James Emory White is a pastor in Charlottesville NC. He writes an article asking “Is Pornography Really Wrong?” I thought, wow, this is amazing, a pastor who actually asks the question.
Sadly, it’s only pretend. The question was only asked as a trick to get people to read the same disproved points that the legalists have been trying to push for years.
It is lust — Not it isn’t. No Jesus did not tell you that you couldn’t look at anything that turned you on. He told you not to LUST. Lust is desire out of control. If you don’t make plans, or wish you could get into a woman’s pants, you haven’t lusted. Admiring her body is not lust
It is addictive — No it isn’t. The American Psychiatric Association has spoken on this repeatedly. But this isn’t the pastor’s real problem. If he really thought that ANY thing that was addictive was sinful, then he would be railing against processed sugar and caffeine. To substances that don’t cause any problems in people’s lives but are, unquestionably, addictive
It is degrading to women — Not all of it is. If this is his problem, then he ought to be directing his men to HolyErotica.com because it doesn’t have degrading porn.
“Studies show” It leads to other sins (specifically rape) — Absolute and total nonsense. There is no study that shows such a thing. He doesn’t bother to actually link to any of these “studies”
It harms your relationship with your spouse —- According to him, Porn causes you to stop have sex with your wife. This is nonsense, and many, many studies have proven this repeatedly. For example, read this post.
It desensitizes your soul —- or, makes God pull away from you because you are sinning. This is called “Begging the Question” or “Presuming the consequent” He presumes porn is wrong and then uses that presumption to claim that God will be displeased, therefore porn must be wrong. Erotica is wrong because he presumes it is wrong.
It reduces sex to lust — This is the most annoying point of all. He acts like erotic desire is lust. This is falling for the lie of the world. Lust and erotic desire are not related. If I desire my wife I do not LUST for her. This is the old dualistic “spirit” and “body” heresy. He would recognize that as a heresy if he read it in any other context.
This pastor has the same objectivity when talking about erotica as CNN has about President Trump.
Fight Self-hatred (induced by your shame because of what other people told you)
Fight the haze (Don’t relax, because you must be always tense to be a christian)
Guard others (apparently you are now an incipient rapist, just waiting to anally rape anyone)
Confess to friend (so he can feel better about HIS porn use)
Use your clarity for good. (Apparently, now that your balls are empty, you can use your frontal lobe again)
Know your God (pray and pray until you get horny the next time)
Poor, sad, deluded man. His whole life is about porn. He lives in between his porn use episodes in a haze of shame, confession, trying to find new restrictions that will stop him next time, anguished prayer and self-flagellation, and then, inevitably, the next porn episode.
How much better would it be if he simply accepted the Bible standard. Erotic desire is the natural and holy part of life. Instead of trying to force himself to not have testicles, he could have rejoiced in it, shared this part of his life with his wife, and spent his freed-up energy to help his fellow man.
During Jesus’ ministry, he was not the most HOLY person around. Christianity is not like today’s Republican politics, where the person who can claim to be the most conservative wins the prize. Christianity consists of loving Christ and growing in health together with him.
Today’s Pharisee position is that erotica is wrong. This is the “holy” position. It doesn’t matter that the Bible doesn’t back that position. All that matters is that being against erotica is Religious and Holy.
But if a man truly wants to be in tune with Christ, he should stop trying so hard to fight against the erotic nature that God intended him to have. Instead of fighting this “temptation” he ought to shape it and mold it into the image of Christ. He should encourage his erotic nature to direct itself toward females and in particular one female – his current or future wife. “Porn” (more properly called Erotica) is a natural and holy part of that.
In the article on this website “Unmarried Christians Can Have Sex” my friend (I shall call him “Mark”) makes the argument that neither the Old new New Testament’s condemn premarital sex and that the Greek word “porneo” does not mean “fornication” but rather “prostitution.”
Here is my response.
The world has changed around us. I don’t only mean that sexual mores have changed. Of course they have – they always change. The sexual mores of every culture are slightly different. The reason that the mores are different is because the situations are different. In Isaiah 4:1 the Bible says.
Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach
This is predicting a time when war has decimated the number of men so much that polygamy becomes necessary. One of the wonderful things about the eternal Word of God is that it applies in any cultural circumstance, not just one. So the appropriate interpretation of scripture will apply in the tribal polygamous interior parts of Africa, in Scotland of the 11th century where bride-stealing was normal, in the frontier of America and in the modern western world.
Our world has changed from our parents considerably. First of all, let’s admit I’m talking about WHITE young people here, I don’t know very much about the minority communities of the time. In 1950 (white) America a man got a factory job straight out of high school or a white collar job after 4 straight (uninterrupted) years of college. Either of these jobs could support a wife and 2 to 5 kids. So people got married at 17 to 24 and stayed married the rest of their lives. It was fairly easy to preach to these young people that they should be virgins on the night of their marriage because abstaining from sex until that time in a crowd of young people who are raised the same is not that impossible. A typical Christian and moral young man would kiss his first girl at age 16, start engaging in heavy petting throughout high school, start getting hand jobs from his steady girl friend/fiance in his twenty’s and then get to the mother-lode somewhere around his wedding night (probably a little before).
Of course, there were also a lot of “oop’s” but these were either taken care of by shotgun weddings (if the boy did the “right thing”) or “homes for unwed mothers” with adoptions for the others.
But marrying at 24 is now a very bad thing according to our culture. All of the studies show that “young” marriages don’t last. So can we apply the standards of the 1950’s to today’s young people.
