The X-Rated Series

The quiet enslaver is pornography. For our introduction tonight, I want to you to watch and listen to part of the interview James Dobson did with Ted Bundy on January 23, 1989. On January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was executed for the murders of several women and girls.

[Show the video clip from Life On The Edge by James Dobson from Session 7, "Pornography: Addictive, Progressive, and Deadly," produced by Word Video Curriculum Resource and distributed by Focus on the Family.]

  1. A synopsis of the information [is given to produce continuity for those who read this lesson on our Web site].
    1. Ted Bundy grew up in a good home that emphasized Christian values.
      1. He stressed that his parents were not responsible for what he did.
      2. They tried to protect him from the things that contributed to his destruction.
      3. He was one of five brothers and sisters.
    2. His addiction began with his involvement with "soft" pornography.
      1. When he was 13 he and some friends found some pornographic materials that someone had thrown away.
      2. They began to search garbage cans, and the materials they occasionally found introduced them to a higher form of pornography.
    3. He emphasized this progression in pornographic addiction.
      1. Once a person becomes addicted to pornography, he searches for more potent forms of pornography that can create a great sense of excitement.
      2. Like other addictions, addiction to pornography reaches a point when even "hard" pornography is not enough to produce the excitement the addict wants.
      3. At that point the person wonders if an act of sexual violence would produce the excitement he wants.
      4. Prior to his first murder, he described himself as a normal person, in no way a monster or a pervert.
        1. The secret of his pornography addiction was so well hidden that no one suspected it existed, and no one thought him capable of murder.
        2. Prior to the first murder, he lived a normal life and was "okay."
        3. After the first murder, all his moral convictions and values returned within a day.
        4. He felt horrible and could not believe that he was capable of such acts.
    4. He stressed the fact that men who are influenced by pornographic violence are not monsters.
      1. Any man can fall victim to that influence.
      2. Men so influenced are sons and husbands.
      3. He stressed that he came from a good Christian home, and parents could not protect their children from this influence.
    5. He requested that Dobson conduct his last interview because he wanted to share a message with the country. In that statement:
      1. He emphasized 100% of the men he had known on death row (and he had been in prison a long time) who were awaiting execution for violent sexual crimes had been addicted to pornography.
      2. He stated that he could not believe (in the 1989 world and prior to the Internet) what was coming into the homes via cable television.
        1. The graphic sexual violence available in the home would not have been permitted in X-rated movies thirty years prior to 1989 (in the 1950's).
        2. Seeing what children could watch in their homes terrified him because these things fed children like it fed him, and it would have the same effect on people with his problem that it had on him.
      3. He did not blame pornography for his violent, cruel acts.
        1. There were many contributing factors to the development of his violence.
        2. But he said that he would not have committed the kind of violent acts he did had it not been for hard pornography.

  2. [The text of my sermon after the video clip began at this point.] Remember some basic thoughts in that interview.
    1. Number one: the pornography problem began in a way that seemed innocent and harmless.
    2. Number two: the natural progression of pornography leads to addiction.
    3. Number three: that addiction motivates the male to look for new highs.
    4. Number four: the addicted can be every day, normal, okay, good people from good homes; they just have a secret that they hide well.
    5. Number five: that the most conscientious parents cannot protect their sons from this influence in our society.
    6. Number six: that 100% of the men on death row facing execution for violent sexual crimes in the time Ted Bundy was there had been addicted to pornography.

  3. One of the most powerful, horrible addictions that exist in our society is sexual addiction.
    1. The foundation of sexual addiction is pornography.
      1. It devastates the addicted.
      2. It devastates marriages.
      3. It devastates homes.
      4. The cruelty that it inflicts on the lives of the men, of the wives, and of the children cannot be exaggerated.
    2. "That is itself an exaggeration! Why should pornography be considered so devastating and cruel?"
      1. Number one: once a man is addicted, he cannot escape the war of sex appeal.
        1. America is a sexually oriented society.
        2. Explicit sex surrounds us--on comedy television series, on violent television series, on television talk shows, in television commercials, in the newspaper, in catalogues, in movies, on videos, in the way women dress.
        3. And Americans are constantly told the greatest pleasure to be experienced in life is sexual pleasure.
        4. In fact, how many things can you name that do not use sex appeal in powerful, explicit ways?
        5. If you are addicted to drugs and want to break the addiction, change your environment.
        6. If you are addicted to alcohol and want to break the addiction, change your environment.
        7. If you are addicted to pornography, how can you change your environment so that you are not constantly facing erotic stimulation from our society's abuse of sex appeal?
      2. Number two: the addicted man struggles as he tries to establish and maintain a long term, healthy relationship with a wife.
        1. Pornography builds excitement by creating fantasies.
        2. No healthy marriage relationship can compete with sexual fantasies.
        3. In fact, the addicted person prefers his fantasies to a relationship.
          1. A relationship requires two persons, requires effort and understanding, and involves disappointment.
          2. Fantasies take only one person (self), require no effort, and do not have to deal with the disappointments that occur in a relationship.
      3. Number three: the fantasies become a powerful form of slavery.
        1. Since a love relationship does not exist, the kindness and fulfillment experienced in a love relationship do not exist.
        2. Fantasies are extremely selfish; healthy love relationships are extremely unselfish.
        3. Fantasies exploit; healthy love relationships fulfill.
        4. Sexual fantasies attack and destroy relationship skills by making the person increasingly selfish, self focused, and self centered as he increasingly is ruled by his feelings and desires.

