Scriptural Ammunition vs. Internet Pornography

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by USN2Pulpit, May 21, 2003.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    This is going to sound fake, but I'll say it anyway...

    "I have this friend who"...is having trouble with an addiction to internet pornography. This friend is a Christian who has fallen into the trap, and is very open to help from his brothers. Can anyone here offer up some scripture references that might help?

    There is one in particular that I can't remember where to find. It is to this effect: "I will set no unclean thing before my eyes," or something close to that.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. dianetavegia

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    I'm wondering if you're thinking of Leviticus 22 but it really doesn't apply here.

    There have been any number of threads about this on RaptureReady.com and I seem to remember some links for self-help.

    The SBC had a S/S lesson on this.


    'Secret sin' of pornography examined in LifeWay Sunday school material
    By Chip Alford
    Jan 13, 1999


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--About a dozen years ago, John Wolf's wife gave him an ultimatum -- choose his pornography or his family. He couldn't keep both.

    "The decision was easy for me. I chose my family -- but the answer was not so easy to live," Wolf wrote in an article appearing in the Winter 1998-99 issue of Life & Work Directions, a Bible study for young adults published by LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn.

    A 40-year-old businessman, father of two and member of Heritage Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Wolf shared his struggle with pornography in a first-person article, "How to Live A Porn-Free Life." The story was linked to the Jan. 10 Sunday school lesson on "Rejecting Pornography," which appeared in Life & Work member books in all adult age groups, from young adults to seniors.
    While addressing social issues is nothing new for LifeWay's Life & Work Series, -- at least one unit each year is devoted to such topics -- biblical studies designer Mike Livingstone said he believes this is the first time an entire Sunday school lesson has focused on pornography.
    "In the last three years we've dealt with everything from prejudice and violence to sexual abuse and suicide," he said. "We felt like pornography is an issue which needed to be talked about in our churches, too. Because for every John Wolf out there, there are thousands and thousands of other Christians who are secretly struggling with it. We wanted to show them there is a way out of this addiction."

    Wolf's struggle with pornography began at age 10 when he found a "girlie magazine" his dad had thrown away in the trash. By age 14, he and a friend had lined the inside of their fort with their favorite pornographic pictures. His teenage years were marked by frequent trips to R-rated movies, and by early adulthood he was purchasing porn magazines and visiting strip clubs. Eventually, he found his way to adult bookstores.
    "No one had taught me the laws of reaping and sowing," Wolf wrote. "If they had, I sure wasn't listening. Little did I know the havoc I was inviting with this habit."

    Wolf accepted Christ at age 14 but drifted away from his commitment after his college days. He married at age 25, and after the birth of his first son, he and his wife felt the need to return to church.

    "Everything in my life looked great on the outside. I was the president of our third-generation family business. Our church involvement grew over the next few years. My wife and I were the perfect picture of a young married couple."

    But pictures can be deceiving. Wolf was living a dual lifestyle. "I had finally realized the magnitude and severity of my problem when, on the way home from work, I would struggle to get past the highway exit where a nearby bookstore was located," Wolf said. "I would fight with the steering wheel of my car, and virtually every day I wound up at the bookstore."

    Wolf knew his addiction to pornography was wrong. Over and over he made the promise, "This will never happen again." Over and over he broke that promise.

    For a three-year period he was able to walk in victory, but he eventually returned to the "muck and mire" of his old habits.

    "Sin takes you further than you planned to go, keeps you longer than you planned to stay and costs you more than you plan to pay," Wolf said. "Fortunately, God's love for me is stronger than my stupidity. His patience is more powerful than my pornography habit."

    Wolf's struggle with pornography isn't unique in the Christian community. In another article also included in the Life & Work lesson in some age group quarterlies, Keith Inman said the battle over this "secret sin" is being fought in churches, Christian homes and on Christian campuses.

