Dr. Phil Fernandes
Pastor of Trinity Bible Fellowship
President of the Institute of Biblical Defense
A new pornography store has opened in Silverdale, igniting much debate between Kitsap County residents. Though many people believe that pornography is not harmful, I disagree. Both the Bible (the Word of God) and the Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography (Rutledge Hill Press, 1986) discuss the dangers of pornography. There are several reasons why I believe pornography is wrong, even dangerous.
First, pornography is a sin. Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman to lust for her, he has committed adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:28). According to the Bible, a person does not have to outwardly act in order to sin; lustful thoughts are themselves sinful (Mark 7:20-23; James 1:14-15). A person can sin in his heart, as well as in his behavior. For this reason, the Apostle Paul tells us to let our minds dwell only on that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). What we choose to look at and think about will eventually effect our behavior (1 Samuel 11:1-4; Mark 7:20-23).
Second, pornography enslaves its customers. I have personally counseled several men who have become slaves to pornography. The Bible tells us that sin will master those who practice it (John 8:34). Paul wrote that we should “flee immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Pornography is often a stumbling block that keeps a person from salvation in Jesus (Mark 9:42-48; John 3:19-21).
Third, pornography encourages a low level of respect for women. Pornography can warp a man’s view of reality so that he begins to view women as mere sex objects, rather than as human beings created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27).
Fourth, pornography victimizes women. I am convinced that the high rate of sexual harassment, divorce, unwed mothers, and rape can be traced to a low view of women. As noted above, this low view of women is fostered by pornography.
Fifth, pornography arouses a person’s sexual appetite; it does not satisfy his or her sexual appetite. Once sexually aroused by pornography, how will the customer satisfy his or her sexual desires? At best, pornography helps to produce a sexually promiscuous and irresponsible society. At worst, in extreme though not rare cases, pornography has led some of its customers to rape and murder others in an attempt to quench their uncontrollable sexual thirsts.
Sixth, in most cases, pornography supports organized crime. Crime families from Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Florida control and oversee the pornography business in Los Angelos. In 1975, organized crime controlled 80% of America’s pornography industry. Today, law enforcement experts believe that organized crime controls over 90% of this industry.
I believe that Christians must uncompromisingly preach against all sin, including pornography, and that local governments should seriously consider outlawing pornography because of its detrimental effects on communities. However, for those who are enslaved by pornography, Christians must offer hope. Though everyone who habitually sins is a slave of that sin, Jesus will set free any captive who turns from his or her sin and comes to Him for deliverance (John 8:34, 36).