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Closing That Browser for Jesus

Closing That Browser for Jesus

Looking at Porn (and the Bible) 

By Emmett Pennington-Guthrie 

As prevalent as porn is today, it didn’t exist back in biblical times. Still, the Bible has a lot to say, and much of what it says is interpreted today in reference to porn. The Collegian interviewed associate professor of theology Brant Berglin to find out what exactly the Bible has to say. 

The first thing Berglin pointed out is that Matthew 5:28 says, “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” which indicates that the like of porn is sinful simply by promoting lustful intent. [1]  

This passage is perhaps the strongest indication of the Bible’s stance on porn, because laying bare the view that gazing upon others is sinful is something that can easily be translated to modern times. 

Furthermore, Berglin indicated that the intention behind viewing porn is important, as he explained that “nudity on its own is not necessarily pornographic… so we have to recognize there’s a difference [between porn and other forms of nudity].” [2]  

Beyond simply looking at the Bible, the influence of important figures like Ellen G. White should also be considered within the Seventh-day Adventist community. 

White herself never used the term masturbation in her work, but in her references to “self-abuse” she made it clear that she opposed it. [3] Her belief was that masturbation (which for the intents of this article will be tied to porn use) is damaging, both spiritually and physically. [4] 

While much of the current scientific research has come to different conclusions about the physical and psychological effects of porn and masturbation, it does not indicate that they are vindicated by the Bible. [5] 

See Also

Berglin attested that masturbation was never explicitly referenced in the Bible but argued that the apostle Paul would still consider masturbation to be sinful, albeit not to the degree of other acts such as rape. [6] 

To this end, Berglin emphasized Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6. Paul argues, “The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body,” as well as, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” [7] 

What Berglin said Paul expressed in the passage is that one’s body belongs to God, and as such, engaging in porn consumption and masturbation is doing a disservice not only to oneself but also to God. 

References 

  1. Interview with Brant Berglin, 1/13/2022. 
  1. Ibid
  1. Physical and spiritual dangers of masturbation or “self-abuse”. Ellen G. White Estate. https://bit.ly/33DT9H3  
  1. Ibid
  1. Is masturbation healthy? Planned Parenthood. https://bit.ly/3A6I7Gq  
  1. Interview with Brant Berglin, 1/13/2022. 
  1. Ibid
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