    Inman, who assumes the role of state student director for Kentucky Baptists Feb. 1, said one reason for the growth of the $8.5 billion porn industry is that X-rated content is becoming much easier to access. Cable TV, satellite dishes, 1-900 numbers, explicit videos and the explosion of porn on the Internet provide opportunities for many people to do in private what they once had to travel to a back street bookstore to encounter.
    Inman talked with dozens of students before preparing his article, "The Lure of Pornography and the Secret Sin." He shared the story of one student who won't go to his school's computer lab alone because the lure of porn on the Net is too tempting. Another student became so frustrated with his inability to resist the temptation that he disassembled his computer, took the "guts" out and placed it under his bed.

    Wolf said studies show that, conservatively speaking, two out of 10 men look at pornography. "My experience," he said, "has been that pornography is one of the biggest secret sins of the church."

    For some, pornography quickly moves from fascination to addiction. Studies by Victor Cline, a researcher at the University of Utah, show a four-step progression among men who become hooked on porn:
    1) Exposure. Once exposed to pornographic materials, they get hooked and keep coming back for more.
    2) Escalation. There is an escalation in need for harder, more shocking material to get the same sexual stimulation as before.
    3) Desensitization. What was once shocking becomes, in time, acceptable and commonplace.
    4) Acting out. There is an increased tendency to act out the sexual activities in the porn viewed, usually victimizing women and children.

    For Wolf, the turning point was his wife's discovery of his pornography habit and his growing realization he couldn't kick the addiction on his own. Disappointed and sad he had hurt his wife and family, he was, nonetheless, finally able to address his problem openly and honestly.

    In the last portion of his article, he shared advice for how to live a porn-free life in these "four steps to freedom:"
    1) Counseling. A good, biblical counselor can help you make a lot of progress in a relatively short time. A counselor can also help strained relationships suffering from the pain of pornography.
    2) Accountability. Find another individual with whom you can share your struggles. At first, visit daily, then gradually decrease time together.
    3) Maintenance. Avoid tempting situations. You can do numerous things in your life to resist moral failure. If your source of temptation is a regular visit to the bookstore, stay away, change the route you use to go home. If television is a problem for you, turn it off or set up some house rules, with no channel surfing. If the Internet is an obstacle, unplug the computer or only use it when someone is in the room with you.
    4) The power of God. Make a time for God every day. Twenty minutes praying, reading and memorizing Scripture will make a big difference in your life.

    Wolf compared the four steps to a four-legged chair. Take away one leg and the chair falls over.
    "Satan will do everything within his power to keep a pornography addict from breaking free," he warned. "But the truth is nothing is too difficult for God. Remember, whatever battle you may be facing, God is bigger."
    Wolf said he is already beginning to hear from teachers and Sunday school class members who have read his article in the Life & Work quarterly.
    "I've literally had tears running down my face as I've read some of the e-mails," Wolf said. "Some are telling me they have struggled with the same thing; some have lost their marriages because of it. Others are just thanking me for telling my story and helping to prevent others from making the same mistake.

    "I really applaud LifeWay for tackling this issue. The church can't afford to pretend this problem doesn't exist."


    WWW.BPNEWS.NET
    Copyright (c) 2001 - 2003 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press
    Terms of Use
    901 Commerce Street
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Tel: 615.244.2355
    Fax: 615.782.8736
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Diane, I actually taught the lesson you cited to a Sunday school class. I have kept the notes, but I have to find them. Thanks for reminding me about it. It was a good lesson.
     
  4. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Internet filtering software is relatively cheap and easy to install. A person at home who's got a problem with inet porn could use such software easily.
     
  5. Deacon

    Deacon
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    I'll echo Johnv's message and add that the wife should hold the password.

    Dabling in pornography can lead even the strongest Christian man into a powerful addiction. [​IMG]

    Rob
     
  6. Deacon

    Deacon
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    ...And let me add a good book for couples dealing with this addition, or even those who are not is:

    "Everyman's Battle, winning the war on Sexual Temptation one victory at a time" by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.

    A later book concerns teenage boys and their battles in this area.

