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Is Masturbation a Sexual Sin?

by Paul R. on July 27th, 2016 in Men, Students

xxxchurch - Is Masturbation a Sexual Sin- (1)The ‘M’ word, Spanking the Monkey, Choking the Chicken, Bashing the Bishop, Buffin’ the Bishop, Blowing Your Own Horn, Choking Kojak, Civil War (yeah, I’m not sure about that one either), Doing the Dew, Draining the Lizard, Flute Solo, Glazing the Donut, Han Solo (for all you pun-lovers), Jackin’ the Beanstalk, and finally, my personal favorite, Getting Tennis Elbow.

We tend to talk about masturbation without actually talking about it, but if we’re honest, most of us have masturbated at some point.

Sometimes the reaction we get when we talk about it is the kind of reaction you would expect if you admitted kicking kittens in your spare time. So let’s start off like this, everyone poops, and pretty much all of us, at one time or another, have engaged in __________ (fill in your own personal preference from the list above).

There have been many ways we’ve talked about masturbation here at XXXchurch. In fact Levi wrote post about this topic earlier in the week. You can check that out here.

But the main question I always seems to hear is this:

Is masturbation a sin?

Usually a person asks this question from the context of their own personal private time; they’re wondering whether it’s okay to participate. The answer is usually something along the lines of, “Well, the Bible doesn’t expressly forbid masturbation, but it does speak pretty clearly on lust.” Which then raises the standard follow-up question: is masturbation all right if your mind is completely blank and not focusing on anyone?

Which then makes me wonder: just what are you thinking about?

These are not bad questions in and of themselves, yet they often leave us scratching our heads more than giving us a clear direction. So I would like to propose a few different ways we can think and talk about masturbation.

1. Masturbation Is Not the Worst Sin Ever

I’m neither condoning nor condemning masturbation but simply taking a step back and realizing that masturbating does not make you an evil person.

The truth is, conversations around masturbation and porn are so rare that in our minds we create this huge wall that we don’t know how to deal with when it starts to crumble on us. We make it so huge that we don’t want to talk about it, which allows our addictions to grow taller and thicker, all because we’re led to believe it’s weird and no one else does it. But they do. Which leads to…

2. Porn = Drugs; Masturbation = Bongs.

A lot of the time that anyone masturbates it is accompanied by porn. It’s probably the easiest way to get aroused when you are on your own, and as such it is easy to become addicted to porn. When such a powerful force as porn goes along with masturbation, the hold porn has over us grows as well. If porn is the drug we use to suppress pain, then masturbation is the bong. 

So a question better than “Is masturbation a sin?” might be, “Is there something deeper going on that we are trying to use porn and masturbation to heal?

We can spend a lot of time doing our best to not look at porn or masturbate, and we might even be successful, but sooner or later, the question of why we use these things in the first place needs to be answered if true freedom is to be experienced.

3. Freedom Is Not Legalism

When we place masturbation in its correct context as something that can be potentially harmful but not something we need to be ashamed of or keep hidden from others, we can leave behind old ways of thinking about it that lead to nothing more than legalism for many.

Legalism tells us what we can’t do but never goes into why we shouldn’t. You just don’t do it and don’t ask any questions, and if you get caught you better believe we’ll make you feel horrible for it. And guess what that leads to?

Grace, on the other hand, asks deeper questions. It asks what you are searching for; it listens to your experiences as a person with the purpose of better understanding who you are; it makes you feel secure and free to go to the deepest parts of yourself, not afraid of the dark because it is no match for the light; it doesn’t control; and most of all, it seeks to give us freedom from those things which slowly choke us and keep us imprisoned.

When we talk so much about sin in a way that builds lust and masturbation into these huge monsters that are growling constantly, we seek to control them by placing them in cages. But we don’t address the real issues, and so continue to feed them until they grow too big for their cages and finally break out, creating more damage than ever before.

