A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Porn — the supposedly “harmless” anaconda being allowed to slither silently into homes

This post is a reprint of a comment that Sharpsheep made at the post Signs Your Husband May Be Addicted to Pornography. You can see the original comment here. We are publishing it as a stand-alone post with Sharpsheep’s permission. Thanks, Sharp!

Warning: potentially triggering descriptions.

After watching my father consume porn for years, I saw how it actually caused him to be so blindly focused on self gratification in increasingly perverse ways, until his rationale was that any warm body was a legitimate sexual arousal trigger, and therefore it wasn’t his fault if he reacted sexually to a child.  He quite literally “devolved” as a human being until he was reduced to the level of unreasoning instincts and appetites.  He was no longer a man, though he erroneously made a link between unhindered expression of his sexuality, entitlement, and being a man.  The materials he read got weirder and more gross, because like any drug, it required greater and greater amounts to produce the same jolt.

My dad had been violently assaulted by his own brothers growing up and in his case at least, fear and pain were evilly linked to his addiction to lust and perversion.  Pornography in its essence, depicts greater or lesser violations of another human being, which is why aggressors use it.  It’s in line with the heart of the matter.  When a magazine lays a woman out in such a way that her nakedness and most intimate areas are exposed for mass consumption, she is, make no mistake about it, being violated.  The fact of possible consent or that money is being exchanged, doesn’t make this any less evil or wicked a thing or nullify the violation.  Being violated and exposed for money is still being violated.  Her sexuality is supposed to belong to her eventual husband and herself and no one else.  Society has normalized evil like this because there is profit in it and because it is godless and creates its own standards in defiance of God’s.  But He who created immutable laws like gravity cannot be defied or mocked in matters such as this.  Reality is reality no matter how much a sinful and warped person may try to redefine it. As a result, I have very strong feelings about this supposedly “harmless” anaconda being allowed to slither silently into homes as if it weren’t a  “real” or immediate threat and even greater a strong feeling about church leaders who are so anaesthetized that they react as if they were dealing with a minor parking violation as opposed to reckless endangerment via drunk driving.

It IS a direct threat to the safety and integrity of a family.  I think this is a threat that should be IMMEDIATELY removed from a home and marriage.  For one thing, it’s sexual unfaithfulness for a spouse to indulge in a sexual relationship with another woman (or man) and intentionally peer into his/her nakedness. The fact that it’s an image of her doesn’t make it any less wicked.  We’d all certainly react if we found our husband sitting across from the neighbor lady inspecting her private parts in live 3D real life; what is different heart wise and intent wise, from being willing to peer into the nakedness of another woman, someone else’s daughter or wife in a photo of this same woman?  Not much.  Worse, in the absence of even a pretense of real relationship or regard, one is agreeing to violate a stranger as if not knowing her personally someone makes using her okay.  Not that using anyone is okay.

Because porn is a gross distortion of our humanity and our sexuality, it warps the user who views it.  We cannot harm another without harming ourselves too, for we have to violate our own humanity and the image of God in order to do so.  A person who uses porn usually has other issues occurring alongside that they are not dealing with either. There is nothing good to be gained from tolerating sin and looking the other way. One will, however, gain at the very least, a crop of defiling weeds.

In addition, this is a church discipline issue if the one doing it professes to be a Christian.  If anything, because of the potential for normalizing something evil by allowing it to remain in a home so that the wife and children, in the case of a husband, are forced to cohabit with this evil snake, church discipline should be accelerated.  When children are forced to live with something gross, it becomes normal and they become acclimatized to it.  This is being complicit with evil. Pastors and elders who do not immediately get between a wife and children and this evil snake are in my opinion cowards with whose greatest agenda is protecting the status quo and not rocking the boat; they want to be seen to be non reactive and understanding compassionate guys and they want to avoid persecution and keep a low profile. This in my opinion, amounts to pride in maintaining an image of being falsely merciful.  In fact, the apostle rebuked the church that hadn’t put out the man who slept with his stepmother as being “proud” rather than mourning over this gross evil and recognizing it as a serious threat to the purity of the church.  Jude 1:23 says And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 

One must try intently to extract someone from this evil and vile thing as though saving someone drowning in a septic tank, hating the revolting filth but trying desperately to save the precious life, taking care not to minimize the danger and threat of what they are caught in.

