Love & War
As technology advances we, as Christians, must be prepared to address the ways in which the sinful heart of man will misuse and abuse the technology to the hurt of themselves and their fellow man. The abuse of technology throughout history is nothing new. The thing to keep in mind is that we are not to fear technological advancement, but rather we should remain vigilant to guide culture to healthy uses of technology.
Man will, generally, always be inventing ways to be more powerful, thus bigger and more deadly weapons; and he will be inventing things to bring him pleasure & comfort. The issue at hand is not protection from harm (i.e. technological advancements in weapons), or the many pleasures which an iPhone can afford. Weapons over the last 150 years have gone from the sort where you must look your opponent in the eye, to the sort where you need never leave your office and can unleash devastation on an entire city; going from broadswords to nuclear bombs poses a whole discussion on the ethical use and development of such powerful weapons; I will leave that for another time.
At Our Fingertips
What I want to speak to is a more pressing topic for our everyday life, and that is the fact that the prevalence of internet pornography is such that you don’t even have to go looking for it. Solomon had 900 concubines, but he didn’t have an iPhone that would allow him access to more sexual images, videos and situations than one red-blooded 16 year-old boy could even fantasize.
FightTheNewDrug.com just reviewed the analytics released by the biggest porn website regarding the amount of content and the sort of content which was consumed in 2016. The results are horrific. The amount of time spent LAST YEAR ALONE on this ONE website amounts to 5,246 centuries of human life (4.6 billion hours). The most popular search terms were, for the most part, either incestuous (i.e. step-mom/sister sex) or perpetuating the exploiting of impoverished minority groups (i.e. latin, asian, or black women). This perpetuates women in third world countries being devoured by the black hole of sexual sin which porn websites open up; it is a system that treats humans as merchandise to be consumed and tossed aside, and it disproportionately effects especially women in poorer countries.
Fight the Fight of Faith
So, before you unplug the internet, and flush your smartphones down the loo, we must remember that the issue is not the technology, the issue is the human heart. That said, Christian men and women should take very seriously the fact that technology has made it possible for all of us to have a little “pocket harem” which we might summon up at any time. Again, mankind’s quest for pleasure apart from Christ is nothing new, what is new is from what source the temptation comes.
A few steps I recommend and seek to practice:
- On social media have a “one-strike” policy; if a friend posts images, videos or content you can block/hide either that page, that acquaintance, or both. Facebook and YouTube are designed to keep you on their site for as long as possible; thus, related videos are gold for them. A good YouTuber knows that “skin sells” and will put as much “flesh” in their “thumbnail” photo as possible, because humans all too often think with their hormones and not their brains. Again if you see a suggested video, page, etc., learn how to block/hide those videos.
- Be brave enough to confess your temptation to misuse the good technology which God has blessed you. It has less allure when you talk about it out loud to a spouse, friend, parent, pastor, etc.
- Refuse to be suckered by it. Be strong with the strength which God gives to His children. He has made us more than conquerors. This means you can resist it, not just that you should resist it. This means you can resist it, not just that you should resist it.
- Remember that the average “lifespan” for porn actors/actresses is very short (a few years at most); they are then left to look to prostitution, drugs, etc. for the rest of their lives. Sex on screen is posed, covered in make-up, and never has a bad attitude. I’ve written on this before, but essentially, it is as fake as it gets! The industry chews them up and spits them out; sounds more like Satan than Christ to me. Thus, refuse to be a pawn of Satan. Show some spine and simply spurn the temptation to misuse the technology by turning your phone into a personal harem.
This is one front which, as Christians, we will need to be vigilant to fight against in our personal lives, families, churches and communities. It will change with time (i.e. artificial intelligence, service robots in the home, robo-brothels), which is why we must be ready to apply the Gospel to technological advancement, and not be like the numb-skull in Proverbs 7 who was devoid of understanding, and wandered down THE WAY to HER house.
Above all, remember that God made us sexual beings with the intent of us glorifying Him with this dimension of our existence. Sex isn’t dirty; the unregenerate heart is, and it will sully everything it touches. Think like a Christian, by the renewing of your mind, and do not be conformed to this world’s reckless blunder in insatiable lust of its own destruction.
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