I appreciated a recent conversation between Jonathon Van Maren and Lindsay Shepherd on the Bridgehead.
Lindsay Shepherd has found herself in some Twitter controversy after tweeting two tweets on the tweetosphere about pornography. First she wrote: “Haha I’m actually down with this. Internet pornography is disgusting and I would never date a man who watches it. I’m glad there is a movement among men who used to watch it but realized how harmful it is and stopped.” And then she followed this up with another Tweet: “A lot of people seem to think modern feminism ruined relationship dynamics but really it’s women finding teen porn in their husbands’ browsing history hahaha.” Canada’s Prince of Pot, Marc Emery decided to mock her and found himself being made fun of with pictures of his creepiness. You can find this on her Twitter feed.
The interesting thing is, she was supporting a Bill initiated by social conservative and Christian MP Arnold Vierssen. This Bill in the Conservative party has effectively named and labeled pornography as a public health risk. That being said, on most issues she is not a social conservative.
I found two important cultural observations in Shepherd and Van Maren’s discussion. First, there is a substantial cultural movement for guys to dump porn. Second, there is a substantial cultural movement for girls to dump guys looking at porn. Let’s be clear. That doesn’t mean that she has a higher view of marriage. She might, but it is not clear. As one man commented on Van Maren’s post: “She seems to be OK with sex outside marriage. Biblically speaking porn is porneia and so is extra marital sex. And neither practitioner shall inherit the Kingdom.“
What is this movement fighting against? Marc Demers’ comment that men who don’t look at porn are dweebs, is actually quite common. That being said, he is on the extreme end and seems to have stooped to some pretty low moral depths, but his attitude is not an uncommon attitude. I have had porn pushed in my face in an attempt to “make me sin.” I have also been told I am weird for being against porn. One man I talked to in the past was happy that I was against premarital sex, but thought I was crazy for being against porn. I’ve been told that a “look, but don’t touch” policy, is a really good standard to have in a marriage. Of course, what makes it even more difficult is when women make excuses for men and even begin to look at it themselves.
And so, there is something to learn from this movement. This movement shows that men have God’s Law written on their conscience, warped though it may be. Lindsay Shepherd’s intolerance is noteworthy and commendable, because woman should be intolerant rather than making excuses. The fact that there are men giving up porn outside the Church, is commendable, noteworthy, and more men should jump on board this movement. As I understand it, most women would recognize courage as an attractive quality in a man, and this is an act of courage.
So we see a growing intolerance in the culture, but now we want to see an intolerance in the Church. Not just intolerance, but a holy intolerance, starting with ourselves.
But I have made a rule that I don’t blog on pornography without blogging about Christ. Without Christ, these movements against pornography are good, but ultimately they end in arbitrary moral standards. And to some degree, there is a kind of moral hypocrisy in these standards if one is willing to have sex before marriage in place of pornography usage. And so for those in the Church, for both women men and women who need to be more intolerant towards pornography, Christ is the hinge at which all change happens. His Law is an absolute moral standard, and He by His Spirit renews us inwardly so that over the course of a lifetime the Christian has to worry less and less about the unbelieving man who says “You want to look anyways, so why not just be honest to your true self.” Why does this become less of a concern? Because God is transforming us from the inside to the outside. Because God has given us hard heads and soft hearts. He has given us a spirit “not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (II Tim. 1:7)