Male and female sexual desire is not sinful

I was going to write on this a bit later, but Ballista started this thought so let me take it to it’s full conclusion. Ballista has been examining the improper conflation of emotion and lust as sinful in terms of Joshua Harris’ I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

I’m not going to go into that in detail, but the comment he makes after the post is extremely important:

To clarify something, which I’ll edit into the main post if it gets republished in any form:

While the linkage between lusting and coveting is obvious in Scripture (Exodus 20:17; Romans 7:7), the concept of sexual possession gets lost in Harris’ text when bounced against emotional intimacy.

The linkage of lusting to coveting (Romans 7:7) involves possession.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:17)

Coveting is desiring and wishing for something that belongs to someone else. Harris using David as an example of lusting is correct. What he did wrong was coveting a woman who was someone else’s wife (i.e. not his), not looking at her and being attracted to her. (the consequence of poorly stated doctrine with the goal of furthering this “emotional purity” falsity) This is the confusion created by Harris and other advocates of this doctrine, as was quoted in that original paragraph. They do not recognize that a single person belongs to nobody. Had Uriah not existed to Bathsheba, David could have rode right in and claimed her without sin. The fact that she was Uriah’s wife is what made David qualify as “lusting” her, not that he desired her.

In other words, you can desire a unmarried member of the attached sex just fine without sinning against the Lord. The only thing you need to do to be pure in His sight becomes avoiding fornication or physical intimacy as Harris puts it.

The important connection to make is the lusting is typically used in the Scriptures as coveting something that is not yours. In other words, adultery is lusting and coveting after a wife that is not yours.

The lusts of the flesh such as the 7 deadly sins aside from lust are pride, envy, sloth, wrath, greed, and gluttony are all based through a desire that overwhelms what is reasonable. Pride in the self covers over the the rightful position of God in your life. Wrath takes judgment into your own hands and out of God’s. Envy, like covetousness, is desiring something that is not yours. Greed is the overwhelming desire for material possessions at the expense of others and relationships.

To truly understand the nature of the what Jesus actually says we need to reference the Greek.

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery (moicheuo)’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman (gune) with lust (epithumeo) for her has already committed adultery (moicheuo) with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you [w]stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you [x]to lose one of the parts of your body, [y]than for your whole body to be thrown into [z]hell. 30 If your right hand makes you [aa]stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you [ab]to lose one of the parts of your body, [ac]than for your whole body to go into [ad]hell.

G3431 — μοιχεύω — moicheuō — moy-khyoo’-o
From G3432; to commit adultery: – commit adultery. Total KJV occurrences: 14

G1135 — γυνή — gunē — goo-nay’
Probably from the base of G1096; a woman; specifically a wife: – wife, woman. Total KJV occurrences: 221

G1937 — ἐπιθυμέω — epithumeō — ep-ee-thoo-meh’-o
From G1909 and G2372; to set the heart upon, that is, long for (rightfully or otherwise): – covet, desire, would fain, lust (after). Total KJV occurrences: 16

If you are familiar with Koine Greek, you should also be familiar with the fact that the Greek word “gune” is the ubiquitous term that is used for woman AND wife in the Scriptures. When Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Titus 2, and 1 Peter 3 all discuss about the roles and responsibilities for the “wife” it uses “gune” there as well.

If we note what Jesus says, it would be more accurate to say that the KJV and other translators got the translation wrong. It is more accurate to say:

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery (moicheuo)’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a WIFE (gune) with lust (epithumeo) for her has already committed adultery (moicheuo) with her in his heart.

How can someone commit adultery unless they are lusting after a “wife” and not a “woman.” This is an extremely important distinction because this mistranslation is often used to demonize male sexuality in terms of men who want to be married.

We can be assured of this because of the next following passage about divorce in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:31 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away (apoluō hautou gune), let him give her a certificate of divorce’ (apostasion); 32 but I say to you that everyone who [ae]divorces (apoluō) his wife, except for the reason of unchastity/fornication (porneia), makes her commit adultery (moichaō); and whoever marries a divorces (apoluō) woman commits adultery (moichaō).

G4202 — πορνεία — porneia — por-ni’-ah
From G4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry: – fornication.
Total KJV occurrences: 26

I already looked at divorce and the misconceptions about divorce in depth.

As I noted before in that article, sex and other sexual misconduct before marriage — fornication — is referred to the Scriptures by Porneia/Pornueo. Therefore, if Jesus was discussing sexual sin in regard to lusting after women he would have referred to it as “porneia” not “moicheuo.” The very fact that Jesus is referring to “moicheuo” means that he is referring to married women when he uses the word “gune.” In other words, if you covet a WIFE that is not yours you are committing adultery with in your heart.

Things Jesus did not say: Matthew 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed fornication (pornueo) with her in his heart.

Things Jesus did say: Matthew 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a “gune” (likely WIFE) with lust for her has already committed adultery (moichueo) with her in his heart.

Looking at the Greek wording is extremely important here. If it was talking about “women” then it would have used fornication. However, the text is clearly about “adultery” and thus the word gune is probably mistranslated in context as “woman” when it should be “wife.”

