Tag Archives: pornography

Playing With Fire!

God has always demanded allegiance and obedience. There’s no middle ground, no room for ‘fudging’ things, and no gray area. He commanded Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of a particular tree. They disobeyed, and we lost our access to the Tree of Life (but only until God returns creation to the perfection it once enjoyed!). Lot’s wife played with fire and lost her life for taking one last peek at her old lifestyle (Genesis 19). There are many other examples in the Bible of people who ‘pushed the envelope,’ testing God’s commandments. We do the same today.

God tells us to stay away from interaction with the spirits of the dead, but we engage mediums and psychics (Deuteronomy 18:10-13). We indulge in astrology, relying on created things to determine our fate instead of trusting the Creator. And testing God’s commands where sexuality is concerned is a vast area where many Christians play with fire (literally and figuratively)!

God is clear about the destination of those who practice sexual rebellion, such as adultery and homosexuality (1Corinthians 6:9-10). We are also warned to carefully choose what we listen to and observe (Matthew 6:22-23; Job 31:1; Philippians 4:8). Here’s an interesting fact: people wanting to become Christians in the first couple of centuries couldn’t if they, at the same time, participated in the theater because of the sensuality and immoralities it often portrayed (just like today!). Why must we take care of what we watch? Because the input helps map the pathways in our brain and can cause us to ‘boil the frog’ as we slowly allow or condone or ignore—become desensitized to—the things God hates. This is where watching pornography comes in.

Pornography (Greek porneia and graphe) is a compound ‘catch-all’ word representing all kinds of sexual immoralities. Indulging in anything sexually immoral, even just visually, tests God’s commands and His desires for our conduct; it won’t end well. Here’s a shortlist of other ways Christians play with fire where God is concerned:

  • We must tell the truth—especially where the welfare of others is concerned (Exodus 20:16). But lying has become pervasive.
  • We must not idolize (covet) things, but we do it all the time (stuff, sports, people, multimedia—anything but God’s ways) (Exodus 20:17; 1 John 2:15-17).
  • We are commanded to rest one day each week (for many reasons, including physical, spiritual, and mental health) (Exodus 20:10; Mark 2:27-28); however, few do this religiously.

Just because the proverbial lightning hasn’t struck us down as we rebel against God doesn’t mean that our playing with fire won’t result in judgment and destruction. So, if you’re playing with fire by doing anything God is against, please stop and change direction—fast! Next week, we’ll continue to consider God’s desires as I outline the requirements for Citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Ron Braley

Chasing Pleasure? Wake up and Smell the Smoke!

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. —Galatians 5:19-21.

Sensuality by its definition is licentiousness – filthy behavior, lasciviousness, and wantonness – according to Strong’s concordance (from the Greek aselgeia). In biblical context, it’s generally associated with immorality and sometimes with sexual feelings or behavior.

Chasing pleasure of the senses in pursuit of immorality is distasteful to God and will certainly invoke God’s judgment and hell in the last days! It also leaves little or no time for actually pleasing God . . .

But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married. — 1Timothy 5:11.

and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of [Sodom and Gomorrah’s] unprincipled men . . . — 2Peter 2:7.

. . .  excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. —Ephesians 4:17-19.

. . .  having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. . . .  but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. —1Peter 4:3-5.

Engaging in sensual activities like viewing pornography (including publically-acceptable media with erotic images) or entering into ‘racy’ discussions or crude joking epitomizes what the Bible reveals about sensuality, immorality, and fornication and related consequences. Dabbling by viewing sensual images or verbalizing sensual topics can produce unnecessary sexual arousal that will most likely need to be satisfied.

So, why do I associate sensuality and pornography? Because pornography reflects filthy and immoral behavior that appeals to the senses. It can be a trigger for the commission of sexual sin since it certainly causes physical and perhaps emotional arousal that must be satisfied in the end. There’s no disguising the purpose of pornography: it’s meant to stimulate the senses and cause arousal for the ultimate goal of sexual satisfaction.

Indulging in pornography is certainly sinful and dangerous. While Scripture doesn’t directly reference the word ‘pornography’ it does address fornication and the pursuit of sensuality – all of which are pervasive in pornographic material and behavior that will bring judgment from God. Do we really want to be guilty by association?

It’s important to point out that pornography or sensual stimulants don’t have to be visual in the form of pictures or video: they can be present in sound and word.  Erotic speech and noises can stimulate sexual desire in the same way viewing an erotic picture or film can. And sensual stories such as stereotypical romance novels or the recent 50 Shades of Grey book can evoke emotions and sexual desire no less driving than pictures or sound. This is why women can also be ensnared by pornography or sensuality even though they’re not normally driven in the same way men typically are.

Our choices: Animalistic, immoral sensual pleasure now with its judgment and hell later, or balance in accordance with God’s ways now and unimaginable reward and eternal life later. Choose wisely!

Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. —Romans 13:13.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!