Mohler does a fine job of restating the obvious about the spiritual ills of pornography, but he gets derailed when he presents a feminized, Estrogelical, pseudo-Christian view of male sexuality:
Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed. As the Apostle Paul states, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other. At the same time, Paul instructed men to love their wives even as Christ has loved the church. Even as wives are commanded to submit to the authority of their husbands, the husband is called to a far higher standard of Christ-like love and devotion toward the wife ...Sorry, Mr. Mohler, but you are dead wrong. Yes, a man is called by God to love his wife and be emotionally attentive to her needs (not necessarily her wants, though). But that is because God expects such of men regardless of the situation (Col. 3:19). It is not because a man has to earn sex from his wife. There is no earning anything that God commands to be given freely. Consider two Scriptures that are relevant to this discussion:
Put most bluntly, I believe that God means for a man to be civilized, directed and stimulated toward marital faithfulness by the fact that his wife will freely give herself to him sexually only when he presents himself as worthy of her attention and desire.
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1 Cor. 7:4) (NASB)Given that a husband has authority over the woman, who was made for his sake, all this talk about earning sexual access from the woman is nonsense. Just as the man is suppose to love his wife for better or for worse, so the women is to do the same for her husband. She is to be a good wife and be attentive to his sexuality, regardless of how he acts as a husband.
For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. (1 Cor. 11:8-9) (NASB)
At any rate, I take special interest in Mohler's description of a stereotypical man involved in pornography:
"This man lives alone, or at least in a context other than holy marriage ..."Dear readers, I want you to think about the subtext of what Mr. Mohler is saying. You see, it sounds a lot like what Debbie Maken said a while ago:
"This man need not be concerned with his physical appearance, his personal hygiene or his moral character in the eyes of a wife. Without this structure and accountability, he is free to take his sexual pleasure without regard for his unshaved face, his slothfulness, his halitosis, his body odor and his physical appearance. He faces no requirement of personal respect, and no eyes gaze upon him in order to evaluate the seriousness and worthiness of his sexual desire."
"I have no sympathy for those pushing churches to cater to the unregenerate man as a way of drawing him in. The fact that a beer guzzling, Nascar watching, porn-viewing, minimum-wage earning loser thinks that church is not for him; well, he is right."Don't you love the stereotypes that these pundits like to push about men caught up in the sin of pornography? Porn users are supposedly just a bunch of single loser guys that watch NASCAR, have facial hair (gasp!), halitosis, and aren't physically attractive to women. Boy, you can just feel the compassion for sinners oozing from the pens of Maken and Mohler. Heaven forbid that a porn user just might be the clean-cut guy who makes a lot of money, who is a married pastor of a big church, or is appealing to women. Obviously, an oh-so-successful guy doesn't use porn. He justs commits fornication and adultery with his female admirers. That's all.
But seriously, given that facial hair, halitosis, being single, being physically unappealing to women, etc. could just as easily describe a man faithful to God as it could a lonely porn user, I think we need to look at the implicit male-bashing in the narratives of Mohler and his ilk. I think someone people need to get one thing straight: Sexual purity for men is not about pleasing women or "saving one's self for marriage" ... it's about pleasing God (Matthew 5:8).
One final matter. I find Mr. Mohler's rhetoric to be downright corny and counterproductive. For instance this paragraph is over the top:
Pornography is a slander against the goodness of God's creation and a corruption of this good gift God has given his creatures out of his own self-giving love. To abuse this gift is to weaken, not only the institution of marriage, but the fabric of civilization itself. To choose lust over love is to debase humanity and to worship the false god Priapus in the most brazen form of modern idolatry.Hoo-boy! How many of you opened up another tab to look up Priapus in Wikipedia? I thought disbelief, bigotry, greed, materialism, violence, pride, hatred, lust for power, adultery, envy, lying, stealing, drunkenness, slander, and murder were real bad but "porn use" is the biggie of the all!! The fabric of civilization is unraveling because of Pamela Anderson! Give me a break. The grandstanding by so many religious conservatives about sexual sins only serves to make other sins look less destructive than they really are.
Moreoever, while Mohler and company wax eloquent about the scourge of pornography, the real 300-pound gorilla in the room goes undiscussed. I've touched on it before: Sexual sin in men is connected with the idolatry of the feminine in this society. If men want to be free from sexual sin, then they have to place intimacy with women in proper context. It's not the most important thing or even a necessary thing. But I doubt Mohler will ever say that. After all, he has sided with Maken in adopting Marriage Mandate theology. He believes most men cannot do without women and that they have a duty to marry (a position that contradicts plain teachings of the Bible such as 1 Cor. 7:17-38). So I have to wonder: Do religious pundits get mad because sexual sin represents an affront to God ... or because it just represents an affront to the sex cartel that society places over men?