What’s wrong with Masturbation?

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The topic on masturbation is one which has generated a lot of controversies in the body of Christ; more so, since the Bible seem silent about the topic. While some dismiss the act as a normal part of a guy’s life (and the lady too), many others are crushed under the weight of guilt and they ask themselves whether they will ever be free. If I am in any way correct, masturbation and Christian are two words that have not been found to get along very well.

This brings to mind the big question, “Is there anything wrong with masturbation?” and if there is, what is wrong with it? I will not be in a hurry to say “Yes” or “No” but will want you to follow my line of reasoning, after all, we are entitled to our own opinion and mine is being explored here.

There are diverse opinions on the concept of masturbation and care be taken not put a stamp on the correctness or wrongness of it simply because from ones stand point, he/she wants it to be either right or wrong. Almost everyone will say that since the Bible is silent about the topic, we cannot speak for God in the determination of the goodness or evil of masturbation, but like Apostle Paul said, “…I think I also have the Spirit of God.”1

Depending on the research one reads anywhere, between 85-95% of men report that they masturbate once a month and 40-80% of women.2 Now, with such a large number of people involved in this, what could possibly be wrong about it?
Several philosophies have been held on the issue of masturbation ranging from the way the culture viewed it to the way Medical science and the church also viewed it. Initially, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine was of the opinion that loss of semen, especially through masturbation weakened one and made him prone to disease and even death. The new thinking is that masturbation helps an individual discover his sexuality, reduces the risk of developing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), relieves sexual tension, prevents the possible occurrence of prostate cancer in the males and reduces menstrual cramps in women3 as well as  itchiness and dryness in menopausal women.4

They however admitted that it could cause among other things, fatigue, groin pain and premature ejaculations.5 What seems to amaze me about the topic is the transition from terrifyingly evil to very safe and in fact beneficial to the well being of all. But being the conservative that I am, I tend to support the fact that there may be something wrong with masturbation. I agree that the Bible is silent on the issue of masturbation but are there not other issues that the same Bible is silent about and does this silence make them any good for us?  Some have said that the Bible is very explicit about intoxicating drinks but makes no mention of cigarette smoking, but we all know its potential ‘benefits’.

On the WebMD.com site they have an article entitled “Sexual Health Guide to masturbation.” In the article they claim the following in regards to the ethics of masturbation, “While it once was regarded as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life.” With the rise in pornography in the world this view point is understandable. Even as short as 50 years ago the idea of pornography was taboo, but as our culture has moved further and further down the road of the “sexual revolution” we have seen this view point shift. One is now abnormal if they in fact are not viewing pornography, and most masturbation is accompanied by the viewing of pornographic material.

God created sex to be enjoyed, but within the limits of marriage. Any sexual activity outside that limits is considered lascivious and unclean by the scriptures. The categorical statement of Jesus on the issue of lust explains a lot on the issue for how is it possible for anyone to masturbate without having a preconceived sexual object of fantasy to take the person to heights of pleasure only he/she can experience?7 Like stated above, with the advent of sexual revolution and many people going into masturbation, few are so apt to talk about it because no matter how encouraging the new discoveries are about the benefits and safety of masturbation (solo sex), the police of the soul deep down criticises that act whenever indulged in.

For someone craving sex to resort to solitary sex is like a starving man enjoying the aroma of food that he cannot eat. The smell might be pleasurable, but ultimately it only increases the starving person’s torment.4
I started masturbating at an early age because I was exposed to a lot of things which a boy of my age shouldn’t know. But what could I do? In a house that accommodates extended family members, the security measures of the master of the house may be inadequate in ‘safeguarding’ the lives of the occupants of the house, especially the young ‘uns.’ My uncle came to live with us then, one of my father’s younger brothers and he stayed in the same room which I stayed. He was with us for years, thinking probably that he was doing his thing and we ours.

One day, he left a magazine (he sort of forgot to take it) and I saw ‘strange things in it, how that the penis could be used for things other than ‘peeing’. Unfortunately, we also had a house-help (be careful with your children when you decide to get one) who decided to show me what they were doing in the porn magazine. That was how it started. I was severally abused by house-helps thinking I was doing natural things that the book showed. So, when the helps left, I got hooked on masturbation. Any time I wanted to masturbate, I had to create an erotic scene in my mind, not knowing that I was committing adultery time and again, but when I grew old enough to know, I was stuck and guilt would not let me go.
According to Johann Christoph Arnold, “The so-called lines typically drawn between pornography, masturbation, one-night stands, and prostitution are actually an illusion. All of them are means used to attain sexual satisfaction without the “burden” of commitment. All reduce the mystery of sex to a technique for satisfying lust. And all of them are shameful – the secrecy of those who indulge in them betrays that fact more clearly than anything else.4, 8

God delivered me, and I am free. Free from the thought that I continuously violate the body God has given me for selfish reasons and that I can live with a conscience delivered from guilt. Don’t be deceived into thinking it’s all right to treat the sacred with contempt. Whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge!9 Do I think anything is  wrong with masturbation? I think everything is wrong with it! But should you disagree with my view point, ask yourself this before you do it again, “What if at the gate of heaven it is discovered that masturbation is abhorred by God, will it be that singular act that will negate your life-long commitment to God and send you to an eternal torment?” If giving it up the benefit of doubt to the Lord is what might save you ultimately, why not give it up now and not wait till when it might be too late?

With lots of love and certain assurance of heaven, remain blessed!

References 
1.       1Corinthians 740
2.       A Christian View of Masturbation  www.scribd.com/mobile/documents/4000341 
3.      Masturbation:Current medical opinions www.religioustolerance.org/masturba1.htm 
4.      The Morality of Masturbating; Towards a Christian View of Sexual Self-Stimulation Part 3: Masturbation: A Threat To One’s Marriage? www.net-burst.net/sexuality/masturbating.htm
5.      What are the side effects of masturbation from medical point of view?
6.      Mark 720-22; 2Corinthians 1221; Galatians 519; Ephesians 53-5; Colossians 35.
7.      Matthew 528
8.      Romans 1312-13
9.      Hebrews 135, 1Corinthians 316-17

Wale Funsho, a medical doctor by training, is a teacher of the Word, who currently pastors the Faith Assembly Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Abuja.
He has a God-given mandate to impact his generation, especially the youths at all levels, bringing to bare true life issues as he leads them through the maze of life by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
He is married to Abimbola and they are blessed with two children- Temiloluwa and Daniel.
He can be reached on: walefunsho@yahoo.com

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