Thursday, September 28, 2017

The False Promise of Freedom

John Writes:
The news that Hugh Hefner died yesterday, September 27, did not give me cause to celebrate the life of a humanitarian, philanthropist, and an advocate for free speech.  Rather, it brought me right back to my childhood moment I took my own innocence by nosing about under my brother's bed, finding a few magazines and looking at my first explicit image.  My brother, Mike, reconnected with the Lord, long before his death a few years ago.

Although I don't intend to, I can still see the first image in my mind.  It and it's successors would haunt me, on and off, for years.  Although the magazine in my case wasn't Playboy, Hugh Hefner played a major role in opening the dam for filth and perversion to flow into public consciousness.  Speaking of the internet, he said himself in a 1999 interview, "Everything, including sexual imagery, is out there now.  And it's kind of like Pandora's box - you can't close it anymore.

Before Hefner came along, pornography was a seedy, back alley kind of industry that was mostly hidden from the public eye.  The first year he published the magazine, Perry Como was about as racy as things got.  Hefner pushed pornography into full view, under the guise of free speech.  He promised freedom from what he called the puritan morality of America, while actually introducing slavery to increasing depravity.

The Family Research Council has listed some of the effects of pornography on its users.  "Users tend to become desensitized to the type of pornography they use, becoming bored with it, and then seek more perverse forms of pornography.  Men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity."  You could say that what he brought into mainstream was the gateway drug of this addictive lifestyle.

His whole world view depended on women being second class citizens, or even objects, always ready to provide satisfaction for a man.  In spite of this, people are looking at the good he did.  He donated a lot of money to charity.  He upheld civil rights causes.  I can't help wonder what a judge would say if a rapist philanthropist appeared before the bench appealing to his good deeds.  All the good a man does for society doesn't change or negate the bad.  Yes, he participated in the rape of the American conscience.

Pastors and other Christians also have fallen victim to this attack.  The Barna Group released a survey last year that said 57% of pastors admitted to a current or past struggle.  We need to realize who's at fault:  The flesh, the world and the devil.  The enemy tempts us, the flesh draws us, but we still make that choice and are therefore responsible for our actions.  We need to balance that attitude with an environment where people feel free to confess their sins and receive forgiveness, prayer, restoration and edification (Galatians 6:1).

Another thought I've had today, is what about me?  I can ridicule this man for influencing so many people in such bad ways.  But what have I done to influence those in my small circle for good?  Have I encouraged people to follow the Lord?  Have I lifted up the downtrodden?  Have I helped and prayed for those in need?  As one who has been set free from the law of sin and death, am I sharing the way to that freedom with others?  I have made two resolutions in all of this.

First, I have resolved and reaffirmed with Job 31:1, "I made a covenant with my eyes, not to look lustfully at a young woman."  That also applies to any aged woman.  I know from experience that pornography can be just as addictive as a drug.  I also know Jesus sets free!  Second, I resolve to share the Gospel with more people, to share what God has done with me, and encourage others to take hold of every promise in Christ Jesus.

This blog is called His Promise, and that's how I want to leave you.  Jesus said, everyone who sins is a slave to sin, but he also promises that he can set you free.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24.

...Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  
John 8:31-32

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2Corinthians 3:17

You can be free from any sin and addiction.

If you are struggling with pornography and want to be free, here are some resources to check out.
I pray they help you on the journey!

Covenant Eyes

Pure Intimacy (From Focus on the Family)

Breaking Free From The Trap

Freedom From Lust and Sexual Impurity (Robert Morris YouTube message)

XXXChurch - Helping People Break Free From Pornography

A Pastor's Struggle

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