Not withstanding, the translators also translate apoluo as “divorce” when it solely means to “put away.” The background behind that is that Jesus is discussing common wisdom: “You have heard it said” which is the wisdom of the day of the other cultures specifically the Greeks and Romans. When He discusses it more in depth with the Pharisees in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 16 He specifically uses the same Greek wording as in Matthew 5. The culture at the time was such that the Romans and Greeks could “divorce” their women by “sending/putting them away” whereas Mosaic law in Deuteronomy 24 declared that husbands need to give them a bill of divorcement before “sending/putting her away.” Hence, the Pharisees wanted to entrap Jesus between Roman and Jewish law just like their questions about ‘paying taxes to Caesar’ and what to do with the ‘woman caught in adultery.’

Thus, Jesus hearkens specifically to say that you cannot put away a woman (implied: without a writing of divorcement) except if she committed fornication [prior to the marriage] otherwise she commits adultery if she remarries. This is supported by Deuteronomy 22 where the cloth from the marriage bed is presented as proof of a woman’s virginity. We know the importance of blood covenants in the Scripture; if there is no blood there is no covenant. After all, the New Testament is founded on the Power of Jesus’ blood for the remission of sins.

Hence, Jesus’ logical conclusion that you can “put away” a “wife” without a bill of divorcement if she fornicated prior to marriage. If she has lost her hymen because of prior fornication, there is no contract formed because there is no shedding of blood when the husband first has sex with his [presumably virgin] bride. Hence, “putting away” IS NOT A “divorce” as there was no marriage in the first place.

Thus, the mistranslation of apoluo as divorce. Indeed, this seals off the “adultery” loophole clause get-out-of-marriage if your spouse cheats. Even if your spouse commits adultery you should not divorce them. Thus, what Paul declares about separation in 1 Corinthians 7 applies to all marriages. Divorcing is sinful period. If you are separated from your wife you should reconcile not remarry.

Specifically, what does the Scriptures say to those who are unmarried who lust after [single] women?

1 Corinthians 7:8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

This is the logical conclusion: Those who lust/burn after single women are not in sin. However, because they have this lust/burning within them then it is better to marry rather than to burn.

These two specific mistranslations from Greek to English in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are extremely important to understand because they have given rise to some of the strongest legalistic heresies in the Church today. Here is the logical dispelling of them:

  • Sexual desire is good. Sexual desire only turns to illicit temptation when it covets something that is not yours such as someone else’s wife (Matt 5). In fact, if you have strong passion for the opposite sex then it is a strong reason on you should marry to avoid sexual sin (1 Cor 7).
  • Divorce is always wrong and sinful. There is no adultery clause to get out of marriage free given the correct understanding of Scripture (Deut 22, 24, Matt 5, 19, Mark 10, Luke 16, Rom 7, 1 Cor 7).
  • If a woman fornicated prior to marriage and you didn’t know (or she lied) you can “put her away” and it’s not divorce per Jesus since it is not a covenant marriage. Although the Father’s “what God has put together let man not separate” trumps this if you can deal with it.

These correct understandings seal all of the “loopholes” cleanly and show God’s Scriptures to be good, consistent, and logically sound.

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70 Responses to Male and female sexual desire is not sinful

  1. Pingback: Male and female sexual desire is not sinful | Manosphere.com

  2. ballista74 says:

    It’s good that you brought it back to Matthew 5:27-28 (that particular post didn’t get as much review as I usually undertake after I finish them). I will likely add discussion of that to my note that you commented. Thanks.

  3. @ ballista74

    You’re welcome.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    The “fun” part about interacting with the Greek is that God really does keep most things very simple. It makes the modern foolishness very present, as well.

    Great posts, both of you.

  5. ballista74 says:

    While I work on that comment I mentioned (and the next post on this which hopefully should go live tonight or tomorrow, God willing), I’m reminded of this, which deserves a response.

    However, the text is clearly about “adultery” and thus the word gune is probably mistranslated in context as “woman” when it should be “wife.”

    The problem here is probably not so much deliberate mistranslation as one of perspective. “Woman” is true for that verse, if the reader happens to be married, which is a poor assumption to be made. It’s also good to note comparatively that every translation lists this as “woman”. Wycliffe even made this mistake:

    Mat 5:28 But Y seie to you, that euery man that seeth a womman for to coueite hir, hath now do letcherie bi hir in his herte.

    Perhaps this is a good testimony as to the default expectation of marriage within Christian circles and the bigotry it entails in such things. Also notable is how the Greek lexicon (G1135) points out that this should be “wife”.

    However, I believe the point is quite well made with the presence of the word “lust” in that passage, and where I’m going with that comment. (interesting fact, “lust” and “covet” are different forms of the same word in the Greek: G1937, G1939, so it’s very accurate to say all the way around that these are synonyms – one can “lust” things just as well as another’s mate). One can not covet what is obtainable legally in the sight of God.

  6. @ ballista74

    That is a good point. I think it might go deeper than that actually.

    Generally, when the Scriptures were translated many fewer people could read. Most of the people that could read were educated and likely rich. Those who were educated and rich were typically men, and they were typically married.

    Hence, why it would seem obvious to the men (who were husbands) that if they lusted after “women” it would be adultery.

