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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty new to this site, so apologies if this has been addressed before and I haven't seen it. But I want perspectives from other professing Christians on the topic of masturbation. I'll try not to be too explicit or vulgar 馃槄.

I have read respected Christian scholars and counselors on the topic of masturbation and they have differing views. One view is thoroughly represented in this post: If Your Right Hand Causes You to Sin: Ten Biblical Reflections on Masturbation

The other view is from Wayne Grudem who believes that masturbation is not always sinful and cautions against making prohibition of it a "rule" since the Bible itself doesn't do that. He thinks adding commands not given in Scripture is a potentially very dangerous idea. He also thinks that a lot of people, young men especially, will reach the point of being so discouraged in their walk with the Lord because of their failure to abstain from masturbation that it will be a serious problem for their faith. That said, Grudem believes that mental images of naked people and accompanying fantasies are sinful based on Jesus's words in Matthew 5:27-30 (v. 28 specifically).

So my situation is that I have a pretty high sex drive but I'm unmarried. I believe in the Bible and that sex outside of marriage between man and wife is unwise and sinful. So I masturbate to relieve sexual tension. The problem is, I agree with both of the views on Christians and masturbation above 馃槄. Obviously they're in conflict with one another. I admit that lust is something I struggle with as a Christian, but I do try to fight it daily. But as I said I have a high drive and I masturbate almost daily, though without visual aids, just imagination.

So I'm hoping for some clarity and biblically based evaluations of this issue. I doubt we'll conclusively resolve it here but any well-meaning posts are welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I no longer Christian but I had a Christian upbringing although it wasn't a very strict one, and I certainly remember that premarital sex was frowned upon but I don't remember anything about anyone saying masturbation was off-limits.

I tend to look at it like this. If you're Christian you believe that God was a creator. If he created people to be horny whether they were married or not, then if you really believe he was the architect of man, then that would suggest he doesn't care what you did about that.. I figure if he was really a stickler for no masturbation, the heat of created people to only get horny after they were married and only for their spouse. Which is nowhere close to reality.
I disagree with the second paragraph... I don't think God creating people suggests he doesn't care what they do with their bodies or hormone-driven desires. But though I disagree I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. Can I ask how long you were a Christian?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Origen, one of the Church Fathers, castrated himself in hopes of laying to rest his thoughts of lust.
He later reported that it didn't work, so even going as far as removing your hormones will not stop it.

God has promised forgiveness everytime you confess your sin, so you can have confidence when you fail to live the best life, you can ask forgiveness and carry on.
I believe that, as long as you do not involve anybody else, like pornography or a female, it's really a non-issue.

Just keep to as many wholesome activities as you can and, when you fail, ask forgiveness and get back to keeping to wholesome activities.
Much of masturbation is really about being disconnected, so one area you need to address is finding ways to becoming more sociable.
Clubs, interests. The more sociable you can be, the less time and opportunity you have to start focusing on your inadequacies, which drives you to sexual lusts.
I like your idea of being more sociable. Do you have any suggestions?

Also, I agree with you that involving pornography or other women would definitely be wrong. What do you believe the biblical answer is to mental sexual acts during masturbation? Is that wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What kind of skills do you want to learn?
Do you cook? Do a cooking class.
If you develop interests, you'll have a reason for people to want to associate with you.

Learn to cook.
Learn to present yourself better and more confidently.
Learn your domestic skills, until you're the queen or king of cleaning.
Musical instruments.

There is so much out there to do, instead of wallowing in your basement and focusing on your inadequacies.
I do like art and music. I could learn to develop either my drawing or piano skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just growing up until I became an adult. I grew up in a very strict fundamentalist Baptist community but that was not the church I attended, but it was the predominant Church and they owned most of our little suburb and now have a church the size of a huge arena.
I understand. I hear of a lot of people in that situation growing up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Can you define what "christian" is in terms of people as individuals?
A Christian is defined as one who has been born again, placed their faith in Christ alone for salvation, follows him for the rest of their lives in obedience and repentance. There is more that could be said but that's a good definition to start with I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
So what you want. Stop allowing others to make the rules for you.

The main rule is - cause the least harm to yourself and others.

Don鈥檛 live in shame and guilt. Be happy.
Allowing others to make rules can be a good thing because authority is a good thing. And just because an action causes less harm doesn't make it the right one. But your last point on not living in shame and guilt I agree with as a follower of Jesus.

Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.馃槃
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
We are both Christians and can't see where the Bible says masturbation is wrong. Like anything else it can become an obsession but as long as porn isn't involved I can't see what is wrong.
If you can masturbate without the mental images, just on the physical sensations even better.
Trouble is that people get married so much later today which makes it hard for Christians.

Hopefully you have a good supportive church with Christian friends.
So do you follow the interpretation that masturbation with mental images is wrong according to Jesus's teaching in Matthew 5:28? Admittedly, I have tried to masturbate without mental imagery and have largely failed... Not meaning to be descriptive of my internal thoughts. But anyway, that's where my guilt comes in from the situation, the using mental images and the disobedience that seems to be according to Matthew 5.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, do you think it's wrong to have mental images of distinct people? Like celebrities for example?
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Also remember that it was men interpreting God's word who wrote the Bible, which is why it is sometimes contradictory.
I believe in divine inspiration and biblical authority and do not believe the Bible has true contradictions. There are many apparent contradictions, but upon further study these can be explained and are found to not be true contradictions. I also take great comfort in the fact that the original text of the Bible has been copied down through the centuries with greater than 99% accuracy, more than any other book from the ancient world.