No – we should apply the standards of the Bible – because the Bible is the only word that matters – not the traditions of the current evangelical community – nor the current practice of the world around us.
As my friend states in the accompanying article, the early apostles faced exactly this situation in Acts when the early Christians began to preach to the Gentiles. The traditions of the Jews were wildly different from the practice of the surrounding pagans, and the surrounding pagans lives were vastly different from God’s righteousness. So they said this – We will not apply the traditions of our fathers to the Gentiles, but we will apply the traditions of righteouesness – The Gentiles must abstain from Idols – from things strangled – and from fornication.
My friend, Mark, says that this “fornication” here is simply re-stating the first 2 issues. That fornication means prostitution and the apostles are simply saying that Christians should worship idols, eat idolatrous meat, or patronize whores (or be whores)
But I think that he is putting to narrow of a definition on the greek word “porneos” – I think that these non-religious experts explain how the word became to encompass more than pure commercial sex – it started generalizing into slave sex and then generally people who had a lot of sex. Even in English people will use the word “whoring” to mean more than pure prostitution. Have you ever heard someone say, “She’s a total whore” or “She’s whores around so much she probably has all the STD’s”. When people say these things, they don’t mean that the woman is selling it – but rather that she has sex with a lot of different people.
So, I believe that the apostles were saying to the Gentiles. We believe that it is necessary for you to adopt the sexual behavior taught by the Old Testament.
Now, the Old Testament is actually pretty liberal about sex in comparison to current evangelical sexual mores. The rule, effectively, is that getting caught having sex before marriage means that the man will have to marry the girl and give her father 50 shekels of silver (a lot of money).
So, in other words, sex is for married people – or at least people soon to get married.
I had some young men in my church a few years ago who had the same current attitude toward sex as the world. One of them managed to have sex with a dozen or more virgins before he finally got around to one that he liked. Now, I don’t know about you, but I call that “whoring around.”
On the other hand, I don’t really expect a couple who are not yet in a financial shape to get married, but they are in a long-term dating relationship, to remain perfectly abstinent. To do so would be to deny nature and expect something from them that nature (and nature’s God) simply doesn’t expect.
Maybe we ought to teach our young people that sex is something to be delayed and, if possible, to be enjoyed with only one person in your life. At least it ought to be enjoyed only with long-term relationships, not something you jump into on the first or second date – like the current practice of the world is.
Meanwhile – the meaning of the word “ADULTERY” has not changed since God first wrote it with his finger on the stone at Mt. Sinai.
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.
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.
The feminized church can no longer imagine what a masculine Christianity ever was or should be.
David, the man after God’s own heart, was as hypersexual as any man in history. God rebuked him only for stealing his friend’s wife. Michelangelo’s famous statue is not a picture of a girly-man.
Paul could preach so strongly that he was stoned. He did not express “empathy” and he did not “help hurting people.” He preached the gospel – a gospel that made men so mad that they stoned him.
Jesus did not back down to Pilate. He did not try to find common ground. He did not try to understand where Pilate was coming from. Instead he told him that “for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.”
When the famous circuit rider of Colorado, Father John L Dyer, had a man come to church and mocking the altar call, he told him, “You came in the door, but you are going out the window.” This man, called “The snowshoe itinerant” traveled across the continental divide all winter in order to preach the gospel.
Any of these men would not be welcome in today’s church. They were not sufficiently “nurturing.” David would have been forced to confess his sex “addiction” Paul would have been called “divisive.” Jesus, himself, would have been counseled about how to be more “seeker-friendly”
It is time we took back Christianity. I don’t think that we can change the church be “becoming involved” I think we can change the church by standing up on feet, expressing our masculinity without apology or fear and proclaiming that we love Christ, we love being a man, and yes, we like sex.
View the videos on HolyErotica without fear or guilt. Be a man to your wife. Be a man in the church. She will love and respect you the more for refusing to be a hypocrite and the church will learn what it means to see a man.
The article explains why men have left the church. I would add that it was after men were driven from the church that proper masculine erotic desire was demonized. Now today the “supporting” church wants to draw men in and cure them of their porn “addiction”
If the church had kept it’s proper masculinity, this would have been laughed out of the pulpit in the first week.
Christian men of a certain age were warned against masturbation by our mothers. One day you and her were in the kitchen and no one else was around,
“You don’t ah… play with yourself,” she whispered.
“No, Mom, no. Of course not.”
She nodded and accepted your answer. She never bothered to ask how you knew exactly what she was talking about. You were consumed with guilt for months and years. Not only did you commit that terrible sin of jerking off, you compounded it by LYING and we all knew that ALL LIARS HAVE THEIR PLACE IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.
You couldn’t even repent of your sin, because you knew that then you would have to confess to your mother that you had lied. The sermons were universally agreed on this.
Did any of you actually go and confess to your mother? I did. She turned white and went and talked to Daddy. He then had to have a “talk” with me. Now, of course, I know that his talk was done tongue-in-cheek. He was just doing it to please Mom. He, along with all of the Christian men of his generation, had taken as an article of faith that the thing that they had all done for years was sinful. That’s why so few of them actually went to church. We were raised in a church full of women. Even though the churches now agree that boys can masturbate (as long as they don’t “lust” while they are doing it) The churches are still full of mostly women, because the church has failed to come to grips with the single simple fact that erotic arousal IS NOT LUST.
So choke your chicken, flog the one-eyed monster, jack the beanstalk, burp the worm. Enjoy your God-given ability to experience the joys of sex. It is a God-intended pleasure.
Job 36:11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalms 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.