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Current Page: Church & Ministries | Monday, January 14, 2019
Theologian: 6 reasons porn is 'cruel,' adult film industry is 'destructive, enslaving system'

Theologian: 6 reasons porn is 'cruel,' adult film industry is 'destructive, enslaving system'

According to the most recent numbers, three porn websites have made the top 10 most popular websites in the United States and get more traffic than eBay, Twitter, Wikipedia, Instagram, Reddit and Netflix. | (Photo: Pexels)

An author and theology professor has identified six reasons porn is “cruel,” pointing specifically to the exploitation of women and children, and condemned the adult film industry as a “destructive, enslaving system.”

Justin Holcomb, an Episcopal priest and a theology professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, recently wrote a column published by The Gospel Coalition titled “Porn Is Not Harmless. It’s Cruel.”

In it, he laments that there’s a pervasive myth that pornography is harmless — but in reality, it’s “deeply destructive.”

“Porn is much more than an individual decision—it’s part of a system that preys on women and children, and its viewers are participating in, contributing to, and being shaped by that destructive, enslaving system,” he charges.

Holcomb then identifies six reasons pornography is “cruel,” the first being how it directly fuels the sex trade.

“The primary way porn fuels the sex trade is by building the demand,” he says. “After all, the sex trade consists of supply and demand. The supply is women and children either forced into exploitation at home or lured away from their homes with promises of jobs, travel, and a better life. The average age of girls who enter street prostitution is between 12 and 14—even younger in some developing countries.”

“Traffickers coerce women and children through a variety of recruitment techniques to enter the commercial sex industry in strip clubs, street-based prostitution, and escort services,” he adds. “Thousands of children and women are victimized in this way each year...The trafficking industry wouldn’t exist without demand.”

Pornography also “shapes the appetites of men, women, and children to accept and even enjoy the exploitation of women,” Holcomb says.

“Porn teaches its consumers that women exist for the pleasure of men and that their purpose is to be degraded and dehumanized for men’s excitement—and that they like it, even if they pretend not to,” he says. “But this is part of the lie: Countless women in porn are there against their will and are being exploited.”

He cites statistics revealing that most women involved in the sex industry are adult survivors of sexual abuse to argue that “pornography exploits child sexual abuse victims” and “supports ‘rape culture.’”

“The physical, emotional, and psychological damage to the women and children in porn is heartbreaking, but equally insidious is porn’s effect on men and society by normalizing the degradation and dehumanization of women,” he says. “The prevalence of porn means people are becoming desensitized to it, and are seeking out ever harsher, more violent, and degrading images.”

The Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault author argues that pornography also “hijacks children’s sexuality” and “limits men." He clarifies that while porn addiction isn’t just a “men’s issue” — 28 percent of people admitting to internet sexual addiction are women — it remains a pervasively male problem.

“Everyone in the supply chain, from production to consumption, is participating in the economic juggernaut that is the porn industry, whether they realize it or not,” he concludes. “This industry fuels the global sex trade, builds the demand for exploitation, severely distorts sexuality, exploits abuse victims, and normalizes the degradation of women and children. That’s why porn is much more than a private, individual decision.”

According to the most recent numbers, three porn websites have made the top 10 most popular websites in the United States and get more traffic than eBay, Twitter, Wikipedia, Instagram, Reddit, and Netflix.

Recently, Pastor Craig Gross of XXXchurch advised those struggling with pornography addiction to take "drastic steps" — such as getting rid of one's phone — to make permanent change happen.

"Have you actually removed a computer?" he asked.

The Bible, he noted, contains even more extreme examples, such as Jesus suggesting that one gouge out his or her own eye to prevent sinning in the Gospel of Matthew.

"How hard are you actually working on it? Does anyone in your life actually know about this, that is holding you accountable on a weekly basis?" he asked.

Last year, Christian apologist Josh McDowell also stressed the need for accountability, warning that those who struggle with porn addiction won't succeed in overcoming it if they try to battle it alone.

“If you try to go it alone, you won't make it," he said. "Just take your Bible and then start with the New Testament how many scores of time it writes 'one another, one another, love one another, pray for another, counsel one another, encourage one another.'"

"And when we confess our sins to God, the Bible promises forgiveness, but what does He promise when we confess our sins one to another? Healing."

McDowell also warned against the idea that "all you need is Jesus" when battling a pornography problem. That phrase, he said, harms efforts to overcome the addiction.

"Pastors and teachers that preach 'all you need is Jesus,' [are] probably doing more harm than almost anything else taught on pornography," cautioned McDowell.

"Every time a parent, a teacher, a Bible teacher, a pastor preaches 'all you need is Jesus,' they're cutting people off from one of the greatest sources of healing. And it's not speaking in tongues or anything else; it's confessing your sins one to another."

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