Browsing Tag

Pornography

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Cycling Out of Pornography Use?

The long and short of it (pun intended) is that the opinions and assertions about modesty are all across the board this time of year as we approach warm days and consider hot vacation spots. But, in truth , surely we must all admit the un-get-around-able truth that, when we wear skimpy, tight and/or revealing clothing, we put godly men in the awkward position of having to “bounce” their eyes to keep their vigil of personal purity of thought. Thus, unless we’d like to have the temptation of lust placed conspicuously before us, we violate the golden rule. At the very least, surely we could agree on that. This violation is occurring…

—whether the passage in I Timothy 2:9,10 is primarily referring to gaudy clothing or skimpy clothing, or both.

—whether or not the exact proper standards of modest dress change from era to era and from culture to culture.

—whether or not God’s definition, for all time, of modesty is prescribed in Old Testament passages about the priesthood. 

—whether or not the men involved have seen a lot of nakedness in their lives.

It’s that last whether or not about which I’d like to make one observation in today’s post. The fact that God made men to be aroused by women who wear very short, very tight, very low-cut or very revealing clothing is simply truth. That’s the reason that, while many women struggle with a temptation to view pornography, the problem will never even approach being as prevalent among women as it is among men. We are wired differently and visual stimuli will always be more exciting to men than to women. 

But is it true that, after men have seen so much near-nakedness or nudity, that they are no longer affected by immodesty?—that it is no longer a temptation for them? (Just get on board this train of thought with me for a moment…)

Isn’t it true that, IF a man could see so many provocatively dressed women that he was no longer tempted to lust, THEN a man who is looking at pornography would lose interest after seeing his quota? Wouldn’t men just cycle out of pornography use if they could see so much and no longer be affected (tempted to lust) by it? If not, why not?

It’s the if-not-why not question of the day. I believe considering this mammoth problem in our society and the relevance of pornography’s ever-tighter grasp on the porn user is helpful in recognizing fallacious reasoning about immodest apparel. The truth is, men do not normally become less interested or aroused by viewing more and more of the “undressed” women that are in public arenas of our country in 2019. As they view more and more they want to view more and more.The data pointing to that conclusion is irrefutable.  

One more relevant point: God placed the response (the sexual desire upon looking) in men for marriage. He’s made the place for that desire’s fulfillment very clear in the Word. The reason (at least one of the important ones) for the desire is that it is glue for a healthy marriage. How long did God intend for men to keep on having this desires–the first five years?…ten?…of marriage. We all know healthy Christian marriages in which the sexual relationship is very strong after fifty-plus years of marriage. The fact is, married Christian men will tell you that they never tire of seeing their unclothed wives’ bodies, even though they have seen them so frequently for so long that they have memorized those bodies. Men do not see so much nudity that it begins to be boring or lose the drawing power God made.

Another relevant question: Why does a woman’s unclothed hand not produce the same result in a man’s mind as her unclothed breast or bottom?   There is a Master-mind behind the design of our sexual attraction. And the Mastermind has commanded our modesty and respect in the use and display of our temples. They are for His glory.               

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Tell Your Men about this Seminar…

Men of Integrity

I used to be shocked when I’d hear statistics about pornography use in our country and even in our congregations. But statistics seem cold and almost benign, in a way, when, over and over, I’ve seen Christian women, up-close and personally, experience the pain of opening a computer to see a husband’s history of  images filled with unclothed women. The longer the sin—a direct violation of Matthew 5:28—has been going on, the darker its progression and the more difficult to break free. Many young men enter marriage with expectations that have already been skewed by the devil through pornography and are, thus, unable to enjoy the normal gift of intimacy that God has reserved for Christian couples. Pornography is perhaps the most addictive sin of our time and certainly one of the most destructive. I have seen men sacrifice jobs, marriages and lives with their young children because of the progression of the feeding of the addiction. I have wept with some of you who are reading when your worlds were rocked by the nuclear bomb that pornography is or has been to your lives. 

Like many other sins, today’s participation is never enough. Each computer click calls for another and another and the material of each session is a bit darker than the previous time. Men (and sometimes, but far less frequently, women) do not look at those first sensual images with the plan to become regular pornography users or addicts. But, unlike the drink or drug that can, with steely determination, be locked away from my reach, pornographic images are stored permanently in the mind and breaking free is further complicated by that reality. Further, the devil has successfully made that which formerly at least had the built-in inhibitor of purchasing or obtaining the material, now free and accessible with ownership of the almost universal smart phone. Remember he is like a lion and he is actively seeking souls to devour.  

