Preachers do their people no favors by preaching against pornography. A new peer reviewed study published in “Addiction” magazine shows that men who have been taught that pornography perceive themselves to be addicted even when they are not. This perception continues to dog them and cause problems in their lives. So their lives are made worse – not by their viewing pornography – but rather because they have been taught that what they are doing is wrong.
Not surprisingly, this terrible feeling of guilt that the church has imposed on these men does not help them “overcome” their addiction. Nor does 12-step programs or any of the other “addiction” treatments. The reason that none of these programs or treatments work is because THEY ARE NOT ADDICTED. Treating men’s fullfillment of their normal erotic desires as an addiction is like treating an overweight person for diabetes. He doesn’t lose any weight, but he can die from your treatment.
In this study, they studied people who had viewed porn in the past six months. They asked the subjects how much porn they viewed, about their religious views, whether they felt like porn was a sin, and whether they felt like they were addicted to porn. Not surprisingly, the religious people who believed that porn was sinful also believed that they were addicted. The subjects who didn’t think it was sinful didn’t believe that they were addicted. By the normal standards of “addiction” (significantly negatively influenced their lives) the unreligious people didn’t display any problems in their lives.
Then six months later they asked the same people about their porn habits and about their feelings of addiction. The religious people were WORSE not better. They perceived themselves to be addicted at a far higher level than the non-religious ones.
In short, preaching against men looking at erotic images does not help them. It makes them feel worse about their lives while not giving them any help to “overcome” The reason it doesn’t help them overcome is because it is
The essence of being a man includes rescuing women and children in a flood, it includes hunting and fishing, backpacking, and, yes, watching porn. Hurricane Harvey this week has shown us that the manly virtues are not things that can be quickly thrown away.
Yes, I know that the feminizing movement is active in the church. It wants to redefine manliness to be estrogen-laden males. it wants us to vacuum the floor and to communicate fully our inner lives. But when we need real men, it is not these beta-males who show up.
When the feminizing movement showed up in the church, it did not directly attack courage, instead it told boys that they shouldn’t fight back – even if attacked or defending a weaker person. It didn’t directly attack hunting or fishing, instead it told husbands that they ought to “spend more time with their family.” But men have been spending time with their boys for many centuries – by hunting and fishing. It didn’t tell men to stop having sex with their wives, it just attacked their erotic desires – called it lust – and tried to convince men that the only Godly sexual desire involved candlelit dinners and long walks in the twilight.
But Godly sexual desire also includes pure physical desire, pure desire to grab their wives sexual parts and go to slurping and humping. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, ungodly about this.
Yes, there is also a place for romantic, sweet, and tender lovemaking. But there is nothing inherently more Godly and holy about tender and sweet versus hot and fervent. I dare you to find any scripture that even hints differently.
Christian men should be encouraged to be manly. To want sex – early, late, and often. The best way to encourage this is by depicting sex to them and not placing a guilt-trip on them for liking it.
Christians should be glad that Game of Thrones has nudity. We are living in the Golden Age of Television. Fortunately, during this flowering of the great art of video, the great producers have decided not to castrate their ability to create drama by hiding the very parts of life which are not only normal, but actually vital to the continuation of life.
To understand the importance of nudity and sex to great video, let’s see how important it is to great literature. Literature (story telling) is as old as man. If we go back into the oldest literature, we see that sex, depictions of sex, and nudity were important parts of every great literary tradition.
The Importance of Sex to In Ancient Literature
What’s the oldest literature that we can find? Let’s go back to oldest literature for which we have extensive records – the Sumerian. The most well-known is The Epic of Gilgamesh. Are you surprised that there and extensive and explicit descriptions of sex?
for six days and seven nights Enkidu stayed aroused,
and had intercourse with the harlot
until he was sated with her charms.
(My wife’s comment on this was “Six Days? Shouldn’t he have called his doctor after the first 4 hours?)
