The sexual act is irresistible, to say the least.
Urges With A Purpose
The desire to copulate is stronger than anything man or woman can resist. It comes in the form of powerful sexual urges, which God Himself instilled in us for one very purpose, that of making babies.
Of course, mankind did come up with some nifty ways to circumvent procreation: condoms, abortion pills, surgical abortion, tubal ligation, vasectomy, etc., not to mention the poor man’s birth control of pulling out before climaxing.
And yet, in spite of all these, we have more people on earth today than at any other time in history. As a matter of fact, world population never decreases, it continually increases decade after decade.
The desire to engage in sexual congress, which leads to making babies, is ingrained in mankind because God spoke it.
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…” Genesis 1:28
So, birth control or not, children will pop up all over the place, and that’s because if there’s one thing man can’t shake is God’s commands.
They stick like glue, like white on rice… feel free to add your own metaphor. In other words, when God speaks we jump, whether we believe or not or pretend that we don’t.
Sometimes, sexual urges can be so powerful that those who are not married resort to masturbating themselves. However, from time immemorial, we’ve been told that masturbation is a sin; and those who preach against it only resort to twisting the following highlighted verse out of context.
“Then Judah said to Onan, ‘Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.’ But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother.”
Obviously, that verse has NOTHING TO DO with masturbation. Still, the question remains: is Masturbation a sin?
There are no verses that directly address the issue; but, looking at the totality of scriptures, there are 3 possibilities.
1) It is most likely a sin because it is the indulgence of the flesh.
“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16
And, as a Christian, when one sins one must repent.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John: 1,2
2) It is definitely a sin a) when masturbating one’s thoughts drift towards a married woman, a divorced woman, or anyone or any living thing with whom sexual relations are forbidden; b) when one indulges in pornography (itself a sinful fetish) to constantly stimulate and pleasure oneself.
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
3) It might be a sin, but God understands how powerful sexual urges can be.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Is masturbation then a way of escape sanctioned by God to avoid further temptation in a situation that might become dicey? Maybe. However, a way of escape can be other things as well, like keeping busy or taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
“Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
But one thing is for sure: if God considers masturbation a way to release a natural urge in order to escape a greater temptation, then masturbating might be a better solution than involving someone else in the act of fornication by which a greater infraction could be committed.
Sexual urges are very powerful.
They are God’s way of nudging us to get married and make babies; but if one is overpowered by them, one is strongly advised to take the plunge and tie the knot.
“But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2
As for masturbation, because there are no verses that directly address the issue, one must consider the totality of scriptures whereby the underlying subject as a whole can be connected, and from there allow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to shine through.