During both World Wars, the U.S. government supplied tobacco to our troops. By 1964, 46 percent of adults in this nation smoked—including inside public buildings, during commercial flights, and on televised advertisements. That year, with the help of Surgeon General Luther L. Terry’s book,Smoking and Health
, the winds of change began to blow in fresher air.
In 1965 Congress required manufacturers to post health warnings on cigarette packs. In 1969 Congress outlawed tobacco advertising on television and radio. In 1989 smoking was banned on all domestic flights. In 2000 California banned smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants. Twenty-six states have since followed suit, including Minnesota which established an indoor smoking ban in 2007.
Today less than 20 percent of adults in the U.S. smoke. Over the last half century, scientific research, governmental regulation, and public information campaigns have combined to alter our society’s perspective on smoking. While tobacco usage remains legal, what once was widely regarded as a harmless pleasure is now deemed an addictive health hazard.
The Witherspoon InstituteThe Witherspoon Institute (TWI) recently proclaimed that what the U.S. has done with tobacco must now be done with Internet pornography. TWI first met in December 2008 at Princeton, NJ. Its participants published The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations
, a brief summary of The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers
, edited by James R. Stoner, Jr., and Donna M. Hughes. It is vital to note that the signatories represent “every major shade of religious belief … from atheism and agnosticism to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Both the left and the right in American politics are represented, including social conservatism and contemporary feminism.” The signatories also supply a wide range of professional expertise in “economics, medicine, psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, sociality, journalism, and law” (p. 10).
TWI’s report claims to be the “first multifaceted, multidisciplinary, scholarly exploration in the internet age” seeking to “estimate the social costs of pornography” (p. 7). The signatories draw two conclusions. First, Internet pornography is as destructive socially as tobacco is physically. Second, the citizenry of the U.S. is as ignorant of this danger as we were of the ill-effects of tobacco prior to 1964.
“The received opinion on pornography in our day,” TWI asserts, is that “the consumption of pornographic imagery amounts to victimless personal entertainment.” This popular belief “is falsified by a growing, multidimensional, empirical record of pornography’s harms” (p. 9). TWI further asserts that “research and data suggest that the habitual use of pornography—and especially of Internet pornography—can have a range of damaging effects on human beings of all ages and both sexes, affecting their happiness, their productivity, their relationships with one another, and their functioning in society” (p. 10).
Pornography is no new phenomenon, as ancient Greek vase imagery and the volcanic preservation of the ancient resort city of Pompeii reveal (p. 8). Nor is concern over pornography’s ill-effects a groundbreaking development. The Surgeon General’s report in 1987 concluded that pornography stimulates “attitudes and behavior that lead to gravely negative consequences for individuals and for society,” impairing “the mental, emotional, and physical health of children and adults” (p. 8). What is new with the emergence of the Internet, and what has thus exponentially increased porn’s debilitating influence, is its ubiquity, ease of access, immediacy, realism, and hard-core nature (p. 17-19).(Continued tomorrow)
Note that this is a reprint from the article A CALL TO SUFFOCATE PORNOGRAPHY.
It is duplicated here with permission of the blog owner.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
We know what it is like to walk in darkness. We know what it is like to live in the shadow of death. But we also are beginning to experience what it is like to see. The darkness of denial is giving way to the light of honesty in our lives.
Of course, when you have lived in darkness as long as we have, the light can be painfully bright. We see the truth about ourselves and our self destructive behavior. We see the truth about our refusal of love. We see the truth of our brokenness. We see old pain. We see current behaviors that damage ourselves and others. The light dawns. It is not a pretty sight.
But God does not send light into our darkness to shame us. The exposure may trigger our deep shame, but this is not God's purpose. God's light is like the light of dawn. It is a light that signals that something new is happening. A new beginning is possible. The light that God brings into our dark world is a light of hope.
Recovery is God's light coming into our darkness. The light exposes. We begin to see clearly the ways we have sinned and the ways other people have sinned against us. And the light provides hope. In the light we see the possibility for new beginnings.
Lord, your light hurts my eyes.
It is too bright.
I see too clearly now.
It is too painful for me.
Help me to believe that your light is not to bring shame
but to bring hope into my dark world.
Light of Heaven, embrace me with your warmth.
Heal me with your bright rays.
Give me life.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian Recovery
This is the listing of David's top men.
Josheb-Basshebeth, the Tahkemonite. He was chief of the Three. He once put his spear to work against eight hundred—killed them all in a day.
Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite was the next of the elite Three. He was with David when the Philistines poked fun at them at Pas Dammim. When the Philistines drew up for battle, Israel retreated. But Eleazar stood his ground and killed Philistines right and left until he was exhausted—but he never let go of his sword! A big win for God that day. The army then rejoined Eleazar, but all there was left to do was the cleanup.
