- SOCIETY & LIFESTYLES
Modern media and the Internet have changed society. But is it for the better? What have they added to society—and what have they degraded? Much more is done “behind closed doors”—with these “subcultures” pushing the envelope of decency and morality. What is their cause? What are their effects? And what will be the final solution to these seemingly unsolvable problems?
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If you have been reading this series from the beginning, you have seen the evidence showing how immorality plagues society. You have seen the rampant lack of morality or even the concept of what it is. Schools have given up in the battle to properly teach children how they should act—and many parents have also dropped the baton. If you have not read the previous parts in this series, we recommend that you do so to put into context what we will cover here.
Throughout this series, we have shown that tolerance is the crux of youth education. This has caused them to grow up accepting and tolerating most any form of conduct. But there are more sources for the rampant immorality in our society.
A business of immorality has developed, growing into one of the most successful “entertainment” industries ever seen. Always innovating and grasping new forms of technology, this business has reached into modern media. Scanning television channels would uncover many that exist strictly for pornography. The Internet is also no stranger to perverse sexuality. Anyone with email access knows of the constant bombardment of explicit advertising asking them to visit this or that website. Thousands upon thousands of websites indulge in every perverse action imaginable.
Yet it is not limited to just the Internet and media. Many people are coming together in “understanding” and “tolerance” like never before. Those who share these immoral interests are creating subcultures and forums that allow them to indulge their fantasies. And, as explained in Part II, the thrill of the forbidden is short-lived, leading great numbers to engage in increasingly more forbidden activities to maintain that thrill.
And so sits civilization today—dark, confused and perverted. As it begins to crumble, it will give way to a solution just over the horizon—one that will change the way the world seeks pleasures and fulfillment. The law of cause and effect will be universally understood. This cause is near—and the effect will be peace, happiness, fulfillment and joy to everyone around the world.
A proper understanding of sex will also come with this cause. This article will show you the cause, the solutions and what you can do today to help you experience that cause 1,000 years before many—even most—will even know it has arrived.
But to truly understand how great this soon-coming society will be, we must first examine the world in which we currently find ourselves.
Modern society has every imaginable convenience. Information is at our fingertips—at the click of a button. Media and the Internet drive this information surge. The Internet has changed communication. It has allowed millions from all around the world to keep in contact—and make contacts—unlike any time in history. But these amazing achievements cast a dark shadow.
This technology has spawned the Information Age, but, as this series has shown, not all information is good. Like most forms of technology, the Internet is neither good nor bad. It is simply a tool that can be used for good or bad.
Many things can be considered “good,” such as families scattered around the world communicating for virtually no cost via email. Researching a subject is made incredibly easy, yet thorough, with this great tool. You can follow news and events from around the world as they happen!
It is exciting to see how this medium provides mass information. But all that information has its downside. The instant access to news and communication also allows instant access to negative—even immoral—forms of information. With little investigation, you can indulge any perverse desire. There are now websites that focus on even the most extreme of perversions.
Often, such websites allow others of similar interest to discuss their lusts. This creates an atmosphere of acceptance and validation for such people and propels them even further down the slippery slope of immorality.
But you may wonder, “Just how big is pornography on the Internet? Is it as bad as the media portrays?”
Surprisingly, it is far worse than the media portrays!
Every day, nearly 1,000 new pornography websites appear! Of course, many go out of business, but many more appear than disappear. And why are so many appearing? Why would organizations and corporations start a thousand such websites a day?
Because there is a demand for them—money is to be made for supplying this kind of content.
This is not a new phenomenon. Even in the early 1990s, pornography was a budding business on this then largely unknown medium.
Some even assert that pornography was the Internet’s first big business venture—that it helped drive the Internet economy in those early years. Even today, studies show that file-sharing systems are used primarily for pornography.
You may remember the Napster service that gained media attention in the late 1990s. It allowed users from around the world to share music, bypassing the need to purchase it. Napster has come and gone, but other similar services have appeared in its wake. These services have gone beyond allowing just music to be shared, but also movies, software, images and more.
Studies show that 6% of all the searches on these systems were for some form of child pornography, with a full one-fourth of these directly looking for pornographic images of children. A shocking 73% of all movie searches were for pornography!