I appreciate the good elders at the West Huntsville church for planning events designed to help men of God refrain from this sin. They’ve asked all of the West Huntsville men to be present on Saturday, March 2nd at 10:00 am for a short seminar called “Men of Integrity” designed with a two-fold purpose: first, to   protect hearts from involvement, and second, to give those who are struggling or involved an avenue to break away from the sin of pornography. 

So I wanted to let you know…for your sons, grandsons, husbands and brothers in the Lord. Some of your husbands may be men who can help younger men conquer the addiction. Some of your husbands are elders who may be instrumental in leading entire churches to be protective in this area. Some of your brothers may want to come and think about planning their own seminar like this one. 

So it’s Saturday, March 2nd, and now open to all Christian men. There’s no need to pre-register. Just tell them to show up at 10 for just an hour-and-a-half. It will conclude at 11:30. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Spiritual Pornography?

     I can easily get discouraged when speaking with women who are dealing with the problems that pornography brings into a relationship. They are legion. Lack of trust, jealousy, feelings of worthlessness,  guilt, lust, and uncertainty about the future are all a part of the grim picture that accompanies porn. What is most surprising to me is that there are people, some even “experts” who would have us to believe that the use of pornography is not a bad thing…maybe it’s even a good thing, and healthy for marriages. This is preposterous and anyone who is God-centered at all in his thinking reckons the loss that  accompanies the use of pornography as being profound in its ramifications. Often, when adultery is traced back to its insidious roots, pornography was involved long before the actual adulterous encounter. Jesus, of course, called this looking and lusting adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:28).
     When studying James 4 recently, I pondered the obvious truth that, as members of the bride of Christ, we can commit spiritual adultery by our entanglement with the world. Notice the first six verses of this very serious discussion:

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

     These verses made me think about how a member of the body of Christ might make God jealous in the same way that I might provoke my husband to jealousy—the kind of jealousy that is normal in a husband. What if I were to talk negatively about Him to people outside the family? What if I were to break my appointments with Him? What if I were to make fun of Him and laugh when others made fun of Him? What if I did not want to share generously with Him of my time and money? What if I enjoyed being with others more than I enjoyed His company? What if I did not take the time to read what he wrote to me or to respond when He gave me a gift?  You can understand readily, especially if you are married, how we can begin to court the world rather than being faithful in our marriages to Christ.
     But then I thought about the sin of pornography and how that, long before a spouse forsakes his wife, he may look at other women with passionate desire. He may lust for another woman. He may be busy facilitating his adultery before he knows the woman with whom he will one day commit the sin.
     Do we sometimes do that spiritually? I mean long before a person actually leaves the Lord for the world, does she sometimes look at the world with passion and desire? Does she place the lure of the world right in front of her eyes? Does she gaze longingly long before she becomes a full-fledged friend of the world? I believe we often do this through our entertainment choices. Are you looking with favor on that which is enmity with God? I think when we choose to be entertained by movies, television shows and music that are filled with profanities, obscenities, lasciviousness, fornication, homosexuality, adulteries and/or uncleanness, we are allowing ourselves to gaze on that which is off-limits to the bride of Christ. The more we gaze, the more comfortable we become with these desires for the world. The more we look, the more we want to look and the more anesthetized we become to the shock factor that sin should bring. Soon, just as a pornography addict is a short step from adultery, we are a very short step from committing the overt sins of the world–spiritual adultery. That which once entertained us becomes less something we watch and more something we do.
     Being entertained and aroused by looking at pornography often leads to the commission of the overt sin of adultery. This destroys marriages and families.
     Being entertained by the sinful things of the world often leads to all kinds of worldly alliances and actions. This destroys our relationship with God and our relationships within the family of Christ. Is this spiritual pornography? I think so.
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Hefner– A Life of Instant “Heaven” for an Eternal Hell

I began my day by reading this blurb from my son-in-law, Ben Giselbach:

