In a previous post, I reflected on a recent study that seemed to indicate that installing internet filters did not actually reduce the amount of pornography a person views (or a child is exposed to). I took a sober look at what a filtering system cannot provide, but today I want to share about why I still find them valuable.
- There’s value in deterrents! I recently listened to an interview of a woman who had not viewed pornography in years after significant struggles in her past. One night away from home she faced a serious time of temptation, but she tired of trying to find a way to get around the filter and gave up trying. The fact that filters don’t deter everyone doesn’t mean that they deter no one.
- Investment counts. There’s something satisfying about the act of putting money into the battle with pornography through purchasing a filtering system like Covenant Eyes. I know many men who have lost many thousands of dollars in sexual sin. There’s emotional momentum to stay in the fight when you invest more of your resources in the effort to lay up treasure in heaven (Mt 6:20).
- Filters don’t have to just be filters. My honest opinion is that the filter itself is not of much value. Of far greater value, in my estimation, is the reporting function that goes along with the filter (or can be used independently of it). The goal of purity is not simply to avoid hard-core images and videos. And the task of purity is largely comprised of the ongoing effort to live in the light (1 Jn 1:7).
For more information, take a look at the many resources for strugglers and parents at Harvestusa.org, or consider David Powlison’s free seminar and recent book, Making All Things New. (Free excerpt here).