Pornography

 -A Counterfeit Love-
One could ask what is wrong with looking at pornography? It is not like you are getting a girl pregnant or spreading STDs?
On the surface it looks very harmless. However the impact of porn shapes your life in a heavy and serious way as we will described below. Pornography by definition  is making a person “an object of enjoyment, intended for satisfaction without limits.” It violates the fundamental intention of God’s creation for sexaulity. While love involves sacrifice and commitment, porn teaches you to reduce others to sexual objects that can be used and discarded once the passion wears off. It excludes any sense of invisible dimension - of the intimacy and sacredness of the human person.  Our Lord warns anyone who looks lustfully at a women  [or women at a man] commits sin with her in heart [Matt 5:28].
Human body is as much a part of God’s creation as the spirit and soul. The Bible teaches that a Christian should glorify God in his body since it is a temple of Holy Spirit [1 Cor. 6:13-20]. We are always called to present our bodies in act of worship as a living sacrifice to God [Rom. 12:1]. Humans are made for love. When a person is involved in pornography, it is impossible to be reciprocating the love the other significant is offering. Because porn only takes [it doesn’t give]. Some argue that porn relieves temptation. But porn doesn’t get rid of temptations any more than prostitution does. The idea that porn can be used to decrease temptation is like saying that a lighter fluid can be used to  extinguish a fire. We are created to make a gift of ourselves to each other in a Godly way, but porn teaches us a lifestyle of indulgence that only knows how to take.  Love is a gift of one’s self to another. God has put a standard in which one could enjoy sexual relationships. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Heb. 13:4).

Effects of Pornography

  1. Brain makeover:- Dating often neuroscientist explain that pornographic image both quickly import and alter the brain by triggering an instance, involuntary but lasting biochemical memory trails.

    • Porn structurally changes your brain and creates a memory - this is why it is hard to get rid of the image. The brain can be trained but it usually take time, [some say it will take up to 9 years to undo the damage].

    • It numbs and desensitizes your sexually.

    • With the brain change and stuck memories, when you marry- the partner can never hope to measure up to images you have been exposed to in your fantasies.

  2. Men:- the most victim of this SIN because they respond more readily to visual stimuli

    • It robs a man of his capacity to be a man.  It emasculates a man.

    • Women are created to be loved, never to be used. This is why porn degrades women, destroy marriage, and offend the LORD.

    • It trains a man to think a women as an object to be used instead of love- leads to rapist mentality. Ted Bradley raped and killed dozens of women. He died by electric shock. In his final conversation with Dr. James Dobson, he stated all the problem started with pornography.

    • Pornography drives a man to value a women-only for what she gives him rather than for the person she is.

    • trains a man to value a woman only for what she gives him rather than for the person she is. Because he is so focused on what he is getting, he doesn’t learn to give.

    • With porn, there is no relationship, no mutual exchange of self between persons. There is no true gift of self and no real union, only self-centered counterfeits.

    • Those who look porn often will find difficult to relate to women in real life.

  3. Women​​

    • Though women focus more on romance than sexuality. However, research has shown that women are becoming addicted to porn as well.

    • It fills one’s  head with pictures of guys who don’t exist. If you do, you will end up in  a “ depression city”

    • Leads to shame, feeling guilty, and separates one from God and His Saints.

  4. Marriage​​

    • Porn is a perfect way of shooting your future marriage in the head. Because research has shown that people who look at pornography found that they were less likely to be satisfied with their partner’s affection, physical appearance, sexual curiosity, and sexual performance.

    • One response to the marital dissatisfaction often caused by pornography habits is to bring pornography into the bedroom.

    • The presence of lust in the heart of the man blocks his ability to view the women as a person.

 

All sins are sins, in that they are actions which turn us away from God. Pornography is a sin. The Bible states, “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin”. Deliverance become increasingly difficult with passage of time. But, be assured that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more (Rom. 5:20). We might fall into sin again and again, but No one – no matter what his or her distortion/condition – is beyond the scope of Our Lord and Christ’s redeeming love. If you are trying to get rid of this huge problem just by yourself, it will be futile. That is why Our Lord stated, “Apart from me you can do nothing” [Jn 15:5]. Unless the Lord overturns the house of the flesh and builds the house of the spirit, all our labor is in vain. A person who is struggling with pornography must offer to the Lord the weakness of his nature. St. John of the Ladder taught, "Admit your incapacity and without your knowing it you will win for yourself the gift of chastity". We need God’s help to deliver us from this terminal illness. The greatest of saints have confessed that they had to battle constantly with sexual temptation in their mind. We should get comfort and see the beauty of our God in the bible and stories of saints in dealing with sin. We see many people in the bible with great sin - look at the person who was crucified on the right, Titus, Mary the adulterer, and King David; to mention few, and yet God has forgiven and uses them for good.  Our God is a God of Mercy and chances. “Did you commit sin? Enter the Church and repent for your sin, for here is the physician, not a judge, here one is not investigated, one receives remission of sin” St. John Chrysostom.

 

“Did you commit sin? Enter the Church and repent for your sin, for here is the physician, not a judge, here one is not investigated, one receives remission of sin”

St. John Chrysostom.