I’m also put in mind of Jesus in the temple overturning tables of those who loved money more than God or the souls He wished to save.  He was certainly reactive against sin.  Having to go to the cross is an extreme response to sin.  The Bible records that sexual immorality is a sin we commit against our own bodies, a sin that attacks us on all level of our beings.  No different than a business in which an employee conspires to allow thieves to come in after hours and loot and vandalize, this sin amounts to unlatching the door of our souls and our family homes and inviting satan to come on in and make himself at home.  Does anyone imagine that the devil will politely remain at the kitchen table as long as we are nice to him and give him a bit of space? Therefore in my opinion, this should NEVER be tolerated.  No one should ever be asked to live with the vile sewage of hell in their home for more than a week.  The whole porn industry amounts to glorying in shame and lifting one huge middle finger up to God and all that is decent, pure and godly.  It is also a direct assault from hell on maleness and femaleness, another reflection of God’s image. A husband who brings pornography into his home is betraying his wife and children and should not be allowed to carry on as though there is nothing especially wrong going on, nor should involvement in this stuff be tolerated.  Nor should pastors tell wives that they must share living space with this vile stuff.  That amounts to the tolerating Jezebel spoken of in Revelation in my opinion; are not the people on those pages being sacrificed to idols and is not one who consumes porn consuming human beings turned into meat and sacrificed to idols as well as engaging in immorality?  Maybe I’m nuts but I see a comparison.

Obviously, this swift and decisive strike against evil by refusing to go one step down the road of tolerating such sinful and vile stuff, should be carried out with grief and compassion, for the loss of a husband and father is a terrible thing.  This evil habit will destroy the one caught in it. Being able to maintain one’s outward life doesn’t mean one’s core isn’t being eroded.  His or her very soul is in danger and the grasping fingers of hell are clutching desperately, seeking to enlarge the opening so that all the vileness of hell may be increasingly poured into the crack so that the one who thought he was in control is now, controlled.  The Bible says we are slaves to whomever we choose to submit ourselves to obey.   It is for that reason that it is not an act of love to allow someone to bring evil into a home or to agree to live tolerantly with its presence.

Editors’ note added 7 Feb 2014:  “Pornography: Lies, Truth and Hope” is a helpful booklet by the Mennonite Central Committee Canada.  It can be downloaded for free as a PDF.  

34 Comments

  1. MeganC

    Wow, wow . . . . WOW. I feel utterly vindicated. This is incredible. Thank you, Sharp. I cannot tell you how much has been cleared up for me in this post!! Reposting on my FB wall.

  2. Brenda R

    Trigger, giant trigger. One that makes my entire body cringe. The discusting magazines of women in disrespectful poses I would find under my mattress when I went to change my sheets as a girl. The times my stepfather would come out naked to yell at my sister and I when we were fussing and my mother was away. All of the nights I held the blankets tightly around my neck at night for fear he would come in and try to touch me. I have to remind myself that it is over and he died a couple of years ago. He will never touch me again.

    As a young woman I worked as a temp at a Catholic Cemetery and was asked back to work in their office several times. Ugh. I hated going there. The magazine subscriptions would come for the Priests. Even worse than those my stepfather would leave, if there is a worse. Young boys and bondage were the themes. The caretaker told me, “we don’t talk about this”. I wonder if anyone in their congregation knew or if they should have been part of the sex scandals we have heard about the past few years. Is it in my church? I can’t even think about that.