Shammah son of Agee the Hararite was the third of the Three. The Philistines had mustered for battle at Lehi, where there was a field full of lentils. Israel fled before the Philistines, but Shammah took his stand at the center of the field, successfully defended it, and routed the Philistines. Another great victory for God!
One day during harvest, the Three parted from the Thirty and joined David at the Cave of Adullam. A squad of Philistines had set up camp in the Valley of Rephaim. While David was holed up in the Cave, the Philistines had their base camp in Bethlehem. David had a sudden craving and said, "Would I ever like a drink of water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem!" So the Three penetrated the Philistine lines, drew water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David wouldn't drink it; he poured it out as an offering to God, saying, "There is no way, God, that I'll drink this! This isn't mere water, it's their life-blood—they risked their very lives to bring it!" So David refused to drink it.
This is the sort of thing that the Three did.
Abishai brother of Joab and son of Zeruiah was the head of the Thirty. He once got credit for killing three hundred with his spear, but he was never named in the same breath as the Three. He was the most respected of the Thirty and was their captain, but never got included among the Three.
Benaiah son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel was a vigorous man who accomplished a great deal. He once killed two lion cubs in Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he climbed down into a pit and killed a lion. Another time he killed a formidable Egyptian. The Egyptian was armed with a spear and Benaiah went against him with nothing but a walking stick; he seized the spear from his grip and killed him with his own spear.
These are the things that Benaiah son of Jehoiada is famous for. But neither did he ever get ranked with the Three. He was held in greatest respect among the Thirty, but he never got included with the Three. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
"The Thirty" consisted of:
Asahel brother of Joab;
Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem;
Shammah the Harodite;
Elika the Harodite;
Helez the Paltite;
Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite;
Abiezer the Anathothite;
Sibbecai the Hushathite;
Zalmon the Ahohite;
Maharai the Netophathite;
Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite;
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah of the Benjaminites;
Benaiah the Pirathonite;
Hiddai from the badlands of Gaash;
Abi-Albon the Arbathite;
Azmaveth the Barhumite;
Eliahba the Shaalbonite;
Jashen the Gizonite;
Jonathan son of Shammah the Hararite;
Ahiam son of Sharar the Urite;
Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite;
Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite;
Hezro the Carmelite;
Paarai the Arbite;
Igal son of Nathan, commander of the army of Hagrites;
Zelek the Ammonite;
Naharai the Beerothite, weapon bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah;
Ira the Ithrite;
Gareb the Ithrite;
Uriah the Hittite.
Thirty-seven, all told.
BE A MAN.
Sexual impurity has become rampant in the church because we've ignored the costly work of obedience to God's standards as individuals, asking too often, "How far can I go and still be called a Christian?" We've crafted an image and may even seem sexually pure while permitting our eyes to play freely when no one is around, avoiding the hard work of being sexually pure.A search for mere excellence is an inadequate approach to God, leaving us vulnerable to snare after snare. Our only hope is obedience.If we don't kill every hint of immorality, we'll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. Be we can't deal with our maleness until we first reject our right to mix standards. As we ask, "How holy can I be?" we must pray and commit to a new relationship with God, fully aligned with His call to obedience.This material is taken from Every Man's Battle. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
As a Christian man and father, I can't be happier for Tebow's stand as a Christian athlete. His stand for integrity and virtue is absolutely remarkable and laudable.
However, today, I'm disgusted about Tim Tebow. I'm not disgusted with him, I'm proud of him and his example as a man, a real man. I'm disgusted that a $1,000,000 hit has been placed on his head. A website that encourages affairs and lascivious living has stated that $1,000,000 will be awarded to anyone who can come up with real evidence that Tebow is not a virgin.
Wow. That's just flabbergasting. I'm flummoxed. I'm fuming. Tebow needs our prayers for his protection. We have a man who is trying to turn the tide in the professional athlete arena and make being a real man respectable. Tebow has not been shy about being a Christian and being a virgin. He is a real man. A real man is faithful in all areas of his life, especially his sex life. Before you read further, stop. Say a prayer for Tebow as he brings his Christian witness to a society who believes that all Christians are hypocrites.
This lewd website has placed Christian virtue on the chopping block. Tebow has stuck his neck out for God and what can we do to help him? I've talked to some men about this and I have been surprised at some of the answers I have received. "Wow! I would love to be Tebow and have women chasing me!" or "I don't know how Tebow will be able to resist. He's gonna give in some day." Before you get too upset at the quotes from these two men about Tebow, I want to warn you, these quotes came from Christian men...
Is that what we Christian men expect nowadays? We can't resist temptation? All men are weak and eventually give in to lust, greed, etc.? A man is no match for a woman who wants to have sex with him?
