Porn: The Absence of Weight and Imminence

{Guest Post by Ethan Renoe}

Reposted from his own blog (link at end of post)


 

Tonight I went to a party with a handful of guys and girls. It was so refreshing to be around real humans, as sometimes I am deprived.

Being an extrovert, this is not a good thing.

After a cessation of human contact, especially with women, I can become detached a bit from reality as far as what it is like to interact with real people. Historically, after ‘interacting’ with people digitally for so long, in three main venues (films, Facebook, and porn), I have lost a sense of the ‘realness’ of other human beings. However, after a period of time, when I am once again reunited to other living, breathing humans, I recall beautiful things, like their insecurities and mannerisms, the warmth of their body as they give me a hug, the smell that is unique to each person on earth.

Their weight.

And I don’t mean 172 pounds. I mean the weight of simply being in the presence of another human being, how real it is. How, if you would reach out and touch them, they would feel the pressure of your finger.

With regard to pornography specifically, I lost sight of how love is meant to be reciprocated, not absorbed. I lose the sensation of the warmth, smell, and feel of another human body. The tragedy of our time is we could spend hours a day watching those videos and not grow a centimeter closer to another human being.

Porn cannot bear the weight of real, true, in-the-flesh humanity, and the relationships formed between us.

In a similar way, I realize that this consumption of pseudo-relationships has desensitized my relationship with God. I read the Bible and think about theology as if it were a purely mental exercise. I read the Bible in the same way I read No Country For Old Men, rather than as a letter written by the very real Creator of all things, whose presence is nearer to me than the ink in my tattoos. I think about Christ’s atonement and intercession for me as more of a pleasant thing to say than the all-consuming truth which consumes and defines my existence.

As porn has taken me further away from other humans, so has it trained my brain to be distant from the Lord.

I was driving home from the party and one word kept pressing into my mind: Imminence. Do I believe in the imminence of the Lord? Do I pray Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus), as if it actually does anything? As if I’m actually talking to Someone? Do I believe Jesus is presently on His way back right now to take us home?

That He is as imminent as my next meal?

My next conversation?

My next breath?

Tonight I take comfort in the fact that even in my faithlessness, I am covered in the blood of the One who is faithful.

That in my wandering, He is true.

In my distance, He is near.

When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
 I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?

    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,

    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.

    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.

Psalm 73:21-28

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Ethan Renoe

Ethan has been to six continents, gotten two degrees from three colleges (most recently Moody Bible Institute) and done four consecutive one-armed pull-ups. He has not fallen in love, but he did fall in the pool while he was lifeguarding.
Click here to follow him at ethanrenoe.com.
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