On Porn: Get yourself a reputation…

There is a well-known Spanish saying: «Hazte de fama, y échate a dormir»: Get yourself a reputation, and go to sleep… meaning, of course, that when it is sufficiently established, your reputation does the job for you. That might have happened last weekend after my two posts on porn (Some Interesting Links and More Interesting Links). Since I don’t have right now a Net connection at home (and I must wait at least three weeks for one), I just uploaded my posts, and went home to sleep and rest. This morning I checked my blog to see some great comments from Dave, Catez, and Ed. I wanted to answer them on the relevant posts, but I feel that a more general answer is appropriate.

I planned to develop this line of thinking at the very end of my series on porn, when I deal with the biblical basis for the sinfulness of porn. However, the kind defense made by Dave and Catez of the ‘addiction’ approaches requires at least a “spoiler-teaser” so I could explain myself better. Without further ado, here is what I would like to say:

One of the best known approaches to the problem of porn within the church is to regard porn consumption as an addiction. There are complete 12-step packages for men, aimed at achieving “sobriety” (i.e., the condition of being sober) from pornography. However, I regard this inadequate and shallow.

1. I don’t think porn consumption is a sickness or an addiction more than any other sin is a sickness or an addiction. It’s not fair to treat this sin harshly while others (perhaps worse) get a benign treatment.

2. I don’t think that a standard 12-step approach would be effective. I mean, it could be effective in removing a bad behavior, but judging from texts such as James 1:13-15, they are as effective as an aspirin for curing pneumonia: They might work, and on the surface the worrisome signs might disappear, but the deepest issues are unscathed.

3. This all points out to something I intend to fully explore later, so I will just assert it without any explanation (yet): pornography consumption is not especially an offense against sexual purity; it’s an offense against God Himself via the First Commandment. Pornography is idolatry in the worst sense; it is a return to the old cultic practices of Canaan. We fall into pornography consumption because it is so easy, because we are destined to be united with the divinity; but alas! Romans 1:18-32 is all too true.

I hope to have explained myself better; and, as usual, comments and feedback is welcome.


  1. Okay, we are clearly on the same track with this. It’s idolatry, which is often driven by a distinct demonic presence, since all idolatry is demon-worship — Rev. 9:20 and 1Cor. 10:19-21.

  2. > Okay, we are clearly on the same track with this. It’s idolatry, which is often driven by > a distinct demonic presence, since all idolatry is demon-worship — Rev. 9:20 and 1Cor.
    > 10:19-21.

    If “all” idolatry is demon worship then why isn’t all porn demon worship? In my mind there are idols which might better be classified as worship of self and I might classify my porn usage as such. “I” was the only one I could count on to meet my needs. I guess I am learning to see the 12 steps not as a way to get rid of my porn addiction as much as a way of life.

    – I cannot manage my life on my own but God is able to do for me what I cannot do for myself.
    – My trespasses hurt my relationship with God and my relationships with others. Repentance and forgiveness are what restores those relationships.

  3. Keith: do you usually get one step ahead of we poor bloggers? 😉 I thoroughly agree with the first part of your comment. About the second part, I have my reservations. I will reserve these for an upcoming blog post.

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