My friend and Pastor Bruce Roeder has done a book review on the excellent book, Delivered by Desire, By Pastor Daryl Wingerd. I posted the first two parts of the review, and today is the third part.
You can find Pastor Bruce at Missio Dei Fellowship, in Kenosha, WI.
Chapter 4: Irrationality 101
At the time of this writing Anthony Wiener, Democrat Congressman from New York has been caught sexting and then lying about it. The irrationality of it is that he used his Twitter account to send pics of his private parts to young women. This is proof positive that sin makes you stupid and reckless.
Chapter Four is about the irrationality of porn use with Christians. This is why behavior modification is not enough to defeat porn temptation. It’s irrational for a man to use a company computer to view porn, yet they do. It’s more irrational to use the company computer to view porn by getting around the blocking devices many companies use. Yet, computer savvy Christian men do just that. It does not make sense which says something about the power of ruling desires. They should not be under estimated and it’s why the heart must be dealt with at the root level.
Key Thought: If you continue in your habit of viewing pornography, you will be a case-study in irrational thought and behavior.
Chapter 5: Marriage Poison
Viewing pornography is adultery (Matt. 5:28)
Way back in 1976 then President Jimmy Carter gave an interview to Playboy Magazine. He famously remarked that he had committed adultery in his heart by lusting after women other than his wife.
Carter was just being honest and it’s sad that the media just focused on the comment rather than the solution to the struggles of the heart. I am not sure why Carter gave the interview to Playboy in the first place. At the time Carter was the first openly born-again President and maybe this excerpt from the interview explains why he did it. Keep in mind that in 1976 Playboy was the porn standard and was in its heyday. Here’s Carter’s comment:
Because I’m just human and I’m tempted and Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. The Bible says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Christ said, I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery. I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times…. This is something that God recognizes, that I will do and have done, and God forgives me for it. But that doesn’t mean that I condemn someone who not only looks on a woman with lust but who leaves his wife and shacks up with somebody out of wedlock. Christ says, don’t consider yourself better than someone else because one guy screws a whole bunch of women while the other guy is loyal to his wife. The guy who’s loyal to his wife ought not to be condescending or proud because of the relative degree of sinfulness.
There is some truth in Carter’s remarks because he identifies the main issue as a heart issue. There is a relative degree of sinfulness since actual adultery has more consequences than fantasy adultery but as I said at the end of the day it’s a heart issue. Carter seems to downplay the seriousness of the lusting however. The comment about God recognizing his struggle and forgiving him is true but should not serve as a further rationalization for continued lusting.
The Bible makes much of the connection between adultery and idolatry. In this case the idol of pleasure controls the man into committing adultery in his heart and it often leads to the real thing. INET sex chat lines are one way adultery becomes even more real. We’ve come a long way from Playboy lusts to live chats and in at least one case I’ve counseled a man who went from live chats to setting up a meeting that fortunately did not happen.
Adultery is a slippery slope and the slide starts in the mind.
Chapter 6: Fool’s Vomit
Look up Proverbs 6:32, 7:7, 7:22-23 and Proverbs 5:20-23.
It should go without saying that in our culture sexual sin is winked at. Although pressure is on Anthony Wiener to resign it has more to do with the fact he sent a sexting to a 17-year-old girl than it does with the fact he was sexting at all.
In other words, just about the only taboo left is sexting underage girls or child porn. Had she been 18 the pressure on Wiener to resign would be much less. Even Democrats who like him would not want to have their names on a bill with a man who sex texts children.
The point is our culture pushes and pushes the acceptance of sexual impurity and the Bible equates it with just plain foolishness. Once a person in controlled by the idol of pleasure he worships that god and that is foolishness because it ignores the one true God.
Sexual pleasure within the context of marriage is holy (Heb. 13:4 again) and anything outside of that is the vomit of a fool that he continues to lap up once he has barfed it up time and time again. Not a pretty picture, but thoroughly biblical.