But, considering the large number of youth utilizing the Internet, is this any surprise? Imagine if you put a teenage boy in a house with many rooms and tell him that, in each room, different types of sexual acts are taking place, and that all he need do is open the door to see them. Do you think he wouldn’t look? What if you extended the analogy to be more like the Internet, where one does not even have to open the door? He can view what is happening in these rooms as if he were watching television. Tell him no one will know he is watching and that all he has to do is turn a dial to view what is happening in these rooms.
Does anyone actually believe that this teenage boy would be able to resist? Of course not! Statistics prove this: “According to Net Value, children spent 64.9 percent more time on pornography sites than they did on game sites in September 2000. Over one quarter (27.5%) of children age 17 and under visited an adult web site, which represents 3 million unique underage visitors. Of these minors, 21.2 percent were 14 or younger and 40.2 percent were female” (“The Net Value Report on Minors Online…” Business Wire, Dec. 19, 2000).
“Nearly a third (31%) of kids age 10-17 from households with computers (24% of all kids 10-17) say they have seen a pornographic web site” (“Survey Shows Widespread Enthusiasm for High Technology,” NPR Online, 1999).
But viewing pornography is only one facet of the Internet. There is a much more dangerous aspect, one that allows people with similar interests to find validation. There are those on the Internet who seek out such teenagers.
There are many “man-boy” love organizations that have an Internet presence and encourage, empower and promote individuals to commit illegal acts. They use this tool to seek victims and have been very successful in their activities: “Based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,501 youth ages 10 to 17 who use the Internet regularly, approximately one in five received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet in the last year. One in thirty-three received an aggressive sexual solicitation—a solicitor who asked to meet them somewhere; called them on the telephone; sent them regular mail, money or gifts. One in four had an unwanted exposure to pictures of naked people or people having sex in the last year” (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, June 2000).
It was recently reported that such a perpetrator attacked and raped a young boy because of the encouragement he received from one of these online forums. When people are involved in such perversions, their minds are already twisted. The only thing they lack is support from others wanting to live vicariously through these more aggressive individuals.
The Internet empowers this!
How much new life has the Internet shot into pedophiliac pornography? “Child Pornography was pretty much eradicated in the 1980s. With the advent of the Internet, it exploded” (“The Web’s Dark Secret,” Newsweek, March 19, 2001). And that was two years ago. Since then, cases have more than doubled yearly.
But like we have said, the Internet is simply a form of technology. It is neither good nor bad. But who can control this? Who can control such an amazing technology, that it only be used in a good way? Can organizations? Can governments?
A government is coming that can—but its time has not yet arrived, and the world still wanders blindly.
As we have seen, the Internet is a driving force behind pornography and vice-versa. But pornography existed long before the Internet came on the scene. Interestingly, if you look back over time, you will see that pornographers have often been the first to embrace new technologies. Human nature is always looking for new ways to “express itself”—and corrupt others. People have always sought ways to indulge their lusts, yet maintain privacy—secrecy. This is one reason the Internet grew into such an effective tool for pornographers. It has even been said that the VCR became mainstream because the availability of pornography drove its sales.
One must ask: Why do so many feel that they can continue with all kinds of sexual exploits as long as they keep them secret?
Could it be that people know what they are doing is wrong? Do they know they are not helping their development or improving themselves? While such thoughts may not be conscious, this is the reason why any wrong act is done in secret—“in the dark.” Of course, whether it is theft, deceit or lust—people tend to hide their wrong acts.
Notice: “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). People hide their actions because they are wrong. But this is not the answer the average person would offer. They would speak of privacy and personal choice. They might even chide the questioner for being “old-fashioned,” “out of step” or “prudish.”
Our society has grown into a culture that craves and encourages instant gratification. Look around! You will see the wonders and comforts that promote this—television, email, telephones, microwaves, etc. So many things are done with the short-term in mind. Few consider the long-term consequences of their actions. It is much the same with pornography. Indulging short-term pleasures can result in long-term problems. How would a wife feel if her husband turned to pornography instead of to her? Would it develop the bond of their relationship? Is lusting after a virtual stranger fulfilling—or is it just a short-term indulgence?