Consider how many families have been crushed and how many hearts have been torn to pieces because someone believed Hefner’s gospel of free sex, “decent” pornography, and erotic liberation. When he was born, his Methodist mother wanted him to grow up and be a missionary – and in a way she got her wish. He did not invent pornography, but he was the first to institutionalize by making it “respectable” and mainstream. He was the harbinger of the new sexual ethic, fueling a revolution that has changed the globe in a way far worse than any war or disease ever could. He was a missionary who taught his message to the ugly end. He died yesterday as a pathetic, wrinkly playboy, perhaps still in those silk pajamas. We do not rejoice in his death (Eze. 18:23; 33:11). But we must recognize he died not as a successful philanderer, but a loser and a con man. He duped many into buying into his gospel of death and now stands before his Creator, explaining why he exploited so many made in precious His image. Lord, please have mercy.

Hugh Hefner is dead. His legacy lives on. He converted many whose influences have now converted millions. According to Family Safe (familysafe.com), these are fairly recent statistics. (However, pornography statistics are outdated very quickly because of the dramatic daily increase in porn use.) Hefner’s influence is compounded every second in our country. 

Pornography Time StatisticsEvery second – $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography

Every second – 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography

Every second – 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines

Every 39 minutes: a new pornographic video is being created in the United States

Hefner died today with a net worth of about 40-50 million dollars, all of which remains here, forever inaccessible to him. According to his own testimony, he had sex with over a thousand women, all of whom are forever inaccessible to him now. He has already entered a state of torment that will never end. The leader of the sexual revolution, the iconic king of sexual pleasure, will never know a single moment’s pleasure again. He will remember with pain and deep regret. He will wish for a Lazarus to dip a finger in water and come and cool his tongue, but no man can help him now. Hugh Hefner was instrumental in building a 97 billion dollar industry. He died a spiritual pauper. He will be buried beside Marilyn Monroe in Westside Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, CA. 

Imagine that! One day when the graves are opened, rising up next to one another will be the bodies of Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner. But Entertainment Tonight and Star magazine will not even be looking that way. All eyes will be heavenward. 

If you are one among the masses of people who are living under the influence of Hefner’s industry…if you are contributing to the coffers of pornography or suffering from its addiction, you are still on the right side of eternity. You can still die a rich woman. You can still have heaven. I hope you will make conscious choices now to that end. If you are toying around with the idea of reading that salacious book or clicking on that inappropriate site or posting that seductive picture, I hope you will take a moment to think about where that “missionary” you are thinking of following is living— right this very moment.

Marvel not at this: for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment [damnation—KJV]” (Jn. 5:28-29).

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Guest Writer–Pornography Hooks Girls, Too.

For about nine months, I’ve been in touch with this author every day; sometimes multiple times each day in our (our meaning her and me, but also and foremost, the ONE who gives us the victory) victorious effort to rid her very young life of pornography. She’s made lots of decisions and changes and has come up with great strategies to be all she can be, sans pornography, for our Lord. I know, from my own small circle, that there are others who could benefit from her advice. She’s smart about this. Here’s her message:

Sexual temptation is not just for men. I think all too often we are given the idea that only men struggle with sexual temptation, specifically that of pornography. We hear sermon after sermon about the dangers of pornography for men, and about how to counter and avoid it, and this is wonderful! But, what about the girls who struggle with this?
So many times I think when we talk about a girl’s purity we are thinking only in terms of her virginity. And, as important as that is, it also needs to be stressed that when a girl struggles with a a sexual temptation, a pornography addiction, or a masturbation addiction, she’s not the only one. Based on experience, and from things others have said to me personally, a lot of the time, when you tell someone about your struggle, their response may be “yeah, I struggled with that too”.  This has happened to me on more than one occasion. We shouldn’t be ashamed to tell other people and reach out for help. 
 
Luke 15:10 :

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

The shame was in the sin. There’s no shame in repentance. Sometimes I think the reason that girls hide their struggles with sexual temptations instead of reaching out is because they’ve never heard anything about a girl having this temptation. That misconception was my worst enemy in my struggle…. Who did I turn to that wouldn’t think I was perverted, or weird? Worst of all, would they make it public?… I thought things like… “What on earth is wrong with me? I shouldn’t like this!” and “How am I struggling with this? I’m a girl! This is a guy problem….” It took a long time for me to understand that there were a lot more girls than I thought who struggled with the same things.  And they were just as ashamed as I was. We shouldn’t let the shame of the sin keep us from reaching out for help. The people that I wanted to know–the ones I felt close to, but afraid to tell–weren’t disappointed in me. They were sad for me, but they were also proud because I was doing what I needed to do to get out of it. They treated me no differently than they had before.  The best thing that I could have possibly done would have been to tell someone the moment I saw those things and was interested, but I didn’t. I hid it, and hiding it fueled it. We should be reaching out to those struggling, and reaching when we personally struggle, and we should be praying for one another. 

