Thursday, January 8, 2009


I used to work backstage in theater quite a bit before entering the seminary. Every once in a while someone would want to come backstage to meet one of the actors with whom they fell in love during the course of the evening. They would come to the door with bright eyes, shallow breathing, and deep passion. There were many occasions that I would try to dissuade them from seeking the idol of their dreams. “Go home with fantasy of the person you fell in love with,” I might say. Ah, but passion is often times not to be reasoned with and it takes no hints. So, giving in to the pressure of ardent begging their dream was fetched for them.

Quite often the person so fetched and the character portrayed on the stage were quite different people. One might be serious, strong, and brave on stage and the flighty, loud, and free from normal constraints of behavior off. So there was the inevitable crest falling of the face and the brave effort to still smile and have some spirit of flattery for the actor a that moment ago they were willing to stake the rest of the life in marriage with but now just wish to go home.

Though they had spent two hours with the person, they met a fantasy. They may know what the person who played the role looked like but they did not know the person. They did not love a person, they loved an illusion.

That is part of the problem – sin of you will – of pornography. It is not that too much of the person is exposed to you it is that that not enough of the person is. Here we find the difference between love (Scriptural love) and lust. Love seeks to give and lust seeks to take. In porn, an image of a person is taken completely apart from the soul and mind of the person, manipulated, and used to for our own personal means having nothing to do with what might be good for the other person.

“But they volunteer for it!” it might be said, “and get a paycheck! Where’s the harm?” The harm is wide reaching. Just because somebody chooses to degrade themselves does not make it alright for a Christian to participate in the degradation. (Because somebody wants to kill themselves or have an abortion or otherwise degrade themselves does not make Christian support of it Okay.) Next is our training of ourselves that there are certain persons, times, and places in which I might treat another human being without all of the dignity God wishes them to have. (A person who is nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person.) And lastly, even viewing “free porn” shows the producers of such soul rot that there is a market for such things and keeps the production in high gear and available to our children, the next generation of users.

“So, if you do not like it, turn it off.” It would be a swell thing if everyone could here confessions for a year. The seemingly easy mandate, “So turn it off,” would be exposed for the clap trap that it is. There is no freedom in porn – not for the producers, not for the “actors”, and definitely not for the viewers who wish terribly to be away from it forever.

The call is to love real people, appreciate real people, and extend dignity to all persons regardless of their desire to be respected, loved, and treated with dignity.


ck said...

"Love seeks to give and lust seeks to take."

Wow! There's a statement packed with meaning. I'm going to memorize that one. Wonderful post today.

uncle jim said...

all the way back to middle school days

one of the guys would bring in a magazine they found [under dad's bed?]

the curiosity ... then the hook

now we don't even have to sneak into dad's room

we just log-on

why is it so hard to log-out?

are girls / women falling prey today, too?

are they just as curious - and hooked?

real love covers it all - just that many have never recognized having experienced real love