The case against pornography

The English word 'pornography' is derived from two Greek words: 'porne' meaning that which pertains to a prostitute and 'graphe' meaning writing. Pornography refers to the depiction of illicit sexual behaviour in either words or pictures.

Pornography primarily exploits women, but also creates degrading images of children and men.

Pornography corrupts the mind. The Bible says that our minds should dwell on 'whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things … and the God of peace will be with you.' (Philippians 4:8-9) What is there about pornography that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Absolutely nothing! There is no way the existence of pornography can be justified in the light of what Scripture has just said.

Harmful: True or False

Sometimes it is argued that explicit sexual images are not harmful in themselves, but the Bible says that we must not even entertain impure thoughts. Jesus said: 'I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' (Matthew 5:28) And the Apostle Paul instructs Christians, 'But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.' (Ephesians 5:3) I like the expression Paul uses - not 'even a hint'. We often come home and as soon as we enter the hall we get a hint of what's cooking for dinner. We haven't entered the kitchen, we haven't seen the food, let alone tasted it, but the aroma has provided 'a hint' of what it is. It's clear, there must not be even a hint of immorality among us.

We Become What We See

No one can have continual exposure to pornography and not be adversely affected by it. Jesus said, "'What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean'. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'" (Mark 7:20-23)

Those in ministry today are having to deal with more and more people who have become addicted to pornography. The figures are frightening. A survey published in Leadership stated that pornographic web sites in America are getting 50 million hits per month. It's inescapable; people eventually become what they read and think about. Exposure to pornography is devastating: it pollutes the mind, distorts the truth about sexuality and corrupts the conscience.

For Your Consideration

  • Pornographic images of women, children and men are not excellent or praiseworthy
  • Pornography does nothing positive to enhance society's view of women
  • Pornography does nothing to promote stability in society and fidelity in marriage
  • Pornography is linked to crimes of sexual violence

    Recommended Reading

    Pornography: A Human Tragedy by James Dobson, Charles Colson, C.Everett Koop. Publisher: Living Books, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois. (Dr. James Dobson also has an excellent video on the issue of pornography that is well worth watching.)