I found an unexpected nugget of wisdom while reading a parenting blog by Roslyn Ross.
The post is about the danger of thinking of parenting as a job rather than a relationship. But she also inadvertently hit upon the masculinity problem faced by many husbands today:
To illustrate why it’s so unhealthy to turn a relationship into a job, imagine a new husband takes on the job of being a Good Husband. He starts doing all these things he doesn’t really want to do–mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, reading to the kids, helping his wife with the dishes, he gets the highest paying job he can and works his tail off, and at first he’s patting himself on the back going, “I am such a good boy” but after a while he starts to feel like being a good husband is a huge obligation, a chore, a long list of things to do. It’s not fun anymore. And he’s starting to resent his wife and see her as this kind of slave driver.
The reason being a Good Boy is so unfulfilling is that he’s following a pre-written “script.” He’s not learning or discovering or growing and without growth there is no life.
The other reason it’s so unhealthy is who wrote the script. It wasn’t the husband.
The concept of the “Good Husband” is nothing but coercion… both to yourself (because someone else said you had to do it) and to your family (because you expect them to give you something in return.) The harder you try to do the right things, the less your wife will respect you and the more you’ll resent both her and yourself.
Instead, take the lead by deciding for yourself how you want to live. Take charge of your learning and growth. Don’t follow someone else’s script.
A woman is a follower by nature. She will follow and submit to a man who takes charge of his own life.
I recently dropped an obnoxious question over at the Red Pill Christian reddit. This is what I asked:
What is the problem with porn?
Since most Christians regard pornography as sinful, where do we draw the line?
Song of Solomon => Erotic Poetry => Erotic Stories => Nude Paintings => Paintings of Sexual Acts => Video Animation of Sexual Acts => Photos of Nude Women => Photos of Sexual Acts => Videos of Sexual Acts.
More importantly than WHERE you draw the line. WHY do you draw the line there?
Please use biblical principles and logic to justify your answer.
The post received almost 500 views and got 31 comments. If you got time to kill, it’s worth checking out.
Otherwise, I’ll summarize the responses below. And, since this is my own blog, I will gleefully exercise my sovereign right make a final judgment on every argument.
1. There is no biblical scripture against porn because it wasn’t around back then. But the bible does tell us to “flee sexual immorality” so this would apply to porn.
Actually, porn has been around for a LONG time. Just as junior boys instinctively cover every bathroom stall with crude etchings of penises and tits, so have artists been graphically depicting sex since ancient times. The only thing that has significantly changed since biblical times is the quantity of images available and the resolution.
And, by definition, “sexual immorality” does not automatically refer to porn. It refers to engaging in prostitution and promiscuous sex.
2. The Bible tells us to abstain from “the appearance of evil” (1 Thess 5:21)
This is worth further investigation. At minimum, it can apply as an exhortation to avoid any pornography that portrays unlawful sexual acts (e.g. bestiality, homosexuality, etc.). Though sex itself is not evil so I don’t find it plausible that all “appearances” of sex would be evil. But a further point worth investigating is the fact that a lot of visual porn is produced in a sexually immoral context so technically, you are viewing a picture of a sinful act. But there would be no way to know this from the image alone…
3. Arguably, using sexually explicit material in a marriage is fine if it’s building unity. But it’s best to avoid it altogether when single.
This makes sense to me. Often times, it is helpful to see a graphic depiction of a sexual act for instructional purposes. The next question is, what about inspirational purposes?
Avoiding sexually explicit material altogether when single sounds nice in theory, but is that really practical advice when one lives in a culture saturated with sexual imagery?
4. Isn’t it clear that looking at porn is lusting for a woman other than your wife?
Not when “lust” is properly understood in the Greek. The English word “lust” means to have a very strong sexual desire for someone. The problem is that the English word doesn’t convey the same precision as the Greek word epithumeo. Lust in the English sense is certainly part of epithumeo, but it’s not necessarily the same thing. In order for “lust” to qualify as epithumeo, the desire must also include (1) an intensifying focus, (2) an intense emotion that borders on rage, and (3) a longing to have sex with or possess the woman of focus. In colloquial terms, we might say that biblical lust is the same as being “madly in love” with a woman who belongs to another man.
Now imagine you were the judge of a case where a young man was accused of evil intent. The evidence? He was caught ogling over his friend’s wife’s cleavage as she bent over. You talk to the young man and find he seems to be a “normal” guy. He shows no signs of mental unstableness. He works a steady job. He’s seems to be a genuinely “nice guy.” You find no evidence that the young man is stalking the wife or is obsessed with her in any way. Turns out he’s just got a thing for big tits. Would you condemn that man for adultery? Would you ask the husband if he would like you to put him to death? No! You’d have a good chuckle, pat him on the back and say, “Look man, you got to be more discreet about that stuff. You’re gonna have a hard time getting a good woman if all you can do is stare at her tits with your mouth open.”
