The Image Locker

 

“But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. – Joshua 7: 1

(“devoted things” – The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also found in verses 11, 12, 13 and 15 of Joshua 7.)  

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What do you covet? What image is stored in your mind for safe-space keeping? Does your mind turn to that image and then imagine the possibilities of its actual possession? Anyone hoarding the desired ‘thing’ in their heart and mind has already taken into their possession what isn’t theirs and what wasn’t meant for them. If that is the case for you, then maybe you already know this: the desired thing — the devoted thing –is the thing you become. Whether it be gold or porn you will become a lifeless object. You have replaced the image of Living God with the image of your inanimate “precious”.

Our days are inundated with images. Images are ubiquitous. They are downloaded onto TVs, Computer screens, and Smartphones. Images are posted on walls, on trains, buses and park benches. Images are engraved into skin. One’s use of encountered images in fantasy plays a role in inordinate desires. Dwelling on fantasy, one loses grip on reality. Achan knew reality and chose fantasy.

I have no doubt that Achan knew God’s commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” I also have no doubt that Achan knew the Garden of Eden story. I can picture the Evil One talking to him, “Did God really say you could not have those devoted things?”

I have no doubt that most Christians today know God’s commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” I also have no doubt that most Christians know the Garden of Eden story. They also know the Gospel and the Sacrifice of Jesus which has destroyed the devoted things that once belonged to the Enemy of our souls.

Yet, modern man continues to covet what isn’t his or what wasn’t meant for him. This is particularly true of those addicted to porn. To view his “precious” in secret, the porn addict isolates himself from God and from others. He becomes a “devoted thing” person and disengaged from those around him. If you were to look into his eyes you would see a dull and almost lifeless person, a mere representation of a human.

The porn addict becomes like the images he takes in. The images are impersonal, distant, one dimensional, unreal, emptied of good, full of vulgar suggestions. The addict’s self-degradation continues biochemically through masturbation:

“When one masturbates using the porn image, Dopamine is released into your blood stream. You then feel a flicker euphoria and relief which passes away immediately leaving feeling depleted, irritable, depressed and ashamed when you realize that you became less human by desiring an image instead of the image of God in your spouse.

 “When having sex or watching porn, dopamine is released into a region of the brain responsible for emotion and learning, giving the viewer a sense of sharp focus and a sense of craving: “I have got to have this thing; this is what I need right now.” It supplies a great sense of pleasure. The next time the viewer gets the “itch” for more sexual pleasure, small packets of dopamine are released in the brain telling the user: “Remember where you got your fix last time. Go there to get it.””

Brain Chemicals and Porn Addiction: Science Shows How Porn Harms Us

 

 

Achan buried his stash of “devoted things” under his tent. Men, not unlike Achan, will bury their images under the guise of normal.  But what happens under the “tent of normal” does not stay in the “tent of the normal”. The people around you are adversely affected, just as the people around Achan were affected by his sin. The people of Israel were defeated in battle because God was angry about the sin. From Joshua chapter 7:

10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.

 

How do we deal with our own Image Locker? Achan began with confession:

And Achan answered Joshua, “Of a truth I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them, and took them; and behold, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” Joshua 7:20-21

Be sure, sin’s consequences follow sin, again from Joshua 7:

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.

24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”

Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. 26 Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor[f] ever since.

 

If you are looking for trouble then the Valley of Achor is the place you will end up at. “Achor” means trouble. Continue to covet those things God meant for you to destroy. Continue to view porn. Then, as happened to Achan, you and your Image Locker will be tossed out of your family and your community. You and those around you will be burned and stoned and a huge pile of rocks will cover your charred and flattened carcass.

Or, you can confess to God and to your family about your sin. And, you take the images out of your Image Locker and burn them and then stone them and then bury them under a huge pile of rocks. This may require you to take the TV, the computer and the Smartphone and burn them, stone them and bury them.  Better these things than you. I am not kidding. This is how healing of memories begins: speaking the truth about sin and then dealing with it so as to destroy its existence. Besides, you had been warned about the heat you would incur:

“For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched?… “  –Proverbs 6: 26-28

 

I know of a man who was addicted to pornography. This man traveled about 60% of the time for his job. He was alone most of the time. In his hotel room at night, he told himself that he was under a lot pressure to perform. As such, to ‘comfort’ himself, he took in images from the computer and TV. The things he took in were things which should have been destroyed. They are the Enemies’ ‘things’.

After a time, he became depressed and sensed a growing feeling of emptiness and shame. He had put himself under the pressure excuse and now he was covered with dirt and holding onto his “devoted things”. This man finally confessed his sin. He then destroyed whatever image files he had saved to his computer. He then began to use a web browser that wouldn’t allow him to see pornography. He put his TV into a bedroom closet. He took another job where he was around the same people every day. He held himself accountable. But, his response didn’t end there. He knew he had to re-image his mind.

He “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” He began to study art. He attended life drawing classes where he learned to see and draw the human figure. He went on to become a portrait artist. He is now seeing the image of the Creator in the eyes and faces of those he paints.

