Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: pornography

Parental Discretion Advised

If you catch the very beginning of a televised movie or arrive early at a local theater, a disclaimer will flash across the screen. This statement is designed to warn viewers of what individuals are about to see. In legal terms, phrases such as “parental discretion is advised” enables those behind the making of a film to avoid liability or being held responsible for its content.

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was greatly angered when he saw that the city was full of idols, Acts 17:16.

As the apostle Paul visited the city of Athens, there was no warning. Instead of being prompted by parental discretion advised, Paul was bombarded by pornography. Some of these idols were dedicated to the goddess of love, celebrating, encouraging and promoting sexual immorality in the name of religion. This visual cesspool didn’t stop Paul for searching for positive signs of life. Like a rigid site seeing tour, Paul didn’t stop until discovering an altar and poem that spoke to his heart.

Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you, Acts 17:23.

If Jesus and his disciples encountered this adult and mature content, I can imagine one of the disciples pleading with Jesus to call fire down from heaven to destroy Athens. Yet, Paul shows much more grace, engaging philosophers with an inscription and poetry. These two pieces of literature serve as a common ground, opening the door for the apostle Paul to share the good news about Jesus Christ with Greeks. Instead of being offended, Christians need to learn to engage other cultures by using apologetics, defending the Christian faith. This means leaving safe spaces to bring life to dark and immoral places, relying on the Holy Spirit as your guide.

by Jay Mankus

Advertisements

Seduced

The term seduced is usually applied to an unwilling participant who is beguiled, enticed and lured into some sort of sexual encounter.  This leaves a victim feeling betrayed, used and violated.  Beyond physical attractions, individuals can also be seduced by alcohol, drugs, fame, food, impulses, pornography, power, shopping, technology and wealth.  One of God’s greatest concerns in the Old Testament was that Jews would be seduced by high places, centers for Canaanite idol worship scattered throughout the Middle East.

And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind, Jeremiah 7:31.

This connection became clear to me after reading an article written by a member of the Billy Graham Association.  High places is mentioned 117 times in the Bible; derived from the Hebrew word “hamah” referring to mountaintops.  In nearby hills, mountains and peaks, open-air altars on elevated knolls were built to pay tribute to pagan and secular gods.  When Israel entered the promised land in Canaan under Joshua’s leadership, God commanded his people to destroy and tear down these places.  Unfortunately, a lack of thoroughness left many behind as ancient idols slowly and subtly seduced God’s people year after year, unable to stay away.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:12.

Today, with a click of a mouse, tap on your phone or voice to Alexia, the internet, a.k.a. the world wide net comes alive.  While this technology was created to advance, expand and further human development, new high places are erected daily.  Fueled by spiritual forces of evil, demons regularly seduce curious and vulnerable souls just like Eve succumbing to Lucifer’s reasoning.  This seduction often goes unnoticed until sin becomes full blown, leaving a trail of devastation and destruction.  Sure, there is forgiveness, grace and mercy, but humans don’t always see eye to eye, abandoning broken relationships to start anew.  Despite how far one may fall, in God’s eyes no one is too far gone.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Taming of the Cravings

One of William Shakespeare’s well known comedies is the Taming of the Shrew.  Written in the early 1590’s, this play has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, ballet, and musical theatre.  While this production highlights a bad-tempered and aggressively assertive woman, the Bible speaks of an another beast with a similar reputation.  According to John, this inner demon feeds off of worldly desires.  Fueled by longings, lust and sensual desires, few people have had success in taming these cravings.

Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world, 1 John 2:15-16.

According to Jesus, the eyes serve as the lamp of the human body, Matthew 6:22-24.  If your eyes are good, fixated on Jesus, Hebrews 12:2, spiritual light will guide your steps.  However, if you allow your eyes to wander, take a second glance and begin to stare at unwholesome sights, darkness will enter your body.  This seemingly innocent act starts a chain reaction that awakens fleshly desires.  Those who indulge in masturbation, pornography and or sex outside of marriage corrupts hearts, souls and minds.

The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever, 1 John 2:17.

The only cure known to the cravings of the sinful nature is pursuing God’s will.  In his Sermon of the Mount, Jesus tells his audience where your heart is, your treasure will be also.  Thus, those who appease earthly cravings will be distracted, focused on satisfying temporary pleasures in life.  The only way to tame this spiritual shrew is by setting your heart and mind on things above, Colossians 3:1-4.  Those who learn to clothe themselves with Christ can overcome the demons of your past.  While this is not an easy process, may the Holy Spirit fill you with discipline, insight and wisdom to tame any unholy craving within you.

by Jay Mankus

Visual Sewage

The human mind often acts as a sponge, absorbing information that you hear, learn and understand.  Meanwhile, Jesus refers to eyes as the lamp of your body.  These head lights serve as a guide through life; a vehicle that when functioning properly enables individuals to dodge the visual sewage that exists in this world.  One of the greatest dangers to your soul is pornography, tempting your eyes to embrace the human flesh by gratifying your sinful nature.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,” Matthew 6:22.

There is a ministry that exists to combat the urge to lust.  Covenant Eyes provides resources for internet accountability and filtering to protect the innocent, pure and young.  Yet, the internet isn’t the only place where visual sewage resides.  Pornography lurks in your mailbox with questionable catalog images.  On Halloween night modesty will be pushed aside for more sexy costumes.  Demonic forces, oppression and powers of darkness seek to destroy souls through visual sewage present on any cell phone.