Come on, I've heard enough of this. Men, stand up. Be men. Be counted worthy of bearing the name Christian. If you really think that you and all men will eventually give in to sin, just stop now. Stop calling yourself a Christian. Stop embarrassing the name of Christ.
If you want to make a difference, be a real man like Tebow.
Repent of the attitude that sin is stronger than Christ.
God's Word tells us that we are no longer slaves to sin but are now slaves to righteousness.
Pray for Tebow.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
What if you have sex with an inanimate object, like a robot? A robot that's programmed to respond to your touch, talk to you and to appear to be human? Would that be acceptable behavior to a loving, holy, just God?
A recent article
states that the technology is almost there. Two researchers from New Zealand claim that they will be revolutionizing the sex industry. The article reports that "Part of their research involved the hypothetical creation of an Amsterdam sex club called “Yub-Yum,” where robot women create a land rife with “sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features.” Douglas Hines, the founder of the world's first sex robot company states, "One of the benefits of sex robots is that they remove exploitation of women from the equation, and the sex trade of underage [partners],” Hines added. “Underage women are exploited to meet the desires of others, whereas with the robots, there is no exploitation of anyone.”
What are the implications of such an invention? Is this the "safe" alternative for men? Since this is not "real" sex, would God approve of such? Let's think about this a bit...
1. Sex with a robot will train the sexual response
to someone other than one's spouse.
2. This product will not remove exploitation of women. Sex for hire is hollow. However, it is not as hollow as having sex with a soulless object. One will eventually tire of robotic sex in favor of human sex.
3. To have sex with a robot fashioned after one's desires will reinforce some perversions. For example, if a man is attracted to children, he can have children robots. Eventually, this will become unsatisfactory and the man will want to have sex with an actual child.
4. Jesus, the revolutionary, taught a principle over 2000 years ago that speaks to this. Jesus said that if you lust, you have committed adultery.
Jesus made it clear that sin, especially sexual sin, needs to be taken care of at the heart level not the behavior level. Sexual sin starts in the heart.
5. Paul, the author of a good deal of the New Testament, states that joining yourself with a prostitute is the same as uniting Christ with a prostitute.
The same principle applies for having sex with a robot. You would be uniting Christ with a robot.
5. Sexual behavior with inanimate objects is not sex. Sex is a loving, passionate, committed physical, emotional and spiritual connection between a man and woman who are married to each other.
Whaddyathink? Sex with a robot? Not me. It's too robotic. I want the real thing. A loving, committed marriage fashioned according to God's design is much more pleasurable. And it's good for you. Research shows that's the best sex.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Choose yes or no in response to the following questions:
- Can you only become sexually aroused if you imagine having sex with someone other than your partner?
If you answered "yes" to any of the previous questions, your fantasy life is not healthy and is undesirable. The more questions you answered yes, the greater a problem your fantasy life is to your sexuality.Taken from The Sexual Man: Masculinity without guilt
- Do you use fantasy to make up for what you believe is missing from your love life?
- When you are troubled or anxious do you tend to turn to sexual fantasies to forget about your problems?
- Do your sexual fantasies involve activities that you wouldn't dare do in real life?
- Are your fantasies such that you would never share them with your spouse?
- Do your sexual fantasies occupy a lot of your working hours, taking you away from other activities?
- Do you believe deep down that your fantasies hurt your relationship with your spouse, causing you to be unhappy or dissatisfied with your marriage?
Recently in the sporting world we have witnessed the fall of Arkansas football coach, Bobby Petrino. For those who don’t know the story, Petrino had a motorcycle accident and lied to the police and to others stating that no one was with him on the bike. Comes to find out he was with a 25-year-old young woman who also worked for Arkansas’ football program. Further news came out that he was committing adultery with the woman who was likewise engaged to be married in June herself. Furthermore, Petrino lied to the university when he failed to disclose their relationship during the hiring process of the young woman who was among 158 others for the job. Petrino also gave the woman $20,000 for an unknown reason. Petrino was fired on April 10 for not just his adultery with the woman but his lying to the university time and time again.
Petrino has never been known as a man of integrity. He has often been seen as a man who will do whatever it takes to get a job or overcome his opponents.
Before becoming the head coach at Arkansas, Petrino had been the coach for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL where he lasted less than a full season and quit the Falcons in mid-season in December of 2007 to take the Arkansas job. Arkansas fans saw his move as a positive move (of course) but most fans saw his move as a quitter and a man who did not honor his word with the Falcons. Before this Petrino often was behind the scenes always trying to land a better job. Most can’t blame his for this since most of us have done this ourselves but he often lied to his employers saying that he was happy and committed while having secret meetings with other teams in the middle of the night seeking better jobs.
