The Deception of Porn and the Power of Truth

The Deception of Porn and the Power of Truth 

A few years ago, I attended a Summit in Washington D.C., where leaders from organizations all over the globe gathered to learn, collaborate, and discuss strategies to put an end to all forms of sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking, prostitution, and pornography are all heads of the same destructive monster.

I was particularly grieved to hear from one of the speakers about the date rape epidemic happening on college campuses. She gave several examples, from disturbing slogans on t-shirts and banners hanging from frat houses, to very specific stories of girls being raped while unconscious. In one particular instance, guys placed special bracelets on girls as they came in the door of a frat party as a signal for their drinks to be spiked with a date rape drug so that they could have sex with them later while they were unconscious. While shocking and disturbing, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

When you look beneath the surface of this growing cycle of violence and abuse, you find studies that show kids are watching pornography at an alarming rate. Added to that is how violent and perverted porn has become, and yet it remains pervasive and accepted. According to an article by Exodus Cry, “A content analysis study published in 2010 of 304 of the most popular heterosexual porn films showed that 88% of them included physical aggression by men against women, which included mostly choking, gagging, hitting, kicking, closed fist punching, biting, and bondage.” We are only just beginning to see the effects of a generation that has grown up being assaulted and influenced by the porn industry.

Research shows that the average age a kid sees porn for the first time is eleven. And shame keeps many kids from saying anything, and as they keep watching, that destructive seed is nurtured and grows into something destructive. Child on Child assault is increasing all over the world as kids act out on siblings or neighbors what they see in porn. Porn also trains boys to see girls as sex objects rather than people to be valued and treated with honor and respect. And while not every person who looks at porn will act out in violence, we are still seeing the devastating effects of a pornified culture.

You may have seen in the news recently that a fourteen-year-old boy raped and killed his ten year-old cousin. According to the news, his dad is a convicted pedophile who was imprisoned for the possession of disturbing child porn as well as drugs.

What is tragic is that this kind of violence is becoming more and more prevalent. But the most lasting grief for me comes from watching even those so opposed to the effects of pornography remain so blindly supportive of the philosophy that opens the door to its use.

The root that the tentacles of Satan’s teaching sink into, is his false philosophy, on “freedom.” Many who hate the porn industry, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation adhere to moral relativism (morality is relative to the time period, culture, or person’s views). Academia generally applauds women standing up for their self-worth while teaching students that there is no such thing as absolute truth and that right and wrong are subjective. The recklessness and danger of abandoning all logic and truth tragically blinds us to the connection between this philosophy and the evil and oppression in the world.

Under the reckless abandon is the false belief that moral relativism produces “freedom” for all. People believe sexual “liberation” and the pursuit of pleasure at any expense leads to freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture asks an important question that we should be asking ourselves: “Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16 CSB). That pervasive lie comes from the Father of lies and is unleashing all sorts of hell on earth.

As Christians, we must be aware of and awake to the enemy’s schemes so that we can take seriously the high calling we’ve been given in Christ Jesus and walk worthy of it. As believers, we can’t lose sight of the spiritual battle we engage in daily and the truth that Jesus is the solution to every evil in the world.

And sadly, this is a troubled history repeating itself. The book of Judges details how God’s people neglected God’s Word and turned away from His commands to do what they wanted in the name of “freedom.” Judges 21:25 says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever seemed right to him” (CSB). God kept sending judges like Deborah and Gideon to rescue His people from their enemies and lead them back to the Lord. But the downward spiral continued, and by the end of the book something grotesque happened (see Judges 19).

The truth is, everyone doing what is right in their own eyes does not lead to greater freedom and happiness, it leads to exploitation, destruction, and oppression of others. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.” In other words, not every path leads to God or to life. Lots of people are on the path of their truth, their choosing, but the Bible says if it’s not God’s path, in the end it will lead to death. This is weighty. There is too much at stake to be embarrassed or afraid of speaking God’s truth in love. Souls are on the line, and lives are being crushed by the devastation of sin.

