Doubts are alright, even as a Christian!

We make many of our claims upon the historicity of the bible with respect to all of what it says. People tend to doubt because there are many others who inject their opinions and other “WOW!” factor-like statements. However, it is alright to have doubts as a Christian and as a follower of Christ, this is how we learn – that is, by delving into the sources, the history, the bible, and the culture of the times. Some of our greatest thinkers who are extraordinary men of faith, have doubted.

doubting_thomasDoubting Thomas

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross. It is quite difficult to be an Apostle Thomas, these days, because in the end you would have to have some personal experience, in that, you would have to see the wounds and touch the nail marks on Jesus’s body. Although, it is quite possible to be an Apostle Paul. Paul had an experience that was personal and profound. Jesus spoke to him and made him blind for a time, so that he would recognize the power of Jesus and know the glory of God. There are those who say that no one had any personal experience with Jesus. I would have to disagree with that. There are those who say the bible is not from history. I would also, emphatically, have to disagree with that, as well.
Just because they were followers of Jesus does not make them liars. Also, what could they 12 apostlespossibly gain from such a claim? Expulsion from the church, most assuredly death in the long run for blasphemous statements. To say the bible is not from history is laughable at best. The scrolls were dug up from the earth and transcribed. Also, the gospels and the epistles are preeminently used to determine locations of artifacts. How many people do you know would die for a lie that they spun up? There is a bit of parallelism to the Watergate debacle of President Nixon and his powerful tribe of twelve men. Each of them cut a deal and did prison time and these were men of great power in these United States. The followers of Jesus were woodworkers, fishermen, tax collectors, and the like. Not men of power, but men of ethical & moral strength who came from the lowliest of positions within their community. Only someone with such fortitude and strength of the Spirit of God, as small as these men were, could possibly stand up against the Sanhedrin and the likes of the Romans.
Man is naturally full of doubts, whether he admits it or not is another topic of discussion.bible That is what fuels our skeptical natures. We, as the species of man, are constantly asking questions, interrogating ourselves, in an attempt to understand something more fully. Regardless of what it is, or how menial it may be. If we are truly wise – we will research things to the bitter, grueling end. In so doing we can make an educated, cogent, and wise decision concerning the matter at hand.
If you are truly a Christian at heart, you will research everything that comes your way and compare it to the moral & ethical standards Bible TJof the bible, as well as, the teachings of Jesus. The multitude of subject matter placed before us with respect to politics, transgenderism, LGBT militant-ism, the refugee fiasco, and innumerable other topics of discussion. Your life, my life, and the lives of our children (if raised as Christians) will be centered around the teachings and tenets of the bible. Just because you do not like what was stated in the bible, does not give you the right to change it’s teachings to suit your needs or wants! It is there as an ever present guide for life, an ever present standard to model your life after. After all, were we not warned:
For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” ~2 Corinthians 11:4
 >and<
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” ~1 Timothy 6:3-5
Now I could have added the scripture from the Book of Revelation:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” ~Rev 22:18-Rev 22:19
However, it is MY firm belief that each Book of the Bible is a separate work and the revelationwarning within this particular revelation is intended for the Book of Revelation itself. Of course, that is my opinion and the same of many others but not everyone who believes. Also, you all should beware, my friends, for we were also warned by James, the brother of our Lord, Jesus, (who by the way did not always believe in his own brother as Lord) the following:
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” ~James 3:1
We have all been called to the “royal priesthood” and we were also called to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” These are not the-will-of-godpassed on to us willy-nilly, but true commands for us to carry out.  Just consider the Apostles, individually. Each one had doubts during their learning with Jesus. Each one showed their disbelief after Jesus’ death by hiding and allowing the women to go to the tomb, and they were still having doubts until the gift of the Holy Spirit came upon them. The fact remains, provided you accept the authenticity and historicity of the bible, doubts will reign in our lives, sin will reign in our lives, temptation will reign in our lives, etc.; however, it is up to each of us to subject our thoughts, our bodies, our minds, etc., to our will and our individual will(s) need to be modeled after the will of God and the teachings of the Christ!

