In the final analysis, all sin can be traced to one thing: A defect in love. The sum of the Law Jesus teaches us is: “The most important is, ’Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Mk 12:29-31 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).
When we fail to love God as we ought, we also fail to love our neighbors as we ought. And when we fail to love our neighbors as we ought, we fail to love God as we ought as well. The two are absolutely intertwined.
Today’s DAILY MAIL in the UK ran the following article demonstrating the scientific evidence that in our over-sexualized society, the viewing of scantily clad or nude women has the effect on men, of literally reducing those women to mere objects. Here’s the text of the article, and then I’ll have some closing remarks.
Scientist reveals what men REALLY think of when they look at a girlie calendar
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 10:22 AM on 17th February 2009
When men are shown images of women in bikinis, the part of the brain they use when thinking about DIY tools and other objects lights up.
At the same time, the region they use to try to tune into another person’s thoughts and feelings tunes down, brain scans showed.
You don’t say: Sexy calendars in the workplace make it more likely that men look at women as objects
Researcher Susan Fiske said: ‘The only other time we have seen this is when people look at pictures of the homeless or of drug addicts because they really don’t want to think about what is going on in their minds.’
Her experiments also found, perhaps not surprisingly, that men remember the images of scantily-clad women better than those of fully-clothed women.
Overall, the experiments showed that sexy images lead men to think of women as ‘less than human’, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference heard.
Professor Fiske, of Princeton University in the U.S., said the effect could spill over into the workplace, with girlie calendars leading men to sexualise their colleagues.
She said: ‘I am not saying there should be censorship but people need to know of the associations people have in their minds.’
Asked if women were likely to view half-dressed men in the same way, she said that women tended to rate age and bank balance over looks.
RAF: At this point, I will not speak to the counter sin of women having a tendency to think of men in terms of age & bank balance – but the clear testimony that Scripture has been right all along can’t be missed. You see, when people are depersonalized – love has ceased to be in the picture. Men have to remember that when we view such images and get pleasure from them, what we absolutely CANNOT be doing at the same time, is showing love toward this fallen creature who is selling her looks or body as though she were some mere – object. When we linger and lust, we are partaking of her sins. We are delighted that she is bound in her sin and shame so that we can get enjoyment from it. It is an act of hatred. It shows no compassion for her condition, that she would demean herself so cheaply – as one made in the image of God. And we then treat her like she is not worth anything – but to be gawked at, used for pleasure, thrown away and forgotten.
The World would say pornography is victimless. This is a lie. It promotes the celebration of the filthiest display of others bound in their sin. And then, we participate in their degradation – and take pleasure in it. How can that not be destructive to our own souls?
To love these people, would be to refuse to look at them in their nakedness. Our need, is to love as Christ has loved. And only such love can free us from the chains of sin that still seek to bind our own hearts and minds.