Pornography and faith...

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(Tim) These wise words were made as a comment under the recent post, Stats on internet pornography, by Alex McNeilly, a young sax student in Church of the Good Shepherd. Thank you, Alex.

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of how guarded any home is against sin, particularly the sexual sin of the media, in the world opportunities to indulge in it will abound. But even as we build larger and stronger walls against these sins

in the home, worldly access to them becomes ever more

available as we see in the stats in this post. As a result, I agree

with Kevin that the strongest defense against these things lies in the

spiritual battle.

We must teach our children the dangers of sexual sin and

pornography, so that when they go into the world (a friend's house, a

computer lab, a video store, etc.), where there are no guards, their

hearts will already be fortified against these iniquities...

Parents can

prohibit their children from exercising malicious violence within the

home, but what is to stop this child from violence or murder outside

the home unless he believes and understands it to be wrong? Similarly,

parents can put up dozens of safeguards against pornography (filters,

locked rooms, etc.) in the home, but there will always be loopholes and

outside access. Only a child who believes pornography to be a sin and

knows why it is wrong will ultimately overcome the temptation to

indulge in such a sin when the opportunity inevitably presents itself.

I encourage everyone to read Michael Foster's recent post on the

ClearNote Fellowship blog regarding raising children, even toddlers, to

be fortified against pornography: Training Your Toddler to Battle Porn.

The actual physical prevention of access to inappropriate material

should only be an aid to the instruction of the heart. We must be

careful not to focus too much on the external manifestation of sin.

Pornography is wrong because it lies about sexuality by turning it into

something trivial, impersonal, and self-centered. Since we know

sexuality is to be a picture of Christ's relationship with the Church,

we can see that pornography is a lie about Jesus Christ. We must focus

on teaching our children the fear of the Lord and reliance upon Jesus

Christ's all-sufficient grace.

Restriction of Internet and TV access in

the home aids in teaching this to children because it removes access to

things that distract from what we are to focus on, which is Christ. But

we must be careful not to swing to far in the legalistic direction

which does not teach about the grace of Christ, but simply provides a

law which will certainly awaken sin in our children. Such legalism in

the home can unfortunately lead to even firmer enslavement to the sins

of pornography outside the home. The law only identifies the sin, which

is half the battle. Only Christ sets us (and our children) free.

For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused

by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But

now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us

captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the

old way of the written code. (Romans 7:5-6, ESV)

In Galatians, Paul refers to the law as our "guardian," set in place

for our protection. When we present a rule or a law to our children, it

is for their protection against a particular sin, until they learn to

rely on Christ's strength to overcome temptation toward that sin, at

which point true freedom is gained. The law is only a guardian for the

child, but it is not enough, because the law protects, but it also

enslaves. And only through Christ can freedom from the imprisonment of

the law be achieved, because he fulfilled the law, which we and our

children can never do.