Final word:  Take your Image Locker and move somewhere where you can be in nature. One could become a bird watcher or an astronomer. In other words, begin to fill your Image Locker with “things that are above” the “earthly elements”.

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Here are three quotes regarding the effects of pornography:

“I believe – and research backs it – that material that children see online affects their ideas on sex. Nonetheless this is something that teaches us that we need to react before the damage is done and we need to prevent children seeing something online that might harm them or give them delusions”, explained Dagbjört Ásbjörnsdóttir, a sexologist at the Reykjavik department of Education and Youth.

Tackling the impact of porn on Iceland’s youths

 

“He was close with his family, but as far as friends go — he maybe had those acquaintances he communicated with every once in a while, but he pretty much isolated himself,” a source tells PEOPLE of Salling —Mark Salling’s Final Days: Glee Alum ‘Isolated Himself’ Amid Child Porn Case, Source Says

  

“[Anonymous] made me a more extreme version of myself,” William said. “I used to sleep badly. Now I sleep terribly. I used to be sarcastic; now I can be an a__hole.” He didn’t just “like “tormenting people; he loved it. He didn’t just “like” porn; he looked at it every day. “None of this bothers me, he added. “I don’t care about anything.” William had said in the past that he had no moral code; everything was case by case, his decisions based on gut reaction. Earnest Hemingway had said it best: “What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

Jake was nodding. “I have to agree with all of that, “he said. It desensitized me.”Acting out with crowds of people on the Internet had created a detachment from reality and a sense of obliviousness to certain consequences. Anonymous did bad things, but its members were not bad people, per se.” (emphasis mine) —We Are Anonymous: Inside the World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

Added 2-10-2018:

“Research has found a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, unhealthy brain development and cognitive function, and deviant, problematic or dangerous sexual behavior,” Spano said before the House Health & Human Services Committee approved the resolution on an 18-1 vote.
Florida Legislature could declare pornography a health risk

 Added 2-22-2018:
Resources for Combating porn:

Dealing with a porn addiction: Integrity Restored
Internet filter: Covenant Eyes
A book for junior high and high school level: Plunging Pornography
A book for the very young: Good Pictures Bad Pictures

Mission Probable: Self-made Victims

 “Should you decide to accept this mission to self-victimize the IMF (Inane Meme Force) will disavow any knowledge of your subsequent misbehavior if caught in the act.”

 Consider the following IMF missions of self-made victimization:

 Social media participants as victims: every moment of one’s-no depth of field life must become selfie-important.

 We may knowingly expose ourselves à la NY Rep. Anthony Weiner or as Jennifer I’ve-got-a-million-of-them Lawrence and exclaim “others have been messing with my ‘stuff.’

 After the damage is done to reputations it necessarily follows, in this day of dispositive scapegoating, that we then must present ourselves as victims even when we are victims of our own devices. Who would ever look at Jennifer Lawrence’s collection of nude pictures? I mean, the world is so….out there.

 Victims of circumstance or of circus stance on the high wire of notoriety?

 Illegal immigrants as victims: here we see bus loads of victims moving in. Yet, we must remember that these victims are the renewable energy source for Progressive votes. And this, despite the fact that any lack of border control, any lax enforcement by the Obama administration, any amnesty that adds more illegal immigrants to our country equals with other detriments more CO2, more crime, more narcotics, more narco-terrorists, more infectious disease, more gang members, more homeland terrorism and a huge drain on our national resources. But damn it, “victims” they must be for our purposes. We are America, the land of the free from taxation for half the nation and the home of the Black Panther monitored ballot box.

 Environment as victim and victimizer: Well, by now you should have come to your senses and have realized that global warming crisis is man-made. It has been manufactured by the likes of Al Gore and climate scientologists with dubious reports. These ‘scientologists’ or data shufflers dare not cross the red line of truth and lose their collegial credit card status points, their weather stations for life.

 Not only is the environment a victim but just like a Russian nesting doll you, too, can become a victim-of the environment. And, universal victim hood makes each of us eligible to be “insured” under the UN One World global warming whole life redistribution insurance plan. Benefits accrue to those who want to become wealthy off of other’s fears.

 Voter as victim: From the well-known Legal Insurrection blog, a post of Oct. 10th, 2014: “Judge tosses out Texas voter ID as U.S. Supreme Court blocks Wisconsin voter ID The ruling by the U.S. District court finds that such law…creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans.”

 This ruling by both courts is slap in the face for blacks and Hispanics. It essentially claims that blacks and Hispanics and too stupid, too inept to get an ID and to provide such ID at a polling place. To put it another way, there are millions of people who can secure a proper ID and present it at the time of voting. I am sure that Dr. Ben Carson, a self-made African-American neurosurgeon, can provide a proper ID. He would also help you figure out what to do.

Ask yourself: How do blacks and Hispanics acquire cable TV when they do not have ID?

