Deuteronomy 7:26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.
The Internet is like a loaded gun – kept and used properly, it can be a tremendous tool. However, when misused, or allowed into the hands of children, it can produce disastrous results.
The Internet reaches into our lives through desktops, laptops, televisions, cell phones and tablets. It is almost ubiquitous in its influence. Occasionally, we hear a preacher say that he will be the last person on earth to turn on a computer, but the fact is that most of us use them daily – and it is in the vast majority of our Christian homes. The danger is not in its presence. The danger is in the fact that many parents do absolutely nothing to keep their children from misusing it. And the fact that many parents misuse it themselves, wandering into or purposefully surfing into sites that are as wicked as the devil that inspires them.
The statistics concerning internet abuse are astonishing and terrifying:
- 9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).
- Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old.
- Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12 – 17 year-old age group (various sources, as of 2007).
- Young people who are exposed to such media are significantly more likely to engage in sexual behavior at an earlier age.
In 1996 (!), the Department of Justice issued a report which stated: “Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.” Now, with so many teenagers (and their parents) carrying smart phones with unlimited internet access, this problem most certainly has not decreased.
I thank God that I grew up without the Internet! I thank God that as a lost teenager such things were not available. Now, a click of the mouse or the touch of a screen can virtually take people into the wickedest places and into contact with the wickedest people on earth. In Genesis 6, God said that our imaginations are evil from our youth – and when young people’s brains are being hardwired, this is no time for them to become addicted to filthy images! These habits and unreal expectations are carried into adulthood and into marriage – with potentially disastrous results.
The world wants to introduce itself to your children. Before the Internet, pushers of filth would leave magazines or pictures out for kids to find. Now, they troll the Internet with ads, emails, tweets, pictures and posts. When you aren’t even looking for trouble, sometimes the trouble comes looking for you. An innocent Google search could bring up wicked results (this is especially true in Google Pictures). Online encyclopedias are NOT censored. Advertisements in free email accounts, or in the margins of other sites, are often wicked. (Frankly, the same could be said for a lot of advertisements on broadcast television as well). The point is that if you let your kids online, you need to be aware of the dangers and LOCK IT DOWN.
It is possible to filter the internet and protect yourself and your family. Covenant Eyes is a program that filters and has an accountability feature so that the sites you visit are monitored and a report is sent to an accountability partner. Now, this program can be used on iPhones and iPads as well (formerly, it was not possible to filter Safari). There are other programs such as cleaninter.net. However, I believe that laptops and cell phones are the greatest source of danger for kids who can get on wifi anywhere and perhaps be away from the home computer filtering programs.
The world is headed on a collision course with God, and immorality will continue to fill our society. There is no reason, however, that such abominations should come into our Christian homes, offices, or minds. Parents NEED to lock down the technology in their families.
Thank you for reading. God bless.