    Rob
     
  7. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    I'm actually using a filtered ISP right now called "CleanWeb." Except for a few billing problems over the last 8 years or so, I have found the service to be exceptional. We've (my family and I) never even come close to stumbling onto and inappropriate sight while using CleanWeb. It is an excellent service.

    However, I'm still looking for those handy scriptural references. I'm sure some of you can help me with this.
     
  8. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    Here is one:

    Mt 5:27,28-YE HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID BY THEM OF OLD TIME, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY: BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT WHOSOEVER LOOKETH ON A WOMAN TO LUST AFTER HER HATH COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH HER ALREADY IN HIS HEART. (Note, this would also clearly include pornography.)

    Also, try this website for help,
    Addictions
     
  9. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Found the one I was looking for, but keep 'em coming.

    Here it is; Psalm 101:3a:
     
  10. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    ????
    USN2Pulpit,
    What exactly are you asking? Scripture reference to help a person get past this sin or condemning porn?
    Here is another link, I hope this help you with your friends problem.

    More Help
     
  11. Major B

    Major B
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    This is not a problem for me, and I subscribe to a filtered service because I don't want it to become a problem.

    In our town, the pastor of a large, evangelical church lost his ministry over internet porn, and I have counseled with several men who have the problem. Men who would never even think about ordering stuff through the mail and who would not be caught dead in some little concrete block building with no windows where the stuff is sold, will buy and consume over the net. It is frightening.
     
  12. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    That's exactly why I use CleanWeb (a filtered internet ISP). Not only does it protect me, but it protects my sons.

    Matthew 16:24, you had it right, just looking for any helpful scriptures that would encourage my friend. I've got several since this thread started...thanks...and also a few others from the "BaptistFire" forum.
     
  13. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    http://www.characterlink.com is an excellnt ISP, it cannot be over-ridden, they won't let anything they consider questionable to be viewed, if you think it's not too questionable, you have to call them and let them view it first. Total protection through accountability.

    Too many are relying on the arm of the flesh in restraining them from temptation and sin. Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Pray to the Lord for His strength in overcoming temptation. In the area of lust, remember to look at women as a dead man would, talk about how women dress and how you're tempted to lust after them with your wife. God didn't give her to you for a plaything, but an helpmeet.

    Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

    2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.


    Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.


    Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

    Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?


    In His Holy Service,

    Brother Ricky
     
  14. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    Whoops! Forgot a couple:

    Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

    1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

    Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. [​IMG]


    Something to remember anytime we think of questionable activities or any problem we may have. I find this verse real hard to read when I'm thinking on things that only please the flesh!
     
  15. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
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    USN2Pulpit:
    You have started a discussion on a subject that is, at least to me, VERY SCARY. I am glad you brought this to the proverbial table. In the past year, I have found out about two men in my parents' church (it was mine when I was younger and still lived at home) that have had serious problems with that very subject. I was absolutely DEVASTATED when I found out because one of them was a childhood friend. The problem has escalated into a huge problem for not only him, but his family (it has progressed to something much more than just looking at internet pornography). I pray for him at least twice a day now. Thanks to all of you that have offered your thoughts. [​IMG]
     
  16. USN2Pulpit

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    Baptist in Richmond, a recent survey suggests that up 2 in every 10 men who attend church regularly occasionally seek out pornography. That is a scary statistic.

    Without excusing it, I can have compassion on those who have fallen into the trap and desire to return to fellowship with God. Here's another reference I found on-line and some study questions to go along with it:

    Psalm 57:4-6

    4. I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts- men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

    5. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

    6. They spread a net for my feet- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path- but they have fallen into it themselves.

    Questions

    1. Verse 4 has some strong imagery describing a dangerous group of people. What are some of these images and what might they mean?

    2. His solution for the dangers in verse 4 is in verse 5 even though at first glance it may not seem so. What is the writer trusting in for his protection?

