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Pornography is Poison
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be putting up a couple of excerpts from ClearNote Press’ first book, Man Vs. Lust: A Young Man’s Guide to Purity (buy a copy here). Man Vs. Lust is a primer for young men about one of God's greatest gifts - sex. The book’s author, David Canfield, serves as a board member of ClearNote Fellowship and teaches at ClearNote Pastors College in Bloomington, Indiana. An elder at Church of the Good Shepherd, David has spent years mentoring young men with sexual addictions.
Today’s excerpt explains what specifically is wrong with pornography. Be warned that the language, though appropriate, is frank and intended for a male audience. The following excerpt is taken from the second chapter entitled, "Why is Sexual Purity Important?"
Tyson is a Christian man, now 27 years old. In his mid-teens, a school friend showed him a porn site. It wasn’t any of the really weird, nasty stuff that the Internet is famous for—just pictures of naked women. But Tyson began accessing it regularly.
W.C. Fields once quipped, “Quitting drinking is the easiest thing. I ought to know. I’ve done it a thousand time.” Tyson was in the same boat when it came to porn and masturbation. He felt bad and wanted to stop. And so he did. Several times. And he had some success. After he turned 20, he went nearly a year not masturbating.
But then he began dating a girl, and in a strange coincidence, he began also began to feel a certain amount of affection for this girl. He kept pure with her, but old images from porn sites haunted him, and he fell back into porn and masturbation again.
But hold on. It wasn’t old self-centered, sinful Tyson masturbating to Internet porn. It was noble, self-sacrificial marriage-minded Tyson. He just needed some way to release his sexual desires if he was going to stay pure with his gal, right? Right? RIGHT? (If that sounds dumb, you should listen to some the junk you tell yourself next time you want to sin).
After a few months, Tyson wasn’t aroused by the same old photos. A Google search or two later, he was looking at pictures of people having sex. Soon, even these pictures weren’t enough to arouse him, and he found movies of the same stuff.
In this way, Tyson set about murdering God’s wonderful gift of sexuality for him. It wasn’t a quick and quiet murder—Tyson in the conservatory with the pipe wrench. It was slow murder—death by poison. And the poison was Tyson’s lust and the pornography that he used to quench it. He deadened his own sexuality. And this problem followed him into his marriage with serious consequences.
Tyson’s story happens all the time. Pornography deadens sexuality. Many men involved in pornography have difficult achieving an erection , and some psychologist attribute the widespread use of drugs like Viagra to the deadening effects of porn. In other words, pornography is the worst sort of parasite—the kind that kills its host.
More than that, porn feeds lust and kills true love—the kind that seeks to give and not to get. Lust just wants to get. And get and get and GET.
Porn sucks a man deeper and deeper into the mire of the lust that wants to get. And it’s private and easy access. Put all that together and you’d be silly to think that it has not infiltrated the Church just as much as it has pagan culture.