While seemingly harmless, pornography taints your expectations, ultimately desensitizing you to what is normal and balanced. The more you surrender to these desires and lusts, the more they will control your thinking. When you focus on yourself, you will be the center of your attention. In marriage—and in life—you should direct that focus on others!
Imagine a society in which everyone else looked out for each other. Even selfishly, it would be in one’s best interest to act this way. If those around you are completely self-centered, then each person only has one person looking out for him—himself! But, if everyone were looking out for everyone else, then thousands, millions, even billions of people would be looking out for your best interests. How sad that the world does not see this! Instead, most people focus on themselves, seeking self-gratification and—in the case of pornography—self-destruction!
Most do not realize that the pornography industry dwarfs Hollywood: “Annual rentals and sales of adult videos and DVDs top $4 billion, and the industry churns out 11,000 titles each year—more than 20 times as many as Hollywood, according to Adult Video News, an adult industry trade magazine” (Los Angeles Times Magazine, Jan. 6, 2002).
We have already seen that, once you open the door to perversions, it is very difficult to close. More often than not, what was originally enticing and exciting will become drab and boring—that is, until you find something more extreme! Nowhere is this more obvious than in the modern media.
Television has been called the window into our society. It truly shows the “state of affairs.” As mentioned in Part II, there was a time when society reflected television. It was the stimulus for change in society. Popular culture once reflected what was seen on television—and so did morality. The early years of television saw programs such as Leave it To Beaver and The Donna Reed Show. These programs represented wholesome families, and were good examples for the viewing audience.
But, like so many things in our culture, human nature prevailed. Competition frayed the moral direction of producers. What “sells” became more important than what effect their programs would have.
We have seen this go even farther today. Society no longer reflects television on important moral issues. Society is now regressing at a faster rate than even this popular medium can sustain.
Many have heard the saying, “Sex sells,” and nowhere is this truer than on television. Programs for teens and adolescents feature overtly sexual messages, their characters dressed in the skimpiest of clothing. These characters are lacking more than just morality. These “role models” disrespect their parents, fight with authority figures and have a general disregard for the adult population, which is often portrayed as “lacking understanding” or “uncool.”
And these are just the programs for teens!
The newest phenomenon is “reality television”—basically voyeurism. These programs place “normal” people into various situations. The audience laughs at their mistakes or lives vicariously through their achievements. While this started with a show that put a group of adults on an island to see if they could “survive,” it has degraded into something far worse.
Programs like Married by America, Temptation Island, The Real World, Are You Hot? and Cheaters are just a small sample of what “reality” television is becoming. Even the name of this genre speaks volumes for the state of the world. While what happens on these shows is not reality for most, how long before it is?
And this is just television! It is considered tame in the entertainment industry. The movies produced by Hollywood would make your average television producer blush.
A movie with a good storyline that does not contain numerous sexual references or violence is rare. Even children’s movies contain such references to keep adults entertained.
How sad that Hollywood feels that older children are not aware of these undertones and the consequences they can bring.
Another aspect of this popular media is fashion. While not truly a form of media, fashion is usually the one most often imitated by the general population. As we have seen in this series, children are having difficulty finding clothing that actually covers their bodies. It is too tight, too short—and too revealing. The fashion industry, promoted by television and movies, has created this dilemma.
Award shows, the ultimate marriage of television, movies and fashion, are truly “unreality” programming. The “rich and famous” parade in shockingly short, revealing or plain inappropriate dresses. When winning awards, they spout some sort of extreme—yet “tolerant”—viewpoint.
The entertainment industry creates a false reality—a fantasy world—for those who look to its moguls as idols, mimicking the dress, style and blatant immorality that they endorse. Where is the entertainment in that?
As we have seen, the concept of marriage has degraded substantially from its original purpose. Many today look at marriage as nothing more than a “tax break,” “convenience” or simply “what’s best for the kids.”
Such attitudes have caused many to remove what they would call the “restrictions of monogamy” and practice a shocking, new—and growing—lifestyle.
