Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Sermon: Cyber-Sin

Cyber-SinThe internet is a tool that can be used for good or evil. There are many dangers in cyberspace, and as Christians we must beware!

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

In the News: A Profane Nation

Image I received an email a few days ago, from the Bible Questions website (biblequestions.org). They frequently send out examples of the questions and answers that are archived on the site. The question in this email was, “Why is profanity so common?”

I liked the answer given. First, it was noted that the frequency of public profanity has skyrocketed. One stat given was an 800% increase in frequency over earlier periods. Now, the survey date was not given, and the time frames were not clear, but it is obvious that profanity is heard more and more often in public. It is not only uttered by men, but also now by women and children.

Continue reading » In the News: A Profane Nation

In The News: Revealing Photos Are Becoming Passe?

inthenewsTwo decades after a nude photo scandal helped cost a Miss America her title, Americans may be adopting a more ho-hum attitude toward people who bare it all for the cameras.

Some experts say the Internet and more explicit TV are fostering a more relaxed response by Americans to public displays of bare flesh, even if many people profess to be more conservative.

Take, for example, the muted reaction to nude photos of 18-year-old Vanessa Hudgens, the star of Walt Disney Co.’s squeaky clean “High School Musical” franchise,

One day after the photos surfaced on the Web last Thursday, Hudgens issued an apology and family friendly Walt Disney Co. said it would continue negotiating her appearance in the third installment of the hugely popular series, one of the most popular programs in U.S. cable TV history.

While some expressed outrage, many fans pledged support on her MySpace page …

… Some lashed out at her critics.

“Quit moaning and if you have any kind of decent filtering on the computer, kids aren’t going to see it,” wrote one poster on a media blog Web site …

… It’s a far cry from the scandal in 1984 when Vanessa Williams, the first black woman named as Miss America, resigned after nude photos surfaced of her and another female model.
“I do think that general attitudes about nudity are becoming more relaxed, but these changes take time, which is why there’s still mixed responses,” said Paul Levinson, communication and media professor at Fordham University.

“We as a society are finally growing up and it’s a healthy thing,” he said.

Sex and nudity are also more prevalent on television, especially cable stations. Last week’s opening episode of the HBO drama “Tell Me You Love Me,” contained at least half-a-dozen sex acts.

Sue Zeidler, Reuters

Analysis:

Two peculiar things about this story. First, there is no outrage being heard about the 18 year old’s sexual relationship with her boyfriend. While some are upset that she took a nude photo of herself that, without her consent, became public; no one is condemning her for taking nude photographs of herself for her boyfriend, or maintaining a sexual relationship with him. Such has become so commonplace in our time that it no longer even raises questions in the mind of most.

Continue reading » In The News: Revealing Photos Are Becoming Passe?

In The News: Bible Spared “Indecent” Classification

inthenewsHONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s media regulator has rejected calls to reclassify the Bible as an indecent publication following more than 2,000 complaints about its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest.

“The Bible is a religious text which is part of civilization. It has been passed from generation to generation,” Hong Kong’s Television and Licensing Authority (TELA) said in a statement issued late Thursday.

It said it would not submit the Bible to the Obscene Articles Tribunal for classification.

The regulator received 2,041 complaints against the Bible this week, following an uproar over a sex column in a student magazine that was classified as “indecent” by authorities for asking if readers had ever fantasized about incest or bestiality.

A Web site launched soon afterwards campaigned to have the Bible similarly classified, citing passages with sexual and violent content it claimed went beyond that of the sex column.

But TELA said in its statement the Bible “had not violated standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable members of the community.”

Publications classified as indecent in Hong Kong can only be bought by people aged over 18 and must be sealed in a wrapper with a statutory warning notice.

Reuters, Friday, May 18, 2007

Analysis:

This is a typical attempt made by the ungodly to justify their lasciviousness and sin. The Bible has been called pornographic, violent and offensive. It is not. However, it records the lives and sins of those who are sometimes pornographic, violent and offensive.

The interesting thing to note is that while the Bible is plain in speech, it is never provocative, nor does it make prurient appeals and stoop to lurid speech or descriptions.

When sin is committed, sin is reported. When the sin is especially egregious and offensive, these things are noted while a righteous and appropriate tone is always present.

The “sex column” in the student magazine was intended to shock, and to appeal to the prurient nature of the young people who read it. Whether you agree with the censorship being practiced by the Hong Kong governmental agency, to claim the two are comparable is ridiculous, as rightly determined by the TELA statement.