 

May God Richly Bless You!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

False Bravado…

“…there is no one who does good, not even one.” reference

who will you serve

So, are you even trying to serve or glorify your Creator? I know I am lacking in this department, which is one of our dictates. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we may try to be better people, based upon the biblical standard(s), we will never be seen as perfect or even near perfect, because that is our nature. But by God’s grace, or gift of mercy, though we will be judged and all of our secrets will be brought to light for our judgement, God will based upon our hearts and spirits. We will always be left wanting to be better, but it is where our hearts are and where our spirit guides us that we will be judged by God. We have been told how this judgement will go in the (Parable of) the Sheep and the Goats:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

We must change our outlook on things by doing what is right, morally right. We truly need i-am-only-oneto help those around us in whatever way we can; whether it be monetarily, physically, emotionally, etc. We cannot help everyone without doing vast detrimental damage to our own family or psyche. Though, we are but individuals, we can do something! I cannot do everything, but I can do something! Which brings up the well known epithet. Know that YOU can do SOMETHING for SOMEONE to HELP. If we each would take such a position in our hearts and minds to do so, there would be very few for the government to help. In-fact, this was a mindset of our founding fathers that WE THE PEOPLE were to take care of our neighbors in need and not a governmental project!.

plan-of-salvationI am of the mind that we can all play a part, in the grand scheme of things, by helping our neighbors. Our neighbors are our fellow believers, they are also our non-believing neighbors, too. It is through our generosity toward them that they can see the generosity of the Christ! And thereby, be drawn toward Christ for His offer and gift of salvation. While in bible study this past weekend this subject came up, the old adage of “The greatest case against Christianity, are the Christians themselves!” Which is true, if you place it in context of what most Christians do, such as: perfect at Sunday Church service and bible classes, but a completely different person Monday through Saturday; learns and understands the bible, but does not practice what is taught inside the covers of the scriptures; etc… We can all learn a lot, we can all change a lot, as we all need to! According to the Apostle Peter, we are all called to “a royal priesthood” (ref: 1 Peter 2:9) In so far as to call us to that royal priesthood, we are going to be held to a much higher standard. If someone does not hear the word and continues in a life of sin and God was placing them in your path to talk to them; the will be judged for what they did because they should have seen the markers that God had left for them. However, YOU and I will be held accountable for their souls! (ref: Ezekiel 18) This is where we should possess a fear of the Lord and reverence for His ultimate judgement over our lives and eternal souls!

We often possess that, as the title espouses, a “false bravado” about ourselves. We seem to become full of ourselves. We tend to think, “yeah, that was all me!” When, in-fact, it was all God’s doing for our benefit, or for someone eases benefit.We often take credit where no credit is due us. We were told by Paul the Apostle:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” ~Romans 12:3

So be a little more discrete about yourself and your abilities. Some of those, if not all, samsonabilities were gifts of God for you to do His work, but we tend to forget such things because of our thinking more highly of ourselves that we should. Remember Samson? He has always been depicted as a muscular man of God, but if you study the word correctly you will see he was more like a college freshman prankster with great strength which he possessed when the Spirit of God filled him. The majority of the time he did use his strength, it was for his personal gain. In Judges 14:4 it says the Lord, “…was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.” Samson, for the most part was a failure as a Judge, because he used his power for personal gain and not for the Lord’s will. In-fact, even his last act of bringing down the Colosseum was that of revenge and not of God’s will of Judgement, so-to-say. The unfortunate truth is this, that many of us tend to use our gifts given us by God for our own personal gain, instead of for God’s glory or His specific will for our lives.

gift_of_godThe next time you are ready to use your gift from God, whether it be writing, designing, drawing, singing, teaching, motivating, evangelizing, etc., remember to thank God for it and to seek how you may glorify Him by using it properly and according to His will. It just may make all the difference in the world as to the final accomplishment and what is presented to someone special or to the world.

Consider that for a moment or two!

