Posts Tagged ‘Pornography’

Secret Sex WarsSexual Detox ChalliesThese are two books that I have been reading and have been using in counseling for those struggling with sexual immorality.  Since both of these books were read during the same time and are relevant to my counseling sessions, I want to consolidate  or streamline the review for both these books into one post so that you guys will not need to search for the reviews in two different areas.  Without further ado, I want to to say that the book: Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity, edited by Robert S. Scott  and Sexual Detox: A Guide for the Single Guy (short read) by Tim Challies were great reads.  Most of my time was spent on Secret Sex Wars since it was a longer read.

Both books have been instrumental for me and has guided me step by step in confronting sexual immorality.  As for Secret Sex Wars, this book deals with sexual immorality by addressing the important role doctrine plays in sexual purity; the fear of God, the will of God, lessons to be learned from fallen men, living free from the slavery of sexual sin, living in God’s grace, putting sin to death before it kills you; and training young people concerning the aggressive and demonic cycles of sexual sin before it engulfs them.

The book Secret Sex Wars makes it clear in chapter one, “Slaying the Fiery Beast,” – that there is a connection between truth and purity.  An example of that connection maybe found in Psalm 119:9-11,

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You” (NASB).

Do you see the connection?  The connection maybe found in the bold words.  The idea is that truth ushers in purity.  In other words, purity cannot exist apart from doctrine.  One who seeks God’s Word will live a godly life.  Another example can be found in 1 Timothy 1:8-10,

“But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.”

From 1 Timothy 1:8-10, we see that those who live ungodly lives, live that way because they live apart from God’s Word.

In chapter 2, “Fearing God When No One Else Would Know,” the author builds his case from Genesis 39 (Joseph and Potiphar’s wife).  One statement that was penetrating was his quote from John Owen, “What a man is in secret, in these private duties, that he is in the eyes of God, and no more” (41).  According to the author, to fear God, one must understand these following areas, “the Bible and dark places, the nature of the secret battle, temptation’s enticements, temptation’s blindside, temptations’s persistency, temptations’s vulnerable moments, word of caution to the true warrior, temptation’s susceptible moments, escaping Potiphar’s house (‘accept personal responsibility, understand harmartiology, remember divine accountability’), developing a defense to win your secret war, and checking your distance.”

Chapter 3 which is entitled, “Living According to the Will of God,” is based off of 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.  Here the author provides exegetical and practical truths to help one live in accordance to God’s will.  One thing I appreciated about this chapter besides the critical exegetical insights, are the intensely practical truths as demonstrated in figure 1.  In figure 1, the author lays out a diagram that looks somewhat similar in this link:  Sexual Purity Diagram.

The chart conveys the notion that one who desires to please God must know the will of God.  If you do not know God’s will, you cannot please Him.  His will is found in His Word.  An example of God’s will is as follows, “Your sanctification.”  God’s will is for one to be sanctified.  He wants you to be separate from sin and wants you to be devoted to Him.  A person who does that is striving after sexual purity.  Of course sanctification must be applied in all areas of life, but in Paul’s context from 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, he wants the Thessalonian believers to be sanctified by abstaining from sexual immorality.

In Chapter 4, “Learning from Men who Have Fallen,” the author’s main points are derived from 2 Samuel 11.  He uses David’s sin as a paradigm for men to learn from.  Some mistakes that David committed were his undisciplined leisure time, looking/wandering eyes, lust; his refusal to confess and repent; to name but a few – lead to his moral failure.  One must take heed to the mistakes David made.  To do the opposite or to turn a blind-eye would be dangerous because one will fall under the consequences of sin and God’s chastisement.

As for chapter 5, “Living Free from the Slavery of Sexual Sin,” the author goes through Romans 6:19-23 to point out the importance of living free from the slavery of sin.  Being free from sin does not mean you will not sin again or be perfect, but it does mean that you will no longer  have a desire to be enslaved to sin’s power because of your identity in Christ.  Our identity in Christ is found in the Gospel.  The author points out that there is “no safe sex outside the bounds of marriage” (120).  The goal of sin is to rob your devotion away from God.  To prevent that, one must take heed to what Paul said in Romans 6:19, “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in furtherlawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”  Besides the slavery to sexual sin, sanctification brings freedom because its work does not bring death and its benefit is eternal life.

