How would you define pornography? The reason I ask this is because a few years ago I made a promise to God not to look at pornography. There were a couple of close calls afterwards when I was looking at some magazines (women barely clothed). I looked away as quickly as I could when there was a woman with a bare chest a couple of times. This led me to promise to God to not look at magazines anymore. I didn't look, and so I think and hope I kept my promise. I've struggled with TV at different times. It's “basic expanded cable,” so there is no pornography, but sometimes they will show a woman with her chest blotted out by the censor. I've wondered, have I broken my promise? Is this pornography? Last night I was turning through the TV channels, curious as to what I could find... I turned the TV off and back on a few times, wanting to find out, but I couldn’t bring myself to look. I guess I really want to keep that promise to God. - R.
DJ: Please tell me more about your situation, about where you live and how this struggle is affecting you.
I live at home, so I talked to my mom about cancelling everything but the basic cable. Humbling, because she noticed me watching some "sexy" things. I don't know if she saw me watching the bad stuff because I tried to be discreet, but even if it means talking to my parents about the struggles, I said I didn’t want to watch so much TV and there was also bad stuff—it's worth it for my relationship with God. TV has damaged my relationship with God! I spend time watching TV instead of hanging out with disciples. I read the article on pornography on your website. Very convicting!
DJ: Brother, I would cancel your TV subscription completely. All my other thoughts on this are at the website. You will find an article on how television affects our spirituality.
I read your article on television. Wow! I admire your convictions. and I believe it's time for me to change. Without cable TV, I’ll have more time for God and more time for disciples. I will still have the TV in my bedroom, only without cable. I'm ready to stop being a slave to the TV – and that is what I've become. Thanks for your very direct and helpful advice.
DJ: I would definitely remove the TV from your room This is not a good place, in my opinion, to have a TV. So distracting! (And isn't necessarily best even in a married couple's bedroom, even when they agree to have it there.) I cannot legislate here, only observe. A recent poll said over 50% of children's bedrooms in the United States have TVs. I think this explains a lot of antisocial, anti-family, and anti-Christian behavior. Please think about this.
Good news. We've agreed to sell the TV!... I guess it's kind of like when the disciples in Ephesus burned their scrolls (Acts 19).
DJ: I wish all of us had such a radical attitude! Take care. May I post our correspondence at the website?
Yes, please post it. I know this can help others. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Getting rid of the TV in my room is HUGE. And making a decision to renounce watching bad stuff on TV is also huge. I think when I live on my own, if I ever have cable, I'll block out all but some select channels. Why have that kind of temptation in my house? And if I need to, I'll never have cable again. It's definitely not worth it. I truly appreciate your tough love and direct approach to my sin. I needed to hear it. Doing better has helped me to call another brother higher as well. It seems he's struggled with masturbation his whole life. I don't know if my advice was overly simplistic, but I told him to start having his quiet times consistently, which he had not been doing. Apart from getting rid of the TV in his room -- I should have already thought of that! -- do you have any other advice?
DJ: Yes, do emphasize with this brother that his QTs and his TV are directly connected. He is a Christian. He needs to walk with the Lord, not with the world.
Yes, he decided to disconnect his TV. And he's going to try to start having his personal devotions consistently. Actually, I myself just came back from a great prayer, and feel very thankful for the peace that God has given me. Thanks for all your encouragement, brother. I pray that you have a great holiday season and an even better New Year.