Porn And The Bible: Are Christians To View Porn?

Introduction

The Bible does not specifically address the issue of viewing pornography, since it didn’t really exist at the time the books of the Bible were written. So, does this mean that it is allowable as a “freedom in Christ” issue? Can we discern a clear moral teaching based upon what the Bible teaches about other sexual sins?

porn and the bible-prohibited sex copy

 

 

Several specific sexual acts are forbidden in the Bible. Among these are homosexuality, bestiality (sex with animals), and incest (sexual relations with close family members, including your mother, sister, niece, aunt, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law), fornication (sexual relations outside of marriage) and adultery (sexual relations with another person’s spouse), rape (forced sex), and orgies. To emphasize the seriousness of these kinds of offenses, the penalty was death. All of these categories are abundantly represented in pornographic offerings. The only acceptable form of sexual expression—between a married husband and wife—is virtually absent. So, virtually all the acts pornography depicts are prohibited in the Bible. Obviously, one should not be participating in such acts, even vicariously.

porn and the bible-acts of the mind

Christianity is not just about avoiding sinful physical acts, but also about mental purity. Actually, this idea did not begin with Christianity, but originated from Judaism, the belief system from which Christianity arose. The Decalogue (10 commandments) first delineates the requirement of mental purity:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)

So, the prohibition against coveting specifically prohibits desiring another man’s wife. Jesus specifically addressed the question of lusting after a women who wasn’t one’s wife, equating it with the physical act of adultery:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:27-29)

The prohibition against lust is found throughout the New Testament, which says that such desires “wage war against the soul.” James gives an analogy of lust to procreation, in which lust conceives and gives birth to sin, which results in death. Of course, the goal of pornography is to elicit lust, which makes its consumption a form of sin.

porn and the bible-renew your mind

The Bible makes it clear that our thoughts are subject to the scrutiny of God. It tells us that we are to keep our mind on the things above, not on the things of the earth. Instead of thinking about things of the flesh, which results in spiritual death, Christians are to set our minds on spiritual matters. The mind set on fleshly desires cannot please God, but eventually becomes defiled as the conscience becomes seared. The viewing of pornography by Christians results in a mind that is focused on lust and fleshly desires, instead of on the things of God. The goal of the Christian is to not conform to the desires of the world, but to be transformed by Christ through the renewing of our minds, so that we can do the perfect will of God.

porn and the bible-your body is not yours

Christians are to avoid all forms of sexual sin, since the Christian’s body is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Paul says that the body is meant for the Lord and not for sexual immorality. Since Christians are redeemed (bought back with a price—which was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) we no longer “own” our bodies, since they have been purchased by God. Not only are Christians to avoid sexual sins, but we are to avoid those who claim to be Christians, yet practice such things. The Bible says that those who are sexually immoral are separated from God and will not share in God’s inheritance upon death.

Conclusion 

Pornography is a big problem in the Christian Church, because it results in Christians who are double-minded—wanting to have one foot in heaven and the other in hell. Pornography is so insidious because it destroys our purity of mind and makes our consciences corrupt, being unable to discern the true will of God. For one who is married, pornography is tantamount to adultery, since Jesus said one who “looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The Bible says that we the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we are to be transformed by the experience—to renew our minds to know the perfect will of God for our lives.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

 

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