I honestly never thought I’d see the day when Christians would justify swearing.
I lived a sheltered life growing up. My Christian parents allowed me to watch a re-release of Gone With the Wind at the local theater when I was 12, and my virgin ears were scandalized when Rhett Butler told Scarlett, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I had never heard such language—and I knew that if I ever talked like Rhett Butler in my house, I would be sent to the backyard to choose my own switch.
Fast-forward to today, when profanity has so saturated our culture that dirty words are unavoidable. Dropping the F-bomb is a daily habit for millions of Americans. Jesse Sheidlower, the editor-at-large of the Oxford English Dictionary, says the F-word has lost its shock value. He says, “For most people, it’s hardly noticeable anymore.”
Today students wear “WTF?” T-shirts to school. I’ve seen the F-word indelibly tattooed on people’s arms in dark blue ink. And I’ve heard guys and girls alike use the F-word more than 15 times in a sentence to simply describe their day. There’s even a mock children’s book titled Go the F*** to Sleep that was one of the fastest-selling titles on Amazon in 2011. What’s going on here?
Music has certainly played a role in forcing the F-word on us. (Listen if you dare to any popular hip-hop artist for proof of this nastiness.) One song by the rock band Limp Bizkit a few years ago featured the F-word 50 times. American rapper CeeLo Green released a song in 2010 called F*** You, and it was nominated for a Grammy Award. Meanwhile, the Motion Picture Association of America recently relaxed its ratings code to allow more uses of the F-word in PG-13 movies. (The old rule only allowed one F-bomb per film.)
I’m not going on a crusade to wash out our nation’s potty mouth. We live in a free country. And besides, I don’t expect non-Christians to talk like Sunday school teachers. But at the risk of sounding like a prude, I think true believers need to be reminded that it’s not okay to talk trash. This certainly goes for preachers—no matter how young and trendy they are.
I honestly never thought I’d see the day when Christians would justify swearing. But it was only inevitable, since many popular preachers have emphasized greasy grace while overlooking our serious lack of discipleship. The underlying message these days is: “Don’t be religious or legalistic. We have to be relevant to the culture.” The implied meaning is: “Go ahead and talk dirty. God doesn’t care. Maybe when non-Christians hear you swearing, they won’t label you a religious nut.” I’m not buying that line for three reasons:
1. Filthy talk defiles you and those around you. Jesus said it is not what goes into the mouth of a person that defiles him, but what comes out of his mouth (Matt. 15:11). Then the apostle Paul wrote, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths” (Eph. 4:29, ESV). The word corrupting here refers to rotten fruit or rancid fish. Filthy talk stinks! Dirty words have the power to soil you—and the rancid odor will linger in your soul.
2. Obscene or crude language is a reflection of your inner character. British preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “Beware of everyone who swears: he who would blaspheme his Maker would make no bones of lying or stealing.” Ephesians 5:4 says filthy talk or crude joking are not “befitting” a Christian (ASV). The NIV translates it this way: “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place.” If a Christian defiantly insists on talking trash, he has revealed deeper flaws and can’t be trusted.
3. Rough language is a sign of an unsurrendered will. The psalmist wrote, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Ps. 141:3, ESV). Mature Christians invite the Holy Spirit to inspect every area of their lives: attitudes, thoughts, grudges and addictions—as well as coarse language. If you insist on holding on to carnal habits, you are quenching the Spirit’s fire. Your spiritual growth will be forever stunted.
The prophet Isaiah recognized that he was “a man of unclean lips” who lived among “a people of unclean lips” (Is. 6:5). After his repentance, an angel touched his lips with the hot coal of God’s holiness. We need this miracle today if we want to speak for God.
God wants to use our mouths as channels of His life and blessing, but we will never be His prophets if we talk like the world. Let God clean up your conversation.
This post is written by J. Lee Grady who is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project(themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of Fearless Daughters of the Bible and other books. For the original post, go to: http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/fire-in-my-bones/18379-why-i-don-t-use-the-f-word
Is swearing always inappropriate? Here are a couple of posts on swearing that were previously posted on Ironstrikes: http://www.ironstrikes.com/2/post/2012/07/murdered-love-pod-uses-the-f-word.html
& http://www.ironstrikes.com/2/post/2012/07/dont-christians-j.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I was tasked with assessing a man regarding his sexual addiction.