  7. Stationarity says:

    I have always believed that since the verse says “committed adultery”, that one of the two must be married. How can single people commit adultery? And young people lusting after one another is a prerequisite to “be fruitful and multiply” in my opinion.

  8. Jenny says:

    a fine line to walk…lusting leads to sin; or marriage 🙂

  9. I’m glad someone else took notice of Paul’s words in this context. Going by the traditional Evangelical interpretation of Christ’s words, Paul’s advice here would be contradictory and void because we shouldn’t even BE “burning with desire” in the first place.

    As I said in my posts over at Ballista’s page, I think that Harris was at least partially motivated by a desire to impose his own sexual brokenness and repression on others. Having looked into this extensively for the past several years, I think it’s safe to say that it worked.

  10. Looking Glass says:

    @Jenny:

    No, it’s not.

  11. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    @Chris Dagostino

    “I think that Harris was at least partially motivated by a desire to impose his own sexual brokenness and repression on others. Having looked into this extensively for the past several years, I think it’s safe to say that it worked.”

    I agree, but out of good intentions of course. We often think we don’t want others to be hurt and broken as we have been, so we tend to lose perspective in our attempt to mitigate their suffering by proxy.

    I tend to not want to get in the way of the lessons that life can teach others, but it’s not easy when you’re trying to think of the larger picture and it’s ramifications. But as we accept that the sufferings and trials of others are a part of His plan…then whatever we say and do must be carefully filtered through the Holy Spirit.

    There have been men who have spoken into my life some very poignant things, but I’m pretty should they didn’t speak EVERY thought that they could have at the time.

    Even in witnessing there can be scope creep and workout a bit outside our measure. Saying “trust me, don’t be doing that…’ never works.

    @ballista,

    “The problem here is probably not so much deliberate mistranslation as one of perspective. “Woman” is true for that verse, if the reader happens to be married, which is a poor assumption to be made.”

    That’s interesting because I’ve ALWAYS assumed that the “woman” was somebody’s wife, even when I was what could have been considered a babe in Christ. It only seemed to make sense.

  12. ballista74 says:

    That’s interesting because I’ve ALWAYS assumed that the “woman” was somebody’s wife, even when I was what could have been considered a babe in Christ. It only seemed to make sense.

    As I explained over on my blog, the problem is presented not so much in the “woman” part. The misdefinition of “lust” into desire in general opposed to coveting what is someone else’s is the biggest problem with how that Scripture is interpreted in the Churchian world (both dating and pornography). Hence the talk of possession that was done. It *should* make sense, but when people want to go their own way and bend Scriptures to their desires, they warp and twist them in thousands of directions. “Woman” aids the Churchian redefinition of lust to fit this false doctrine of emotional purity.

    Ultimately to the minds of these Churchians, that Scripture is saying: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman (any woman) to lust (desire her) after her hath committed adultery (against the future wife that God created just for him that the Lord has yet to bring into his life) with her already in his heart (seat of emotional purity, what matters as he is giving a part of his heart away).

    Terribly inaccurate indeed.

  13. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    @ballista…I’m with you.

    Inaccurate and it mocks how He crafted us.

    It explains why people have actually gotten rich explaining “how babies are made”.

  14. Coastal says:

    Well, since we’re on the topic of sexuality/desire and the church, I’ll throw this question in…

    Why is masturbation such a hot-button issue in Christian culture? It always seemed odd to me how something that’s never explicitly mentioned in the Bible gets treated as a sin, and in most church accountability groups it’s something that men ask each other about.

  15. @ Coastal

    God was pretty straight forward with Mosaic laws, and Jesus spoke to many things but they do not mention masturbation as something that is sinful. Neither did Paul or Peter when writing the majority of the New Testament, and sex drive has not changed since God created man.

    Thus, I do not believe masturbation is a sin (the act itself), but it also walks the very fine line of going down other roads such as fantasizing and porn use which may lead to temptation and sin.

    That said it is a hotbed topic such that it is best categorized into the topics that Paul explains in his analogy of the food sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 8. Don’t do anything with your freedom that may cause your brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble. The Scriptures also speak to avoiding even the appearance of evil, so if anything it may be categorized at sinful per se underneath that umbrella.

    Hence, for Christians it would be best to avoid “questionable activities” altogether.

  16. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    From what I understand; according to Catholic teaching, masturbation is actually a Mortal Sin, right up there with fornication.

  17. @ Feminine But Not Feminist

    Yeah, in Catholicism it is a mortal sin.

    I don’t see how they get there because it’s more or less an extra-Biblical concept. However, early Jewish and Christian sources do frown upon it.

    But, on the other hand, Jesus had some not-so-nice things to say about the Pharisees who made up laws and called them God’s.

  18. FBNF, the Catholic church has propogated the Gnostic genophobia that men like Origen invented. Mandatory celibacy for all priests, discouraging birth control because sex is seen as solely for the purpose of procreation, and on and on.

    Pay no mind.

  19. Pingback: Sexuality and the transition from single to married | Christianity and the manosphere

  20. Pilgrim of the East says:

    I’m kind of late to the party, but anyway:
    If you say you can covet only something that belongs to someone other and therefore that you can’t covet unmarried woman – it means that you ignore that in biblical times unmarried woman belonged to her father (that’s reason for dowry etc).

