*It is the view of The Berean Manifesto and The Ekklesian House that scripture itself needs no censor.  However, *Fair warning*, this episode has been marked as explicit as in this episode we will be making real-world associations with scripture.  It is our recommendation that parents of children under thirteen screen this episode before playing it for your children.*
Hello and welcome to episode ninety-four of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to continue our series looking at the book of Proverbs, talking about issues of temptation, human trafficking, and sexual sin including adultery and pornography.
The modern view of sexuality and sexual activity has been convoluted by more lies than we can even begin to count.  One of the more prevalent lies is that our sexual impulses must be acted upon and that asking anyone to forgo sexual desires and activities is cruel, oppressive, and impossible.  Avoiding sexual temptation can be difficult, you don’t have to go any further than to read about King David to see the evidence there, but it is far from impossible.  If resisting adultery were impossible, chapters 5-7 of Proverbs would not have been mostly devoted to that very topic.
The warnings against adultery in Proverbs are urgent and the consequences listed are severe.  The Bible is often criticized for its warnings and prescribed punishments for infidelity.  Deuteronomy 22:22 says, “If a man is discovered having sexual relations with another man’s wife, both the man who had sex with the woman and the woman must die.  You must purge the evil from Israel.”  We often forget that ancient Israel was an agrarian society.  Protecting families was a matter of survival.  In order to survive and flourish, a family needed everyone helping out with the work.  For someone to leave his or her place in the family was essentially leaving their family in ruins, and sometimes putting them in danger of poverty or starvation.  The idea was that if a person was willing to endanger others with selfish choices, they had no place in society.  It is believed that by the time Proverbs was written, reparations may have been substituted for the death penalty, but the adulterer would not be allowed to marry the woman who cheated with him.  We get this idea that the laws that we find in Dueteronomy and Leviticus and all these Old Testament books were written in stone.  That they never evolved over the years, there was no changing.  If you’d like more info on the evolving views on Jewish culture throughout the years check it out here.
Many of us will never physically engage in adulterous acts, but Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:28 that, “everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Though we may not actually be engaging in extra-marital sexual activity, adultery has found a way to be outsourced.  We do it with soft-core pornography in Hollywood movies and T.V. shows and hard-core pornography which is much more prevalent and easier than ever to get your hands on.  For our purposes, we’re looking at the hard-core kind, or more specifically talking about the hard-core kind, which is becoming a pandemic issue.  According to FightTheNewDrug.org, thirty-five percent of all internet downloads are porn related.  That’s more than Amazon, Twitter, and Netflix combined.
The world wants us to believe that pornography consumption is an innocent way to alleviate unfulfilled sexual desires, but studies show that the influence of pornographic material on the brain can affect its development as profoundly as drug use.  The human brain is engineered to reward us by releasing dopamine when we engage in healthy activities.  The problem is the brain can be fooled by drugs or artificial stimuli into releasing dopamine.  Pornography causes your brain to release dopamine without any physical injection of chemicals; we can become addicted to the way porn influences our brains.  When we look at pornography, we become the victims of a terrible trick that trains our brains to see people as objects to be used for our own gratification.
We’re not the only ones victimized when we view porn.  The porn industry drives up demand for people to perform sex acts in front of the camera.  As a result, a growing number of pornographic videos and images are being produced by victims of sex trafficking.  Pew Research reports that nearly five million Christians admit to weekly porn use.  That’s just in the United States.  Even free sites use ads to generate revenue for the porn industry.  That money then further fuels human trafficking.  What we often think of as a personal, private, issue has far-reaching and devastating consequences around the globe.  If everyone in the Church stopped indulging in porn, we could keep a lot of money away from the people who fund human trafficking around the globe.  Porn has not only allowed us to outsource our desire to a far-off third party, but it has also allowed us to outsource the bondage associated with adultery.
Porn is becoming more and more pervasive, but we don’t have to indulge in it.  We don’t have to fall victim to the desires of our flesh.  The way to avoid falling into the trap of a sexual sin is to start preparing long before we encounter it.  We have to train our minds to love discipline and accept correction (Proverbs 5:12-12).  Proverbs 6:20-24 says, “My son, keep your father’s command, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.  Always bind them to your heart: tie them around your neck.  When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you.  For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life.  They will protect you from an evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a wayward woman.”  We must train our hearts to love the teaching of people who have been there and let them lead us in wisdom, and they will keep us from falling victim to temptations.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”
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