The modern world has been numbed by the constant bombardment of immorality via media to the point that considering pornography to be adultery has become a gray area. Even those whose moral compass is derived from Judeo-Christian values question this concept. But is the idea really so vague? Do we know what adultery really is?
Adultery is witnessed on television shows and movies and read about in countless tabloids, magazines and novels. It has become so commonplace as to not be recognized as immoral anymore. Many don't realize adultery is still illegal in twenty-three states. In ancient times, it was a capital offense. Now we watch it every night on TV.
One only has to open the pages of the Holy Bible, a common dictionary or log onto any Wiki to find the definition of adultery. The contemporary world views it as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than the lawful spouse (Merriam-Webster. From the Bible's perspective, if one is married and looks at, thinks about, or touches another person with lust (sexual desire) in their heart or mind, it is considered adultery. By this standard, lust is also adultery.
Oxforddictionaries.com states pornography is written or visual material containing explicit descriptions of sexual organs or activity intended to stimulate erotic (raw, sexual desire) rather than aesthetic (beautiful, pleasing) feelings. By this definition, pornography is lust.
Pornography is lust (sexual desire), and lust is adultery. Therefore, pornography is adultery.
Adultery is not just sexual intercourse
Adultery is not restricted to sexual intercourse between married people. In addition to lust of the flesh, "lust of the eyes" is also considered adultery 1 John 2:16, KJV.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior pointed out higher laws. Not only is it unlawful to kill, but anyone who is angry is in danger of judgment Matthew 5:22, KJV. It is well-known anger can lead to murder. Thus, anger is a higher law—a higher commandment to keep.
One of the most powerful scriptures about adultery comes from our Savior, again from the Sermon on the Mount:
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28 KJV
These verses in Matthew clearly state looking on a woman with lust is adultery. Adultery is against the law, and lust is the higher law.
Adultery without sexual intercourse
In the Bible, adultery without sexual intercourse is referred to as "wanton eyes" Isaiah 3:16, KJV, or "eyes full of adultery" (See 2 Peter 2:14, KJV). These scriptures state plainly adultery is not only a sin of the flesh, but of indecent images seen by the eyes.
It is not coincidental that pornography is taken into the brain through the eyes. Since lust is defined as being consumed with sexual desire, pornographic craving to view woman after woman in obscene sex acts (read: multiple partners) is clearly adultery. Any spouse who is the victim of their partner's pornography addiction will equivocally agree pornography is cheating. Why not call cheating what it really is? Adultery.
Social media and adultery
Another way adultery is committed is via social media. Provocative words in a text, an email, or a chat room cause sexual arousal. This is pornographic, which is then adultery.
Men and women, who participate in social media porn, are, by definition, adulterers. Call it what it is.
Women and pornography
Women view internet pornography as well as men. In fact, one in three viewers of porn is a woman, and that statistic is rising.
Many women are addicted to "erotica," or what the world calls "romance novels." These books are explicit with titillating, immoral sex acts. Erotica is a synonym for pornography, and pornography is adultery.
In porn addiction, the viewing becomes an obsession, then a compulsion. The images must become ever more stimulating, atrocious and shocking to have the now-addicted appetite sated, just as a drug addict needs one more hit of crack; a smoker must have one more cigarette; a gambler needs one more roll of the dice.
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Modern-day streaming of pornography on the internet through computers, iPads, and smartphones has multiplied its use exponentially. The stigma of "adulterer" seems to no longer be a reason to stay away from the poison of porn. But beware—addiction may quickly capture one's soul with just one peak, turn of the page, or swipe of a finger on a smartphone.
It is argued here with semantics, statistics, and religious standards that pornography is lust and lust is adultery. Some may still dispute the classification, but perhaps others will experience an ah-ha moment and move past the gray question.