Of course, if you are a Christian, then this is unimpressive argument. Of course the ancient pagans were absorbed in sex, because they were unenlightened by God. Now this is a poor argument, because it is precisely to these ancient Sumerians that God gave his first revelations.
Sex in Biblical Literature
The Book of Job is the story of an ancient Sumerian who loved God? So did Job like boobies?
Job 24:9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.
Job 21:24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.
Wow, not only did Job like naked breasts, apparently he even knew some shemales!!!!
There is only one book of the Bible that is explicitly written as literature – as a play. This book/play was actually performed before the king who wrote it.
The Song of Solomon
That offends you doesn’t it? The idea that God included an erotic book full of nudity – performed publicly – in our holy text. You can spiritualize it all you want. You can turn this and only this book of the Bible into a metaphor while insisting that all the rest must be interpreted literally. But here is the historical fact. Nude men and women performed sex acts in front of Solomon and God approved.
But I will leave all of the rest of the Biblical argument for another post.
Pornography in the Early and Pre-Christian World
Let’s go on with literature. What about Homer and the Iliad? Here we have clear references to man-boy love. Ok, let’s get past the Greeks, to the Romans. Have you seen the pictures from Pompeii?
The early Christians were surrounded by this. So if you want to make the argument that the reason that God didn’t condemn pornography is because it didn’t exist back then (like Tobacco, say) then you are simply historically ignorant.
Erotica in the Age of Faith
What about nudity and erotic literature in the world after the Christians took it over? Did you know that the early Christians and even Jesus himself were baptized naked?
But, of course, adultery, homosexual sex and other fornication was strongly hated by the Christian world. Nevertheless, the female breast was never considered lewd. Queen Elizabeth had an outfit that showed off her entire breasts! The Renaissance, of course, had more nudity than not.
Suddenly, however, in English literature we get a new tradition, a “holy” tradition. Queen Victoria is inappropriately credited with this invention – which she didn’t actually believe or practice herself. Her diaries reveal that she especially liked being with her fiance, Albert, in the rain with his tight, white britches. He became visibly excited when they were making out and she was excited enough looking at his arousal to record it.
It is actually a hundred years before Victoria that this new morality was proposed . John Wesley and the Methodists are to blame. We can also include that otherwise great hero of the faith William Wilberforce. In decrying the coldness, sinfulness, and worldliness of the upper-class Anglicans they couldn’t stop at the actual sin practiced (slavery, the sale of Virgins, the openly kept mistresses, the gambling hells) they had to decry the clothing – clothing which Beau Brummel had popularized as well-fitted and form-revealing.
So the English speaking world entered a new sin onto their lists. The sin of “immodesty.” They managed to give this word a new meaning. It no longer meant a lack of humility and pride. It no longer meant gaudy apparel. Rather it began to mean “revealing” clothes. It meant bodices cut too low and pantaloons fitting too tight.
And their literature followed suit. Instead of the great biting words of Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, we get the genteel words, subtle wit, and careful sitting room manners of Jane Austen.
Now, far be it from me to criticize the literature of Pride and Prejudice. But I want you to notice how high literature suddenly takes a turn. We no longer have realistic and gritty stories of real people, but instead fantastical stories of events and people who, if they even really existed, were in the high percentage of 1 percenters.
Christian Literature of the twentieth century
And the Christians followed suit. In Christian literature of the 1900’s that was and is published by the “inspirational press” (like James Dobson’s Focus on the Family) a curse word cannot be uttered. Rape is only hinted at and never actually occurs. The modern Evangelical writers must tell stories that would not offend the young adult readers of Grace Livingson Hill and LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
There is nothing wrong with these stories (I read them repeatedly myself), but let us admit that they have little feel of reality. Nor can they truly soar with great passion. They can’t have real conflict because they can’t have truly bad men. The worst men in these books can only sneer (for they cannot curse). They cannot rape, they can only ogle. They cannot take off their clothes, so they must have a waxed handlebar mustache to reveal their wickedness.
