Verbal Pornography

We live in a dangerous age. Wrong is now right and fully acceptable in the eyes of a sick, sin-darkened world. What is even worse is that the church has often sought to fully endorse the Corinthian and Laodicean attitudes of this amoral society. America is no longer a post-modern society, but a society where morals are what you decide to make them.

For example, I know some who claim the name of Christ who believe that it is acceptable for homosexuals to sin all they want provided they do it behind closed doors and don’t bother anybody else. However, sin and depravity is never enough for those walking apart from God and out of the rebellion of their hearts. The sin that is acceptable today for them will never be enough until it is fully out in the open and others have been ensnared by their depravity.

To say that their sin is ok as long as it is behind closed doors is a dangerous path because once that becomes acceptable, those who prey on others will seek to get others to say that it is acceptable as long as it is behind closed doors. Before long, we have fully endorsed the rank wickedness that destroyed the Roman Empire in which not only was homosexuality accepted but so was the sale of slaves for sexual purposes (any age and gender).

What would never have been acceptable in any polite company when I was growing up in the 70’s is now fully open. It is endorsed by Hollywood by that which enters the eye gates and even Christians are laughing at the smut. We attended a church once that included times of “fellowship” when the men / women would get together for a night out which included “R” rated movies. What kind of picture does this paint for the world who cannot see Christ in us, but only more of themselves?


If they even care to check out what is going on, very few parents are complaining about the material that is being forced upon their children to read in public school settings or what is being openly displayed at the local public libraries. There was a time school plays and activities would never have been considered risqué, but those days are long gone and now we find in the news even today that middle schoolers were given a word search game as part of their class activity that was based fully on the smut entitled “50 Shades of Grey.”

Books like “50 Shades” are becoming bestsellers and turned into movies. Men and women are buying this verbal pornography by the millions and then wondering why their marriages are suffering. It continues the trend set by books like “Twilight” in which a very old 104 year old vampire man preys on a young, innocent teenage girl seeking sex. Seriously?!?!?!

No true father would permit or endorse such behavior in his own home, yet even fathers who claim the name of Christ are permitting their daughters and their wives to fawn over the characters in these books and movies.

Dear sisters in Christ, this type of reading material is no different an impact on your mind than the dangers of visual pornography is to the men and boys in your home. These words are designed and written in a way that does not bring you closer to Christ, nor to your husband. While two wrongs never make a right, you cannot complain about what your husband is watching if you are filling your heart and mind with the same kind of trash he is. You are both wrong before the Lord. It is hypocritical for you to complain that he is cheating on you with a computer screen when you are cheating on him with what you reading on the printed page.

Dear brothers in Christ, we are called to be observant in our homes. We might pride ourselves on not allowing the vulgar, sexually-charged rap music of the world to enter our homes, but we are permitting our wives and young girls to be embraced by that which is not truly a reality. This is sin before God. Their hearts and lives must be guarded jealously or you will lose them. Brothers, it is hypocritical to think that you are justified in not protecting your heart by what you watch if you do not also care what books can be found on your bookshelves. Your wife will NEVER live up to the expectations that the world creates in your heart and mind, and you also will NEVER live up to the expectations of what the world wants to offer your wife through what she reads.


Divorces are taking place on an ever-increasing basis within the church by those who claim the name of Christ. Husbands and wives have filled their heads with trash and then want to claim “irreconcilable differences” on their divorce papers when their spouse does not live up to the torrid expectations of the latest best-selling book on the New York Times list or the latest box-office hit from the pit of Hollywood. If you think the smut and trash of the world is harmless, then you are living life at the bottom end of a frayed rope. You are but one small strand from total destruction.

Pastors and shepherds, we must be willing to address the truth of Scripture and warn the flock of the dangers that are being faced. This does not mean that we need to ride hobbyhorses or only speak about the latest fads. However, it does mean that we must be willing to open our eyes to the wickedness that is desperately seeking to swallow our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We must call out the dangers for what they truly are. It is hypocritical to call out to the Lord to save marriages if we have not warned of the impending doom that we saw taking place in the home and ignored it.

