SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVES


"MORALISTS" AND PORNOGRAPHY

GARY W. SUMMERS

   

How can you tell if a syndicated columnist is a liberal? Simple. Everything he/she writes opposes the Scriptures, decency, and common sense. Robyn Blumner, for example, upholds fornication (see "Marriage and Social Customs" September 24, 2000) and now defends pornography as a "civil liberty." Her article on this subject appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle on May 16th. She begins her column by decrying public figures such as William Bennett (The Book of Virtues) for "building political careers on the need to keep children from viewing anything erotic or sexual" (all quotes are from page 12A).

She insists that her readers should be suspicious of Bennett and others. Imagine the nerve of people like them to want to protect children from the lascivious works of those who pander to the lusts of the flesh for a profit! What have these guys been reading: Deuteronomy 6:4-9? Blumner further asks:

Do they really believe that explicit material is harmful to the sexual and moral development of teens, or are they just playing on popular sentiment?

Obviously, she believes the latter explanation is correct. One wonders if liberals are genetically defective or just plain stupid. With her philosophy it is a wonder that Playboy bunnies are not posted on the walls of the fifth grade classroom and that XXX-rated movies have not replaced those boring historical documentaries in junior high. For several hundred years adults with a modicum of sense have known that explicit materials are harmful, but liberals dutifully question everything--especially sound moral principles.

It ought to be obvious from the fact that girls are becoming pregnant as young as twelve that there is an unhealthy emphasis on nudity and sexuality in our current culture. Such events rarely, if ever, occurred here before the proliferation of pornography.

The reader does not misunderstand Blumner's meaning in the quoted paragraph; she continues to lament that society has established rating systems for movies and that anti-pornography filters are being used in public schools. Then she cites a new book by a "prominent civil liberties attorney" (who else?) to try to prove the case that "graphic sexual images" do not "actually do harm to adolescents."

It is just this type of thinking that will hasten the end of the world. No, we do not know the day or the hour, but we do know that God destroyed it once already--when every thought and intent of people's hearts was "only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). What better way to insure such a condition than to immerse children into "the lusts of the flesh" as early as possible?

Blumner is obviously not a man, or she would know the dangers of pornography. Since she is, however, married to one, she might have asked him about its effects. Who knows? He might even give her an honest answer--unless he was too intimidated to tell her the truth instead of what she wanted to hear. She complains that its harmful effects are just an assumption; she may as well challenge the fact that ice is cold and that fire is hot. Liberals commonly deny reality and replace it with dangerous fantasies.

Rather than citing some book by a fellow-liberal on this subject, why did she fail to consider what God says on the matter? This question is just too easy to answer. She does not believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God; she has replaced that with the "wisdom" of men (or women). Liberalism today is simply a re-enactment of the Gentile world after the Flood: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:22). They "exchanged the truth of God for the lie" (Rom. 1:25).

Christians, however, know that the efforts of men to arrive at truth apart from God result in moral chaos and eventual destruction. What nation that becomes thoroughly saturated with perversion stands very long? Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because not even ten righteous souls could be found therein; yet such was the kind of society that Blumner and her civil libertarian friends would have enjoyed (Gen. 19). Other nations have blithely and ignorantly followed in Sodom's footsteps--and suffered the same condemnation.

What God Has Revealed to Us

God created us and knows what is in us. He knows what is healthy for us and what is harmful. Furthermore, He has communicated to us moral truths so that we know how to conduct ourselves properly, as well as how to bring up our children "in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).

Many Scriptures deal with this subject in some manner, but let us deal first with the Greek words from which the English word pornography is derived. Even an English dictionary (presumably Blumner owns one) tells us clearly what the word means. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, pornography is defined as "Written, graphic, or other forms of communication intended to excite lascivious feelings. [From Greek pornographos, writing about prostitutes...]." So here, in the very definition of the word, is a subtle clue as to its purpose. And Blumner thinks that it is perfectly acceptable to arouse lascivious feelings in children. Such is inexcusable depravity. There is simply no way to be kind to an individual this corrupted.

The Greek verb grapho refers to writing; it does not possess any negative connotation in and of itself. The first part of this compound word is derived from pornee (pronounced por nay'), which appears twelve times in the New Testament. It is translated "harlot" eight times and "whore" four times. Thus, the dictionary is accurate when it translates pornographos literally as "writing about prostitutes." In our current age, however, it would be more appropriate to say that these are pictures of prostitutes. The women who pose for such pictures (Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Gos, e.g.), would probably object to this terminology, but these women are also selling their bodies for money.