The man who spends his time jerking off to porn is not an adulterer. He’s just the dumbass friend who can’t get laid because he just stares at the girl’s chest instead of talking to her.
5. Song of Solomon was basically 50 Shades of Grey for women back in the day and that was considered “holy.” So why not mainstream visual porn today?
I think Song of Solomon has a lot more wisdom that 50 Shades of Gray. But I don’t have a problem with the logic of the question. I think the distinction is not so much an ethical distinction as a qualitative distinction. Once you delve into Song of Solomon and start to understand female desire, you’ll realize that the mainstream porn just makes you sexually retarded. How is watching yet another variation of “Busty Blonde Gets Pounded” really gonna help you?
Dig into the Scripture’s erotica. Study the female psyche. Learn to make up sexual fantasies.
The key to getting laid is leveraging female desire in your favor.
Wayne suggests adding some spiritual dimensions to the basic definitions of sexual terms. He has some good thoughts so I’m highlighting them here and including some additional comments.
1. Lust – According to my understanding, lust is equivalent to a ‘sexual poverty mentality’. When a man has sexual access to a worthy woman, he doesn’t indulge in lust or porn. He simply gets to work on it. To get sexual access, a man needs to have an ‘abundance mentality’. If he languishes in a ‘sexual poverty mentality’ (i.e. lust), then he will have difficulty in his sex life, and will resort to porn.
This makes intuitive sense to me. The less sex a man has the more likely he is to fill the void with porn. I actually read a conversation on Twitter awhile back started by Hunter Drew (of Family Alpha) where a lot of men admitted the reason they watched porn was because they were insecure about their dick size and felt they were unable to satisfy their own wives in bed. So sex ends up turning into a “spectator sport” for a lot of men. They simply don’t feel qualified to participate.
Though I wouldn’t go so far to say these men are ‘lusting.’ I think there is a key distinction between having a burning desire to possess something and merely wishing you had something. I suspect the problem with the stereotypical porn consumer is that he does not truly desire sex enough. He does not desire sex enough to work through rejection and ‘failure’ to get what he craves. He only half-heartedly wishes his wife would do more things in the bedroom and he finds a variety of obstacles (such as the size of his plough) that supposedly prevent him from getting what he wants. In reality, it is the scarcity-based beta mindset that prevents him getting to bedroom paradise.
2. Erotica, Porn, and Art – I would argue that the greatest difference between erotica, porn, and art (from a spiritual perspective) is the mindset which a man entertains in the viewing. A man in a poverty mindset will view porn and erotica as a vehicle of sexual expression (i.e. masturbation). But when a man shifts to an abundance mindset, porn and erotica are merely seen as art. He makes some comments about the art to his woman, they laugh, and then they go home and do it. No lust there. There is desire and passion, sure, but no lust. If the man resorts to lust (i.e. the sexual poverty mentality), she’ll be creeped out and he’ll end up with porn for the night.
Wanking off while viewing porn certainly changes the experience. Many Christians would argue that masturbation is proof of lust. I wouldn’t be to quick to make that conclusion. Practically speaking, the women in porn are not seen as “real” women. In other words, most men don’t obsess over them, try to stalk them in real life, or even entertain the idea of actually having sex with them. It’s just fantasy.
I think regularly using porn for “solo sex” is akin to what Dr. Robert Glover, in No More Mr. Nice Guy, describes as “settling for bad sex.” No sane man would argue that masturbation is preferable to real sex. It doesn’t exactly leave a man feeling proud when he’s finished. We’d all rather be like this guy:
I think the the risk of jerking off while watching porn is that it can easily become an addicting experience. Since it’s more convenient than going through the trouble of learning how escalate with a real woman, it can become a crutch that prevents a man from making the real-life improvements he needs to make to get laid.
But these men already feel bad enough about themselves. Equating their porn viewing habit with adultery on top of being a loser is not going to help them change. They need encouragement, not brow-beating.
3. Sexual Immorality – This is an insightful start. We could make this better by describing what sex is sold in exchange for, and why.
