September 5, 2009

Masturbation and Alcohol

I have question about what is commenly called ”masturbation”.Nowadays some people say masturbation is not sin.They try to put their point as follows;The Bible did not mention about it even though it was a common practice since old days. Is it considered as ”sexual immorality”? Can this man lose his salvation if he continues to do so? What is your suggestion on this point?

As God says, “My ways are not your ways,” and St. Paul says, “The flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh.” People are anxious to justify themselves by saying various sins aren’t a problem, but they are. Clearly it is sexual immorality, and there is an easy test in two parts:
1) Does it prevent or hinder prayer?
2) Would Jesus do it?
If we think about it, the Bible doesn’t mention everything in detail, and the Old Testament permitted things not allowed by Jesus, as in multiple wives and divorce. Sex belongs in marriage only. Everything outside marriage gets classed as “sexual immorality” and it isn’t always spelled out. Pornography isn’t mentioned either, but it existed in Roman times.
As to losing salvation, this isn’t a question I can answer, because I’m Catholic. From our point of view, it is possible to prefer something else to God, and to refuse to repent. This is a refusal of Grace, and a rejection of God, if it is a “grave matter” and done with full knowledge and intent. This all sounds very legalistic, though, and it really a matter of relationship and love: God wants us to be pure, and give ourselves only to Him. When we prefer a selfish indulgence and misuse of our bodies to God, we are denying something to God that He rightly deserves: our love. In addition, sexual immorality of any kind makes us less attuned to the Holy Spirit, and more likely to fall into error and away from the real Gospel.
Mainly, masturbation gets in the way of the Gospel, and isn’t Christlike. It roots us in the way of the world, and reduces us to the level of brutes, not images of God.
At the same time, God loves us and gives us the grace to overcome sin, and forgiveness when we fail. At least one great writer from the early Church (Philoxenes) says sexual sins and temptations remind us that we don’t love God perfectly, and keep us from fooling ourselves. So we needn’t fear, but simply try our best and accept the grace God gives us.
I hope this helps, please let me know if there is more I can do.

i am realy truely blessed with your answers sofar,but i am learning now to ask you about yourself so that i would know what to ask.Are you realy dedicated for this service to help people,from which denomination are u from,,,,
today i have question about what does the bible say about drinking alcohol as a christian. some people say Jesus did his first miracle ,jhon chapter 2,converting the water to they thing that it is not against the context of bible,they also mention verses from the book of proverb that it gives joy to your heart.Isn’t it conroversial,,,,
I think you may have some thing to say on this but i am afraid you may not answer my question on basses of ”western culture” but just the bible.

Hi, thanks for writing again!
As to drinking alcohol, the Bible certainly does not oppose it, but the Gospel demands that we not get drunk. Drunkeness invites us to sin, and lessens our ability to be Christlike. Here is a good page on this issue:
It isn’t controversial for me, because the current prohibition in some denominations (as against dancing and music) are simply modern additions to the Gospel, and I’m not bound by rules that don’t come from God. At the same time, St. Paul counsels us not to damage the conscience of another, so if I’m around someone who doesn’t drink alcohol for religious reasons, even a Muslim, I will not drink it out of love for them, and I won’t try to convince them to drink. They might do it against their conscience, and that would be wrong.
As far as dedication, I answer up to 500 or so e-mails a year, and our site will get about 50,000 visits this month, but my paycheck at a regular job pays for the web site and everything else here. We have been very blessed by God, and I hope to keep the site up as long as He wishes it. I wish I could spend all my time in teaching the Gospel to others, but very few people want to hear it or live it. I am blessed to teach a few hours a week, and I get to teach my own children and friends, of course.
As I belong to Christ, I’m not bound by “western culture”. I’m made free by Jesus Christ, and I look to him for the way to live. Like nearly all Christians before 399 A.D. (and much later), my guidance comes from the teachings of Christ as witnessed by the Apostles and by the interpretations of the Gospel by them (Acts 2:42). I’m Catholic. If my answers come from God, you will know, and the denomination won’t matter. Please pray that I do what I should.

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