Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mega-Excerpts from "Searching for Intimacy: Pornography, the Internet and the XXX Factor"

George just had me read this powerful little book. As R.T. Kendall endorsed it, this is "A very timely book."

If you read just one of my recent mega-excerpts posts, read this. Pornography is an epidemic.

But there is a solution, and it's Jesus (1 Cor. 10: 12,13).

[All text is quotes unless surrounded by brackets.]

This industry is not about altruism, generosity, gentleness or liberty. It should be seen for what it is, a form of prostitution. Essentially it is about sex for money. As such it destroys intimacy. – p. 4

[The] pornographic image is a person who has a name, who is unique and who has been made in the image of God. – p. 7

[The term ‘pornography’ comes from] the Greek word ‘porne’ meaning ‘female captives’ – p. 10

Many who are active in the type of sexual lifestyle promoted by pornography seem to have lost something. The more sexually active they are, the less they enjoy it! One patient lamented “I seem to be dying inside.” – p. 16

[Pornography offers] a sense of ‘numbness’ or ‘escape’ from realities too tough to face up to in day-to-day life. This is why most men are more vulnerable to engage with porn when under stress at work or at home. – p. 24

The US porn industry nets 15 billion dollars annually. – p 26 [Note from Nigel: this is more than the combined income of the entire world’s missionaries. And most Americans claim to be ‘born again.’ Connect the dots; we need revival.]

I am frankly surprised these days if I meet a Christian man who does not have (or has had) a problem with pornography. The only thing that surprises me is that quite a few do not acknowledge it as a problem and do not see its dangers. – p. 30

Paul tells these Christians (and us) that our bodies are not made for porneia (1 Cor. 6:13), that we should run from it when it comes looking for us (v. 18), that we should avoid going looking for it (1 Cor. 7:2), and that if we do succumb to its lure, it is something we need to repent of (2 Cor. 12:21) rather than being complacent about it. – p. 30

[From Nigel: the Internet is not bad itself. It is just a tool through which a lot of good is taking place as well. On page 40, the author points out how much hearing-impaired people often appreciate the Internet: “No one knows you are deaf on the Internet!”]

Whilst the term ‘digital divide’ is often overused in the context of access and equality, the new technologies are creating another digital divide – the one between parents and their tech-literate kids who are now using the technology applications in quite different ways. – p. 41

Children’s privacy is being invaded by SPAM, scam text messages, viruses… pop-ups, SPAM emails, and bogus competitions where children are encouraged to supply personal household details. – p. 45

Many children and young people can come across pornography by mistake – indeed for those who use an e-mail hotmail account or peer-to-peer file sharing system, it is almost impossible not to be sent pornography attachments, pop-ups or adverts. – p. 45

Sadly pedophiles have recognized the opportunity the Internet affords them to contact children at a safe distance, building up a relationship with them for the sole purpose of persuading them into sexual activity. – p. 46

Mobile network operators – many of whom have had to pay excessive sums for the new licenses – are desperate to capitalize on new revenue opportunities and exploit adult services on mobile phones. … companies in other countries are rapidly seeking to roll out adult content services to drive up data revenues including sex channels, dating and flirt SMS services and access to adult dating sites. – p. 49

Children and young people are potentially far more vulnerable to mobile porn [given how many young people have mobile phones] … Children and young people are extremely private about their mobile. As soon as the third generation phones provide high speed and high quality Internet access, video and interactive services, children will be accessing the world at the bus stop, on the train, in the playground, anywhere that is away from their parents’ gaze. – p. 50

Do not shy away from discussing pornography and Internet danger with your children when it comes up on the News. … In adolescence it can be harder with teenagers needing more privacy and many finding it harder to articulate their feelings. – p. 53

Whilst there are some tell-tale signs that a child may be viewing unhelpful content (such as the screen is minimized every time you enter the room!) you need to remember that a great deal of pornography is ‘pushed’ to computers through pop-ups, banner ads and cookies which are implanted on your machine. Tell your children in advance that you are able to look at the History folder on your computer (click on ‘History’ folder icon) to see what your children have been looking at. This in itself can help prevent misuse. If the History folder is repeatedly wiped this will give you a good opening to ask ‘are there websites which you don’t want me to know you’ve been looking at?’
If you do find pornography on your computer make sure you talk about it straight away in a non-threatening, supportive manner. Remember that for many teenagers pornography is part of growing up and you will have to deal with it sometime. – p. 54

At a time when global paradigms are colliding, and when the west is increasingly being seen by the rest of the world as having lost its moral authority, our world is waiting for the church to find its prophetic voice again. – p. 57

Washed up, hurt and castrated from the love of human tenderness and beauty, pornography destroys. It may be sold and promoted as acceptable and as a sign of a tolerant society, but the legacy of pain, broken relationships, anger and addiction is something which church and social workers are mopping up on a weekly basis. – p. 57