 Note: The Texas ruling was recently reversed for the Texas Nov. elections but the matter is still in the courts

 Politically biased, blindfold taken off high courts have affirmed blacks and Hispanics as victims-a protected class of victims-so as to garner the un-ID’d ‘victim’s’ weight in votes-for the Progressive side of the scale, of course. Preferential treatment by the courts makes the rest of us truly victims of injustice. Preferential treatment by Progressive bureaucratic Lois Lerner types within our current heavily politicized government negates Democracy in favor of totalitarianism. The Tea Party non-profit groups became true victims of injustice with the administration’s silent approbation.

 The poor as victims: Here is what we are told by the supercilious politicians and Keynesian economists (NYT’s Paul Krugam, Thomas Piketty, et al) : “There are poor people because there are rich people. The global wealth pie is a one fixed-size feeds all pie.  The rich have the larger share. Redistribution is the only answer-it is socially just.”

 It doesn’t matter to the above mentioned wisdom impoverished that the rich have made personal choices that create wealth or that the poor have most often made personal choices which have made them poor and keep them poor. And, somehow, the poor find a way (trading food stamps for cash or bit coins online, for instance) to buy lottery tickets, to gamble in Vegas and to buy enormous HDTVs so they can watch “The Real Housewives of Orange County!”

Our government enables the self-victimization of the poor. Obama and slave master Progressives have created cradle to grave dependency on government.  The “Julia” website is a first hand account about a lifeless victim of gargantuan government gone wild.

 Fiscal and monetary policies-The New Deal, The Great Society, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), TARP, the FED’s tinkering to create artificially low interest rates, ETC.- direct money away from savings and investment, capital that would ultimately create jobs and individual wealth. 

Each one of these government ‘fixits’ creates bubbles that ultimately burst.  There should be a History Channel just for this.  First came the dot com bubble and then the housing bubble. And, most home buyers are now government subsidized. Uh-oh!

Printing money creates ever more debt and puffs up the economy with lighter than air dollars. 

Our government is creating an even greater balloon (Let’s call it the “Keynesian Economic Balloon”) that will soon go bust “Big Time”, as Peter Gabriel sang. Then your dollars will be almost worthless.  The IMF endorses such politically ‘safe’ and economically disastrous inane activity. Just don’t get caught holding USD.

That 47 MILLION people are on food stamps tells me that government enables poverty in our nation.  And there are even ‘victims’ who complain that 99 weeks of unemployment benefits isn’t enough! Use your head and your ID and vote for people with integrity, character and business sense, avoiding lethargic professorial panty waists unless, of course, you should choose the mission of self-made victimization.

 Addicts as victims: Consider this recent “addiction help” advertisement heard on the radio: “Addiction is a disease, not a character flaw.”

 Whoa! Calling an addiction a disease takes the onus off of the addicted, removing them from the light of day and placing them under the dark cloud of victim hood where the sun doesn’t shine on your addled behavior.

 And, it most certainly as advertised, places the addicted under the expensive ‘guidance’ of medical professionals who will’ ‘altruistically’ be your savior. “Victim status is where you belong, why try to fight it. Give us the money that you are now giving to pay for your addiction. Character flaws mean personal responsibility and they may not result in insurance payments to our treatment facility.”

 Homosexuals as victims: Where to begin? When acting out homosexual desires you are told that you are not responsible for your behavior. Rather, what you are dealing with is a quirk, a queerness that exists in the universe. Homosexuals do not even try to overcome your desires and use self control. You will become sexual minority stressed. God knows that you have enough to worry about when you do unnatural things to your self and to others. AIDS is our problem, not yours. You are sexual minority stressed transmitters and no more.

The Politically Correct as victims: it is not easy being totalitarian all the time but the Politically Correct, the language police, must enforce ‘safe’ societal boundaries or bubbles where nothing offensive to their delicate yet ‘diverse’ palettes enters the void. Truly they are victims of their own demands.

 One more IMF mission out of dozens of putative instances:

 Civil Rights victims: The omniscient and all powerful Oz, Eric Holder, and his Race Swami-Tsunami spiritual advisor the ‘reverend’ Al Sharpton have made sure by their appearances that the citizens of Ferguson, MO-the black citizens-received their fair share of victim status. They both spread their special mixture of racial rat poison and silent approbation, disguised as legal fertilizer, on the community lawns of Ferguson, Mo.

 Weeds of lawlessness now spring up daily in Ferguson, Mo. The encroaching and choking weeds are growing in place of flourishing businesses and a thriving community.

 

“Should you decide to accept this mission of self-aggrandizing self-victimization the IMF (Inane Meme Force) will disavow any knowledge of your subsequent misbehavior (unless, of course, it benefits Progressive’s talking points).”

 

In this age of self made victims it is impossible to balance the empathy budget. The stockpile of care is all out of love. Your self-immolation will have to go down in flames without me. In any case your actions will be disavowed by me.

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 There are people in this world who are hurting. And, “Shame on you” is not a strong enough indictment for those who claim victim status when they do “stupid stuff.”

 Pastor Saeed Abedini, Irani, returned to Iran to help Iranian children. He was arrested and placed in prison. He has been in an Irani prison over two years. He is in prison for being a Christian, a Christian seeking to help orphaned Irani children. Pastor Abedini doesn’t play the part of victim. The God of Israel watches over him.