In chapter 6, “Putting Sin to Death,” Colossians 3:5-7 becomes the focal point.  That passage states, “ Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”  One who puts sin to death, does not cover it up because he understands like the author mentioned, “Open sins on earth are open scandals in Heaven” (137).  Secondly, when he puts sin to death, he does not internalize it, but because of His identity in Christ, he has an entirely new attitude toward sin; and he understands that the “heart of the matter is the matter of the heart” (138).  Thirdly, as the author clearly states it, putting sin to death does not mean you replace one sin with another.  What I have just explained is what you should not do when putting sin to death.  On the other hand, here is what you should do: 1) hate sin passionately, fight sin violently, and deal with sin decisively.  You do all of that because you love God and because God loves you.  The author then goes on to explain what sins must be put to death.  The answer to that – “…You must put to death any and every sin that threatens your devotion to Jesus Christ.  The Lord Jesus desires, deserves, and demands our total devotion, absolute allegiance, and complete commitment” (143).  The question will still linger in one’s mind in terms of sin: “Why do I need to put sin to death?”  The author answers that by giving four fundamental reasons: God commands it, the nature of sin demands that we put it to death, the wrath of God, and the grace of God that is in operation in a regenerate person.

The last chapter, “Training Our Sons to Overcome Temptation,” was penetrating and refreshing.  Just as Paul taught young Timothy (2 Timothy 2:22; 3:10-17), so should Fathers teach their sons and young believers who have no biblical father-figure about the importance of living for God.  They need to be discipled.  If not, the world will disciple them.

As for Sexual Detox, this book covers the pornification of the marriage bed, breaking free from sexual sin, theology of sex, selfish sex, detoxification, and freedom.  This was a very practical read and will be helpful for the single guy.  The author puts much emphasis on the theology of sex and its implications on marriage.  Although this book is intended for single guys, it is still helpful for married couples.  For example, he mentions some of the dangers that needs to be taken seriously in the context of marriage.

Besides the book review, I am also including a homework assignment that can be used as a means to help someone be set apart for Christ. You may use this to help counsel someone committing adultery, fornication, etc.  The particular scenario is more geared towards a person who committed adultery, but there are some content and principles in it that can be germane to different particular counseling case related to sexual immorality.



  • To take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
  • To be complete in Christ (Col. 1:28)
  • To trust and obey (Rom. 12:14-21)
  • To mortify idols (Col. 3:5-11)
  • To worship the Lord with holy joy (Jeremiah 15:16)

Before we even start this five part series, I believe that it is imperative that prayer is the necessarily step to be taken first.  Prayer is a gift from God that God grants to us.  As a gift from God, it should be used with great joy.  As you eat food with great joy because it sustains life, so too should prayer be utilized with great joy because it sustains our spiritual lifeline.  But before one takes a step into the holy of holies via prayer, one must be careful before praying before a holy God.  A holy mentality is much needed when it comes to fighting sin.  Please read Psalm 51 to see David’s example of having a holy mentality  in conjunction with prayer  when it comes to fighting sin.  The setting of Psalm 51 takes place after David committed adultery and murdered Bathsheba’s husband.

In lieu of having a holy mentality when praying to God, we need to understand that prayer is not only important because it is our spiritual lifeline, but our Lord and Savior expects us to pray.  And since He is our Lord and Savior—that is enough for us to take seriously. Here are a couple of phrases from a couple of verses where Jesus expects us to pray: Matt. 6:5, “When you pray…”; Matt. 6:6, “But you, when you pray…”; Matt. 6:7, “And when you are praying…”; Matt. 6:9, “Pray, then, in this way…”; Lk. 11:9, “So I say to you, ask…; seek…; knock…”; Lk 18:1, “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray….”  Other verses in the Bible that is very clear concerning prayer is Col. 4:2 and 1 Thess. 5:17.  Col. 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer…”; and 1 Thess. 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing….”

Genuine prayers allow one to take every thought captive, be complete in Christ, to learn how to better trust and obey, mortify idols, and to express our joy to the Lord.

