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Purity and Porn

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Written by Alan Vink

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Dear Pastors

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith…………Keep yourself pure”. 1 Timothy 1:5, 5:22(NLT)

Pastor Paul urged his young protégé Timothy, to be pure in heart and that he teach ALL believers to be likewise. In Philippians 4:8-9 Paul says that as a pre-requisite to experiencing God’s peace we are to “fix our thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable……..then the God of peace will be with you”.

Frankly that is hard especially in a day when sexual taboos are nigh on non-existent and porn is just a click away. In fact it is now so prevalent that porn comes looking for us never mind me or you looking for it. As the experts say, “it is not if you see porn but when you see it”. And when that happens how will you respond? Are you ready and prepared to deal with it?

To be pure is not the same as prudish or puritanical. That is about a moral self-righteousness that is very akin to the Pharisees of old and as we know those boys were not Jesus’ favourite’s. No one likes a self-appointed moral policeman. The biblical idea for ‘pure’ (Gr hagnos) is about the disposition of your heart and very closely linked to the idea of Holiness or being Holy (Gr hagios). That being true then our holiness is not so much what we do and don’t do but rather it is rooted in our relationship with a Holy God who makes us Holy even when we live in a very unholy environment. Though we are all tainted by that unholiness - He STILL sees us as Holy. Hallelujah! And that of course is the Doctrine of Justification in a nut shell.

Does that mean we don’t do anything. No definitely not. Our ‘call’ is to, in Paul’s instruction above, ‘keep yourself pure’ and ‘pursue a life of holiness’.

We know there is nothing good about porn…..nothing. In fact the opposite is true. It hurts us and our relationships. Porn is the devil in disguise who has come to steal, kill and destroy all that is good and then if given half a chance will destroy us, our marriages, our families and our careers. And friends that is not saying it too strong.

So Pastor, if a key to your inner peace and to your spiritual authority (and power) is purity, what have you put in place in your life to achieve that and in doing so saying a big fat NO to porn? Here are a few thoughts.

  1. I think putting fences or boundaries around our everyday conduct is very important, absolutely.
  2. What is going on in your head and your heart is perhaps the critical question. What are you thinking about? If you and I discipline our minds according to Philippians 4:8-9 then we are well on the way to being overcomers.
  3. Do you know yourself? I mean really know yourself? Your weaknesses and vulnerabilities? Not only what they are but when they surface? The dimensions of your life where you experience intense temptations? When you and I are clear about that then we can be on high alert and ready to combat the fiery darts of the evil one and the inclinations of our human nature.
  4. If you are a married person1 commit to Proverbs 5 as I shared last week.
  5. If you have a problem with porn or are worried you are heading there please seek help2 before it is to late. Sometimes it is simply being honest and saying (or writing) it like it is that can quickly get you back on the right path.

If a key to our effectiveness and happiness is a ‘pure heart’, then best we work hard at this, depending on the power of the HOLY Spirit to help us.

Next week. A sex education curriculum for churches - a proposal.

Blessings

Alan

P.S. Ironically as I am just about to hit send at 6.30am, a picture of a beautiful Italian women news caster wearing a very short skirt ‘pops up’ on my NEWS feed. Sssshhheee……..

1 I am very keen to hear from a single adult (especially one in pastoral leadership) who is willing to write a ‘guest blog’ on sexuality and the single person. My email is alan.vink@leadershipworx.org.nz and my phone number is 021 562743. That said, I am hosting Sam Allberry in May next year on a 4 city stop tour and he will be talking about this. Stay tuned.

2 Over my 35 years in pastoral ministry I have walked beside quite a few young and older men who are struggling with porn. If I can serve you at all please reach out. My wife Jeanette is available to walk beside women and her email is jeanette.vink1@gmail.com Confidentiality is guaranteed.

Announcements

  1. This October, Barna and World Vision are joining together to release and unpack the largest ever global study of Millennials and their attitudes toward Christianity. Check it out here.
  2. CMA will be back in November conducting two Governance and Accountability Workshops.

Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.

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