The point of all this is not to bore you with facts about the former Razorbacks coach. It’s about sin. Sin always destroys. Always. Romans 6:23 is still true today as it was 2000 years ago. Sin has not changed from the time of Adam to the modern times. Sin always kills. Always destroys. Sin always ruins lives. In this case, Petrino ruined his own life, loss over $15 million dollars, ruined his family and marriage, ruined the life of this 25-year-old woman who likewise is to blame for her own sins, and has ruined the lives of many Arkansas players he leaves behind. He was hired not just to lead Arkansas to wins but to enable the young man under his care to become better men. Sadly, most coaches do a poor job of helping young man become godly men. Sin has ruined many lives in the process.
The Bible doesn’t paint a pretty picture about sin. I am glad it doesn’t. Most of us like sinning. Sinning feels good. Sinning is fun. Sinning brings momentary satisfaction. But sin is a killer. Like a deadly disease, sin is in our blood and the only cure is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7) and also empowers us to overcome sin (Romans 6:11-14). Sin cannot be conquered through rehab or through self-help programs. Sin can only be overcome through the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16-17). If left unchecked, sin always leads to death (James 1:12-15). God can help us overcome sin (1 Corinthians 10:13) but we must be wiling to look to Him for help in overcoming sin. The minute that we begin to believe that we can overcome sin in our own power or that we are strong enough to overcome sin, sin will creep into our hearts and destroy our lives.
The only hope for conquering sin is the cross of Christ. We must die to self. We must die to this world (Luke 9:23-25). We must die to everything in the light of Jesus and His gospel (Luke 14:25-35). The cross testifies to the satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin (Romans 5:8-9) but also shows us the power of God to help us conquer sin (Galatians 2:20). The cross shows that we understand that we are sinners before God who deserve His just wrath against sin but we understand His grace in light of the cross (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Our passion, through the cross, is to be like Jesus in all that we say or do (1 Peter 1:15-16). This motivation for holiness doesn’t come through our own will-power to conquer sin but only through the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus (Titus 2:11-14).
I have been praying for Bobby Petrino. I have been praying for his salvation. I have been praying for his family to see his repentance (Matthew 3:8). The Church can learn from this fall, that integrity is important and sin destroys. God calls His people to be holy and pure before Him and to be blameless in this wicked generation (Philippians 2:15) and He calls us to be people of integrity (1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 1:16). I pray that 1 John 2:15-17 would be our heart’s cry. Let us forsake sinning and seek God. Let us be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). The standard of God is not a little bit of sin and a little bit of holiness but He calls us to complete holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 12:14). I pray that we would be those type of disciples of Jesus (Matthew 5:48).
Thank you to the SEEKING DISCIPLE for this guest post. You can find his full post with comments at http://arminiantoday.com/2012/04/11/sin-always-destroys-always/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
All who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant - these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Rest can lead to joy because it creates a new perspective in us. Rest reminds us that we don't have to be compulsively responsible for the world and everything in it. Rest reminds us that God is in charge.
Rest also leads to joy because it leads to a renewed relationship with God. As this text puts it, God promises to lead Sabbath-keepers to his holy mountain. In rest we can be led to a place of joy in God's house of prayer. It is a beautiful image of God rejoicing with people who rest.
Rest can also lead to joy because it restores us. It renews and re-energizes us because it allows us to balance our "being" with our "doing". When we cease doing for a time, our senses are opened again to the world around us. We can see life with new gratitude and awe. And gratitude and awe produce joy.
Rest frees us to be what we are - creatures. We are creatures who can work and play, give and receive, weep and laugh. Today we can balance our working, giving and weeping with playing, receiving and laughing.
Lord, I want to stop doing for a time today.
I want to stop and remember that you are God.
Help me to experience the freedom and joy of being your creature.
Help to keep the Sabbath.
Bring me to your holy mountain.
Give me joy in your house of prayer.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian RecoveryBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"Now, the whole thought in prayer is to get the will of God like that done in our lives and upon this old earth. The greatest prayer any one can offer is,
"Thy will be done." It will be offered
in a thousand different forms, with a thousand details, as needs arise daily.
But every true prayer comes under those four words. There is not a good desirable thing that you have thought of that He has not thought of first, and probably with an added touch not in your thought. Not to grit your teeth and lock your jaw and pray for grace to say, "Thy will be endured: it is bitter, but I must be resigned; that is a Christian grace; Thy will be endured." Not that please. Do not slander God like that.
There is a superficial idea among men that charges God with many misfortunes and ills for which He is not at all responsible. He is continually doing the very best that can be done under the circumstances [that He designed] for the best results. He has a bad mixture of stubborn warped human wills to deal with. With infinite patience and skills and diplomacy and success too, He is ever working at the tangled skein of human life, through the human will. (pg 202)"
To read more about prayer, go to the book, Quiet Talks on Prayer by S.D. GordonBE HOLY.BE A MAN.