  3. Amen – it is very difficult to hold onto this reality when you’ve got the world screaming that there’s NOTHING wrong with it, stop being a prude, and your husband is “struggling” with it and you feel violated but you don’t want to lose your marriage.
    It’s incredible how commonplace this anaconda is in the church now. Absolutely sickening.

    • The degree to which this has permeated our society is really shocking. I’ve been reading articles from both the UK and US recently about how our young people are inundated with this stuff, with some estimates that as many as 2/3 of all teenage boys regularly view porn, and it has had a devastating impact on the views of young men towards women. I am becoming more convinced that we are raising a generation of abusers, at least in part because of this junk.

      What makes it even harder to fight is the attitude of so many, especially in the library world. When I was working on my master’s degree in library science, we had constant discussions about filtering porn and I was always looked upon as anti-freedom of speech or trying to impose my morals on others because I support internet filtering wholeheartedly. When you do try to filter it on public computers, then some pervert takes it to the courts and the courts say you can’t.

      I know the damage porn does. I’ve been there. I’ve talked to many who have been there and counseled them, yet with all the mounting evidence of how destructive this stuff is, society claims they have a “right” to it. And like everything else, it invades the church, where it is another hidden sin, not too unlike those that God showed Ezekiel that the priests of his day were engaging in.

      • When you do try to filter it on public computers, then some pervert takes it to the courts and the courts say you can’t.

        At what point can the public library say “okay, we are not going to operate as a purveyor of adult material” ? Adult strip clubs have to have licenses, they can’t be on every streetcorner, because of the kind of people/activities going on in these places. Nobody wants it around their children, and yet at the same time we proclaim that it is “our right”. I suppose when all the young man are masturbating on the libraries’ computers, then finally the public indecency laws will come into effect.
        But it is so sad that we have gone this far down the hole. It makes me nervous for my sons. 😦

      • Yes Wendell. And society has such incredible double standards on what it chooses to regulate tightly and what it chooses to scarcely regulate at all.
        Take cigarette smoking. Tighter and tighter restrictions on where and when it can be done and where and when it can be advertised. Governments taxing cigarettes realy highly to try to discourage their use (and to try to pay for all the disease burden they cause!). Seat belts in cars is another thing which have become more tightly regulated over the years. But porn? Sure, there are some laws regulating it, but not nearly enough given the KNOWN longterm damage it does to users and the whole society because many users go on to abuse others, both sexually and in other ways, because their hearts harden so much and they get so addicted.

        I have heard a policeman who heads up the sexual offences dept in my country say that the easy availability of porn since the internet age has created a whole new class of criminal. Men who in the past would not have become addicted to porn when it had to be bought by mail order or from bricks and mortar retail stores, can now get it so quickly, easily and inconspicuously that they are getting addicted in numbers never before seen. And some of the addicts always progress to abusing young women and children in real life. You could tell the detective was sickened by it. But he was trying to give the public (esp. those planning to prey on children) that IF YOU DO IT, THE POLICE WILL CATCH YOU!

      • Brenda R

        Without better regulation of the internet, Satan will continue to run rampant. He is having himself a very good time.

  4. One short comment I would like to add is how much more prevalent this issue is becoming in women as well. My guess would be because women have become a bit more powerful and assertive. Unfortunately, like you mentioned Pastor Crippen, the truth is Satan is gaining more power and not the human race. Marriage is nothing like God intended when this lust for power, control, domination and short-lived self gratification is a victory for Satan. But we cannot blame Satan, in my opinion. He can tempt us, but we can pray for redemption every time we fall and get back up. When we are ready to not give up and avoid His Truth: take that Satan!!

    • Brenda R

      That is true. We have the power of God on our side and the power of NO.