Visual and verbal pornography is seeking to destroy our homes. There is nothing that Satan and his minions must enjoy more than to see those who are true believers being swallowed up by the millions with the filth of the world. The evil one wants to destroy your marriage.

Christian women, he wants you to think that it is acceptable for you to find a release in your life from the “mundane” that you find so tedious. The books and movies that demean your husband and marriage are just as bad and as wicked as what he may be involved with. It is not reality. God will not be mocked. Vampire love stories and sexual bondage novels are a totally depraved and warped destruction of what God has created to be holy. You are tasked with protecting your daughters as well so they can go to their wedding being pure in every way.

i still do

Christian men, you want a wholesome marriage? Stop longing after what is not reality. Stand up and be the kind of man God demands you to be. Be a true man who shows true deference to a lady. Be a godly man who points others to Christ, not detracts from the loveliness of the Savior. Be the father who protects his young boys and girls from the depravity of the world that only wants to destroy them.

Godly marriages are not based on anything Hollywood or the New York Times best-seller list has to offer. They are built day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute on sacrifice, service, and Christ-like love. Your lives will NEVER resemble Hollywood or the best-seller lists because those are far from Christ. Flee from that which will destroy you. Seek forgiveness from the Most High and learn to trust and love again in a way that others can see Christ in you the hope of glory.

Dangers of Counseling – Part 2

In our most recent post, we covered a few areas of danger that befall those who offer counsel in any type of setting, but particularly those in a church setting. In this post, I wish to address two main issues.

First, I want to clarify that I do not believe that all counselors are operating contrary to the Scriptures. Neither do I believe that those who seek the counsel of a professional counselor are or should be automatically considered to be in sin against God. Further, I understand that not all pastors or elders are willing to address subjects that they feel is beyond their knowledge in a particular area.

The issue that we are seeking to make clear is that for a believer, the very first recourse should be to the Word of God, not what the latest so-called Christian psychobabble has to say about the problem being addressed. In addition, the first recourse for the pastors or elders should not be the Yellow Pages under the heading of Counseling, but should be the Word of God.

Professional counselors have taken off in popularity and sadly, the role of pastors and elders means that too often they are failing in their God-ordained responsibility to care for the sheep. Pastors and elders, we are commanded to feed the sheep. This does not mean just for 45 minutes on a Sunday morning and maybe an extra 30 minutes on a mid-week Bible study.

It is imperative that we bring ourselves back to the ministries that were found under the leadership of men like Richard Baxter who would spend hours a week discipling his flock either in his own home or in their home. Yes, this is work, but being willing to disciple others is the only way we will know the hurt, the pain, and the straying of our flocks. It is rank foolishness to think that our people are perfectly fine without any attention during the remaining 166 1/2 hours per week that they are in the world. I am saddened when I have heard pastors say, “I didn’t know they were even struggling in that area!”

Granted, while much of the responsibility for this lack is on the shoulders of pastors and elders, there are times that church members do not want us to get that close. However, I am convinced that this is due to a lack of teaching on the importance of continued discipleship. By our actions and by our teaching, we sometimes are guilty of allowing those who are in fellowship to think that worship is what we do on a Sunday morning between 10:30 – 12:00 noon.

So, the heart of the problem facing the church today is not necessarily professional counselors. Although that can and continues to be a problem in many instances, the biggest problem is that believers in our churches are seeking help outside the confines of the local assembly. The church collectively is to be there to assist in bearing the burdens of one another.

Another difficulty comes when the professional counselor is operating outside the confines or strictures of a local church setting. This means that the person who is being counseled is now no longer accountable for their sin and their testimony before their brothers and sisters. They can hide behind an individual with a professional degree who is bound by confidentiality not to divulge any information to others. Thus, when a marriage is breaking down, a daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock, or a child finds themselves dealing with an addiction, the church and leadership can no longer help because they are often completely unaware of the problems.

Let’s now proceed to the second concern.

One person commented about the pitfalls of online or social media and asked for further thoughts. Just as it is wrong to think that worship is only what we do on Sunday, it is also wrong to think that there is only a danger in counseling if we are face to face with an individual.

