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God's Gift Of Masturbation

The Bible DOES speak to the subject of masturbation. But the first principle that must be established before covering the subject of masturbation, is the subject of lust as it goes hand and hand together. First read 
Is It A Sin To Lust? You will see that lust is defined differently in the Bible than we define it today. So once you understand that it is not a sin to enjoy the beauty of the opposite sex, masturbation comes into a new light. The Bible never uses the actual word, but that does not matter because it can be called different things in different times and cultures. It never condemns the act declaring it a sin and requiring a sacrifice for remission of sin. This is important as any sin requires a blood sacrifice, an ejaculation in the Bible required no such thing. The Bible does list a whole host of sexual sins, but masturbation is not among them. The following passage in Leviticus speaks directly to this issue.

Masturbation In The Bible

“ ‘When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. “ ‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Leviticus 15:16-19 

To enter into the holy place before God you must be considered clean. It is not a sin to be unclean. But to stand before God there is a higher standard. There are 3 distinct acts indicated here, none of which are a sin.
1) man has emission of semen, an orgasm, ejaculation
2) man has same emission but this time involving a woman 
3) woman has her monthly period
Now a woman having her monthly period is not a sin, but it does make her temporarily unclean before God. A man having sex with his wife is not a sin, but that also makes them both temporarily unclean before God. But the 1st part makes it a point to make a distinction between an ejaculation involving a woman and an ejaculation not involving a woman. That only leaves oneself to initiate the orgasm. This my friends is called masturbation. It can not be referring to anything else. If there involved another man or beast to help initiate the orgasm then that is homosexuality and bestiality which is specifically condemned in the Bible as a sexual sin. So this is an orgasm only with oneself. And while it does make you temporarily unclean before God, it is not a sin because it is listed along side things that are also not a sin. It is also not a "wet dream" or a nocturnal emission because that is listed in a different manner elsewhere in scripture.

When you are encamped against your enemies, keep away from everything impure. If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. But as evening approaches he is to wash himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp. Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourselfAs part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. Deuteronomy 23:9-14 (Here we see a wet dream reference in scripture and it is a different phrasing and Hebrew wording than the one in Leviticus 15. So if Leviticus 15 was referring to a nocturnal emission than it would have been phrased the same way. Either way though I'm not convinced it really even matters anyways. But again, no condemnation on this in the Bible.)

The verse in Deuteronomy goes on to explain how they need to bury their excrement when relieving themselves so as nothing indecent or unholy is before God. Should we consider it a sin to pee or poop? Of course not. Is it shameful to poop? No it is not. Do we poop out in public or in private? In private of course, because it is a private matter. It is the same with masturbation, it is a private matter and it is not shameful. Humans need to relieve themselves with seminal emissions just the same as they need to relieve themselves going to the bathroom, perhaps just not as often depending on sexual drive. Humans also experience hunger and must relieve themselves by eating food every so often as well. Eating food can be pleasurable just as relieving yourself to go to the bathroom or having an orgasm. It is not sinful unless we utilize this in ways that God forbids. He never once forbids masturbation. 

Pooping and peeing are the same as seminal emissions, it is relief to the body. All 3 feel good and often is associated with a groaning sound, as it is a relief to the body. Trying to not have seminal emissions is like trying not to poop or pee. It is only possible for a time because eventually you have to poop, pee, and ejaculate. This is how God made us. God provided a way for us to relieve our sexual desires when marital activities are not available to us. It also prevents us from seeking non-marital options for relieving ourselves, as that would be sin. Masturbation is to be self regulated, not forbidden. We are to treat this gift in proper ways, not in improper ways. 

Is There A Blood Sacrifice Required For Masturbation?

In Leviticus 15, there could appear to be a sacrifice of 2 doves and 2 pigeons for masturbation indicating it is a sin because a blood sacrifice was made. But this is not the case as it is speaking to a different issue.

“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any man has an unusual bodily discharge, such a discharge is unclean. Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. This is how his discharge will bring about uncleanness: Lev. 15:2-3 (This is NOT an emission of semen, as a different word is used for that. This is "unusual" and "continues flowing." It is believed to be gonorrhea, which is a sexually transmitted infection which caused bodily discharges.)
 
“ ‘When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean. On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord to the entrance to the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the Lord for the man because of his discharge. Lev. 15:13-15 (We see that this discharge is counted as a sin due to the blood sacrifice of an animal. The infection of gonorrhea is spread through the sexual act with an infected person. It is a sin to have sexual relations with an infected person. But this is not a simple emission of semen as the following verse begins to discuss and use different wording for that.)

“ ‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Lev. 15:19 (This verse clarifies "regular flow" of her period, which is not a sin because no sacrifice is called for.)

“ ‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Lev. 15:25
“ ‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge. Lev. 15:28-30 (A sin offering is required on this different occasion and is clarified to be a discharge of a different kind. Not of a regular period, but of "a discharge of blood for many days at a time" or "a discharge that continues beyond her period." This is again speaking of the infection of gonorrhea.)