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols, Acts 17:16.

The Greek word κατέιδωλον appears only once in the Bible within the passage above.  This term is translated into English meaning full of idols.  The residents of Athens embraced gods and goddesses, erecting altars throughout this ancient city.  Some of these places of worship were dedicated the goddesses of love, encouraging the practice of prostitution and sexual orgies in the name of love.  Essentially, Paul was greatly distressed by this visual sewage.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul provides advice to combat this dangerous addiction.  Corinth is located in Greece, likely placing members of this congregation into this cesspool of sin.  Ignoring this negative environment wasn’t an option.  Thus, Paul steers believers toward using spiritual weapons, relying on God’s power to demolish demonic strongholds.  Victory is achieved through taking your thoughts captive.  This process begins by meditating on God’s Word so that when evil arises, you are able to take captive every thought.  If a current environment of visual sewage is overwhelming you, flee by purging yourself from any reminder of pornography so that your thought life will become obedient to Christ.

by Jay Mankus

The Purging of the Second Glance

The concept of the second glance was first introduced by Jesus during his first century teaching simply known as the Sermon on the Mount.  Speaking to common citizens with many in attendance the poor and middle class, Jesus gave a brief history of the Ten Commandments.  Instead putting his listeners to sleep, Jesus make a shocking revelation.  Lusting at someone in your heart as a second glance is equivalent to committing adultery.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” Matthew 5:27-28.

Gasps, murmurs and whispers likely echoed throughout this crowd.  Meanwhile, a spirit of conviction struck the pure in heart, exposing the guilt of unwholesome stares of their past.  Hidden from view, hearts began to acknowledge the truth from Jesus’ statement.  Instantaneously, minds connected the dots from appreciating one’s beauty to lustful stares which give birth to fascination and impure thoughts.  Although everyone heard the message, it’s likely that only some believed the act of a second glance broke the  seventh commandment.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell,” Matthew 5:29-30.

Jesus provides the cure to the second glance in the verse above.  Quoting from the Old Testament, Jesus urges his audience to purge that which influences you to sin.  Indirectly, Jesus is referring to masturbation, pornography and voyeurism.  While this advice seems rather harsh, Jesus wants individuals to remove the atmosphere, bad habits, conditions and images that promote sin.  For me this spiritual house cleaning took years to completely scourge from my life.  If you truly want to purge yourself from the second glance, I highly recommend reading Restoring the Foundations: An Integrated Approach to Healing.  This book will help you connect the dots, setting in motion the path to healing.  Remain steadfast on your journey toward freedom.

by Jay Mankus

Lies Gone Wild

To elicit attention from late night consumers of television, Girls Gone Wild took pornography to a new low, seeking drunk college students to bare everything for attention and fame.  A similar movement that received far less attention, author Wendy Shalit founded Girls Gone Mild to instill modesty within young women.  In recent days, a new fad is sweeping the nation, luring men and women to participate in lies gone wild.

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21.

During one of my first years of teaching high school, a few students broke into my room, logged on to my computer and created a fake My Space Account in my name.  Unaware of this site, rumors began to spread which initially tarnished my reputation.  A few years later, a friend developed a couple of mock EduBlogs to show me the type of technology I could incorporate into my curriculum.  Unfortunately, these were never deleted leading to a trip to my principle’s office.  Evidently, this site suggested I was a faith healer who charged $25 per healing.  I can laugh about it now, but when gossip is full blown lies run wild.

Reject every kind of evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

As I listen to hourly news updates, it appears that Democrats and Republicans are daily participating in this venture in one way or another.  Some facts are taken out of context.  Others’ words are distorted to imply a controversial view.  Meanwhile, a few are down right nasty, exaggerating and lying to convince the America people that their side is correct.  Ascertaining what the truth is valuable, but when opinions are being argued, absolutes do not apply.  Thus, before you believe the next thing you hear, read online or see, test everything so that society will put an end to lies gone wild.

by Jay Mankus

Consequences of the Second Glance

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.  From the roof he saw a woman bathing.  The woman was very beautiful, 2 Samuel 11:2.

As the third anniversary of this blog approaches, nearly fifty percent of the comments on Express Yourself 4 Him have been inspired by The Second Glance.  Written well over a year ago, readers have requested a follow up post or more information regarding this topic.  Thus, after mediating on this subject, today’s piece was born.

Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. – 2 Samuel 11:4a

At first, the second glance is inspired by curiosity, perhaps wanting to dwell on the beauty of an attractive male or female.  However, as David learned the hard way, this double take ignites a spirit of lust.  Like an uncontrollable beast, David skipped over the fact that Bathsheba was married, allowing temptation to have its way since her husband was out of town.  This Fatal Attraction blinded David’s mind, willing to cover up his sin with an Indecent Proposal that ended in murder.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. – 1 John 2:16

Outside of the Bible, one of the greatest examples of the consequences of the second glance was lived out in the life of Ted Bundy.  Prior to his execution on January 24, 1989, Bundy was granted an interview with James Dobson.  Oddly enough, Ted’s addiction to pornography began with a copy of the Sear’s Catalog.  In his case, the second glance led to an addiction that exploded into a life of lust, rape and serial killings.  Unfortunately, no one can escape the words of James 1:15 below.

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

May this blog serve as a warning, scaring people straight away from sin and toward a God of reason, Isaiah 1:18-20.

by Jay Mankus

 

%d bloggers like this: