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Internet Pornography

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The Internet is a powerful tool for good. Many wonderful, educational and worthy web sites inform, facilitate business and provide entertainment for millions of users. However, as in everything man has devised, the Internet also has a perverted, dark side.

The Internet is a powerful tool for good. Many wonderful, educational and worthy web sites inform, facilitate business and provide entertainment for millions of users. However, as in everything man has devised, the Internet also has a perverted, dark side.

The mind-destroying power of pornography is easily available to anyone who has a computer connected to the web. This evil aspect of the Internet has been recognized by Israel's ultra-Orthodox rabbis who, in a rare and courageous show of unity have forbidden their followers from using the Internet.

Associated Press writer Ron Kampeas reports: "The ban was initiated by leaders of the influential Betz Hasidic sect in October, and in recent weeks has been endorsed by the leader of virtually every ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect."

The rabbis recognize the benefits of using computers in religious instruction and research, "But the Internet, with its proliferation of links to pornography sites, was ruled out of bounds."

The Holy Bible, in the second chapter of Genesis, records man's first encounter with the choice between good and evil. Starting at verse eight we read: "The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Later we find that our first parents gave in to the temptation that was before them. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings (Genesis 3:6)."

Today the "forbidden fruit" is Internet pornography. It is an irresistible lure filling millions of minds with destructive knowledge of perverted sex.

The rabbis are right in warning their followers about the dangers lurking on the Internet. According to Eric Young, writing in the Sacramento Bee, approximately 500 firms are competing for a share of the lucrative Internet porn business.

Adam and Eve disregarded God's warning about acquiring carnal understanding and found out, the hard way, that toying with the knowledge of good and evil can be very destructive. Likewise, millions tasting (or viewing) pornography via the Internet will pay a heavy price for fulfilling their pleasure.

King David learned that we must use wisdom and discretion in what we allow our eyes to see. He wrote in Psalm 101:3: "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness."

Because we humans are what we think-we should be very mindful of what we allow to enter our minds through the eyes. Like Adam, God tells us the kind of persons who will be received into His kingdom, and who will be excluded from it.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 we read: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor extortion's will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God...."

If you are addicted to pornography, the Apostle Paul shows the way back to sound mindedness in Philippians 4:7-9: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."

Yes, the Internet is a marvelous tool for good or evil. But it is also a trap used by evil people to prey upon those who lack the character to close their eyes to mind destroying images. The rabbis are trying to protect their people from the mental poison of porn, and we wish them well in their effort. We urge you to protect those you love from the wretched purveyors of filth and degradation.

This is Carl McNair with commentary for the Living Church of God.