PART 1:  Hear God’s Word concerning your sin.


In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul instructs young Timothy to preach the Word.  It is evident that when the Word is preached, there is a hearer (s).  Hearing the word of God was a crucial element in Old Testament and New Testament times, and is crucial now.  God’s word helps us better understand God and God’s will for us.

Please listen to two sermons during this week and write any notes that convicted you.  Since God has gifted the church with teachers and pastors, it is important to learn from them.  Please listen to Pastor John MacArthur’s sermon called, “Hacking Agag to Pieces.  Here is the link: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-128/hacking-agag-to-pieces.  For the second sermon, please listen to John Piper’s sermon called, “This Is the Will of God for You: That You Abstain from Sexual Immorality.  Here is the link: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/this-is-the-will-of-god-for-you-that-you-abstain-from-sexual-immorality.


  • After reading Hebrews 5:11-14, please describe what time of listener you were during your adulterous affair.  Were you a bored listener or a joyful listener?  If you were either a bored listener or joyful listener, please explain why.
  • In lieu of Hebrews 5:11-14, were you a milk drinker or solid food eater during the time of your adulterous affair?
  • When you had the adulterous affair, did you wanted to remain as a milk drinker or solid food eater?


  • Please list down the specific sins that you need to put to death in your current life (Robert S. Scott, SR., 152).
  • Please provide the biblical steps that you want to begin now in order to mortify sin (Scott, 152).
  • Please list down how you are going to subdue sin when it becomes difficult (Scott, 152).
  • Are you willing to take the necessary steps to put sin to death in your life after hearing God’s message about sin?  Why or why not?  Please explain (Scott, 152).

STEP TWO:  Read God’s word.


Please read Psalm 119 everyday throughout the week.  Pray while reading Psalm 119.  Psalm 119 is a powerful chapter that displays the glories of God’s word.  Since the psalmist had a high view of God’s word, you too, need to have a high view of God’s word.  God’s word cleanses the soul and spirit.  Also please make great effort in trying to memorize Psalm 119:1-8


  • What was your mentality of obeying God’s words at the time of your affair?
  • Where you happy in terms of your relationship with God when you were in sin?
  • Was there a desire in terms of conforming to God’s word at the time of your sin?
  • Before you desired to receive counseling, what was your priority in terms of obedience to God?
  • Was there something more satisfying in the time of your affair besides Jesus Christ?


  • Why do you desire to come to counseling sessions?  Please explain clearly.
  • After reading Psalm 119, endeavor to memorize Psalm 119:1-8, and answering the above questions, are you ready to make a declaration of war against sexual immorality?

STEP THREE:  Study God’s words.


Studying God’s word is crucial because it provides illumination.  Without studying, we will not be able to have proper discernment and wisdom.  Studying God’s word allows you to take your thoughts captive to Christ, be complete in Christ, learn how to trust and obey, mortify idols in your heart, and to have joy in His word as seen in the psalmist when he wrote Psalm 119.

Also, please continue to memorize Psalm 119:1-8 if you have not done so.


  • Please list down the activities that need to be eliminated or decreased in order to mortify your sin (s) (Wayne A. Mack, 168).
  • Please study these following verses and try to understand what the author is speaking about and see how they apply to you: 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; 2 Tim. 2:22; Matthew 5:27-32; Jude 7-8; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Gal. 5:24; Rom. 8:32, 37; 1 Cor. 10:13; Romans 13:11-14; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 7:1-27; Proverbs 7:1-27; Proverbs 5:20-25; Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 17:14; Proverbs 18:10; Proverbs 19:3; Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 23:26, 27, 28; Proverbs 26:20-22; Proverbs 29:3; Proverbs 29:18; Proverbs 27:12, 17; Psalm 119:9-11; Acts 20:32; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:7-16; Ephesians 5:22-33; and Hebrews 13:4.


  • Was the affair the reigning influence in your heart?  If so, why?
  • Is Christ enough for you?  If not, how will your life end up in this earth and after you die?
  • What is your view of sin?  Do you see it as an offense towards a holy God?
  • If you do want to stop the affair, please explain why you want to stop the affair.  Is it because you just want fire insurance so that God will rescue you from Hell or is it also because you desire true joy and forgiveness in Christ?
  • Write down in a journal daily about your good and bad thoughts when temptation arose.