Unfortunately, his tale was all too familiar.
As he sat across from me telling me that he is now considered a sexual offender and must register with the local police every time he moves, he started to unfold his story. He told me that he had found his Dad's stash of Playboy and Hustler magazines when he was just eight years old. That is a bad sign... The earlier a man is exposed to porn the greater are his chances that he will become addicted and the greater are his chances of getting into legal trouble.
The more he looked at porn, the more he wanted to look at porn. (Interesting cycle, don't you think?) The more he looked at porn, the more he fantasized about doing what he was watching on the porn movies.
The more he watched porn, the less developed his social skills became. This happens because porn causes a man to be selfish and just think about his own pleasure. Friendships are unnecessary. Girls are unnecessary because the girls in porn movies and magazines are always accessible and there for a man's pleasure.
It's a terrible cycle that entraps a man. He wants to approach girls but fears rejection. He wants to do the things he fantasizes about but he fears she will say no. Finally, his isolation led him to frustration and he decided he would act upon some of his fantasies.
A really weird thing about men addicted to porn is that they think that women are turned on by seeing male genitalia. The porn that men watch gives a terribly distorted perspective of sexuality. In actuality, women are more attracted to an intimate relationship than the male physique.
This man started to act upon his fantasies from the porn that he had been viewing over the years.
One of his fantasies was that he would "accidentally" leave his zipper down and a woman would notice and become aroused. He would walk around in grocery stores with his zipper down, fantasizing about his inevitable sexual encounter. He was disappointed that no women noticed.
So, he developed another plan. He decided that he would sit in his car close to the exits of stores with his pants open and hope that women would see and become aroused. That didn't work either.
So, his next step would be to call women over to his car, "to ask a question" and hope that with his pants open, they would notice, be sexually aroused and want to be with him. He continued to be very disappointed.
He thought, because of his distorted perspective of women and sexuality, that what women were wanting to see was that he was sexually aroused, that he was erect, ready for sex. So, he would sit in his car and fantasize about a woman jumping into his car and they would drive to a secluded place for a sexual encounter.
One morning, while he was sitting in his car masturbating and fantasizing, he rolled his window down and asked a woman to come over because he had a "question" he wanted to ask her. She approached his car, looked at him and where his hand was and instantly became repulsed. She noted his license plate and called the police when she got home.
She made a report to the police and he was arrested and prosecuted. His prosecution was made public, his family was embarrassed and he lost his job.
As he finished his story, I asked, "have you gotten rid of your porn?" I knew his answer would be "no." I was right. The court wanted recommendations at the end of my assessment. My recommendations were necessary: no cable tv, no vcr/dvd player, no internet, no smart phone, no porn. If he was caught in possession of any of these items, he would go to prison. Also, he needed intensive counseling. If this failed, then he would need residential treatment.
However, when the judge found out that he had not given up his porn, he acted swiftly. This man immediately went to prison.
Wouldn't it be nice if all of my stories ended in a positive note?
This is a depressing, disgusting story.Porn wins."Behold, you have sinned against the LORD and be sure that your sin will find you out."
BE A MAN.
Where can porn take you? I met a man who confessed to me that he digs thru the garbage dump to collect his porn.
This man belongs to a very conservative sect of Christianity where one does not use electricity. Because he is so separated from modern culture, I asked him how he became addicted to porn. His answer was astonishing. "I was dumping some trash out of a garbage bin and I saw a Playboy in the dump with the centerfold laying open." He had never seen anything like this. He had heard about "centerfolds" and was always intrigued but was thankful that those "worldly temptations" were something he never had to deal with. Nevertheless, He quickly grabbed this magazine and tucked it down his pants. Later that day, when he was alone, he ogled this picture and found himself extremely attracted to the naked woman. He started to fantasize about her and then masturbated to her seductive image.
To me, the message was clear but lost on him: Porn is garbage. It belongs in the garbage. It should stay in the garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.
What the garbage collector didn't know is that porn is insidious
. Porn never gives up.
It keeps taking and taking, offering false feelings of comfort until you end up doing things that you never imagined.
It didn't take long before centerfolds were no longer satisfying to him. He started noticing, at the dump while looking for more centerfolds, other pictures. In these pictures, there were women posing seductively with animals. These pictures sparked further prurient interests for him. He started attempting to have sex with his goat. Over time, he moved on to other animals. His addiction finally caught up with him when he found himself naked in the pig pen on all fours. That's when he came to his senses
and realized that he really, really, really
had a problem.