More recently others didn’t even go looking, porn came looking for them. They received one SPAM message too many and thought they would just have a look at what all the fuss was about. One thing led to another but it was all fairly innocuous and they only ‘treated’ themselves every few weeks just to get some excitement. Then it became more regular, a specific time in the week when their partner was out at a meeting, and eventually daily. Rationalism and justification about what they were getting into became less and less of an issue as they blocked out the one clear voice that told them they were on a slide and were losing control of the momentum. Then, one day or one dark night, they suddenly woke up to the reality that they were willing slaves. – p. 64

One of the first things anyone has to discover about defeating any life-controlling problem is that it’s not about being strong. It is all about acknowledging that we are powerless. … Powerlessness, weakness and surrender, on God’s terms, are the gateway to a life of righteousness, hope and victory over those things we choose to be enslaved by. – p. 68

[God] says don’t only ‘put off’ but go further. Put off and have your mind renewed as well. Renewal of our mind can be done in so many different ways. In the midst of trying to deal with evil desires around porn it can be deliberately choosing to read a Christian book which feeds our minds with the truths of God. – p. 75

A broken spirit has nothing to do with timidity or fear; rather the reverse. … The most important thing for them has become to know God. … They no longer trust themselves but have put their hope fully in the grace and mercy of God. – p. 77

In fact the most disturbing thing I hear from the lips of those who have experienced freedom from life-controlling problems is, ‘It’s all over now, God has set me completely free.’ The implication behind their words being that they will never have a problem with this issue ever again. It’s then that I have to find the words that will face them with a sense of reality whilst keeping them rejoicing in the truth that God has set them free and all the resources of heaven are available for them to remain free. – p. 78

Even more scary than telling your minister that you have a problem is telling your wife or husband. Yet the importance of this step cannot begin to be over-emphasized. … Of course their initial reaction will be one of confusion, disgust and even a sense of their own failure and inadequacy. But your own open confession and repentance can be the doorway to a deeper relationship with them than ever before. One person wrote, after telling his wife, ‘The ore I told her, the closer we got.’ – p. 81

[Some practical ways to guard against pornography on the Internet:] Put filters or contact barrier software on your computer … Be careful what you read and what you watch on the TV. … Go to church as often as you can. Avoiding church is often a sign that we are slipping into deeper sin. When you are seeking to walk on the well-traveled road of recovery getting all the spiritual input you can is very, very helpful. – p. 83

[Quotes 1 Cor. 10:12,13. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”]
ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2023+



27 Sat (1) 11am Commencement speaker at R. University, (2) ~3pm+ time w/ V/AR+
29 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer, (2) 3pm mtg DerCh - Mississauga
30 Tue (1) 10am ph call (AA), (2) 5:30pm video mtg (IsTan), (3) 8pm neighbourhood prayer mtg

1 Thu (1) 11:30am Zoom mtg (LM), (2) 4pm mtg (VS,KBr)
2 Fri (1) 10:30am ph call (PVDW; SL w/ boys; ~J working)
3 Sat SL w/ boys and MG
5 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 2pm Europe call, (3) 5pm mtg/walk (YM)
6 Tue (1) 11:30am lunch (GD) - St. Jacobs, (2) 4pm mtg (AF) - Cambridge, (3) 7:30pm worship night
9 Fri ~J's b'day
10 Sat North Bay trip
13 Tue 11am mtg (DAy) (~J school trip w/ ~Co | text BD)
14 Wed 9:30am time w/ BD
15 Thu 4:30pm video mtg (Paul T.)
16 Fri (1) 9am video med appt, (2) 15-km run (Prayer Journey "warm-up")
17 Sat Prayer Journey (my own: 50km GTA bike-ride; Jessie's: 5KM) and speaking at GTA after-party
23-25 Fri-Sat poss. SL
26 Mon 2pm Europe monthly call
29 ... July 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas

... 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas
~8-17 SA+ in Toronto; P/H Bell likely visiting too
15 Sat aft+ baptism (Saj; NaB may be coming)
17-21 Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp
24 Mon 2:45pm med. appt
26 Wed (1) 11am video mtg (SM), (2) 3pm Zoom mtg (SMa,SB), (3) 7pm ~J speaking at Greenhouse/Zoe - UofT downtown
27 Thu 10am video MVT board mtg
31 Mon 3:05pm med. appt
July/Aug CCWM board mtg / AGM

2 Wed 11am video mtg (SM+)
6-12 Sun-Fri Cottage w/ O/DN+ and UB/AC - Windermere; plus Muskoka
19 Sat poss. ~J fam beach day - Brighton area
25-29 Fri-Tue MoveIn staff retreat - southern Ontario

Sep 21 Thu - MVT board mtg
Sep 23 Sat poss. date of GV memorial
Sep 24 Sun ~Ch's b'day
Sep ~26-28 Poss. time in Lushnjë, Albania
Sep 29 - Oct 6 MoveIn Europe Conference+ - Durrës, Albania
Oct 21 Sat poss./unlikely date of GV memorial
Oct 21-27 Dollar-a-Day week
Early Nov Poss. fundraising event - Niagara
Nov-Jan Poss. time in India - Goa; Philippines - Manila+; Indonesia - Jakarta/Bali; LA/San Diego