These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who has sexual relations with a woman who is ceremonially unclean. Lev. 15:32-33 (Discharge is speaking to something different than an emission of semen or that of a woman's monthly period as different words are used and a clear distinction is made.)

“ ‘If a descendant of Aaron has a defiling skin disease or a bodily discharge, he may not eat the sacred offerings until he is cleansed. He will also be unclean if he touches something defiled by a corpse or by anyone who has an emission of semen. Lev. 22:4 (Again we see the distinction between a bodily dicharge, which is in association with another disease, and an emission of semen. And the emission of semen requires no blood sacrifice in this text either.)

Perspective

Masturbation is something that everyone does whether we want to admit it or not. In fact, most people do admit it that they do it on a regular basis. This begins at a very young age when puberty strikes approximately around the age of 10-12 years old. How can something so prevalent not be addressed by God as most people claim? But I have shown that God does address this in his word. God created human sexuality as a gift meant to be enjoyed. Yes we must of course be careful not to pervert that which God has gifted us with, but we should also not be ashamed of it. God wants us to have pleasure in what he created as good. God also uses our sexual desires to get us to marry and procreate on our own. It is God's command to "be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it." God would not create these feelings within us and not offer us a way to relieve ourselves. God wouldn't create human sexuality at a young age and force us to suppress it. 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Cor. 10:13

The Church's Teaching On Masturbation Is Damaging

The church has taught for a long time that masturbation is a sin. Not only that, they have taught that it is a sin to "lust," as they wrongfully call it, and have sexual thoughts in the mind. The destruction that this causes is enormous. The shame that young people feel and the burden that they carry from a young age all the way through adulthood by these teachings. They try to suppress these feelings only to fail over and over again. They are being set up to fail. They are being driven away from God because of the shame and feeling something is wrong with them. Instead of pursuing God, they are driven away on a daily basis. They are being driven away from the church because their feelings do not align with what the church teaches. They can not live up to the impossible standard and can not bare the burden. We are told that we should rely on God to free us, but the truth of God's word sets us free. What we are teaching to young people is cruel. How cruel would it be to teach them that it is a sin to poop or pee? That they must seek the power of God to support them in holding it in. They would fail every time as God created us all to relieve our bodies with poop and pee. It is unhealthy to hold it in. 

One of the big ways that the teaching of the church on masturbation is damaging is by the trickle down effect. If masturbation is a sin, and masturbation can't be controlled but for a small period of time without sexual release of some kind, then theoretically you are living in sin in your own mind. Many try to fight this, not being aware that it is actually their God given nature and gift they are fighting, and they fail over and over again. Guilt and shame is a continuous cycle in this process. Then comes acceptance that they can't stop. They are living in sin in their own mind. Here is where the damage comes in. They rationalize to themselves, if I'm gonna be doing this and it is sin, then why not just go for the real thing? And that's exactly what happens. Now they are really sinning against God and their own body, which is the temple of God.

No Law = No Sin

Read the page on sexual immorality to see what that includes as written in the law. To summarize it includes sexual relations outside of marriage, incest, bestiality, and homosexuality. Masturbation is not included. Sexual relations mainly includes a uniting of the body. As that is what is talked about in the two becoming one flesh. There is no 2 in masturbation, there is only 1. And there is no uniting with another going on although sexual immorality doesn't have to include uniting. But there is no relation of any kind. And there is no law against it. There must be a law against it to declare it a sin.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. I John 3:4 (Now we know the definition of sin.)

Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15 (If there is no law against masturbation, then it would be a teaching of man to forbid it as that is adding to God's word.)

For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Romans 5:13 (There must be a law against it to declare it a sin.)

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Romans 7:7 (The law tells us what is sin, period.)

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor. 6:12-20 (The start of this text is the Corinthians making correct statements, but Paul providing context. Although we enjoy many freedoms, overindulgence is prohibited as not to be mastered by anything. To sin against the body is to "unite" it with another person outside of marriage. This is referencing sex with someone not your wife. Masturbation does not involve a 2nd person to "unite" with. Paul says he "will not be mastered by anything" referencing moderation.)

Consider this...

Fact: sexual desire is extremely intense pre-ejaculation, yet immediately after that same sexual desire is gone. 
Assumption: most people that say masturbation is a sin, also say the thoughts that lead to it are a sin. 
Statement: those that masturbate and those that don't masturbate have the same sexual thoughts and they are both sinning.
Question: So why not masturbate and get rid of the thoughts?
Answer: That is what masturbation is for, to release the sexual energy so that you may go on about your day and not be overly consumed with sexual thought. Unfortunately, many due to false teachings on the subject of masturbation, fight this release solution and consume themselves with sexual thought. This is the equivalent of torturing yourself.
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