James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Why do we sometimes apply this verse only to the “easier” sins? Why, when we hear of the harder sins in someone’s life do we sometimes shrink back, thinking of them as perverted? All sin is sin in God’s eyes; none worse, none better… .I think we should apply this verse even more to the harder sins in our Christian family’s lives.

Some sins are harder than others to overcome, but none are impossible. Here are a few of the things that have helped me in my struggle…

1. Get an accountability partner.

I didn’t really know how to get away from pornography, how to take away all of the temptation. I’d tried several times to just promise myself I’d never do it again. I would stay clean for about a week and then I’d fall again. So I finally realized that by myself, with only my sister and myself knowing (and her thinking I was over it), I would never get over it. So I told someone else, thinking that having someone else know would make me not do it. And then came the questions… “When was the last time you did it? This year? This week? Since you’ve been here at PTP?” And, having affirmed the last of the three options I was asked to promise to contact that friend if I ever did it again. About a month later, I started to struggle with it again. I kept my promise, sent the ever dreaded email, and was asked to agree to her terms of accountability. I was lucky. I was offered accountability and wouldn’t have thought to ask for it. I didn’t even know what it was, really. I knew it was for those who struggled with things like pornography, but I had never needed to know about that…. After all, I wasn’t ever going to do those things, right? Make sure you ask someone you respect to help you and keep you accountable. This will be your biggest help, and that person will likely be your biggest cheerleader. 

2. Covenant Eyes (or a similar program to monitor and report).

“Why do I need Covenant Eyes? I’m not going to do anything bad on my laptop. Don’t you trust me?” This one really hits home for me. While I’d have never have had the nerve to say it, I can surely remember thinking it. I hated the idea of something on my laptop that recorded and recounted to my parents everything that I did on my computer. Not because I had, at that time, any intention or desire to look at sinful things on my laptop, but because I wanted privacy. Now, I absolutely love my Covenant Eyes. It is the easiest thing in the world to not click on that nasty ad when you know that your laptop is immediately going to notify your parents or accountability partner. 

3. Keep busy.

I’ve spent probably the past 3-4 months having this one pounded into my thick skull, but you know what? It works! When you’re busy working for God and for others around you, or even just a new project that keeps your interest, then you will be so much less focused on your own troubles and shortcomings (discouragement/depression feeds the sin) and you will feel so good about the things you can do for others. 

4. Work hard on your thoughts.

Anyone who has ever been exposed to pornography knows how hard it is to get just one image out of your head, much less images, videos, words, etc… that have been purposely put in your head for months and years. So make sure that you’re watching your mind.  It becomes much easier to avoid temptations when your mind isn’t constantly on those things you’ve seen. So read a book, do a craft, study, sing a song. Avoid getting caught in a cycle of pornographic thoughts.

5. Go through your your phone, and get rid of ALL the temptations.

I don’t know why, but I didn’t even really consider going through and getting rid of the apps…the ones I hadn’t necessarily used to view pornography, but that I knew could have… (Amazon, Etsy, blogging apps, really any shopping apps),  so this has been a recent one for me but an enormous relief. You get rid of so much guilt when you delete an app that, while very convenient to have nearby, is also a temptation for you. So sit down, go through your phone and get rid of anything (apps or internet) that could readily give access to pornography. This will be a huge relief and help. 

