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There’s something more important than banning vices

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Hello Readers, hope all’s well. I’m back from my vacation, and feeling nice and rested. I’ve been reminded of the importance of rest. Even God rested when making the world, so of course us mere humans need even more rest than Him. Now I’m ready to get back into my routine.

Today I have a new article from my Medium.com account. It’s about the question of banning pornography … and something more important than that, more important for all of us as Christians. I hope you enjoy it. Have a good week!


I recently read this article from Vox: “Social conservatives feel betrayed by the Supreme Court — and the GOP that appointed it.” Written by Jane Coaston, published on July 1.

Now don’t worry, this isn’t a political post. This post isn’t even related to most of the content in the article. I linked the article because it’s what got me thinking about today’s topic.

One thing mentioned a few times is that social conservative Christians want to ban pornography. That sounds pretty good, right? But today I’m going to explain why, although trying to ban pornography or any immoral vice is fine, the real battle for Christians is not in trying to ban things but in overcoming our own lusts and cravings.

Yes, pornography is an evil vice

I want to start by making this clear: Yes, pornography is a harmful social evil cloaked in enticing and sexy packaging. Most people think of it as relatively harmless. But it has terrible effects on individuals and relationships. Viewing pornography causes changes in the brain, and affects the brain like a drug. Pornography is addictive like a drug too. Pornography causes strange sexual dysfunctions, ruining marriages and relationships.

But the most terrible thing is how pornography contributes to child and human trafficking, and sexual slavery. Porn fuels the demand for human trafficking. Slavery is an evil that we, as Christians, cannot tolerate. So we must not consume porn, knowing that it fuels this atrocity.

All this info comes from Fight the New Drug, a non-religious nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of the harms of pornography. They have a ton of great info going into much more detail (with sources) on the problems I’ve introduced here.

Also, those who study spiritual warfare know that demonic spirits operate through pornography. It’s a common transmission method for major demons including Ahab, Jezebel, and others. But that’s another topic entirely, one for another time.

The true battle is not in winning a ban

If something is so evil, then we must fight to rid the world of it, right? Well, we should just follow our conscience and fight it. We should never stop speaking out and taking what actions we can. One big difference we can make as individuals is not consuming porn.

But is it imperative we eliminate it from our world so others don’t consume it either? Should we ban it from our society, to protect people from it?

This fallen world is full of sin. Sin is everywhere, and reading the Prophets and Revelation tells us that sin will only increase in the final days. Since the very beginning of the Bible, God has told us that it’s up to us to resist sin and temptation. In Genesis 4, God told Cain that sin will always be out there ready to get us, and we must master it.

[…] And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it. (Genesis 4:7, MSG)

The call of our flesh is strong, and this world is full of enticing temptations. It’s on us to overcome those temptations. We can’t do that without relying on Jesus Christ for help, but it’s our responsibility to turn to Him so He can help us. Fighting sin is an individual duty.

If we ban pornography or other vices, we take away the need to perform that duty. Someone who turns away from their pornography addiction (or other addictions) and changes their ways is cultivating virtue. But there’s nothing virtuous about avoiding vices when the vices are banned. Someone who avoids vice because it’s not an option is not making a virtuous choice; there is no choice. And they aren’t forced to fight the difficult battle within themselves to subdue their lust (etc.) through Christ’s power.

Because the lure of pornography, and any other addictive temptation, is rooted in our own lust and cravings. That’s where the sin starts, and that’s the battle we have to fight.

Everyone is tempted by their own cravings; they are lured away and enticed by them. Once those cravings conceive, they give birth to sin; and when sin grows up, it gives birth to death. (James 1:14–15, CEB)

There’s no avoiding this battle, we must fight it. It’s a major part of the Christian journey. Even with Christ’s help (the only way this works), it’s still a terrible, painful struggle with lots of ups and downs. I backslide and relapse myself, as do most. Overcoming addiction is like that. But God uses this struggle, this suffering, to build character in us.

[…] We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3–4, CEB)

We become stronger in the painful process of learning how to turn to Christ to overcome an addiction. We build resilience. We become (somewhat) stronger against that temptation, and definitely stronger as people in general. That’s why this battle is so important to fight.

So although it seems tempting to ban tempting vices, maybe that’s not the best answer. We have to fight, not avoid, our battle. In a way, banning the battle outright could be harmful to Christians. I only ask that you think about it.

