In Christianity, the devil is known as Satan and, like the type in Islam, Shaytan, is also believed to have rebelled against God.
- Macro Elephant
In Judaism, Satan is a verb which refers to a difficulty or temptation to overcome instead of a literal being. In Buddhism, Maara is the demon that tempted Buddha away from his path of enlightenment.
The commonality of evil influence across the people of the world is hidden in plain sight, but can be seen if individuals remain vigilant and adhere to the religious principles and teachings of self-control and regulation requiring believers to actively work towards restraint of their desires, even though they still exist and rise up in their minds and hearts.
The Immoral Influence of Media
Lustful thoughts emerge from our hearts and minds but our instincts and religious beliefs determine whether we decide to continue dwelling and imagining how those desires might play out or whether we dispel them to focus on other things. As a consequence of the ever increasing access to information and imagery through television, movies, the internet and social media, an increasing number of people are developing corrupted minds with evil and morally degraded desires that are often played out and fulfilled in their actions.
Sex has become the primary media tool, communicating endless depictions of supposedly harmless casual gratification, fornication and adultery. News stories often use sexual innuendo and imagery by focussing camera stills and zooms on men’s abdominal muscles, women’s short skirts, backsides and cleavage, because media producers are well aware that viewer’s eyes are drawn to sexual or suggestive images and audiences are more likely to continue watching if their innate desires are being continuously fed.
Nudity is becoming more prevalent on all types of media, as providers strive to compete with cable, satellite and on-line content such as you-tube. Sex is glorified in such graphic detail that it no longer shocks or disturbs viewers, so it leaves viewers motivated to try alternatives. The psychological impact to the viewers, through repetitive immoral messaging is that they subconsciously transition their thoughts & behaviours to emulate these desires and actions in their daily lives.
The introduction of shows such as Survivor, The Mole, Big Brother, Fear Factor, The Bachelor, Married At First Sight, Bride & Prejudice, Dating Naked, Seven Year Switch and Love Island contain sex, violence, offensive language, competition, scheming, backstabbing, plotting, humiliation, fear and bullying. Television producers insist that these shows appear to fulfil viewers’ ‘needs for voyeurism’ and to live vicariously through the behaviours of others, but in ‘reality’ it is subtle deception designed to continuously feed morally degraded desires, created by the media.
Sexual messaging across mediums promote the physical pleasures of sex and downplay any element of commitment or responsibility. Premarital and extramarital sexual relations are depicted as exciting, and generally without negative consequences all in the name of entertainment that abounds with the pursuit of pleasure and sensual self-indulgence which has over many decades impacted the decline in adherence to moral principles and values.
In Australia, television stations 2, 7, 9, 10 and SBS are to be held accountable for playing their part in the Moral Degradation of our Society in line with Satan’s destructive influence. “The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The Apostle Paul prophesied moral degradation in our society nearly 2,000 years ago when he wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men, women and children shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Sounds familiar? Now let’s consider social media such as Face Book, Instagram, Snap Chat and others, where users post:
Pictures of themselves …“lovers of their own selves”…
Brag about what they’re doing or what they’ve done …“boasters…”
Satisfaction with their achievements “proud”…
Bully statements …“false accusers”… “fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors”…
Open commentary …“incontinent, heady high minded
Self-obsessed … “lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God”…
Advent of the Sexual Revolution
In Westernised nations, long-held traditions about sexuality, marriage and preparing young people for family life have been severely challenged over the past 60 years. Teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, psychological and social consequences were not major public concerns until the late 1960s, when a radical shift in attitudes and behaviour began to emerge. That tide of change, the Sexual Revolution, went on to influence the moral climate in many parts of the world, and the current prevalence of sexual imagery and language in popular culture continues to promote a permissive attitude towards sexual behaviour.
Since the 1900’s, varying neurologists and psychoanalysts espoused an ideology of sexual permissiveness, cultivating the notion that sex drive is the strongest motive, and that sexual repression was the source of mental illness. These ideas fuelled opposition to self-restraint of sexual desires, claiming it as unhealthy and as a consequence, major shifts in attitudes, behaviour, and regulations about sexuality have since emerged.
The abandonment of traditional constraints on sexual behaviour gave birth to the terms ‘free love’ and ‘free sex’.
The underlying pretext was that greater sexual freedom would lead to greater happiness. In contrast, the sexual revolution has brought about a tsunami of damaging social, psychological and health contagions. Emotional scars resulting from uncommitted sexual relationships precipitate anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, divorce, abortion and higher incidences of sexually transmitted diseases.
Under the guise of ‘progress’ the long held standards of purity and faithfulness continue to dissipate.
The Spiral of Consequences
Teenagers are emotionally and psychologically unprepared for sexual relationships as they are generally self-indulgent, unable to delay gratification, likely to have short-term relationships and are unable to make wise decisions. Girls who become pregnant are likely to leave school, limiting their potential for educational advancement and economic security.
Among sexually active girls aged 12 to 16, there are six times as many attempted suicides as among virgin girls of the same age range. They are 18 times more likely to leave home prematurely, 9 times more likely to be arrested by the police, 5 times more likely to be suspended from school and 10 times more likely to abuse drugs.
Early sexual activity with multiple partners in adolescents is increasing STI’s, teen pregnancy, altered self-esteem, depression, pain and suffering from broken relationships, a sense of betrayal and abandonment, confusion about romantic feelings, and impaired ability to form healthy long-term relationships. Teenage infertility is also an increasing problem. In 1965, only 3.6% of the married couples between ages 20 and 24 were infertile; by 1982, that figure had nearly tripled to 10.6%. The infertility rate now stands at 1 in 6 or 17%.