When this happens, it may be time to think a little about how we talk about masturbation and everything that comes with it. Because some of our old ways are not helping anyone.

Least of all Kojak.

 

 

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  • Nathan

    Keeping it simple. Yes it is, I can honestly say I masturbated for years without a lustful thought in mind. Yet still I came convicted enough. Reckon the mind of Christ is bashing one off once in a while to please yourself? Heaven on earth, we gonna get bored in heaven and go under our covers or to the toilets to bash one off, no way! Let God fulfill every need you have, not yourself.

    • Seth Alan Taylor

      Did you even read Paul’s post?

  • Iván G.

    In 1 Cor 6:12 is a perfect bible verse that addresses this in two ways. does benefit you and are you being mastered by it. and I think the answer two both questions is yes. try stopping. not so easy so it’s mastering you. second every time you orgasm you release dopamine and you’re becoming addicted to the act. you also associate your surroundings to it. if I normally masturbates at bedtime, anytime you’re ready for bed your body is going to want to (happens to me. but when I decided to sleep on the couch I don’t have an urge too). like mark Driscoll said, if you can masturbate without looking at porn or lusting, you’re not sinning but you’re just weird.

  • iabidengod27

    Keeping in context with the article, is this photo really the most appropriate photo to use? By this I mean to say that it is too graphic of an image that portrays what this man is representing and it runs the risk of triggering images and memories that those on a path to breaking the habit of masturbating, would do well not to be reminded of. Do you, XXX Church, want to be even the smallest of a pebble that sends one stumbling?! NO! I feel rather certain that you don’t!
    I was curious to read this article and maybe find a clearer answer to my questions of “Is masturbating a sin?”, “Is it permissible?”, etc… but instead, I see an image of what is represented as a naked man jacking off to pornographic pictures on a laptop screen. Suddenly, I find myself quite irate at the fact that, instead of finding answers, I find myself veering away from a plummeting edge that threatens to send me back to an incognito tab on my laptop, searching any images that would get my hormones jiving!
    Even if there is only a few people who feel the spindly tentacles of temptation due to images that you post, then that is a few enough people whose healing and purity should be of utmost value to you, because it is to God. Even if there is only one person and that person is me, then my healing and purity should be of the utmost value to you, because it is to God.
    Be careful what you post!!

    • albibird

      I find it more comedic than arousing. Lighten up a bit. It’s funny.

  • Jason

    I like wht was said in this article but i have no money to pay for the workshops and i struggle monthly on it use to be more but gettin less

    • Levi Crotinger

      Its like what my father said when i asked him to pay for counseling. He told me “son, if you dont make some form of sacrifice, what can you expect to gain here?” If you cant pay a bit for your workshop, then stop paying for your internet/get a non smart phone.

      The only way to allow Jesus to change your heart and mind is to give everything to him. Where ever you spend a bulk of your money, there your heart will be also.

      These workshops dont charge you just so they can profit from you. They charge you so that you are making a sacrifice. Just as Jesus did.

      • Jason

        Ya true im a college student and no job and live wth parents

      • albibird

        It’s a good business decision, too. People always value more highly things that they invested more in. This is why luxury expensive foods are perceived to be tastier, even when in blind tests they score no better than cheap equivalents. Every half-decent church administrator knows that the more the congregation gives – in time, money and social capital – to the church, the more loyal they’ll be.

    • Dude

      Also it costs money to make a quality 30 day workshop.

      If it was free I tell you, it would be low quality and less effective. Things cost $.

  • JP

    Thank you for this article, but is there anyway the image of the man on the computer can change to something else? I only ask this because I’m overcoming the struggle with same sex attraction , it’s a tough journey and frankly this image isn’t helping. Thank you for your time.

    • Marc

      I’m with Jp on this. Same issue.