As best I can tell, the biblical problem with sexual immorality is that it shows contempt for one’s own body. God gave us our bodies so that we could manifest spiritual truth. Having sex within marriage is a manifestation of Christ and the church. But having sex outside of marriage indicates that you only see your body as something to barter with for temporal gain. Money would be the obvious exchange. But I think other forms of “currency” would be included such as using sex to “win friends and influence people.”
I am sure we’ll have to add a definition of idolatry to reach a full understanding of this.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the equation of sexual immorality with idolatry is an example of “common sense” being incorrect. The New Testament equates idolatry with greed for material gain, not sexual immorality. Though I suppose one could “sell off” one’s body in service of material gain.
It’s possible I’m wrong about this. If anyone can find a passage of Scripture that clearly equates idolatry with sexual immorality, I’ll adjust my opinion accordingly. But since I’ve already searched the ends of the earth (i.e. quickly scanned through Page 1 of a Google search), I don’t think anything’s going to show up.
So here’s some fun things you may or may not have known about sexual immorality. A few of them surprised me during my study.
First, I want to clarify the terms. This is a topic that is usually obscured by word trickery, so I want to make sure you know where I’m coming from first.
sexual immorality (porneia) – to sell off one’s body; to engage in “whoremongering”, prostitution, or other forms of promiscuity.
idolatry (eidólolatria) – service or worship rendered to an image
For clarity, I will be using the more readily-understood word “promiscuity” in place of the ambiguous word of “sexual immorality.”
With that out of the way, here’s some interesting finds in quick-hitting fashion:
1. Promiscuity on part of the wife is the only biblical grounds for a husband to divorce a wife (Matthew 5:32; 19:9)
Hence the disciples shock at Christ’s teaching. When a man takes a wife, she is under his care and instruction for life… in spite of any foolishness or sinful behavior she engages in. It would do a man well to learn to enjoy the process of shaping an imperfect woman into a radiant bride.
2. Promiscuity is a manifestation of one’s inner character and desires. (Matthew 5:28; Mark 7:21)
One does not simply fall into promiscuity by impulse. It is a manifestation of one’s inner thought life. If someone is engaging in promiscuity, it is because they already corrupted themselves on the inside. It’s a reflection of their true character. Hence we should not “feel sorry” for someone living a sexually promiscuous lifestyle. Rather, we should expose the error of their ways and lovingly point them to repentance and the path of life.
3. Promiscuity is a sin against one’s own body (1 Cor 6:18)
Similar to how King Solomon instructs his son not to waste his seed on unworthy women (Prov 5), so Paul instructs us not to sin against our bodies by uniting them to prostitutes. The fact that it is our own body makes it an especially shameful sin. Our bodies were made to serve the Lord (including sex in marriage). Why would you throw away your body like a piece of trash by uniting it to whores?
4. The temptation to engage in promiscuity is a righteous reason to marry (1 Cor 7:2)
As far as I can tell, there are only three (initial) biblical reasons for a man to marry:
- To make babies (Genesis 1)
- Sexual attraction (Song of Solomon)
- To avoid promiscuity (1 Cor 7)
In other words, the reason to marry is sex, sex, sex. Other than avoiding pairing with a bad spouse, no other advice is given.
5. We are to cut off anything that energizes us towards promiscuity (Col 3:5)
This could mean different things for different people. It could mean that a woman shuts down her Tinder account. It could mean avoiding frat parties. It could mean changing friends. Any situation that gives creates a temptation for you to engage in illicit sex should be cut out of your life.
6. Rather than engaging in promiscuity, men are to learn how to get a wife and “possess” her (1 Thess 4:3-4)
I believe if the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would be a big proponent of the “married red pill.” He does not simply instruct young men to get a wife. He essentially tells them to grasp the reality of women (i.e. take the red pill), get a wife, and learn how to make her hot for you within the context of your marriage.
7. Promiscuity is frequently associated or caused by idolatry (Rev 9:20)
It’s easy to imagine how idolatry can lead one to promiscuity. In ancient times, many religious ceremonies involved engaging in orgies, having intercourse with animals, or other such promiscuous behavior. Even today, women who serve the idol of Feminism engage in the “ceremony” of riding the “cock carousel” to prove they are a “sexually liberated” woman. And pick up artists boast of their notch count while they pump-and-dump as many of these “sexually liberated” women as they can.
8. Promiscuity is used as a symbol for idolatry (Rev 17:4)
God frequently uses references to promiscuity to help us understand how he feels about idolatry. Idolatry is described in Romans as becoming debased and focusing on the created thing at the expense of the larger context:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.
The most graphic example of such darkened thinking is found in Ezekiel 23:20:
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
In other words, idolaters miss the point. They are like women who judge men solely on the size of their cock… not realizing that there is a purpose to sex beyond just seeing how big of a member they can stuff into their overstretched vaginas.
