The Death of Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner died yesterday at the age of 91. He was a pornographer, most famous of course for the publication of Playboy magazine. His Wikipedia profile, and probably any other biography you'll read of Hefner's, describes him as a political activist and a philanthropist.

His "charity" contributions included giving to free-speech causes that kept porn easily accessible, supporting an anti-vaccination campaign, and saving the Hollywood sign. I guess that qualifies as philanthropy. It is said Hefner also fought for civil, gay, and women's rights. But the reality is that Hefner did not free, liberate, or defend anyone. He enslaved them. Millions and millions of them. And made millions and millions of dollars in the process.

The Bible says that everyone is enslaved to various passions and pleasures (Titus 3:3), most especially sexual perversion. Jesus said if a person lusts after another, they have committed adultery in their heart (Matthew 5:28). Whatever overcomes a person, right down to what dominates his thoughts, to that he is enslaved (2 Peter 2:19).

Though Hefner claimed to be a sexual liberator, he was an enslaver. The notorious Playboy Empire shackled men and women conquered by their lust, and the people happily gave themselves over to be ruled. They gave their money and their bodies, while the empire gained fame and fortune.

Women and also men gleefully wore the attire of the empire, which... wasn't much of anything. The emperor said, "Take off your clothes," and they obeyed. The emperor said, "Glory in your shame before the world," and they struck a pose. They wore the imperial brand (the bunny ears logo). They coveted the imperial body standards like Adolf Hitler aspired to have his Aryan race.

Playboy destroyed marriages. A husband became disappointed and unsatisfied with the body of his wife. Instead he retreated into a Playboy fantasy land, picturing himself frolicking among satin bed sheets and having sex with airbrushed centerfolds. Meanwhile, his wife found herself unable to compete with his mythological, impersonal, unemotional sex-object.

Playboy destroyed the consciences of young boys. Barely old enough to understand their own sex organs, in their curiosity they were introduced to naked women in submissive poses and come-hither looks on their faces. This developed an unrealistic portrait of a woman, one that is to be dominated and used for pleasure rather than respected and celebrated as a person.

Playboy destroyed the image of women. Even if a woman was appalled at the idea of taking off her clothes and posing for a porno, the Playboy mindset of the world around her demanded that she possess a certain body image. And if she couldn't accomplish that look or she refused to abide by their standards, she was not as important or valuable.

Playboy destroyed the meaning of sex for a civilized culture. No longer reserved for marriage and procreation, sex was a revolution. It wasn't meant to be private but flaunted and boasted about. A man who used to be called a pervert or a deviant became a playboy, hound, or player. A woman who used to be termed a prostitute or a whore became a bunny, pin-up, or centerfold.

Many of the most admired celebrities in our culture frequented the brothel known as the Playboy mansion, Hefner's home, or they were Playboy models themselves. Even our own American president was featured on the cover of Playboy magazine, and evangelical Christians gave him the thumbs-up.

There's little difference between Hugh Hefner and Donald Trump.

Playboy destroyed lives -- literally. Because sex was not just about marriage or procreation, because it was something that could be enjoyed liberally with anyone at leisure, many out-of-wedlock pregnancies resulted, and many children were aborted and killed. The normalization of pornography has also led to an increase in sex crimes and sex trafficking.

Since Playboy was one of the most influential publications in the sexual revolution, and since the meaning of sex had been redefined to build an empire, of course Hugh Hefner also became a champion for gay rights, "a fight for all our rights," he said. "Without [gay marriage], we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time."

Puritanical? Ironic. Hefner did not realize that by his own words, he admitted what he had done was impure. Unclean. Sinful.


The Bible says that the perverse and the sexually immoral will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur (Revelation 21:8). We are told to see to it that "no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal" (Hebrews 12:16). The writer of Hebrews likened sexual immorality to selling your own soul.

Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous." Sex is a beautiful gift from God meant to be enjoyed between a husband and his wife only. Any other kind of sex is immoral. Sexual immorality destroys you and destroys other people.

Sexual sins are unique because every other sin is committed outside the body, but sexual sins are committed against the body (1 Corinthians 6:18). It is also likened to idolatry. You take what was made in the image of God and make an idol out of it, worshiping the created rather than the Creator. You use people for your own pleasure, and the Bible is clear, God will destroy you for it.

But there is forgiveness in Christ, and only He can wash you from the stain of this perversity. We read in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Only those who are followers of Jesus have been washed of this sin, made pure in the eyes of God. The shame of their nakedness has been clothed by the righteousness of Christ. And they are in bondage to this sin no longer, set free by the power of the gospel. John 8:36 says, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

That means you can no longer walk in the sins of your former self, the old man you were before Jesus made you new. If you are still in that sin, you are still in bondage, and you've not yet been set free. You can no longer submit your body as an instrument for unrighteousness but you must become an instrument for righteousness (Romans 6:12-13, 12:1-2). Paul said in Colossians 3:5-10:
"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away... seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
If you cry out to Him for forgiveness, Jesus will forgive you and save you from your sins. He will give you a new heart in place of your old, dead, perverted heart. He saved me from this sin. He will save you, too. Psalm 101:4 says, "A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil."

Hugh Hefner will be buried alongside Marilyn Monroe, the first Playboy nude. Shortly after the news broke that Hefner had died, social media was all a twitter (pun intended) with kind regards for the porn mogul. It was said that the Playboy Mansion is heaven. The most common comment was this: "Hef is the only person to ever die where the phrase 'he's in a better place now' doesn't apply."

I tell you the truth: Hugh Hefner will stand before God in judgment, and the eternal sentence that God lays upon him will be holy and right and just. The wrath of God is coming against all the unrighteousness of men. Save yourself from this crooked and depraved generation. Repent of your sin and worship the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

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