I don't want this to come across as condescending or rude. I'm just explaining my viewpoint on the matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
One of the things you need to consider is not about Christianity but about your particular brand of Christianity and their views on it.

Christianity is not one overreaching umbrella that covers everything. There are multiple sects of it many of them having differing views on things.

For example Baptists are painted as being against homosexuality while Lutheranism doesn't have much of an issue about it. And even then in the sects themselves there are differences of views on what a sin is. There are Baptist Churches that are vehemently against homosexuality while there are others who aren't as bothered over it. Same as my example of Lutherans. Some branches are for it, others against it.

But let's look at a recent saying of arguably the most powerful of the Christian faiths...Catholicism and the Pope. Recently (last couple of days) Pope Francis said that sex out of marriage is not the worst sin you can do. There are far worse transgressions.


So if diddling someone else's nethers isn't all that bad...diddling your own bits is no worse than that and likely even less so. Monty Python's "Every Sperm is Sacred" notwithstanding. However that opinion can change the next time we get a new Pope. Look how Pope Benedict was. Any man who considers himself "The Rottweiler of God" isn't likely to bend from arch-conservative ways.

So that is what it boils down to. Asking me makes no sense since I'm no longer Christian (Wiccan) and when I was Christian I started out Catholic, then went to The Way Ministry, then went Episcopalian (Catholic Light: All the ritual, half the guilt), then agnostic and finally pagan. What you need to do is talk to your own denomination and see what they think and if you're a unaligned Christian...considering that some do and some do not, it's all going to fall on your own beliefs and how the odd wank fits into it.
Can I ask what made you exchange Christianity for your current system? I've studied other religions (as a Christian, not a prospective adherent of the other beliefs) and have found that Christianity is the most consistent within itself and provides the most coherent picture of the world. I'm curious what your thinking on the matter is.

But to address the original point of this thread馃槄 I disagree with many Catholic viewpoints because they are usually consistent with biblical teaching. I care less about individual denominations than I do the Bible's own words. But I can understand your viewpoint, as many denominations (mine included) do have different interpretations on secondary and tertiary doctrines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Gather information, pray about it and be open to the leading of the Spirit. Asking others for opinions will give you opinions from both sides. It's like drinking, some Christians say it's okay and some say it's not. Same with this subject so it's better to just talk to God about it.
Prayer is definitely an important part of any process. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 · (Edited)
Ultimately, you are going to have to have a "conversation" (however you want to interpret that) between you and God, whether directly or via the Holy Spirit. Between Y/you, you have to determine what is God's path for you, what is and isn't allowed. You can listen to human advice all day long, but it will be as conflicted as your two sources. One of the rules of thumb that I live by is "there is no one true way". And I use the sheer number of denominations as proof of that. Most of them profess to be the right and only way. I'm not going to tell you whether it is sinful or not. It may be that God has said no to you and yes to me. Or vice versa. Only you can determine that with God. No other human can actually tell you. Many will claim they can, but they don't actually speak for God.
Just because there is a large number of denominations does not mean that there is not one true way. A multiplicity of denominations speaks to our inability as finite humans to correctly interpret and wisely apply the truth. Just because multiple groups have differing ideas while each claim to know the truth does not mean we should conclude there is not one, objectively right answer. If several math teachers each claimed different answers to the equation 4 +4 = ? we would not use the "sheer number" of their multiplicity of claims as evidence that there is not one true answer. Your argumentation is flawed.

Further, I believe that God's own self is the standard of morality and that God is immutable. Morality is objective and unchanging. Your advice is consistent with moral relativism, which is not a tenable position either experientially or, more importantly, logically. Relativism is self-contradictory and an illogical system.

Finally, many Christian denominations agree on the core doctrines of Christianity (the Trinity and Christ's resurrection to name a couple) and reach differing conclusions on less important doctrines. I in fact have learned and shared time with people of other denominations with unity because of our common faith, though we would disagree on the less important matters.

I know you were trying to help and I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 · (Edited)
"Hey don't murder anyone, but go and kill off every man woman and child in that city I'm sending you to conquer, even if they are not fighters." We've already gone back and forth on the whole interpretation thing, and I pointed it out again above. Masturbation is never directly addressed, so in the end it is up for interpretation.
I think you're referring to God's command to Israel to wipe out the Canaanites. God has the right to give life and kill, and Israel was God's instrument of justice at that time. So while it is wrong for one human being to murder another, in that instance of the Old Testament God was carrying out his own divine prerogatives through Israel. That is not an example of God conflicting morals because the killing is from God through Israel, not from one human being to another. And as the perfectly righteous creator of all who rules all things, God has the right to kill whomever is deserving.

These articles helped me when I read them some time ago. I hope they are beneficial to you as well:

 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Why can鈥檛 you decide these things for yourself?
Why would you let someone else sway your conscience?
Your own mind knows what鈥檚 right or wrong for you.
I'm not letting others decide for me. I want other carefully considered evaluations of the issue so I can gather more information and round out my understanding. I am very capable of deciding things for myself, but I like hearing other researched options as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Plus as Christians it's good to know what God says about things isn't it. After all, He is very wise.
Absolutely. All opinions and beliefs, no matter how carefully researched or articulated, must be tested against the Bible. If it's inconsistent with Scripture it should not be accepted as true or be put into practice.
 
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