Tag Archive for: Reject

Filtering Software

Recently the CtC team became aware of two sets of reviews of filtering software that can be helpful in the fight to preserve or restore godly sexuality.

children and adults often need assistance while this spiritual maturing is underway.

The battle is largely fought on two fronts: Protecting kids from accidental or purposeful exposure to pornography (though no tool can provide perfect protection). Helping recovering addicts in their struggle against their own sinful natures and the abundant false promises offered by the world’s portrayal of sexuality.

The best protection is a well-trained conscience motivated by the gospel to live for Jesus. But that can take years to develop. Our Parent Support Plan provides tools for building this spiritual weapon in children. But children and adults often need assistance while this spiritual maturing is underway. Filtering software can be one of the tools that assists. The following two links provide reviews of the capabilities, effectiveness, and cost of the many options that are available.

Reviews focused on:

Note: These links take you out of the CtC website. We believe the information on the linked pages can be helpful, especially with respect to the technical capabilities of the software, their effectiveness, and costs. But the reader is urged to view the information with discernment. CtC has no relationship with the reviewing entities and cannot ensure that all the information presented aligns with our values and beliefs.

No Stones

This book is a serious, thorough resource for women struggling with sexual addiction. It gives a realistic view of the problems of women’s addiction, noting the ways it differs from men’s. In the book, Marnie Ferree doesn’t offer quick fixes but she does guide the reader toward hope and recovery.

Every Woman's Battle

This book attempts to cover sexual and emotional issues effecting women. It’s easy to read and deals with sound principles based on Scripture. The book emphasizes that women struggle with sexual sins just as men do, but in different ways. The author points to the daily need to fight to live as children of God.

Utah

Utah vs. Porn

Pornography is legal here in the United States, and it will very likely remain so. Even if it were made illegal (like Utah hasn’t exactly done but is trying to do (Utah vs Porn – or kind of trying to do) the illegality of certain images would likely inspire a prohibition-style underground while failing to actually curb all images that can cause a person to lust.

So, it’s legal. Mostly.

For clarity’s sake, not all pornography is legal. The First Amendment defines two categories of pornography as out-of-bounds: “obscenity” and child pornography. While child pornography is relatively easy to define, that which falls into the category of “obscenity” is quite a bit harder to nail down. The goal of the obscenity limitation is to help avoid extremes, but anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the kinds of pornography on the internet realize that’s a pretty tall order that’s barely being filled.

(Keep in mind, we’re talking about pornography on a civic, societal, or governmental level. For a Christian, the question isn’t really “What can I get away with under the law?” but rather “What is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable? I want to think about these kinds of things.”)

Porn addiction is a broken behavior that comes from a broken desire – lust – that comes from a broken relationship with God.

So, it’s legal and not nearly as regulated as it could be.

What are we to do? The oddness of the Utah resolution gives us a pretty good chance to think about the best response. State Senator Todd Weiler’s resolution, proposed this past January and signed by the governor on July 7th (2016), actually includes fines and potential jail time for anyone who owns porn magazines or is caught watching pornography of any kind. This is odd because, as we’ve established, the First Amendment literally protects some of the things this resolution prohibits (one can only expect that this won’t be the end of this story.)

Nevertheless, let’s imagine that the story didn’t continue with legal challenges, but rather with adherence. What if not only Utah, but also the other 49 states outlawed porn, increased education on the dangers or porn, and found efficient ways to actually enforce this policy? Would it work?

In some ways, maybe. If you’re a pragmatist at heart, you can see how this would make life a little easier. It would make it harder for young boys to hide magazines because the magazines wouldn’t be published. It would be harder for 8-11 year old kids to have their first exposure to pornography because it wouldn’t be so freely available.

But it wouldn’t solve the real problem. Porn addiction is a broken behavior that comes from a broken desire – lust – that comes from a broken relationship with God. The problem of porn is the problem of sin, and the solution to sin isn’t the law – whether God’s law or the government’s law. The law can help on the surface level, but it can’t really lead to a solution. Making porn illegal doesn’t make it so people don’t want porn. Threatening jail time for porn use doesn’t make it so people don’t want porn – they just don’t want to go to jail.

If we want to affect motivation, to transform people’s desire from being focused on base, sexual wants to being focused on more glorious ideals, the only solution is the message of Jesus’ unconditional love. Gospel-driven motivation is the only motivation that has a place in a transformed life. Grace-driven motivation is the only motivation that can take a person who is running toward hell and turn them around so they pursue God. The law, at best, can only slow them down – it can’t turn them around.