9. Promiscuity is not synonymous with idolatry
All this leads to this final point, which surprised me.
I had always assumed that sexual immorality was equated with idolatry. In other words, sexual immorality was equivalent to “worshiping sex.” I’ve heard this sentiment expressed in churches many times.
But I could not find a single passage in the Scripture that made this connection. There are passages that describe sexual immorality as a result of idolatry. And there are passages that use sexual immorality as a metaphor for idolatry. But nothing saying that that sexual immorality is the same as idolatry. (Someone please correct me, if I overlooked any data.)
So why does this distinction matter? And why were we led to believe they were the same?
I have a good guess.
It’s a diversion to prevent us from seeing what is synonymous with idolatry… namely, pleonexia, which is typically translated in Colossians 3:5 as “greed” or “covetousness”:
So put to death your worldly impulses: sexual sin, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
The definition of pleonexia is telling:
properly, the desire for more (things), i.e. lusting for a greater number of temporal things that go beyond what God determines is eternally best
The Strong’s Concordance sheds further light on the term:
From pleonektes; avarice, i.e. (by implication) fraudulency, extortion — covetous(-ness) practices, greediness.
In light of these definitions, the equation of pleonexia (greed) with idolatry makes perfect sense:
If one’s desire to gain more possessions drives one to commit fraud and extortion, then that is serving an idol rather than God.
Now can you think of any institution that might want to hide this sin?
And can you think of a reason that institution would want us to think that our sexual “immorality” was the problem instead?
The Second Lateran Council of 1139 A.D. presents sheds some light on the motives [emphasis mine]:
5. We enjoin that what was laid down in the sacred council of Chalcedon be rigidly adhered to, namely, that the goods of deceased bishops are not to be seized by anyone at all, but are to remain freely at the disposal of the treasurer and the clergy for the needs of the church and the succeeding incumbent. Therefore, from now on, let that detestable and wicked rapacity cease. Furthermore, if anyone dares to attempt this behaviour henceforth, he is to be excommunicated. And those who despoil the goods of dying priests or clerics are to be subject to the same sentence.
6. We also decree that those in the orders of subdeacon and above who have taken wives or concubines are to be deprived of their position and ecclesiastical benefice. For since they ought to be in fact and in name temples of God, vessels of the Lord and sanctuaries of the holy Spirit, it is unbecoming that they give themselves up to marriage and impurity.
7. Adhering to the path trod by our predecessors, the Roman pontiffs Gregory VII, Urban and Paschal, we prescribe that nobody is to hear the masses of those whom he knows to have wives or concubines. Indeed, that the law of continence and the purity pleasing to God might be propagated among ecclesiastical persons and those in holy orders, we decree that where bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, canons regular, monks and professed lay brothers have presumed to take wives and so transgress this holy precept, they are to be separated from their partners. For we do not deem there to be a marriage which, it is agreed, has been contracted against ecclesiastical law. Furthermore, when they have separated from each other, let them do a penance commensurate with such outrageous behaviour.
8. We decree that the selfsame thing is to apply also to women religious if, God forbid, they attempt to marry.
In other words, the church couldn’t have men with wives or concubines in leadership. This would mean that the property would go to the man’s own heirs rather than to the church. And that just won’t be favorable for building a religious empire.
But it would be too obvious to simply try to take the property by force like a barbaric army. No. You’d need something much more subtle. Something that rings with holy rhetoric.
So the church presents a fraudulent gospel. A gospel where marriage is seen as unholy and the congregation is held in a state of perpetual guilt under an ambiguous and expanded definition of sexual sin.
With the sexual men ousted from leadership, and the congregants distracted by their perpetual guilt over sexual sin, there is no one left who is fit enough to call out the sin of idolatry in the church.
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
Blackdragon describes an alternate view on the problem of porn:
As I’ve spoken about many times before, we live in a society overloaded with sexual imagery, but not a lot of people actually having sex. Married couples have far less sex today than in the 1940s. Millennials are having far less sex than any other prior generation. Night game, daygame, and online dating have all become more difficult as women simultaneously become more masculine, bitchy, and picky. This, plus weaker economies and enticing distractions like porn and sexy video games are inducing many men to opt out of the sexual marketplace altogether.
And so on. I listed all the stats about how much fewer people are having sex than before right here, but the point is people aren’t getting laid. You just think people are getting laid because of all the false Societal Programming in Hollywood, porn, dating apps like Tinder, sexy pictures of Instagram models everywhere, and so on.