    3. What can happen to people with sinister motives (verse 6)?

    Internet pornography is like a net or a pit. It was set to trap you and bring you down. When you find yourself in danger of the pit, your help can only come from One who is above you. Exalt God by acknowledging His goodness. He is in a position to rescue you. Seek others who know Him so they can come along side you in your time of need.
     
  17. J.C.

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    As Baptist in Richmond states, this is a discussion on a subject that is VERY SCARY. I would venture to say that more Christians (particularly men) struggle with the desire to view pornography and act on what they see more than many other habitual sins.

    If a Christian gets caught up in the habit of viewing pornography they will, no doubt, be convicted of the Holy Spirit that it is wrong. That, in itself, might not be enough convincing to stop the sinful act because of the temporary pleasure from the act of looking at and acting out on the desires drawn about from viewing the material.

    I have talked with several men who share (meaning that I struggle with this to a degree at times) with me in an accountability group that meets on a weekly basis. The use of an accountability group has helped me in several ways:

    1) prayer - we are committed to praying for each other and for our families.
    2) confession - we confess our shortcomings (in more than just this area in our lives). This is important because we all want to be sinless and Satan will really give us doubt about our usefulness to the Lord when we occassionally stumble. When we understand that we aren't the only one who struggles and sometimes slips up and sins, it brings a level of comfort and assurance knowing that God does not want us delving in sin and wants us to be obedient and more useful. If a man thinks he is the only one who commits this shameful sin, then he might just think God can't use him and he won't try to make himself available because of that belief.
    3) we call each other if we find ourselves tempted and ask for prayer and encouragement. This serves as a hot-line and we use it.
    4) we think of and share practical ways to fill our time to keep us off of the computer when we are alone.
    5) we don't condemn the other person, but love them and encourage them.

    If allowed, I wonder how many active church members would have pornographic sites listed on a list of visited sites if provided by their ISP?

    I would encourage wives to discuss this with their husbands and see if they have a secret habit of viewing this at home. Wives should be able (I'm not sure) to call their ISP for a list of visited sites for a period of time. This might seem "nosy" but if a loved one had a different secret detremental habit, you would want to help I would believe.

    If our loved one (brother/sister in Christ, spouse, family member) had an addiction to drugs, alcohol, etc. we would want them to get help. I would venture to guess that there is a larger percentage of people struggling with pornography than drugs and alcohol combined. I'd encourage any man who also falls to this temptation, to get an accountability partner or group for encouragement. There is no shame in getting help!

    I hope I made sense. My lunch break is over and I have to get back to work. :cool:
     
  18. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    Anyone can see what sites a person has viewed on the internet. For the most recent, click on the down icon at the search engine, for a complete history right click on the start icon, click on "explore" and go to "Temporary internet files". Click on content and you will be able to see all sites ever visited.


    I know this is revealing information and may make some people mad, but if you have nothing to hide why would it bother you?

    As Aachan hid the wedge of gold, along with the Babylonish garment, it caused Israel to be chased back. We are to put on the whole armour of God in forward battle, not retreat from the enemy. When fleeing youthful lusts we are to solely depend upon the Cross of calvary, our bearing our cross daily as we walk w/the Lord.

    Jesus said, " Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!" Gates don't attack, we are to attack the gates of hell while adorned in the whole armour of God. I know that sounds militant, but that's what armour is for; military action!

    Bind up the brokenhearted, giving him the nourishment to heal and ready him to get back in the battle for the right! Get on the firing line!

    In His Holy Service!

    Brother Ricky
     
  19. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Since "checking up on people" has been brought up, how do I check up on my teenage son who is using "Earthlink" web browser? I don't know how to bring up history there.
     
  20. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    Shouldn't be any different, right click on the start menu icon for the computer, click on explore, click on Temp Internet files, Click on content. The Temp Internet files are automatically logged on your computer, unless some one has blocked it from doing so or figured a way to hide TIF. Works that way on mine.

    Another way to get there is go to "my computer" on the start menu, double click on C:, double click on "Windows" folder, TIF are located in this folder. Click on it for content.
     

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