He was fortunate, because if he had been caught during these activities, he would have been charged with a crime. Zoophilia is illegal
in many U.S. states. The medical issues that can occur are numerous.
However, the legal charges and the medical issues are not as severe as the toll that such behavior takes on a man's soul.
More than zoophilia is the duplicity that this man lived. He would go to church regularly and then engage in these detestable behaviors at other times. That's what the sin of porn does. It causes a man to pretend to be holy.
His energy ends up being consumed by things that weaken him rather than strengthen him.
You may be thinking, "Porn will never do that to me. I can control it." However, let me assure you, porn will win. It always does.
Porn is garbage. It belongs in the garbage. It should stay in the garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.
If you are looking at porn, stop. Get rid of your stash. Tell your pastor about your decision. Become accountable to a counselor and a men's support group.
With God's help, you can stop. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Last week was anti-porn week here at Ironstrikes. I hope that you were able to read about the five topics:1. Porn and sexual satisfaction2. Porn and fake relationships3. Porn and women4. Porn and cruelty5. Porn is insidious
Readers have asked about the Zillman-Bryant study from which these five posts were taken. In the early 1980s, Dr. Doll Zillmann of Indiana University and Dr. Jennings Bryant of the University of Alabama wondered whether continued exposure to video pornography had any impact on people's sexual beliefs and their attitudes towards women. For their experiment, 80 male and 80 female college-age participants were divided into three subgroups, and each group was shown 4 hours and 48 minutes of media.
1. The first group, the “Massive Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-violent pornographic films over a six-week period.
2. The second group, the “Intermediate Exposure Group,” was exposed to 18 pornographic films and 18 regular films over a six-week period.
3. The third (control) group, the “No Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-pornographic movies over a six--week periodYou may be saying, "that is an old study, what relevance does it have to today?"
At a 2011 conference, Dr. Mary Anne Layden commented about Zillmann and Bryant’s 25-year-old research. “When this study was done, what was called the ‘Massive Exposure Group" -- seeing five hours of porn over a six-week period -- "I now call that the Friday Afternoon Group."
Her statement is far from an exaggeration. A recent survey of 29,000 people at North American universities, shows 51% of men and 16% of women spend up to five hours per week
online for sexual purposes, and another 11% of men spend anywhere from five to twenty hours per week. What used to be “massive” exposure is now common practice.
Furthermore, the Internet has not only increased the public’s exposure to porn, but has also changed the way it is consumed. Dr. Jill Manning believes Zillmann and Bryant’s findings have greater
applicability in the modern age because Internet porn tends to be more interactive and consumer-driven. Viewers can select exactly who and what they want to see, custom-tailored to their greatest specifications.This week, I will be giving four solid tips in helping to curb your vulnerability to porn.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN
by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
This post is preceded by "building monogamy"
which should be read before this post as they went together when originally posted.
Put simply, a direct correlation can be made between physical connection for a man and mental connection for a woman. The truth of this really hit home when I read Shaunti Feldhahn’s For Women Only
In her attempt to explain to women the significance of sex for men, she wrote,"For your husband, sex is more than just a physical need. Lack of sex is as emotionally serious to him as, say, his sudden silence would be to you, were he simply to stop communicating with you. It is just as wounding to him, just as much a legitimate grievance—and just as dangerous to your marriage."
This explains a lot! What the body is to a man, the mind is to a woman. Women treasure mental intimacy like men prize physical intimacy.
And just like men expect women to keep their bodies exclusively for them, women expect their men to do the same with their minds.
I am just now beginning to understand what women mean when they say the brain is a sex organ. And I am just now recognizing why a wife feels so betrayed when her husband allows pornography to fondle his mind. She is deeply wounded on at least two levels.First, pornography violates a wife’s exclusive domain.
Please bear with me as I illustrate the significance of this truth. My purpose is to help men appreciate the anguish women often experience, not to be offensive.
If you are a man, imagine your wife walking through a room full of men. They turn to notice her. Many leer. One reaches out and begins fondling intimate parts of her body. What do you hope she will do?