We already know not to conform to the world

In the specific case of the U.S. (because the article I linked is about the U.S.), it’s not a Christian country or society. I’m not referring to the steady increase in the number of atheists vs. the decline in the number of Christians. I mean that, from the very beginning, the separation of church and state has been baked into their system of government. There is no official state religion, because there can be no such thing.

So if that principle is to be followed, there shouldn’t be any attempt to legislate or regulate Christian morality onto everybody. There isn’t any expectation or obligation (legal or otherwise) for people to uphold Christian morals. So many people don’t … which sadly includes people who identify as Christian!

If the people seeking to ban pornography focused on arguments from a public health and addiction perspective, they might win more support. Focusing on the anti-porn arguments from a Christian morality perspective might be a dead-end in the U.S., because the people are free not to live by those morals if they so choose.

So this is one more example of how we must not conform to the ways of the world (Romans 12:2). This fallen world is full of sin, and people everywhere freely enjoy sin. But we, as Christians, try our best to overcome sin. Only with Christ’s help, of course.

I don’t want to use the phrase “rise above” sin, because that adds an element of judgment to it. But as Christians, we are different from the world, because we don’t do what they do (or try not to anyway). 

The world will always be indulging in pornography and other sinful temptations. That’s never going to change. But even if we can’t successfully ban some vice in our own country, we are always free to make the choice of turning away from it.

Try to win that ban, but the inner struggle is more important

Pornography is a vile social evil, there’s no doubt about it. It’s demonic. It degrades sex to be nothing more than the physical act, not the emotional, loving act God designed it to be. It creates an addiction. It ruins health, mental health, and relationships and marriages.

But so does alcohol (which also has a demon in it). And no one seriously talks about banning that.

Now, just because something seems impossible to ban is no reason to not try to ban it. And the political difficulties mentioned in the article up top are no reason for social conservatives in the U.S. to give up on trying to ban porn. All things are possible through God, after all. The point I’m trying to make is that the inner struggle to subdue our sinful lusts and mature in Christ is more important than banning anything.

Sin will always be around us in this fallen world. The devil will never stop tempting us, and he knows exactly how to bait our hook. It’s up to us to master ourselves, so we can resist temptation. We can only do that through Christ, but the responsibility is ours

Our own lust is the true root of the temptation for pornography. The battle to subdue this lust long, painful, and difficult. But it’s a battle we must fight, and must not avoid.

Fighting this battle does more than build resilience, it cultivates virtue, teaches us to rely on God, and to pick ourselves up and try again when we fail and relapse (perhaps the most important lesson). 

This battle is one of the most important things we’ll do as Christians. Successfully banning pornography is irrelevant to fighting this battle. We need to do this, no matter what.

A few practical ideas 

But we can’t avoid the part about pornography fueling human trafficking. That’s an atrocity we cannot accept as Christians. We should push for international efforts to crack down on this. And on an individual level, we can do our part by not consuming porn (not fueling the demand).

On the harmful issue of pornography, I think there are a few helpful, practical measures that society could take, right now, without much conflict.

 — Aggressively target the human trafficking operations through international cooperation. Everyone would be supportive of this.

 — Identify victims of human trafficking, and help them heal and recover

— Educate people on the health and mental health risks of pornography, which aren’t known to all. Educate people on the link between porn and human trafficking.

 —Get society to recognize pornography as the addictive substance it is (viewing it affects the brain) 

 — Provide more support, resources, and recovery options for those who want to break their addiction

Jesus frees the captives of addiction

Jesus is coming back, and He’s coming soon. Porn will be banned when Christ judges the world, destroying it along with all its sins. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to ban pornography before then.

With the time we have left, let’s turn to Jesus so he can cleanse us of all our addictions. Only He has the power to help us, but He is all we need, because He is greater than any sin, addiction, or demon in this world. The battle against addiction is painful, but we have to do it to get stronger and grow. It’s our own responsibility.

Don’t wait — Christ is returning soon! Turn to Him and start your battle now!

And go to Fight the New Drug for info on pornography and resources for breaking free from it.


Well that’s all for today. If you enjoyed today’s post, please be sure to Subscribe using the link below. And please consider Supporting My Blog using the Tip Jar. Any amount is much appreciated!

Until next time, be strong and do good!

Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

<<<EXALT THE LORD OUR GOD AND WORSHIP AT HIS HOLY HILL; FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS HOLY>>>


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