She’s Not Real

Written some years back, this article still has relevance:

Porn and paper pastors by Dan Phillips

Decades ago, I read a disturbingly candid essay by a pastor about his struggles with pornography. It was in Leadership magazine. Years later, two of his realizations still stand out to me.

The author came to see (as I recall) that he was attracted to these images because they were unreal. The women in the pictures never had bad days, were never crabby and demanding, never disrespectful and demeaning. No mood swings. They always suited his mood, his needs, his wants. They were unreal.

He came to see that he had no actual relationship with these women whatever. If (he named a female celebrity) had sat down next to him in an airplane, she wouldn’t know him from Adam. Whatever may have happened in his sinful fantasies, the two of them had no relationship in the real world.

Of course, this is why so many women resent actresses and models. It isn’t catty pettiness or smallness. It is that they know how visually-tempted men can be, and they know that they can’t compete with a fantasy — if their man is fool enough to chase one.

And they’re right, in a way. They can’t compete with these women. Because these women don’t exist in the real world! They may not even look like their pictures! Thanks to computer wizardry, the pictures we see may actually bear only the slightest resemblance to the actual women.

Nobody can compete with a fantasy.

And this post is not about pornography, men, women, nor marriage.

It is about people with paper pastors.

Now, some professed Christians sin outright, by never physically attending an actual, in-person church. We’ve talked about that, and they aren’t our focus.

But others do attend a church — physically. They come in, they sit down. They sing, they may give financially. They may look at you, Pastor, as you preach.

But you know their heart belongs to another.

Their real pastor isn’t you. It’s Dave Hunt. Or it’s John Piper. Or it’s John MacArthur, or Ligon Duncan, or Mark Dever, or David Cloud, or Joel Osteen. Or it’s Charles Spurgeon, or D. M. Lloyd-Jones, or J. C. Ryle. Or Calvin, or Luther, or Bahnsen, or de Mar, or R. B. Thieme (Jr.), or J. Vernon McGee.

And they’re such better pastors than you are! You know they are!

Why? Continue reading

What If My Husband Looks at Porn?

Article by Kara Garis (original source here)

It was such a kick to the stomach. A nauseating, heart-pounding kick.

I remember staring, confused, at the computer screen. What exactly was he looking at, anyway? Is that what I think it is?

Then, the slow realization.

And then, the unexpected kick in the gut.

We had sat through sermons together. We had nodded our heads in unison, agreeing. Yes, porn wrecks lives. Yes, porn objectifies women. Yes, yes, all the things, yes. We had even discussed it, ad nauseum.

He, of course, “had struggled” with lust. Key word: struggled — the “d” on the end indicated to me a past-tense struggle, a struggle no longer. I was okay. I was safe. I had married a Christian man. There was no need to worry myself with thoughts of comparison or insecurities with my body type. My husband only had eyes for me, and I only had thoughts of pity for those poor, unfortunate women whose husbands lacked my husband’s self-control. Continue reading

Conquering Pornography

You Can Say No to Porn – A Pleasure Greater Than Lust by John Piper (original source in fact, become an act of worship in the temple of marriage. But lust is sexual desire gone wrong. Here’s my definition:

Lust is a sexual desire that dishonors its object and disregards God. Disregards the promises and the warnings of having or losing the beauties of Christ.

The lusted-after woman or man in your head, or on the screen, or on the street, is dishonored — not treated as a sacred, precious, eternal person made in the image of God, whose eternal destiny is always paramount, and whose holiness we either long for or ignore. And the only way this dishonor can be so daringly carried out is by disregarding God while we are in the sway of our lust — disregarding the promises and warnings of having or losing the beauties of Christ. So lust is a sexual desire that dishonors its object and disregards God. Ponder with me for a few minutes the natural and the spiritual role of self-control in relation to lust. . .

Faith in Christ Conquers ‘Addiction’

Addiction is a relative term. I would stake my life on the assumption that no one in this room is absolutely addicted to pornography or any sexual sin. What I mean is this: If the stakes are high enough and sure enough, you will have all the self-control you need to resist any sexual temptation.

For example, if tonight you are feeling totally in the sway of sexual desire — more blazing, more powerful than you have ever felt it in your life — and you believe that you cannot resist the temptation to look at some nudity online, and suddenly a black-hooded ISIS member drags your best friend or your spouse into the room with a knife at his or her throat, and says, “If you look at that website, I will slit their throat,” you will have the self-control you thought you didn’t have. You won’t click.

Or if a man walks into the room and says, “If you do not look at that nudity, I will give you one million dollars cash, tax-free, tonight,” you will suddenly have the self-control you thought you did not have.

Addiction is a relative term. The fact is, 99% of those who give way to lust in pornography or fornication or adultery, are not decisively controlled by sexual desire. They are decisively controlled by what they believe — what they believe will happen if they act on their lust or don’t.

Piper: “If the stakes are high enough, you will have all the self-control you need to resist any sexual temptation.” Tweet
The Spirit of God Controls Us

The decisive issue is whether they believe the stakes are high enough and sure enough. If we are sure a friend will die a gruesome death, we will have self-control. If we are sure we’ll get the $1,000,000, we will have self-control.

Now there is nothing distinctly Christian about that analysis of motivation. That is simply the way human beings are wired. Self-control was a Stoic virtue before it was Christian, and there is nothing distinctly Christian about it. Continue reading

Pornography Addiction

“It’s the number one topic for internet searches, but do we ever consider how pornography can have lasting neuroplastic effects? Discover the hard science behind the ‘porn epidemic’ – the internet’s drug of choice.”

“I’m glad to see this topic covered outside the Christian world!” – Tim Challies