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Opioids, Alcohol, and Porn

Opioids, Alcohol, and Porn

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. Revelations 2:20

I often find myself pitying the alcoholic. My struggle is with opioids, and for me to obtain pills, I’d have to jump through some significant hoops. There simply aren’t opioid stores on the corner, selling pills over the counter. When I go out to eat with friends, no one buys a bottle of pills to share with the table. Popping pills simply isn’t as accessible or socially acceptable as drinking alcohol. The alcoholic faces a very different world than I do. He (or she) lives in a culture where alcohol is simply a normal part of the landscape. For him, temptation is everywhere and it’s likely a daily occurrence to be enticed by what is just normal behavior for everyone else. Like I said, I pity the alcoholic.

Those in the church in Thyatira found themselves in a somewhat similar situation. Living in a culture that worshipped false gods, that culture’s religious celebrations were feasts where food was offered to idols, alcohol flowed freely, and which often ended in sexual debauchery – orgies. This was just normal and though those in the church served God, they were not immune to the influence of their culture. That which offended God, and that which was self-destructive for his followers, was simply normal behavior to everyone else. Living in this climate, some in the church were enticed into the cultural practices of Thyatira. It’s just normal. This is what regular people do. No consequences. You know you want it.

This is a tempting message into which many of us have fallen. Orgies may not be normal in our culture, but pornography is. Profoundly accessible, even on our smart phones, many see porn simply as normal behavior for men. Jesus though, has a very different view of pornography. I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28). As followers of Christ, our beliefs are often considered antiquated by our culture, which makes it seem silly to follow them. Don’t be such a killjoy. Live a little. This is normal. It’s not like you’re having an affair. No consequences.

We may convince ourselves that we can do whatever we want and get away with it, but we always pay some price. Sexual sin, like my drug addiction, rots our minds and destroys our relationships. Even if no one ever find out, our self-destruction turns us from God – which is the most devastating consequence of all.

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