There is a wound in my own generation which reads like this. We will not make any truth stands–morally or otherwise–because we did not like the legalistic way our parents did it. All their talk of relativism and moral absolutes rings cold to us. So as a result we have not taken a stand against some of the grossest collective sins of our own generation. i recognize that lots of our reason for not standing is because few of us had fathers who affirmed our voices or lives in any real way. I also see, that we are a complex and creative generation able to be aware of many dynamics that neither the generation above us or behind us has to see.
We are a generation that I believe has been given a unique prophetic function to see “in between” things. To see in between generations for instance. To be aware of our own place in the larger story. To see and be aware of the many systems of the world, and the systems which our parents served unawares. This is a gift, but it does not give us the excuse of not taking a stand and speaking truth.
One of the most overt shadows of my generation which is still very rarely spoken of is our blatant acceptance of pornography. I think it is a great example of our moral ambiguity, or inability to form a true opinion. Often, we don’t take a stand, on the grounds of wanting to be culturally relevant, but this can become a type of legalism in its own right, just as the virtue of tolerance can easily become an idol which doesn’t allow men to make distinctions or move at all in discernment.
Discernment is a spirtual gift, and it matters to God to separate things. At the creation, He separated night and day, He separated the waters from the land etc. God separates things, makes distinctions between this and that, names this one thing, and that another.
This was God’s own masculine function naming, calling forth, and separating. Distinction is good. Discernment between good and evil, though sometimes more complex than our parents imagined is still the backbone of Life. The cross was good. Raping children is bad.
IF we lose this ability to discern between good and evil–not just as rules or codes, BUT AS WAYS (there are the “ways” of evil–an example is to separate sex from intimacy– just as there are the ways of good), we have no right to speak into other generations! Ok, so pornography. Let me say, pornography is bad. I am here talking about the spirit of pornography and prostitution, not about nudity, the human body or sex.
I am talking about the “way of seeing” which is from the enemy, and inevitably leads to rape and abuse.
We are seeing everyday, in the papers of sex abuse and rape. But we are not talking yet, as a generation about the presence of the spirit of pornography in so much television, media, and magazines. Not just playboy and overt porn, but on our #1 tele shows. In this country, “desperate housewives” is the top rated show. This show is absolutely saturated with a prostitutional spirit. Not only in content, but also form.
I am an artist, and have worked at several major art schools over the years. I know the difference between nudity and prostitution. The human body is not evil, but the way of looking at it which is present in pornography is. It not only objectifies, but it teaches us to see other in a false way. It does not allow you to encounter the person as a person, but rather as a “thing”. That should be sign enough, but it gets worse.
You notice that porn homogenizes ethnicity. That is to say, that every person is experienced the same regardless of who they actually are, and what their ethinic background. This should be a clear sign to us, as the enemy always blurs identity, so that we do not appreciate the uniqueness of that particular person! I first noticed this in europe, when I would see an add that had a spirit of porn on it, it did not matter who was actually in the add, the person was “flattened out” to elicit the same exact reponse. So not only is it selfish to take a person’s body and use it for your own pleasure, without any actual relationship with that person (which is in itself as way of the enemy–ie intimacy without relationship, which is the exact opposite of how God works); but it is also an act of dis-integration of the personhood of that one being used in the imagery. It agrees with the enemy that they are something they are not!
God is into integration! He is into wholeness. We must fight to see one another as whole people. But porn by its nature, is anti-wholeness. It forces you to see the other as abstracted sexuality. The only way you can rape another person is to not see them as a whole person. This is why pornography has been proven to lead to rape.
I am not saying that God does not have grace on a generation of fatherless children, who live in a time of increasing evil–which we do! I am saying that let’s at least call it what it is, and fight against it. When I saw a recent advertizement for a movie where a girl was moving under a pornographic spirit , I thought, whether it is clever or not to make a remake of an old 80’s tv show, and use hip this generational characters or not, it is pornography. And I want to be one man fighting for her wholeness, by not just being entertained by one of God’s daughters going to the slaughter of prostitution!
I know many friends are struggling with this pornographic way of seeing. And the enemy likes to keep everyone in guilt and shame. And that sucks. God wants to walk us out from there, and displace that way of seeing with true intimacy and beauty which is whole. I am not condemning people for struggle. I know the struggle to become whole and to see other people as whole. I think it is good that all the problems in the priesthood in the US has come to light, so Jesus can begin to bring healing and light into those hidden rooms. But I also think that we need to fight the good fight, and be able to discern when the ways of evil are present.
Lord help us to see as you see! We know that darkness is increasing, but we want to be a people in Your Light. That the latter glory in us, would be more radiant than the current darkness! Help us to discern when this pornographic way of seeing is present. We know that beauty is not evil, nor is the human body, but we know that the lenses of the enemy are lies and false. Help us not to look through these lense. Help us to see the people trapped under these spirits, and to love them as You do, and to not join their enslavers.
Remember a person can be fully clothed and be under a pornographic spirit. Or entirely nude, and be pure. It is not about nudity. It is about ways of seeing one another. And we need to be able to discern between evil ways of seeing and good ways of seeing. Good ways, include seeing the whole person, seeing a real creation of God there. A good test is that pornography always homogenizes identity, so you have a very hard time encountering the actual person beneath the spirit.