    • Yes Marie, I’ve heard that women are using porn in increasing numbers too. In some cases it would be a simple case of a woman giving way to her own lusts of the flesh, but in some cases it would be a woman who was sexually abused as a child and whose wiring is so messed up from that her sexual responses are already malformed and distorted, and thus ripe to be lit up by the evils of porn. And in some cases, too, there are women getting pressured to watch porn by their abusive boyfriends or husbands, and we would have to guess that some of them started with reluctance but then became addicted themselves.

  5. The proper response is certainly not what Mark Driscoll did: getting a phone call from a male parishioner who’d viewed porn and wished to confess, and immediately asking the penitent if it was “good porno” because hey, he’d already watched it and as long as he doesn’t do it again everything’s fine. *headdesk*

    • Brenda R

      I can’t believe this guy said that. Considering the young man was repentant I can’t see raking him over the coals, but he shouldn’t make it into a joke either. Perhaps confirming this behavior is immoral and making positive that the boy understands the potential harm that could happen if that kind of behavior persisted. I can’t believe this guy works in a coalition with John Piper. From what I just read about Mark Driscoll they are worlds apart. Out of curiosity I think I may read his book Real Marriage though. If anyone has read it and thinks it is a waste of time, I’d like to know.

      • Katy

        If I’m not mistaken I think Driscoll’s marriage book has the infamous chapter on how “nothing is off limits” in the marital bed. Not something that you want an abuser to read, naturally. :/

      • Brenda R

        I don’t think I want to either. Thanks, Katy. I won’t waste my time or money.

      • IMO Driscoll came dangerously close to calling oral sex a command to wives, and he really likes talking about sex in public. The following sermon excerpts pretty much told me everything I need to know about him. The fact that, to my knowledge, excerpts are all that’s available of this sermon anymore is even more telling. Warning: triggers everywhere.

        https://docs.google.com/document/d/13XI1e1zW1–7aX3t8n7uzFr3XylWcGKcEmaeQ7_55nw/edit?pli=1

      • Brenda R

        Hester, The pastor of my church brings up sex more than I would like in sermons. He says there is nothing wrong with sex in marriage (with a big smile on his face), which there isn’t but makes me uncomfortable. I wonder how his wife feels about it. He does tell men not to push their wives to do things they are uncomfortable with. He has never said anything goes, I just think the subject comes up in sermon too often. I think I have heard it more in the last 4 years than I have in the entire rest of my life. I’m going to watch the video you sent, but I think I need to get away from this topic. I am not handling the memories it brings up very well. Brenda

      • Brenda R

        This man is a sick puppy and a disgrace to the pulpit. He does say he told his own wife that Jesus commands her to have oral sex. My pastor has said that Hollywood and the porn industry needs to stay out of our bedrooms with their movie making. I believe men in the pulpit should as well. What he and his wife do or do not do is no one else’s concern unless of course he is causing bodily harm or raping her. I didn’t have a real high opinion of John Piper before, but now reading that he works with this guy, my opinion has fallen further. How anyone could take away what he did from Solomon’s Song, probably has a stack of porn in his bathroom and X rated videos in his bedroom.

        Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Song of Songs 2:3

        My version of this scripture is much different than his. For arguments sake, lets say this verse was a poem having nothing to do with God, which I do not believe, but Driscoll wants to make it porn within the Bible. The apple tree is the best in the forest, no other provides nourishment at all. It symbolizes the man of her heart is the best among all other men for this woman. He is the only one. She is happy to be with him. He comforts her, she wants to be close to him, he nourishes her, he satisfies her longing, he protects her. He is ultimate to her.

        No where in this verse is any kind of sex remotely discussed. Driscoll’s version makes it clear that if you want to, you can twist the Bible to say anything you want.

      • Hester I want to second that recommendation to be careful with that link. Driscoll is a lunatic. I couldn’t make it through that sermon, it’s probably not something a survivor wants to read.
        I will say, however, that it is a perfect example of his sexual obsession. Reading that gave me the feeling that he definitely “delights” in porn.

      • Very sorry to have gone too far. Thanks for letting me know. I will be more careful in the future.

