Tuesday, 04 August 2009
When I read the front page blog post about the author who infiltrated the Christian campus of Liberty University, I was kind of saddened and disgusted. While I agree masturbation can become a sin, I don't agree that it inherently is one. That being said, I would like to note, that everything can become a sin; as a sin is simply when you set up an idol or addiction above God. I will attempt to clarify the true reasons that masturbation can BECOME a sin here.
1. Masturbation can lead to or accompany impure thoughts about the person you are dating or are attracted to.
This is a true statement and must be watched carefully. It is possible to masturbate and simply think about what you are doing and what you are feeling. I know many women who simply think about what it would feel like to actually be having sex or even simply on what they are doing. I even know some girls who think about absolutely nothing. In my personal opinion, scripture says we are to take every thought captive, therefore, I see no reason why this is not possible. Some women even spend the time exploring their bodies, all the while thanking God for the wonder he created.
2. Masturbation is a very personal thing and can develop into a FOCUS on your self during real sex in a committed relationship.
When you get married and are engaging in regular vaginal sex, most women aren't satisfied completely. Thus the problem that if you have made masturbation something you do habitually in order to simply gain pleasure you may come to expect your partner to do exactly what you want them to or look down on them for not making you the focus during sex. Sex is a give and take thing. Some times you won't have an orgasm and you have to realize it's not all about you. You have to spend time loving your partner and they will spend time loving you. Some times sex will be all about them and you will not get anything out of it. If this is the norm however, then the relationship is unhealthy and you need to sit down and talk to them about it frankly.
3. Masturbation can lead to pornography.
This statement is the most dangerous part of masturbation. This is completely separate from the impure thoughts problem because it is so serious. Many people are led into needing stimulation when they desire to masturbate. If this is the case, then obviously you don’t really NEED to do it and that it’s an abuse of your body’s functions. It becomes an addiction where you are satisfying yourself and making a connection to a woman or man who is not really there and is a hollow and negative act. It also sets up unachievable standards for a mate to follow. In pornography 99% of all the emotions and feelings portrayed are fake and the sex shown is simply acting. An old MTV show once talked about the lives of porn stars, the women especially talked about how sex no longrt had meaning anymore. They could have sex all day and not feel anything because sex had no real purpose anymore (other than physical function and for making money). How very sad. Masturbation, to these same spiritless sexual acts, is setting your self up for a stronghold that may become VERY difficult to overcome later in life.
4. Masturbation can become a habit, addiction, idol, and crutch.
I know a whole bunch of men who have told me that they made it through certain parts of their life by masturbating. It was an area of escape for them because their lives were so out of control. Many talk about how they spend most of their time in their rooms because they would spend the whole day "doing it" and hoped no one knew what was going on. Some people have become so addicted that they will masturbate when they are at sleepovers or on trips where they sleep at someone else’s house. Others will tell you they don’t even know why they do it. Instead of getting help for their problems they turn to it because it gives a chemical/hormonal release that will make them feel better. Instead of reading their Bible for guidance and instruction, they turn to the feel good drugs that are given when you achieve orgasm.
5. Masturbation is a simulation of sex and outside of mutual masturbation within a marriage; it is simply connecting yourself to nothing but you.
Interconnecting yourself has been a valid concern many Christians have asked about. While I don’t have much input on this subject, I do understand the concern and like pornography, it should be considered very much in your contemplation of this topic.
6. Masturbation is a stumbling block that will possibly lead you to inappropriate relationships such as internet sex and possibly affairs.
Truthfully the latter of these is less likely, however, if you publicly do Internet chatting and what many call “cybersex.” You are in a lot of trouble. You are creating an outside relationship with the feelings of connection that come with masturbation and this can be a very destructive situation. It should be a private matter that isn’t really discussed with anyone else outside of these kinds of discussions.
Overall, I could probably think of a few more but this is a good enough start. I do tell teens that masturbation isn’t inherently a sin, but it can, like anything else, become a sin. It become an idol or God in your life. You can turn any habit into such a God. Money, marital sex, music, TV, shopping, children, relationships, church, etc. can all become gods or idols in your life. You can’t serve your emotions or your body. As long as you are constantly seeking God---in your attitude towards your actions and truly feel no conviction in doing it, then you have no reason to feel you shouldn’t learn more about your body and share it with your spouse. Aside from these ideas, there is no real scriptural evidence that masturbation is wrong. Personal beliefs, traditional community feelings, and an overall religious taboo have flavored the current church’s feelings on the subject. If you are Catholic, I don’t have anything to say to you other than the scriptures talking about God striking the man dead for spilling his seed was because: A) man didn’t follow God’s distinct law about having to conceive a child for his brother who died and B) he was also “wasting” his seed which was to contain the messiah who still hadn’t been born yet. The Jews were expecting him and therefore every sperm was sacred and hoped to be the ever awaited Messiah.
So who is right? Those that believe masturbation is a sin or those that believe it is allowed as long as it doesn't become an idol?