Every man hopes his wife will consider her body the exclusive domain of her husband, reserved for him alone—his eyes, his hands, his enjoyment—granting access to no other person. He hopes she will be offended, utterly outraged when touched by someone other than her husband. He hopes she will slap the violator’s hand away and then move quickly toward the exit. Every man expects his wife to guard her body from interloping hands, whether he’s present or not.
Now imagine the unthinkable. In response to the man touching her body, she pauses and smiles at him as he continues to grope. Another man sees an opportunity and touches another part of her. She doesn’t respond in kind, but she doesn’t rush for the door, either. In fact, she appears to enjoy the attention.How do you feel right now?
This is how a woman feels when her husband allows sensual images to grope his mind, her exclusive domain.
Now imagine the additional pain you would experience if, after confronting your wife’s behavior, she justified or rationalized or minimized the incident. Oh, honey, it was harmless. I didn’t do anything in return. Besides, God made me an attractive woman; I can’t help what men try to do. The world is full of men who will try to touch me, should I lock myself away and avoid the whole world? You’re the only one for me, really. That incident didn’t mean anything!
There’s a lot of truth in what she says. She can’t help what a world full of men think or even try to do. Locking herself away isn’t a realistic answer. Perhaps to her it did mean nothing. But none of that is important. The facts are these: It meant something to you; she should care about that. She can’t control the actions of others; however, she can guard her response. She can’t stop men from leering, but she can avoid risky environments. Someday a man might try to touch her inappropriately, but she can slap his hand away and remove herself from the situation.
Sensual images seem
less significant, less threatening to men. But not to women
. A wife needs to know—not merely by her husband’s words, but by his behavior—that his mind is completely devoted to her. She understands that the world will continue to assault men with sensual images; nevertheless, she wants—no, she needs
her man to protect and preserve what belongs to her.Second, pornography destroys the foundation upon which a wife builds security.
Based on more than twenty years of research and innumerable hours in couples’ therapy, Willard Harley reduced the needs of women to a single word: security.
“A sense of security is the bright golden thread woven through all of a woman’s five basic needs. If a husband does not keep up honest and open communication with his wife, he undermines her trust and eventually destroys her security.”
Pornography is almost always a secret sin, the core element of a hidden other life. When a woman discovers that her husband has been devoting portions of his mind to sexually gratifying images and then closing off those areas to her, the revelation shakes her world to its very foundation. She naturally begins to wonder what other terrible secrets occupy the mind she thought she knew so well. And if she had been so mistaken about knowing her man’s mind, how can she be certain of anything else? Furthermore, his dishonesty destroys her trust, the essential basis of any relationship.
Ironically, when men discover they are victims of adultery, they frequently describe similar thoughts.
While men struggle to understand why women place pornography in the same category with adultery, we must try; or, at the very least, accept the testimony of women at face value. For women, whose intimacy rests upon a foundation of mental connection, the effect of pornography on marriage is very much the same as outright adultery. It destroys intimacy. It betrays trust. And, even when undiscovered, viewing pornography creates emotional distance. In the end, women suffer the same physical, psychological, and spiritual anguish men experience as a result of adultery.
Men, let us always remember that the mind we protect is not ours alone. When we allow an enemy to enter, our mate suffers greater injury than we realize. Therefore, guard your heart with all diligence. Your heart is more than the wellspring of your own life; it is also her fortress.
This post was written by Mark Gaither. For the original post complete with comments, go to: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2009/07/27/is-porn-the-same-as-adultery/BE HOLY.BE A MAN
The following is a post by Shelley Lubben. Shelley, a former porn actress, is the founder and president of The Pink Cross Foundation
. Through the Pink Cross, Shelley is a missionary to the sex industry, reaching out to adult industry workers offering emotional, financial and transitional support for those who want out of porn. She also helps those struggling with pornography and victims of pornography. Her heart is to share the truth about porn and expose the darkness of it.
Chatsworth, California produces 85% of the world’s adult content. All of the top female talent agencies are located in or within the Chatsworth local radius. Female performers are flown or fly to Chatsworth to work in the adult industry. All of the world’s top male talents live or travel to Chatsworth California for work. Every major and minor adult DVD Company is in the local Chatsworth radius.The California pornography industry is a destructive, drug infested, abusive and sexually diseased industry which causes severe negative secondary effects on female and male adult industry workers as well as the general public.
