Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) The tragic reality of pornography and keys to overcoming - victory you can live by.
Spiritual Warfare (SW-04)
The Pornographic Battle
It is now a $57 billion dollar a year industry around the world - with the United States enjoying the lion’s share of that - a whopping $12 dollars. I am talking about pornography. $12 billion dollars a year! That is an average of almost $55.00 per person in the US. As a matter of fact, did you the US porn revenue now exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, & NBC (6.2 billion). It is bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined. To put this in perspective, Microsoft, who sells the operating system used on most of the computers in the world does about half the annual sales that the pornographic industry does. (Reported sales of 36.8 billion in 2004.) With 4.2 million web sites and 372 million web pages (12% of the entire World Wide Web,) daily pornographic search engine requests total about 68 million per day - that is 25% of all search engine usage. One quarter of all pornographic web-sites prevented users from exiting the site simply - a practice on the internet known as ‘mousetrapping.’ In 2000 there were 88 000 porn sites - today there are 4.2 million - a growth in 7 years of 47000%. Let me give you a relative picture of that - last year Hollywood produced about 400 movies - the pornographic industry released m ore than 11 000 titles in the same period.
General Motors, the world’s largest company, now sells more graphic sex films through its DirecTV subsidiary than does Hustler pornographer Larry Flynt, according to distributors of the films. EchoStar Communications Corp., the No. 2 satellite provider, makes more money selling sex films than Playboy does with its magazines, cable, and Internet businesses, records from the companies show. The United States is now by far the world’s leading producer of porn, churning out hard-core videos at the astonishing rate of about 150 new titles a week. As a matter of fact, did you know that there are more adult bookstores in this country than there are McDonalds.
Unfortunately, the church has not been exempt from this curse as many Christians are caught in the deadly attraction to pornography. George Barna says that 28 % of "Born Again" Christians feel it is acceptable to view pornographic pictures. As many as one in four pastors struggle with or are addicted to pornography. Josh McDowell’s website states that "virtually ALL" teen boys look at it! Each and every month there are about 50 million first time visitors to adult web-sites.
While this is not exclusively a guy problem, it is primarily a guy problem. The breakdown of male/female visitors to porn sites is 72% male and 28% female. However, despite the fact that it is primarily a guy problem, the girls and especially the wives normally end up paying the price in terms of shattered trust, broken homes, deadly comparisons, and even being sexually hurt by husbands or fathers who fell into this trap and ended up playing it out. By the way - one of the saddest victims of pornography are the actors - it is painful, dirty, degrading and disgusting for them. These actors often throw up during shoots, they self- medicate their shame and guilt with drugs and alcohol - but they are the saddest victims you will meet. There is zero pleasure or enjoyment for them in this industry that victimizes them, degrades then and with increasing ambivalence becomes more and more brutal and demeaning to them. The crude truth is that porn is made by men for men at the expense of women. It exposes women’s bodies for the pleasure of men. Women are physically hurt and emotionally scarred in the making of it - and it is degrading to them to know that men will buy or even look at material that reduces women to a thing to be penetrated. Porn eroticizes power, dominance and violence and fuses sexual desire with cruelty to women. And that does not seem to bother the men who buy it or view it on the internet.
The title of our series is Spiritual Warfare. I have come to realize that pornography in general, and internet pornography specifically, is the single area where we are taking our biggest hits and picking up our heaviest casualties - yes even in the Body of Christ. We are seeing, I believe, a renewed, intentional and specific attack on the church. What became popular in the first half of the 20th century - pornographic short stories and written books, soon gave way to black and white then color magazines and pictures. Then came ‘blue movies’ and seedy back-street theaters. After that came videos and ‘adult’ video stores. Then came premium cable or satellite TV that you could purchase - or it was available for free late at night or in hotels and motels around the world. And then came the tsunami of internet pornography - and it came free, fast, anonymous and with no immediate consequences - a digital tidal deluge. A staggering 53% of men who attended a Promise Keepers rally confessed to viewing pornography the very week of the Promise Keepers rally.