I have something on my heart to share today, but I am so overwhelmed. The topic is too big. There is too much to say. Too much that has already been said, by those more knowledgeable and eloquent than I.
So I am not going to say it all. I am just going to stick to what is on my heart.
I see Satan has crept like a slithering serpent into many houses, through the technological cords and wires. These wires are like snakes that have brought in poison.
Christians would never pick up pentagrams and skulls, or drink blood, would we? No, we recognize those activities as demonic and occultic. We would not be inclined nor comfortable to perform such bold and idolatrous activities.
And that is good. The Lord warned Israel to not practice the occult activities of the people in the land.
“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
The Lord says to His people to not learn their detestable ways, to not practice the things that are idolatrous, demonic, or occult in nature. And most Christians I know, that go to church would refuse to go to a psychic or have a seance in their home. Most people in the church are not “struggling” with their desire to cast spells. Right?
The Lord tells us not to “learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there” but we forget about some other more tempting practices of the occult. That we have de-spiritualized and accepted as “Every Man’s Battle.”
How about the “Asherah poles” we have erected in our homes? The “high places” we have gone to in our own minds?
Did you know that sexual immorality is a war against your soul?
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11
We have not been taught that pornography and sexual sin are also practices of the occult.
From the orgies under the oak trees on the hills surrounding Jerusalem, in days of old. To the sex magick promoted by modern day occultists like Aleister Crowley and later Anton LaVey. This idea of sexual activity coupling with the occult has permeated every culture since the Tower of Babel. In the East you have “tantric” practices. In Europe, you have pagan sex rituals. The Bible talks about the temple prostitutes that permeated the land throughout history–through Babylon, Rome, and Greece. Pagan idolatry always involves this seduction.
Sexual immorality is a KEY ASPECT to the pagan worship of antiquity, as well as modern satanism and witchcraft.
We can see the obvious danger of a Ouija board. But we do not see the demonic roots of a website devoted to pornography.
Satan has disguised this sin as if it was not connected to the occult. We don’t see it as demonic. We have called it an “addiction” and looked at it through the eyes of the psychologist or marriage counselor, instead of the eyes of the prophet.
It has been normalized. Our churches have small group studies devoted to this struggle that “all men” have. It is looked at as a carnal and fleshly weakness. The books and flyers for this struggle usually picture a tormented man, in chains.
We counsel them. We tell them to keep trying. To keep repenting. To keep reading books. Keep accountable to others. Keep repenting. We have tried to minimize the shame. And be open about the pain and the struggle. We have support groups for wives of sexual addicts. We have done everything possible to try to help men held captive by various lusts. It is done with a good heart.
But I wonder if titles like “Every Man’s Battle” might make people think, “Hey, it’s not just me. It is everyone. I will do my best, but come on . . . it’s not like we will ever be free of this. I just need to be better.” When we look around and fail to see men stand up and say they DON’T give into porn, how can we have any hope?
This is a HUGE problem.
What do you estimate is the percentage of people (men AND women) in your church that dabbles off and on with pornography?
I think it is at least 50 percent of the people at my church.
It is rampant.
It is secret.
It is a deadly snare.
The youth can hardly escape it.
Even Christian children are finding it on the computers, iPads, and iPhones that we carelessly hand them. They didn’t know better, and now it is too late. They can’t un-see that.
We know it is a problem, but no one sees the pentagram on it.
No one sees the demons behind the scenes.
This has been a concerted effort on the part of the wicked one, and his followers to sneak in and seduce our sheep to practice the abominations of the pagans. We may not drink blood or cast spells, but we are still practicing and celebrating these detestable images. The idols of antiquity were pornographic. I can’t even post a picture of one in the margin.
Pornography is idolatry.
Modern Christianity has taken on certain characteristics. We have become patriotic. We mostly vote republican. We stand against abortion. We are against gay marriage. We try to legislate prayer in schools, etc. But like Josiah–we cannot pull down the high places in our hearts. You cannot legislate a love for God.
We look nice on Sunday morning, with our nice clothes and our after church brunches. Our little girls in dresses, braided hair, and ribbons. Innocence. But what has passed lately before our eyes and electrified our minds?
We have a form of godliness, but we are denying it’s power (to deliver us).
God sees what is in our hearts.
He sees our idolatry.
He sees what we have divided our hearts over.
What we have worshiped, delighted in, and chosen instead of Him.