Studies also show a definite correlation between premarital sexual activity and failed marriages. Promiscuity before marriage can lead to infidelity and divorce after marriage. Those who have engaged in premarital sex often find themselves distracted, if not haunted, by the images of past partners. Feelings of regret and guilt can haunt people for years after and can impact an individual’s capacity for intimacy. Extramarital affairs strike at the very heart of the family unit with infidelity unravelling all the bonds of love, obligation and commitment, causing upheaval to both partners, including the betrayed spouses, children, relatives, and friends.
Focus group studies have identified that an increasing number of women are depressed and that with the widespread availability of the contraceptive pill, rather than entering into consequence-free sex, women are feeling let down. This could have something to do with nature, as most women crave settling down and having a family, something men are less inclined to do as long as they can get sex without commitment.
The global divorce rate has increased 252% since 1960 and in 2017 had reached a 44% average across the 7 continents.
The divorce rate of the major religions; Judeo Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic and Hindu are 37%,30%, 28%, 20% & 1% respectively. The temptation to be influenced by sinful lusts can affect all people across the cultural spectrum.
Many people consider pornography to be a way to obtain harmless pleasure, however, there is a correlation between the increase in pornography and the increase in rapes and sexual violence. Long-term exposure to pornography creates an emotional withdrawal, greater acceptance of violence towards women, less sympathy towards rape victims, and desensitisation to violence. The growth of Porn is driving increases in human trafficking amongst women and children which are exploited for sex to feed the ever increasing levels of demand from men and women of western countries.
Most of the porn available on line is scripted and screen-played, however, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals posting their own home-made movies, giving rise to a number of concerning sexual practices that further degrade morality. Across multiple categories, some of which include ‘Swingers’ where married couples are having sex with other participants, ‘Cuckolds’ where husbands are filming other men (a higher prevalence of black men) having sex with their wives or ‘BDSM’ which includes physically beating women whilst having aggravated sex.
The business of prostitution and the practice of sex outside of marriage feed on each other. Prostitutes themselves are often unwilling victims, trapped in the trade by force, shame, poverty, or drug addiction. Prostitution is responsible for the enslavement of millions of girls, boys and women. Every year, hundreds of thousands of middle aged and retired single men from Australia and other parts of the world visit Thailand, to support the Sex Tourism industry. The lure of having sex with teenage girls and boys as young as 12, overpowers their associated religious beliefs or practise claims.
- Physiological Reality
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million people acquire a sexually transmitted infection (STI) every day, and each year, an estimated 500 million contract one of 4 STI’s, namely, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and Trichomonas. The effects of these diseases range from chronic pain, infertility, and in some cases, death.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PIV), which is typically caused by Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia, affects 1 million new women each year. This complication causes pelvic pain and infertility and is the leading cause of hospitalisation for women, aside from pregnancy, during the childbearing years. Pelvic inflammatory disease can result in scarred fallopian tubes which block the passage of a fertilised egg on to the uterus and the growing embryo will cause the tube to rupture.
An acute Chlamydia infection in women will result in pain, fever, and can damage a woman’s fallopian tubes without her ever knowing it. A single chlamydia infection can result in a 25% chance of infertility and with a second infection, the chance of infertility rises to 50%. This is double the risk of Gonorrhoea.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a common STD, is the major cause of venereal warts and can result in cancer of the genitalia and of the cervix. This virus is killing more women than AIDS.
- The Frightening Numbers
1.48 Billion Estimated abortions worldwide since 1990
36.7 Million People worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2016, 2.1 million were children under 15 years old
1.85 Million Individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2016
1.15 Million Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide
357 Million New infections with 1 of 4 STIs, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and Trichomonas’s every year
500 Million People are estimated to have genital infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV)
290 Million Women have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
There is no denying the consequences of the sexual revolution and how it continues to devastate people and society, with the ensuing degradation of morality.
- Turning Away From Fleshly Desires
People unable to control their sexual desires are more likely than people with greater control over their sexual behaviour to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Increasingly, more people are becoming addicted to pleasure-seeking escapism such as illicit/improper sex, endless movies/television, playing digital/online games, regularly partying and constantly looking at their ‘smart phones checking in on their social media statuses. Most of these ‘zombies’ are ignorantly content remaining addicted to their vices.
Self-control fosters a broad range of desirable abilities, such as developing and maintaining interpersonal popularity with healthy relationships, excelling in school, coping with stress, eating properly, and avoiding addictive behaviours.
The greatest challenge in multicultural westernised societies, like Australia, the UK, Europe and the Americas is assimilating a universal moral code of conduct, but this not going to become a reality under the stewardship of humans. The only available solution which has existed for over two thousand years is the spiritual option – God’s Plan.
Commit yourself to follow God’s moral standard as revealed in the Scriptures and turn away from your sinful desires.
“This I say then, walk by the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Gal. 5:16
Lusts include sexual immorality, pride and rivalry, and desire for money which are considered as fleshly desires.
“Flee also youthful lusts but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
We need to avoid stirring these desires up in us
”Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.” Romans 13:13-14
- Confess your sins regularly
The desire of the flesh that arises within us at any given moment is temptation to sin by indulging the fleshly desire by thought, attitude, word, or action, but the desire itself is not sin only a temptation to sin.
The word “confess” refers to a continuous action in our daily lives and if we continually confess our sins through prayer, God is faithful to continually forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
How can we hope to turn away from fleshly desires that we are struggling with if we do not continually confess anytime we indulge those desires?
This is what God wants. This is why our Lord Jesus Christ died for us, to continually forgive our sins.
Fleshly desires come from within our own hearts. We will have to control them by not indulging them, but we do not completely eliminate them until we shed our earthly bodies and enter into the presence of Christ.