Why Game of Thrones Has To Have Nudity And Sex
So, to state my point (FINALLY, the couch says – hat tip Jonah Goldberg).
Game of Thrones and modern film must NOT accept the artificial restrictions that have never bound great literature. to accept these restrictions is to deny the great truths that inform human existence. Throughout the history of civilization, good women and bad men and men and women in between and have talked, seen, fought over, and watched sex. To try to have an epic film without sex is to pretend that humans are something that we are not.
So… DB Weiss and David Benioff … show us some more naked babes
Song of Solomon is, of course, so full of sex that Christian mothers have been telling their sons to skip that part every since Queen Victoria first set her diminutive derriere on the throne. What about David, that great man after God’s own heart. Well, we all know about him and rooftops. But what about when he danced naked before the Lord and God COMPLEMENTED him for it.
II Sam 6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
(Yes, Yes, I know, he had a linen ephod on. So if you are ok with men gyrating in public in boxer shorts, then I guess Janet Jackson and her super-bowl show wasn’t so bad after all)
But let’s go on. Because the Old Testament can easily be dismissed. Let’s jump forward to Jesus – our Messiah who everyone thinks was such a prude.
Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
So did Jesus have a big problem with public nudity? This is the only scripture to back this up and it doesn’t talk about erotic desire at all, but only lust. Christians who are so careful to say that “Sex does NOT equal lust” suddenly can’t spot the difference.
But there are other scriptures that show the Jesus didn’t nearly have the problems that we think. Certainly the disciples didn’t. In John 21, we find out that even after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples worked all night on a fishing boat, uh, NAKED.
But what about the women? How did Jesus feel about boobies?
Luke 23:29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Apparently, “paps” were a pretty good sight for our Lord!
BUT THAT WASN’T LUSTFUL I can hear you shouting.
THAT’S MY POINT. I shout back.
The early church had no huge problem with nudity. In fact the people were baptized nude in mixed groups. In fact, the only shame of nakedness was that it was the condition of the poor people and the slaves and was therefore a “shame” But note that the shame of nakedness had nothing to do with sex.
So, we see, our attitude about nudity is really just a comment upon our prosperity. We have gained space to have sex privately, money to buy multiple sets of clothes, and have mistaken our money for Godliness.
In fact, the church is exactly where the book of the Revelation said it would be.
Revel 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see
There is one question we need to answer then. Why did Adam and Even cover themselves?
Good question, and deserving of a good answer. Which I will provide tomorrow.
Christian men live their lives in either guilt or a constant, daily, major effort to avoid porn. Sadly, this is unnecessary
Read, for example, this sad article from ChristianToday. Here’s a guy who first came across porn the same way that many of the rest of us did – by finding some playboy magazine that someone had tossed.
He then spent the rest of his life fighting the desire to see some more. Of course he did – God intended him to want to look at naked women. That’s what drives him to get married. It’s the desire that causes him to dedicate 3/4 of his income to someone besides himself. It’s the desire that makes him want to make a million dollars instead of just subsisting on some minimal job and enjoying himself the rest of the time. It’s the desire that made him fall in love and learn how Christ feels about the church.
But this poor guy has spent his entire life treating this desire as a foreign devil. He “confessed” to a friend – who then (of course) admitted he did the same thing. They then took their “problem” to and older man of the church who (hypocritically) didn’t confess to his own problem, but rather began “accountability” meetings with the young men of the church. He probably used these groups to find out new places to watch porn, himself.
The fact is that God never intended men to not want to look at naked women. He never intended men to spend all of the energy, that should go into evangelism and helping others, in avoiding a natural and Godly desire.
Looked in the church bulletin this morning and saw the same thing that was in every bulletin. Events this week for the high school teens, the college youth, and the women’s weekly fellowship.
