What’s the problem with pornography?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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Sexually explicit images are as near as the click of a mouse. Consequently, pornography has become pandemic. As Joe Dallas has aptly noted, pornography is not only an enslaving addiction and a violation of marriage vows, but a precursor to increasingly dangerous and degrading sexual practices.

First, pornography is an addictive behavior that enslaves the mind and conditions users to view others as mere objects of self-gratification. As such, our Lord warns us to guard our gaze: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).

Furthermore, pornography breaks the sacred bond of marriage and, as such, tears apart the very fabric of society. Moreover, when pornographic images are used to satisfy sexual desire, a marriage partner is defrauded. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus rendered lustful visual encounters the moral equivalent of extramarital sexual relations (Matthew 5:28).

Finally, just as marijuana is a precursor to experimenting with ever more dangerous substances, so pornography often leads to increasingly degrading sexual behaviors. Says James: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15).

Thankfully, even the strongest addiction to pornography can be overcome by taking practical steps to remove the temptation, by establishing an accountability structure, and by putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). The covering described in Scripture as the full armor of God is an impenetrable barrier against which the fiery darts of the evil one are impotent. When we are clothed in the covering, we are invincible. When we are not, we are but pawns in the devil’s malevolent schemes.

For further study, see Joe Dallas, “Darkening Our Minds: The Problem of Pornography among Christians,” Christian Research Journal 27, 3 (2004): 12-21.


“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

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