The reality is, Francis' legal problems stem from his ego and pride more than anything else. He will settle the civil case, settle an incident he had while in jail for being in possession of contraband (his business partner smuggled in a bottle of water, cash, and some sleeping pills), and he will write a check to the IRS to clear up his tax issues. You see, Francis has the money to buy the best lawyers and pay his way out of these current legal problems. He has made that money over the last 10 years by contributing to the ever growing porn monster with his "Girls Gone Wild" video series.
The video series grosses $40 million a year in sales. FORTY MILLION! There are virtually no production costs since these videos are nothing more than a single video camera filming young girls on Spring Break, in nightclubs, and Mardis Gras as these young women are exposing their breasts and bodies for the camera. They pay the girls nothing, so the only real costs involved are tied up in the marketing of these videos to consumers. The ironic thing, however, is that the target audience for this garbage are middle age men, many who have daughters the age of the girls in the videos.
I'll never forget 4 years ago. I received an email from a man who was struggling with an addiction to porn. He emailed me that the last straw for him was sitting down one night to watch one of these videos, when all of a sudden, on the screen ... was his daughter! He told me that as he sat there frozen, seeing his daughter expose her body for the camera, all he could think about were the tens of thousands of men who would watch that video, looking at his little girl as nothing more than a sex object. It took that experience for this man to come under the conviction he needed to take a stand and fight his addiction to pornography.
Pornography is a problem many men AND women have battled for a long time. With the Internet, accessibility to pornography is incredibly easy. Porn addiction is now a very real societal problem. Many Christians also end up caught in the traps the enemy has laid to destroy people's lives.
Please, DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of pornography. Like all sin, it starts almost innocently, but always escalates. At first you may only sample seemingly harmless images, then it escalates to hard core images and videos, strip clubs, and physical relationships. One day you are chatting with someone, the next your chat becomes more graphic, and then you are actually sitting next to them or debasing yourself for them in front of a video cam hooked to your computer. Like all sin, there is a seductiveness that eases you into its clutches, then one day you wake up and you are in total bondage to that sin.
God intended our sexual thoughts and actions to be shared with only one person, our marriage partner. ALL other thoughts are impure. Fantasies take our mind to places they shouldn't be going and diminish our fulfillment with the one God has given us ... even if we never act on them in the "real world."
Jesus' words from long ago are startlingly frank and appropriate to our day:
"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28 NLT)
Is that a high standard? Yes! But God has called us to live at a high level in our life. We are to live above the low standards of this world. We are to find our sexual satisfaction in the wife that God has given to share our life with us. That means very simply this. First of all, if you are NOT married, you need to keep your thoughts pure and save not only your body, but your MIND for the one God has for your life. If you are married, your sexual thoughts and activities are to be ONLY with your husband or wife. Anything else is not God's plan and is sin.
Am I making too big a deal about this? Look at how Jesus emphasizes the urgency and importance of avoiding the lust trap.
So if your eye — even if it is your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand — even if it is your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)
You may be currently involved in pornography at some level. It is bondage and you are more than likely sensing this. Before you can get victory over it, you have to want to quit. Once you get to that point, you must realize it is a battle. Like any battle, to see victory you need a battle plan. You need one or several people in your life to whom you can be accountable on a regular basis. You need the strength each day only the Lord can give you, so seek his presence. Pursue activities that are wholesome and sink your time and energy into these. Have your accountability partner install blocking software on your computer. Seek counseling help if these steps are not effective. There is victory over pornography just like any other sin, if you really WANT victory. (See the links included with this article for more resources and insight.)
IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT YOU ARE READING THESE WORDS TODAY. SATAN WANTS TO DESTROY YOUR LIFE. GOD IS SPEAKING TO YOU NOW TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. IF YOU DON'T, IT WILL DESTROY YOUR RELATIONSHIPS. IT WILL RUIN YOUR FUTURE. AND IT CAN LITERALLY KILL YOU PHYSICALLY. YOU KNOW IT IS ALREADY DESTROYING YOU SPIRITUALLY. DON'T WAIT. DEAL WITH IT NOW!!
Let it be a special tap on the shoulder from God that NOW is the time to deal with this issue in your life. It isn't going to change until you decide to change and put structures in place to help you out of bondage. As you know, any time we pervert the original plan of God, things never really work. We always get cheated out of the best God has for us when we settle for what the world offers. You can only know the true blessings of God, the fullness of what life can give, when we are in His will, living life His way.
Finally, please take a moment and pray for Joe Francis. Pray that through all he is going through in his life right now, he will open his heart to hear God's voice speaking to him. Pray that he will open his heart to receive Christ's love and turn his heart from the destruction of other people's lives!