Pornee [4204 in Strong's] is part of the same word family as porneia [4204], which occurs 26 times in the King James and is translated "fornication" in every instance, and porneuo [4203], a verb that is rendered "commit fornication" each of the eight times it appears. Pornos [4205] is found in the Greek text ten times and is evenly split between "fornicators" and "whoremongers." Ekporneuo [1608] occurs just once in Jude 7, where it is translated "giving themselves over to fornication" (referring to the inhabitants of Sodom).

Is this a family tree to be proud of? Pornography is associated, then, with prostitution, fornication (sexual immorality of every type), those who commit sexual immorality (fornicators), and those who are wholly given over to fornication. Jesus used porneia as the one Biblical reason a man can divorce his wife (Matt. 19:9). When God wanted to describe the putrid, polluted, bloodthirsty Roman empire, He chose to call her "the great whore" and "the mother of harlots" (Rev. 17:1, 5). Of course, today she would be glamorized and put on the cover of Playboy. We are experiencing a reversal of values, and liberals like Blumner are out in front promoting such for this country's teens.

Not only is sexually explicit material akin to sexual immorality by definition, but several Scriptural principles also declare the harmfulness of ogling pornographic pictures or becoming inflamed by salacious writing. Jesus, the purest man who ever lived (and the Son of God), set forth a standard which Blumner contradicts. He did not advocate entertaining lustful thoughts:

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. 5:27-28).

This teaching was entirely overlooked by those busily and perfunctorily defending Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ. For the Lord to have had a thirty-minute fantasy about Mary Magdalene (or any other woman) would have been a direct violation of His own teaching, which would have made Him sinful and unfit as a sacrifice for sins. The entire premise was absurd--not to mention blasphemous.

It is sinful to lust after a woman whether she is a few feet away (and dressed immodestly) or she is on the pages of a magazine. To impress this truth upon people Jesus went on to suggest plucking out the offending eye (which is not to be understood literally, but rather it serves to stress the severity of the offense). Now whom should we believe regarding the harm that pornography engenders: the Lord who created mankind and in His capacity as the Son of Man understands our minds and our thinking thoroughly--or Robyn Blumner and her liberal civil rights attorney? It is a matter of the wisdom of God versus the sophistry of women.

Job understood 4,000 years ago what Blumner fails yet to understand. He wrote a defense of his efforts to be righteous: "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" (Job 31:1). Temptations must be thwarted--not nourished. Job knew that his guarding what his eyes saw would help to keep him pure. Eventually, the evil sights that one sees can be put out of the mind, but various evil visions will always reside within the mind's eye; they are capable of being recalled upon demand.

Lust-spawning pornography can be a gateway to further sin. As with drugs, one eventually becomes bored with the status quo, and so he seeks a greater high. This craving may be expressed by graduating to more hard core forms of pornography. Or it may result in the desire to make fantasies become reality. He may find a woman who is equally willing to commit sexual immorality, but he may not, either. One alternative is prostitution; another is rape.

Furthermore, for many, pornography is addictive, as evidenced by the billions of dollars spent each year on magazines, the popularity of XXX-rated video stores, the 900 numbers one can call for phone sex, and the numerous pornographic Internet sites (numbering in the hundreds of thousands). Is it possible that our culture has a problem here? If so, Blumner cannot see it. To quote Glen Campbell: "There are none so blind as those who will not see." Unfortunately, not everyone who gets hooked on pornography is some sleazy weirdo. Quite often he is a family man with a wife and children. Sometimes he is a Christian; some preachers, who were otherwise excellent men, have doted upon the filth to their own detriment.

Blumner closes her column by saying that it is "highly likely" (therefore, she does not really know) that Bennett and the others "were once 16-year-olds with an intense interest in anything sexual. Yet they turned into 'mora' men. Why do they seek to punish the youth of today for those same curiosities? I just don't get it." We could not agree more that there are a number of things that "she does not get." But this one is not that difficult to reason that curiosity. The right approach does not include the use of pictures that inspire lust. Rather, young people should be given factual information by their parents. They should be taught that God, not man, created sex, and that He has set forth limitations upon it. In fact, he has reserved it for the marriage relationship. All other contexts are wrong. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4). No one has the right to corrupt other people's children via pornography; does one need a degree to "get" that?

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "'MORALISTS' AND PORNOGRAPHY (6/3/01)."


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