Across many nations, married couples are visiting swinging clubs. Such clubs allow couples to trade partners with other couples. Often, no concept of whom those partners are—or where they have been—even enters the equation. Group activities are indulged and human desires tantalized. Could you imagine any relationship where such activities take place, and retain any form of trust—or at the very least a lack of jealousy?
You may think that such clubs are rare or are hidden in the back alleys. But across this country, the “swinging” lifestyle is rapidly growing in popularity. In 2000, a study showed that up to 2% of the adult population in the United States was involved in this lifestyle. While it may not seem like a large percentage, this constitutes over 3,000,000 adults!
Notice the following quotes from within this “community”:
“The number of parallels between the modern swing community and the modern BDSM/leather community is truly remarkable.
“A 1985 study of over 400 swingers found its subjects ‘significantly more liberal than a control group of nonswingers on items dealing with areas such as divorce, premarital sex, pornography, homosexuality, and abortion.’
“In 1984, Dr. Joan Dixon published some fascinating research on female bisexuality within the swing community. Summarizing: She noted that the prevalence of sexual activity between females in the swing community is extraordinarily high. She assembled (apparently without difficulty) a sample of 50 women for her study, all of whom had their first experience with female-female sex in the swing community after age 30, and none of whom even fantasized about women before these first experiences” (Society for Human Sexuality, Community Profiles: Swinging).
What sort of example do parents involved in this lifestyle create for their children? One that may encourage their children to involve themselves in the same perversity. Children are like moldable clay. By teaching and by example, parents lay the foundation on which children will grow into adults.
Notice this wise statement from the book of Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (22:6). This applies to both good and bad examples!
The swinging culture is creating an entire generation interested in the extremes of “premarital sex, pornography, homosexuality, and abortion.” Its result will surely not be a positive one.
While many of the topics covered in this series are immoral, society generally accepts them. Homosexuality is accepted on a large scale, as are many of the other perversions that we have covered. But there are still many more extremes, subcultures and various perversions running rampant in society.
While many fall under the classification of being too lewd to discuss (Eph. 5:12), some are so widespread that they need to be examined.
One such perversion is bestiality. This is the embrace of the rawest aspect of carnal nature. Gone is any form of decency or self-respect. The only focus on such an action is sick, perverse self-gratification. This has been such a large problem throughout time that God, in His Word, addressed it.
Notice: “Neither shall you lie with any beast to defile yourself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion [Hebrew: unnatural].” (Lev. 18:23).
Not much needs to be said about bestiality or even should be. But it should be noted that such perversions, although starting out with little more in mind than a “cheap thrill,” always lead to something much darker, just as a drug addict gets into heavier and heavier drugs with time. The God of the universe understands that any sin will lead a person into others (Jms. 2:10).
There are many other extremes far too perverse, twisted and immoral to mention. Almost everything in this society has been turned into a sexual object for fascination. But always remember that when sin is entertained, it will grow progressively worse over time, reaching even to the point that such things as bestiality become an option.
The state the world has gotten itself into should not be a surprise. It has been developing for millennia. But would you believe that it was foretold thousands of years ago that immorality would reach its current state?
One-third of the Bible is prophecy—the future written in advance. Most of those prophecies describe our time. This includes many describing the state of the world just before the end of the age.
Today’s filth, lust, perversion, sickness and immorality were foretold long ago in God’s Word.
Notice: “…In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…disobedient to parents…Without natural affection…despisers of those that are good…lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts…” (II Tim. 3:1-4, 6).
Look around you. Such conditions are epidemic in our society. Most actions involve some form of adultery, fornication, seeking pleasure at any cost, homosexuality or unruly conduct. The Bible speaks often about how those who live in the “now”—never looking ahead to see the consequences their actions—will end up.
Of course, everyone knows the account of Sodom and Gomorrah. God destroyed these cities because everyone had become involved in perversions—especially homosexuality. But God compares our time now to those lost cities (Luke 17:30). Society is quickly reaching the same level of conduct that required God to utterly destroy the thousands living there!
Understand! God cannot continue to tolerate—or allow—such actions. Sin of any sort leads to unhappiness, depression and eventually death! But God has a solution! He does have an answer for all those who seek it.
