Web Porn by Tim Wilkins

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Wed May 2 00:23:01 EDT 2001


WEB PORN

By Tim Wilkins
THE CROSS EXAMINER

Of the more than 40,000 species of spiders, most of them spin webs in
which to trap their prey. The Internet can just as easily immobilize
the user, entangling him in a web. Specifically Internet pornography
can be as appealing as the early morning dew on a spider's lattice work
capturing the sun's rays and reflecting them in a hundred directions.

The yellow garden spider can spin a web two feet across, but a porn web
site can literally circle the globe and thus entangle many more
careless web users.

Most Bible readers know the story of Eutychus. A young man, he fell
asleep listening to Paul preach an 'all nighter'. When asleep, he fell
out of an open third story window and died. Today, open windows
continue to cause personal harm, but these are of a different type;
these windows provide porn that kills spiritually and emotionally!
Moreover, we don't have the Apostle Paul to throw his arms around us
and shout "Don't be alarmed. He's alive!"

The similarities between a spider's web and web porn are uncanny. If
you suffer from arachnophobia, beware-you may find your skin crawling
as you read on.

Spiders' webs differ in shape and size. The orb web is the shape we
think of first for spider webs. There's the tangle web and the sheet
web; sheet webs are most often found in wooded areas and are shaped
like hammocks. And there is, ironically, the triangle web. Its porn
counterpart is the gay web sites that litter the Internet. (For the
uninitiated, the triangle is a gay symbol) For every web site promoting
pro-family values, there are a startling 246 homosexual sites.

Not only is there a triangle web, there is a triangle spider; he holds
his web taut until an insect is snared, then alternately slackens and
tightens the web until the prey is firmly enmeshed. It only takes a few
moments for a fly to be immobilized in the spider's straight jacket,
where it will remain until dinnertime. In much the same way it only
takes a moment for the web user to become crippled by viewing flesh on
his monitor.

I was late getting on the Internet; what intimidated me for years was
overhearing veteran surfers using a language that was not my
vernacular. I thought 'Java Chat' was enjoying a conversation over a
cup of coffee and the only 'links' I knew about were for golfers.

I had heard about windows opening 'at will' when a friend recounted his
frustration about Internet use, but it was not until I became Internet
savvy that I too found those voluntary windows opening on my screen
begging me to 'click here' or 'maximize ' this site. Just as I thought
I had learned to close those windows as fast as they opened, they
became moving targets! I clenched my mouse like a man wielding a rifle
at a vicious intruder and took aim at the 'X' in the top right corner
of the unwelcome window!

 Much to my surprise, I found myself vulnerable to stumbling in this
area myself. Several times while I was doing research for CROSS
Ministry, I ventured into web sites, which included pornography. I was
shocked to see how accessible it was and how easily even a Christian
leader like myself could fall into it. Afterward, I went to my wife for
accountability and to warn her about web porn since she was an amateur
surfer.

 Is it possible to use the web's advantages without becoming entangled
in its snare? Yes, but with all its conveniences, it has its downside.
Like a malfunctioning toilet, the Internet can deliver sewage directly
into your home and office! "There are more than 200,000 pornographic
web sites on the Internet today, with 300 new ones being added
everyday." And its easy accessibility has multiplied the number of
people who view it. "As many as 20 million adults visit cybersex sites
each month." Someone who would never enter an adult bookstore for fear
of being seen will let the adult bookstore enter his or her home,
office, or study through the web. Did you note I said 'study' as in
'pastor's study'?

 Statistics show that more and more pastors are struggling with
Internet pornography. "In August 1999, 11 percent of the calls received
on Focus on the Family's Pastoral Care Line were about pastors and
online porn. In August 2000, online porn worries prompted 20 percent of
the calls." And an astonishing "Sixty-eight percent of the guys
surveyed at five religiously affiliated schools recently said they had
intentionally looked for porn online." Clay Crosse, a Christian
musician has spoken publicly about his struggle with and freedom from
pornography. His courageous candor has been a wake-up call to many
Christians around the country.

 As director of an outreach ministry to the homosexual, gay men who
quickly confess their struggle with Internet porn frequently contact
me. But web porn is not peculiar to gay men; straight men are as easily
enticed to spend hours perusing the unlimited stream of pictures on
their monitor. The 'lust of the eyes' makes no distinction between gay
or straight and the porn industry is big business. C. S. Lewis wrote,
"...we grow up surrounded by propaganda in favor of unchastity. There
are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make
money out of us. Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man
who has very little sales resistance." Thirty-one years after Lewis'
death, 1994, all pornography outlets brought in 10 billion dollars!
Lewis was right!

 I can hardly begin to recount the calls I get from parents whose
teenagers are viewing porn online-some as young as thirteen. And in
most cases the teen has a computer in his room with full Internet
access. That is comparable to buying your son a lifelong subscription
to every hard-core porn magazine in the world!

 For many women the lure of the Internet is chatrooms; 'innocent'
conversation can eventually lead to carnality. Web porn leads viewers
to prefer the fantasy world with themselves or others instead of
relational sex with their spouse; porn breaks the marital relationship.
A loving wife who has been neglected by her porn-crazed husband begins
to feel unloved. Paul wrote that to deprive a spouse from sexual
intimacy could allow Satan to gain a stronghold and lead to immorality.
Whether porn for men or women, the consequence is the same-porn
promises sexual fulfillment that can never be attained in a real
relationship.