Understand, the students did not really have an objection toward the Bible. They just wanted their truly objectionable material to be tolerated. This is the way of sinners. When they make objections, saying, “Well if this is so, then this is too…” (and doesn’t that sound familiar), their claims in no way justify their own actions. Put it this way, if indeed the Bible is pornographic… that doesn’t make their material acceptable! This is the logic of the devil and his minions.

In The News: HD DVD VS Blu-ray Disc

First there was the LP sized Laser Disc, then the VHS—Beta battle (won by VHS). Now we have DVD’s, and already released HD DVD’s and Sony’s Blue Ray discs, that will be fighting a battle for supremacy for the next few years.

There were a number of reasons why VHS systems won out over Betamax (despite the Betamax tapes being slightly superior in technical quality). But, one of the primary reasons is that the pornographic distributors chose VHS. It seems that SONY (the manufacturer of Betamax) did not want its product to be associated with pornography, and so pornographers went with the alternative.

“Quite famously in the war between Betamax and VHS the latter won especially because the adult industry preferred it.” (Aaron McKenna, TGDaily.com)

If you can believe it, it is probable that the same thing will happen again.

Continue reading » In The News: HD DVD VS Blu-ray Disc

In The News: Survey: Churchgoing Women Also Struggle With Porn Addiction

inthenewsResponses from a recent poll indicated that sexually addictive behaviors are not foreign inside churches, and a large number of women in the pews struggle with the same temptations as men, The Christian Post reports. According to a poll by ChristiaNet.com and Second Glance Ministries, half of all Christian men are addicted to pornography. That may be nothing new, but the poll found 20 percent of all Christian women to be addicts to pornography. Additional findings showed 60 percent of the female respondents admitted to having significant struggles with lust, 40 percent admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year, and 20 percent of the church-going female participants struggled with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.

Religion Today Summaries – Aug. 11, 2006
Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff
Crosswalk.com

Analysis:

The statistics mentioned above are of course, disturbing. “Half of all Christian men are addicted to pornography.” Of course, this article defines “Christian” rather loosely. It has reference to those in the denominational world, many of which are not only steeped in doctrinal error, but have also never renounced as immoral the lusts of the flesh. Having said that, only the naïve will claim that pornography is not a problem in the Lord’s church.

And now, we read that some women are struggling with the sin of lasciviousness as well. There are cultural reasons for this, as we are living in a society which has lost its respect for female modesty. Men have objectified women, and women have often contributed to the problem by parading themselves about in unseemly dress. One of the byproducts of such ungodliness is that more and more women have become sexually predatory and aggressive. Profanity, the objectification of men and promiscuity is common.

It seems that calling the woman the “fairer sex”, and seeking to protect the sensibilities of the female is no longer applicable in at least certain parts of our ungodly society. In the face of such crassness, the apostle Peter described the type of woman a Christian lady should be. Notice the difference: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:1-4).

Brethren, we live in a world where immorality is the rule rather than the exception. It is a challenge to keep ourselves pure, and we must maintain diligence to present ourselves acceptable to God in our time.

In The News: No More Navel Gazing in Church

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian priest is resorting to some innovative theology to rid his church of young women’s bare midriffs.

“God knew what your navel looked like even before you were born, so there is no need to expose it in church,” commands a sign at the entrance to the church in Cinisello Balsamo.

Guards at major churches in Italy routinely keep out people wearing skimpy attire. But Father Felice says he resorted to the signs because his parish cannot afford guards to keep out the low-cut jeans and high-cut tops, newspapers reported Monday.

Monday, 6/5/2006 Reuters

Analysis:

It is summer, and clothes are coming off… all over the world. It is to the point that people are not only willing to dress immodestly, but they are not hesitant to do so in places where it is offensive to others.

Continue reading » In The News: No More Navel Gazing in Church

Dutch Pedophiles to Launch Political Party

inthenewsDutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals.

The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party said on its Web site it would be officially registered Wednesday, proclaiming: “We are going to shake The Hague awake!”

The party said it wanted to cut the legal age for sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the limit altogether.

“A ban just makes children curious,” Ad van den Berg, one of the party’s founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.

“We want to make pedophilia the subject of discussion,” he said, adding that the subject had been a taboo since the 1996 Marc Dutroux child abuse scandal in neighboring Belgium. “We have been hushed up. The only way is through parliament.”

The Netherlands already has liberal policies on soft drugs, prostitution, and gay marriage, but the NVD is unlikely to win much support, the AD quoted experts as saying.