STEP FOUR:  Memorize God’s word.


Memorizing God’s word is imperative.  I believe that the psalmist in Psalm 119:11 understood it.  He says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”  He knew that to treasure His word, would empower him to not strive after ungodliness


  • Have you memorized Psalm 119:1-8?
  • If you have memorized Psalm 119:1-8, were there any changes in your behavior?


  • Are there any other resources outside the Bible that is anti-Christianity that you love to memorize?
  • What is your desire, reason, or motive to memorize God’s words?

STEP FIVE:  Mediate on God’s word.


1 Timothy 4:5 says, “Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.  Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”


  • Do you have a passion to memorize God’s word?
  • Do you hunger for His word?


  • What does the word meditate mean?  Please provide your answers.  We can discuss this word further in the counseling session.
  • With meditation and with all the other major timeless truths mentioned in the other parts, will you have a desire to obey God (see James 1:22; 4:17).


  • Share with your wife about what God has been teaching you; and also take your wife out on a date.
  • Read Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity by Robert S. Scott and write down quotes from the book that had the biggest impact on you.
  • Have you repented (2 Cor. 7:10) from this sin and trusted in Christ forgiveness?
  • Please study 2 Corinthians 7:9-11.  What are the two types of the repentance that you see?  What is godly repentance and worldly repentance?
    • “9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will ofGod produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter” (NASB).
  • Is your life meaningful/only have worth if…[1]
    • “I have power and influence over others.” (Power Idolatry)
    • I am loved and respected by _____.” (Approval Idolatry)
    • I have this kind of pleasure experience, a particular quality of life.” (Comfort idolatry)
    • I am able to get mastery over my life in the area of _____.” (Control idolatry)
    • people are dependent on me and need me.” (Helping Idolatry)
    • someone is there to protect me and keep me safe.” (Dependence idolatry)
    • I am completely free from obligations or responsibilities to take care of someone.” (Independence idolatry)
    • I am highly productive and getting a lot done.” (Work idolatry)
    • I am being recognized for my accomplishments, and I am excelling in my work.” (Achievement idolatry)
    • I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom, and very nice possessions.” (Materialism idolatry)
    • I am adhering to my religion’s moral codes and accomplished in its activities.” (Religion idolatry)
    • this one person is in my life and happy to be there, and/or happy with me.” (Individual person idolatry)
    • I feel I am totally independent of organized religion and am living by a self-made morality.” (Irreligion idolatry)
    • my race and culture is ascendant and recognized as superior.” (Racial/cultural idolatry)
    • a particular social grouping or professional grouping or other group lets me in.” (Inner ring idolatry)
    • my children and/or my parents are happy and happy with me.” (Family idolatry)
    • Mr. or Ms. “Right” is in love with me.” (Relationship Idolatry)
    • I am hurting, in a problem; only then do I feel worthy of love or able to deal with guilt.” (Suffering idolatry)
    • my political or social cause is making progress and ascending in influence or power.” (Ideology idolatry)
    • I have a particular kind of look or body image.” (Image idolatry) 


Challies, Tim. Sexual Detox: A Guide for the Single Guy. Cruciform Press2009.

Scott, Robert S. Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Publishers, 2008.

Mack, Wayne A.  A Homework Manual for Biblical Living. Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co, 1979.

Keller, Tim. “Tim Keller: Diagnostic On Idols of the Heart.” Take Your Vitamin Z. Entry posted April 23, 2013. http://takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com/2013/04/tim-keller-diagnostic-on-idols-of-heart.html (accessed May 5, 2013).

[1]Taken from Tim Keller, “Tim Keller: Diagnostic On Idols of the Heart,” Take Your Vitamin Z, entry posted April 23, 2013, http://takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com/2013/04/tim-keller-diagnostic-on-idols-of-heart.html (accessed May 5, 2013).

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Dear Pastor Edward Caballero,

First of all, we would like to thank you and express our appreciation for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do an interview with The Domain for Truth.  The topic that we would like to venture into is pornography.  We really believe that your pastoral experience and knowledge concerning this issue is invaluable.

