Internet Filters: Make It Difficult to Sin
- Friday, April 14, 2006
“Hey Rand, I’ve got a problem, and I wonder if you could help me. I caught my dad a couple days ago viewing pornography on the computer in his office. He doesn’t know that I saw him through the window, and I’m not sure how to confront him. My biggest problem is this: he’s not just my dad; he’s also my pastor. I don’t know what to do.”
I feel sorry for the teenage preachers’ kids who will have to face what this seventeen-year-old boy faced. We as preachers must take heed, watch out, and be careful … lest we fall! Clerical failure in areas of morality has become almost epidemic. Throughout the constant bombardment of sexual temptations, we must be aggressive in our fight to maintain personal purity. Most of us would agree that it is easier to stay away from temptation than it is to say “no” to temptation. I have reminded many teens that I love (and I mean love) MacDonald’s french fries. But if I were to eat MacDonald’s french fries every day of my life, I would look like a super-sized happy-meal, so I stay away from the Golden Arches. Today’s preachers should stay away from unfiltered Internet access. Inevitably, the consequences of impurity will manifest themselves.
Do you have a wake-up prayer? Maybe you should start praying for God’s daily protection and base your prayer on passages like Matthew 6:13 and Romans 13:14. “Lord, keep me pure today. Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. Make it hard for me to sin and easy for me to do right! Help me to put on the character of my Lord Jesus Christ and to resist the temptation to satisfy the lusts of my flesh. Please make it hard for me to sin and easy for me to do right. Amen.”
I would encourage all of us as ministers of the Word of God to actively and purposefully put filters on both what comes into our computers and our minds.
Put a Filter on Your Computer
I used to recommend a list of dozens of Internet filters that included programs that were expensive and confusing memory hogs—which were excellent at slowing down one’s computer. Recently I have personally met two Christian men who have produced an excellent filtering program that has received the highest rating by Consumer Reports (June 2005) and has been featured in many broadcast and print news articles. The program, now available for both PCs and Macs, is called Safe Eyes (www.safeeyes.com).
Safe Eyes enables you to determine where you and your family members go online, how often you go there, and how much time is spent on each journey into cyberspace. For a one-time cost of $49.95, Safe Eyes will filter out undesirable Web sites and report Internet activity in such a way that it will make it hard for you to sin and easy for you to do right. (This may sound like a commercial, but it is not. I do not receive one penny from Safe Eyes, but I want adults to protect themselves and their kids from the barrage of objectionable material online. If you don’t get Safe Eyes, find some filtering program that works for you.) I don’t want to sound harsh, but anyone who has unfiltered Internet access in his home or office is a Proverbs 22:3 simpleton. Job made a covenant with his eyes to keep them safe from objectionable material! So should we. Filter your computer.
Put a Filter on Your Mind
How can we keep our minds clean? David put it this way, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). The words taking heed are from the same root as the word diligence in Proverbs 4:23, where we are commanded to keep our hearts with all diligence. Our minds are to be encircled, completely wrapped, with the very words or oracles of God, which act as a filter for what enters our minds.
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