15 November 2013

Is Masturbation Sinful?

Often called a grey area or amoral, I've never really heard/read masturbation treated thoroughly and biblically. I think this note by Zuba is the most comprehensive and compelling treatment I have found and so I thought I should share it.

By Zuba Mwanza

Before I begin, I would like to state that my writing of this note was to a large extent motivated by an article I read on the Modern Ghana page, entitled "Pastor Chris Oyakhilome's theory of Masturbation". In this article, Pastor Chris is quoted saying the following,

"Masturbation in itself is not a sin against God. Satan simply uses it in oppressing Christians and making them feel ineffective and inefficient in God's sight. But, once u understand that it has nothing to do with God, but its about you and your body..."

He said these words in a telecast when asked the question, "How can a Christian overcome Masturbation?" And when his response clearly seemed to have raised a lot of dust, he reinforced his position a few weeks later in another telecast (which I happen to have a copy of, and is also on Youtube) by clearly stating that, "It was not a slip of the tongue.." (as many who hold him in high esteem had been saying).

Everything God created is good [Gen.1:31]. And part of what God created is sex, our desire for it, as well our capacity to enjoy it. And these too, are good. However, sexual intercourse was created to be enjoyed ONLY in a marriage context.

By definition, Masturbation is "the act of giving yourself sexual pleasure by rubbing your sexual organs," (Oxford, 2010).

The concept of masturbation is basically deriving sexual pleasure n' satisfaction in a manner that is not ordained by God. If God is the one that created sex, as well as our capacity to enjoy it, He therefore has right to determine/ prescribe the manner & context in which it can be enjoyed.

Unlike the sexual desire God created, lust is a bodily passion. It is a perversion of that which God intended for good. It is essentially a strong sexual craving, aimed at that which God has forbidden (ie. Sex outside marriage). Where as sexual desire is perfectly natural n' enables a married man/ woman to enjoy sexual intercourse, lust develops when "by one's sinful desires, a person is dragged away and enticed," (James1:14). Lust is normally fanned by what we watch (eg. Movies, magazines), what we listen to (eg. Songs, erotic stories from peers), as well as what we read (eg. Erotic novels and stories in online or printed articles). Lust is sinful firstly becoz God says so (1Pet4:3, Col3:5, 2Pet2:18, 1Corint7:9b, Prov6:25, Gal5:19-21). But secondly, it is sinful because, it drives one to imagine him/ herself enjoyin that which disgusts God. That for which Christ was crucified! Therefore, He says, "Whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt5:28. This is becoz, when u are havin lustful thots, the only thing keepin u from committing the sin physically is circumstance. Otherwise, given the ideal environment n' opportunity to do so, u wud seize it! However, God's will is that we shud keep away from sin becoz of our LOVE for him, n' not our fear of diseases, pregnancy or pipo walkin in on us. He wants us to hate sin for what it is. To "learn to control our bodies in a manner that is holy n' honorable, n' not in PASSIONATE LUST like the non-believer do.." 1Thessalon4:3-5.

One of the major reasons masturbation can NEVER be justified is becoz, without doubt, it is a product of passionate lust. In the earlier mentioned telecast n' article, Pastor Chris' underpinning argument is that "the sin is LUST, & not the masturbation that results from it. Because, masturbation is a habit like any other." This cannot be true simply because, whereas the Bible clearly forbids us to ACT OUT OF passionate lust as the non-believers do [1Thess4:5], that's exactly what masturbation is. In the telecast, he further argues that, "we cannot say that eating bread is wrong simply because we know someone who stole bread and ate it. In the same way, masturbation is NOT sinful, but the lust that leads to it is." This kind of reasoning is faulty because, if we are to go by it, even stealing wud not be sinful, except for the Covetousness or lack of contentment that leads to it. Therefore, if God is disgusted by Lustful thots, how much more what they lead to and what sustains them? Hence, not only is it improper for God's holy children [as Eph5:3 puts it], but also it offends God, becoz your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit [1Corinth6:18-20].

In addition, masturbation involves the arousal n' gratification of ones sexual desires in an illegitimate manner. Illegitimate in that, God the law giver does not approve. Masturbation is essentially sex with yourself. And so, eventho we may have no control over certain things that can arouse our sexual feelings, He requires that we "LEARN TO CONTROL OUR BODIES in a manner that is holy and honorable."1Thess4:4.

Therefore my beloved friend, if u are in the habit of masturbating, I wud like u to know that it is a SIN against God, and that He can enable u quit it (Titus2:11-12). I also urge all who will read this to live Self-controlled lives, becoz the ability to deny yourself that which u desire, primarily becoz God does not approve, is one of the surest ways of knowing that His Spirit lives in you!


Anonymous said...

God bless you