Wednesday, July 18, 2007

An anonymous commenter wrote "get a grip" about my last post, it made me think about masturbation.

A topic that doesn't get mentioned much in blogs. I was a bit perturbed recently when the American publisher of our book edited one of the prayers the line said "I am struggling with masturbation and lust" the publishers removed the word masturbation.

It annoyed me because this is a subject that people should feel they can talk to God about, and actually each other.

I remember when I was 15 I had my first ever word of knowledge, it was at a youth camp, there were about 200 people in the room, and I got up and said "I feel there are some people here who struggle with masturbation", looking back it's funny because it's a dead cert word in a room with that many teenagers!!!!

Is it a sin? It doesn't get a mention in the bible, but to many that isn't a strong enough argument. Lustful thoughts, now thats a sin, what we do with them is a choice.

For me masturbation falls in to the category of self love, a selfish act, we are called to die to self.

Many guys I know who struggle with this area do so because they masturbate with images of people they know in their minds, this is primarily because they are relational guys. This of course brings a lot of guilt, but knowing it's because they are relational should help them see that it's their light side being overshadowed by darkness.

For others it is just any image.

My feeling is it's not the act thats wrong but what goes on in the mind whilst committing the act.

Another common thought is "once I get married I won't struggle with this anymore" this isn't true.

Romans 14 is very helpful on this subject, I found this written by a guy called Lance Pierson:

1. (Verse 1 -2) Different Christians have different points of view and different opinions. Gods will for one person might not be the same as his solution and provision for another. What is right for one may be wrong for another.

2. (verse 3-4) We need to respect, not condemn, those who have a different opinion on certain areas than ours.

3. (verse 5) We should make our minds up and not keep changing our own interpretation.

4. (verse 6 - 9) Whatever action we take and decision we reach, we should seek to honour Jesus and express thanks to God.

5. (verse 10 - 12) We must be ready to explain our choices to God when he judges us at the end of the world!!

6. (Verse 13 - 21) Don't do anything that will harm a fellow christian

7. (Verse 22) In the last resort it's a matter between you and God, keep your conscience clear before Him.

8. (Verse 23) If in doubt about anything don't do it

For me the worst thing about all this is that we have made it hard to talk about if stuff remains hidden, people end up thinking that they are the only one who has a problem and then live in turmoil. We need to bring these things out into the light.

For further thinking on this check out xxx church


mimosa lankinen said...

Great post again Brian H! We thank

Mark (from Guernsey) said...

Reminds me of the old quote 99% of men struggle with masturbation and the other 1% lie!

It's so important to be open to one another's struggles and support one another. To not have anything that can't be talked about. It's so easy to restrict ourselves to "spiritual things" (whatever they are). I have struggled painfully with the volume and ethics of my work for months/years and have found it so difficult to discuss deeply with even my house group.

Jesus' friends were known by their intimate love one for another, Lord take us to that place.

Shame to hear about your publisher's editing.

dave wiggins said...

the big question is ... do we bring our things out into the light or just do it in the dark?

Anonymous said...

keep your things in the dark please. i just don't get all this crap talk...

Jen said...

This is quality stuff brian. Not crap affects both sexes.

Tanya Heasley said...

I have always found it easy to be honest about myself and others.

I know some people don't like what I say but it helps me to not dwell on things in my head, causing me to have bed feelings.

I have been challenged lately that this is selfish behaviour as I'm not thinkig of other peoples feelings.

This is true, but speaking my mind helps me resolve my issues and I prefer to be honest and open, rather than hide (like anonymous has).

john heasley said...

Somebody tells you to get a grip, so you write a post on masturbation, I worry how your mind works. Anyway I believe too many issues are not talked about, how are we meant to grow and learn if some conversations are taboo, as a family we should be able to talk about anything, issues in the dark can be corrupted by the darkness.

Mike said...

totally agree with what you have written. for too long many people dont talk about things becuase they are taboo subjects, that dont dont affect "real christians". people dont talk about it, so people struggle in silence with their guilt thinking they are the only christians that struggle with it! to discuss and deal with these issues together is true fellowship and will contribute to spiritual growth rather than let them fester in silence in our heads.

jonah said...

Hey Brian,

Can't you just choose to not allow Anonymous posts? I don't know who this guy is, but if he is cowardly enough to sit back and make idiotic comments (that are, by the way, completely anti-biblical and indefensible) from behind an anonymous user, then I don't think he deserves a voice on this blog or any other one.

I'll defend his right to stand up and say whatever he (or she) thinks, no matter how stupid what is being expressed may seem to me. But that person has got to have the guts to put a name to his silliness. If not, its just annoying.

alamedero said...

OK, i just had a look.

Under "comments" you can change it from being "everyone can comment" to "registered users can comment".

I think pretty much everyone here is a registered blogger user, right? Even if they aren't, it takes like 20 seconds to sign up.

I vote for an end to anonymous stupidity!

Jenelle said...

Masturbation is quite taboo in the grander conversation about sex and male sexuality. It is even more glaringly taboo in the conversation about female sexuality. And I wonder why?