In our continuing series on the issue of pornography, this week we dove in deeper and I will break this up into a few posts so we can more easily focus on the key points. We’ll start with this – “What’s your god?” OK maybe that’s a harsh question so how about, “What’s your idol?” You answer this by examining what it is you worship. You either worship the Creator or you are worshiping something created – even something God created … like sex.
For some men it may be porn, for others, it may just be sex itself. Still others worship money or success but since we’re on topic, consider this (from Mars Hill Church)…
“Sex as your identity. Your life is consumed by it. Your identity is set by it, it becomes a dominating aspect of your being. Romans 12:1 says, “present your body as a living sacrifice … which is your spiritual worship.” Worship is what you do with your body. Have you ever wondered why false religions and cults throughout history have usually had illicit sex, sinful sex as a part of their ritual? Because what you do with your body is not just physical; it’s deeply spiritual, and you’re offering your body as a sacrifice, either to the glory of God or to worship a false god.
For those of you who are single, hear me in this. I’ve had this conversation many times in many forms, but I’ll give you one example. A young woman comes up to me after I preach something like this. She says, “Pastor Mark, I think you’re old school. I think you’re old fashioned. I think you’re a little negative. My boyfriend and I, we’re living together, and we’re sleeping with each other. We love each other. We care about one another. We’re probably going to get married. We’re not hurting anybody and we’re consenting adults. What’s the problem?” Answer: “You’re an idolator. You’re worshipping a false god. Your problem goes deeper than sex. It goes all the way to worship.”
She looked at me very confused – “What are you talking about? I’m a Christian.” No, because you had to choose between Jesus and your boyfriend and you chose your boyfriend as the most important man in your life, and you turned your back on Jesus to pursue a relationship with your boyfriend. And when the two of you are together, it’s not to the glory of God. That means your bed is a pagan alter, and your boyfriend is a pagan priest, and your body is a living sacrifice. It’s idolatry, which is the worship of someone or something other than the God of the Bible.
This is what is also said in 1 Corinthians 10:7-8, “Do not be ____” What’s the word? “Idolators”. See we tend to think of idolatry as, “Oh those poor pagan people in those faraway lands. They set up a statue, and then they give money to it and pay homage to it, and they bow down to it. And it’s right in the middle of their home, on the mantle, and it dominates their life, and they’ve go that little false god that they all sit around and look at.” And then they walk into our home, and see porn on the TV and say, “I can’t see the difference.” Our idol plugs into the wall.
We’re all idolators in varying ways, and idolatry is because we are all worshipers, unceasing worshipers. We’re passionate people. We give ourselves away – our time, talent and treasure – to something, to someone, to a cause, to an experience, to a group. And the question is not, “Are you a worshipper?” The question is, “Who or what is the object of your worship?” That’s the question. And those who don’t worship the God of the Bible, they are idolators.
Sexual immorality is what? Idolatry. Romans 1 says “They all exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is forever blessed, Amen,”
Hear me on this! Our world knows nothing about this, and the church is absolutely ignorant about it! We are all worshipers. We worship the Creator and enjoy and steward created things, like the human body, and pleasure, and sex; or we worship the created and as a result, we’re idolators. We either worship the Creator Himself – or -we worship the created.
Do you know what porn is? Idolatry. Do you know what fornication is? Idolatry. Do you know what adultery is? Idolatry.”
So let me ask you the tough question – “What is it for you? What are you worshiping?”
Is it pornography? Is that what is on your mind all the time? Do you turn to it for relief, validation, support, affirmation? Do you turn to it for comfort? It’s your god.
Is it sex? You and your wife are on completely different pages. She has little to no drive and she is controlling the “when” of the very few times you actually do have sex. And so you are obsessing over it. Reading about. Talking about it. Holding your lack of sex over her. It’s on your mind all the time. You’re convinced it will bring you comfort, stress relief, validation as a man and you’re convinced if you could only have sex 3-4 times a week, you’re life would be fixed. It’s your god.
This is “Smack you in the face” kind of stuff. Wake up. It’s real.
If we turn our back on God and turn to false idols, there will be a cost. As we’ll see in the next post, some of these false idols promise fulfillment but leave you with enormous collateral damage.
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.