This sexual imagery overload, which I agree is sort of stupid, has led to a new movement of people (some traditional right-wing conservatives and delusional unicorn seekers), men (MGTOWs, incels, and others) and women (exasperated over-age-33 women who can’t find perfect husbands who don’t exist) who have come to the conclusion that sex just isn’t that important. Moreover, if you really like sex or have a lot of it, there’s something wrong with you.
One could speculate that, if there are a number of evil masterminds behind the industry, that there is an ulterior motive to the porn industry aside from making money. Perhaps the intention is to manipulate people to have less sex by overloading people with sexualized images.
The over-abundance of porn triggers feminists to think that sex “objectifies” women. It triggers church leaders to think that, all of the sudden, there is something wrong and sinful about the male’s fascination with nude women. It creates distractions for unmotivated men who might otherwise go out and get a wife.
In other words, we’ve all been tricked into thinking we’re a sex-obsessed culture. So we feel guilty about our sexual impulses. But hardly anyone is having much sex.
One of the things I like to do on my blog is throw in a little humor and conspiracy theory to keep things fun.
I think one reason we like humor and conspiracies is because they point to important truths without requiring us to be too serious about it.
Case in point:
I’ve been thinking to myself, “why all the focus on struggling?” Everything is a “struggle” against lust or a “struggle” against porn. It’s “every man’s battle.”
I found this odd, because it seems that, with the vast majority of Christians already believing pornography is a sin, we all would all be quite aware of the “struggle” phase and would be moving on to the “solution” phase.
Plus, if you want to persuade someone to change a behavior, you don’t keep talking about the struggle. You expose a problem and provide a solution. Imagine if you went to a doctor and all he told you was to “keep struggling” against your disease. If he’s a good doctor, he’ll identify the root of the problem and tell you what you need to do to become healthy again.
But the Church provides no solutions to what is supposedly a “grave threat” to the spiritual health of the Church today. And we’re told it will be a “lifelong battle” for every man.
As I was pondering this, some dark and dusty corner of my brain retrieved an old meme. It’s my all-time favorite “demotivational” poster:
Perhaps as applied to the Church, this meme could read:
If You’re Not Part of the Solution,
There’s Much Power to Be Had in Prolonging the Guilt.
One of my favorite Christian blogs to follow is Desiring God.
Not because I agree with their arguments (I rarely do), but because their blog serves as a perfect microcosm for the present worldview of most conservative Christians. Additionally, they do not shy away from covering sexual topics and other thorny issues so it’s always an interesting read.
And, in a case of perfect timing… or, to use the proper Calvinist rhetoric, an event that was pre-ordained by a Sovereign and Almighty God before the foundations of the earth were laid… Desiring God published an article over the weekend titled “How Not to Fight Pornography” just in time to fit into my series on the topic.
I’m going to do an analysis of the article here. Specifically, I’m going examine the assumptions behind the argument.
Testing assumptions is one of the most important parts of learning and spiritual growth. And since it’s easier (and more fun) to find flaws in the thinking of other people, I find article analysis to be a great way to indirectly examine my own assumptions.
So buckle up… here we go…
(The following are selected excerpts. I have bolded the untested assumptions. [Emphasis mine.])
…you first need to realize that your “struggle” [with porn] is no struggle at all. You need to admit that you are participating in blatant infidelity. You’re married, but you take off your ring for a moment and indulge yourself. You’ve been united to Christ, but you unite yourself to prostitutes.
The author is assuming that viewing pornography is equivalent to infidelity and having sex with prostitutes but provides no argument or evidence to establish this claim.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:1, Paul makes known to the church how she “ought to walk” or how it is necessary to live. This general statement becomes a specific command in 1 Thessalonians 4:3–4: “Abstain from sexual immorality,” knowing “how to control [your] own body in holiness and honor.” Apparently, some in the community were struggling to master their body or “vessel” (which may be a euphemism for genitalia). They acted out in lustful passion like the pagan Gentiles “who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:5).
In many modern translations, ktaomai, is rendered as “to control.” But the older, more literal translations are consistent with the Greek. The word means to “acquire”, “win”, “purchase,” etc. Furthermore, the word eidó (know) conveys a deep understanding rather than just a superficial knowledge. It means to “see”, or, metaphorically, to “perceive” or “grasp reality.” If we go forward with the assumption that the “vessel” refers to one’s own body (or more pointedly, one’s own penis), then Paul is essentially saying, “Men, I want you to grasp reality and acquire a penis of your own.” Or, “I want you to perceive how to possess your own penis.” This sounds like some weird new age masturbation advice. But if you assume “vessel” is a metaphor for a wife, the command makes much more sense.