 

May God Richly Bless You!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

 

Bags of Gold

The Parable of the Bags of Gold is quite telling of our individual natures.

bags of gold“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ~Matthew 25:14-30 NIV

Most people attribute this to economics and personal finances and however true that may be the main prominent point of this parable is that being ready for the Christ’s coming involves more than playing it safe and doing little or nothing. Unfortunately, most of us Christians do well at playing it safe by doing little to nothing, outside of going to church and attending bible studies. Admittedly so, I too am a lazy Christian! Does this blog, or any of the other blogs I do count toward getting the word out…to a degree it does, but what do we do in our personal lives? When someone has a religious question, or a doctrinal question, are we willing to put ourselves out there for all to see? This Christian life of ours demands of us the kind of service which will produce results. While this has to do with the handling of value, what is more valuable than the soul of a brother or sister?

Consider the fact that all too many people roll this parable, along with other tales, into a premise that Jesus was a socialist. But no, if Jesus were a socialist he would have forced his followers to choose his way, not have given them the choice. Also, take a good hard look at who has their wealth taken from them, who was it? Not the wealthy producer, nor the middle class producer, but the non-producer. We are taught & told to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” (ref Matthew 28:19) and so God wants us to be just as fruitful with souls, but he uses money because this is what we people find to be far more important in our lives. Back then and even today. The same philosophy applies, regardless if you are speaking about souls, money, wealth building, business creation, etc. you must work at it in order to build it up. We Christians have a grave problem within our own ebenezer-scroogehearts by not learning to evangelize, learning apoligetics, studying for a better understanding of the bible, etc. Nor do we train our children up to quest for such knowledge. I grew up under Roman Catholicism, which is neither good nor bad, but my point being is that when I was growing up in the 1960s & 1970s I remember one priest stating, emphatically I might add, “You are not to read the bible, you are too stupid to understand the bible!” After entering in the military I left Catholicism which left me with more questions than answers, and no one to ask because priests never seemed to be that open for discussions. Instead, we all strive to give our children a better and easier life than what we had and I believe that is part of the problem. We should maintain some of the old ways in order to train up our children so they will learn, and learn with heart & soul. Like it was mentioned in the movie, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, stated by Jacob Marley’s ghost to Ebenezer Scrooge, “Mankind was my business!” Sometimes, we can really take a hint from the older movies, because their accolades are in their acting heart and not in their special effects.

If we take our time and delve into the meanings of the parables that the Christ taught us, we could learn much. Unfortunately, we don’t dig too deeply. Either we truly do not wish to know, or we just don’t want to learn and waste that much of our time away from our computers, phones, or our very intriguing television shows that just shower us with brilliant factoids that we need to know for school tomorrow! [sarcasm is free!]

God has so much to teach us, if we would be willing to study, research, and look into things. A far greater guidance to aid us in our lives than we could ever understand from our parents, teachers, professors, & peers…if we would be willing to listen. But first and foremost you must be submissive to God’s will and follow His ways. You must be willing to take the hard path, the one less traveled, so-to-say!

Some of you, if not many of you, are quite skeptical about all this, I suspect. Look at it this Free-will3way: If my belief in God is a fallacy, then what happens to me? Absolutely nothing! And I lived my life according to a written standard, or moral code. On the other hand, if my belief in God is true and valid (which I believe it to be based upon archaeological data, historical data, textual understandings, as well as the other non-Christian proofs), then what happens to you? You are judged by God according to your actions, beliefs, statements, those you have trained to be just as Free-Will4skeptical as yourself, AND that judgement will land you in hell as your eternal resting spot…by your own choices. Do not try to blame God for your choices, he gave you a gift of free will for a purpose…to choose His ways and His standards, not your own temporal happiness. You have the choice to make, no one else; it is all up to you and you alone! God is not pulling your strings; although, He may want you to do something for Hims, in the case of Jonah the minor prophet, but, believe it or not, Jonah could have kept making the same decision time and again and at some point in time God would have used someone else for that task with the Ninevites. But that is my personal opinion.

