Let’s not pretend; even Christians masturbate. But what does the bible say about masturbation? Does the bible condemn it as a sin, or is it a safe and harmless practice, as every medical blog out there claims that it is?
In this article, we will dive deep into the spiritual realm, and find out what the bible says about masturbation. We will also explore relevant biblical stories and bible passages to drive home our points. If you’re ready, drop your lubricant and tissue paper, and pick up your bible, let’s study.
What is Masturbation?
Masturbation is the act of sexually stimulating one’s sexual organ to the point of orgasm. It is a natural and common human behavior that people from all tribes, cultures, nationality, and religion do.
The understanding and societal reaction to masturbation has evolved over centuries. For instance, in Ancient Greece, masturbation was regarded as a natural release of sexual tension. So, the society didn’t condemn it.
On the other hand, in Ancient Egypt, masturbation was associated with sexual impurity. During the medieval and Renaissance period, religious teachings condemned masturbation. The Catholic Church, especially, condemned masturbation as a sinful act.
Fast-forward to the 20th century, Influential figures like Sigmund Freud and Havelock Ellis provided more objective views that made people start seeing masturbation as a normal part of human sexuality.
The Biblical Perspective: What does the Bible say about masturbation?
No part of the bible mentions the word “masturbation.” The bible does not clearly condemn or encourage masturbation, but some bible passages provide perspectives that can instruct us.
Exploring biblical perspectives on masturbation requires careful examination to understand and interpret it rightfully. Although the bible did not explicitly mention masturbation, some bible passages reference it. Here are some you should consider:
Genesis 38:8-10- The Story of Onan
Many preachers reference Onan’s story when talking about masturbation. In this story, Onan didn’t masturbate, but he spilled his seed on the ground (which is most common in masturbation). This offended God, and God killed him.
God killed him for pulling out and wasting his semen. This is the same thing you do every time you masturbate. If God could kill Onan for wasting his seed once, imagine how he feels about you wasting yours every other day.
2. Corinthians 6:18-20- Your Body is a Temple
This is another sacred scripture used to preach bodily sanctification. It says that your body is the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit dwells in it. Although this passage doesn’t explicitly mention masturbation, we could interpret it to mean that God wants us to abstain from all kinds of sexual act.
Most times, after masturbating, you may feel guilty and ashamed of yourself. The feeling gets worse if you’ve been struggling with this addiction for some time. That feeling stems from desecrating God’s temple within your body. This is also the same reason why you may find it difficult to pray after jerking off. Your body and mind understand that you have just made the temple filthy.
3. Matthew 5:27-30- Lustful Thoughts and Actions
This passage says that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery. To masturbate, you must have some lustful thoughts. Worse-still, you have to watch pornography, which will not only involve looking at women lustfully, but watching them have sex and imagining that you’re the one.
4. Thessalonians 4:3-5- God Wants us to be Holy
This part of the scripture states that God wants us to be holy and sanctified, and to avoid sexual sin. Masturbation is a sexual sin. If you want to please God, it is best to avoid masturbation, because every time you masturbate, you’re committing a sexual sin.
5. Galatians 5:22-23- Fruits of the Spirit
Here, the bible lists the fruits of the spirit. Among them is the spirit of self-control. If you’re addicted to masturbation, you lack the spirit of self-control. Some people may argue that you can still have self-control and still practice masturbation in moderation. Well, this is not entirely false, but where do you draw the line?
What Do Preachers and Theologians Say About Masturbation?
- Early Church Fathers: Early Christian theologians like Augustine of Hippo strictly condemned sexuality outside the context of marriage. Augustine, who was influenced by Neoplatonic philosophy, considered sexual desire inherently sinful. This contributed to the negative views towards masturbation in those days.
- Medieval Theologians: The Augustine view spilled over to the medieval period. Theologians like Thomas Aquinas vehemently condemned self-indulgence, and this made the negative views even stronger.
- Reformative Era: The views on masturbation remained largely negative. Influential people like Martin Luther and John Calvin focused more on justification by faith, and didn’t pay much attention to discussions about sexual morality.
- Modern Debates on Sexuality and Masturbation: In modern times, debates, and conversations about sexual morality and masturbation has been polarized. The liberals want the biblical interpretations to be revisited in line with changing societal norms. Conservatives, on the other hand, maintain traditional perspectives on sexual morality, interpreting biblical passages through a lens of strict adherence to historical teachings.
Does God Condemn You For Masturbating?
The bible does not explicitly say that God condemns anyone for masturbation. In fact, God does not condemn sinners. This is why he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save sinners.
In John 3:17, the bible says that “God did not send his son to condemn the world, but for the world to be saved through him.”
So no matter how neck-deep you’re into masturbation, God does not condemn you. He still loves you, and his arms are wide open to receive you when you decide to turn a new leaf.
Seeking Guidance from pastors or elders from your religious or traditional faith can help you in your quest to overcome masturbation. It is not an easy journey, but there are many benefits you’ll get when you stop masturbating.
Conclusion: What Does the Bible Say About Masturbation?
Masturbation is a sexual sin, but the bible doesn’t say it explicitly. Many scriptures provide insights that shows that Christians shouldn’t engage in it. Some scriptures regard it as a sexual sin, an act of immorality which desecrates the body, which is supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.