1 Corinthians 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley Digger Doug

Sister to Sister: Fifty Shades: Five Excuses…Ten Reasons

Unknown-7Shocking is what it is to absorb the conversations among some of those who wear the name of Christ…women who see nothing wrong with being entertained by the erotica fiction of the 2011 romance novel and the new movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I do not have to read the books or see the movies to know that Christian women have no business anywhere near the “Grey” zone. Here are five of the top excuses for partaking in the evil of a blatantly pornographic form of entertainment:

  1. “It’s literature…a literary phenomenon.” Yes. It is. The original book has sold over 100 million copies, making in excess of 95 million dollars for the author. A sad commentary on our culture.
  2. “Just because I watch it doesn’t mean it will affect my behavior or my thinking.” Studies have already been done. One at Michigan State University found that women who have read the book are more likely to have abusive partners, be binge drinkers, and participate in unsafe sex, and eating disorders. I’m not sure if women who do these things are more likely to love the movie or the other way around. But, either way, the study results, in themselves, wave a big red flag to people of morality. It’s like the Good Book says: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
  3. “I’m just curious.” You could follow the link below if you’re curious about the content. My friend, Tom Holland used to say “You don’t have to stick your head in a trash can to know what trash is.” You will, for the sake of curiosity, put some images in your head that are not erasable.
  4. “I want to make our sex life better.” Would you like for your husband to work to make your sex life better by watching pornographic videos? Perhaps he does. If so, how does that feel to you? Besides, pornography does not enhance sex in the long run. It destroys relationships and cheapens what God has sanctified. The trump card is that it’s a clear violation of God’s commands. (Matthew 5:28; Titus 2:3-5)
  5. “It’s fun.” At least you’re being honest on this one. Sin is selfishly pleasurable in the short term. Satan loves this reason and, truth be told, it’s probably the reason we make up all the other excuses to sin.

And here are ten of the top reasons you should stay away from “Fifty Shades.”

  1. BDSM. If you do not know what that is, you may be fortunate. It is “Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, Masechism, all of which are strong thematic elements in the movie. It is a portrayal of a perverted attraction to an extremely sexually abusive man who keeps Ana, the main female character, in sexual bondage using abuse, expensive gifts and confidentiality agreements.
  2. Your money. Do you really want your movie/book dollars to be included in the 95 million-plus that E.L. James has made/is making from her self termed “expression of a mid-life crisis”? Do you think God is pleased with that sort of stewardship?
  3. Christ is coming back. Do you want to be reading/watching “Fifty Shades of Grey” when He does return? And, if not, then are you okay with Him seeing you read/watch from His seat beside the throne?
  4. Your children. This movie is phenomenally huge. The book, sadly, has become the #1 seller in the world. The book has also now surpassed Harry Potter as the fastest selling paper back. It became the first book ever to sell  more than a million copies on Amazon Kindle.  James was named by Forbes as the 2013 best selling author in the world. Your children, even if they are small or not yet born, will likely one day hear about this book and ask if you have read/seen “Fifty Shades”. Do you really want them to know that you have? If so, you are not the kind of parent I’d hope you want to be. You should love your children enough already to be protective of your influence over them. (Kids have a way of thinking that, no matter what it is, if Mom and Dad have done it, it must not be too bad.)
  5. The rating. The film has an R rating for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language. Christians cannot claim ignorance as they go to see “Fifty Shades.” We have been fairly warned. And when the movie industry puts out a rating because content will be offensive to some audiences, which audiences do you think those would be?…Christians, maybe?
  6. The woman who wrote the books (i.e. thought up the perversions of plot and sexuality) is also working as a producer of the movie. The movie promises not to be better or tamer than the book.
  7. The male lead in the movie, Jamie Dornan, actually visited a sex dungeon in preparation for his role as Christian Grey. Right. This is for Christians?!
  8. Producers are also planning a release of an NC-17 version of the movie, which will include more of the sexual content. (hard to believe there could be more.) They are doing it because   “the fans want it dirty.” Do you want to be a part of such a fan base?
  9. Evangelism: Do you believe, should your lost friends know about your viewing of the movie, that it would enhance or damage your ability to bring them to a life of purity in Christ? Which?
  10. Scriptures. Commands. Just a couple, though numerous ones come to mind. Philippians 4:8 Whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report. If anything is virtuous or worthy of praise, think on these things.” Imagine these words appearing at the bottom of the movie screen during a trailer of “Fifty Shades.” Would those words “fit” there? Would they, in any sense, be descriptive of this movie? What about I Thessalonians 5:22?—“Abstain from the very appearance of evil.”  This book…this movie, my sister friends, is evil come to your community.

Information obtained from www.covenanteyes.com/…/50-fast-factsfiftyshades-grey/.