Porn and the smartphone: parents should be freaking out
In a May 2 piece in the American Conservative, journalist Rod Dreher said that when he goes to speak at Christian colleges, the professors, staffers and campus ministers he’s talks with tell him that “pornography is a massive problem.” How massive?
“A campus minister who works with young undergraduates headed for professional ministry told me that every single one of the men he mentors has a porn addiction. Every. Single. One.”
Parents who grew up with the Internet might think they understand the temptation their kids face. But this, the smartphone generation, is facing something new. While their parents could put their desktop computer in a public place, our children now have a portal, in their jeans pockets, that allows them access to porn everywhere and always.
Dreher’s solution? It’s not as simple as any one thing. But he doesn’t like smartphones.
What concerns me most of all right now is the horrifying complicity of conservative, even conservative Christian, parents in the spiritual, moral, and emotional ruin of their children and of their moral ecology because they, the parents, are too…afraid to say no, my kids will not have a smartphone, I don’t care what they and society think of me.
Now Dreher isn’t advocating an anti-technology lifestyle. He knows we can’t just bubble-wrap our kids and ban them from the Internet for the first 18 years of their life. If we did, then, when they move out and get their first smartphone, it won’t be much better for them than if we just handed one to them at age 10.
So no bubble-wrap, and no technology bans. But we also shouldn’t hand our children tools without first figuring out if they have the character and knowledge to use them properly. We wouldn’t hand our son or daughter a chainsaw without some lessons and precautions and it isn’t hyperbole to say we should be much more cautious about handing them a smartphone. After all, the chainsaw can only hurt or kill them; pornography can enslave them.
To conclude his piece Dreher shared a conversation he had with a two readers who lead a Christian school. He told these men about how, in the article he was writing, he wanted to help parents understand just how “serious this situation is regarding kids, porn and smartphones” but that he didn’t “want to freak them out.”
“Freak them out,” he was told, “They need to be freaked out.”
Brad Trost's missed opportunity is ours too
Conservative Party leadership candidate Brad Trost caught some heat recently, from the party's interim leader Rona Ambrose, after he sent out an email...
Still want to win the lottery?
“The next Lotto 6/49 jackpot is an estimated 16 million dollars.” When you hear something like that, the temptation is to imagine how that sum could solve all your problems. The temptation is to disregard God’s Word in passages like 1 Timothy 6:9-10: But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. It’s taught in God’s Word, but even some unbelievers come close to recognizing its truth. Ask Jane Park. This Scottish young woman won $1.6 million in the EuroMillions lottery in 2013 – when she was just 17 years old. Today she’s 21 and says it ruined her life. The shopping and spending quickly got old. She says, “I have material things, but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?” Moreover, she claims to be desperately lonely. Any time a man shows interest in her, she can’t be sure whether it’s her he’s after or just her money. Strangely, she blames her problems on the lottery itself and the fact that British law allows a 17-year-old to win when, if they do win, they will not be capable of handling it. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus described the seed sown among the thorns as those who hear the word, “but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for other things enter in and choke out the word…” (Mark 4:19). Jesus said that riches lie to us, and those lies make the hearing of God’s Word unfruitful for us. Riches lie – for example, telling us that we will be happier if we just have a little more. The problem is when we believe the lie. Instead, we should listen to God’s truth. It’s like the Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs put it: “Contentment does not come from addition, but from subtraction. Contentment comes from subtracting our sinful desires for more.” You see, the problem is not really the lottery, but the sinful, covetous desires of the human heart. Sadly, Jane Park doesn’t get that. Do you?...
Media bias, News
Now YOU are the media
What do you think the public needs to read, hear, and see? If you had your own media outlet what sort of news would you pass on to the public? Don’t mistake this for a hypothetical question. You do own a media outlet – we all do. In an age of Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, we are publishers, one and all, with each of us serving up the news to anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred followers and friends via our social media feeds. Now, some of those are close friends and family who think just like you do. But you also have some college friends, or neighbors, or even family members who most definitely do not share your way of thinking. And their only exposure to your perspective – to a biblical perspective – might well be your social media feed. So what do you want to share with them? What do you think they most need to hear? Another cute cat video? Pictures from your latest camping trip? Those might be appreciated. Those have their place. But your media outlet can share so much more. Remember that teammate from your high school volleyball squad, the one who now says there is no God? What if you included a video highlighting some of God’s creative genius on your social media feed? And how about that co-worker who asked to be your Facebook friend, and who seems to have no interest in talking about God? What if you could deliver them some well-thought out, well-written articles about how the world only makes sense when viewed through biblical lenses? Maybe they’ll see your posts. Maybe they’ll read them. But even if they don’t, by regularly sharing God-honoring articles and videos you can have an enormous impact on how many others will see this material. You know how Facebook works – the more Likes or Shares an article gets, the greater the number of people who will have that article show up on their own Facebook page feed. The fact is, while all of us are now media outlet, together we can be even bigger – we can challenge the media empires by highlighting and sharing content we want our friends, neighbors and family to see. This is one of the reasons why, a couple months back, Reformed Perspective decided to make a big change. We still publish a print magazine, but now we're also publishing 5-days-a-week-250-times-a-year online. The only restrictions on how many we can impact are the excellence of our articles and how many others are eager to share them with others. It doesn't matter how good our content is, if other media outlets – if you – aren't willing to share it. To give you an idea of the type of influence just a few people can have online, when just a half dozen people "Share" one of our articles from RP's Facebook page, the number of other people who read it that day will jump from mere dozens to hundreds – a dozen Shares and the article will likely be read by thousands. Facebook "Likes" and comments also help an article reach more, but a single Share seems to have the impact of at least 10 Likes – Facebook knows that when you share something you think it really is good, and they boost it based on your enthusiasm. Of course RP is just one small corner of the Internet – there are many other great resources to highlight too. But whether it’s sharing RP materials, or sharing a great article from DesiringGod.org, AnswersInGenesis.org, OneChristianDad.com, or Challies.com, we all need to embrace our roles as media outlets. Social media has given us this opportunity and we need to seize it for all it’s worth!...