To “know God” is covenantal language. Acting as those who “do not know God” is to live as if you’re not in a covenant relationship with God. It is to live a life of infidelity, without the slightest concern for how your spouse will respond; in this case, the God who “called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Here’s a little Friedan slip the author let out. Where does the Bible include not being concerned with how your spouse will respond with breaking a covenant relationship with God?
Pornography not only hurts you. It severely hurts others. It dehumanizes real people into images for one’s own sexual gratification, and it completely “destroys life-sustaining relationships” (Gabriele Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution, 127).
Both of these assumptions are impossible to prove. “Dehumanize” is a rhetorical word with no precise meaning. “Destroys life-sustaining relationships” is also rhetoric. Depending on what one is looking for, there are cases of broken relationships where porn use was a factor and there are happy relationships where porn is used. It’s all about how you frame the issue and which studies you trust. Furthermore, the author is assuming that pornography, in and of itself, is the cause of the problem. He does not take into account the human factor. Ironically, this is arguably a “dehumanizing” way to make a claim.
You lose interest in your spouse. You emotionally distance yourself from your family. You lose your ability to love. You cause your spouse to leave you. You entertain a false view of sex no one can meet. You develop a degrading image of the opposite sex. You become a recluse who can’t wait to see pornography one more time.
All of these things could be true in some cases. But it is a HUGE leap in logic to assume that porn viewing is the cause of all these problems. Most likely, porn use is typically correlated with all the above problems and perhaps exacerbates the problems. Imagine a man who doesn’t work and lazes about and binge watches movies all day. We then discover that he is emotionally distant from his family, he’s reclusive, his wife leaves him, he’s developed a skewed view of reality, and he has no motivation. Would we say movies are the problem? No. He‘s the problem. Movie watching is just his chosen outlet for the expression of a poor character.
Is it surprising to hear that God is an avenger who will punish those in the church who persist in sexual immorality? It probably stunned the Thessalonians. Earlier, Paul mentioned that Jesus delivers the church “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10) and he later speaks about God’s people not being “destined for wrath” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). But to demonstrate the seriousness of sin, the holiness of God, and the ultimate outcome of sexual sin, he declares that the Lord Jesus will punish those who unrepentantly “struggle” with pornography in the church.
This not only an untested assumption, this is a blatant lie about what the Scripture says. Paul never “declares” that the Lord Jesus will punish those who look at pornography. The assumption here is that continuously looking at pornography is equivalent to sexual immorality (porneia). This would be a difficult argument to make as porneia simply means “selling off one’s body” (as in prostitution.) It’s pretty obvious that most men consuming the porn are not having any sex with women (paid or not.) However, it is worth examining the cases of men paying women for “virtual entertainment” and how much responsibility a man has by viewing the photos and videos of an industry that openly engages in porneia. Would this be a “meats in the marketplace” type situation, or something else?
Sexual sin is such a grave threat to the church today, and it will not go down without a long, drawn-out fight, as if eternity were at stake — because it is.
Let’s just call a spade a spade. The author is claiming that men who look at pornography will burn for eternity in hell. Unless one is a Calvinist who is absolutely confident that he is one of the lucky few who are part of the elect, that’s a heavy burden for a sex-starved man to bear.
I also fail to see why sexual sin will not go down without a “long, drawn-out fight.” To me God’s instructions for avoiding sexual sin are clear: have sex with your wife and don’t have sex with anyone who is not your wife. Also, don’t have sex with animals. It’s not that complicated or difficult… well, provided that you don’t force yourself into years of involuntary celibacy by following Churchian marriage advice.
u/Whitfield puts forth a hypothesis worth investigating in response to a question I posted on the Red Pill Christian reddit:
I highly suspect the Feminine Imperative to be responsible for some, if not all of the anti-porn sentiment. The Christian world has a strong visceral reaction against visual erotica, as compared to “word” erotica, and we are not exempt from this. This is one of the less talked about issues in the Christian Manosphere, for pro-porn beliefs are often seen as “hamstering” (which is often the case too). More can be discussed about this. Not the issue of porn, but rather, the influence of the Feminine Imperative on Christian beliefs of porn/erotica.
Personally, I suspect there is something wrong with porn… namely, there is something wrong with the stereotypical scenario of the lonely sex-starved male wanking off to PornHub videos in the late hours of the night.
