Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Technology and the Christian - Part 19 Pornography

Previous articles - Part 1 here; Part 18 here

The Bible describes sexual sin with several different terms. One term, porneia, is used for any sexual sin that is outside of the norm and standard that God designed. The Greek word I referred to here you will recognize as the root word for our word pornography. Another Greek term is translated adultery and usually refers to sexual sin committed by a married person. Another couple of terms refer to sexual sin as uncleanness or lewdness. God uses all of these words to describe sins whereby we violate God's standard for our sexual behavior.

Let's look at some of the descriptions the Bible lays out. Let's start with what Jesus actually said. In Mark 7:21 Jesus, speaking about the fact that sin comes from within a man, says, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality (porneia, fornication),...adultery, ...sensuality (lewdness, sexual excess). All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Notice a couple of things here. First of all they come from within. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) So the source of our difficulty is not from the outside, but is from within. James writes that “each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

Next we see that Jesus describes these actions as evil. Most of what happens sexually in our culture is not considered evil. The Bible has a different approach. Lastly we notice that they defile a person. We defile ourselves from what comes from within ourselves.

Paul, writing to the Romans in 13:13 says, “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality (free and easy sex) and sensuality.” In the next verse he tells us to make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. In other words, we should not make it easy to serve our lusts. Paul writes similar things to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 12:21.

To the Ephesians in 5:3 he writes, “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. 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. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” In other words, God's wrath is coming because people engage in these behaviors. Why would we as Christians want to be a participant?

Finally, let's look at what the Apostle Peter wrote in his first letter. In 4:2 he says that we should live “no longer for human passions but for the will of God. The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality (lewdness, sexual excess), passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” He is basically saying that we need to put our past behavior behind us and live for God from here on out. And the life we live for God is different than the description of our past life. Christians don't behave the same as non-Christians when it comes to sexuality.

Tomorrow, with that background in mind, we'll look at how technology fits into the picture and some strategies that may help us in the battle against sexual sin.

Part 20 available once it is published here.

PDF version of the entire series

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