I want to deal with a topic that is hardly, if ever, dealt with in the churches. I remember when I was a teen, as a bible college student, that our professor spoke quite candidly on the topic of self-gratification (masturbation). The classroom was made up of all boys that day and the girls went to another classroom with a woman professor. Our professor spoke quite openly and directly on the topic of self-gratification. While I was sitting and listening, I awaited a stern rebuke by the professor, condemning the act of self-gratification. I knew it was something many teen boys struggled with, because at the time, I was a teen boy and had struggled with it also. So I was anticipating a teaching from the professor that would give us the victory over the filth of the flesh!
Sadly, what I heard through the class teaching wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I will not name the professor because I don’t want to slander anyone. Simply stated, he taught that self-gratification was something normal and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. He said that contrary to the stigma and the conviction one has when engaged in that behavior, that it’s normal and we shouldn’t feel guilt or any remorse.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Part of me felt good (the flesh) and that I could continue such an act without the need to repent or feel remorse. But the other half of me (the Spirit) felt that the teaching being transmitted to us kids was wrong and that the Spirit of God was not in that teaching. The bible says to test the spirits to see whether they are of God or not. The teaching from that teacher at the time was certainly not of God. I feel that many of the students under his teaching went on to live years in bondage of self-gratification and self-abuse. It makes sense since that’s what they were taught by a “theologian” at a Bible College. Notice what the bible says about teaching, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:27 KJV). This tells us that we must be totally dependent on the Spirit of God to teach us and lead us into all truth. Should we give heed to teachers, Yes, however, everything must be tested in the light of Scripture!
There is a popular belief by some that the term “Onanism” gives license to self-gratification. If you look up the term you will see that “masturbation” is part of the definition. This is not true. The term is man-made and distorts the truth by asserting that self-gratification is linked with a man in the Bible named Onan. Well, we know who is the Father of lies and who twists the Word of God, don’t we my brothers and sisters? Yes, Satan is the father of lies and takes scripture out of context! Lets look quickly into the context of Onan’s situation.
Onan was told by Judah, “Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother” (Gen 38:8). Onan reasoned within himself that the seed (offspring) should not be his and he disobeyed the words of Judah. Onan then goes in unto his brother’s wife and rather than complete his role in the conception process by fertilizing the egg, he emits his sperm on the ground. (vs 9). This violated Judah’s command and God slew him for it. That was the problem with Onan. He disobeyed the voice of Judah. We don’t see anything in that context regarding masturbation.
Pop culture and science would have you to believe that it’s healthy and the norm. But how can one call “healthy” an act that is done by people who have heavy conviction and mental trauma afterwards! Those who either have the Holy Spirit in them or those whom the Holy Spirit is beckoning, both understand that self-gratification is condemned by God. The bible tells us not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Self-gratification is a lust of the flesh. Hence, why so many feel they are in bondage to this harmful act.
So we have Science on one side telling us it’s ok, and we have the Spirit of God on the other side telling us it’s not ok. There truly is a tug-o-war being acted out between the Spirit and the Flesh. Some will say, “YOU HAVE A DEMON, YOU MUST HAVE IT EXORCISED OUT OF YOU!” That is just not true. You can’t cast out a work of the flesh. It’ll just come back (the thought), since it’s an act determined by the mind. The bible states, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Cor 10:5).
That is what needs to take place, digging up the root of the sin. What is the root? The images, the imagination, the dwelling of thought, the wandering of thought. Thoughts can wander, and if they are not checked, harnessed and placed back in line, they will take you to places of regret. So the mind is the area we need to focus on. I deal with a lot of people who are looking for the “magic pill” to give them victory over self-gratification. I simply tell them that there is no magic pill. They have to do what I had to do and still do, bring the thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ. It’s as simple as that. No magic pill, no demons to cast out, no chopping off of the genitals, no drugs, no psychiatrist, just OBEDIENCE.
You may feel like a slave, you may feel like your in bondage, but understand, no one takes you there against your will. No one forces you to sin, you are given a choice in the matter. Yes, the temptation will present itself but we don’t have to give into temptation. We don’t have to be sin’s slave. Jesus was our example in the wilderness. He dealt with temptation as an example as to how we should deal with temptation, by resisting it and submitting to God.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
Let us choose Obedience.