So, kudos be to Utah, for the moment.
Praise, honor, glory, and strength be to Christ, forever.

Want to talk more about this? Leave a comment below!

I Loved A Girl

One of the great difficulties the church faces in talking about sex is the pervasive attitude that the only real barriers to sex are age and consent. Thus the only way to sin sexually is to have sex with someone who is unwilling or underage, or to have sex with one person while there is still a commitment to another. Even then, we don’t call it “adultery,” we call it “cheating;” the same word we use for not following a diet or the rules of a game.

Prayer

Perhaps the best way to describe Prayer by Philip Yancey is by using the adjectives “devotional” and “slow.” Prayer cannot be rushed. It requires the slowing down of activity and a contemplative mind. “Contemplative” is another useful adjective to describe Yancey’s examination of Christian prayer. Through careful attention to the realities of daily life, as well as to God’s promises as they are applied to daily life, Yancey dissects Christian prayer with a raw honesty that resonates with the reader.

The Search For Significance

When I selected this book for reading and review, I will honestly admit, I was out to debunk what I thought would be another book promoting humanistic philosophies of self-esteem. When I saw the title, red flags appeared. I assumed it was the kind of Christian self-help book what would promote the Laws of good works over the Gospel of Jesus’ redemption and forgiveness. Happily, I was mistaken – feeling great relief that Mr. McGee placed the sole emphasis on Christ. “…the point is clear that Christ is the source of our security; Christ is the basis of our worth; Christ is the only one who promises and never fails.”

FAQ

These are wonderful questions for all of us to consider, not just those who are struggling with the killer we call porn. Without being too simplistic, this question can be answered with one word: Jesus. Psalm 73:25 says, “Earth has nothing I desire but you.” The Psalmist is pointing us to God alone for the answer to our greatest desires. Paul agrees in Ephesians 1 when he tells us that every spiritual blessing is found “in Christ.”

What does that mean practically? It means truly knowing Jesus and realizing what he’s giving you right here and right now. Once the Holy Spirit starts to open your eyes, you will find immense joy even as you deal with the painful situations of this sin-filled world. For example…You have a perfect spouse in Jesus. Jesus is the one who laid down his life for his bride, the Church (all believers). You have one who pursues you, calls you beautiful, and truly keeps his vows to you. You are pure in Jesus. Jesus washed you of your sin (1 Cor. 6) and made you holy in God’s sight (Col. 1). You couldn’t be better looking or more spotless than you are right now (!!!) in Jesus. You have an eternity of joyful days in Jesus. Paul said in Romans 8 that the tears of this world are not even worth comparing to what’s waiting for us at Jesus’ side. You have purpose in Jesus. Even if porn ruined your dreams for life, Jesus still has good works lined up for you to do (Eph. 2). Who knows? Maybe God will use the pain porn caused to help you do good to many others.

We could go on and on. You asked where to start and my answer is–Jesus. Dig down deep into his promises and put down some deep gospel roots. That is what you’ll need to be blessed and rejoice despite the dark days porn brings.

FAQ

A few basic ideas are crucial for you right now:

  • Personal repentance: Make sure to consistently confess your own sin against God and against him. That will keep your heart tender and your spirit compassionate.
  • Prayer: God changes things through prayer. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other,” James said, “so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) Don’t underestimate the power of a prayer in Jesus’ name. Pray for the heart. Pray for eyes to be opened to the goodness of God that led our Father to label lust as demonic and destructive. Pray for your ability to forgive and love just as Jesus loves you.
  • Community: You need mature Christian friends to help you through this. You don’t need “friends” who pounce and just get angry just to make you feel better. You do need friends who love the addict, love their soul, love your marriage, and will be honest with you both. The Proverbs say, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,” so turn to friends who will be honest with you for the sake of your marriage and your spiritual health.
FAQ

If you mean fantasizing (dreaming) about engaging in sex with someone you’re not married to, then those thoughts would dishonor marriage and God (Hebrews 13:4). This is not who God made you to be. God calls all people to believe in his Son as their Savior. When the Holy Spirit creates that saving faith in your heart, you become a temple of the Holy Spirit, which will compel you to honor God with their whole being—mind, soul and body. So yes, it is sin – but it is also a sin Jesus paid the price to forgive.