But has society gone too far? Are we able to turn back the clock? Is it still possible to purge from our culture the unbridled immorality around us? Of course, it is possible. But ask yourself: Is it likely? Will modern society, as a whole, remove sex from advertising? Will the fashion industry stop selling suggestive clothing to children and teens? Will children stop learning how to perform sex acts in grade school? Will today’s sex education ever help children understand what makes them female or male—instead of confusing them? Will they be taught that sex is something that can be fulfilling, if it is within the vows of marriage?
Will the Internet purge the hundreds of thousands of pornography forums and websites? Will the adult entertainment industry close its doors and choose a better, more productive profession?
Will people stop committing adultery—either without their partners’ knowledge, or in swinging-type relationships? Will homosexuals and pedophiles turn from their vile ways, and embrace proper adult heterosexual relationships?
Do you believe that even ONE of these questions will be answered with a “Yes”?
Saying “No” does not mean that all hope is lost for humanity. There is coming a system that will change everything! Literally, everything that is wrong with our society will be corrected. You can be part of that coming society. Just because the world around you will not choose what is right, it does not mean you must follow.
The Bible teaches that we have reached the end of 6,000 years of man’s rule. God gave Adam and Eve a choice—a way that would have led to peace and happiness, or their own way—their own rule.
Obviously, the latter was chosen. Did you know that the first concept of immoral acts immediately followed that choice? After making this choice, the “eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). Why did they cover themselves? Because they were ashamed!
Since that fateful choice, the world has been ashamed, yet enticed, by sexuality. But 6,000 years of man’s misrule is ending. Very soon, the world is going to be shown its mistakes and wrong choices for what they are, and given a chance to reject the ways that lead to immorality and unhappiness.
That age will dawn when Jesus Christ returns to earth. He will lead the government—alluded to throughout this article—that will create this change. The changes it implements will make people truly happy. They will have no choice but to give up their ways, which create confusion and unhappiness, and will literally be forced to choose happiness! How ironic that the world will need to be pushed into happiness and fulfillment.
This government will teach all nations what marriage means. It will show them that the devil has been the force behind sexual immorality—the root of their lusts. He will be put away, unable to influence humanity any longer. When the easy temptation to commit immoral acts is gone, people will be able to unlearn them. This exciting future lies before humanity. This is the hope that will come when the sickness that exists today will be put away.
Here is how the Bible describes the ultimate destination for humanity—the new heaven and new earth: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4).
Happiness, prosperity, joy and the right, wholesome understanding of morality will encompass the entire earth!
Lust causes much more than just sexual problems. It does more than break up marriages, destroy families and corrupt children.
Even war is caused by lust! Notice: “From where come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts…?” (Jms. 4:1).
Lust is a dangerous aspect of human nature. Throughout history, more people have died from wars than any other man-inspired event. The Word of God commands that we flee from lusts—that instead of “entertaining” wrong desires, we must put them out of our minds. Otherwise, they will turn into deed. You may not have realized it, but when you begin to entertain an idea, you are actually planning to act on it.
Ask yourself: “Have I ever done anything without first thinking about it?” Of course not! You always think about an action before it happens. And when it comes to lusts, it is inevitable that your thoughts will be followed by actions: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” (Jms. 1:14-15).
One simply cannot toy with human nature and expect to control it. You cannot find happiness in things that need to be hidden—of which you feel ashamed.
What you consider innocent will eventually cause more trouble than you now understand. The Bible uses the analogy of comparing sin—one of which is lust—to the yeast in bread.
These inappropriate thoughts often start small, like leaven—perhaps even just a pinch. But they will quickly expand and grow, taking over and spreading to encompass your life. Like leaven, sin grows. It starts small and innocent—even just a thought—but it quickly becomes an action. And that action stirs more thoughts—which create more actions. And soon, you are no longer controlling your lusts. They are controlling you.
You can be a part of the coming government of God, which will change this world and create the utopian paradise for which many hope.
The facts of this explosion of immorality now sit in your hands. You are able to make a wise and in-depth choice in your life. The only question left is whether you choose to be led into unhappiness and depression, or whether you break those chains and choose happiness, joy and peace. The choice is yours to make.