Watching porn won’t send you to Hell

Looking at porn isn’t going to send you Hell-bound.

Surprised?

I know why.

Because anonymous YouTubers, bloggers and Trolls with names like Jesus_Saves_3:16 have told the world users are in fact detestable to God and damned to some fiery pit in the ground when they die, because they watch, are in or have looked at porn; because pastors, churches and misinformed spiritual types have decided porn is the epitome of evil and deserves punishment; because it’s been used as a scare tactic by Mums of old, who don’t even believe in a spiritual realm but don’t want their kids enjoying orgasms with a screen. Yep. Phwaor. The Fear of Hell. What a great way to start the conversation on sexuality. Not.

Announcement: these statements are false. How about we sit ourselves down in a bucket of ice and chill the heck out, stop damning people to the eternal tanning salon and look at why using, seeing or being in porn won’t send you to Hell.

Porn is not powerful.

Porn doesn’t have the power to condemn you. There is only one thing powerful enough to separate you from God, and that is the man himself; The original G. The Father. Gawd. Yahweh. You know, the guy who you imagine is like a space wizard hanging out in the sky. That one. If this is His world, He makes the rules, not a tiny moment in time on your laptop.

Humans have enough trouble living up to each other’s standards, heck, even their own standards! so when it comes to ‘impressing’ God, we don’t have much hope. No one deserves to be in his presence for that simple reason. No one lives up to his standard of holiness, not even the good Christian girl (see Romans 3:9-11). Without the offer of redemption, there would be no such thing as a Christian. All would be helpless, hopeless and eternally separated from Him (2 Thessalonians 1:9). But Jesus took the judgement on our behalf, for all people. We are counted free. While Sin remains, it no longer has the power to condemn, if we choose to accept the gracious sacrifice of Christ. Too easy.

Porn isn’t special

Why don’t we ever see placards saying “God hates gluttons” “you take too much, Hell will take you”? What about condemnation based on lying, greed, stinginess, double-mindedness, gossip…those subtle slip-ups of the pastor and Christian? It’s always the sex stuff! But porn isn’t special. And all of these bases have been covered by the redeeming love of Jesus. Every short-falling, from gluttony and lust to murder, are dealt with. All sin is equal, and all sin has been overcome. You just need to reach out for it.

Porn isn’t your identity

Whether you struggle with the shame of porn use, you just really love it or are working in the industry, porn isn’t your identifier. It doesn’t define you, either positively or negatively. What defines you, is your innate value and worth as a human being. You are precious, known and cherished.

One of Jesus’ followers wrote a letter to a Church in Corinth a few years after J.C’s death. He wanted to encourage them. He wrote this:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers… the greedy…will inherit the kingdom of God….”

Oh, how encouraging. Thanks Paul.

But wait, there’s more.

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:8-12)

This passage is not just about salvation, or changing behaviour, it’s about identity. You may not instantaneously or ever change your ways in any of these regards, but they no longer identify you.

The death and resurrection of Jesus sounds pretty damn crazy, really, just like the doctrine of Hell, but they are core to the Biblical account, and it is trustworthy. Through His sacrifice, Jesus has given His followers a new identity, no matter if you continue to struggle. Rather than seeing someone slapped with ‘adulterer’ or ‘big porn fan’ on their forehead, God sees the purity and righteousness of Christ. You have been washed, you are new. As someone who has accepted Christ’s forgiveness for their human shortcomings, this is your identity. If you haven’t, he still sees you as a precious child, and wants you to come to him so you may be free.

So next time someone shouts the first part of 1 Corinthians at you, tell them to go and finish reading the passage.

While you may be cheering you can retain your freedom to indulge in pornography and not worry about burning for eternity, I urge you to consider the danger of porn. To get the Bible Bashing out of the way, Scripture is clear that followers of Christ are to seek purity of body, mind and soul. We are called to flee lust (e.g Matt 5:28; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20). Why? Because sexual desire is great, and sexual intimacy is highly esteemed in the Bible (e.g Song of Songs; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Ephesians 5:22-33; Proverbs 18:22) . Watching porn and sleeping with anyone other than your committed spouse dilutes that intimacy. I’m guessing most people don’t watch porn with the intention of not lusting.

