It finally happened. Though I’ve been surfing the net since it began, gotten endless solicitations, and some pretty clever trick messages, I’ve never gone into a porn site.
Of course I have no desire to go to such places. My work with sexual addicts only enhances my strong repulsion for everything about them. I’m careful about ads and emails. I keep the search engines set on family levels. But it was almost inevitable.
In Sunday morning’s Oregonian great section on Gresham, there was a page on the diversity of churches. It talked about the Sulamite church, a Slavic evangelical church on Sandy Blvd., where the 2300 seats are typically filled with Russian speaking followers of Jesus. So I googled it, to find out more.
I quickly found the building highlighted in construction companies’ proud accomplishments. But nothing about the church itself. One link looked promising and I clicked on it. Suddenly my screen was filled with awful stuff. Almost as quickly, my Norton went nuts, screaming about virus attacks, naming them in red with high danger status. Almost immediately, I authorized Norton to stop the attack and clean my desecrated system. I was grateful for the safety of the automatic virus protection. I unplugged the network cable and wondered if the other machines on the network had been attacked already.
Then Norton asked me to authorize an Active X installation. I’d never seen it do that before. I noticed that the “do you trust” section of the notice didn’t say Symantec. Suddenly I stopped and pressed cancel. “Your system won’t be cleaned” it warned. I closed the warning, but it didn’t stop. Now I was suspicious. I couldn’t get the Norton to close. Finally I turned off the machine and restarted it, telling Norton Systemworks to run a quick scan.
Nothing. No infection at all. Extensive checking revealed no virus on any of my machines.
The porn site had deceived me by pretending to be my protector. And doing it quite well. Only my awareness of how Norton usually works kept me from allowing the Active X installation that certainly would have brought the deadly infection into my machine.
The parallel to what the devil does (2 Cor. 11:14) is evident.
As I reflected on the deception, I realize that there are all sorts of things that are not as they appear. Good people turn out to be evil doers. Pastors, like Ted Haggard, preach Jesus and righteousness only to turn up doing the very thing they preach against and then lying when they are discovered. On the other hand, godly people who live in integrity are accused of evil. Fearful people often see wrongness where it’s not. It seems the thing to do is to stop, reset, let the light shine in the darkness, test deeply, be patient with the time it takes, knowing that in the long run, truth will come out. Rushing the process may allow Active X to install devastation.
And pray a lot while the process goes on.