This was sent to me by a brother in recovery.  I would caution the reader that some of the material may be triggering, especially to those new to recovery.  Please reach out to others if you are triggered.  Remember, reach out, not act out.

A long, but good read:

The Exploitation of Woman in Media and Pornography

1            The Problem

What is the price of perfection, and more importantly, who defines what perfection is? For most women, the answer is often the media. Social trends highlight how the media and its “ideal” image of femininity have impacted women in unprecedented ways. (1)

The representation of women in the media has always been exploitative. It has, throughout the years, reduced women to being nothing more than objects to be won, prizes to be shown off, and playthings to be abused. It has also created a definition of beauty that women compare themselves to. Also, men compare the women in their lives to what they see on television screens, in magazines, and on billboards. Both the self and society has suffered because of the objectification, sexism, exploitation and assessment. (1)

Because of the harmful “ideal” put forth by the Western media and accepted in large by western patriarchal society there are drastic increases in plastic surgery, a steady (not decreasing) number of sexual assaults, and an overwhelming occurrence of eating disorders.

The harm can be seen on both men and women. In an effort to grasp the attention of the public, the media pushes the unrealistic images of woman at men to coerce and mould their thinking patterns while successfully convincing woman that these images are really the only kind of woman that men desire. A major result is that girls are valuing themselves in terms of how sexually desirable they are to boys, and boys are feeling the pressure to be hyper masculine.

This reaches its crescendo in the production of pornography which is spreading like a pandemic across the globe infiltrating most homes and changing the fabric of our society.

1.1       Global Context

1.1.1     Woman Exploited for the Production of Pornography

The veneer of the porn industry is extremely thin. Behind what people consume on their computers and TV screens is a sordid world filled with abuse and violence. In the ever expanding industry new and more horrific acts are being committed to satisfy an unending demand. This following is adapted from an interview by Shelley Lubben, an ex-porn star and starter of the Pink Cross Foundation to help people leaving the industry.

STD’s

Adult film performers engage in prolonged and repeated sexual acts with multiple sexual partners over short periods of time, creating ideal conditions for transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). All the more concerning, high-risk sex acts are on the rise. At the same time, condom use is reportedly low in heterosexual adult films—approximately 17% for adult performers. In 2004, only two of the 200 adult film companies required the use of condoms. Performers report that they are required to work without condoms to maintain employment.

These practices lead to high transmission rates of STDs and occasionally HIV among performers. After four performers contracted HIV in 1998, Sharon Mitchell, a former adult film performer, founded Adult Industry Medical, a clinic to counsel and screen performers monthly for HIV.

In statements received from females and males working in the pornography industry and those who previously worked in the industry, at least 80% admit to catching an STD while working in the California pornography industry. Shelley personally caught the non-curable disease Genital Herpes in 1994 and was not given any information or help from porn producers or the adult industry. Recently, Jan Meza, a former porn actress who left the pornography industry in October 2007, publicly shared of late that she discovered she has Herpes. She is totally devastated in that she caught a non-curable disease. Belladonna, a well-known pornographic performer states: “99% of the porn industry has Herpes.” One male pornographic performer, Rocco, 600 films and 3,000 women later says: “Every professional in the porn-world has herpes, male or female.” Tanya Burleson, formerly known as Jersey Jaxin, caught Chlamydia her first year working. She exclaimed, while speaking with Shelley, “I don’t believe I worked with one person who didn’t at one time have an STD.” Tanya made over 200 movies in her three year career. She also says, “Performers have to pay for their own testing, their medicine and lose at least eight days of work every time they catch a sexually transmitted disease.”

Prostitution

Pornographic performers and adult industry workers also engage in prostitution through escort agencies such as Body Miracle, Dreamgirls, and Porno Star Escorts, where they not only risk sexually transmitted disease but also HIV and hepatitis C infection.