I am confident of the above because not only was I a stripper, pornographic performer and escort in the California pornography industry from 1986 to 1994, but I have also counseled with or spoken to over 300 female and male workers in the pornography industry as well as those struggling with pornography addiction.
I have been working with adult industry workers since 2002, when I began volunteering as a teacher and counselor at local rescue missions and prisons in the State of California. I have worked at Madera Rescue Mission, Bakersfield Rescue Mission, Central California Women’s Facility Prison, and Valley State Prison for Women and have traveled throughout the United States as a speaker and counselor on the negative effects of pornography at various churches, recovery programs and secular organizations. My team and I currently work with hundreds of people struggling with pornography addiction in the Pink Cross Foundation Help Forums.
In my daily work of assisting women and men recovering from the pornography industry as well as those struggling with pornography addiction and gathering research over a period of several years, I have learned significant facts to prove that indeed the California pornography industry is causing severe secondary negative effects on adult industry workers as well as the general public, which is involuntarily exposed to pornography, especially children, whose average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is eleven years old
- It is estimated that there are 4.2 million porn Web sites—12% of the total amount of sites—allowing access to 72 million worldwide visitors monthly.
- One-quarter of the total daily search engine requests, or 68 million, are for pornographic material, where 40 million Americans are regular visitors.
- According to comScore Media Metrix, 71.9 million people visited adult sites in August 2005, reaching 42.7 percent of the Internet audience.
- The United States adult film industry produces 4,000–11,000 films a year and earns an estimated $9–$13 billion in gross revenues annually.
- An estimated 200 production companies employ 1,200–1,500 performers. Performers typically earn $400–$1,000 per shoot and are not compensated based on distribution or sales.
- Lobbyist Bill Lyon told 60 Minutes that the porn industry employs 12,000 people in California and pays the state $36 million in taxes per year. When 60 Minutes first spoke to Lyon, he was running the free speech coalition, a trade organization that represents 900 companies in the porn business.
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.
The current practice of periodic HIV and STD testing may detect some disease early, but often fails to prevent transmission. The most recent HIV outbreak occurred when three performers who had been compliant with monthly screening contracted HIV in April of 2004. At that time, a male performer who had tested HIV negative only three days earlier infected three of 14 female performers.
In statements I have 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. I 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 me, “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.”
Sexually transmitted diseases are highly prevalent in the pornography industry. Among 825 porn performers screened in 2000–2001, 7.7% of females and 5.5% of males had Chlamydia and 2% overall had gonorrhea. Dr. Sharon Mitchell confirms the STD prevalence in an interview with Court TV, in which she states: “66% of porn performers have Herpes, 12-28% have sexually transmitted diseases and 7% have HIV
.Escort ServicesPornographic 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.”
While I was a pornographic performer in 1993-94 I was flown to different parts of the United States by porn companies where consumers of pornography sometimes paid me thousands of dollars to spend a weekend with them where we engaged in unprotected sex. During one appointment with a man and his wife, we engaged in unprotected sex and I passed the disease to both of them. Pornographic performers and adult industry workers definitely spread sexually transmitted diseases to the general public.(We will continue with part two of Ms. Lubben's post tomorrow)
BRIEF THOUGHTS ON OBSCENITY
I had a co-worker ask me yesterday why I don’t use cuss words. He said to me, “I noticed that you don’t use any language that the other workers use. You don’t say any obscene words nor do you talk about anything obscene.” This opened the door for me to talk about Christ and how He transformed me when I was 17 years old. I am no where near perfect (just ask my sweet wife) but I do love Jesus and I do long for the Spirit of God to transform me from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). I praise God that He has changed me by His grace (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Why don’t I use obscene language? I have many reasons but I will give briefly just a few reasons why I don’t.1. The Old Man Is Gone
I did use to cuss. I cussed like a sailor. I would use the Lord’s name in swear words and would blaspheme Him. I got so use to cussing that I would often slip up at home in front of my parents and cuss when I was mad or made a mistake. Cussing was a part of who I was. But then Jesus saved and life was not the same. He washed away my sins by His blood (Matthew 26:28) and He baptized me into His kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:13). I became His disciple (Matthew 28:19-20) and my heart was to follow Him wherever He went and do all that He did (Luke 14:25-35). He completely transformed me (2 Corinthians 5:17). My mind was different (Romans 12:1-2; cf. Psalm 1:1-3). My heart was different (Ezekiel 36:25-27). My desires were different (Matthew 6:33). My passion was for the Lord Jesus and for His glory (Philippians 1:20-21). I immediately stopped cussing. To me, cussing was what the old man did. He was now dead. I was now in Christ Jesus and was born again in Him (John 3:3-7). The old man was gone (Ephesians 4:17-24).2. Let No Corrupt Word Proceed Out of Your Mouths
