Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Sara and I wanted to write a letter to you about something we don’t often talk about: pornography. If you are anything like me, you were introduced to pornography at a fairly young age. 

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The bottom line is God did not create any woman to be a prostitute, a stripper, a porn star, or to feel like she must pursue an endless quest for physical perfection.

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Intellectually we know God is beyond gender; however, using only masculine pronouns sends image-shaping messages to our hearts and minds that are incorrect. By neglecting the feminine imagery for God, we have distorted our understanding of God.

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Ultimately, the norms of male domination — expressed through pornography — are the opposite of authentic masculinity. Pornography imprisons women in the grasp of insecure and dominant men.

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Pornography is so prevalent that often one does not ask if a man watches pornography but rather how much. In one recent study conducted on male sex buyers, researchers defined a “non-user” as a man who had not used pornography more than one time in the last month.

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Pornography not only causes men to view women and girls as sex objects, it causes women and girls to look at themselves as sex objects. What can we as Christians do to undo the lessons pornography teaches women and girls, and to show them how Jesus wants them to be viewed ?

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And so it is that most Bible readers, even those who know the Gospels well, have never paused to ponder that in Luke’s triad of images for God, one of the three is a woman.

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There is a cost to benching half the church. There is a cost to consuming porn. There is a cost to marginalizing women. There is a cost to the betraying silence of the church. And ultimately, the cost is women’s lives.

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Jessica Johnson, an anthropologist with no religious affiliation, finds the ethos and orientation at Mars Hill as incarnating “biblical porn” (hence the title of her book).

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God led Moses, Isaiah, Matthew, and Luke to describe God as a woman. When we read verses with feminine imagery, we should start by thinking of, well, a woman.

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