Abuse and Pornography, By MY
November 1, 2018
To Whom it May Concern:
First of all, I will say that the article on abuse probably has some value (“Relating to Perpetrators and Relating to Victims,” by Ann Detweiler). It is very, very sad that God’s people have to deal with such things, and obvious sins start from what man thinks.
There is also danger in internet use. To have all the information and filth at our fingertips greatly increases temptation. One example is pornography. Most humans are not strong enough to not snoop through by just clicking a few buttons. You might be strong enough, but what about your children? We need to protect the little lambs, don’t we?
Jeremiah Zeiset responds:
Thank you for writing to us. I appreciate your desire to avoid temptation. In thinking what the Bible says about evil, it seems that evil always starts in the heart of man rather than originating from outside of man and entering into his heart. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile the man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man (Matthew 15:19).
Imagine for a moment if we took a man and set him in the middle of the desert, with no access to anything or anyone else. Would he still be capable of sin? If it is true that sin begins in and flows out of the heart, then yes, he would still be very capable of sin.
But if our heart is right, it will grieve us when we realize we are tempted by any particular sin, and if we love God we will resist the devil and flee from temptation. But here is the reality – the internet itself does not accidently expose adults to sin—you actually have to look for it.
Just as evil starts in the heart, so does love for God, and that love works its way out from our heart to our soul, to our mind, and finally to our strength. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark 12:30).
In Matthew 23:26, Jesus warned about cleaning the outside of the cup, but not first making sure that the inside is clean: Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. It is just as possible to look good on the outside, with no internet access, but still not have a clean heart.
No doubt, as you mentioned, we also need to care for our children (I highly recommend internet filters, educating our children, and other easy ways we can help guard them from accident exposure to pornography).
Also, if one has a weakness with regard to lust and pornography, that individual should decide for himself not to have internet access, and this is also backed up with Jesus’ teaching: And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matthew 5:30). But each must know what he can handle, and act accordingly. It should be noted that not every single person should “cut off their hands,” but only those who are tempted.
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