Hmm, do you notice who was left out? The men, of course. There was no place for the men to socialize. There were no hunting, fishing, or four-wheeler/camping trips. There were no trips to see sports games or monster trucks.
Do you think that men stay home all week and don’t go out with their friends? Of course not. The young men are hitting the single’s scenes (They are certainly not showing up to the “college youth” meetings. Who wants to be sneered at as a sex-addict and probable future “emotional abuser”)
Their are lots of social events that men go to, but none of them are sponsored by the church. There are soccer groups, bowling leagues, amateur baseball teams. There are hunting groups, fishing friends, and bars where men can just hang out, drink beer, play cards, and talk about women. Men get together to go to the rodeo or see wrestling or monster trucks. None of these are approved by our new female-led churches. We are more likely to be told that we have to go on “Daniel Fasts” that don’t include meat. Certainly we can’t drink beer or talk about sports and boobies.
But the fact is that men have always done these things and always will. The masculine pursuits are as Godly as weight-watchers and diabetes education workshops. Jesus and his 12 disciples, along with the many other disciples including wives and single women, spent time in the wilderness, resting just before the crucifixion week. I guarantee you that during that time there was some wine drinking, some wrestling, some races, and I think that the married couples did a lot of humping and the singles flirted.
This is not how the modern church treats its men. It sneers at sweat, hunting, and bloody sports. It treats their God-given sex-drive as an addiction.
Oh, by the way, there was one event scheduled that the men were encouraged to go to – Celebrate Recovery. The church wants them to deal with their “addictions.”
Looking forward to the Game of Thrones Season Premier tonight, especially the nude parts…..
Predictably, the “Christian” position being preached in the churches today is that Christians can’t watch because of the nudity. We aren’t allowed to admit that breasts exist or that we like to look at them.
I remember when we couldn’t watch television because of the cursing. This was always strange. The Bible contains curse words. Elijah said that God would kill all of Ahab’s children that “pissed against the wall” – in other words, all the males. But Elijah didn’t just say “males” he wanted to throw the extra curse because God was really angry and wished to express that angry clearly.
So, also, the Bible contains many clear descriptions of nudity. Often those descriptions are explicitly sexual and intended to arouse. Solomon was clearly a breast man, but he liked legs and butts, so he included those.
Now, the sex in Game of Thrones is rarely marital (except those great Danerys-Drogo scenes (hubba, hubba). But I think it is noticeable that the fornication and adultery is usually described as poor behavior and consequences follow. Explicit rape scenes are shown, but they are shown as horrid and deserving of the inevitable consequences. The Dothraki engage in public orgies, but this is used as an example of their continued bad treatment of women. And when Danerys makes a pact with the Iron Islands, she explicitly insists that the raping must stop.
The church’s attempt to preach against watching the Game of Thrones is self-defeating. Here is a series that speaks explicitly to the morality of our time and strongly supports the idea that evil is tempting, but is ultimately self-defeating. National Review has a great article which argues for this interpretation.
I, of course, don’t believe that the modern evangelical church has the right attitude toward nudity to begin with. If we would adopt a biblical, instead of a Victorian, attitude, we could start to reach out to the men who are either not attending or just attending nominally, without letting it have any effect on their lives.
Firstly, Christian men aren’t getting married because there are so few single Christian men.
When is the last time you saw a Christian single man at church? Was he available? Of course not. He was grabbed up. There are few single men at the church because the church makes no attempt to reach them. Oh yes, the women are trying to reach them and bring them to church with them. But the men don’t show up, and are not being sought, by the church. When the grace of God reaches down and touches a young man, and he shows up to church, then the feminized church will drive him away. Masculinity, sweat, hunting, fishing, competing, are all treated as a vaguely distasteful necessity of having men at the church. But the “real” Christian men will be feminized. They will have great “listening” skills and their gestures will be comfortably familiar to females. When the church later discovers that they are homosexual, they will be shocked.