Ephesians 4:29. That was what sealed the deal for me and cussing or any filthy language. What is viewed as obscene words changes from culture to culture and from generation to generation. It is not uncommon for people to say “hate” about all kinds of things or “stupid” to other people. In our home, those words are almost not allowed unless used properly. We don’t watch television in our home so my boys know nothing of filthy talking. I rejoice in that. I want my boys to follow my example and see that I don’t use the talk of the world. My citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). I am an alien and stranger to this land (1 Peter 2:11-12). I don’t want the things this world wants nor do I want to talk like this world talks (1 John 2:15-17).3. Let The Words of My Mouth Exalt You
Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”
I want my words to glorify Christ. I am not perfect and I know that I say things that are not always pleasing to the Lord but my goal is perfection. I want to exalt Jesus Christ in all that I say and do. I want Him to be what the One that others see and hear when they see me (1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1-2).
I know these were brief thoughts but I pray that if you use obscene language, run to the Lord and ask Him to give you a new tongue that exalts Him. Acts 2:4 says that on the day of Pentecost the disciples spoke in other tongues. I am not getting into the Pentecostal debate here but there is something to be said about the fact that after the Spirit came the disciples spoke with other tongues. I pray that all of us speak in a new tongue when we get saved. I pray that the filthy talk that once was part of our lives is completely gone as the Spirit of Christ comes to abide in us. I pray that our language is God-centered and exalts Jesus to others. We are not reformed people but we are regenerated people by the Spirit of God (Titus 3:5-7). Let us praise God in all that we say or do.
This post is written by my friend The Seeking Disciple. You can find the original post with comments, here: http://arminiantoday.com/2012/07/10/brief-thoughts-on-obsenity/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When it comes to porn, the question facing many men and women is simple: is it really wrong? Is it really that big of a deal? I mean, it’s just an image on a screen. It’s not someone I know, or someone I’m having an actual affair with, so I’m still faithful to my future (or current) wife. It’s just sexual release, like masturbation, and we all know that masturbation is not condemned in the Bible. It’s not even mentioned.
And isn’t sex a good thing, so what’s wrong in watching it happen? I’m just admiring beauty. And besides, I’m single, so what do you expect me to do with all this pent-up sexual energy? It seems like a safe release until I am
I’ve heard all of this, and more.
So is it really that big of a deal?
Yes, and here’s why:It is sexual sin
. Jesus made it clear that when we give in to lust, it is akin to the act itself. It makes no difference whether you know the person or not; lust is not tied to relationship.It is addictive
. The ubiquitous nature of porn is new to our culture, and to human sexuality, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is highly addictive in nature. As a result, it can not only begin to dominate a life, but can demand ever-increasing levels of exposure and ever-increasing degrees of experience to continue to stimulate.It is degrading to women
. In pornography, women are treated as objects. They are not fulfilling God’s dream for their life as His precious daughter, nor are they fulfilling His design for sexual expression and fulfillment. You are watching a woman who is being sinned against, treated in a way that is contemptible to her heavenly Father (whether she sees it or not – and the fact that many may not only adds to its tragic nature). And if you are a woman watching it for the men, it is equally degrading to them.It leads to other sins
. Studies are beginning to show that the effects of porn on men are more than temporary sexual stimulation: as they see women treated as objects, they begin to treat women that way. They become more sexually aggressive, leading to date rapes and expected “hook-ups.” It harms your relationship with your current, or future, spouse
. It is absolutely ridiculous to say that watching porn enhances a sexual life. Instead, it cheapens it. Those caught in its web testify to how porn quickly becomes a substitute for sexual intimacy with your spouse. It desensitizes your soul
. Sin of any kind desensitizes your spiritual life. Continued exposure to a sin such as pornography is like shooting novocaine into your soul. It deadens you and grieves the Holy Spirit in your life, forcing Him to withdraw His utmost filling in a way that diminishes His power and presence in your life.It distorts sex
. Nothing reduces sex to lust more than pornography. Yielding to such images is overwhelmingly addictive, like a narcotic that delivers a quick hit to the emotions or senses, but ravages you from within. It destroys real relationships, real intimacy, real sexuality.
