A Cruel Culture
Here in middle Tennessee, we have watched a sad and tragic story unfold in recent weeks. The top aide to one of our senators was caught distributing child pornography. The picture of the law enforcement officers hauling him off the porch of his home hit every paper and was sad indeed. Then just recently, the announcement of his apparent suicide gave us a bookend to the story and ended the public drama. Or did it?
There is something cruel about this culture we live in. Everything about our culture – from TV and award shows to sports magazines and the sidelines of football games where dancers dance – screams at our population that visual sexual gratification is acceptable and harmless. Free speech advocates and the courts of the land defend the rights of adult filmmakers and Internet businesses every day.
But, the research is clear. Pornography is progressive and affects the brain in the same ways exotic drugs do. That means, the swimsuit edition of a magazine or a lingerie fashion show on TV serves as “gateway drugs” to a tragic path of destruction. But the destruction doesn’t wait for the extreme cases of victims. No, it affects every relationship and every heart that wanders down the path even a short distance. It is happening all around us.
One of the saddest ministry moments of my life was the night a family blew up before my very eyes after the parents discovered some horrific behavior in one of their sons who had become infested with porn – at the age of 13.
The cruelty is that the same culture that allows this material to permeate our daily lives, also executes its victims, in the name of protecting our children. It would be the same thing for a parent to give their children ice cream and then punish them for eating it. It makes no sense.
How do those of us in ministry address this?
First, all of us should have programs on our personal computers that protect our families (and us!) from porn. Second, we should help the people we lead understand the threat. And it is a real threat to our families. And, perhaps closest to home, we should guard the eyes of our hearts at all cost. Don’t even consider exposing your mind to a movie or web site that could lead you down this path – no matter how great the reviews are!
And last, we should love those who are caught in this trap by confronting a culture that destroys the victims it creates and by loving those victims back to wholeness with the truth of God’s word.
The Bible tells us that our adversary has come to kill, steal, and destroy. We’ve got to get in this battle for the minds of our kids and the generations to come…before we lose them all!
Director, LifeWay Worship