Satan dominates an evil world system in rebellion against God (John 14:30). He is motivated by hatred for God, His Son and His followers. One sinister strategic expression of the Evil One’s hatred – with much destructive success – is through the pornographic industry.
Playboy Enterprises, Inc., arguably the most influential force behind the worldwide pornography industry, sank to a new low on July 8. The Portugal edition of Playboy magazine featured a cover of a man depicting Jesus – with a naked woman on a bed. The man portraying Christ also appears with several different topless women within the pages of the magazine. Some of the pictures are of the Christ character looking at two seminude women about to kiss, as well as one of him standing beside a topless woman on the street, according to media reports.
I think you get the picture.
Predictably, Playboy defended its debauchery by claiming the pictures were meant as a tribute to Jose Saramago, a controversial Portuguese Nobel Prize-winning novelist who died in June. His novel, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, denied the incarnation of Jesus, portraying Christ as merely a flawed human. In 1992, Saramago’s work was considered so repulsive that the Portuguese minister of culture opposed his nomination for the Nobel Prize in literature, while the Vatican condemned him as “an unreconstructed communist.”
Playboy Enterprises claims it is pulling the plug on its Portugal edition following this disgraceful exhibition – but for a reason that further demonstrates the gravity of its depravity in the matter. A Playboy spokesperson said they are taking the action because the Portugal edition breached its licensing agreement by not letting Playboy see the cover before publication. So why was Playboy upset about not seeing the cover before publication? “We do not believe this is respectful treatment of a great writer and humanist,” a Playboy spokesman said, referring to Saramago. Playboy was more concerned about Saramago than what it had done to Christ!
Perhaps this was a publicity stunt to draw attention to the Playboy brand, which is suffering financially. Playboy Enterprises has seen its profits drop from $339 million in 2007 to $240 million in 2009. Analysts are predicting the losses will continue in 2010 and the company announced June 30 that it is laying-off 782 employees. This year Playboy stock has traded for as low as a pathetic $2 a share and recent reports say founder Hugh Hefner is so strapped for cash that he is renting out the crown jewel of the company’s real estate holdings, the so-called Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.
Playboy is an evil company on so many levels. In June, Playboy hosted 50th anniversary Playboy Club “parties” in 50 cities worldwide, including at casinos in St. Louis and Kansas City (the connection between porn and gambling is laid bare for all to see). While it pushes the religion of humanism, it entices people – at first through the deception of so-called soft porn – into the more lurid world of hardcore pornography, a $13.3 billion industry in the United States alone. For example, the company is launching a new non-nude web site called TheSmokingJacket.com. It is designed to familiarize people with the Playboy brand who might otherwise, at first, feel uncomfortable looking at nude pictures. Do not let something like TheSmokingJacket fool you. Much of Playboy’s revenue comes not from the so-called “soft nude” imagery which made the magazine famous, but from hardcore pornography connected with the company’s ownership of at least three online sites that I refuse to divulge.
Playboy is doing this as it beefs up its social media offerings – something that ought to frighten parents who have kids with mobile devices. Average age of children’s first Internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old, according to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). About 90 percent of kids aged 8-16 say they have viewed porn online. The number of Internet child pornography images has increased 1,500 percent since 1988, according to the ERLC. There is even more research that captures the influence porn has on people, but I will spare you more miserable data. Suffice it to say pornography is endangering lives and destroying families.
The human destruction aside, I can only draw one conclusion for what motivates anyone to perpetrate such wickedness against humanity: hatred against God, His Son and His followers. This should not surprise us. Jesus warned us about such matters in John 15:18, 23: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. He who hates Me hates My Father also.”
Throughout the Synoptic Gospels hate is a characteristic of the enemy and of the unbeliever (Titus 3:3). Luke 1:71 tells us the first advent of Jesus Christ means deliverance from “all who hate us.” Interestingly, this hatred toward Christianity is one of the eschatological woes. The hate of all nations will be directed against the followers of Jesus (Matt. 24:9). This hate will cause a falling away, a betraying, and a hating of one another (Matt 24:10). Hate is therefore a sign of the second coming of Christ.
So, as followers of Christ, we should expect hatred. But God commands that we not retaliate and overcome hatred with good. In fact, we should rejoice. In experiencing hate we are associated with the destiny of our Lord – a righteous and eternal destiny absent of pain, suffering and the hatred Satan demonstrates through his minions at Playboy and throughout the pornographic industry.