True Beauty vs. Pornography

God’s design for sex is truly the most beautiful thing that exists between two people. Its counterfeit is called pornography. Porn is simulated, imitated, and purchased; but no price tag can ever buy true beauty.

God demonstrates the purest love in Himself, when one part of the Godhead is the Lover and the other parts of the Godhead are the Beloved. The Lover is constantly discovering the beauty in the Beloved, and then praising that beauty. The Beloved then reciprocates back to the Lover. It’s a love dance! 

Humans are created in God’s image. We are first created to be God’s beloved. Then we are designed to be both lover and beloved in the bonds of marriage. True beauty—real, lasting beauty that pleases God—is discovered. It’s something that starts inside and radiates outside. A true lover takes the time to discover who the beloved truly is.

To see this in action, just look at some of the compliments between husband and wife in the Song of Songs—How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! … How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! … Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. … My lover is mine and I am his. … All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

True love that sees this kind of beauty cannot be imitated, purchased or simulated. If someone attempts to, it’s called pornography.

The dictionary gives this definition of pornography: sexually explicit materials whose purpose is to elicit sexual arousal. In other words, porn tries to imitate and simulate true beauty at a purchase price.

Jesus identified this sell-out of true love with the Greek word porneia (see Mark 7:14-23). This word means any sexual involvement outside the marriage between a husband and wife. Porneia comes from words that fill out its definition: things like prostitution, idolatry, and slavery.

Your body was not made for porneia but for God (1 Corinthians 6:13). You were made in His image: to be His Beloved, and He your Lover, and then to have a marriage relationship with another image-bearer of God, where you are both lover and beloved, and where you focus on true beauty.

Anything else is imitated, purchased, and simulated. It’s pornography. It’s idolatry.

Christians are told to fight many temptations, but there are only two that we are told not to fight, but to flee: pornography (1 Corinthians 6:18) and idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). So our prayer for the purity and enjoyment of God’s true beauty should be: Turn my eyes away from worthless things (Psalm 119:37).

Don’t sell out to the fake beauty in pornography. Discover true beauty exclusively in your spouse!

We’ll be looking at more relationship builders and killers, and I’d love to have you along for this journey of discovery.

Pornography: Let’s #Endit

Today is the day the End It Movement is shining a light on the dark slave trading and human trafficking practices around the globe. One of the biggest things fueling slavery is when people click on pornography.

NOT COOL!

ftnd-facts-on-trafficking“However harmless or private pornography may seem, it is not.

  • Pornography blinds us to God (Matthew 5:8). It blurs our eyes to his goodness, truth, and beauty.
  • Pornography trains us to treat women as objects, as less than human. It portrays them as possessions to be used and enjoyed, and then thrown away.
  • Pornography fuels sex slavery—real people held against their will and raped repeatedly—all over the world, even in the United States, even in your city or the major city near you.
  • Pornography belittles real beauty—like the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 31:30)—and replaces it with a cheap and fading imitation.
  • Pornography makes sex small and momentary, like a cigarette, instead of massive and lifelong, like it is in marriage.
  • Pornography robs us of some of the delight we might have had with our spouse. It keeps us from experiencing and enjoying them and their bodies without a fog of images from our past.
  • Pornography quickly bankrupts trust in a relationship. It encourages us to lie and hide from others, to walk in darkness and then build walls around ourselves in the darkness.
  • Pornography grossly stunts our maturity, the development of our mind and our gifts—our abilities to understand God and love others.
  • Pornography pursues an undergraduate degree in selfishness, training us over and over to focus on ourselves, prefer ourselves, and serve ourselves.
  • Pornography keeps us from all kinds of ministry, disqualifying many and demotivating even more.
  • Pornography is teaching many children an awful, evil distortion of love and sex even before their parents explain the truth to them.” —Marshall Segal

We can make a huge step toward helping to #ENDIT if we can convince others of the damage pornography is doing to themselves, as well as to countless sex slaves around the world.

In It To End It

download-end-it-logoSlavery is illegal in every single country of the world, and yet slavery still exists in 167 nations today! One-in-five of those in slavery is under the age of 18, and 55 percent of those trapped in slavery are women.

NOT COOL! 

One of the biggest industries fueling human trafficking and human slavery is the pornography industry. Every time you click on a porn link, you are helping to keep someone in bondage. Those clicks mean money in the pockets of those who peddle in human flesh, so they do whatever they can to keep you clicking and viewing.

Think about this—Your porn viewing is keeping someone’s daughter or son in slavery! 

Thursday, February 23, is the day the End It Movement wants us all to shine a bright light on the vile practices of those slave-holders who are keeping people in bondage all over the globe.

What can you do?

  1. FullSizeRender 2Wear your bright red X tomorrow, and share it for the world to see. Use hashtag #endit to let slave traders know you are on to them.
  2. Pray for those held in slavery and traffickedRemember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies (Hebrews 13:3).
  3. Support groups like The End It Movement or International Justice Mission who are working to free slaves around the globe.
  4. Stop viewing pornography!

I am in it to #endit in my generation! Will you join me?

