The Bible is the "word of truth." It's mankind's user manual. It's the blueprint, even in suffering, for a joyful and fulfilled existence in this life, and an incomprehensibly glorious eternity in the next. The total truths and precepts inherent within the Judeo-Christian scriptures are both timeless and universally applicable to all people and peoples across the globe, be they Christian, Jew or pagan.
Obviously, neither pornography nor pornography use, in the modern sense, was around during ancient biblical times. Still, since all time is biblical time, and since the Bible transcends time and space, God, in His boundless love and wisdom, has given us specific truths that directly apply to the use and abuse of modern pornography in all its ugly forms.
Studies indicate that at least 70 percent of American men and 30 percent of American women regularly view online pornography. The numbers aren't much better among Christians with a 2011 ChristiaNet survey finding that 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women regularly use porn.
The following is in no way a comprehensive analysis of the devastating medical, mental, spiritual and societal pitfalls associated with porn use. Neither is it a complete examination of what the Holy Scriptures have to say on the subject. Still, here are six specific truths, from the word of truth, about pornography use:
1) Pornography use is always wrong.
Like adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest, bestiality and other forms of sexual immorality, the use of pornography, too, is sin.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 admonishes us to "abstain from every form of evil." As we will further develop in the subsequent "porn truths" below, porn use is evil. "Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids" (Proverbs 6:25).
"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality ..." (Galatians 5:19).
When you use pornography, you engage "the deeds of the flesh" and grieve the Holy Spirit. "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).
2) Married? Pornography use is adultery. Not married? Pornography use is fornication.
"[B]ut I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
Husbands, I realize that you tell yourself, "I'd never cheat on my wife."
You already have.
You also don't have much sense.
"The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out" (Proverbs 6:32-33).
Using porn? Knock it off, repent and ask God's forgiveness. You're destroying yourself and your marriage.
"Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
Hear that, single guys? If you're using porn, you're committing fornication. You're sinning against God, your future wife and God's precious daughters featured in the images after which you lust.
Again, knock it off, repent and ask God's forgiveness. Then save yourself, from now on, for your wife. That's what your Creator both expects and demands.
3) Pornography use leads to death.
"But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).
People often say that pornography use is a "victimless crime." Nonsense. Both the subjects of pornography, the men, women and children featured in it and objectified through it, as well as those who consume it, are hurt by pornography.
Pornography use is a cancerous epidemic in America. It's destroying lives, souls, children, marriages and families.
It's also destroying our culture.
Porn use leads to death - spiritual, emotional, marital, familial and societal death.
4) Pornography use is demonic.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world" (1 John 2:16).
Porn use typifies all of this and more. Porn is "of the world."
Scripture calls Satan the "prince of the world" and the "father of lies."
Pornography, which is "from the world," is the wicked, destructive, deceptive and deadly brainchild of the "prince of the world."
"Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret" (Ephesians 5:11-12).
5) You must flee pornography.
"Flee [sexual] immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18).
Flee pornography while you still can. You will be discovered. Many falsely believe that porn use is a personal, harmless form of entertainment. They think that what they do, they do in secret. Nothing is done in secret. More often than not, your loved ones will discover you. As scripture warns: "[Y]ou may be sure that your sin will find you out."
Either way, God knows.
6) You can be free from pornography use.
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The way of escape is available in and through the person of Jesus Christ, His holy word, the Holy Spirit and the full armor of God:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:13-18).
Try this: Every time you're tempted to return to your computer for porn, pick up a Bible instead. Or go to BibleGateway.com.
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments" (Psalms 119:9-10).
I second the Apostle Peter's plea: "Dear friends, I urge you ... to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul" (1 Peter 2:11).
Even if you feel you cannot stop using pornography under your own power, you can stop under the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask Jesus - keep asking Jesus - and He will help you.
If you screw up, then stop, ask His forgiveness and then ask Him again for help.
Because a soul is a terrible thing to waste.