Matthew 18:6 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
My eyes can’t unsee it. The video looked innocent enough … one that a facebook friend had posted. I clicked on it before I read the caption that stated, “share to help find this monster.” Before I could turn it off, I saw a woman in a daycare setting hitting a tiny, precious little girl in a way that made me literally nauseous. Trust me when I say that what my eyes and ears saw and heard was horrendous. I noticed that there were over four minutes on this recording. Who was filming and why weren’t they doing anything about the abuse? I quickly closed out and got on my knees and cried out to God, “no, no, no, no, no!”
When we’re not prepared or expecting to see an upsetting or shocking image, it can be traumatizing. (And when are we ever prepared?) There’s an endless stream of disturbing visuals that we can come across on tv and the internet that are awful not only because of what we’re seeing, but because we’re helpless to step across time and space to take action.
I can only imagine the way children or teens feel when they stumble upon modern-day pornographic videos for the first time. Shocked, bewildered, upset, frightened and repulsed. They may also feel a deep sense of shame and an inclination to hide because their bodies may respond in a way that’s unwanted and confusing to them.
Millions of men, women and children around the world are gravely and negatively impacted by the ramifications of pornography. The organization, Fight The New Drug, calls itself by that name, because for scientific reasons the brain becomes rewired from viewing pornography, and for some people the desire to view it becomes as addictive as the most potent drug.
White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week starts today, Oct. 27th through Nov. 3rd. It began in 1987 and brings together hundreds of national, state and local groups, along with concerned citizens in an effort to educate the public on the devastation and harms of pornography. Read more below about Norma Norris, the founder of WRAP Week: https://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/white-ribbon-pornography-wrap-week-30-years-strong/
I serve on the women’s ministry programming team at my church and we recently offered something to the ladies of our community that had never been before – an educational seminar on the dangers of pornography.
As we accumulated information to prepare, it became obvious to me why I too feel called to speak out about this subject. The articles and videos that we read and reviewed were profoundly unsettling. One thing I learned is that when the internet was first becoming widely used in the 1990’s, it was a dire statistic at the time that through data collecting programs, government entities attempting to crack down on child sex abuse discovered over 1,000 images of children being sexually exploited or abused.
Today, in 2019, the number of images collected by data analysis that depict children being sexually abused and tortured exceeds 43 MILLION. Yes, you read that right – 43 MILLION.
I don’t have sufficient words to express the despair, disgust, grief and discouragement I feel in typing that number. There are just no words.
Because of the sheer number of children affected and the astronomical number of clicks that pornography websites get per year (Pornhub has over 92 MILLION daily views and had 33.5 BILLION visitors in 2018), it’s a true global crisis not one of us can afford to ignore.
Even if the crisis doesn’t affect us directly, it affects us indirectly, like second-hand smoke, silently and insidiously, carrying the poison of numbness and lack of human regard and respect, into our relationships at work and within our churches, schools and communities.
Bravery and initiative in speaking the unspeakable – that’s the first step. Solutions will never come if we’re keeping this in the dark and aren’t having discussions about the perils with our loved ones, friends and neighbors.
As uncomfortable and unwanted as it may be, we must especially be talking to our young ones about “bad pictures” they may see and how to guard their little eyes, hearts and souls. If we don’t talk to them about it, unfortunately, someone else will. And probably at a much younger age than most of us can imagine. (A good book to read to our children is this, https://www.amazon.com/Good-Pictures-Bad-Porn-Proofing-Todays/dp/0615927335)
The conversations should not be anti-sex or anti-love, but anti-hate. And that’s exactly what pornography is. According to Dr. Gail Dines, president and CEO of Culture Reframed, “porn is not about making love, but about making hate.”
It scares and saddens me to think how grieved and angry God feels that something that He designed for sacredness, unity and oneness is being used for warped and twisted entertainment that involves hatred, violence and abuse of his beautiful creation.
This “entertainment” has become mainstream and socially acceptable and many believe that viewing it in the privacy of their own home hurts no one. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Watching porn not only harms the viewer at a soul level, but harms his or her relationships because of the deception and secrecy that becomes inevitable and the life destruction that often follows.
It also immeasurably harms children around the world because with each click of a video, more demand is created and more hard-core and extreme is made to satisfy the status quo.
Let’s educate ourselves to make a positive difference and take a loving, courageous stance against this issue that’s overwhelmingly and detrimentally impacting lives all around us. We may just be the lifeline someone desperately needs.
For information and empowerment, visit the following sites:
Fight the New Drug
National Center on Sexual Exploitation
Truth About Porn