Call It Pornolatry

October 18, 2013

Gentle Reformation

As a number of men have recently blogged on the plague of pornography, and offered help for protecting your family and redeeming your life from it (see Tim Challies, “The Porn-Free Family“; Eric Simmons, “I Hate Porn“; John Piper, “Pornography: The New Narcotic“), I thought I would join with these other brothers and offer another piece of arsenal in the fight.  Below is a re-posting, slightly edited, of a piece I wrote a while back that employs the strategy of prophets like Isaiah who used satire to try to help people see their sin.  Only as men see pornography for the false worship it is and turn to the living God will they find freedom and life.


Modern man thinks he does not worship idols, which only proves that he does. How so?

Consider for a moment the current epidemic of pornography.  The pornography…

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  1. As it is with all believers, sooner or later we will find our point/s of difference. I respect that this may be one of ours…the Driscoll issue, that is. The rest of the post is wonderful, and I have genuinely considered your Driscoll comments and will keep them in mind. I greatly appreciate your thoughtful response. It was very helpful. 🙂

    I have previously been in a church where the dads in my peer group (young families), including the Young Families minister were all very fond of Driscoll. To be honest, they were essentially very worldly Christian men raising very worldly families and I struggled to see how they were much different to what I had come out of – the world. Nice guys, nice wives, nice kids. But very worldly. Anyway, just an observation.

    I have received far greater encouragement, wisdom and nourishment from God’s word reading your posts (and many others) than anything I have ever read or listened to from Driscoll. I only mentioned him because of the issue of pornography and how it relates to his own teachings. I have read Denny and Tim’s reviews on the ‘real marriage’ book. I thought they were too kind, but they are both gracious men so it didn’t surprise me. Thanks for the resource links. I will read them and share them.

    I expect perfection from no one. However, I expect powerfully influential pastors who make millions from the flock through books, sermons, DVD’s and conferences to be above reproach…to not have even the appearance of evil, or to graciously step away from the pulpit while they are unable to be godly and exhibit genuine repentance (aknowledging ‘mistakes’ is not repentance). Actually, this is expected of the pastor’s at our church too. Paul was clear on that, was he not? Correct me if I am wrong. When I compare someone like Driscoll to my own pastors, the differences are so vast I wouldn’t know where to start. But happy to try!

    Obviously, this issue is far bigger than Driscoll. I just was interested in and value your feedback, and greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond. I personally will stay well clear of him and those like him. Worldliness is increasingly repulsive to me these days. And Driscoll seems very worldly, whatever he may preach from the pulpit.

    Thanks again JD, and God bless you for your faithful service to Christ and his Body. Sherryn

  2. JD, your thoughts, if I may inquire of them.

    Firstly, this was an excellent piece, thank you. Initially I wanted to add that part of the problem is perhaps that what we now see in advertising, movies and simply walking down the street on a hot summer day was until very recently, only ever seen in brothels or pornographic material. The ante has been well and truly upped when women in everday life walk around half naked anyway. Like most addictions, the fix has to get more intense with time and habituation.

    What I wanted to ask you was what you thought of men like John Piper speaking out on such subjects, yet failing to rebuke (to the best of my knowledge) Mark Driscoll for teaching Christians that they can have a porn-like relationship in the bedroom…that anything goes in the Christian marriage bed. Which to me cannot be true. The God we worship abhors worldliness and sexual immorality, and it is naive and destructive to assume that immorality cannot exist in the married Christian couple’s bedroom. Consent does not equal sexual purity. Nor is a worldly sexual appetite worthy of gratifying in the bedroom, if the appetite itself is sinful.

    Driscoll would have us believe that we could solve the pornography problem if we just offered the same feast on the menu at home. I hear the serpent’s voice in this lie, if I may be so frank. Has it not occurred to his party faithful that should the Lord have wanted us to know much more than ‘he lay with his wife’ that perhaps he would have had Paul go into more detail. Mostly Paul said if you can go without do, if not then marry. He didn’t say ‘if you are desperately tempted by the delights of the pagan temples and heinous immorality, just get married and ask your spouse to provide them’.

    I hope my comment is not too detailed, my apologies if it is. Don’t feel you have to post it. But seriously, for a number of reasons I think Driscoll is dangerous to the sheep. I would greatly respect and appreciate your feedback. Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment and you raise some very important concerns. Allow me to start with a comment regarding Mark Driscoll. There is much that I like and appreciate regarding the ministry of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll. I believe that he is a powerful preacher of the Gospel and God is using him to ministry in a very difficult place, Seattle. However, Mark Driscoll is just a man with strengths and weaknesses. There was only one perfect shepherd. In my opinion, some of the statements he has made and some of what he has written has lacked wisdom particularly in the context of the broad audience that he is blessed to influence. The bold and assertive characteristics of Driscoll make for a powerful minister but the negative side can lead to the appearance of arrogance and crassness. I pray that God will continue to bless the ministry of Driscoll and that He will provide Mark with strong accountability partners that will help him see his weaknesses.
      I have not read his book Real Marriage. I read several reviews and determined that there are a lot of other books that I would rather spend my time reading. A couple very good reviews are Challies and the Gospel Coalition .
      Also, I think that there are many books on marriage that I would recommend above Real Marriage. Some of the books that I would recommend are:
      This Momentary Marriage
      When Sinners Say I Do
      Real Questions about Sex
      Regarding what some may consider impure in the marriage bedroom, I go back to Gal. 5:13-14 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
      We have freedom in Christ. However, the practice of those freedoms can cause our spouse to stumble, can cause others to stumble, and can be of such a nature that they simply are not beneficial to our soul. Therefore, Paul encourages us to relinquish our freedoms for the sack of our weaker brothers and sisters in Christ. We relinquish those freedoms out of love for them; placing their spiritual well being above our physical freedoms.
      To be perfectly frank, there are some “things” I would never have thought of if it were not for the sexually immoral influences of this world. I think that every couple should be very careful when exploring freedoms that originated in sin. Our hearts are deceitful and prone to wander. Therefore, we need to be diligent in asking ourselves why we want to do something and to consider where that motivation came from. I see a lot of stumbling hazards by introducing sexual acts that came from sinful content and trying to redeem those desires in the marriage bed. However, I don’t see a problem if a couple stumbles across the same act in the freedom of exploring what is a gift from God. It is always about the heart.
      I believe that the Song of Solomon encourages Christian couples to explore the wonders of the monogamous garden that God has given us. However, I believe that exploration should be within the context of loving our spouse as our self and to bring glory to God. So many problems, particularly in the marriage bed, stem from sinners not following the second great commandment – to love our spouse as ourselves. Many of the contentious issues in marriage fall away when both husband and wife are seeking to love their spouse as themselves.

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