As you are already aware, pornography is a great epidemic in the world; and is even penetrating the lives of God’s people.  As a pastor, it is our understanding that you have seen its effects via your surroundings, your discussions with others, and your counseling sessions with those who struggled with this monster.

Since this is an important topic, we believe that you will help shed some invaluable information and insights on this issue so that believers will understand that being set-apart/sanctified in Christ is an imperative for all Christians.  In order to do that, here are some questions below that we think will help contribute to the Christian community.

For those of you who do not know Pastor Caballero, he pastors a church in Southern, CA called Anaheim Community Church.  For more information, please visit the church’s website: http://www.anaheimcommunitychurch.org/

Now, without further interruption, let’s get back to our interview.

1) Is the word pornography composed of any Hebrew or Greek words in the Bible?

Our English word “pornography” comes from the Greek word porneia (also porne, porneuo, and pornos). In many New Testament passages, porneia is defined as fornication or immorality (other forms are defined as fornicator, harlot, whore, and whoremonger).

2) How would you define pornography and what does the Bible say about it?

One contemporary definition of pornography is..

1) writings, pictures, films, etc., designed to stimulate sexual excitement

2) the production of such material sometimes (informal) shortened to porn, porno

(Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003)

Most people, when hearing the word pornography, will think of sexually explicit and perverted material (video, print, photos, etc.). However, our view of pornography (as a nation) is constantly changing (with many now labeling pornography as many things other than perversion).

The Bible however, makes it very clear that pornography (immorality, fornication, and other perverse and immoral acts) is a sin and should be avoided at all costs.

Leviticus 20:14 – ‘If there is a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no immorality in your midst.”

1 Corinthians 5:1 – “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 – “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”

2 Corinthians 12:21 – “I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.”

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

Ephesians 5:3 – “But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints…”

Colossians 3:5-6 – “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come…”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 – “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God…”

Jude 1:7 – “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

3) What causes one to pursue pornography?

I believe that at the root of all sin pride is found. When Satan rebelled against God, he did so because he wanted to be equal (if not, superior) to God. All sins are categorized in the Bible as falling into one of three “lusts” (1 John 2:16 – “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”). Pornography is a prideful desire / action that is an expression / manifestation of the “lust of the eyes.”

When a person sees something that they desire (sinfully) and pursues that desire (by whatever means necessary) they are willfully demonstrating a prideful attitude (“I want that and nothing will convince me otherwise”). Pornography is no different. The pursuit of pornography is a prideful act of sin. Though pride is at the root of the pursuit of pornography, there are many other factors that will drive one to pursue pornographic material.

If a husband feels that he is not being satisfied by his wife (sexually, intimately), he may see pornography as a means of fulfilling his perceived void and feelings of disappointment. Likewise, a wife who does not feel fulfilled (loved, cherished, attractive) to and by her husband, may pursue pornography as a means of fulfillment. In both cases, the husband or wife lives out their desires (prideful) through pornography.

This example is not limited to married couples. Many single individuals have a sinful idea of what “love” is and should be and will use pornography as a way to experience those flawed and sinful desires. The vast majority of media outlets – movies, music, magazines, video games, etc. – promote sex (all forms of sex) as natural, fulfilling, an expression of self, and healthy. Any attempt to speak out against sexual impropriety (especially when using the Bible as a source of measure) is quickly viewed as archaic, oppressive, and phobic. It is no wonder that our nation as a whole has become so in love with perverted forms of “love.”

God made men and women both a spiritual and physical being. Included in the physical aspect of being human is a desire for a sexual / intimate relationship. Desiring sex is not in and of itself a sin. However, when Satan and this world system distort the plan that God has determined for a sexual relationship it then becomes sinful (when acted upon by individuals). This is a huge problem when struggling with the sin of pornography. Men and women naturally desire intimate physical relationships and the world is offering a buffet of sexual delicacies.

4) What are some of the effects of pornography that you see in the lives of Christians/counselees?

