Friday, September 12, 2014

Why Pornography is Wrong

  The Business of Christian Education LXXXIX
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Matthew 5:27-30

            In a world that is confused with what is right or wrong, issue of sexuality too is blurred.  The Hollywood imagination has influenced cultures around the globe.  The explicit sexual themes or scenes have often dominated movies.  One says at one time that there is almost no Hollywood movies without sex scenes.  Except perhaps kids movies.  Sex has become exalted in this generation.  No longer is it a taboo thing.  Sex is celebrated, even to the point of
its exploitation.  Film, photography, magazine, media industries have their roles in exploiting sex for money.  Thus people are face to face with pornography.  Theologians, priests, pastors, and religious leaders, all battle out pornography.  Their followers, parishioners, congregations, fall prey to pornography.  Even in their rank can be found those who have fallen into the temptation of pornography.  For those who have tasted it know how strong its lure is.  Some can’t get out.  Some even have become addicted to it, even to the point of living without it is unthinkable.  And some have attempted to get rid of the guilty feelings by blurring it with art.  So they argue that pornography is a form of art.  They think that by categorizing pornography as art, they then can eliminate its wrong-ness.  Still some only accept pornography that excludes the use of children in the picture.  But the question is, what makes child pornography wrong that adult pornography isn’t?  Oh because of the use of children.  Because children are weak and they are impressionable, which makes an argument for children doing pornography without their responsible-ness – without their fully consciously choosing to do so and be accountable of their choice, thus using children would be ethically wrong.  Does it mean, then, that when adults do pornography, it is not ethically wrong?

            Deception!  That’s the word.  And to the full extent of its meaning, deception shrouds the mind and numbs the conscience, in order to put the souls at ease for awhile.  The mind of the wicked is so deceitful, for they do not know what is right or wrong.  So we have to resort to the Truth in order to find out the real truth.  Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and he says that even desiring a woman lustfully has rendered the man committing adultery without him actually committing the act of adultery.  Jesus points out to the heart of the matter.  And he uses adultery as his platform.  His main point is the desire within.  The heart and imagination of man that is not even expressed out into the open.  Clearly, for one to be guilty of the sin of adultery, one doesn’t even need to do the act of adultery, but the sin has been committed by simply looking lustfully at a woman.  For sure this does not apply only to the male gender.  But Jesus’ words have implications to both male and female.  Whoever looks at a person lustfully has committed adultery.  And adultery is any unlawful sexual relationships outside of wedlock.  The essence of sin then is found not in the act, but in the perverted desire that is started in the heart.  To this foundational point, all of us must be very careful in our reflection and meditation of our own motives, desires, imagination, and will.  The training of one’s ethics should penetrate deep into the heart and mind.  This should be the ground of which we assess pornography.

            Now, let us take a look at pornography itself.  Keep in mind that our motif must be kept in check to understand the extent of the sin involving pornography.  Pornography is always related to the human body.  Particularly, certain parts of the body.  And mostly pornography focuses more on the woman’s body.  In the entire world, only humans have the sensitivity to cover their bodies.  There is that sense of shame, which no other creatures on the face of the earth have.  Animals never bother to cover their bodies with clothes.  But humans do cover their bodies, especially certain areas of their bodies.  For sure, naked pictures of animals won’t give any sense of porn in it.  But naked pictures of humans might be categorized as porn.  But not all naked pictures of humans are then categorized as porn.  There are some pictures that do not show any porn effect.  For example a picture of a naked newborn baby, it won’t register as porn.  This sheds a glimpse of the context of porn.  The porn effect happens when the pictures or stories in question stimulate the sensual imagination of the viewers or readers.  Of course the audience themselves are accountable in what they make out of any materials coming their way.  For a perverted mind, any materials may turn out to have the porn effect.  But that’s just one aspect of pornography.  The other aspect is the one that captures the pictures or create the stories in the first place.  The photographer or the film director or the author plays a very significant role in bringing up imagination that stimulates the sensual desire.  In their knowledge of angles, lights, frames, focus, colors, depth, stories, words, and so on, they find the best view and imagination to highlight certain imagination for the purpose of stimulating the sensual desire.  And so pornographic materials expose certain activities or parts of the human body that tempts the mind and imagination to nurture the sensual desire within beyond the lawful boundary.