#EndIt Today

End It Movement

For some suggestions on how you can help end slavery and human trafficking, please click here.

End It Movement

End It MovementPornography has fueled the sex trafficking market. In The Porn Circuit, Sam Black reports that “between 14,500 and 17,500 sex slaves are trafficked into the US each year. Another 300,000 American children are at risk for trafficking each year.”

NOT COOL! 

You see, every time you click on a porn link, you are helping to keep someone in bondage. Those clicks mean money in the pockets of those who peddle in human flesh, so they do whatever they can to keep you clicking and viewing.

Think about this—Your porn viewing is keeping someone’s daughter or son in slavery! 

February 25 is the day the End It Movement wants us all to shine a bright light on the vile practices of those slave-holders who are keeping people in bondage all over the globe.

What can you do?

  1. FullSizeRender 2Wear your bright red X tomorrow, and share it for the world to see. Use hashtag #endit to let slave traders know you are on to them.
  2. Pray for those held in slavery and traffickedRemember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies (Hebrews 13:3).
  3. Support groups like The End It Movement or International Justice Mission who are working to free slaves around the globe.
  4. Stop viewing pornography!

We can #endit in our generation!

O Holy Night & O Holy Day

O Holy NightIn 1847 an unnamed parish priest sent an unusual request to Placide Cappeau, the commissioner of wines in a small French town: “You are well known for your poems. Would you consider writing a poem for our Christmas mass?” Cappeau was both intrigued and honored, and he soon penned an essay called Cantique de Noel.

Cappeau felt that his poem was more worthy of a song, than just merely a poem, so he turned to his friend Adolphe Adams. Adams was a classically trained musician, but he was also a Jew. Adams said to Cappeau, “You’re asking me to write a melody for a poem that celebrates a man I do not view as the Son of God, and a poem that celebrates a day I do not celebrate?” But because his friend Cappeau had requested it, he gave it his best effort. Three weeks later, Cantique de Noel was first heard for the first at the Christmas Eve midnight mass.

Cantique de Noel quickly became popular throughout France. But when it was discovered that the lyricist Cappeau had left the church to become a socialist, and the musical composer Adams was a Jew, the Catholic Church banned the song from being sung in any of its churches. Still the song grew in popularity.

During the build-up to the American Civil War, an abolitionist named John Dwight was especially moved by a line in Cantique de Noel: “Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease.” Dwight published his version of Cantique de Noel in his abolitionist magazine with the new title O Holy Night. The song quickly caught on in America.

The opening words of O Holy Night speak to our hearts today, as much as they did to those present at the First Advent—long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. To pine for something means to long painfully for something just out of our reach. It’s what the psalmist in ancient Israel capture too when he wrote, My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God (Psalm 84:2). There is a longing in all of us to know the Lord!

That’s why Christ’s First Advent is such a blessed, joyous event! In the second stanza we sing—In all our trials born to be our Friend; He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger. Indeed the writer of Hebrews tells us why Jesus was born as a human (Hebrews 2:14-18), and why we can approach him confidently (4:15-16).

Christ’s Incarnation allows us to put our faith in Him. When we do, we experience the Atonement. I like to remember this word by saying it at-onement. In other words, the Heavenly Father now sees us at-onement with His Son—when He looks at us, He sees Jesus. That’s why God forgets our forgiven sins (Hebrews 8:12)!

Then the third stanza of O Holy Night begins to tells us how we live out the at-onement every day by loving one another, enjoying His peace, living free and helping others get free too, singing joyfully to God day after night after day after night!

The First Advent was a holy night. But because Christ’s Atonement it makes us holy. So all our nights are O holy nights, and all our days O holy days, and all our work O holy work, and all our relationships O holy relationships!

Christ’s First Advent changes EVERYTHING for those who put their faith in Him. Is that you? Are you living in Christ’s at-onement? If not, you can be today by simply asking Him to come into your life.

You can check out some of the other Christmas carols we have looked at here. And check out the video of this message too—

Links & Quotes

link quote

“The whole duty of the Christian can be summed up in this: feel, think, and act in a way that will make God look as great as He really is. Be a telescope for the world of the infinite starry wealth of the glory of God.” —John Piper

It’s pretty sad—and quite telling—when Planned Parenthood’s arguments for abortion sound eerily similar to pro-slavery and pro-Nazi arguments of the past.

Seth Godin reminds us that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Check it out! I also really liked Seth Godin’s warning about getting caught up in the Black Friday hype.

“Things will all work out” and “You can do anything you set your mind to” are just two of the seven sentimental lies you might believe.

Eric Metaxas shares about a “crisis of despair” where the church is desperately needed.

What a comfort we can have in this—“This very day I am being saved by the eternal intercession of Jesus in heaven. Jesus is praying for us and that is our salvation [Hebrews 7:25]. We are saved eternally by the eternal prayers (Romans 8:34) and advocacy (1 John 2:1) of Jesus in heaven as our High Priest. He prays for us and His prayers are answered because He prays perfectly on the basis of His perfect sacrifice.” —John Piper

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks a vitally important question: How’s your prayer life?

[VIDEO] A great look at competitiveness from John Maxwell—

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