Friday, May 30, 2014

Everything About This is Wrong: Albert Mohler on Revenge Porn

Although its an issue rarely raised by Christians, the prevalence of "revenge porn" has been a growing challenge for some time and several (usually) ex-girlfriends/wives have responded (rightly) with legal action. The church has remained mostly silent regarding the challenge of pornography and how the gospel breaks men (and women) free from its bondage. Therefore, I was pleased that Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, raised the issue in a recent Briefing podcast. You can listen to it here. Below is the transcript of his discussion:
This relates to a story that appeared last week in USA Today. The headline is “States Move to Ban Revenge Porn.” Trevor Hughes reports that the big issue in revenge porn is this: states are beginning to crack down on the fact that people are embarrassing former romantic partners who had shared intimate photographs, and by putting them up on the web to embarrass, they are then causing harm to the one who originally took the compromising photograph. Now let’s be very clear. From a Christian perspective, everything about this is wrong. Everything. The pornography’s wrong. The sexually explicit image is wrong. The lack of a marital context is wrong. The posting of such material is wrong. All of it is wrong! The whole ambition of revenge is absolutely wrong. The Bible would condemn every single aspect of this, but it is one of the most revealing new stories to come around in a very long time because what you have here are courts trying to put an end to revenge porn, trying to make it a crime, trying to make it a criminalized offense so that people can be arrested for this, and if they misuse—notice the key word here is misuse—a sexually explicit photograph that was sent from one romantic partner to another, there can be criminal consequences. But I have ransacked news media to find any acknowledgment of the underlying moral issue here, and, thus far, I have found not one major American media source that acknowledges that if you don’t have this photograph taken in the first place, it can’t be used against you by someone who wishes either to bless you or to curse you. In other words, no one’s talking about the individual responsibility of not participating in a pornographic act in the first place. So, again, this is very revealing. From a Christian worldview perspective, it reveals the insanity of a human creature so confused that we will try to re-create a morality on the other side of an immorality. We will create an immoral image and then we will try to come up with moral consequences for misusing an immoral image. And you wonder what kind of sinful creature could come up with something so devious and insane, well the Christian worldview answers that too. Where you look? The first place is in the mirror.
Pastors and churches need to be aware that they, right now, have those addicted to porn in their congregations. Furthermore, there are those, likely right now, who have been victimized personally by our pornified culture. That is why conversations and discussions like this are important and pastors and other church leaders must be better prepared to serve those suffering in our church.

For two great resources on breaking free from pornography, I highly recommend Heath Lambert's book Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace (read my review here) and Michael John Cusick's Surfing For God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle (read my review here).

For more:
"Finally Free" by Heath Lambert: A Review
A Must Read: Searching For God & Settling For Sex
"Surfing For God" by Michael John Cusick: A Review
"Vote Like Your Lady Parts Depend on It": The Duhumanization of Women
An Exaggerated Feminine Type: Uncle Screwtape on Beauty
A Must Read: What If It Were Your Daughter?
The Great Recession or the Recession That Made Us Great?: Pornography and the Frugality of Lust
Pornography for the Blind: Our Continuing Fantasy With What Is Not Real
It Takes One to Know One: Large Families and Smug Fecundity
"Real Marriage" by Mark & Grace Driscoll 
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