How should Christians celebrate the good Donald Trump has done?
Within the first two weeks of being inaugurated, President Donald Trump has: Signed off on the “Mexico City Policy” which bans federal funds from going to any groups that facilitate abortions overseas. Questioned the mainstream media as to why they don’t cover the annual, and massive, March for Life, which then embarrassed them into covering it this year Sent his Vice President to speak at the March for Life, who also, the night before, hosted a reception for 40 pro-lifers leaders in the White House. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, also spoke at the March where she declared the right to life “is a right, it is not a privilege, it’s not a choice. It is God-given.” Tweeted The #MarchForLife is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support! Nominated a Supreme Court justice that seems truly conservative (the judge, Neils Gorsuch, co-authored a book on euthanasia in which he wrote “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”) So what are Christians to make of the new President of the United States? This is night and day from what we could have expected with a President Hilary Clinton! And yet this is the same man who has show himself to be: Petty – a favorite pastime is coming up with silly insulting names for his opponents, like “Lyin Ted” and “Little Marco” Vulgar – with appearances in Playboy, and on the Howard Stern show, and a recording of him talking about sexually assaulting women A proud adulterer – in his autobiography he brags about the married women he has bedded So can we celebrate the good he does? Or is that, in the eyes of the world, going to too closely align us with him, and mar our Christian witness when he ends up doing something petty, vulgar, or faithless? To know how to act we need to recognize Trump for who he is. As Pastor Douglas Wilson has noted, the best biblical comparison is Jehu (2 Kings 9-10) who was used by God to punish Jezebel and Ahab’s house: was an instrument in the hand of God…At the same time, all was not entirely well. “But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin – that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and Dan (2 Kings 10:29).” In the same way, Donald Trump, in these actions for the unborn, has most certainly been an instrument of the Lord. But that doesn’t mean he is a follower. It doesn’t mean we have to go all in for him. Pastor Wilson writes: Political factions want everything to be a simple binary choice on the human level. You either are all in for Jezebel or all in for Jehu. What Scripture invites us to is qualified support, or perhaps qualified disapproval. So and so was a good king, but did not remove the high places. Jehu removed much that needed to be removed, but God brought judgment on him later because he did not do all that needed to be done. Our foundational allegiance is to God and His ways, and is not to be wholly given over to any man. There has been a lot to celebrate in the opening two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, so celebrate we should. But rather than focus on the man, let’s focus on what God has done through this man. When we give God the glory, no one will be confused about where our loyalties lie....
Conscience protection – maybe now the Left will understand
Normally it can be quiet a coup to design a dress for the US First Lady, but in the weeks leading up to the inauguration designer Sophie Theallet, who had previously dress Michelle Obama asked her fellow designers to boycott the next First Lady, Melania Trump. Theallet issued a open letter on Twitter in which she said: I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by. I encourage my fellow designers to do the same. Other designers, including Marc Jacobs joined her boycott. Most media outlets reported these boycotts either without commentary, or with a generally positive slant. And any who believe in freedom of conscience should support their right to deny their services for this political event. They oppose Trump, and so they don’t want to have any role in making him, or his wife, look good. Finally, something we can agree on – no one should be forced against their conscience to participate in something they think is evil. But now the Left has to remember to treat others as it wants to be treated. If designers shouldn’t be forced into into participating in Donald Trump’s inauguration, then Christian bakers shouldn’t have to violate their consciences, and participate in same-sex weddings they oppose....
The push for boys to get HPV vaccination hits BC
Grade 6 student Nelson Roy thought it just wasn’t right that girls in his Vancouver school were getting the HPV vaccine for free, and the boys were ...
It's getting shorter and shorter – the way Christians used to misquote this passage was: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ...
Culture Clashes, News
ESPN.com Embraces Nudity
Sports Illustrated has been featuring near nudity in their swimsuit edition for years now. Pictures from that annual issue were also featured promine...