Adrian Rogers: The Poison of Pornography


Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Previously in examining this passage, we saw that Solomon advised his son, “Young man, keep your heart, guard your heart. Don’t let impurities into your heart and mind.”

In Proverbs 6, this time concerning women of loose morals, he says, “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart” (v. 25), and “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes be not burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet be not burned?” (v. 27-28)

Solomon is saying, “If you would have a pure heart, guard your heart from these things.”

Across our world it’s as though a sewer pipe has broken open. And tragically we seem to be getting immune to it! What was horrible yesterday is acceptable today and a stepping-stone for something worse tomorrow. It ought to break our hearts.

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You say, “Pastor, it’s not all that bad.” Friend, I want to tell you the harm of pornography and why the Bible says so clearly in the book of Proverbs, “Keep your heart with all diligence….”

Pornography is the idea that sex can be divorced from love, from morality, from responsibility, from lifetime commitment—that you can take sex alone and somehow use sex and be successful. Indeed, you cannot.

Psychological Poison

Dr. Victor Klein, professor of psychology at the University of Utah, can prove differently. Many experts studying the human brain can verify his findings. In private practice over 15 years, dealing with people entangled in pornography, Dr. Klein has observed four steps that poison the psychology of a person.

  • First, the addiction factor. He can’t just look and walk away. Pornography is like a powerful drug. It gets its hook into you and the devil gets a claw in your brain.
  • After addiction there is the escalation factor. What thrilled and turned the person on before must be stronger. It’s got to be more deviant.
  • Then comes the desensitization factor. The viewer of pornography becomes desensitized to it. No longer does he see these things as shocking, brutal, and wrong. He begins to think this is normal and he’s not repulsed by it. He becomes narcotized by what he sees.
  • Then the participation factor. Dr. Klein says in the last step he begins to put it into practice—he begins to act it out.

Some claim what you see doesn’t affect you. If that’s true, why do advertisers spend million dollars for ads on the Super Bowl? Does what we see affect and change us? Of course it does.

When something enters your mind and heart, it will affect you. We are the sum total of the thoughts that come in and go out of us. That’s the reason we’re warned against the poison of pornography.

Social Sickness 

You say, “It’s not going to affect me. It’s a victimless crime.” There is no such as a “victimless crime.” We now know that one out of every four girls born this year in the United States will be sexually molested by an adult male, sometimes a member of the family. One out of every ten boys will be sexually molested by an adult male before they reach puberty.

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How does pornography factor in?

A leading law official said, “Not everyone who reads pornography is a sexual deviant, but all sex deviants read it.” Former Detroit Police Inspector Herbert Chase said, “There has not been a sex murder in the history of our department in which the killer was not an avid reader of lewd magazines. They go together. They follow one another as night follows day.” Don’t say “it doesn’t affect me.” You ask, “Does pornography lead to degeneracy?” Pornography is degeneracy.

Domestic Disaster

Anyone who has counseled as I have through the years can tell you the heartbreak, the tragedy, that has entered homes through husbands (and wives sometimes) and children who have read pornography. Their whole outlook on love, marriage and sex becomes so completely corrupted and twisted that a happy, tranquil, God-given love life is no longer possible unless God does a radical cleansing of the mind.

The devil is clever. He knows that if he can change what you think, he can change how you behave. That’s why he’s channeling sex today right into the living room. Films once seen only in seedy adult movie houses are broadcast directly into the living room. When you can watch it on television in your home and hear formerly outlawed words spoken without the slightest trace of embarrassment, you become desensitized.

And this doesn’t begin to address the problem of pornography on the internet. Someone said, “A new day has dawned.” I want to tell you, a new day has not dawned. The sun has almost set for America. It is the end of an era and the beginning of God’s judgment.

My heart is broken because I love the homes and families, boys and girls, husbands and wives caught up in this.

Spiritual Suicide

Pornography is spiritual suicide. Why did Solomon say, “Son, don’t lust after her…”? Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” The Word of God says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

When God gives a law, He’s not giving advice. It is law. The Word of God says, “Lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). Lust, sin, death.

The devil knows if he can get you to lusting, he can get you to sinning. And if he can get you to sinning, he has you. It is a form of spiritual suicide. “The wages of sin is death.”

But God wants you to have life, not death. Christ said, “I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Seeking the Cure

How are you going to think pure thoughts? By trying not to think impure thoughts? No. By thinking God’s thoughts—not just pure thoughts.

“Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

“Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, thinkon these things.” Philippians 4:8

The way to keep from thinking negatively is to think positively.  Keep the Word of God in the midst of your heart.

God’s Prescription  

His cure is to keep your thought life immersed in His Word.

“My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart, for they are life unto those that find them and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22

Do you get up in time to get alone and get God’s Word down in your heart? Meditate. Think God’s thoughts after Him. Load up on the word of God. It is absolutely imperative that you have a quiet time every day. Get up, fellowship with Jesus, and saturate your soul with the Word of God. Bathe yourself in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Guard Your Sight 

“Let thine eyes look right on, and thine eyelids look straight before thee” (4:25). Walking past a newsstand or just past someone on the street, have you ever had to just keep looking straight ahead and not look to the right or left?

Why do some people look on lewd scenes and others don’t? Because your thought life will guard your sight. How you think governs what you see. You’re not just a helpless victim. You can make up your mind. Job made a decision: “I made a covenant with my eyes…” (Job 31:1). Beforehand, make a covenant with your eyes. Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of it. Don’t wait until temptation comes. What you see determines what you think, and what you think determines what you will see.

  • Get alone with God in a quiet place
  • Read your Bible
  • Make a solemn decision before God that by God’s grace and with His help, you’ll not look at this stuff.

The decision will guard your heart and guard your sight.

God wants you to have a fruitful life, sexual fulfillment—a happy family. He wants you to get your prayers answered and to have the progressive realization of His will for your life. God wants you to know success in the fullest, highest meaning of the word. How will you do it? Through your thought life. For “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he….Out of the heart are the issues of life.”

A version of this article previously appeared on the Love Worth Finding website under the headline, “The Poison of Pornography”

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