The only “men’s” program at the church is the program for families. The singles groups are full of women and the lessons are all about dieting, diabetes education, communication, and recovery from “emotional abuse” of their ex-boyfriends and husbands.
If a man is a real man, if he likes beer and naked women. If he has a beard and a likes to look at women’s boobs, then he will be shunted to a Promise Keeper’s group to be properly educated out of his gender.
And, God help us, if these men like sex, if they like to look at naked women, if they go online to look at pornography and erotica, then they must be disciplined, they must be discipled, the must be cured of their “Porn Addiction”
Are you surprised that masculine men don’t want anything to do with Christ?
And it is a shame, because Jesus and his disciples were men’s men. They could stand up in front of the Sanhedrin and tell them that they would obey God rather than men. They could work all night, naked, on a boat in the middle of the sea of Galilee, even if they caught nothing.
Christian men aren’t getting married because the church has decided it doesn’t want Christian single men, it just wants properly schooled girly-men.
And yet, when you peer closer at the data, it turns out that extramarital sex is changing before our very eyes. While the overall rate of people reporting extramarital flings is the same, the demographics of the people who report the adultery are changing dramatically. And not necessarily in the direction you might think.
The millennials, with their Tinder and their sexting and their God-knows-what-they-get-up-to-on-those-interwebs, are not driving this trend. It’s the baby boomers, with their Jimi Hendrix box sets and their Viagra prescriptions and their dog-eared copy of “The Joy of Sex” that they thought they’d lost four moves ago. People under the age of 55 are actually having markedly less extramarital sex than people in that age group did in the 1990s. But people over the age of 55 are busy making up for their missed action.
Think about what this means. The same generation X that has decided that porn is not a problem has decided that adultery is. It is not that porn has not changed their behavior – of course what you watch changes your behavior. More women engaged in lesbian sex before marriage, more anal sex, and more genital grooming, but when this generation of men and women got married, they decided to stay faithful.
Why, I am sure that the “your brain on porn” advocates told us that they would all become sex-addicts, that watching porn would cause them to become more and more addicted, that their brains would shrink, that they would lose the ability to control their sexual desires….
It seems that the opposite has happened – as real scientists told us that it would – that these people would become more discriminating about sex, that they would be able to enter marriage without the passion of unresolved sexual tension, that they could therefore stay married longer and be more faithful during their marriage.
But I didn’t have to wait for science to tell me this (though I am a psychiatrist and I make sure that my opinions are always informed by science). The Bible told me this a long time ago. God told me that erotica was part of normal and holy life, he inspired Solomon to write it for me to enjoy. He also told me that erotica ought to point toward and idealize marital love. That is why I created the Holy Erotica site, so that Christians could take back erotica from the sinners.
If more people would make sites like this, more Christian couples would make erotica for others to enjoy, then we would not find lesbianism and anal sex increasing, instead you would find Christian marriages lasting longer and being stronger.
So, someone reading this site didn’t like what I said. So, instead of answering with a reasoned argument, they went through all of the posts and found an image that they thought I had improperly used, contacted the picture owners and attempted to get me fined.
Since this site is free, makes no money, and actually costs me money, this is an attempt to shut me down.
It didn’t work. I inline link – not copy – images. So no copyright infringement exists.
But what is so sad is that this person, who identifies himself or herself as a servant of Christ, would rather anonymously punish someone who disagrees rather than discuss. It is the tactics of Hell and not of Heaven. It is the tactics of repression and not the tactics of American freedom.
I suspect that this person would quote Matt 5:28 about looking on a woman with lust but didn’t seem to read 3 verses above
Mat 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
But this supposed Bible believer didn’t even have the courage to leave a comment before trying to call the courts down on me. This is a sad commentary on the state of today’s church. Opinions have taken the place of Bible, hatred has replaced love, and attacks the place of reasoned debate.