Is Watching Porn a Sin?

  • Author: Sumit
  • Published: September 9, 2022

In the 21st century, pornography is something that most people will encounter in some form. The nature of the internet means you will see things that you hadn’t intended to, even if you try to avoid them.

Although this article will focus on Christianity and what it says about pornography, it will take a neutral perspective. The aim is to provide some clarity on the topic. To not take a negative perspective on sexual health, but a positive one.

So, let’s get into it.

What is Porn According to the Bible?

This is a vital question to answer before getting further into it. Defining what pornography is according to the bible will help us avoid loopholes and remove some ambiguity from the original question.

1 Corinthians 6:13: “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.”

Immorality is a word thrown around a lot in the bible. To contextualize it, we need to look at it through the lens of the people that wrote the bible. When people were found cheating, this word would have been thrown around a lot. So it would have been idolizing a woman/man to whom you were not married.

We know that admiring a beautiful person in the right way is not pornography. However, watching that person have sex with someone else and idolizing that would be.

What does the bible say about pornography?

There are no specific verses that speak about porn. It didn’t exist at the time the prophets wrote the bible. The problem that presents is that anything on the subject is up for interpretation. However, it mentions a couple of related sins we can discuss.

Lust

Contrary to popular opinion, the bible doesn’t say lust is a sin. Arousal is a normal human feeling, and it is not a shame to have such feelings. Many people will bring up Matthew 5.

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Again, it’s up for interpretation. However, we know that adultery (cheating) brings a host of problems. In most cases, it will mean the end of your relationship, so you want to avoid it if you can.

It’s impossible to only be attracted to your partner throughout the life of your relationship. The idea that you should be burned at the stake forever looking at another man or woman is unfair. What it leads to is your choice.

You are always aware of your intentions. If you are lusting after someone because of issues in your relationship or life, it becomes a sin. Simply because you’ll end up acting because of it.

This is the same concept as porn. If you’re watching it to replace your partner or because of another issue, it is a sin. It’s always best to confront those issues before attempting to find another way to fill the hole of desire.

Porn Is a Waste of Time

The Bible talks about the sin of sloth. Sloth is a cute furry animal and a pretty old-school word, in this case, so we’ll refer to it as time-wasting.

“Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

You want to live a productive life. There is only a finite amount of time that you have, so it’s best to go out there and enjoy the fruits of the world. If you’re spending hours in front of a screen, looking at people that will never know you exist, that is not healthy and is a sin.

If you add up all the time you’ve spent watching porn, how long is it and could you have spent that time better? Many movements like NoFap and PornFree have spoken about the time sap that pornography is. It’s pretty clear you could do better things than spending hours watching porn.

Porn Addiction

Of course, this is a topic that most people can relate to in some form. Most people can agree that addiction is negative. Although addiction to porn is still a highly debated topic, the bible says something specific about addiction in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

You aren’t immune to addiction, and it comes in many forms. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, coffee, or even food. You’re likely to encounter some form of addiction in your life.

According to the verse, you won’t be presented with an addiction that you can’t overcome. You also need to play your part in taking steps to remove yourself from the addiction. Whether that is, blocking sites on your browser or removing people from your life that enable you.

Idolatry

This one is specific to Christians. Idolatry comes from the word idolize, which means that you admire it a lot. Essentially, the sin of idolatry is admiring anything more than God.

Most Christians ignore this one because it’s impossible to not do. Almost all your attention is on work, school, relationships, and whatever else is occupying your time. A lot of people would regard it as only important when something negative gets in the way of your relationship with God.

In recent times, it’s shifted to more of a “glorify God in everything that you do” idea. This works for most people, as you can fit God in your schedule and still make time for other things.

If you’re dedicating no time at all to God and rather filling that up with porn, then, of course, it’s an issue.

The church can be a place where you can find like-minded Christians, communicate with others, and enjoy life. Sacrificing that for porn is not healthy. You can find communities where you do similar things and it’s not only vital that you take time to build those bonds but also broaden your perspective.

Deceit

Lying is something most people do without thinking. When it comes to pornography, it’s something that is kept hidden. It isn’t healthy to live with guilt and shame. So when you replace real-life relationships with pornography and lie about it, it can’t be a good thing. God wouldn’t want you to live an unhealthy lifestyle.

There are quite a few verses on deceit, you can browse in your own time for those. We picked 1 Peter 2:1:

“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.”

The Bible is clear on this one, deceit is not a good thing. In most situations, lying to avoid conflict or to go out and commit sins is not healthy. Honesty and integrity are good principles to live by. They will also help you avoid a lot of situations that you would not end up in if you didn’t try to lie your way out of it.

So, Is Watching Pornography a Sin?

The concept of sin is an unhealthy addition to your life. As explained, it occupies your time, takes up your life, and prevents you from enjoying the positives life has to offer.

Pornography does all those things. So, of course, it is a sin. As much as all sins are forgiven, if you give your life to God, you should also work to improve on a personal level. In the end, God only wants the best for you and that is why sins exist.

A non-Christian Perspective

Everybody is not bound by the same rules. There are many reasons why non-Christians should not watch porn and some religions strictly forbid it. The existence of sins shouldn’t stop you from doing something. It should always be a decision that you make on your own.

Taking responsibility for your life, actions, and personhood is integral to a healthy lifestyle.

FAQ

Will I get sent to hell for watching Porn?

There are some branches of Christianity that believe you will. The main idea is that your sins will be forgiven if you give your life to Jesus, as he is the way to heaven. I wouldn’t be too concerned about that yet as going to hell should not be used to dissuade from watching porn. Your own strength of mind should be the driving force.

Is it a sin if I watch it with my partner?

If you’re finding loopholes to do something, you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. That being said, this question does depend on the relationship with your partner. As long as your partner is consenting, it is absolutely up to you what you do with them.

Is watching porn worse than other sins?

In the bible, it says that God hates all sins equally. It is impossible that watching pornography would be worse than any other sin. Jesus died for all sins. That doesn’t mean that you should commit sins freely, but that your sins will be forgiven if you repent.

Sumit is a chemical engineer and a motivational speaker. He is a regular contributor to MrMindBlowing.com.

Sumit


You may also like

How to Stop Masturbating

How to Stop Masturbating
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}