      • You didn’t go too far. This blog policy is to tell the truth, and you were doing just that! 🙂

      • Katy

        Hester – you haven’t gone too far. Driscoll has. 😉

      • Brenda R

        Agree, Katy. Hester, you didn’t write this. You did make me more aware of the perversion and distortion in the pulpit. Driscoll went over to the dark side.

      • …you haven’t gone too far. Driscoll has.

        Thanks…because after finding out something I linked to had triggered someone, I was feeling like a big clueless insensitive heel. 😦

        Maybe I’m fortunate that my pastor has never ever mentioned sex of any kind from the pulpit? Let alone preached one of those “sex series” which seem to be so popular now. If he did I think he’d scandalize a good number of people in my church. 🙂

  6. sharpsheep

    Oh, uggh. I didn’t know that Driscoll had said such things. In using scripture to interpret scripture, something all pastors are taught as far as I know, has he forgotten that fruit in scripture is likened to what is produced from the life? Has he forgotten all the analogies, like Jesus being the vine and we the branches, that John the Baptist told the Pharisees to produce FRUIT in keeping with repentance, that we are told over and over that we shall know a tree by its fruit, that good trees don’t produce bad fruit, etc? I get from this that the fruit is the very essence of the person in question, their character, their righteousness as it stems from their walk with God. Not their body parts or some perverse sexual reference. In other words, the woman in song of Solomon is nurtured by the fruit of his godly and manly character. THAT in my rather incensed opinion sounds alot more like what God had in mind. Every time I’ve ever seen someone start to justify something sinful, I have seen them try to twist the scriptures to change God’s words and meanings to include their sin so that they can claim that its actually right and not wrong. That’s what this stuff from Driscoll sounds like. Even worse, oh, uggh, possible trigger warning, but telling your wife that Jesus COMMANDS you to perform a sexual practice even if its against your will, sounds a lot like how abusers use God and the bible to manipulate and bully compliance out of their victims. How Jesus must be offended and horrified to hear His name used to justify selfish forcing and demand that is so totally opposite of the directive of loving his wife as Christ loved the church, laying down his life for her and washing her with water and the word. One leads to purity and honor and respect and the other leads to pride and self serving demand. Not impressed, Mr. Driscoll.

    • Brenda R

      I felt the same way. I tried to imagine myself being Mrs. Driscoll and sitting in the congregation during that so-called sermon. I wouldn’t be able to look people in the eye again after such embarressment. His comments weren’t fit for mixed company much less within the church.

  7. sharpsheep

    I think I’d have launched a hymnbook at him after shouting “incoming” and then quietly stalked out with perturbed feline grace 🙂

    • Brenda R

      That would need to be recorded for youtube!

  8. IamMyBeloved's

    I think this is where the rubber meets the road and it has to be asked, is Driscoll blind and lost, or is he blind and saved, meaning that he is immensely immature in Christ, if he is in Christ. That question also leads to the next, that if he is that immature in Christ and the Scriptures, why is he even behind a pulpit? Doesn’t the Bible warn us about giving a novice position like that? Also, I am certain that anyone who stood up in the assembly of the saints and gave that kind of talk or message outloud, would be promptly removed and then disciplined for all to see. But, what? Where is that for this supposed “shepherd” of God’s people?

    The topic deserves to be in a category all its own. It used to be illegal in many states, whether you were married or not, and I believe still is in some states. It used to be, that if you were found, even in your own marriage bed, to be practicing the act, you could be arrested and charged with a Class A Felony. I also believe that just because we are Christians, does not mean we are free to practice what the world does, in our bedrooms, private or not – do we really believe that God does not watch there? Under the law today, a man forcing a woman on the street to perform this act, would be charged with sodomy. It is called a “crime against nature”. Research it.

