I admit it — I love the Internet. I liked it from the first time I heard the beep beep boooop of our first dial-up modem, and saw how information came streaming into our home. Anything I needed to know, type it in… and there it was.
Today, it’s better, smarter, and way, way faster. My smartphone is always connected. Google Now learns what I like and search for, and automatically shows me news stories connected to my interests. Google Drive syncs all my files, so I can retrieve any picture or document from anywhere and send it instantly to anyone. Amazon lets me order & ship things directly to my door. My sermons on Youtube have been viewed 5,000 times as of this writing. I can find the lyrics to almost any song in seconds.
A friend told me once (and I’ve repeated it many times) “Without the internet, I am like any other mortal.”
So you know I’m pro-internet.
But… I have to say this: Be cautious, friends. The internet is like nuclear power. Harnessed, it’s great. Without proper controls, it’s deadly.
No phenomenon shows this more, or is more pervasive in our culture than internet pornography.
Consider the following statistics:
- Porn is a $60 billion industry per year worldwide – $12 billion in the USA. ($32.8 million per day!)
- Pornography brings in more than pro baseball, basketball, football & hockey combined… more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS & NBC. Statistically, sports is not “America’s favorite pastime.”
- Porn sites comprise 12% of ALL sites on the internet.
- 25% of all search engine requests are porn-related.
- 28000 people view porn per second.
- 372 users every second type words to search for porn.
- In the year 2014, one of the largest pornography video sites reported 78.9 billion video views — 11 for every person on the earth.
- 90% of kids by age 18 have seen porn on the internet.
- Average age of first exposure for a child is 11 yrs, usually inadvertently.
- #1 consumer of porn: boys 12-17.
Now, after you pick your jaw up off the floor, let me hit you with one more: A university attempting to study the effects of pornography, attempted to locate a control group of men who had not been exposed to it, so they could compare them with men who had. They cancelled the study; they were unable to find men who had not.
In that kind of world, is it even possible to be pure?
I imagine there were those who felt the same way when Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (1 Cor. 1:2, NKJV) I imagine they stopped, shook their head, and looked out the window at the towering mountain fortress of Acro-Corinth above their city. The ancient writers say 1,000 temple prostitutes engaged in “worship” at the temple of Aphrodite.
How does anyone follow Christ and be holy in the shadow of the 1,000 prostitute temple?
But while it may seem challenging, He calls us to holiness nonetheless.
How do we protect our homes? Our children? Our own hearts?
Filters? Rules? Make sure our kids never have computers? Or visit anyone with computers? Get rid of the internet? (What?! How would you read my blog?!)
In my next post, I’ll be sharing 4 starter steps to protecting the atmosphere of your home against the rampant spread of pornography.