But I also suspect that the reason porn is a problem is not the same as the knee-jerk reaction of most Christians. If we’re going to exercise wisdom, we need to have a mature understanding of the issue instead of just echoing soundbites that earn us applause from fem-centered churchians.
Side note: I hope my site doesn’t get spammed with a bunch of porn bots as I delve into this topic. But that is a risk I’m willing to take. I have girded my loins and my quick finger is poised and readied to reject all incoming spam attacks with a click of my trusty mouse.
The vast majority of Christians and conservatives think porn is a problem.
But, due to the taboo nature of the topic, there’s not much open discussion of it among Christians. This has resulted in a lack of clarity on what the real problem is. The conversation is not as simple as it seems. Here’s some questions off the top of my head that are worth examining:
- Is there a difference between porn and erotica? If so, what distinguishes them?
- Since erotic poetry is included in the Bible, does that mean it’s ethical for Christians to publish and enjoy other erotica?
- If the Bible includes verbal erotica that prompts images in the mind, is there any reason we can say it is wrong to create or enjoy other forms of erotica?
- At what point (and why) in the following sequence does enjoying sexual imagery become immoral?
- The Song of Solomon => Other Erotic Poetry => Erotic Stories => Artistic Renditions of Nudity => Artistic Renditions of Sexual Acts => Animated Videos of Sexual Acts => Photography of Nude Women => Photography of Sexual Acts => Videos of Sexual Acts
- What is the difference between the erotica found in the Song of Solomon and the most frequented porn sites on the internet?
- Is looking at porn equivalent to lusting after a woman? If so, why?
- If a wife divorces her husband because he looks at porn, is that a legitimate divorce in God’s eyes?
- Does viewing porn really cause a man to lose sexual interest in his own wife… or is this just unfounded rhetoric?
- Does viewing porn cause single men to be less motivated to get a wife? Or would these men be unmotivated regardless of their porn viewing habits?
- Does porn create unrealistic standards for women?
- Is there any ethical way to consume porn? In other words, is porn inherently sinful or is it contextually sinful?
Fundamentally, we have a conceptual problem. The definition of erotica is “literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire.”
The Song of Solomon is erotica.
50 Shades of Gray is erotica.
PornHub is erotica.
And, arguably, this blog is erotica.
Yet looking at them together, we instinctively know there is a difference between them. Yet we have not yet developed the sophistication to distinguish good erotica from bad erotica. Perhaps we could say ethical erotica is simply “erotica” and unethical erotica is simply “porn.” But we are still unable to distinguish the two.
When it comes to women, it’s an all or nothing game. If you’re alpha, you get all the best from a woman in increasing quantities over time. If you’re beta, you get all the worst from a woman in increasing quantities over time.
When I was a single in college, I was an introvert who was completely clueless about women. I never had a girlfriend prior to my wife. My physical appearance was sub-optimal to say the least. But I had a vision for my life. This vision translated into a genuine “IDGAF” attitude and a single-minded devotion to my cause that she found intriguing. I also had a vision for her life (an underestimated quality in game theory IMO.)
So in spite of my flaws, I had enough of an alpha vibe going to bring an attractive woman into my life. I never had to “ask her out” and she even dumped her current boyfriend at the time so she could be with me. (Vision is powerful.)
(I had also earnestly prayed specifically for a beautiful wife since I was a teenager. Another underestimated strategy for wife-getting.)
So when I met my wife, I didn’t think of it as getting “lucky” nor did I understand why she was attracted to me. I just assumed it was destiny and told her we should probably get married.
But shortly after we got married I became a beta. I tried to make her the center of my life. I started believing people when they said how “lucky” I was to have such a lovely wife. I started thinking “I better not screw this up. I’m going to do everything I can to be a good husband.”
But, much to my confusion, the harder I tried to be a better husband the unhappier she got.
I had a meager sex life the first several years of marriage. I felt lucky if I got any kind of action once-a-week. And I certainly didn’t want to bug her or pressure he to do anything more than that.
That’s the beta side of sex.
But after discovering the truth about women’s sexual preferences thanks to the red pill movement, I managed to “crack the alpha code” and turn my marriage around. The differences of experience is astounding.
It wasn’t an instant transformation. But it was a transformation that led to accelerated returns. What started as simply me feeling a little more confident turned into her nagging me less… which turned into more action and a happier woman… which turned into her doing things on her own initiative that she previously said she’d never do… and the rewards just seem to keep coming.
The marriage experience as alpha vs. the marriage experience as a beta is night and day.
“Christian” marriage advice is a scam because it doesn’t teach men and women to be happy. Rather, it only teaches men and women to reframe their standards to accept smaller blessings and learn how to cope with another “sinner.”