Pornographic performers usually prefer escorting because the pay is much higher and sex acts are not as degrading or physically demanding. They receive approximately $100 an hour for working in pornographic films or $1500 an hour for escorting. Adult industry workers who are also pornographic performers get paid higher than other adult escorts due to their celebrity status and can book 2-3 hour appointments and make approximately $3000 a day. Agents also lie to women in the adult industry and lure them into prostitution. Porn Star Erin Moore says, “some agents lie to the girls and tell them they are shooting a scene when instead they set up prostitution acts for them.”

Drug Abuse

Another secondary negative effect of the adult industry includes exposure to drugs and drug addiction. Porn actress Erin Moore admits, “the drugs we binged on were Ecstasy, Cocaine, Marijuana, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and alcohol.” Tanya Burleson, formerly known as Jersey Jaxin, says, “Guys are punching you in the face. You get ripped. Your insides can come out of you. It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object—not as a human with a spirit. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they’re being treated.”

One male porn star says on his blog on January 28, 2008:

“Drugs are a major, major problem in my business. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. I can’t tell you the number of girls who have disappeared and dropped out of the business because of their drug problems. It is unbelievably sad to think about, and seeing some of them fall into a downward spiral hurts me more than others. But I think we all can agree that a huge majority of drug users will never change unless they get professional help. I have seen all manner of drugs on set, at parties, in cars, everywhere. If I had to guess, I would put marijuana use at 90 percent of ALL people involved in the industry (performers, directors, crew, agents, drivers, owners, office workers, etc.). I have been on a set where a girl has passed out during a sex scene with me (she was abusing oxycontin). Just recently a girl overdosed on GHB (a party drug that is a clear odourless drug that doesn’t mix well with alcohol) on set. Why is drug use so prevalent in our business? Well, let’s figure that out. First of all, remember that the business is populated largely with girls aged 18-21. And the majority of those girls are uneducated (many haven’t graduated high school). Add to that the fact that many come into the business because they have no money and are working at menial jobs like fast food places. So you have young girls who are uneducated with very little money entering the business.

“Once they are in the business, they are now making ten thousand dollars a month and working maybe 5 hours a day 10-15 days a month. There are predators out there that can smell these girls and prey on them like sharks. Young, uneducated girls with lots of money, lots of free time, and very little supervision. This is a really bad equation (unless you are a drug dealer of course).”

Verbal and physical abuse

In addition to prevalent drug use, degradation and abuse is rampant in the pornography industry. In one study 100% of the strippers reported some kind of physical or verbal abuse on their jobs. Verbal abuse by customers is extremely common with 91% reporting incidents. They were routinely called degrading names. Besides the verbal abuse, all endured some type of physical abuse on the job. Despite the fact that it is illegal to touch a stripper, strippers reported that customers grabbed them by the arm (88%), grabbed their breast (73%), or their buttock (91%). Customers at strip clubs often assault the women. Customers pulled their hair (27%), pinched them (58%), slapped them (24%), or bit them (36%). They are often attacked in the strip club in front of bodyguards and other audience members.

Former pornographic performer Alex Devine shares her violent experience and writes:

“Donkey Punch was the most brutal, depressing, scary scene that I have ever done. I have tried to block it out of my memory due to the severe abuse I received during the filming. The guy, Steve French, has a natural hatred towards women in the sense that he has always been known to be more brutal than EVER needed. I agreed to do the scene thinking it was less beating, except the ‘punch’ in the head. If you noticed, Steve had worn his solid gold ring the entire time, and continued to punch me with it. I actually stopped the scene while it was being filmed because I was in too much pain.”

There is a very heavy emphasis on rougher, more sadistic sex, with slapping, spitting, violent hair-pulling and scenes of extremely abusive hardcore sex acts. In one film, the man forces the woman’s head into a toilet during the final scene, a technique that seems to help him achieve climax.