Practical advice on battling Pornography.”Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” [Phil. 2:12]

  1. Need Repentance  and Confession, and taking frequent  Holly Communion 

    •  You need to talk to your confessional father and get counseling, direction and to ask him to pray for you and take the Holy Communion [medicine] Purity doesn’t come overnight. It requires perseverance along with the help of God.  Purity is not a matter of wrestling our lust to the ground and putting it into a submission hold. To fight this sin, we need to follow what God has already revealed in the Bible. LIke  stated above, we can’t battle this by ourselves [apart from the help of God] and need to admit it. God has given a power/authority to the priest “to drive out impure spirits [thought, lust] and to heal every disease and sickness” [Mt 10:1] and to absolve and make us free from all sin [Mt 18:18]. Ultimately when we confess we are allowing God to transform our heart through sacraments [Confession and Holy Communion] of the church offer. Participating in the Holy communion erases sin and often gives you the power to overcome the problem. If God is within us through Communion, who can defeat us?! Holy communion is like a medicine that will help us to heal our selfish desire to lust.  However, confessing and taking Holy communion don’t remove our sexual desire or the causes of temptation. We have to do also the following :-

  2.  Remove the Temptation

    • ​Do whatever you can to rid yourself of occasions of sin. If you wish to have a pure mind, keep far away from the means that cause the corruption of thought. Keep away from all things that bring to your mind a sinful thought. Such thoughts may come as a result of faulty readings, of wicked things that are heard, or due to a sinful environment, bad company, or wicked friendship or internet. Job though a married man said if he was to be delivered from lustful thinking, he need to control his eye. He said, “I made a covenant with my eyes, not to look lustfully at a young woman”[Job 31:1]. One practical advice is to install filtering software [covenanteyes.com]*on your computer and phone. Another useful strategy is to put the holy Icon wherever you had the images. If it is on the Internet, put a crucifix or picture of Our Lady on top of the computer, and have a sacred image for your screen saver or computer wallpaper. You could also make the sign of the cross, or bless yourself with holy water when you feel tempted. Third, find a person [besides your confession of father - prefer if the person is a clergy, or Sunday School teacher] with whom you can be honest about your habit and be accountable to him/ her. The bottom line here is that if you want to overcome the temptation, “fix your mind on things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good” [Phil. 4:8]. The Spirit of God urges us constantly to lead every thought captive into the obedience of Christ [2 Cor. 10:5]. The way of life may be narrow and difficult, but the Holy Spirit can strengthen us to walk that way. *this is a website you download and help you overcome pornography by monitoring your Internet activity and sending a Report to a trusted friend who holds you accountable for your online choices. If you want to join this program, let me know [email, call or text me] and  there are a group of people who want to join, and could do it as a group [we might even get a discount].

  3. Pray for the redemption of your desire.

    •  ​If we want to truly overcome or avoid the temptation, we need to be an active participant in overcoming the sin with constant pray. Prayer is essential for those who want to persevere in purity.  Prayer is powerful competing responses that can defeat the lust that used to overpower us. Spending quiet time with God will allow us to rehabilitate the desire of our heart. Beside the regular prayer that you do in morning and night, train yourselves to pray short prayer repeatedly. Some examples are: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner", “Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me[Ps. 70:1].. By repeating a prayer, it makes it register in your subconscious so it will be in your thoughts automatically and may stay with you even in your sleep. Along with that, it is advisable to add fasting when it gets hard even though you tried so much,   as the Lord stated that some sin couldn’t be overcome without fasting and prayer [Mt 17:21]. 

  4.  Read the Holy Bible.

    • ​You don't go to battle without ammunition. St Paul said, “my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” [Eph 6:10-13] For this reason, King David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” [Ps. 119:11]. We must fill our minds daily with the Word of God -for saturating our minds thus thus with God’s word is one of the surest safeguards against evil thinking.  “Whenever you read the Gospel, Christ Himself is speaking to you. And while you read, you are praying and talking to Him.” St. Tikhon

  5.  Deepen your devotion and relation with Saints.

    • ​​​Pick a saint [i.e.St Mary, Archangel Michael, Abune Teklehaymanot] and deepen your devotion.  God has favored the saints for the sake of me and you. We have seen God’s working through his saints. Our Church and our lives are a living testimony to the effectiveness of Saint’s intercession/help.  

~PRAYER~

​Lord, I was separated with my sin, on my accord, from Your Divine word that gives life, the Holy Church- where I see Thy glory, Thy Communion.. and liturgy ..and therefore I had no life, no light, no truth, and no peace. You are gentle and don’t abide forcefully or by intimidation. Neither will You live in a soul that do not want the light. But where my sin increased, I saw Your grace increased all the more [Rom 5:20]. But now I am running toward You  knowing my soul has darkened and tainted with sin. Lord, You created everything and said, it is beautiful. I know my soul is darkened yet beautiful. Because You have created it. You have said “he who believe in me, though he may die, he shall live”. I know I am a black soul, like the soul of the Prodigal Son who was believed to be dead. I was lost. But I am beautiful, because You have purchased it with thy Precious Blood. When I started walking toward You, You saw me from a great far off. It gave me a great pleasure and assurance seeing You running toward me with compassion; and when you fell on my neck and kissed me. Though I am with sin,  You have send the Seraphim [the deacon] to take the coal [Thy Blood] from the altar and with it wipe my lips [Sin] to say Your name and praise You boldly. Though I am unworthy, You have taken and washed me and made me whiter than the snow. Lord, Thank you!, I have found beauty in You though I am weak. I can do all this through You who gives me strength and enlighten my life.

Glory to God

May the Intercession of St Mary be with us all.

Dn Fresenbet