Where do I start? There are a number of resources, a plethora as a matter of fact. Most importantly, START READING YOUR BIBLE ON A DAILY BASIS! You want to listen to the bible at work, get one, free or at cost, and download it to your mp3 player. Another good option is to download and listen to Dr J. Vernon McGee from Thru The Bible Radio program. I have always loved his perspective on the bible and much of his insight. His commentaries on the bible are very enlightening and his southern accent really puts you into that kind of mood! Start reading books that explain the various books of the bible or go to my blog on books to read, you just may find something that gets your attention. Just remember, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~Luke 11:9 But YOU have to take that first step of faith!

God Bless & Godspeed!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Pornography: the Sodom & Gomorrah of the Mind of Man

 

internet-porn2It is truly crazy how the mind of man works. Especially, with the addiction to pornography or sex addiction. Hedonism, immorality, debauchery, adultery, rape, pedophilia, sexual slavery, etc. Just a short list of some of the things that come to mind after such addictions plus what has been noted in the news. Though many may not wish to hear this, I’ll say it anyway. It is within the confines of marriage where sex with your “spouse” is permitted, biblically. The primary purpose of marriage is to grow and build up society (Genesis 1:28) with it’s secondary purpose being companionship (Genesis 2:18) .

However, to get back to this post, and purpose at hand, pornography is a diversion from the natural cultivation of one’s sexuality. Pornography is a destroyer of lives, minds, sexual drives, and perceptions. The neuro-intoxication of hope, expectation, promise, misguided love, etc. will drive a person madly insane. Such an intoxication to the human psyche creates a false yearning for something that isn’t there for them. But men lurch forward towards it, regardless. At a young age, it steals the innocence that will be shattered forever – never to be regained. This innocence (or the natural cultivation of one’s sexuality or sexual experience(s)) destroys any hope of a normal sexual experience. Which will, of course, be the potential harm – in-that – they will desire the woman of their fantasy (porn world), but will always be forced to settle for someone far lower than these false standards they’ve set-up in their fantasy mind.

Pornography instills a hope, a dream, a fantasy of what to expect during a sexual encounter, and will typically play out that scenario. Unfortunately, that expectation will porn-anti-almost never be met in reality. When it comes to such things, people find little room for God on His moral standards. But God has a certain way that things should be done, or played out – normal and natural. According to Genesis 8:21, “every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood...” and, therefore, man through his free will power to choose, chose to do things following a moral path or an immoral path. Kids, being kids, who are very inquisitive about the human body almost and invariably always will go along with peer pressure of friends to look, touch, etc. The great problem with this, is that kids will give in to excess if it feels good, and thus anything, such as pornography, that they give in to will be exciting and will be tougher to quit. Tougher than quitting smoking, or some drugs of choice, these days.

Jesus reminded, stated emphatically, in truth, that not just the physical act of adultery, but entertaining the thought of actively thinking about a woman lustfully, makes us guilty of adultery.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” ~Matthew 5:28

Pornography, in the heart and eyes of man, is a disaster waiting for a time and place to happen! Why? You ask…at least I surmise you did…

  • Misleads us from who we truly need to be
  • Each time we look at another picture, we cheat on our spouse
  • We are lead on a path, which potentially has even greater consequences:
    • separation from God
    • separation from spouse
    • divorce from spouse
    • loss of friends
    • loss of money
    • loss of time
    • loss of children
  • Addictive behavior toward pornography tends to require more and more pornography
    • without actual enjoyment of the act of sexual behavior
    • requiring more intensified pornography as time continues
  • …and the list can go on and on…

We have also been told by Jesus:

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” ~Matt 12:33-37

porn-brain1A strong case can be made that we will give account on not just what we have done or spoken, but what we thought and what we intended, as well. All that is stored in our hearts will eventually come out of our mouths…in anger, in jest, in love, in hate… We have a great problem of letting our thoughts be made known when, in fact, we should keep our mouths shut! We are just built and trained up like that. With an addiction to pornography, generally speaking, love is not in our hearts; but rather a lust, a longing, and a yearning for more of the same. However, at some point in time, that which you are viewing is, or becomes, too tame and so something far more intense is needed to attain that heightened sense of quasi-sexual gratification that shocks the mind just enough and which appeals to the eye.