1.1.2     The Exploitation of Children through the Viewing of Pornography (6)

Our children are undergoing sexualisation. Simply put, sexualisation is the imposition of adult sexuality on to children and young people before they are capable of dealing with it mentally, emotionally or physically. While girls are valuing themselves in terms of how sexually desirable they are to boys, boys are feeling the pressure to be hyper masculine. (7)

Kids are learning how to have sex from pornography and we live in a world that is more saturated by images than at any other time in our modern history. Behind every image lies a message about expectations, values and ideals. Right now, those images more often than not present and perpetuate a world where women are revered and rewarded for their physical attributes. (7)

Gender stereotypes are back in fashion and to object is often to be accused of lacking a sense of humour or proportion. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that sexualisation is having a profound impact on our children’s emotional development and how they develop their sense of identity. Young people have a natural, healthy interest in sex. But when their developing sexuality is moulded to fit adult stereotypes, this can compromise that healthy developmental process. (7)

Children no longer have the time and space to extend their own understanding as images and constructs are literally ‘in their face’ on a daily basis, often before their minds are ready to know how to interpret or process them. Instead of putting children in control of their sexuality, we are in danger of isolating them from it altogether.

The serious negative consequences associated with the sexualisation of children is becoming ever more clear in areas of body confidence, ambitions, low self-esteem, sexual harassment, abuse within teen relationships and views on sexual violence.

These are the kinds of consequences that leave long-term effects, often resurfacing at vulnerable times during their adult life, affecting careers, relationships and, in turn, how they parent their own children.

Children being exposed to Pornography

Children often imitate what they see, read or hear. The potential for children exposed to pornography to act out sexually against younger, smaller and more vulnerable children is real, as some studies have suggested. According to experts in the field of childhood sexual abuse, any premature sexual activity in children always suggests two possible stimulants: experience and exposure. “This means that the sexually deviant child may have been molested or simply exposed to sexuality through pornography”. (8)

The efforts of parents to instill in children personal values about relationships, sex, intimacy, love and marriage is undermined by the irresponsible messages that pornography sends out to children on these very important life issues. Just as thirty-second commercials can influence whether or not we choose one popular soft drink over another, exposure to pornography shapes our attitudes and values and, often, our behaviour.

According to developmental psychologists, during critical periods of childhood, a child’s brain is being programmed for sexual orientation. During this period, the mind appears to be developing a “hardwire” for what the person will be aroused by or attracted to. “Exposure to healthy sexual norms and attitudes during this critical period can result in the child developing a healthy sexual orientation. “In contrast, if there is exposure to pornography during this period, sexual deviance may become imprinted on the child’s ‘hard drive’ to become a permanent part of his or her sexual orientation.” (9)

A study conducted in the United Kingdom concluded that “Coming into contact with pornography is a commonplace but often unwelcome experience for children and young people”. The study found that, among 9-19 year-olds who go online at least once a week, 57 % have come into contact with online pornography, 38% have been exposed to pornography through “pop-ups” while doing something else, 36% accidentally found themselves on a pornographic website when looking for something else and 25% received pornographic junk mail by e-mail or instant messaging. (10)

A number of studies in the United States provide disturbing evidence of unsolicited exposure to sexually-explicit materials on the Internet. Some of the key findings of a study of 10-17 year-olds in 2003 were that 73% were exposed to sexual material while surfing the Internet, 27% were exposed to sexual material in e-mails and instant messages and 26% were “mouse trapped” into another sex site while trying to get out of the one they were in. An earlier study found that of the 95% of 15 to 17 year-olds who went online, 70% had been accidentally exposed to pornography. (11)

Statistics are the same in South Africa, key findings of a study involving learners aged 13 to 17 years in schools in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg revealed that 64% of learners reported that they have seen pornographic images on the Internet, with 70% reporting coming across pornographic sites, mainly through “pop-ups” and typing search words, while “surfing” the Internet. (12)

Other statistics from the South African study revealed that for children had seen pornographic material in films : Most (67%) reported having seen a pornographic film, 65% out of curiosity, mostly on DVD. More boys (84%) than girls (54%) have watched at least one pornographic film. 45% reported watching pornographic films regularly.  (6)

To make things worse research studies suggest that exposure of children under 14 years to pornography is related to greater involvement in deviant sexual practice, particularly rape. Slightly more than a third of the child molesters in the study by W L Marshall, claimed to have been incited to commit an offense by exposure to pornography and 53% of them deliberately used the stimuli of pornography as they prepared to commit their crimes. (13)

In a study of convicted child molesters11, 77% of those who molested boys and 87% of those who molested girls admitted to the habitual use of pornography, using pornographic images to demonstrate to their victims what they wanted them to do, as well as to lower a child’s inhibitions (“grooming”) and communicate to the child-victim that a particular sexual activity is normal, acceptable and pleasurable.