  • albibird

    I think the lack of mention in the bible is itsself an argument. Masturbation is not a rare thing – people were doing it three thousand years ago. Almost every male past puberty has done it at some point, and most of the women too. If it’s a sin, then surely God would have thought to mention it at some point. He can spare the verses for a lot of far more trivial things, yet masturbation goes entirely without mention. Omission in this case can be taken as a lack of objection.

    • Dude

      Why would he need to mention Masterbation directly when Jesus clearly claims perving at a female as a sin. That is the whole subject plain and simple!

      Matt 5:28
      But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      • Albibird

        That verse is probably a translation error – not from Greek to English, but in the Aramaic to Greek. By the definition of the Jewish culture of the time, adultery was limited to sex between a man and a wife belonging to another man (As seen in the famous commandment). The Greek dialect in which Jesus’s words are recorded doesn’t even have a word for ‘wife’ in general*, so there is an obvious translation error.

        Taking that into account, it’s not warning against lust in general: It’s warning specifically against lust after a married woman. Lusting after an unmarried woman wasn’t such a big issue – look at Samson, he slept with a prostitute and God didn’t object in the slightest.

        Remember that none of the original words of Jesus are recorded. He spoke** in the common language of the time, which was Aramaic, but the people who recorded it did so in Greek. There’s an interesting theory, though disappointingly impossible to prove of disprove, that the very famous ‘camel through the eye of a needle’ line should actually be ‘rope through the eye of a needle.’ The Aramaic words for rope and camel are similar, and rope seems to make more sense.

        *There was no need. It worked by possessive tense. They would say ‘Mike’s woman’ or ‘Jerry’s woman.’
        **As a religious scholar he likely also learned Hebrew so he could study the holy texts, and he probably picked up a bit of Latin and Greek but is unlikely to have been a fluent speaker. But his sermons were to the Jewish population, and would certainly have been in Aramaic.

  • Matthew

    Matthew 5:30, masturbation is mentioned in the bible. Have a great day guys and gals, remember God loves you more then anyone could, but saying there is no talk of masturbation in the bible is wrong.

    • Hunt

      Matthew 5:30 (NLT) – “And if your hand- even 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, I can see why you think this verse is about masturbation. But, 1.) This is too broad of a statement by Jesus for you to say, “Oh, He’s talking about touching yourself “. There are many sins that can be committed by using your hands. And 2.) You can actually masturbate without using your hands. Ever heard of “dry humping”? For you to say that there IS talk about masturbation in the Bible, is wrong. The word just doesn’t come up in God’s Word (that I’m aware of). I’m not saying that masturbation is either sinful or not sinful, because truthfully, I’m divided on the issue and have been for a while now.

      • Hunt

        After looking over Leviticus 15, I’ve actually been convinced that masturbation, by itself, isn’t sinful. Leviticus 15:16-17 states: “If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall wash all his body in water, and be unclean until evening. And any garment and any leather on which there is semen, it shall be washed with water, and be unclean until evening.” So this verse explains that an emission of semen just makes you
        unclean. There is no sin offering that is to be offered for this, just taking a bath or shower after doing it is required. Our bodies(I’m talking about males here, not quite sure about the females) are designed to produce semen monthly. Males have these things called seminal vesicles. These are the things that store up semen in our bodies. When emitting semen, the semen mixes with the sperm produced in the testicles and then exits through the penis. The human male body needs to do this at least once a month or one and a half months because the seminal vesicles get full and need to release. If you don’t masturbate, then your body will do this through a nocturnal emission. During a nocturnal emission, you will release semen due to a dream or no dream at all while sleeping. The body will then produce more semen that will need to be released again at least by the end of the month. It’s better to just masturbate than to have to wake up once a month at 3:00 am to take a shower and wash your pajamas.

        (TL;DR) Masturbation, when done by itself, is not sinful as far as I’m concerned. It’s just another way the body releases semen. Whether you like it or not, your body will need to release semen at least every thirty to forty-five days until you are older and your body doesn’t produce as much of it anymore (at least this is the case with most guys). This is the way that the LORD designed our human bodies.

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