The Spread of Pornography
The rapid and unrestrained spread of pornography within society must rank as the most insidious threat against marriage and the family since the sexual revolution of the Sixties. The relative ease with which one can access hard-core sexually explicit images is unprecedented in South Africa’s history. The internet serves as the primary channel to access pornography. However, widespread use of smart phones and other hand held devices has made pornography more easily available to men, women and children as young as eight years old. The targeting of minors by smut merchants has reached epidemic proportions. More and younger children are downloading hard-core pornography to their cell phones. This disturbing trend has quickly descended into a grotesque fad called ‘sexting’, in which children record video clips of themselves engaging in sexual activity and share it with friends.
A lustful addiction
Pornography consumption was once the domain of some adult males. The explosion of the internet and the increasing number of online devices has provided smut merchants with a much wider and more susceptible audience. Pornography addiction is more widespread than most people imagine. Research by psychologists indicate that online porn addiction is stronger, and more addictive than ordinary porn addiction because of its easy availability, explicitness and the privacy that online viewing offers - as opposed to ‘adult shops’. But what is pornography addiction? Firstly, it is a freely chosen sin and is enslavement to the obsessions and compulsions of lust.
Often it is a false coping mechanism for the individual and is a false love. It is a sick substitute for God’s love and is actually idol worship. It is a spiritual, emotional and psychological poison that leads to death.
A serious threat
Addiction to pornography has become such a serious threat to society, it is often referred to as the ‘new crack’. Millions of marriages are destroyed worldwide as a result of pornography addictions and the resulting downward spiral into the seedy world of sexual depravity, perversion and uncontrolled obsessions. Research indicates most men who use prostitutes are married men and the primary reason for this abnormality is their addiction to pornography.
The widespread availability of pornography, and its glamourisation in the liberal media, contributes significantly to the social degradation of women and children. Pornography has become a global multi–billion Dollar parasitic industry by profiting off the deviant sexual addictions and misery of its victims. It is a silent destroyer that lures its victims into a web of sexual depravity and unrestrained lusts. There are countless examples of men who surf the ‘XXX’ domains on the internet in their own homes without their wives ever knowing. Most men begin their journey by ‘innocently’ viewing soft porn. However, once these airbrushed images cannot provide the sexual gratification required, they steadily descend into a bizarre world of hard-core and more sexually depraved images.
The decline is imperceptible but inexorable. Their view of human sexuality is distorted and perverted to the extent that normal marital sexual relations cannot be maintained because it fails to fulfil their porn fuelled fantasies.
A secret sin
Research indicates the pornography plague is pervasive both inside and outside the Church. David Blythe, author of ‘Secret in the Pew – Pornography in the Lives of Christian Men’ says: “There are secrets sitting in the pews of our churches. This secret is a hidden lifestyle of sexual preoccupation and perversion within the lives of Christian men. It is fuelled by regular consumption of one of the most destructive forces of our time – pornography. Pornography has created such a stronghold within the Body of Christ that many have become neutralised from being of any kind of force for the Kingdom of God.
That is exactly where the enemy wants us – to be of no threat to him and his work.” It is estimated only ten percent of porn addicts confess their addiction. That leaves ninety percent of victims who either deny they have a problem or have not yet recognised their enslavement to porn. Tragic as pornography addiction is, the greater tragedy is the Church’s failure to acknowledge this formidable threat to marriage and the family. Most men, women and teens, who struggle with pornography addictions, do so in silence because of the shame and stigma attached to it. This self imposed alienation compounds the problem because the power of sin lies in its secrecy.
A destructive influence
Most addictions are overcome when the victims acknowledge their problem. However, when one considers the scope of the pornography plague and its destructive influence on marriage and the family, the dire lack of ministries addressing this issue is a national tragedy. Pornography addictions will not go away if ignored. Family Policy Institute has begun the process of lobbying for legislation that will ban internet pornography at tier one level. This is the only real way to protect children from exposure. However, until this happens, the porn plague continues unabated. The Church must acknowledge this insidious and growing threat against the family and must act decisively to stop its progress. More church-run ministries must be established around the country that offer confidential and non-judgemental help and support to victims. Pastors must preach regularly about pornography’s devastating impact on society, warn against sexual addictions and encourage people to seek help. The porn plague can and must be defeated. But it requires prayer, commitment and decisive action from the Body of Christ in South Africa. How can you help?