1.2       Local Context

According to Daniel L Weiss, the number of pornographic Web pages jumped from 14 million in 1998 to 260 million in 2003 – an almost two thousand percent increase in just five years, with over 4.2 million adult-oriented sites. More than 80% of children using e-mail receive inappropriate messages and 47% receive pornographic spam on a daily basis. A majority of adult-oriented sites display adult content on the first page, which anyone could see. Nearly two-thirds had no warning or indication of the adult nature of the site. Many adult sites hinder users from leaving (“mouse trapping”) and many offer “free tours” of adult sites as part of their marketing strategy. (14)

Sexually-explicit films and publications are also available in South Africa. While there are no exact figures for the number of films and publications available, the Film and Publication Board has classified, to date, for distribution in South Africa, over 27 000 DVDs and videos containing sexually-explicit materials. (6)

This figure represents DVDs and video cassettes which, in fact, were actually submitted to the Board for classification and excludes the thousands of DVDs and video cassettes being sold-illegally – in the streets of all major cities in South Africa, as well as on the Internet, via mail-order and, increasingly via mobile cellular ‘phones. It would not be an exaggeration, therefore, to say that pornography is as easily available to South Africa as are cigarettes. (6)

1.3       The Statistics

“This industry is full of people that hate – literally HATE women.” – Julie Meadows, former porn star

“I find myself not that much unlike the slaves and slave traders of some 400 years ago. I participate in the most heinous of ALL trades- THE BUYING AND SELLING OF HUMAN FLESH. I trade my own flesh for monetary compensation and I sell the flesh of others for the same.” – Lexington Steele, porn performer/producer

Diana Scimone: “If you’re watching porn, you’re supporting trafficking. In fact, you are a trafficker because you are buying trafficked women and children.”

1.3.1     In the Porn Industry

Some selected statistics from Pink Cross Foundation

  • Average life expectancy of a porn star is 36.2 years;
  • 206 porn stars died prematurely from aids, drugs, suicide, homicide, accidental and medical since 2004;
  • #1 suicide method among porn stars is by hanging;
  • 66 porn stars that Pink Cross Foundation know of committed suicide;
  • 66% of porn performers have Herpes, a non-curable disease;
  • 2,396 cases of Chlamydia and 1,389 cases of Gonorrhea reported among performers since 2004;
  • Over 100 straight and gay performers died from AIDS;
  • 70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females according to County of Los Angeles Public Health;
  • Child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online, and the content is becoming much worse. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains;
  • After analyzing top-selling pornographic content, 304 sex scenes were observed for both physical and verbal aggression;
  • 88% of scenes contain physical aggression (principally spanking, gagging,slapping, etc.);
  • 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression (primarily name-calling).
  • Worldwide pornography revenue in 2006 was $97.06 billion. Of that, approximately $13 billion was in the United States.
  • More than 11 million teens regularly view porn online.
  • The largest group viewing online pornography is ages 12 to 17.
  • There are 4.2 million pornographic websites, 420 million pornographic web pages, and 68 million daily search engine requests.

1.3.2     Pornography usage statistics (Covenant Eyes Website, selected stats)

When 1,521 smartphone owners in the UK. ages 18 and older were surveyed, 24% admitted to having pornographic material on their mobile handset. Of these, 84% of those who were involved in a romantic relationship said their partner did not know about the porn on their handset.

In 2012, 43.8% of adult industry executives and stakeholders believed mobile devices would become consumers’ primary porn-viewing devices.

