and we realized that Dick's Sporting Goods would have everything we needed. Since we were at the office and the prospect of driving across town to the store didn't appeal to us, we elected to look up our items on the Dick's Sporting Goods website. So, we naturally went to www.dicks.com. Bad decision! That website was peddling goods and services but not the kind we wanted!


It's hard to avoid pornography in today's "sexified" world. Sure, maybe you can easily avoid the hard-core stuff, but the soft-core variety...not so much. Everywhere you turn, there are half-bare breasts, leggy blonds, and six-pack-bearing beaus. TV and internet ads, sitcoms, movies, billboards, college campuses, and high-school proms all bear these images. Even churches are not immune. I'm sure most everyone is reminded of at least one person in his/her congregation whose typical attire looks more like something worn to a nightclub than a worship service!


Indeed, we've become so used to sexual imagery in our culture that we almost don't pay attention to it...at least that's what we say. But statistics and experience would seem to suggest otherwise. Pornography among teens has skyrocketed in the last couple of decades with the proliferation of internet porn, the divorce rate is up, adultery is a common occurrence, and perverted sexual experiences, which were once taboo, have become accepted. If we're not paying attention to sexuality in America, then we have a weird way of showing it!


The truth is, we are paying attention to it...far too much. We are obsessed with porn, and its peddlers are continually finding new and innovative ways to stretch the limits of acceptance and introduce over-sexualized imagery into the everyday lives of our men, women, and children. And, because porn is addictive, once they hook us, they can infiltrate our families, our churches, and our wallets with wanton disregard for our well-being.


So, we have to ask ourselves, are we going to be manipulated by these panhandlers of porn? Are we going to allow their addictive cancer to destroy our lives from the inside out? I know porn is addictive! But I also know that we serve a God who is bigger than any addiction. First Corinthians 10:13 reads, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (NIV). Folks, we serve a God who has the power to overcome our addictions and our temptations. We serve a God who gives us a way out when we run headlong into the sins of our world! We serve a God of grace and mercy!


I will never go to www.dicks.com again! I learned my lesson well. But what of the other millions of websites out there? Will I avoid those? Will I exit quickly when presented with the next scantily clad young lady on an internet ad? Will I keep my thought life pure when I pass tomorrow's risque billboard? I hope so. I pray God will keep me from falling into the pit of porn addiction. But I must remain constantly vigilant. Let my guard down for even a moment, and what God has built in my life can quickly be destroyed. This is true for all of us! We must constantly stay on guard against the wiles of Satan...that roaring lion who is hell-bent on devouring our very souls (1 Pet. 5:8).

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