    My opinion on this topic (and I have no knowledge of Greek etc) was always that looking with lust was fantasizing in a sexual way (which seems to be supported by the Czech Study translation or https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A27-28&version=MOUNCE ) regardless of status of woman. Btw, it seems quite incorrect to emphasize importance of looking at original Greek text to prove your point that “it should be woman, not wife” and then write just like that “lust after woman == burn with passion” without any evidence whatsoever and then operate with this assumption to prove next point.

    Also in the context of whole Jesus’ sermon it seems that you overemphasize importance of difference of adultery/fornication – to me it seems that Jesus is basically saying my/God’s standards are far higher than Mosaic law – being angry at people is a sin in the same way as is killing them and that fantasizing about women is like sleeping with them and overall that people can’t hope to measure to these standards on their own…

    P.S.: regarding your answer to Coastal and your stance on lusting after women overall it seems that it can be easily interpreted (at least I can’t find anything that would oppose it) that porn is alright, as long as the actress is single and nobody knows you’re watching it . (saying that such as fantasizing and porn use which may lead to temptation and sin seems like a VERY liberal thing to say, because these days, what actually can’t lead to temptation and sin?; disregarding that fantasizing and porn use is generally considered sin even among “churchians”, let alone people who strive to be as close to God as possible)

  21. @ Pilgrim of the East

    If you say you can covet only something that belongs to someone other and therefore that you can’t covet unmarried woman – it means that you ignore that in biblical times unmarried woman belonged to her father (that’s reason for dowry etc).

    That is true. I think the main point that I didn’t emphasize well is that sexual desire is supposed to be a focal point to drive you toward marriage (e.g. 1 Cor 7) and thus interact with the woman and her family/father to see if both you and her are suitable for marriage. Ultimately, that’s the goal here. I think we can both agree on that.

    My opinion on this topic (and I have no knowledge of Greek etc) was always that looking with lust was fantasizing in a sexual way (which seems to be supported by the Czech Study translation or https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A27-28&version=MOUNCE ) regardless of status of woman. Btw, it seems quite incorrect to emphasize importance of looking at original Greek text to prove your point that “it should be woman, not wife” and then write just like that “lust after woman == burn with passion” without any evidence whatsoever and then operate with this assumption to prove next point.

    Lust (epithumia), is used multiple times in the NT in a non-sinful manner. Christians also say that “agape” is only God’s love, but it is also used a couple times such as in John 3 where Jesus states that ‘men loved (agapao) darkness more than the light.’ April (from peaceful wife) asked about this, and since I had done the word study before here it is:

    http://peacefulwife.com/2015/08/03/book-review-through-a-mans-eyes-by-shaunti-feldhahn-and-craig-gross/#comment-83990

    In general, sex drive = desire = lust. However, when the Scriptures refer to “lust” it does not always mean “sin.” This is best explained in Biblical terms.

    James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

    The Greek word for “lust” or “desire” is epithumia.

    G1939 — ἐπιθυμία — epithumia — ep-ee-thoo-mee’-ah
    From G1937; a longing (especially for what is forbidden): – concupiscence, desire, lust (after). Total KJV occurrences: 38

    It’s not always used in a negative context. For example, Jesus in Luke 22 uses the same word to say that “He has desired (or lusted) to eat the passover” with His disciples. Obviously, this is a good thing! It’s also used in Luke in the prodigal son who “desired” to eat the food that the pigs ate since he was so hungry, in Luke 16 when the poor man desired to eat the crumbs from the rich man’s table, and in Luke 17 when Jesus is saying a time will come when the disciples will “desire” to see the Son of Man but will not be able to find Him (probably referring to his post-death and pre-resurrection).

    A man’s sex drive is like “desire” or “lust” that is always there. It’s constant and gnawing sometimes just barely but sometimes like a man will feel like he is going to die. Only when this desire meets temptation *and* gives into it does it become sin.

    >> Desire + temptation to evil + dragging away –> conception (or succumbing to the temptation) = sin –> death. Desire + temptation to evil can be resisted and not sin.

    Likewise, when epithumia (or rather the verb epithumeo) is used by Jesus in Matthew 5 it is used in terms of coveting something which is not yours:

    Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully (epithumeo) has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    As you can see, a man’s desire or sex drive is not a sin. Nor is a man’s sex drive or desire and temptation a sin. It is only when those two combine and a man is dragged away and succumbs to the temptation that it births sin.

    Hence, “lust” or “desire” is not sin until it involved succumbing to temptation. Generally there is no distinction made between “lust” and “sin” because it is almost always used in the context of describe sin in the Scriptures, but it’s clear that this is not the case.

    The point is that the sexual drive stimulates you to action. In the case of evil, we are talking about desire or lust driving you to action. It is not the desire or lust that is sinful, but when the desire meets temptation that leads to sinful action where it becomes evil. Lust itself, just like burning with passion, is not sinful if it does not lead to evil actions. See: Semitic Totality concept

    Basically, lust (or the “fullness of desire”) only becomes sin when it meets temptation and is given into. I think that answers your point, but if it doesn’t let me know.

