As Bonnie & I minister to the Next Generation, we are increasingly discipling young men and women (and some not so young) who have slowly gone off the road and into the ditch. Most of them are still going along with ALL THE SPIRITUAL MOTIONS and seem to be okay, but they know they are ensnared, captives, and struggling with an addiction.
Here is the session that we do with them in a form that you can watch and learn from. Please consider asking those closest to you, “How LONG has it been since you last exposed your mind to online porn?” If they hesitate, prayerfully pursue them and ask them to watch this class.
Pornography Works by Hijacking the Brain–Hijackers have always worked by slipping in innocently and then overpowering an unsuspecting airplane crew. That is what is happening all over this world online, as Satan uses the easily accessible media to addict multitudes.
We are fast becoming a pornographic society. Over the course of the last decade, explicitly sexual images have crept into advertising, marketing, and virtually every niche of American life. This ambient pornography is now almost everywhere, from the local shopping mall to prime-time television.
To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of those who consume pornography are males. That is not a new development, as ancient forms of pornography attest. What is new is all about access. Today’s men and boys are not looking at line pictures drawn on cave walls. They have almost instant access to countless forms of pornography in a myriad of forms.
William M. Struthers of Wheaton College, a psychologist with a background in neuroscience and a teaching concentration in the biological bases of human behavior, explains, “Men seem to be wired in such a way that pornography hijacks the proper functioning of their brains and has a long-lasting effect on their thoughts and lives.”
“The simplest explanation for why men view pornography (or solicit prostitutes) is that they are driven to seek out sexual intimacy,” he explains. The urge for sexual intimacy is God-given and essential to the male, he acknowledges, but it is easily misdirected. Men are tempted to seek “a shortcut to sexual pleasure via pornography” and now find this shortcut easily accessed.
In a fallen world, pornography becomes an addictive poison. Struthers explains: Viewing pornography is not an emotionally or physiologically neutral experience. It is fundamentally different from looking at black and white photos of the Lincoln Memorial or taking in a color map of the provinces of Canada. Men are reflexively drawn to the content of pornographic material. As such, pornography has wide-reaching effects to energize a man toward intimacy. It is not a neutral stimulus. It draws us in. Porn is a whispered promise. It promises more, better, and endless [pleasures].
Pornography “acts as a polydrug,” Struthers explains. Boredom and curiosity lead many boys and men into experiences that become more like drug addiction than is often admitted.
Why men rather than women? As Struthers explains, the male and female brains are wired differently. Over time, exposure to pornography takes a man or boy deeper along “a one-way neurological superhighway where a man’s mental life is over-sexualized and narrowed. This superhighway has countless on-ramps but very few off-ramps.
Pornography is “visually magnetic” to the male brain. These experiences with pornography and pleasure hormones create new patterns in the brain’s wiring, and repeated experiences formalize the rewiring.
When Enough is Never Enough–Struthers explains: “If I take the same dose of a drug over and over and my body begins to tolerate it, I will need to take a higher dose of the drug in order for it to have the same effect that it did with a lower dose the first time.”
While men are stimulated by the ambient sexual images around them, explicit pornography increases the effect. Struthers explains this with compelling force:
Something about pornography pulls and pushes at the male soul. An image begins to pick up steam the longer we look upon it. It gains momentum and can reach a point where it feels like a tractor-trailer rolling downhill with no brakes.
Struthers does not leave his argument to neuroscience, nor does he use the category of addiction to mitigate the sinfulness of viewing pornography.
Sinners naturally look for fig leaves to hide sin, and biological causation is often cited as a means of avoiding moral responsibility.
The addict is responsible for his addiction.
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