Pornography In Art:
Right or Wrong?
by Jarrod Williams
Project: Look to the Bible and determine what pornography is. Further is it an art form? And then determine what the Christian's response should be to it.
Materials: An open mind, willing to search the scriptures, wanting obey the wishes of God.
1) To properly define pornography one must look to what the Bible meant by the term and then compare it to society's definition to see if they are one in the same. Upon matching the two definitions one must look to the Bible to see what it commands about pornography.
2) One needs to look at the effect of pornography, in both Biblical and modern times.
3) It must be accepted that the Bible is the inspired true standard that those who wish to live godly will compare and mold themselves to.
4) Once a study of the Bible reveals what is said on the subject, then the knowledge must be applied to one's life. Answering the question, What is the Christian's response to pornography?
Definitions of Pornography:
1) Before defining this, a point is worthy of emphasis. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 the inspired writer states, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
The inspired writer reminds us that our bodies are to be pure and kept clean like the temples they are. This means that we will avoid materials that work against that and seek those things that help us to remain pure and clean.
2) The word pornography can be broken down into two parts: PORNEA meaning filthy, and GRAPHA meaning to write. Therefore pornography literally means the writing or depicting of filth. One can define filth as anything that is unclean in God's sight, or in other words, sin.
3) Webster's Dictionary defines pornography as obscene writing ... relating to the prostituting of that which is obscene.
4) The Biblical definition and the social definition are one in the same. They both refer to depicting something that is impure or filthy. This can be words, pictures ... any way of depicting these things.
Effects of Pornography:
1) Pornography causes a lowering of the moral atmosphere of the individual, thus the community as a whole. It gradually destroys the values of that community! J. Edger Hoover, ex-head of the FBI, said It is impossible to determine the amount of harm to impressionable teenagers and to assess the volume of sex crimes attributable to pornography. But the influence is extensive . . .. Just think of how things change. Actions and deeds once only seen or read of in books or movies are now in our society. And society now accepts them as moral because they have been exposed to it for so long. Instead of amazement or shock they think - so what?
2) Pornography degrades the act of sex. That which God said is pure in marriage (Hebrews 13:4) is degraded to the level of animal actions. Furthermore in doing so it causes an increase in sex crimes and give a demented sense of reality. People have increased desire to act out the fictional things depicted in the material they view. Herbert W. Case, a former Detroit Police Inspector, revealed that There has not been a sex murder in the history of our department in which the killer was not an avid reader of lewd magazines.
3) It is clearly evident that the effects of pornography are harmful and destructive to the human mind and body!
Is Pornography OK As An Art Form?
1) Today's society has taken the beauty of the human body and has put it on display for everyone to see. Many would have us to believe that pornography is no longer pornography if it is part of the plot of a movie or book, or in a museum or art class, or in a magazine or even text book. Is pornography still wrong if it is used for such purposes?
2) This question can be answered very quickly. Does the mere changing of the name or place of sin make it acceptable to God? By changing it from pornography to art do we change the complexion of the sin? The answer is NO. A unclothed person is still unclothed whether it be in the filthiest magazine or the most prestigious museum! The depicting of those things God has ordained only to be in marriage in movies, pictures and the like is pornography, not art.
A) The fact of where the pornography is located has no bearing on how sinful it is. Is one more guilty of sin if he murders in the daylight or at night? BOTH are equally guilty of sin and have separated themselves from God. If one participates in the viewing or depicting of pornography in a filthy magazine or in an art book is he any less guilty?
B) God is still God and His commands and guidelines for man (the Bible) are still in effect no matter what the location or situation. As was asked in times of old, Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? (Jeremiah 23:23).
3) It can clearly be seen that just because someone may call pornography art it is still pornography and still a sin.
What is the Christian's Response?
1) Let's look to some passages from God's Word to give us the answer:
A) Mark 7:21-23 says For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
B) In Matthew 5:27,28 the Lord, Jesus Christ, tells us that Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart already.
C) Is that not the main function of pornography? To cause the sexual arousal in its viewers. To arouse desires that can only be rightly fulfilled in marriage? Even as an art form, would it not cause the same effect? It can be seen that pornography is clearly a defiler of man and something that should be avoided, as all sin.
2) Pornography will further the works of the flesh.
A) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
B) God has listed murder, hatred, idolatry and other horrible sins in the same list as adultery. And as we saw above in Matthew 5:28 Jesus said that to look upon a woman and lust is adultery in the heart. Therefore if one is a partaker of pornography, as an art form or not, they are in God's eyes no better than one who murders another human being and if unforgiven, will not enter the kingdom of God!
3) The Christian's response is obvious. If one is to be right in the sight of God then they must abstain from the lusts of the flesh (1 Peter 2:11). They must avoid pornography. They must seek to educate others in the ways of God. If you wish to be a righteous follower of Christ then YOU must avoid the evil sin of pornography. Whether it be in filthy magazines, in art, or in the media (TV, Movies) the devoted Christian will avoid this grievous sin. We must do as God said, Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22). In light of the above we can clearly see that pornography is not good and must then be avoided.
1) If you have not been abstaining from pornography in art or otherwise, you are in sin. However Christ has given us a way out of our sinful situations. If you are not a child of God, you must: hear the word of God (Romans 10:17), believe (Mark 16:16), repent of your sinful ways (Luke 13:3,5), confess Christ (Romans 10:9), and be baptized (Acts 2:38). After this you must remain steadfast (Galatians 6:7,8). If as a Christian you have been involved with pornography you must repent and ask God for His forgiveness (Acts 8:22).
2) God is waiting, but he will not wait forever. Do not let sin separate you from the only true and living God.
Pornography in Art Right or Wrong? by Jarrod Williams © 1995