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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pornography: An Epidemic?

At least in America, pornography has grown in “epidemic” proportions. However, in Christian circles, it is a big “no, no” to talk about it openly. The problem with this situation centers on the fact that pornography is the leading cause of pastors in almost every denomination here in America to be removed from the pulpit. Yes, pastors are being caught viewing pornography, not once but multiple times. Why?

What is it about this industry that allures men (even godly Christian men) to view it so often, easily, and readily? Moreover, why is the viewing or the temptation to view pornography such a taboo subject? Is it because so many men “suffer” or fall prey to viewing it that to discuss it means one must admit to having seen it; thus, the shame. Why the addiction, though? Maybe addiction is too strong a word, but recent studies have indicated that most men who view pornography view it more than once. In fact, most men who view pornography do so frequently.

In the June 2006 issue of the ecumenical Christian magazine Touchstone, Robert Hart wrote an article titled Lower Than The Idols: On the Superiority of Paganism to Pornography. Hart juxtaposes paganism, and the pagan, with pornography, and the Christian. Hart declares, “To worship things within our grasp debases human nature in the mind of the worshiper, for it places oneself below the level of an object of lust.” Pornography, Hart declares is not glamorous admiration of that which is beautiful. No, it is, rather, violent, a desire for the debasement of beauty, a distortion of all that is beautiful. Pornography, Hart declares, is violent, but it is even lower than the violence that the pagans offered to Baal. Since those pagans maintain a semblance of wonder and awe, the one given over to lust has lost all sense of wonder and awe. In fact, Hart goes so far as to declare that those given in to pornography have lost the power to bow down to any god.

While this article is not an attempt to critique Hart’s article, I do think Hart has declared some very pertinent truths in this article. Those who make a habit of viewing pornography have been given over to a lust that is completely irrational and self absorbed. Their god is their self their god is their flesh, their lust. There is no wonder and awe in that in any sense. But what of those who have fallen prey to this lust? Is there no hope for the addicted, are they merely reduced to being “given over” to their lust?

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