But, because the differences are so extreme between the alpha marriage and the beta marriage, I feel it would be a crime to merely equip men with “coping tools”. I don’t want to give you a metaphorical aspirin for your marriage. I want to help you restore your health as a man at the deepest level.
Because of this vital distinction, I think it is important to have clear and practical indicators to know whether you’re truly on the alpha path or not. It does a man no good to merely imitate alpha behaviors while never truly reaping the alpha rewards.
Alpha vs. Beta: A Practical Distinction
There are two aspects to determining whether you’re on the alpha path: the internal feedback and the external feedback.
The external feedback comes from your wife. Does she actively try to please you or does she merely comply with your demands?
A brutal, but effective test for this is as follows:
Don’t initiate sex for a week and don’t drop any hints that you’re interested. Does she initiate sex?
As Rollo Tomassi has pointed out, women have sex with alphas for validation; sex with betas is transactional. In other words, a woman needs to have sex with an alpha and if she doesn’t get it for an extended period of time she become anxious and seeks it out to validate herself. To use an analogy, it’s like a woman posting something on Facebook and anxiously checking in to see if anyone “liked” it. This is how a woman feels in the presence of an alpha husband. Every sexual act, regardless of how “good” it was, is like another “thumbs up” that validates her. It’s not so much the quality of the sex that matters, it’s the validation.
But sex with a beta is done from a sense of (reluctant) obligation. This is why wives often worry about “mismatched libidos” or ask “how often should married couples have sex to maintain a healthy marriage?” These questions indicate she’s looking for the minimum acceptable dose to qualify as performing her “Christian duty.”
My guess is that very few Christian men experience a true alpha frame. At best, they experience a beta frame with some “game” tactics thrown in to give the illusion of progress.
But do not despair. Your future is not determined by her current response to you. If you are willing to set your ego aside, there is an internal feedback you can use to recognize whether you are on your way to being a true alpha or not.
I’ll say it again: your ego is what will prevent you from becoming a true alpha in your marriage. Everybody wants to identify as the alpha. But it’s more useful to accurately identify yourself as a beta so you can finally recognize the root of the problem.
The internal feedback you need to examine in yourself is this:
Do you play to win? Or do you play to not lose?
Every time you try something, your most likely outcome on the first attempt is no success.
For example, if you call a company to see if they need your skill set, they will most likely decline.
The first time you try a new move in the bedroom, it will most likely not work.
The first time you try to assert yourself, you will most likely not be taken seriously.
You get the idea.
Your response to these kind of scenarios is what determines whether you can become the true alpha. Alpha and beta is not just about your behavior in the sexual arena. It’s how you approach all of life.
Alphas play to win. They know that every time they try something, they have a chance of winning.
Betas play to not lose. They interpret “no success” as failure and play it “safe” to avoid pain.
The alpha will contact the company unsolicited because they might have work for him. The beta will avoid the call out of fear of rejection or making some blunder that will cost the sale.
The alpha will invest some of his money in a new business venture because he might be successful. The beta fears losing his money and so he “responsibly” keeps it all in a savings account.
The alpha will pay for information that might give him a personal advantage. The beta worries about getting “ripped off” and so doesn’t buy the eBook, course, membership, etc. saying it’s “too expensive.”
The alpha will try out a novel idea he learned from a stranger on the internet because it might work. The beta will disagree with the idea and rationalize how it won’t work in his situation… or else he’ll agree with it and tell himself he’ll try it when “the time is right.”
The alpha will speak his mind or publish his thoughts because he is probably right. The beta will remain silent because he might be wrong.
The alpha will prioritize his own interests above his employer’s because he’s playing to succeed in his mission. The beta will say “yes” to everything the boss says because he doesn’t want to lose his job.
The alpha will get his “skin in the game” right away so he gets immediate feedback. The beta will spend his time prepping and organizing but avoids making first contact, telling himself he only wants to put his “best foot forward.”
The alpha will try new approaches with his wife if what he’s currently doing isn’t working. The beta will continue to use the same approach because the new approach might offend her.
Alphas are unphased by a lack of success. They know there will always be another opportunity. They do everything they can to increase their chances of success and they keep trying.
Betas are devastated by a lack of success. They think they had only one chance and they blew it. They do everything they can to avoid failure and only try things once.
I know all this because I’ve been on both sides of the equation.
If you want to become the alpha that a woman needs to have sex with, tell yourself the following statement every time you face hesitation:
I’m the type of man who plays to win.