According to Juniper Research, by 2015:

  • Mobile adult content and services are expected to reach $2.8 billion, driven primarily through an uptake of video chat and subscription-based services;
  • Mobile adult subscriptions will reach nearly $1 billion;
  • North America and Western Europe will account for more than 70% of the told end-user mobile adult revenues;
  • Users of mobile adult video on tablets will triple;
  • The average amount spent annually on mobile adult subscriptions for handsets will increase by 11%;
  • More than 35 million people will be subscribed to mobile adult paysites worldwide;

According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

  • An exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society;
  • Diminished trust between intimate couples;
  • The abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy;
  • Belief that promiscuity is the natural state;
  • Belief that abstinence and sexual inactivity are unhealthy;
  • Cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners;
  • Belief that marriage is sexually confining;
  • Lack of attraction to family and child-raising.

According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others:

  • Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce;
  • Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction;
  • Infidelity;
  • Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices;
  • Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing ;
  • An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behaviour.

In 2002, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported the following as the most salient factors present in divorce cases:

  • 68% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.
  • 56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
  • 47% involved spending excessive time on the computer.
  • 33% involved excessive time spent speaking in chat rooms.

In a survey of 63 wives of self-identified sex addicts 70% met most criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

1.3.3     Pornography in the Church

  • Of 1351 pastors surveyed, 54% had viewed Internet pornography within the last year.
  • 50% of men and 20% of women in the church regularly view porn.

1.4       God’s Opinion on Pornography

1.4.1     For the woman exploited by Pornography

For woman and men caught in the exploitation of pornography, stripping, and any other exploitation be it abuse, trafficking or other abuse, God deeply loves his daughters and sons and calls all his children ‘prized possessions’. They are all Loved, Valued and Purposed.

They are loved

Isaiah 54:10

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

Romans 8:39

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

They are valued

Proverbs 31:10

She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.

Psalm 139:17-18

How precious are your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Where I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

They are purposed

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 138:8

The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.

They are redeemed…

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, (s)he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

1.4.2     Jesus’s heart for those caught in pornography

He is faithful

Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

Deuteronomy 31:8

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

He is gracious

Psalm 145:8

God is all mercy and grace– not quick to anger, is rich in love.

2 Corinthians 12:9

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

He is mighty

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

He is caring

Psalms 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed.

He is comforting

Isaiah 66:13

As a mother comforts her child, so I’ll comfort you.

Revelation 7:17

And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.

He is near

Psalm 145:18

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Matthew 1:23

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us”.

1.5       A Message to the Men: (Mark Driscoll – Porn Again Christian)

1.5.1     The Fear of the Lord

Wisdom is living your life in congruence with the will of God by walking in grace with him. Wisdom begins with fearing God (Prov. 1:7).

The Scriptures continually speak of the One True God as the God of glory. This means that God is to be considered most heavily, or weighty, in the lives of his people, and that the sinful desires in us and cultural norms around us be seen as unnatural, depraved, and light in comparison to him. Simply, until you fear God and weigh him most heavily in your life, you will remain an undisciplined fool. So, below are provided the following verses of Scripture to simply scare you into seeing God in his holiness and power rather than re-envisioning him in your mind as much less holy than he is, and subsequently your sexual sin as much less unholy than it is.

In 1 Peter 4:3 we read, “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” God’s men are urged by Peter to not return to their pagan patterns of reckless living and sexual perversion.

In 1 John 2:15–17 we are urged, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” John’s dire warning is that the lust of our eyes is continually enticed by the images and perversions of the world in which we live and we must remain vigilant to not love the tempting sins of the world. John’s warning rings even more true in a culture where, because of technology, it is now easier to see someone naked than to get something out of the fridge—to get to the fridge you at least need to stand up and walk.

First John 3:9 teaches that “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” Clearly, while no man of God can become perfect in this life (1 John 1:8), God does promise that Christian men have the ability to walk away from habitual sins of all kinds, including sexual sins, which are commonly accepted as undefeatable foes. Practically, this means that sexual sin should not be managed, but rather put to death because Jesus died for it.

