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The Electronic Bubble, Part 2: Pornography

by Shelton Smith

Shelton SmithOne of the tragic and devastating aspects of the Internet phenomenon is the absolutely staggering amount of pornography that it provides.

Pornography is a scourge on our society. It brings hurt and heartache to men and women alike.

Some people assume that they can indulge their curiosity without consequences, but it doesn't work that way. We have seen the heartache it brings in numerous people. It is like a fire that burns more and more out of control with each passing day. Without exception we can say—if you play with fire, you are going to get burned.

In the Old Testament we read, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" (Ps. 101:3).

In the New Testament we read, "Abstain from all appearance of evil" (I Thess. 5:22).

Pornography is without question a "wicked thing." It has every "appearance of evil." Therefore, we are well advised when we remind ourselves, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17).

We are hearing things from all over the country that are directly attributable to someone's getting into Internet pornography. Families are breaking up, and lives are being shattered because a husband, a wife, or in some cases a teenager gets hooked on this trash.

So let me lovingly but firmly advise:

1. Don't dip into the porn sites even one time. Just don't go there. It is a trap, and you're very likely to get ensnared there.

Just to make the point on the serious nature of the growing problem of pornography, let me quote from a recent Baptist Press report (Corrine Williams, March 21, 2016).

The number of searches for Internet pornography exponentially increases every second. If the rapidly changing online "porn ticker" represented increasing stock value, there would be thousands—possibly millions—of overnight millionaires. Instead, the ticker reveals an insatiable appetite for sexually explicit content, and a high percentage of those searching are teenagers.

There have been nearly 2.5 billion searches for pornography since the beginning of 2015, according to Covenant Eyes, a company that specializes in Internet accountability and filtering software...

...In 2008, an estimated three million Americans purchased pornography online paying an average of $60 per month.

Sadly, the "porn problem" is rapidly escalating among teenagers...

Although most parents would assume their teens aren't affected by pornography, statistically that isn't necessarily so. The Barna study revealed that eight percent of teens encounter pornography on a daily basis, 21 percent weekly, and [an additional] 21 percent at least once a month. Not all of this activity is Internet-related.

"Sexting," sending sexually suggestive nude or nearly-nude photos or video via text message, is escalating...Most might instantly equate pornography with being a "boys being boys" problem, but the Barna report found 56 percent of women ages 13 to 24 "actively seek out porn" at least once a month.

An increasing number of porn searches are done through mobile devices such as smartphones and hand-held tablets. Parents may periodically police these devices, but there are a number of "apps"—applications—that hide content. One such popular app actually appears to be a calculator, but it is passcode protected and serves as a "wallet" where content can be hidden from view.

2. If you are already into it, get yourself out of it—and stay out. If you need help, find it. But whatever you've done, don't let it go on unchecked.

3. Watch out for the Internet hookups. If somebody, man or woman, wants to meet you. get acquainted, etc., he or she is up to no good. Don't let curiosity compel you. Don't do it, and then get out of the setting where such flirtatious relationships are being generated.

4. Get an accountability setup in place for all of your electronics. Hold nothing back. Let somebody check your usage regularly. If you know that somebody is going to check on your usage, you are protected thereby.

5. Have times at home that are "electronic blackout" times. That means that for a specified time, say 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., there will be no electronics turned on at your house. I mean no radio, no TV, no computer, no tablet, no MP3, no stereo, no smartphone, and no gaming stations. Just do it! Spend that time with your family instead of surfing the web.

6. Make yourself some vows. "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (I Thess. 4:7). Make those vows of "holiness" to your spouse, your children, or someone who will hold you accountable; and then live by them every day.

If you accidentally run onto a porn site, get off of it immediately; don't sit and ponder it—and then talk to your accountability person and provide written documentation to him about it.

7. Commit yourself to the Lord! There is no way, absolutely no discernible way in which you can dabble in the slime pit of pornography and still be right with God.

Before this poison has a chance to get into you, make a firm, personal vow to the Lord that you are going to keep yourself clean.

We live in treacherous times. My warnings on this are forthright, and they are important.

Please, dear friend, hear me on this. If l can help you, feel free to get in touch.

Used with permission of Shelton Smith, President/Editor of Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, TN. Copied for Wholesome Words from Editor's Notes, Sword of the Lord, Vol. LXXXII, No. 8, April 8, 2016.

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