Many people that I have counseled in this area experience the same effects (guilt, anger, loneliness, marital strife, etc.). Some have even found themselves in legal trouble as they took their private sin and made it public. In our congregation alone, I have seen two marriages crumble because of immoral desires (not simply pornography). Not only does the sin destroy the marriage (spouse and children) but it makes a huge impact (negatively) on the congregation. When members of a local congregation submit to the sin of pornography, the body of Christ suffers.

As part of one united body of Christ, individual sin can quickly become a corporate dilemma. Those who are in ministry and are caught, exposed, and disciplined, will leave a gaping wound in the body. Feelings are hurt; responsibilities are shifted to others (making their already busy ministerial and personal lives even busier and more difficult). Not to mention seeing the ones that you love as brethren in Christ being torn apart because of their prideful desire to pursue sexual perversion.

In the attempt to finding fulfillment, the person who is entrenched in pornography finds the exact opposite. The craving is never fully satisfied; there is always a longing for more. What nicotine is to smokers, pornography is to the sexually perverse.

5) Could you describe a sample of an excellent battle-plan against pornography?

I believe that the Bible teaches that we as Christians are adequately equipped for our lives here on earth (sinful struggles included). Peter said it well, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:2-3).

For the person struggling with sin (pornography), I would suggest the following:

Prayer – This cannot be emphasized enough. Many see prayer as a last resort when it should be a first strike against sin (Luke 22:31-32 – “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”). Jesus prayed for His disciples (cf. John 17) knowing that they would be put to the test. We as Christians must pray for ourselves and others to win the war against sin (though Jesus is victorious over sin, death, and Satan, we as Christians are daily waging war on sin as we strive for our sanctification).

Bible – Read the Bible! It seems like a no-brainer but so many will neglect the Word of God and then scratch their heads and wonder why they are struggling with their physical and spiritual lives. (Psalm 119:9 – “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word.’). Study the Bible regularly. Focus on passages that address your specific areas of temptation. Focus on the Godhead and see why the Bible makes it very clear that man needs God more than God needs man. Develop a healthy diet of the Word and your spiritual vitality will increase.

Fellowship – One of the things that Christians who are struggling with sin will often do is to cut other off / become introverts. In an attempt to deal with their sin in a secret and individual manner, they actually cut off one of the resources that God has provided for the health of every individual member in the church. The New Testament is filled with what are known as “one anothers” (instructions to the church about how to minister to one another). Included in the one anothers are instructions to pray for, weep with, rejoice with, restore, counsel, and bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”). Those who neglect being around their brethren are on the way to failure (Hebrews 10:24-25 – “…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”). Those in sin need to be accountable to God and their brethren, when a person forsakes fellowship, there is no accountability.

The Holy Spirit – Many Christians have mixed views of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian (from extreme Charismatics to extreme Cessationists). Unfortunately, a wrong view of the Holy Spirit will be a hindrance to one’s life as a Christian striving to grow in their spiritual walk. Many non-charismatic Christians have done a disservice to the Holy Spirit and themselves by minimizing the role of the Spirit in the life of a Christian. Make no mistake, no Christian can win a war with sin if they do not rely on the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. Paul said, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16). To walk by the Spirit is to pray (ask for strength and protection), study (the Word of God), and apply the truths of Scripture (James 1:22 – “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.’). Only those who rely on the Spirit to intercede for them in prayer and give them understanding and wisdom will successfully resist Satan’s sinful onslaught.

6) Could you describe a faulty battle-plan against pornography?

Yes – Ignore the above plan.

7) For those who are parents, when do you think is the best age to start warning their children about pornography/sexual immorality?

Keep them young and innocent as long as you can. As a father of four children (19, 17. 9 and 3), one of my concerns for them is their purity. As parents, my wife and I would not let our children watch many movies that their friends (in Christian schools I might add) were watching on a regular basis; R-rated movies that had explicit sexual, violent content. This world will do all it can to force them to “grow up” according to its standards, I don’t want to be part of that assault on my Children.

