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The purpose of this series of articles is to help people put porn to death. Given the current statistics, I believe it is safe to say that there are millions who are struggling with an addiction to pornography. The addiction is tyrannous to say the least as it keeps its subordinates enslaved to their appetite for sexual pleasure under the ever-growing umbrella of guilt and condemnation. In Part 1 we talked about one common strategy that many employ to set themselves free – moralism. Moralism keeps us focused on the symptom and not the sickness. We focus on killing porn and not the sin that causes it. In other words, the last thing we want in the Christian life is a church filled with porn-free Pharisees.

In Part 2 we discussed another devastating strategy – idolatry. This is trading one sin for another. Again, the enemy will gladly take our cold to give us cancer. Christians must be aware of the heart’s tendency to create new idols every day. We must also understand that many idols are simply good things gone bad. Bible study is a common idol that we worship. In this we are satisfied, not in Christ, but in our own religiosity.

The third and final strategy (that we will discuss in this series) is what I call individualism. I believe it is important to recognize and understand that the strategies we employ are not mutually exclusive. Moralism and idolatry go hand in hand. Individualism is a thread that runs through them all. So, what is the main thrust of individualism anyway? There are two.

First, individualism blinds us to the fact that our sin affects other people. Dietrich Bonheoffer, a German pastor who was martyred during Hitler’s regime, said, “There is no sin so secret that it doesn’t affect others.” It’s not a huge leap to see how porn feeds individualism. Porn is mostly viewed in secret and we keep these sins hidden, thinking they affect no one but ourselves. We watch, and it is therefore we who must face the repercussions. Hog-wash.

The list of porn’s side effects is a mile long. It destroys intimacy. It objectifies women. It distorts sex and sexuality. It perverts the purpose of sex from giving to only getting. It feeds the current children-hating trend in our culture by removing the pro-life purpose of sexual intimacy. The list goes on; but above all, we must never forget that indulging in pornographic activity is high treason against our Maker. It is exchanging and worshipping the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1). And it is absolutely foolish to think that we can express hatred toward God and keep from expressing the same toward our neighbor.

How do we rid our lives of this aspect of individualism? Repent. Go to the ones you love and confess your sin to them. Simply put, tell them you are sorry. Watch them weep and see the effects of your sinful actions.

As my wife sat at the end of the bed, weeping because of the pain that I caused her, I could do nothing but entrust myself to Another for my forgiveness and redemption. After some minutes passed, my wife, armed with every right to leave me, decided to love me. At that moment, the person that hurt the most became the very person that would help me the most. I once fought alone – not anymore.

While my individualistic tendencies blinded me to the pain I caused others, it also lead me to believe that I could put sin to death by myself. I was wrong. And if you think that you can put porn to death by yourself, you are wrong too. Sin likes to remain behind closed doors. It shows itself weak while it lures us away from others – once it gets us by ourselves, we are done. We are simply no match for this monster. We need help.

Historically, I am prone to look at porn when I am alone and bored. While my family is around, I simply don’t have the time or ability to sit and view porn. I consider this the grace of God. Every few months, my wife and kids will go visit family for a few days. When I am unable to go, I am left alone at the house. My wife understands my weakness and will call often during the late hours. I also have friends who know my struggles. They will call and/or come over to help me fight my sin. This, too, is the grace of God.

When we keep our sins hidden and unconfessed, we never fully comprehend the love of God. We go about life thinking that people love only what they see – that, if they really knew what sins we are capable of (and have committed!), they would never accept us. If they knew, they would surely reject us, thinking that we are horrible sinners.

The gospel is our only hope for living life “un-individualistically.” All of us are far worse than any porn addiction. Our sinful flesh makes viewing porn look like a year of working with Habitat for Humanity! The Christian life is not about being perfect or sinless; but about walking in and with the One who is perfect and sinless! It is because of Christ, and His death on our behalf, that we can approach God and others with honesty, sincerity, humility, confession and repentance. It is because of Christ that we can confess our sins to others, trusting that it is a safe and beneficial thing to do.

Living life with others, in repentance and faith, is perhaps the most difficult thing we could ever do. Superficial relationships, while nice and neat, are fickle and fragile. But when we know and understand the depths of our neighbor; when we have confessed our sins to one another; when we have wept with one another; when we have forgiven one another; and when we bear one another’s burdens, we can finally understand a love that runs deeper than our sins. It is a love that is rooted in the merciful counsels of the Father, purchased by the Blood of the Son, and empowered by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this Triune activity, pornography is a prime occasion for redemption.

If you have read these three articles, it is important for you to know that this is no mere intellectual hypothesis. This is my story. If you would have told me three years ago that I would one day live without pornography constantly knocking at my door, I would have called you a liar. Not today. While I do struggle occasionally, I praise God that He has shown me the depths of my sin (and not just the symptoms of it). I am so grateful that He has shone in my heart the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (rather than some other idol). And I am humbly overwhelmed by the fact He placed the Sword of the Spirit in my wife’s hands. In her eyes is see the one that I have hurt the most. But in her eyes, I now see a warrior who continues cut sin’s throat in my life. In her eyes, I see my Savior.

Onward Christian soldier. “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you” (J. Owen).

You can learn more about Scott Moore here.

jamesrosseau@thecorelinksolution.com
Author: jamesrosseau@thecorelinksolution.com

President/CEO of The Corelink Solution and Holy Culture

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