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Pornography: Spiritual Battleground

“If you know the enemy and know yourself,
your victory will not stand in doubt.”

Sun Tzu, Chinese General, 1st Millenium B.C.

These important words by the famous Chinese general, Sun Tzu, are applicable to the Christian’s struggle against the tide of pornography in our culture.

This is a war, you see.  Satan and his forces are our enemies and opponents.

Like moderns wars, there are many “fronts”, many battlefields.  When a general has mastery over a particular battlefield he is said to “own” that battlefield.  It is sort of like how Coalition Forces in Operation Desert Storm “owned” the skies.

Satan owns the sexual battlefield, pretty much world-wide.  And one of his most entrenched and expansive battlefields is that of pornography.

The Church is finally, albeit slowly, waking up to this “front” in our war against Satan and his forces.  If we are to “own” this battlefield we must, as Sun Tzu teaches, do two things:

  • Know ourselves,
  • Know our enemy.

So, let’s take a look at the “average Christian adult” in America, in terms of the sexual battlefield and pornography.

In the past 50 years:

  • Society increasingly uses sexuality for marketing and advertising.
  • Technology has expanded the types of media used to deliver sexually oriented material to the public and makes it more easier each decade.
  • Most Christians have heard far more sermons on stewardship and tithing than on Christian sexuality and sexual purity.
  • The entire culture has become increasingly saturated with sexual imagery and concepts,  yielding a “sexualized society.”
  • What was once deemed private, or deviant, has  now been mainstreamed, with more extreme sexual practices in line for  mainstream acceptance (see FIFTY SHADES OF GREY!)
  • Increasingly, cultural and societal taboos are becoming norms, or at least accepted practices.

That is the “geography” of the sexual battlefield.  One of the major “battlefronts” in this war is pornography.  It is insinuating itself within our culture, and our Churches.  It is affecting the outcome of the sexual battlefield.

The Church can, and must, re-take this battlefield! After all, God created sexuality in the first place.  Satan has merely corrupted His divine design (which seems to be Satan’s standard modus operandi).

So,according to Sun Tzu, in order for us to have victory we must know ourselves, and our Enemy.

Let’s start by looking in the mirror:

Adults in our culture have been shaped by decades of “Biblical neglect” and social influence in the area of sexuality.  Since the 1950’s the American Christian has:

  • Learned little of Christian sexuality.
  • Developed a finely tuned split personality between their public and private selves.
  • Adopted a self-centered worldview that focuses on having what they want, when they want, how they want.
  • Absorbed the “man as animal” worldview, leading to a “this is just the way I am and it’s neither my responsibility or my fault that I sin” self-image.
  • Adopted a “I can’t fight this, I’m gonna lose anyway” attitude.
  • We’ve bought into the lies of  sex as performance and sex as competition
  • Taken the forgiveness of the Cross as a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card, especially in regards to sexual sin.
  • Accepted the results of 17 Centuries of bad theology in the area of sexuality, including a “sex is inherently naughty/bad” mindset. (Thank you Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, et al.)

What about the Enemy?

Satan has been successful on this battlefield because:

  • He has gotten Man to accept the views of man, rather than the Word of God.
  • He has gotten Man to take traditional thought as “Gospel”.
  • He has gotten Man to accept “a little sin”, paving the way to larger sins.
  • He has gotten the Church to IGNORE that battlefield (good folk aren’t interested in sex!).
  • He has exploited the fact that the Church has, traditionally, been tardy in reacting to changes in Society.
  • He has been patient, and taken his time (swimsuits didn’t go from modest to thong bikinis overnight!)
  • He has deceived.
  • He has misled
  • He has used “divide and conquer” in the home.

OK, we’ve looked at ourselves and our Enemy.

How do we have victory on the pornography battlefield?  How does the Church go on the attack?

Well, we have to start with the one thing we didn’t notice in the mirror:

Jesus is our General, and He is already victorious!!!

We are only His soldiers (like the old hymn said).  Jesus has won the war.  We need to win the battles leading to His final victory.

To follow Sun Tzu’s teaching fully, then, we need to add to what we saw in the mirror earlier:

  • Each of us is vulnerable to sin, and most of us are at risk to sexual sin, including the sin of pornography.
  • While Satan and the evil in our Society are strong, we are stronger through our membership in God’s Family.
  • Jesus will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist (with Him our side)  and will provide a way of escape! (1 Cor 10:13)

As Christian leaders and concerned laypersons we need to start with one common act:

We need to pray for repentance, forgiveness, and restoration of our Nation, and the World in this area.

If we don’t start with prayer we will lose!!!

After we seek God’s covering through prayer we need to:

  • Recognize the importance of the sexual battlefield.  More are wounded there than with drugs, alcohol, violence, etc).
  • Recognize that ALL members of the Church are targets, regardless of age and gender, including getting all parents to realize the threat to the home.
  • Address our own vulnerabilities and secure our own homes against pornography.
  • Establish training programs for those under our care to let them spiritually stand on firm rock and not shifting sands.
  • Inform and equip those under our care to protect themselves and their families through both Scripture and technology.
  • Since Satan is constantly attacking in the area of pornography we need to create a culture of resistance to it by teaching God’s standards for sexuality, and not just around Valentine’s Day!
  • Create places of healing and recovery for those wounded by the sin of pornography.
  • Constantly empower our people with the knowledge that Victory can be theirs, and that they are already conquerors through Christ!

The issue of pornography is a growing one.  Satan is on the move.  Time for us to MOUNT UP!

Through the strength of the Cross and leadership of the Spirit, the Church can not only resist the Enemy, but retake ground and free prisoners that the Enemy has taken.

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