What Are You Catching In "The NET"?
One in three American girls and one in seven boys will be sexually molested by age 18. Children ages ten and younger are frequently "well versed" on sexual matters. More children contract sexually transmitted diseases each year than all the victims of polio in its eleven-year epidemic from 1942-1953. An average serial child molester has between 360-380 victims in his lifetime. Twenty-two percent of boys and 23% of girls who are sexually abused are abused before age eight. As you read this listing, let me mention that this is only the beginning. Your next question may be, "What do all these things have in common?" The above is a sampling of some facts and statistics which are closely tied to pornography.
Now that I have your attention, let me shock you with some more facts and figures: A primary consumer group of pornography is adolescent boys 12-17 years of age (this in and of itself is illegal). There are now more hard-core pornography outlets in America than there are McDonald's Restaurants. Eighty-six percent of convicted rapists admit regular pornography use. Fifty-seven percent of convicted rapists admit actually imitating pornography scenes in the commission of their crimes. The list could continue, but I am sure that you get the point. Pornography is the prime cause of many problems today, and the alarming fact is that it is free everywhere!
That's right, Satan has it covered from video games to TV, music, magazines, telephones, and nowadays computers. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not blaming the actual components. I will, however, offer this question, "Who is watching and/or listening to it?" We are all, in some form or another, exposed to varying degrees of pornography. Some people, sadly, seek it out to get their "fix," and Christians are not immune. Anyone can become desensitized to the various forms pornography takes if he allows himself to. The temptation is there all the time, and especially if they have a computer and can "surf the net."
This brings me to some more important facts and figures: There are computer bulletin boards setup especially for the seduction of children. (They lure kids in with games and establish relationships with them online. Then they arrange to meet face-to-face.) Child molesters are using the electronic highway to look for victims. There are currently over 1,000 computer bulletin board services which offer pornography in the U.S. (This means that the number of actual accessible web sites is in the multiple thousands.)
Please keep in mind that "cyber porn" is not just a danger to children. Teenagers have given information (name, address, phone number) "online." Some people seem to be oblivious to the obvious dangers. Even adults are making their trips to the pornographic web sites that are in such abundance on their computers.
Excuse #1: "But it is in the privacy of my own home." True, but every web site keeps track of its visitors through a counter. If you have ever visited a web site, even for a moment, it has a record of your visit on their counter. You are now part of a "number" of people who have either "stumbled into" (Yea, right) or purposely entered that web site.
Excuse #2: "I didn't know that the site was porno-graphic in nature." Wrong again. Those web sites that have any amount of nudity on them must post a warning that checks to see if you are 18 or not. This sounds good, but it is merely the click of a button on yes and you're in. Computers don't lie, people do.
I could go on, but just thinking of all the excuses that can be used to justify actions like this makes me sick. Let's put some of this into biblical perspective (the only perspective we should have). God made us all in his image (Gen. 1:27), but sex has been misused and abused (Rom. 1:24-25). Pornography attacks the dignity of men and women created in the image of God. It also distorts God's gift of sex, which should only be expressed in the bonds of marriage (1 Cor. 7:2-3). The practices that result from pornography are condemned including things such as exposure (Gen. 9:21-23), adultery (Lev. 18:20; 20:10), bestiality (Lev.18:23), homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13), incest (Lev. 18:6-18), and prostitution (Deut. 23:17-18). The Bible warns against the misuse of sex. Premarital and extramarital sex is condemned (1 Con 6:13-18; 1 Thess. 4:3). Even thoughts of sexual immorality (often fed by porno-graphic material) are condemned (Matt. 5:27-28).
Parents, monitor your children and their use of "online services." Know more about your computer than they do so you can set restrictions you feel are necessary. Try keeping the computer in a "main room" in the house and explain to them the dangers of online "chat." The "chat" lines on computers allow anyone to be anybody they want to be. This option is thrilling to child molesters and anyone wishing to exploit someone else.
Teenagers, never give vital information over your computer. Names, addresses, and phone numbers are great tools for "cyber-sickos" to find innocent young people. My ad-vice would be to stay out of "chat" spots all together unless you are speaking with someone you know (and even that can be dangerous).
Husbands and wives, far too many marriages have been destroyed because of meeting someone "online." Discussions can turn sexual in nature at the push of a button. Face-to-face meetings are arranged and suddenly fantasy turns to reality. Warning signs are written all over this use of the computer. Christian beware! If you need to rekindle your love for your spouse, there are better ways (Prov. 5:15-23).
What else can we do? We must keep pure by fleeing immorality (1 Cor. 6:18) and by thinking on those things that are pure (Phil. 4:8). Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." We cannot make any provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14), and we must "abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (1 Pet. 2:11).
Pornography is an $8 billion-a-year business. Pornography ruins families, degrades people, is offensive, promotes destructive fantasy, is addictive, damages children, is linked with corruption, triggers sexual assault, and destroys God's creation. These things anger me because they are sin. So, in the words of a Captain who has continually been faced with adversity from an unrelenting enemy, "The line must be drawn here!"
Guardian of Truth XLI: 22 p. 5-6