Quite literally, pornography is one of the most addictive drugs out there due to the chemical cocktail which is set off in our brains. There are several chemicals set off in the brain during the viewing of pornography, which include: Testosterone, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Endogenous Opiates. Because, in my humble opinion, it tantalizes the mind, appeals to the eye, titillates the senses, and taps into the arousal of the human sexuality, and once your motor gets running it is hard to stop.

“Viewing pornography for sexual arousal and using it to produce the release and euphoria of orgasm provides a merely transient fix to any number of psychological problems.” ~William Struthers, PhD

I was reading an article on the Sexually Incompetent Men: The Neutering Effect of playboy-logoPornography which was highlighting the “Playboy Philosophy.” The article’s release had mentioned the commemoration  of the 60th anniversary (in 2013) of the publication of Playboy Magazine. However, the “Playboy Philosophy” was noted as the fact that women are objects which men can use pictorially for their auto-erotica behaviors.  In essence, in this philosophy sex is simply a release mechanism while allowing for the permissible lusting after the perfect woman; unfortunately, when the man, in question, meets up with the woman and the sexual encounter crops up — they use the woman as the release mechanism for their lusting and their sexual tension, as opposed to the woman to be loved as God intended. This is not touching on the damage done to a married couple within this scenario. Married, or not, the man has become incompetent with respect to fusing love and intimacy and the act of having sex. Unfortunately, when his incompetency is brought into the limelight, he eventually becomes a sexual anorexic partner, problems with erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, etc., thereby holding off sex, or stopping altogether. There are no, nor have there ever been any quick fixes to this problem of addiction. It matters not if it is “soft-core” or “hard-core” pornography, the eventual increase of intensity and fetish is inevitable. In it’s basic mantra porn, in effect, becomes “sex by yourself, for yourself.”

porn-industry-online-

According to the Family Research Council, pornography affects the entire family, and in porn-businesssome ways the entire community, and society as a whole. It is not just an individual problem with respect to the larger picture. Pornography is a major threat to the family, familial relationships, marriages, societal interactions, and interpersonal relationships. It is not a private choice without public consequences! Pornography, in essence, erodes and eventually eliminates an affectionate family life. According to one article, the money that has exchanged hands is roughly $16.9 Billion and climbing, and that is annual and just in the US. Considering the same industry was just 40 years ago grossing approximately $5-$10 Million annually. These figures show an exponential growth of 1,000%+. Which is great for any business, but bad for the morals within society.

Cybersex is as devastating to the family as a real life extra-marital affair, which creates a vacuum effect of alienation, loneliness, and division. All of which tends to destroy one’s confidence due to the disaffectionate attitude that is in the air. Man is not an island, people can tell what is going on especially within the household, despite the silence. Sometimes, the silence can be deafening!

The unfortunate truth is commercialism, differing philosophies, pornography, among many other things in life treat and teach that women & men are expendable, replaceable, plug-n-play toys (if you will.) There is no intrinsic value once the honeymoon is over…then it is on to the next toy to conquer. Until one day, you wake up and see that you’ve had 20+ partners and 3-5 spouses and you wonder what was wrong with them?

We ARE known by the fruit we produce, and we (with the help of porn) speak things among our friends that make us just one of the guys, but not very good Christians.We are not meant to be just one of the guys, but God intended us to be leaders and guides for others in our own right. God has a purpose for us to be the light among the darkness that surrounds us, showing them the way to salvation throughout this world.

In the beginning, marriage was perfect because one man was made for one woman. That’s it! Jesus told us: Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:8-9) But to understand truly you must look into the Old Testament:

If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” ~Deuteronomy 24:1-4 NIV

Notice the defining factor in the Old Testament reference:  “he finds something indecent replaceableabout her” where the husband must find something indecent about her…adultery is what Jesus told us, and that fits. It is not for just any reason. Just because you didn’t like the way she snored, kept house, babied the children, etc. We were made “…one flesh…” (Genesis 2:23-25) for a reason. We were meant to be together until our dying breath and we were not intended to be expendable or replaceable. But we men always find a way to look in another direction, and yet fail to understand that if our relationship with our wife is that bad…there was a reason, but we refuse to see ourselves as part of the problem. Hence, we never actually get to repair the problem causing the bad relationship…ourselves! Consider the Muslim world, today, and their belief of honor killing of wives and daughters because they were raped, in some cases by their own family member. hmmmmmmmmm…