“They make out as if they want more rights for children. But their position that children should be allowed sexual contact from age 12 is of course just in their own interest,” anti-pedophile campaigner Ireen van Engelen told the daily.

The party said private possession of child pornography should be allowed although it favors banning the trade of such materials. The broadcast of pornography should be allowed on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening, according to the party.

Toddlers should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves. Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, the NVD said.

The party also said everybody should be allowed to go naked in public.

The party’s program also includes ideas for other areas of public policy including legalizing all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.

AMSTERDAM (Reuters)

Analysis:

It is a bit difficult to be shocked anymore when presented with examples of ungodliness and immorality in our world. I must confess, however, to being especially appalled at the reading of the preceding article. Pedophilia (sexual activity with children) has long had adherents (from ancient Greece until our day. But it seems pedophiles are becoming more vocal in the pressing of their peculiar agenda to be accepted by society.

One reason why such perverts are emboldened in their agenda to legalize such abominations is that a secular society has no sound foundation upon which to exclude any immoral activity. If God is not the arbiter in the questions regarding good and evil, who is? If men determine what is immoral and what is not, perhaps men will one day determine that pedophilia is wholesome and harmless. Farfetched? Hardly, as we see this is exactly what has been done with regard to homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia.

In the days of Noah we are told, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). It seems that the world in our day is looking more and more like that ancient world. God destroyed that world by water. One wonders whether God’s longsuffering is nearing its end with us as well! “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

Internet Pornography

The viewing of pornography, in the past, necessitated a bit of moxie on the part of the viewer. If one wanted to look at a magazine or other materials, he had to go to an “adult” establishment, or lay a magazine on the counter of the local convenience store, and risk being seen by someone he knew.

Of course, if a man was profane, this did not deter him. However, the danger of being “found out” precluded some Christians who might otherwise have been tempted to sin in this manner.

Continue reading » Internet Pornography

Proposed Porn Domain Nixed

inthenewsPlans for the proposed Internet domain .xxx, purely for pornography, have been dropped like a hot cake, just days before they were to receive approval.

Vint Cerf, chairman, ICANN, stunned an open meeting of the governmental advisory committee (GAC) in Vancouver, by announcing that the issue had been pulled-off the agenda of the upcoming ICANN Board meeting due to time-constraints. Cerf did not give any indication, as to when the issue was likely to be re-opened…

…The concept behind the .xxx domain, is to provide an area of the internet specifically and exclusively for pornography, that will be self-regulated.

Continue reading » Proposed Porn Domain Nixed

Yahoo Closes User Created Chat Rooms

inthenews

Yahoo!, the internet search giant and place for personal clubs as well as chat rooms, has closed down personal chat rooms in response to a report that some of the chat rooms were being used to promote sex with minors.

The report by KPRC-TV in Houston outraged companies such as PepsiCo Inc., State Farm Insurance, and Georgia-Pacific Corp., and they quickly removed their advertising from Yahoo in protest.

“We were thoroughly appalled when we were told that our ads were appearing on those sites,” State Farm spokesman Phil Supple said. “We took immediate action to see that they were withdrawn.”

That means – no more personal chat rooms on Yahoo. And any of the chat rooms previously created by users have now been removed. Yahoo will still allow users to chat on the company’s existing rooms, which cover mainstream subjects such as “American Idol” and Web design…

…Yahoo feigning ignorance is like taking your mom to see Andrew Dice Clay, and not knowing she might be offended. This type of problem has been going on for years on the web.

AOL, several years before it’s merger with Time Warner, also had similar problems. People would create hidden chat rooms with “code names” that were widely known by those seeking pornography. All one needed to do was type in the proper name and away you went into the vast dark world of internet porn swapping and cyber sexual experiences.

Sex sells, even deviant sexual desire. And companies like the Yahoo’s and AOL’s of the world seek to capitalize on the enormous traffic numbers involved in these activities. Sure they claim ignorance, but in reality they simply turn a blind eye untill something happens that forces them to take some sort of action.

The National LedgerM. Centanni

Analysis:

The analysis by M. Centanni of the actions of Yahoo is certainly on the mark. Such internet companies will not police themselves, and it is important for each of us to be aware of the evil which exists on the internet.

Fortunately, tools exist which all parents to protect their children. Many of the sites under consideration voluntarily offer filtering to block what is commonly called “adult” themed material.

Further, programs exist which do a good job of protecting browsers from unsavory material. They are relatively inexpensive, and are worth considering if you have children. Of course, parental supervision is most important.

“Fathers… bring [your children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).