James thanks a lot for the question. I need questions like this to be motivated to study certain topics. The moral canon to determine the wrongness or rightness of pornography will be the Bible for that is our lamp and guide.
Pornography is defined as: “porno, porn, erotica, smut -- (creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire).” Looking at the above definition, the purpose thereof is to stimulate sexual desire. What good would it be for you to watch porn, yet your body is not healthy enough to fulfill the desire? There are many ways we could stimulate sexual desire: diet, exercise, healthy mind and even pills. Once your mind is polluted, you become sick and unable to properly have sex, anyway. That is why when someone is depressed, they cannot really have sex. Sex starts from the mind and not between the legs. In addition, the definition should call our attention to some commercials. If you watch a coke commercial, you feel thirsty, and when you watch lasagna commercial, you feel hungry. When young people watch porn, they become boiling sexual cauldrons seeing that they need a laboratory for their Travaux Pratiques (TP). That is one of the reasons for sexual promiscuity, yet people see it differently.
Opinions about Pornography
There are four major opinions on pornography. Those who say it is violence and oppression against women. What about the men who do it though? They are not forced; so how is it violence against them. Would you condemn a landlord if a tenant chained himself to his bed? How is that the problem of the landlord? Therefore, the violence is self-inflicted. For those; God has an answer: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (I Cor 6:19-20).
Another group claims that pornography is free speech. Indeed it is because they are expressing themselves and showing the world how morally bankrupt they are. Remember, God tells us to walk in the ways of our hearts and in the sight of our eyes but to remember that there is a day of judgment. I don’t think Jesus would have sat to watch pornography to exercise his free speech.
There is another group that says that pornography is a liberator. This seems an irony since people easily become addicted to it. Anything connected with the mind easily becomes addictive. Hence, this argument does not really work.
Finally, there are those who think it is a sin and should not even be discussed. Nonetheless, how does the Bible see it?
How does the Bible see it?
Noah was drunk and slept naked. When his child saw it, he mocked. When the others saw it, they rushed to cover it not to even see it at all (Gen 9:22). That may give us an insight as to why Adam and Eve rushed to cover their nakedness with fig leaves (Gen 3:7). These verses reveal two things: that the law is engraved in the consciences of men, and that nakedness starts and ends with genitals .
Before nakedness would be declared a sin, men and women inherently knew it was bad. No one told the children of Noah or Adam and Eve that it was bad but deep in their hearts, they knew it was. God later told the priest to wear an underwear when climbing the staircase so he doesn’t expose his nakedness (Ex 20:26). The priests were to avoid any opportunity to expose their nakedness by dressing appropriately (Ex 28:42). The Bible says God is the father of good and perfect gifts (Mt 7:11; James 1:17). If nakedness was such a beautiful thing to behold, why would God deprive his people from enjoyment? As usually, God rushed to sew animal skin (leather coats) to cover them (Gen 3:21). That is because it is perversion to expose yourself to anyone who has not got the right to see it.
However, strangely God orders Isaiah and Ezekiel to walk naked (Is 20:2; Ezekiel 4:1-5). Nakedness in Israel in those days was the worst form of debasement. Furthermore, walking naked is not natural; else God would not hurry to shield Adam and Eve and would not frown at Noah’s experience. Besides, advising the priests to avoid showing his nakedness to anyone again buttresses this assertion.
Yet, there is a slight nuance looking at the situation of wine since God tells the priest not to touch it when going into the temple. Would that infer that he should not be naked when going to the temple? Not at all; just portraying that exposing one’s nakedness is degrading. That is why the King of Assyria was to parade the captives of Israel naked (Is 20:4) to give them proper and thorough humiliation. That is why David was furious when his servants were rendered semi naked (2 Sam 10:4). Jesus was briefly naked (John 13:4-5) to show at what extent his humility will take him to the redemption of mankind. Pornographic images last forever or linger for a long time in the minds of those who see them. However, since couples should stimulate each other, could they then watch porn?
Can a couple use pornography to stimulate their sexual life?
No, they should not for it is not just like any order work of art. It is not the same like watching a movie on hell. “Simply because food leads to obesity or wine leads to drunkenness have we stopped eating and drinking wine” you ask. Well, people should only see the nakedness of those they have the right. Though the stimulation lets them to have sex which is their due in marriage, but the same penis or vagina they are watching on the net is what the husband or wife has. While we need food to survive, we do not need sex to survive. In addition, anything that has to do with mind stimulation, one has to be careful for it could easily become a moral deathtrap whose victims easily slide into the depths of hell because some people do not know how to put parapets.
If a man is not stimulated by seeing the wife, then there is cold within. Seeing pornographic movies raises a fantasy about sex that cannot be fulfilled by normal couples. When one partner cannot fulfill that fantasy, the dissatisfied partner runs out and commits adultery. If a man’s needs are not being met, he should tell his wife. If a man meets the wife’s needs, it is certain she will meet his. Pornography takes away the source of communion and fellowship between a couple; thus,causing isolation in a marital home. Pornography is digging a big hole to fill a small one. Rather than imagine your wife while having sex, you imagine the sex worker you saw on the internet or magazine. That replaces your partner as the number one person to sit in your heart.
It is a very bad thing for a man to watch porn to extract semen for medical purposes. Watching porn to extract semen is like stealing to survive. Just because you steal to survive does not efface the fact that it is theft. The Bible says if you are caught you must pay seven times (Prov 6:30-31). That is why every man should walk with the private picture of the wife. Why do I have to look at the picture of a strange woman to ejaculate? If a Christian couple is the porn makers (they make porn movies and sell) they are living in sin. If a couple taped themselves while making love it is not porn. Porn has to do with watching a total stranger with whom you have no liens. They could even use their video for remedial or corrective measures.
What the eyes should see.
When your eyes see good things, your heart too rejoices (Prov 15:30). If you keep seeing people being killed on TV you easily become sad. If our eyes only observe the ways of the Lord we will give God our hearts. But if our eyes look on strange women and men our hearts will utter perverse things (Prov 23:33). Thenceforth, our eyes become full of illicit sex, always craving for sin; beguiling unstable souls: and a heart that forsakes the right way; copying unrighteous philosophers who love the wages of unrighteousness. When evil takes control of our bodies we dwell in darkness because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. To be friends with the world is to be in enmity with God (James 4:4).The young people should flee these lusts and instead pursue righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim 2:22). I get moved if I am interested in the lady for marriage. If not she does not interest me because I do not like things I cannot get. If you get stimulated by looking at pornography, you invite the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and then you feel fulfilled. That is the way every sin starts; that is the way Eve fell and we still fall today into sin.
How the mind should be treated.
Pornography creates a fantasy sex that does not exist. Paul tells the Romans that if your mind if of the flesh you will mind the things of the flesh Rom 8:5-7. In other words; if you stuff your mind with sexually stimulating pictures you will desire to fulfill that desire (Eph 2:3). Rather than feed our minds with those we should renew our minds so we can prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12:2). That is because like Titus puts it: “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). Pornographic images linger a long time in your mind meanwhile the word of God should be balm we sooth daily unto our wounded hearts and minds (Deut 6:6-8; Joshua 1:8).
Until then, I wish you success with the youngsters.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Go for the person who loves you most and not the one you love most for the one you love most may not give you the love you need most because though love is blind marriage is an eye-opener” (Hamilton Ayuk).