    Also in the context of whole Jesus’ sermon it seems that you overemphasize importance of difference of adultery/fornication – to me it seems that Jesus is basically saying my/God’s standards are far higher than Mosaic law – being angry at people is a sin in the same way as is killing them and that fantasizing about women is like sleeping with them and overall that people can’t hope to measure to these standards on their own…

    This is the amazing thing about Jesus’ parables, stories, and teachings. For example, with the story of the rich young ruler and the camel with the eye of a needle is Jesus talking literally as teaching or is it that He is giving a metaphor? In reality, it’s probably both.

    Obeying Jesus commands is both in context obeying the principles of His commands as well as obeying what He directly taught.

    In regard to this, divorce is probably the best example that Jesus gives. Jesus interacts with the legalism of the Pharisees so he states that legalistically speaking if a woman fornicated prior to marriage then you can send her away without divorcing her (because you were never married to her due to covenant not being established). But in reality, the principle that we should adhere to is what He said earlier in the passage: “What God has put together let man not separate.”

    P.S.: regarding your answer to Coastal and your stance on lusting after women overall it seems that it can be easily interpreted (at least I can’t find anything that would oppose it) that porn is alright, as long as the actress is single and nobody knows you’re watching it . (saying that such as fantasizing and porn use which may lead to temptation and sin seems like a VERY liberal thing to say, because these days, what actually can’t lead to temptation and sin?; disregarding that fantasizing and porn use is generally considered sin even among “churchians”, let alone people who strive to be as close to God as possible)

    I’m surprised you’re the first one to comment on this because it is a loophole in the argument. Fortunately, it is easily closed by multiple passages of Scriptures, one of which is Phil 4:

    Philippeans 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [e]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [f]dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    Dwell on these things (thoughts and emotions), and practice these things (actions). Pornography is no context can be considered any of such things above.

  22. Pilgrim of the East says:

    Lust (epithumia), is used multiple times in the NT in a non-sinful manner. …
    The point is that the sexual drive stimulates you to action. In the case of evil, we are talking about desire or lust driving you to action. It is not the desire or lust that is sinful, but when the desire meets temptation that leads to sinful action where it becomes evil. Lust itself, just like burning with passion, is not sinful if it does not lead to evil actions.

    I can quite agree with that, but Jesus didn’t say just “who lust for her” – you can’t often really help it – that Mounce translation I linked says “whoever looks at a woman to lust after her”, (N)KJV is almost the same, ISV says “who stares at a woman with lust for her” – all these point that it’s some kind of deliberate action (which is sinful) and I really doubt that girl being single makes it magically okay.
    (if I were to grossly oversimplify it I would say that it’s not your fault if you catch glimpse of pretty woman and get an erection but you’re definitely guilty if you continue to look at her so you can memorize her looks well enough to masturbate later)

    I’m surprised you’re the first one to comment on this because it is a loophole in the argument. Fortunately, it is easily closed by multiple passages of Scriptures, one of which is Phil 4.

    Dwell on these things (thoughts and emotions), and practice these things (actions). Pornography is no context can be considered any of such things above.

    loophole stays there, because it doesn’t say “practice these and only these things” – it may still be perfectly neutral (which I don’t think, but I don’t agree with your interpretation of Matthew 5:27-28 in the first place)

  23. @ Pilgrim of the East

    (if I were to grossly oversimplify it I would say that it’s not your fault if you catch glimpse of pretty woman and get an erection but you’re definitely guilty if you continue to look at her so you can memorize her looks well enough to masturbate later)

    This is what I take it to mean to.

    I think understanding the Semitic Totality Concept is important here. Basically, this concept is that the Jews did not believe that anything not acted upon was sinful and that all actions are seated in what comes out of the heart.

    Hence, Love God with all your heart, soul, strength in Matthew and Deuteronomy as opposed to the concept of the mind which you see in Mark and Luke… Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. There is no distinction between the heart and the mind.

    What I think Jesus is getting at in totality here is that if you’re constantly dwelling on a woman to where it gets to the point you’re willing to act on it, then it’s basically as good as committing adultery with her in your heart.

    In other words, emphasizing “epithumia” the desire is brought to fruition or fullness.

    loophole stays there, because it doesn’t say “practice these and only these things” – it may still be perfectly neutral (which I don’t think, but I don’t agree with your interpretation of Matthew 5:27-28 in the first place)

    We may have to agree to disagree then.

    My interpretation still defends against this since the seeing pornography in say a pop-up is not sinful just as seeing an attractive woman is not. However, going and seeking out pornography for gratifying lustful desire is indeed acting in a sinful manner. Obviously, this is opposed to taking thoughts captive to Christ.

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  25. Pingback: A wife’s plea to Christian men about their sexual sinning | Christianity and the manosphere

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  27. Minesweeper says:

    @Deep Strength, Im very late to this party.

    Whoever decided masterbation was a sin, decided this because of the sin on onanism. The fact he had full sex with his sister-in-law, which was absolutely fine as her husband was dead, the sin was that Onan didn’t ejaculate inside of her and deprived her of children.

    So the sin of NOT ejaculating inside your sister in law was turned into the sin of masterbating, presumably for both men and women, even though they tend to not leave a visible demonstration of their orgasm compared to men.