Secondly, omitting the faith-perspective, from a health and feminist perspective, porn promotes gender and racial inequality. It glorifies violence against women and cements staunch gender, racial and sexual roles. While playing ‘liberation’ it really creates a script that flies in the face of the fight for equality that so many porn users cry out for. For those who identify as LGBT+ or heterosexual, porn is having an alarmingly negative effect on the coming generation. It is the sex educator of our young people. And they don’t have the capacity to realise it is edited and acted, or to control their usage. Thus,emerging research is discovering porn induced erectile dysfunction, body insecurity and peer-on-peer sexual assault are rapidly increasing in youth and young adults amongst other concerning trends.

The reasons why porn is damaging and should be boycotted by society are huge, and out of the scope of this conversation. But we can conclude: Porn is not powerful. Porn is not special. Porn is not your identity. It won’t send you to Hell, but if you choose to live in separation from God, you’ve decided for eternity.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Watching porn won’t send you to Hell

  1. St. Matthew’s Gospel (5:28) where the Evangelist says:
    “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart.”

    If you search Google, you’ll find that divorce rates double for those watching porn. Porn can definitely send to hell, depending on one’s culpability.

    I’m sure you’ve heard of Ted Bundy, serial killer. This is what he said in an interview:
    I’ve lived in prison for a long time … and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception every one of them was deeply involved in pornography — deeply influenced by an addiction. There is no question about it. The FBI’s own study shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography.”[26]

    Jeffrey Dahmer, Serial Killer:
    Jeffrey Dahmer drugged and killed 17 men and boys. As related in a confession to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and often had sex with the body. When asked what motivated him, he told the FBI in 1992, “heavy drinking, pornography, and masturbation” — admitting while in the U.S. Army he found graphic porn in Germany and spent thousands of dollars on it. He admitted to killing as often as once a week.[27]

    Don’t be fooled that porn does not send to Hell!

    • Hey Joe

      Thanks for taking the time to read this article and comment your thoughts!

      I agree with you that porn directly influences divorce rates, violence and seriously negative behaviour. But this is separate to the topic in question: ‘Will porn send someone to Hell?’. Porn certainly influences people to do bad things, but as I read the Bible and understand Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels, as well as the New Testament letters, I have come to understand it is not bad behaviours that send people to Hell. People go to Hell by rejecting Jesus and the forgiveness he freely offers to all.

      No one knows what goes on in a person’s heart and soul, especially near the end of their lives…but I can see that most people may assume serial killers such as the men you mentioned, didn’t receive the forgiveness of Jesus (as this requires repentance and is often accompanied by a life transformation). If this is true, then yes they are destined to Hell, in my understanding. But it was not the porn, or even the terrible murders they committed which damned them. It was their rejection of Christ.

      I do not believe we are sent to Hell for bad behaviour. The redeeming blood of Jesus, and the Grace of God overcome this damnation. But we have a responsibility to receive that offer.

      I’d like to comment on your first statement, also. You mentioned Matt 5:28. I agree with this. But I don’t think that is enough to condemn someone to Hell. I believe the overarching theme of the Gospels is Jesus’ relentless grace and mercy. He came to die for sinners such as us, the lustful and adulterous. Matt 5:21-23 speaks of anger being the same as the act of murder. Does this condemn people to Hell also?

      I think, without Jesus- yes.
      I believe, without the redemption of Christ’s death and Resurrection, every human on Earth is a sinner. All culpable. All doomed, basically.
      We all anger, lust and covert. These are manifestations of our sinful nature. I believe Jesus is not threatening people in the sermon on the mount in Matthew, but teaching how we ALL fall short. Thus, we must follow Him and receive his forgiveness.

      What do you think, Joe? I want to stand open to correction, but I believe what I’ve outlined are quite fair interpretations of the Bible.

  2. I read from several different sources that in 2015 the Catholic Church declared porn a mortal sin. How does that factor into your argument?

    • Hey John!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I appreciate the question. Personally, I do not subscribe to, or teach Catholic theology. I believe Jesus’ death and resurrection served as a sacrifice once and for all, for all sin, everywhere. I believe you must repent and receive this forgiveness, but once you do, it is available to cover any sin. I believe once you confess Jesus is Lord, you are saved.

      I know not everyone believes this, and I intend to write another blog investigating this topic further, in collaboration with some Catholic friends and connections.

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