His grace is not a gift that was given for our weekly repentance and continued disobedience.
His grace is to set us free, to break the chains.
But if we are honest, these chains are chosen.
Many of us pick them up every week, again and again.
And secretly delight in them, like jewelry.
wanting to continue in these chains.
“I will repent later.”
But this is not what grace is for.
Grace sets us free and makes us NEW.
Grace erases our sins, and helps us hate them.
God doesn’t want to fail us like this.
He will set us free.
But the matter is in the heart.
What do you love more?
How much do you love God?
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:4
Many of us do not hate our sin enough.
We don’t see it like God sees it–and despise it.
And the moment we do . . . the moment we hate it . . . and it disgusts us entirely . . .
we will cry out to God and be done with it.
Repentance is seeing it, the way God sees it.
Don’t have compassion on the flesh, when it wants to damn you to hell.
Be not deceived– the sexually immoral will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.
“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”(Ephesians 5:5)
Exchange your heart of stone for a heart of flesh.
Beg God to change your heart.
Because Satan is laughing at us. He has us worshiping just the way the heathen do, and he laughs at us. You are not alone in your sin. If you are involved with pornography, do not think this is not a spiritual activity. You are sitting in a room with demons, and you are aligning yourself with them.
You are opening a door into your home and your life, where all the forces of evil have a right to come into your home and not just harass you, but destroy your entire family. You must make a choice. You must repent. You must come back into the sheepfold, and under the blood of Christ.
Fight. It is time to fight with everything you’ve got.
What was the curse of Balaam?
It is getting us to curse ourselves.
By choosing pornography you are choosing a curse.
Just as the nation of Judah chose the consequences of her idolatry. Knowing what the Lord said to Moses– we still see great abominations in the temple, in the hearts of the priests even. Was that a lack of faith in the word? “Nothing will happen. God does not see. I will just ask forgiveness.” But we reap what we sow. The Lord sent judgment against them. The Lord exposed the hidden idolatry. How much more will He judge and reveal it when He finds it in our churches, in our leadership, and pastors?
He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.
11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth.
13 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord‘s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
16 And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord‘s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east.
17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
You have hope. Jesus came to rescue us from the grip of the devil, and to destroy the works of the evil one. We can walk in holiness. He who called us to holiness, will equip us for holiness. He will forgive our past, AND give us a clean future. Praise God!
If you are wondering why I am writing this, this issue is very dear to my heart. I have seen too many strong men of God fall. I have seen too many choose the temporary and condemning sins of the flesh and not only be destroyed–but destroy others. How many people are going to loose everything before we stop minimizing and dismissing this as just something that all guys will always struggle with forever?
Josiah loved God, but he never destroyed the high places. He never went up there and took them down. Therefore, idolatry and immorality came back to ruin the lives of those after him. If we want to save those we love, we need to cut this off at the knees and make sure the enemy has NO INLET into our homes. There is no opportunity for him to place his detestable images before our eyes, or the eyes of our children.
Hezekiah tried, he wasn’t perfect, but this had to please God.
“[Hezekiah] removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it.” (2 Kings 18:4).
We don’t have to be perfect, but let us do what we can. Even if someone like Ahaz was our father, let us try to break the cycle. Even if our children choose to go astray, like Manasseh, let us make a choice to obey God–with our whole heart.
I also want to say that if you go to a church that minimizes this sin, or you have an accountability partner that doesn’t seem to take it seriously. You are in danger. You need to find a group that will tell you the truth, seasoned with grace. The Lord Jesus said that there would be churches that fail to deal with sexual sin. That they will minimize and dismiss it–even to the extent of saying that it is okay. He is not happy with them.
To the church of Pergamum He says,
“There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam,who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.” (Revelation 2:14)
To the church of Thyatira He says,
“You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.” (Revelation 2:20)Paul says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
Let us choose this day whom we will serve.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Now after all this, there is much that I wasn’t able to say–I wasn’t able to speak to those who have been abused and become victims of the industry. I haven’t been able to speak to those whose marriages have been destroyed by this industry. I want you to know that I know that you are there, and hurting, and you are important. God sees you. And He loves you.
For Further (Better) Reading on This Subject, Please Read:
You might also find this video interesting. It shows a connection between the demon referred to by pagans as “Lilith” and sometimes “Asherah” and sexual immorality (among other things).