  4. How do teens and men get involved in pornography? What are the common doors that lead to that involvement? [The following doors are not listed in any order of priority or common occurrence.]
    1. Natural curiosity is a door.
      1. The boy is going through puberty.
      2. His body is maturing.
      3. He deals with feelings and desires he never experience before.
      4. He is curious, and that curiosity is fueled by our culture's use of sex appeal.
    2. The inability to relate to other people is a door.
      1. Commonly, this person has no role models; he develops in a relationship vacuum.
      2. He does not know how to interact with others.
      3. He prefers fantasy to confusion.
    3. Low self esteem and low self image is a door.
      1. Mom commonly verbally emasculated Dad.
      2. Dad commonly verbally abused Mom.
      3. They taught him a thousand subtle ways to tear people down.
      4. In the process he perceives that they are tearing him down.
      5. He grows up in an environment that tears people down, and in that environment he is always afraid, always unsure of himself.
    4. Learned behavior is a door.
      1. His home was not a religious home.
      2. Pornography was openly used by Dad.
      3. Dad encouraged him to develop the same desires and attitudes.
    5. Peer influence is a door.
      1. The teenage world is full of pornography.
      2. Business trips are full of pornography.
      3. Pornography is supposed to be a part of the male experience in our society.
    6. A personal search for the sexual highs portrayed on television or in the movies is a door.
      1. There is no realization that these are actors and actresses acting out a script.
      2. Such sexual highs do not exist in real life; they are artificial.
      3. When these sexual highs are not experienced, the man thinks something is wrong, and that he is being cheated or robbed.
    7. Friends who live "on the dark side" are a door.
      1. Pornography is a part of their life style.
      2. They delight in inviting others to join them in their lifestyle.
    8. The rites of social passage are a door.
      1. In our society pornographic preoccupation is the way you stop being a boy and start being a man.
      2. It easily becomes a part of the activities at proms, spring breaks, college parties, bachelor parties, business trips, and conventions.
    9. Drugs and alcohol are a door.
      1. Pornography contributes to inducing the "high."
      2. Stimulate all the physical senses; seek maximum pleasure.
    10. Being "cool" is a door.
      1. The vast majority want to be accepted by those who are popular.
      2. That is a powerful force among teens.
      3. But it is also a powerful force among those who "are playing the game" in the business world.
    11. Loneliness and sexual frustration in marriage are a door.
      1. In the last lesson we talked about the power of the male sex drive.
      2. We also saw from Genesis that the purpose of marriage is to destroy loneliness.
      3. When marriage does not destroy loneliness in the husband, pornography becomes a powerful temptation.
    12. A loveless environment is a door.
      1. That loveless environment may be the home for the teenager.
      2. It may be the marriage for the husband.

  5. What is so bad about pornography?
    1. It dehumanizes women.
      1. Women are portrayed as objects instead of persons.
      2. They exist to be used and exploited, not loved in a caring relationship.
    2. It encourages the man to become ultra selfish.
      1. It focuses the man on himself, his feelings, and his desires.
      2. Nothing is as important as his sexual gratification.
      3. Nothing is more devastating to a marriage than being married to a sexually selfish man.
    3. It destroys relationship skills.
      1. It makes you less a person in your marriage.
      2. It diminishes you as a husband and a father.
      3. You are unconcerned about relationship skills that build a mutually fulfilling life.
      4. Your wife has value to you only to the extent your wife gratifies you.
      5. You become increasingly selfish in your perspectives and outlooks.
    4. It perverts a powerful gift from God into a destructive evil.
      1. Pornography never makes a man more godly.
      2. Pornography never makes a man kinder, more compassionate, more understanding.
      3. Pornography never makes a man more like Jesus.
      4. Pornography never makes a man a better Christian, a better husband, a better father, or a better person.
    5. It robs the man's children.
      1. It robs them of the depth and quality of love they should experience.
      2. It robs them of the role models they need in the healthy, loving interaction of Mom and Dad.
      3. It robs them of the greatest opportunity they have to learn the value of a person and respect for a person.
      4. It robs them of the quality of warmth and caring that a child should experienced in any home.

The use of pornography is a significant problem among Christian men. Today it is an easier problem to develop than it has ever been. Today it is easier to hide than it has ever been. With Internet access, it is easily, quickly available to teens and to men.

The ease of availability and the ease of secrecy makes it more urgent than ever that we structure our homes to be an oasis of love, peace, and faith. It makes it more urgent than ever that husbands and wives build happy, fulfilling marriages that destroy loneliness.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 19 March 2000
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