Is pornography a sin? Should Christians view pornography? Pornography use and addiction has exploded in recent times. Technology has enabled people to capture, view, and share pornographic images and scenes instantaneously, and I shutter to think of what may transpire in the future with the rise of sex robots, holograms, and virtual reality.
Regardless of how society or technology may change, God and His word will never change (Hebrews 13:8). God does not mince words when it comes to pornography—it’s a heinous sin that God will judge. In this article, I’m going to reveal what the Bible says about pornography, and I’m also going to give you suggestions of how to repent if you’re dabbling in it.
What Does the Bible Say about Pornography?
The Bible uses the Greek work “porneia” many times. This term is often translated in English as whoredom, fornication, adultery, or sexual immorality. You might say that porneia is a “catch-all” word for any type of filth or perversion. It should come as no surprise that we get our modern word “pornography” from this same root word!
Pornography of any kind–whether it be sexually suggestive still images, cartoons, strip clubs, videos, or even sexually explicit novels or short stories–is a sin, period. It doesn’t matter if your wife or husband is okay with it—God is not okay with it. No Christian can dabble in pornography and expect God’s blessing. Rather, unless you repent, you should expect God’s judgment and chastisement.
Below are some passages in the Bible that relate to pornography.
Bible Passages Warning Against Pornography
First, any man or woman contributing to pornography in any way is sinning against God. The Bible teaches that we should dress modestly and carry ourselves in a respectable manner, not allow images or video to be taken of our most intimate body parts or play the whore:
1 Timothy 2:9-10: Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
Leviticus 19:29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.
Do you remember what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? After they sinned by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they knew they were naked, and they were “ashamed.” So they quickly moved to hide their nakedness:
Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
It’s also interesting to note that in the book of Leviticus, as God is warning against different types of inappropriate sexual contact, He uses the phrase, “uncover the nakedness.” Why? Because “uncovering the nakedness” (pornography) is synonymous with sexual activity:
Leviticus 18:9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.
God designed sexual relations to be a gift to humanity that is to be experienced in the bonds of a holy marriage. In fact, God’s first command was to “be fruitful and multiply.” Don’t ever get the idea that God is against sex—He engineered it! But we sin against Him when we twist God’s design and attempt to engage in sexual behavior that He forbids.
When we look at pornography, we engage in sexual immorality and pervert God’s design for intimacy between a married couple. The Bible warns that sexual immorality (also translated as “fornication” from the Greek word “porneia”) will lead to HELL unless one repents and trusts in Christ:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication [porneia]. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Pornography falls under a basic category of sin that all humans will experience: The lust of the eyes, and that is not of God but of the world (Satan):
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Jesus spoke about the seriousness of lusting after a woman, and he equated it with adultery:
Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
As Christians, we must guard our eyes against perversion and lewdness. We shouldn’t feed them with filth, but work to actively keep them from wandering or viewing things that God deems sinful:
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
Whenever I hear a man (especially a married man) talk about how “hot” another woman is, I immediately think of Job 31:1. Job was a righteous man, and he made a covenant with his eyes. You’d never find a Godly man like Job “checking out” some random girl. So many men and women today need to stop fooling around and emulate a true man or woman of God. The Bible tells us that Job was a righteous man who eschewed evil.
One of the greatest things my wife and I did many years ago, was to make a covenant not to ever “check out” or talk about the attractiveness of other people. That was a great blessing, and I can assure you it will strengthen your marriage tremendously.
Some people have the absurd idea that “just looking” at pornography or scoping out some “hot girl” is no big deal. “It’s not hurting anyone,” they’ll say. Look but don’t touch. Touch but don’t taste. Taste but don’t swallow.
God’s word couldn’t disagree more!
Proverbs 6:25-29 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
Any time we are drawn away or consumed with some lust (especially pornography), we are preparing ourselves for pain and hurt. The Bible tells us about the ultimate consequence of sin:
James 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
King David once looked out and spotted a pretty lady bathing naked on a roof. He lusted after her so much that he called for her and lay with her, even though she was married to one of David’s soldiers. She became pregant, and he conspired to kill her husband Uriah. Sadly, David paid severely for this foolish sin. But it all started with a little look…
So many marriages and families have been destroyed by sexual perversion, and it all started with pornography! Pornography warps the mind and breeds lust. It takes the most beautiful creation of all time (the human body) and the most intimate experience (making love), and it cheapens and destroys it. It teaches us to view people as sex objects and not individuals with feelings, fears, hopes, and dreams.
I know of a man in my area who was very prominent. This man owned a couple of fairly successful businesses. One day he committed suicide, and everyone was shocked. It later came out that he was being investigated by the FBI for child pornography, of which he was guilty. Here was a man who was wealthy and successful, yet his own lust was the ruination of him.
Pornography is never a victimless sin. When you dabble in pornography, you sin against God, against your own flesh, against your spouse, against your children, and against the person you are viewing (God forbid if it be a child). It’s a sin that spreads far and wide and engulfs an entire family.
The Bible warns that Christians should turn from such filthy activity and live Godly lives, turning from every kind of lust and sin and focusing on Christ and His coming kingdom:
Romans 13:13-14: Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Romans 6:11-14: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Finally, you should know that if you continue to view pornography and have no desire to change, you most certainly are not saved. This means that if you die right now, you will spend eternity in Hell and the Lake of Fire. The Bible teaches that people who engage in habitual, unrepentant sin are not saved, and you don’t even as much as know God:
1 John 2:3-5: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
What to Do If You’ve Been Guilty of Pornography
We’re all sinners who have fallen short of God’s glory. While pornography is a wicked sin, the good news is that God is willing to forgive you of your sin and cleanse you. God desires to save all people, and God will cleanse your sin and clothe you with righteousness. Many individuals have overcome this dreadful sin and addiction, and so can you. You can become Godly in Christ Jesus.
First, you should pray and confess your sin to God and repent of this behavior. The Bible teaches that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us. The Bible also teaches that if we “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” we will be saved. This means that you believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins, and that He suffered on the cross, died, was buried, and resurrected. You must view the Bible as God’s word, and heed its instructions for your life.
Next, you should eliminate any temptation to sin. Be like that Godly man Job, who made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon a maid (Job 31:1). If you have dirty magazines, throw them out. If you have files on your computer, delete them. Make a committment to never view a porno film or Hollywood movie with revealing sex scenes again. If you have friends that send you porn, tell them you’ve given your life to Jesus and you won’t be looking at that trash again. If you have to cancel your phone or internet, do it.
Jesus tells us that we should go to great lengths to keep ourselves from sin:
Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
The Bible tells us that if we cannot help burning with lust, we should seek out a spouse. We should concentrate all of our affection, flirtation, sexual desires, and eyes upon our spouses only:
1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn [with lust].
Finally, do not cease praying for God to deliver you from this habit. God can and will deliver you from it. Surround yourself with Godly influences, and do not provide yourself with opportunities to look at pornography. If you do look at it again, confess it and repent, and rededicate yourself to overcoming this sin. If necessary, seek Godly counsel from a pastor or deacon.