Marriage was never intended to go stale, people just grow apart that way and fail to pay attention to the signs. Instead of heading problems off before they become major problems, we procrastinate and let them fester. Another unfortunate truth is that as people grow older, they grow up in certain ways, their views change, and they fail to communicate; thereby, failing to grow together and in the same direction. Again, also unfortunate, is that both men and women escape on-line, as well as other venues. Some to Facebook, some to WordPress (or other blog sites), some to Instagram, etc. And others move on to porn sites or dating sites for cheaters, or other illicit sites for their fancy. We are each responsible for our own marriages, we who are the two who became one flesh. We owe that obligation to our spouse and to our Creator. Men and women are responsible for the relationship they hold with one another, but the allow themselves to be captivated and begin to fantasize and then their habit goes further into the drain…along with their relationship. Of course the pornographic problem is primarily addicting to men, there are some women who fall into such a trap, as well.

Over the past 30 years, porn has become more accessible and as technology gets stronger, faster, and further reaching…so will the power of pornography and all of it’s raunchiness. Because of our attraction to and addiction to pornography — we have become “…slaves to deviancy, corruption and immorality…” According to Joe Carter, his article ISSUE ANALYSIS: THEE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY ON THE MALE BRAIN:

  • Pornography hijacks the normal biological response in men
  • The Coolidge Effect: Why Internet pornography is so addictive
  • Pornography leads to “arousal addiction”
  • Pornography leads to sexual desensitization
  • Internet pornography is uniquely harmful
  • Pornography use can cause psychological and physiological impairment
  • Pornography deforms sexual character

It is within the realm of creating a deeper intimacy where pornography takes the sexuality of two individuals out of it’s intended purpose. We people, men mostly, have become subjects of consumption; it is not only with respect to our dignity, sociological, and our psychological aspects of life that are harmed, but also, and in my opinion more importantly, our spiritual lives.

The need for human intimacy is ongoing in our lives. just as we have need for food, water & air — our need for intimacy continues on throughout our lives, as well. Pornography is harmful for the viewer, their partner, as well as, the ones involved that are on display for all to see (the subject of the picture.) Pornography provides a facade for feeding such a need for false sense of intimacy, and is a hollow and vain attempt at it. The porn industry provides objectification & commoditization of all people involved. The end result is isolation, disconnectedness, and depravity.

According to William M. Struthers, PhD, the human body consumes & digests food similarly to the way our brain consumes stimuli & information. The information we take in through the eyes and other senses, is digested and stored as meaning and memories. Pornography being sexually based is inherently powerful due to the stimuli of emotion and it is therefore forced upon the brain and is thus part of the fabric of the mind. Porn, more often than not, affects people on the sexual behaviors, attitudes, reactions, & interactions with others of the opposite sex, and makes them less empathetic for their plight.

In essence, addiction to pornography maintains an ongoing influx of sexual stimuli (thus, placing that stimuli at the forefront of the brain) and the brain integrates what is being fed to it as memories, meaning, and as reference to any similar actions. This is what the brain records. The brain does not differentiate importance, it simply records and assimilates through the aid of senses and emotion. Those memories which are strongest are those which are associated with the most input (all five senses and emotion.) To one with the most sensory input with the addition of emotional input becomes the strongest memory and the most prevalent experience. Such experiences can create memory flashbacks to that time.

keyboard2While all men’s attention can be caught by their eye, some are strong enough to not look or give it a second thought. Others tend to ogle and  others just a glimpse, I was 10-12 years old when I was introduced by such a thing. “inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood” (Genesis 8:21) Knowing this, in order to change one must recognize how the mind reacts to and processes such stimuli just to figure out a way in which to stop it. I understand that:

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” ~Psalm 14:3

We all possess habits of sin that need to be broken and stopped! Those bonds that tie us and anchor us to be slaves to a corrupt nature of sinfulness. The only way to break those bindings are to submit ourselves, willingly, to God’s moral laws, rules, statutes, and commandments. We must change what we feed our minds. We must occupy our time with something of good, moral, & just. These habits of sin do not change on their own — we must submit our minds to our will, according to God’s word; feeding it consistently & constantly with good things to ponder, meditate on, and be guided by. I have found that addiction, like any other, was fed by inaction and the need to occupy my time with something. Hence, pornography is also fed by just watching normal television, not just the pay channels anymore, due to the high quantity of sexual innuendo and blatant overt sexual connotations, etc.

