Why You Should Say No to Spiritual Pornography
Easy access. New material every week. Guaranteed to satisfy. If you think I’m talking about pornography, you’re right. But not the kind you might think.
While it’s true that Internet pornography has enslaved parents and children alike, there’s something else that might have you hooked.
“You are a slave to whatever controls you” ( 2 Peter 2:19, NLT).
You might be enslaved to spiritual pornography.
Magic. Power. Secret. What do these words have common? They all tap into your emotions. They might make you excited, and they’ll probably have you coming back for more. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up craving increasingly more intense spiritual experiences. In the end, you’ll be left holding a bag of broken promises with your desires yet to be fulfilled.
Purveyors of spiritual pornography:
- promise you power
- offer you healing
- encourage you to look inward, not outward
- put heavy emphasis on the self
- avoid or deny absolutes
- may claim that you are God
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4, NIV).
What exactly is pornography? The third definition of pornography according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes pornography as:
“the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.”¹
Spiritual pornography offers a moment of pleasure. However, in the long run, indulging in spiritual pornography is unhealthy.
Pleasure and Addiction
Spiritual pornography exploits something good given to us by God—a desire to seek the spiritual things—so that a few can receive money, power, and fame.
The effect of pornography on the brain is similar to the experience of a drug addict. Jeffrey Satinover MD, PhD, testified before Congress:
“With the advent of the computer, the delivery system for this addictive stimulus has become nearly resistance free. It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes. It’s now available in unlimited supplies via a self-replicating distribution network, glorified as art and protected by the Constitution.”²
In his book The Compass of Pleasure, David J. Linden describes the process of developing a full-blown drug addiction:
“As addiction develops and tolerance, dependence, and cravings emerge, the euphoria produced by the drug gradually drains away. Pleasure is replaced by desire; liking becomes wanting.”3
As Powerful as Drugs
As it turns out, pornography can be as powerfully addicting as drugs. This should come as no surprise since drugs and pornography activate the same neurotransmitter in the brain: dopamine.
It’s natural to feel ashamed if you’ve been using spiritual pornography. The human conscience is real and works well. What’s important is that you stop.
Stop buying spiritual pornography (or downloading it for free).
Get an accountability partner. Have them confront you when they catch you watching Oprah. Install software that will send an email to your accountability partner when you visit that Secret website. Use a safe browser with a filter for the words Chopra and Tolle.
Take control of your life. You can beat it.
You don’t have to give up on spiritual things altogether. There is a Spirit who can satisfy your desires.
- He doesn’t promise you power.
- He doesn’t guarantee you will be healed.
- He’s not something inside of you.
- He is absolute.
- He, and only He is God.
Jesus doesn’t promise an easy life. In fact, if you follow Him, you will likely face hardship, ridicule, and persecution.
Michael M. Phillips, the author who chronicles Medal of Honor recipient corporal Jason Dunham’s heroism in Iraq, identifies an essential component of Marine Corps “theology” in which “glory derives from suffering.”4
Jesus endured the greatest suffering in the history of man, and He deserves the greatest glory.
Will you give Him a chance? I dare you.
- Hands of Light: Be Careful What You Reach For
- Why Jesus? (Part 1) Ravi Zacharias Gives Answers
- Living on Light: The Most Radical Diet Yet
²Jeffrey Satinover, M.S., M.D., “Jeffrey Satinover Statement to Congress on Pornography,” Woodbury Reports, Inc., May 9, 2008, HTTP://www.strugglingteens.com/news/Related News/JeffreySatinover.pdf
³ David J. Linden, The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good, (New York: Penguin Group, 2011), Kindle edition, loc. 293.
4 Michael M. Phillips, The Gift of Valor (New York: Broadway Books, 2005), 144.
Photo credit: Jacksoncam / Foter.com / CC BY
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.