    I’ve been coming to the conclusion that prob all sex references in our translations are almost bogus. The rest of the bible seems fine. I do wonder why sex alone seems to be twisted in our church culture. Im actually not sure if the church culture influenced the translations or the translations influenced the church culture.

    Either way, it has added a very heavy burden to those who couldnt shake of the heresy and the amount of damage this has prob led to is enormous.

    Glad to have found your blog.

  28. @ Minesweeper

    1. Agreed. The sin was refusal to give an heir to his dead brother’s estate through the wife.

    2. That seems to be the case from what I have seen. The passages on divorce and lust seem to have been mistranslated in the NT.

    In our culture it goes much farther than that though. Christians just flat out ignore husband and wife roles and responsibilities. I’ve posted my thoughts on that being that the richness of society allows people to do what they want to do. Paul draws it back to the love of money in 1 Tim 6.

    3. Welcome!

  29. Minesweeper says:

    @Deep Strength, the disconnect between what the bible actually says and what Christian culture believes and lives by is just so large I really doubt it can ever be bridged.

    One thing I’ve noticed in my 20 or so years of being a Christian is that even if the translations are correct and the language plain, the culture still will just not follow it. It really seems to do the reverse, and if a particular part is translated the opposite to what it should be, it loves it all the more.

    I really wonder, has the enemy infiltrated the Christian culture at every level. Is the sin of mankind just too strong to overcome I do wonder.

    3. Welcome! – Thank you.

  30. @ Minesweeper

    Part of it is bad discipleship. Just look at the state of Christian men.

    The other part is that most people would rather go along with culture than follow Jesus. That’s why the road is broad that leads to destruction and narrow that leads to life.

  31. Minesweeper says:

    @Deep Strength says:”1. The sin was refusal to give an heir to his dead brother’s estate through the wife.”

    Not even sure if you could say that, there is no guarantee from “not spilling your seed on the ground” of a viable pregnancy. And we all know how unreliable the “pullout” method is. The sin was refusal to ejaculate fully inside his SiL. I know you were probably being polite in your reply, but if the bible gets into details such as it does, I think its fair to say, we can withhold the pleasantries when discussing it! I mean some of the stuff mentioned in Leviticus you wouldnt dare mention in church !

    A friend who is a missionary leader to Africa, has often told me, out in the bush with just mud huts or tents, you can hear everything for miles around. Esp sex! So sex in the community was well known among the Israelites in the desert (who was doing what to whom) ,the fact they knew when each female had her period as she had to leave the camp meant they also knew when she was probably fertile too. I guess its our western victorian view of sex, its not shared on the rest of the planet. In other cultures its a very communal experience. To think in weddings, the proof of the brides virginity was displayed to the guests ! Just a shocking picture to us, but normal to others.

    2. That seems to be the case from what I have seen. The passages on divorce and lust seem to have been mistranslated in the NT.

    Also check out the passages in original text on gay behaviour, that will open your eyes to the faults in out understanding!

  32. Minesweeper says:

    @DS, also the fact she didn’t get pregnant from her original husband, meant there could be a problem with her fertility. Generally the younger the female the more fertile she is on a exponential basis.

  33. Mrs. C says:

    Here’s a look at the Catholic teaching on this – if anyone is interested

    Basically sex is for marriage and for giving of yourself to your spouse. Masturbation is self-focused, which goes against the meaning of our sexuality. Sex is for marriage and is meant to be shared rather than being a self-limiting act that focuses on only our own pleasure. Although the pleasure we receive from sex is good and built into the sexual experience, sexual acts should not be intentionally separated from their procreative function. It is a wrong use of our sexuality. Just as fornication is a wrong use of our sexuality because it’s an act intended to be shared between spouses for marriage, masturbation is wrong for the same reasons. This teaching is for both men and women, of course.

    http://www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-teaching-on-masturbation.html

  34. Minesweeper says:

    @DS, oops, yeah she got preggers by dad much later on, so that theory is out !

    Interesting that the KJV and hebrew both state he ruined giving his brother his seed. Not really mentioning the wife as a central point. He was essentially denying his (dead) brother.

  35. Minesweeper says:

    @Mrs C, I couldn’t disagree more with that link. Where to begin with its fallacies ?

    Do bear in mind that Catholic church has a bit of a reputation with child abuse these days – sex (men), violence (women). Do you think its policy on masterbation could propel some to be abusive with children ? I would think its not outside of the realm of understanding, a extreme suppression of sexuality leads to some form of unhealthy breakdown.

    Full disclosure, my mum was taught by nuns, she said they were absolutely horrid. But apart from that I’ve not encountered any abuse in the RCC personally, the priests\nuns I’ve met were extremely graceful individuals.

  36. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    I couldn’t disagree more with that link. Where to begin with its fallacies ?

    Do bear in mind that Catholic church has a bit of a reputation with child abuse these days – sex (men), violence (women). Do you think its policy on masterbation could propel some to be abusive with children ? I would think its not outside of the realm of understanding, a extreme suppression of sexuality leads to some form of unhealthy breakdown.

    Full disclosure, my mum was taught by nuns, she said they were absolutely horrid. But apart from that I’ve not encountered any abuse in the RCC personally, the priests\nuns I’ve met were extremely graceful individuals.