 Not only does pornography affect one emotionally and psychologically;
it affects the body physiologically. The heart rate increases; blood
pressure may rise. Blood may rush to the face and neck while beads of
perspiration produce clammy skin. Brain chemical endorphins and
enkephlines create a heightened state of euphoria. In many cases the
viewer loses track of time as he feeds his mind on smut.

 Just as a spider's web is known for its strength and elasticity, so
web porn is known for its lure and toxicity. What may have started as
an inquisitive interest in web porn can result in an addictive
interest. Someone has said, "The devil will take you farther than you
want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay." The Apostle Paul
said it this way, "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given
themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of
impurity, with a continual lust for more." (Emphasis mine) Benjamin
Franklin said "It is much easier to control the first pang of lust than
the multitude that follow after it. He ought to know, he fathered an
illegitimate son.

WHAT STEPS CAN YOU TAKE TO AVOID WEB PORN?

 Note that I used the word 'avoid' versus 'resist'. Paul wrote, "It is
God's will that you should ... avoid sexual immorality." If we 'avoid'
sexual temptation, we are less likely to have to 'resist' it. 'Resist'
means we are already confronted with the temptation.

Disconnect from the Internet! Also known as a 'modemectomy', this
option is often met with incredulity. "I can't do that! I need the
Internet for my work!" Jesus prescribed radical advice saying that if
your hand, foot or eye causes you to sin, get rid of it! Obviously
Jesus was not speaking literally, but using hyperbole to make a point.
Can't disconnect? Try fasting from the Internet 30-90 days.

 A mother called me months ago; she and her husband were distraught to
find that their 18-year-old son was viewing gay porn and chatting with
an adult male predator online. The parents and their son came to my
office. After twenty minutes of conversation, I excused the parents so
I and Ted (not his real name) could talk privately. Ted readily
admitted his struggle with homosexuality and gay web porn. When Ted's
parents returned I suggested, among other things, the family disconnect
the home computer from the Internet. Immediately the father became
agitated. He said "that's impossible, my work depends on it." After
more conversation the family left. I was not surprised to get a call
from Ted later that week. He said "I couldn't tell you the other day,
but the reason dad won't disconnect from the Internet is because I
secretly know he views web porn also." 'Like father, like son!'

Ask a Friend to Provide Accountability! Share your struggle with a
prayer-partner or colleague who will provide accountability for you;
building such relationships is precisely what web porn does not do!
Tell him to ask you at anytime how you are doing and be honest if you
have fallen; he can pray with you. Check out www.covenanteyes.net which
e-mails questionable web sites you've visited to your accountability
partner.

Use a Filtering System or a Clean Internet Provider! There are many
such systems; a few are listed here. www.info.lifewayonline.com
www.afafilter.com www.familyclick.com www.hedge.org

 The system, Watchdog, takes random screen shots of what's on your
monitor and keeps text log of all computer program usage; it also
searches and displays a list of all graphics, even if someone has tried
to hide them. Then an accountability partner can check where you've
been at anytime. One man who directs a ministry to porn users and
himself a former addict, allows his pastor, board, and family to check
on him. Watchdog can be found at www.charlesriver.com/WD.html

Move the Computer to a High Traffic Area in Your Home! It is difficult
to search for porn when the computer sits in the family room or
kitchen. Avoid bedrooms and playrooms where parents are less likely to
visit and where doors can be closed.

Allow Teens to Surf Only under Adult Supervision! Even if the computer
is in a high traffic area, limit its use to those times when mom or dad
is nearby.

Get What You Need and Get off the Web! Browsing can be a big mistake!
When my wife goes 'shopping', I know she will return with only the
item(s) she is shopping for; but when she says "honey, I'm going to the
mall to browse", I know she will return with a half dozen shopping
bags. Don't browse on the web! Akin to this guideline is searching the
web when you're 'just killing time'! "Idleness is the devil's
workshop!" What's more, think of more constructive things you could be
doing with your time. I, for one, have become weary with what I call
'Internet information saturation'!

Stay off the Web Late at Night When Fatigue Makes You Vulnerable to
Temptation! A tired body is a tempted body! Insomniacs beware-counting
sheep is much better than surfing the web.

Fortify Your Computer and WorkSpace! Be creative by placing scripture
on your screen saver; it may pertain specifically to sexual temptation-
(Prov 6:25; Rom 13:13; 1 Cor 6:13, 18; Col 3:5; 1Thes 4:3) The Psalmist
wrote, "Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity." Use a family photo. A
picture of your wife is a reminder of your commitment to her.
 One man took a creative approach to Internet porn. To unblock his
computer, he must type in his password "I will follow Christ." Another
option is to have a friend set the password.
 Another web user plays Christian music while he is on the web, an
audible reminder to steer clear of porn.

Randomly or Regularly Check E-mail Transmissions and Web History! One
family randomly checks their children's e-mail transmissions for both
sent and received mail. A church has a different staff person check the 
history of each computer each month. Keeping the history is a
requirement!
 The previous measure could have saved one church staff member from
falling into sin and losing his job. A pastor called me needing help;
when a support staff person was out sick, another staff member had to
retrieve a file from the sick man's computer. He found more than the
needed file; gay porn, downloaded from the Internet, was on his hard
drive.

Visit These Sites for Help with Web Porn! www.enough.org
www.pureintimacy.org www.parsonage.org

Finally when temptation comes, visualize a fly becoming increasingly
tangled in a web with an 8-legged arachnid hovering over it!

And don't ask 'how much can I get away with and not be caught?' The
prudent man knows that 'the true mark of a Christian man is measured in
what he would do if he knew he would never be found out!'

© 2001 CROSS Ministry/Tim Wilkins




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