God, Technology, and Porn

“Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21

We are connected. This is an inescapable truth of our modern world. Whether we are tethered to our phones, tablets, laptops, Bluetooth’s, Blu-rays, GPS, it doesn’t matter. We are connected in thousands of different ways. This amount of connectivity will only increase in our lifetime.

This level of connectivity however wouldn’t be possible without one thing: porn.

VHS and Betamax. Image from coinmonkey.com
VHS and Betamax. Image from coinmonkey.com

The porn industry has driven technology to where it is today. Back in the 1980s there was the choice of VHS and Betamax. Porn creators used VHS because it was cheap and easy to distribute. VHS eventually won out over Betamax but its success was inevitably sealed by one industry.

DVD’s provided porn users a way to fast forward, pause, play, and rewind. DVD’s replaced VHS as a faster and more efficient means of making money.

Advances in video technology owe their gratitude to the porn industry. During the rise of the internet where companies failed to find a target audience the porn industry soared into the billion dollar industry it is today.

And now we have faster and easier ways of accessing porn. The advent of the smart phone allowed porn users to quickly gain access wherever they were to feed their addiction. Jeremy Caplan writes for Time, “Leading porn purveyors see the iPhone as a dream come true. Its relatively ample screen size, speedy Web access and ease of use are just part of it.”

Tim Challies blogs that, “52% of pornography consumed in the United States this year was consumed on mobile devices; a further 10% was consumed on tablets. This means that almost two thirds of pornography is now being viewed on devices other than desktop computers.”

In the advent of piracy, the porn industry is learning to adapt and diversify.

Doug Gross writes for CNN that,

Porn companies can capitalize on the latest technological advances because of their deep pockets and the relative certainty that their investments will be returned by customers willing to pony up for their product, experts say.”

Porn is leading the technological advances of our time. They have deep pockets and can adapt quickly to whatever blockades we can throw at them. Ross Benes writes for Business Insider,

“..bandwidth growth might be porn’s greatest contribution to the Internet since it allowed more material to move around the world at a much quicker rate. Think of the military as the inventor and creator of a product and porn as the entrepreneur who brings the product to the masses.”

Porn industries pioneer new ways to make a profit. Image from cnn.com
Porn industries pioneer new ways to make a profit. Image from cnn.com

Technology is being used and created by the porn industry. Much of what you use to read this post on probably came about by an industry that is notorious for abuse, disease, and addictions. Where is God in all of this? Can we be thankful for technology? Can we give credit and glory to God for the rapid expansion of technology even though much of its success is owed to an incredibly immoral industry?

As the Proverb at the beginning stated, “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Technology has made us more connected. It has sparked friendships and marriages that have lasted a lifetime. It has given us access to hundreds of Biblical translations and commentaries. It has allowed us to listen to and read thousands of sermons. All of this with one click of a mouse. Yet as we have seen there is a dark side lurking in the internet. Our plans are many yet does not the Lord use evil for good? When Joseph was thrown into the pit his brothers meant him harm, an evil intent. Yet as we read in Genesis 50:20 Joseph tells his brothers that, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” 

Above all things, even in light of the porn industries grip on the advancement of technology, “it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” There is nothing that surprises our God. He’s not up in Heaven saying, “Oh no! Porn is leading these technological advances!” The Proverbs tell us that purpose of God will forever remain in place. Jeffrey L. Nyhoff writes for Calvin College that, 

Because of this corruption of the human heart, sin is operative in every human use of technology. When humans use technology, there is always the possibility that they will abuse it for evil purposes…there is no aspect of Creation beyond the scope of God’s redeeming grace. Therefore, God uses human creativity in the production and use of information technology to further the kingdom of God.”

God is bigger than porn. He is sovereign over evil. He has allowed and guided the advancement of technology for redemptive purposes. We can rest assured that though the porn industry means evil, God means good. Evil people will always desire to do evil, you cannot separate the action from the nature. At the same time we can strive to use technology for good and the spread of the gospel. We should be thankful for advances in technology, giving glory to a God who uses evil for good and allows his purpose to stand above the plans of man.

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