    The fact that there have been some wolves in sheep’s clothing to infiltrate the Catholic Church in recent decades doesn’t mean that an official Church teaching that’s been around for several centuries is invalid. That would be like saying that [insert an original protestant doctrine here] is invalid because many of the modern protestant pastors have been engaging in fraud by collecting “donations” that went towards buying themselves fancy cars and mansions and whatnot, instead of using it to further the Kingdom like they claimed when conning well meaning people out of the money that they thought would be going to a good cause.

    Meaning, it would be interesting to hear what you think the fallacies are in the doctrine about masturbation itself, rather than your negative viewpoint of the Catholic Church.

  37. Minesweeper says:

    @FBNF, I don’t have a negative viewpoint of the RCC, quite the opposite actually. I do have a negative viewpoint on the “evils of masterbation”.

    “The Catholic teaching on masturbation says that masturbation is always morally wrong.” – who decided this ? Its not biblical in anyway. Its a throwback from the error of reading Onanism as discussed above. Always a bad idea to wrongly understand scripture then base a important “theological” argument based upon it. Its heretical. It is passed as Godly wisdom but is in fact foolishness.

    “The Catholic teaching on masturbation says that masturbation denies every aspect of that promise of sex — of that promise of your vows!

    Masturbation is:
    Focused on yourself
    A withholding from your spouse
    A statement that sex is only about pleasure — your own pleasure
    Inherently sterile
    Often accompanied by “adultery in your heart” through pornography and fantasy

    Catholics don’t condemn masturbation just because of some lofty idea of what the natural purpose of sex is. We speak the truth about the harm it does to people.

    That is the true reason for the Catholic teaching on masturbation: it denies the meaning of sex. It makes you less than fully human.”

    Every single statement above is wrong, I can’t condemn it biblically, as its not even mentioned in the bible. How do you refute something that isn’t even mentioned ? Sandwiches arn’t mentioned either, but I think they are ok. Maybe the combo of bread and meat is sinful sometimes. But its hard to refute either way.

    I had a friend who was a member of the RCC, he didnt masterbate and it ruined his marriage. Because they came together so infrequently, he was done in 2 seconds, leading to a very unhappy and frustrated wife ( who wanted to come together even less), who then looked outside the marriage for her sexual satisfaction. Now in his next marriage he “takes care of business”, and can make out with his new wife for a long time. Leading to increased satisfaction all round.

    I do know Christian males who don’t either and think its some sort of veneration of their “goodness”, the reality is it’s just foolish pride. As St Paul says somethings have the appearance of wisdom but are in fact foolishness.

  38. Minesweeper says:

    @FBNF, there is a very large amount of “belief” and teachings in the churches of all denominations that is just quite frankly barking mad. In everyone of St. Paul’s epistles you find instructions concerning false teachers, its very prevalent. And the only thing it seems to accomplish is to remove the focus from actually following God’s plan for the churches.

    Very little that God mentions in the bible for Christians to do is actually done, hardly anything. As everything is focused upon the cultural (human) way of having church, rather than God’s way.

  39. Mrs. C says:

    “Do you think its policy on masterbation could propel some to be abusive with children? ”

    Well, I’m no expert on the psychology of child predators but from what I’ve read, 95% of those who target children have disordered attractions and sexual drives specifically towards children to begin with. The other 5% fall into sexually curious teens, those with anti-social disorder, and those who are severely intellectually disabled or are psychotic. Really, if a member of the clergy is not able to control their sex drive and falls into sexual sin, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that they would molest a child because they’ve repressed their urges by not masturbating. It seems they would, in weakness, give in to the temptation to masturbate. Those who don’t have pedophilia, I would think, but admit I don’t know for sure, would find the idea of sex with a child repugnant.

    If masturbation is ok for relieving the sex drive, why does St. Paul say it’s better to marry than to burn? Wouldn’t it be better to dedicate yourself to the Lord and relieve your burning yourself? Is there a purpose to the sexual functions of men and women and if so, what are they? Can the pleasure or relief of sex be separated from the unitive and procreative functions of sex? If it can, why isn’t sex between members of the same sex ok? If it can, why is sex outside marriage not ok as long as it’s just for pleasure and relief and you use birth control? If either of the last two scenarios are not ok, why is sex with oneself ok? How is masturbation not a disordered use of the sexual faculties when the other scenarios are disordered? God is a God of order. Did He create the sexual function of the male and female to be ordered towards a member of the opposite sex for a specific purpose or can we use those functions in whatever way we see fit?

    The above questions are rhetorical and meant to give food for thought on the subject for discernment of anyone thinking about the why or why not of this topic. They don’t necessarily have to be answered here.

  40. Minesweeper says:

    @Mrs C, you really don’t understand how men work. After ejaculation the sexual desire is removed for a while until there is a rebuild up of fluids. One who is sexually attracted to another can remove temptation to fall into sin by ejaculating frequently.

    Do a couple who are infertile or marry in their 50’s still have sex ? If so why ? Do catholics still have sex after are unable to conceive more children ?

    As for the “marry or burn”, if you are with someone who you are both very sexually attracted towards one another, it will drive you crazy (even with masterbating), so yes, its better to marry and have sex, than to burn in your own desires.