I’m a pastor.
I talk with men who are dealing with the spiritual torment and guilt of engaging in pornography while trying to rationalize it away;
I talk with men who are having to fight it as an addiction;
I talk with men who are finding it is leading them to a warped view of women;
I talk with men who are experiencing its direct path to other sins;
I talk with men who are seeing its assault on their marriage;
I talk with men who are trying to awaken their souls from its deadening grip;
I talk with men who have distorted views of what sex is about.
I also talk to the wives of these men – I’ve seen the hurt, the betrayal, the wounding to intimacy, trust and self-esteem. And increasingly, I am having the same conversations with women who have become caught in its snare.
There is little doubt to those of us who work with people, and those who are themselves caught in its web, how pornography is destroying the sanctity of sex and the glory of marriage.
And we haven’t even broached what it is doing to the coming generation of men and women who have been exposed to it at the earliest of ages over multiple years.
So is pornography really wrong?
In every possible way.
This post is written by Rev. James Emery White. You can find the original post at this location: http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-james-emery-white/is-pornography-really-wrong.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst."
This quote from C.S. Lewis in his book, Reflections on the Psalms
, addresses an issue in the church that is frequently overlooked by Christians. People who are not Christians have no trouble with this quote and believe it wholeheartedly. However, in the church we tend to overlook bad behavior from our brothers. Are our churches just some sort of fraternity where we overlook these "imperfections"? God's Word states that individuals that wink, to signal that one is in the club
, to get away with something are dirty, rotten scoundrels
. Unfortunately, these men have crept into the church. God's Word describes them as waterless springs
and twice dead.
This week and next we will be discussing different personalities that are in positions of authority in the church. Remember that the individuals in these posts are fictitious.
However, as we go thru some of the behaviors, you will recognize them as actual people that you have encountered in the church. I know. I have met each of these men. You may even recognize yourself in some of these men.
I know that I recognize elements of these men in my own personality and it concerns me. If they are you, ask God to change you. Only HE can give true, lasting change.
Here are some of the men we will be discussing: The Histrionic Religious Bad Boy, The Narcissistic Religious Bad Boy, The Anti-Social Religious Bad Boy, The Passive-Aggressive Religious Bad Boy, The Avoidant Religious Bad Boy, The Overscrupulous Religious Bad Boy
and The Chaotic Religious Bad Boy.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness.
Last Saturday we discussed adultery (porneia).
Today, we are going to talk about uncleanness and next Saturday, conclude this three part series on Galatians 5:19 with a look at lasciviousness.
The word uncleanness is the Greek word akatharsia,
which is the word kathairo
with prefix a
added. The word kathairo
means cleansed or pure but when you add the prefix a
, the condition is reversed, making the object dirty or unclean. In the New Testatment, akatharsia
refers to lewd or unclean thoughts that eventually produce lewd or unclean actions. So, there is a strong suggestion that actions begin in the mind as unclean thoughts before they manifest as unclean deeds."And there was in the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit..."
The Greek actually says that this man was "gripped by the control of an unclean spirit." It seems that this man had pondered on lewd thoughts for so long that he had thrown open the door for these to seize and control him. In this verse the word akatharsia
is used. It implies that a demon found entrance into this man's life because he had committed mental prostitution. He allowed his mind to dwell on things that were forbidden."A man with an unclean spirit met him..."
is used in describing the man possessed by a legion of demons. In Mark chapter one and now in chapter five, we have two men who are in the grip of an unclean spirit. It appears that their demon-possessed condition started with impure, lewd, dirty thoughts, since the Greek word akatharsia
is used in both verses. Did Satan lure them into the pornography of unclean ideas or into adultery, and then build a stronghold of uncleanness so robust in their minds that he was able to eventually cause unclean actions to be manifested in their lives and thus completely control them?Whatever you give your mind to will eventually be your master.
Next Saturday we will discuss the word lasciviousness.
This study is taken from Sparkling Gems from the GreekBE HOLY.BE A MAN.