  9. Bev

    WOW, this is the first time I have seen anyone make this connection publicly…

    BOQ…That amounts to the tolerating jezebel spoken of in Revelation in my opinion; are not the people on those pages being sacrificed to idols and is not one who consumes porn consuming human beings turned into meat and sacrificed to idols as well as engaging in immorality? Maybe I’m nuts but I see a comparison. EOQ…

    I am absolutely convinced porn falls under the spirit of jezebel, so then either we are both nuts, or there is something to it… I have been studying jezebel in Kings and in Revelation connected to porn for the last year or so… porn is her empire, it’s a 100 billion dollar industry that feeds the human trafficking/exploitation of women and children… jezebel had charge of ahab’s harem for 12 years after he died before Jehu had her thrown out the window, she could dole out sexual favors to men as she needed, using the women in the harem… she lied and manipulated, using the leaders to carry out the dirty work for her (think Naboth’s vineyard)… she was part of a culture that practiced child sacrifice, etc.

    the greek word for fornification/sexual immorality is “pornea”, and is used in the Rev 2 passage along with more than 30 other times in the NT…

    Thyatira was known for its trade guilds… what went on with these trade guilds? lots more than business… they were a place of prostitution and visual porn where women laid on “couches” in all kinds of suggestive ways, with little or no clothing… these trade guilds were a part of the culture then as unions are now…if you wanted to do business in your industry, you needed to be a part of the guild for your industry. This is the cultural context Jesus spoke into when He said if you even look at a woman lustfully, you have committed adultery in your heart (Matt 5:27-28)

    and in Rev 2… Jesus says… Church, I see the good you do… NEVERTHELESS!!!! you tolerate this woman jezebel and her sexual immorality (dba porn)… and this is how I believe the jezebel spirit has secretly slithered into the Church at such horrific levels, with most of the Church being oblivious or in denial or covering it up because they are themselves involved.

    would love to hear any feedback on this connection, as it’s not something I can find anything on… I have several friends that have confirmed it, and others who don’t see it… so would love to know other believers thoughts.

  10. Suzanne

    I’m a little late to this discussion, but as I read these posts I was reminded of a sermon I once heard. The pastor was warning men against porn because it gave them a distorted view of sex in a loving marital relationship. He gave an example of a young couple he counseled shortly after their wedding. The wife was a virgin on her wedding day, completely inexperienced sexually although she knew what to expect as a married woman. She was innocent but not ignorant of human sexuality. Her husband, however, had been viewing pornography and came to their wedding night with a list of sex acts he expected her to recreate from the porn he had been viewing. The wife was understandably traumatized by his insensitive demands and by being treated like an actress in a pornographic film. She refused to sleep with him again. In counseling the husband claimed that all sex between married people was perfectly natural and normal and completely failed to see that his demands made his wife feel like an object instead of a beloved spouse. Such was his education through pornography in how to treat his wife. And this man was a Christian! The effects of pornography are far-reaching. And despite claims to the contrary pornography does not enhance the sexual relationships between married couples. It destroys them as this young couple found out. Their marriage did not survive.

    • Good case study! Thanks for sharing this Suzanne. What a sensible pastor he was, and he pulled no punches.

  11. Finding Answers

    (Extreme airbrushing……)

    The original post and the comments it generated discuss many negative results of the porn industry.

    Barb commented “…….. but in some cases it would be a woman who was sexually abused as a child and whose wiring is so messed up from that her sexual responses are already malformed and distorted……”

    ^That.

    (Omitting MANY details for my / ACFJ blog readers protection.)

    There are overlaps between the many negative results of the porn industry and other industries that purvey twisted views of the world.

    These other industries are also considered “the supposedly “harmless” anaconda being allowed to slither silently into homes”

Trackbacks

  1. Truth vs. Reality in Family Court (Not for Kids to Read/Viewer Discretion) | Moms' Hearts Unsilenced
  2. Pornography, Asherah Poles, and High Places | The Last Hiker

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: