Family

10 Lies You Must Believe to Look at Porn

Jared Moore

The world and church today are ensnared in pornography. The remedies given for this sexual bondage are often practical: “Get rid of the Internet,” “Get accountability software,” and so on. But these remedies don’t deal with the crux of the problem, which is not “out there,” but “in here.” The problem lies in our hearts. This is not to say one should cease using safeguards to prevent acting on sin, but that there should be a special focus on tearing these sexual idols from the heart.

The only way to tear an idol from the heart is, first, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We must continually turn from our sins and turn to Christ in faith. We must believe He died for our sins and rose from the dead to forgive us our sins, and we must commit our lives to follow Him. As a result of Him giving us His Holy Spirit, we are enabled to live out of Christ, in obedience to Christ. The way this is accomplished is through His renewing of our minds through Scripture. He tears the idols from us as we believe His word. He renews our affections for God-designed things as He starves the affections of the flesh within us. As we are full of the Word of God, He removes the work of the flesh. In other words, we need theology—we need to know God, to replace the untruths our flesh has created. Merely removing outward temptations will not uproot the cause of these temptations: our sinful hearts. Therefore, we renew our minds with God’s Word so that we will not be merely one opportunity away from lust.

In order to justify pornography, you must believe lies about God and those made in His image. Here are 10 lies you must believe to look at porn:

1. Your Object is not a Person

Yes, I said “object.” To enjoy a human being sexually, the way God intended, you must be married to the person. Otherwise, as you merely use the “object’s” outward beauty, you necessarily separate his or her personhood from his or her outward appearance. The apostle Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” Herman Bavinck puts it another way, “Fornication considers the neighbor an object and views one’s own body in a similar light, forgetting that both belong not to us but to God. As Paul noted, while other sins are ‘outside the body’—there the world enters us—sexual sins are sins against our own bodies (1 Cor. 6:18) because the sin proceeds from the self, uses the body from the inside to the outside, and thus destroys the body with the body itself” (Reformed Ethics). And the same is true for you, reader. You cannot remove personhood from another image-bearer without removing your own as well. You become what you desire. If a de-personed object is what you desire, then a de-personed object is what you will become.

2. Your Object is Less Valuable Than God’s Image

All humans are more valuable than their physical appearances and sexual availability. The intrinsic value of human beings come from their Creator (Gen. 1:27). When you lust after another image-bearer, you do not value the main elements that make him or her valuable in God’s eyes. Outward beauty fades and changes depending on time and popular opinion; however, beauty in God’s eyes is bound up in His marvelous creation work. All humans are fearfully and wonderfully made. David wrote of this in Psalm 139:13-16:

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God forms all image-bearers in the womb. Even our embryos, our unformed substances, were designed by God and our days were predetermined beforehand. We are all beautiful because God designed us, and His design is beautiful because He is the Fountain of Beauty. He is beauty, and all that is beautiful comes from Him. Moreover, when you value an image-bearer for merely their sexual appeal, you diminish the primary elements that make him or her an image-bearer. After all, there is no sexual activity in Heaven; for Jesus said, “for in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage” (Matt 22:30); yet, we will reflect God’s image more there than ever because we will be completely conformed to the likeness of Christ’s image.

3. Your Object Does Not Need a Spouse

Image-bearers were created to eventually get married. Their bodies were quite literally made to fit together in marriage with a spouse. Adam needed a helper (Genesis 2:20-24). The Apostle Paul even argued that those who don’t get married have a spiritual gift of singleness. Most people however do not have this spiritual gift (1 Cor. 7:6-7), and no non-Christians possess this gift. Marriage is assumed in Scripture and in creation. When your object is merely an avenue for lust, you deny that he/she needs a spouse.

4. Your Object Does Not Need Protection

In the Scriptures, husbands are expected to protect their wives (1 Pet. 3:7). When you look at a woman sexually who is not your wife, you are unconcerned about her protection. If you were concerned, you would desire to protect her from men who would objectify her and would also desire to protect her from you looking at her in lust. In other words, marriage and protection are a result of love and come before sex. Furthermore, by lustfully using this woman, you’re doing the opposite of protecting her—you are using her for sexual immorality without her knowledge.

5. Your Object was Not Made in God’s Image

When you view a man or a woman as a sex object, you see him or her as created in the likeness of something less than the image of God. You might value them a little higher than the animals, but, not as a human being, as God intended.

6. Your Object Diminishes God’s Glory

You cannot merely speak about God’s creation without also speaking about God Himself. Through lust, you’re maintaining that there’s something wrong with God’s creation that He put there, which means He should not be glorified for failing. In other words, you must call God a liar to treat His image-bearer as something less. If you are a professed Christian, then you represent Christ in all that you do, including in how and what you think. By treating God’s image-bearers as mere objects for sexual lust, you value their appearance above everything else about them. Thus you only value God’s creating ability in their outward appearance.

But the Bible indicates that every element of every human being was fearfully and wonderfully made, not merely their outward appearance (Gen. 1:27, Ps. 139:14).

7. Your Object is not Human

Your object’s humanity includes more than him or her being viewed as an avenue for sexual lust. If they are stripped of everything except their sexual worth, then they’re diminished to something less than human, slightly above an animal, if that. If you think deeply about this, thousands of women are being sold into the sex trade every year. Their “owners” value them only in a sexual way. Why would you only sexually value men and women? In your mind, your object of lust is your slave. After all, are you not valuing this human being in the exact same manner as those men who are involved in the sex trade?

8. Your Object is Not an Avenue Through Which to Enjoy the Lord

It is impossible to enjoy the Lord through sin. If you look at your object’s body instead of his or her good works, you selfishly use him or her instead of enjoying the Lord (1 Tim. 2:10). You should rather seek to enjoy the Lord by sexually enjoying this human only within marriage instead of sinfully enjoying him or her without enjoying the Lord. It is impossible to enjoy the Lord by diminishing another human being to a mere sex object.

9. Your Object Reflects Your Image

The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord (1 Cor. 6:13). If you are a Christian then you are not your own, for you were bought with the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 7:23). To use your body for sexual immorality you must deny God’s authority, and redefine the reason why He gave you your body. Therefore, to lust you must admit that you are god. Otherwise, you would use your body—a body that belongs to the Lord—for His glory alone.

10. Your Object is Merely One of Many Objects

When you lust, you’re acting out the notion that all men and women are less valuable than God’s image-bearers. Do not deceive yourself into thinking that you can compartmentalize your value of humanity. If you use a man or woman in your mind in private as an object of sexual lust, you will treat those men and women close to you as less than human as well. If you are willing to use a man or woman in private selfishly, you will selfishly use men and women who are close to you in your public life as well. Private and public actions are not wholly disconnected; your view of men and women in private will seep into your public view. After all, you are not a different person in public than you are in private even if you might act differently. Your true view of men and women will flesh itself out in your daily relationships, all of your relationships will be greatly hindered due to your devaluing of humanity.

Ultimately, rejecting pornography is about obedience to Christ. A proper relationship with Jesus does not allow for disobedience to God’s precepts and commands concerning sexuality, namely the objectification of those who bear His image.

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