By changing your shift at work, your personal habits, what you do or don’t do in your down time, can go far and wide to changing your life, as a whole. I chosen to listen to more radio and less television since I read “The Agenda.” For the most part, this habit of listening to the radio is even on hold with respect to the great political debacle that is destined to screw up this fine nation. Believe it, or not, quitting a thirteen year long habit of smoking, upwards to 3 packs a day, was far easier than dealing with porn. After reading the book, The Agenda: The homosexual plan to change America by Louis P Sheldon, I noticed much more overt & subtle homosexual inclusions, as well as sexual innuendo, which I did not notice before with respect to television, these references as a whole I never paid any attention to but do add to the problem, by capturing my attention. I have noted more and more that television is a slave trader of sorts…actually, just another bad habit to break. The only way to be rid of such bondage is to change behavior(s), change habits, change of lifestyle.. It is only through God’s grace and forgiveness that anyone can be able to finally face such a demon. Does that mean it is all over? So long as you draw breath, you run the risk, daily, of reoccurring old habits. Just as a smoker or a drinker runs the risk of picking up another cigarette or drink and starting off right where he left off. However, if you stay with God’s word and follow His commands, laws, etc. and both seek and follow His wisdom and provided knowledge, meet with Him daily in prayer, God will always love you! Even if you fall off the wagon, but He will still judge each of us accordingly…there is no “once saved always saved,” in my opinion; because God will bring all matters to light and judge us accordingly.

“…He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart…” ~1 Corinthians 4:5

There are other passages which infer the same, but I will not clutter up the blog with an over abundance. Because you must know that if God has given us the gift of free will, then we can freely choose to follow His ways or not! The old adage stands true today,

“Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Which is derived from a letter by Saint Augustine (354-430) possessed the statement, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum,” which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” Just a little historical note there. Back to our point…God seeks for us all to be saved, to follow Him, & His word. But we must choose to do so of our own free will. This is part of the nature of man — his ability to follow God’s ways or reject them; thereby, choosing a path of seeking righteousness or choosing a sinful path in life.

Also, according to Struthers another relevant finding with respect to brain research is what is called “mirror neurons.” These neurons make up a matrix in the frontal & parietal lobes and are part of the network which mimic behavior. That is what you learned, or remember, and either mimic that behavior or take what was learned and apply that similar behavior in similar situation. this area of the bran that equates to the planning out of a one-fleshbehavior. the unfortunate truth of all this, when a man acts out (often by masturbation) it leads to both hormonal & neurological consequences ; which are designed to focus his attention to the object (porn instead of his spouse.) God’s original plan was, in-fact, perfect at creation. Upon the creation of woman as man’s companion, all things were perfect because man and woman complimented each other for the perfect purposes that God intended. To be companion and to procreate with one another. Man and woman were the foci of each others sexual needs and urges. This was why,

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That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” ~Genesis 2:24

 

In conclusion, God loves each and every one of us! If God did not, there is a belief that if God did not think about us or love us that we would no longer exist. God wants us all to enter into His kingdom & be adjudicated “good and faithful servants.” Jesus spoke of such things in His parables to all where many are invited but few are chosen (see Matthew 22:14.) Consider that for a bit…

God Bless & Godspeed!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

References:

The Effects of Porn on the Male Brain By William M. Struthers, Ph.D. 
Sexually Incompetent Men: The Neutering Effect of Pornography By Stephen Arterburn

THE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY ON INDIVIDUALS, MARRIAGE, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY by Pat Fagan