With that said, I think that a parent must exercise discretion when discussing certain issues with their children. It reminds me of the father who was driving his kinder son home from school. His son asked, “Dad, what is sex?” Needless to say, the boy’s father quickly became uncomfortable and wondered how he was going to best give his son “the talk.” After about a 45 minute explanation of the birds and the bees, the father looked into the mirror and saw his son with wide eyes and jaw dropped. “Why did you ask that question son?” said the father. The boy replied, “On my permission slip for next week’s field trip is says ‘sex, M or F.’” Talk about TMI.

Personally, I had a discussion with my boys (the two oldest) around fourth or fifth grade. They were already hearing about questionable things from friends and I wanted to make sure that we as parents set their foundation on Scripture before they were exposed to too much. I gave a very general explanation of men, women, sexuality and God’s plan. I think that I placed more emphasis on God’s plan than anything else. I wanted them to know that there was right and wrong when it came to sex and that there were no grey areas.

Every parent / family has to make this decision based on their child’s social and intellectual level. With that said, I sadly feel that we as parents in 2013 need to have this discussion with our children earlier than previous generations.

8) With the rise of technology and the constant advertisement of sexual context like never before, it is very easy for one’s eyes to wander on immoral content. It can be easily accessed with a click of a mouse or a push of a button on one’s cell phone. How can Christians deal with this problem? Are there any practical tips to deal with this problem?

Watchfulness – To say that pornography is everywhere is an understatement. In years past, people seeking sexual perversion had to travel to the dark side of town and find a seedy joint that is under constant surveillance by the local vice squad; no so today. With our advancements in technology, social embracing of all forms of perversions and the widespread display of unbiblical ideas of sexual relationships on just about every channel from Disney to HBO, is promoting immorality. For those who struggle with pornography, the mentality of watchfulness and pre-emptive strikes must be part of the daily battle. I know a brother in Christ who won’t go to the beach under certain circumstances because he does not want to fall into thoughts of lust; I applaud him for this extreme course of action. A visit to the local beach, seeing what women are wearing (or barely wearing) will justify his concern. A leisurely stroll through the mall can trigger thoughts of lust as there are larger than life posters of women in lingerie plastered along the walkways. Not to mention the ever-present danger of computers, smart-phones and tablets. Pornography is just a swipe of the screen away. Every person will have different situations that trigger their sinful desires. The person who is struggling with pornography must carefully and honestly identify what those “lust triggers” are and avoid them at all costs. If that means a password on a computer that someone else has to enter, so be it. If that mean installing Covenant Eyes on your iPhone and disabling Safari, do it. IMDB is a great tool. Movies are filled with sexual material; make it a practice to check the Parental Guide on IMDB for each movie that you want to see. If the movie has sexual content that will cause you to lust, don’t watch the movie. I can go on and on but hopefully you get the point. Satan is out there and he wants to see Christians fall into sin. Be alert and be ready to resist (1 Peter 5:8 – “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”).

9) Some Christians who overcome this sin, still face thoughts of condemnation from time to time. They feel like a grey cloud is casted upon them. How would you encourage them?

My encouragement to them would be to understand that their worth before God is not contingent upon their earthly successes or failures. Their standing (justification) before God is contingent upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. Christians who struggle with / overcome pornography are not loved more or less by God because of their victories or defeats. They are loved by God because God the Father loves Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ has made provision for all of His people. (Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” and 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”)

Christians struggling with sin have, in Jesus, someone who knows what they are going through. They can stand before Him knowing that He has “walked in their shoes” and knows what is best for them to live victorious lives. (Hebrews 4:14-16 – “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”)

I would also encourage them to aggressively continue to wage war against sin. It is easy to fall into the mentality of cheap grace (sinning at will because, after all, Jesus paid the price for my sins). I would remind them that though they are to do their best to resist sin, when they fall (and they will, we all will from time to time), Jesus is their Advocate. (1 John 2:1-2 – “My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…”)

10) Do you any have concluding thoughts for Christians who are struggling with pornography/sexual immorality right now?

Don’t wait another day to begin to kill your sin. Don’t try to fight the battle on your own. Don’t neglect the Word of God, prayer, fellowship and the work of the Holy Spirit. And, fix your eyes on Jesus and run the race to win (Hebrews 12:1-2, – Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”)



For those of you interested in other resources related to the danger of lust, please see these links:

Sexual Detox

Secret Sex Wars

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