A standard definition of counseling is – The provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties.

Counseling is not black and white and neither are the settings in which counseling can be accomplished. This can take place in person, at a coffee shop in an informal type setting, over the phone, through text messaging, emails, or even Instant Messaging via a social media like Facebook.

Pastors, it is true that many in our congregations are probably using a wide variety of social medias in order to communicate with one another. While this post is not meant to belabor the futility of solving problems on Twitter, MySpace, or text messages, there is something to be said for the deplorable conditions that dictate to us that we can somehow accomplish much counsel or disciple through the means of 140 characters or less at a time.

Further, I am not decrying the use of social media formats for connecting with friends and family, there is a pitfall that has taken far too many down the path of ruin. It is a path and a pitfall that could have been avoided had the individuals who found themselves trapped been more careful to begin with.

Before I elaborate, let me reiterate what we say we already believe about marriage. Marriage is designed by God to be a complete covenant that focuses on God and is solely between one man and one woman. Men/pastors/elders/teachers/leaders, this means that every area of our life should be like an open book to our spouse. Too many are walking a very thin line that delineates between what is hers, what is his, and what is theirs together. This is a wrong and dangerous answer.

Let me make this very plain and simple. My wife and I have identical passwords to all of our computers and have the same passwords for each of the online social media formats with which we engage during the week. We have made a deliberate decision that each one of us cannot seek to hide contacts or messages from one another. If I have to fear what my wife would think about my online conversations, then I am breaking my marriage vows to have her in my heart and no other til death us do part.

If there is a reason that I find myself having to communicate with a female via email (as an example), my wife is fully involved. This not only protects the person to whom I am writing, but also protects us. There are times when I have been asked for pastoral counsel or advice, but just as I refuse to counsel a woman alone in my office, I have the same standards even when not face to face. This means that I also have made a point not to spend time alone using Instant Messenger with a woman who is not my wife.

Brothers, I cannot stress this enough, YOU MUST GUARD YOUR HEART! You must protect the wife of your youth. How can we possibly express concern over our children failing to guard their thought life if they see us spending time with somebody to whom we are not married. Men, we cannot fall into the trap of being willing to share confidences with another woman for it will eventually steal part of your heart away.

Sisters, I implore you as well to be careful with social media. It can prove easy to spend time sharing thoughts and concerns with a friend, but far harder to to keep from eventually sharing your heart. There is no part of your marriage problems that I need to be personally aware of if I am required to keep that information from my wife.

While I am covering this area, I believe it is not just Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace that is the problem. Areas that involve RPG’s (role playing games) or MPG’s (multi-player games) are detrimental to both your time as well as the well-being of your heart. You will be forced to interact in a fantasy world that will require you to share things that come from your own personal situation.

Sadly, more and more marriages are ending in divorce because men and women have foolishly failed to see the dangers of spending time alone with someone of the opposite sex. This is true whether face-to-face or in a chat room or any other social media format. If you do not guard your heart from all attacks, then do not be surprised if you end up losing the battle.

Pastors and elders, while social media can be used to further the message of the gospel, we must seek to warn our brothers and sisters of the dangers lurking in the electronic world in which we live. The dangers are very real and cannot be avoided. May the Lord help us to stand firm and resolute in a world that cares not one little bit whether our marriages or ministries survive.

Quotes (797)

“Be ye separate” – 2 Cor. 6:17

The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world.  He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life.  To him, “to live”, should be “Christ”.  Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God’s glory.  You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal.  You may strive to be rich; but be it your ambition to be “rich in faith”, and good works.  You may have pleasure; but when you are merry, sing psalms and make melody in your hearts to the Lord.  In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should differ from the world.  Waiting humbly before God, always conscious of His presence, delighting in communion with Him, and seeking to know His will, you will prove that you are of the heavenly race.  And you should be separate from the world in your actions.  If a thing be right, though you lose by it, it must be done; if it be wrong, though you would gain by it, you must scorn the sin for your Master’s sake.  You must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity.  Remember, O Christian, that thou are a son of the King of kings.  Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world.  Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in His beauty – let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets – let not those hearts to be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.

-C.H. Spurgeon