We must remember that the church has always been part of God’s plan for offering His redemption to the world. Though Jesus is the only One who paid the price to redeem us, He has called us—His bride, His church, His people—to share that good news with everyone else. The church has by no means been perfect. We are saints who were once defined by sin, who still have the capacity to be deceived, walk in the flesh, and get entangled by sin. But the church has also established orphanages, hospitals, schools, freedom fighters, and much more. Despite their mistakes, the Spirit of God who indwells His people fills them with love, compassion, and a passion to see righteousness and justice fill the earth.

In the Roman empire, perversion and depravity was the norm. The Romans valued pleasure above all else, and they put no restrictions on their appetites. Excavated household items like bowls, cups and utensils, reveal drawings of all kind of sexual acts, many incredibly obscene. Pedophilia was common. Nero had a young boy named Sporus, castrated and then married him. Seriously, anything went, no matter how barbaric and grotesque, and sadly the women, men, and children who were the sexual objects of the day suffered immensely.

When the Christians came along, they had entirely different values on sex and marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.” And Paul told believers, “For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you knows how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles, who don’t know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). He also reminded them that their bodies were “a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Many of the early Christians were coming out of that lifestyle, which is why Paul talked so much about sexual immorality and the need to flee from it and pursue purity.

The Holy Spirit lives in us, and we’ve been called to walk in the light and in purity. We’ve been called to love one another and lift people up, not use them to meet our desires. As Christians, we believe every woman, man, and child has inherent value and dignity because they are made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:27).

We must heed the warnings of the apostle Paul to not be deceived by the many false teachings and philosophies of the world. Scripture says the days will get darker before Jesus returns. The enemy counterfeits everything God does, but we are not to put our hope in anything but the Lord. We must be committed to doing things God’s way, and to know God’s way we must be people of the Word, cherishing it and holding it close to our hearts. He is leading the way to life and happiness, or as God puts it, to “love life and see good days” (1 Peter 3:10).

The good news is that Scripture says where sin abounds, grace abounds more (Romans 5:20). Through the Holy Spirit we have the power to overcome sin. Many men and women who have been in bondage to porn and other forms of sexual immorality are walking in freedom. They are telling their stories and encouraging others to walk in freedom too—they are bringing light into the darkness.

It will take unwavering commitment and consistent accountability to fight and rigorously renew and retrain the mind (Romans 12:1-2; James 5:16). We cannot walk in real freedom alone. Brothers and sisters in the Lord, don’t grow weary doing good. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep encouraging one another to “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us” (Hebrews 12:1). Let’s continue to fight oppression and injustice with spiritual weapons like prayer, obedience, and grace. Let’s be a voice of truth in a world of lies; light in an ever-darker world. May the Word of God, not empty philosophies, be the “lamp for [our] feet and a light on [our] path” (Psalm 119:105).

May we always remember where our worth comes from, that we are abundantly loved by God. And no matter what the days bring or who He brings into our lives, may we press on in His call to love, to change the world in His name, and to set the captives free.

Letter to the Media Regarding Story About the Drive-Thru Strip Club in Houston

To Whom It May Concern,  

My name is Leigh Kohler, and I serve as the President of the Freedom Church Alliance. The Freedom Church Alliance is a group of churches (29 and growing) in our beloved city of Houston, united to fight human trafficking. It is our aim to see our city transformed from a place that is known as a hub for human trafficking to a city where every woman, child and man is protected and valued.

In the past, your newspaper has covered the problem of human trafficking in our city, and we are grateful for the awareness you have raised. I am writing to you today out of grave concern and angst over your recent story about the drive-through strip club in Houston​.​ There was more to the story to report, and by not reporting this in a broader context, it likely promoted the club to some of your viewers. Law enforcement, survivors and others who have been actively engaged in anti-human trafficking efforts know firsthand the correlation between strip clubs and the problem of human trafficking. Your past reports have also conveyed this undeniable connection. We would have liked to see this included in your most recent story. 

We would request that you carefully consider the mixed signals that are sent by speaking against human trafficking and then promoting a drive-through strip club. Simply put, how you frame a story like this has significant consequences for young women and girls who are victims of this industry. Please join us in working to make our city a place where all women are treated with integrity rather than as​ objects. 

Thank you for your time and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments.​ ​We understand these are difficult days. Thank you for your service to our city. Our prayers are with you.

Best Regards,

Leigh Kohler