            To some degree pornographic materials are in the category of art.  This is the blurred line.  Confusion is prime in this department.  How to figure which art is pornographic and which is not.  It is interesting that a lot of the art pieces of the Renaissance do not make any sensual suggestion, even though many of them utilize nudity.  An expert in painting once said that Renaissance arts conjure up the feeling of pity, or beauty, of honor, without inciting sensual desires.  While many of the Hollywood movies, or modern arts that expose human bodies in their nakedness, and obviously pornographic materials always stimulate the sensual desire.  We go back to whether porn is ethical or not.  If it is an art, then how can it be unethical?  What makes it unethical?  If pornography is bad, how come millions and even billions of people are attracted to it.  Even the so called religious people too fall prey to pornography.  The difficulty in distinguishing its unethical reason creates blur in the mind.  It is important that we trace back to the human body itself, which is the main platform of pornography.  Pornography is not built on other creatures’ body.  The human body and the extensive imagination in relation to sexual activity is the playground of pornography.  We must realize that human body in itself is beautiful.  Nobody would disagree on the beautiful quality if the human body.  No one can ever fully describe how the human body contains the priceless value of beauty.  Not one art expert is able to describe in full detail why the composition of the human body projects beauty.  But it is what it is.  We accept it as it is.  The composition of the face for example, the way eyes are located, their forms, colors, as well as nose, mouth, upper lips and lower lips, the frame of the face, the eyebrow, the eyelashes, the ears, the earlobes, the chin, the cheekbones, the hair, all of them combined create beauty beyond any human creation.  This applies to all body parts.  And also this applies to the combination of all parts that form one body.  Undoubtedly the human body is the most beautiful object in the whole earth, that it has become the object of art for as long as human history.  The most valuable piece of painting in the world now is “Monalisa.”  It’s the picture of a woman by a famous artist, Leonardo DaVinci.  Michelangelo, a contemporary of DaVinci, sculpted a beautiful sculpture of a woman and a child (Mary and Jesus), which is known as “Madonna of Bruges.”  Rembrandt Van Rijn’s one of the most valuable paintings is his self portrait.  Salvador Dali, the most important surrealist of all time, often used his wife as the model for his paintings.  Humans are the most beautiful creatures on earth.  No other earthly creatures can compete with the beauty of human beings.  A cheetah may look so beautiful especially when it flexes its muscle when chasing its prey, or an eagle that stands on top of a cliff may emanate the grand beauty of its pride, but none of these may trump the beauty of the humans.  The greatest piece of art made by Michelangelo is the sculpture of King David, which exposes his naked body.  It is so beautiful that it projects not only the beauty of the human body, but also the glory of a man.  If “King David” sculpture is the masterpiece of Michelangelo, human is the masterpiece of God.  No wonder that its beauty is unsurpassed in this world.  In itself it carries with it the priceless beauty, because it is created by God himself.

            DaVinci said that an art piece is the movement of the spirit of the artist.  This concept revolutionizes the understanding of art.  One may imitate the beautiful object in his art piece, but his spirit is what gives the intrinsic quality of the art piece.  And so it is with human, it is God’s masterpiece, and thus in it has the intrinsic value of the movement of the Spirit of God.  No wonder that human expresses the glory, the beauty, and the honor of God the creator.  This applies to any kind of art piece.  If then pornography is seen as an art, then its intrinsic value is received through the spirit of the author.  Thus its value depends on the author of the pornographic materials.  The sensual drive of the author, the cheap use of what is already a beautiful art for the purpose of inciting sensual desire, which is also an easy way to make money, becomes the intrinsic value of the pornographic materials.  No invention.  No authenticity.  No beautiful choreography.  No honorable conversations.  No meaningful utterances.  And that’s the value of it.  So, yes they are right to say that pornography is an art, but it is the lowest art.  It is a bad art.  For it is degrading the masterpiece of God.  The function and the beauty and the glory and the honor of human body, of sexual activities, are not projected whatsoever in the pornographic materials.  Porn only exploits the masterpiece and cheapens its value by stripping it of its deepest meaning.  Porn degrades the dignity of man to the bottom.  And so even though the object of pornography is the most glorious and beautiful art, it is the worst art.  For it is not only degrading human’s dignity, but it also dishonors the creator.  If one were to degrade “Monalisa,” it is not only destroying the value of the masterpiece, but it also dishonors DaVinci.  Porn is the worst kind of art, because it is the kind of art that is used to break human ethics and to damage the human soul.

            That is why pornography is wrong.  Sex must not be exploited.  Human body must not be exploited.  It is created by God for his holy purpose.  Sex, especially, is authored by God to be celebrated in marriage.  The beauty of it is bound within the context that is given with it.  When performs outside the context, or used for the purpose to stimulate imagination outside of marriage, or even to stimulate the unlawful sensual desire, its value has been downgraded to the very bottom.  Remember what Jesus says, that even in the motivation and imagination one can be found guilty of sin.  And so, if you access porn or anything that may fall under the category of porn, you will be hooked for it has the residue of the masterpiece.  But it won’t do you any good.  It will damage what is beautiful in you.  It will destroy your soul.  You might not realize it now because you are so caught up in it.  But sooner or later you will find out that your life is consumed in it that getting out will be like cutting your own air supply.  It would be that difficult.  The best way is to stay away.  The only way to get out is to cut it off altogether from your life.  Jesus says that if your eye causes you to sin, then you better cut it off rather than entering hell with full body.  For it is better to enter heaven without your eye.  It doesn’t mean that you actually then must take out your eye, so that you go blind.  But it means that you should not allow sin to take control over you.  So, let pornography go.  It is wrong.  Cut it off you.  Do not treasure it anymore.  Do not cherish it.  It degrades your value.  It dishonors God.  The depravity of man has led to the confusion of right and wrong.  The blurred line provides an excuse for people to continue to sin.  But that is inexcusable.  An hour is coming that all our acts will be judged.  So as Jesus proclaims: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand,” now is the time to obey Jesus.  Now is the time to repent.  Leave your life of sin.  Leave pornography.  Repent!

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