In 1 Corinthians 5:9–11, Paul says, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality . . . not even to eat with such a one.” Simply, any man who claims to be a Christian but lives in habitual, unrepentant sexual immorality is not fit for Christian friendship and community unless he repents, because he is defiling his friends and their church with his perversion. The cold hard truth is that most guys’ struggles are only known by their fellow Christian buddies and unless Christian dudes man up and stop arguing about stupid secondary theological issues and spend their energies holding one another accountable to get dominion over their underwear, then Christian friendship is nothing more than Christian fakery.

In 1 Corinthians 10:8, Paul says, “We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.” Speaking of God’s people in Exodus, Paul warns us that throughout history God was so sickened by sexual sin that he killed perverted multitudes in the desert, as well as in places like Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, God does whack some people. Sometimes it’s all at once, and sometimes it’s a bit at a time, say with a sexually transmitted disease. Worse still, some victims of sexual sin also experience sickness, like my buddy who gave his wife herpes, and even death, like dudes who give their wives AIDS. However you go out, do you really wanna be the guy with a computer mouse in one hand scratching his itchy junk with his other hand standing before Jesus and scrambling to explain himself?

In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, Paul says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.” Clearly, God takes the sexual sins of his men so seriously that men who remain enslaved to sexual sin will die in their sins and wake up in the eternal torments of hell. Sure, the naked people you like looking at are hot… but so is hell.

My single point with all of these warnings from Scripture is to implore you to take any sexual sins you may have as seriously as your God does. Now that we have pointed our discussion of sexual sin in a God-ward direction, we are prepared to speak of the specific issues of pornography and masturbation that enslave so many of God’s sons.

1.5.2     Manly Men

We live in a culture of hook up, shack up, break up. Men are marrying later and staying married shorter than ever. The average dude is not a dude but just a boy who can shave. Many Christian men are enslaved to pornographic lust and live in silent shame, which hinders their growth in Christ and service in ministry. Meanwhile, the number of Christian leaders making headlines because of sexual sin further stains the reputation of Jesus and undermines the credibility of his church.

You are not an animal. You are the glory of God.

You are not a pervert. You are the glory of God.

You are not an addict. You are the glory of God.

You are not a victim. You are the glory of God.

You are not a fool. You are the glory of God.

Jesus, the god-man who radiated the Father’s glory perfectly, has made it possible for you to be the glory of God. Jesus your King, Warrior, and Lord hung upon his cross in your place to atone for all of your sins, including sexual perversion (Col. 2:13–15). If you repent of your sin, Jesus will forgive you for it and cleanse you from it, thereby taking away your guilt, shame, defeat, and filth (1 John 1:9; Zech. 3:1–9).

As God’s man, you will then able to rise above your lusts, but not by works or self-willed deprivation. Instead, God’s grace that alone saves you will also empower you to live life with Jesus and like Jesus. As Paul says in Titus 2:11–12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”

This grace enables us not merely to hide our sin, diminish our sin, justify our sin, or accept it as inevitable. Rather, God’s grace enables us to put to death our sin so that we live dead to sin and alive to Christ where we were previously alive to sin and dead to Christ (Rom. 8:13–14).

Indeed, our God is Lord over all of our lives and helpful for the practical matters of what to do with our mouth, hands, and genitals. As God’s men, we do not pursue this redemption and holiness solely for ourselves but also for God’s mission to save and redeem the sea of lost men around us who are their own god and sin with their mouth, hands, and genitals.

The countercultural nature of the church stands in condemnation of all other false gods who cannot save, bless, or liberate. First Peter 2:11–12 details this grand vision saying, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

In 125 AD, Athenian philosopher Christian Aristides reported on the sexual practices of the Christian church to his king. He said, “They (Christians) do not commit adultery or immorality… Their wives, O king, are as pure as virgins, and their daughters are modest. Their men abstain from all unlawful sexual contact and from impurity, in the hopes of recompense that is to come in another world.”

In our sick day we pray that the local newspapers would give the same report about God’s men and their wives and daughters under their loving leadership. Why? Because what you do with your eyes and your penis is not simply your business. If you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ then there is urgent kingdom and gospel business for you to be about and neither time or money for you to waste while standing on the side lines with your pants around your ankles looking for a bottle of lotion.

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