    It should be obvious that females don’t have a sexual need to ejaculate, as they can’t, males do and do have a need, maybe some men are completely asexual and never experience sexual attraction. And maybe they became priests so they didnt need to marry ! And maybe they wrote the book on masterbation as a asexual celebate man and thought it would be good for all.

    Now there are maybe some who this is an addiction, in which case, the Lord will prompt and deal with the sin as he see’s fit. But it can also be a sin not to take care of your bodies needs – yourself rather than pestering someone who isn’t particularly interested.

    If a wife isn’t interested in sex (not uncommon) do you really want her husband pawing and whimpering at her all the time because he is not allowed to take 5 mins out of his day and remove his burden ?

  41. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Minesweeper

    You say masturbation isn’t a sin because the Bible doesn’t specifically mention masturbation as being a sin. Yet you also say you can’t refute what the Church teaches because it’s not mentioned in the Bible. So basically, it’s your word against the word of Church authorities. What makes you think your personal interpretation is more authoritative than those who Jesus Himself gave authority to? If you read the New Testament (especially Acts) carefully, you can see that authority in action (those who believe in Sola Scriptura need to stop ignoring that part). The ones that had been appointed as those in authority appointed others (aka, passed on the authority they had been given) on down the line. Do you have more authority to decide what’s what than they? Just because you don’t agree with what’s what doesn’t mean it’s heretical.

    Also, the 2-second guy you know didn’t have a failing marriage because of a lack of masturbation. His marriage failed because of his wife’s sins of 1) refusing to have sex with him more than just once in a while, and 2) seeking sexual satisfaction outside of the marriage. From the sound of it, if she wouldn’t have refused him, then there wouldn’t have even been a so called need to masturbate, so it wouldn’t have been a problem that he chose not to do that.

  42. Minesweeper says:

    @FBFN, so when exactly did this mortal sin get established in the RCC ?

  43. Mrs. C says:

    Minesweeper, I’ve been married 16 years. I do have some idea of how men work.

    Do a couple who are infertile or marry in their 50’s still have sex ? If so why? Do catholics still have sex after are unable to conceive more children ?

    Yes. There is a difference between INTENTIONALLY prohibiting the procreation of children and acts that don’t produce a child. A child is the supreme gift of marriage but it’s not guaranteed. If a couple give their bodies as they are totally and fully, that is a right use of sex as God ordered it. Sometimes there is the gift of a child and sometimes not. The important thing is that they are open to fruitfulness by their actions whether they are gifted or not. After all, we have seen examples in the Bible of older women conceiving when they thought their time had passed.

    @Minesweeper “As for the “marry or burn”, if you are with someone who you are both very sexually attracted towards one another, it will drive you crazy (even with masterbating), so yes, its better to marry and have sex, than to burn in your own desires.”

    Hmmmm…..the only thing wrong with this is that even if one is married they can find that they are crazily sexually attracted to someone else. You can’t marry everyone you find sexually attractive. Sometimes even your same ol’ boring spouse won’t quench the desire, what then? There is going to come a time when some self-mastery is going to have to be gained. How can we gain this self-mastery if we have to relieve every urge. I can’t buy that the burning is just because you are burning for a specific person. I think it more points to one’s ability to have mastery over their sexual desires and if not, it’s better to marry than to battle one’s flesh and fall into sin with sexual impurity. Even then, marriage still calls for chastity and we will have to gain some self-control even if marriage is a help for this, it’s not a cure.

    @Minesweeper “If a wife isn’t interested in sex (not uncommon) do you really want her husband pawing and whimpering at her all the time because he is not allowed to take 5 mins out of his day and remove his burden ?”

    While a wife should never be used simply as an object to “remove a burden,” she also has an obligation out of love for her husband to generously and willfully give herself for his mutual help provided there is no grave reason for her not to. The Lord also gives grace to overcome sin and the flesh so prayer should never be left out but used as a first defense against temptation. We are not left to our own human strength in any of this. Supernatural grace is often needed to overcome.

    As for your other points, this link gets more into the details. You can disagree with any of it. You were wondering above the reasons masturbation was considered sin. I was just providing the theology.

    http://catholicbridge.com/catholic/masturbation.php

  44. Minesweeper says:

    @Mrs. C, sin is something that is against God’s will which means you can’t just make it up if it feels yucky. THe church errs greatly on what it calls sin and misses the boat completely on what its obligations also are.

    For the record I don’t believe in the line of inerrant succession from Peter, yes Jesus did build his church starting from there, but unless he said that and Peter will appoint a successor and so on and he will be the arbiter of all until I return. Well the middle ages happened, and lets just say the best thing to happen to the RCC was the reformation. Considering how little Peter wrote in the bible, I would have considered if he was the sole arbiter until his death he would have written most of the NT.

    And anyway, if he is dead how can he appoint anyone ?

    The link you sent isnt theology, its just opinion. he makes several medical errors also, yes sperm are re-absorbed once they break down, prostrate fluid is not, and can become hard and painful. Also the guys getting prostrate cancer tended to have the highest amount of STI’s. Which tends to be an indicator. Also the guys in their 40’s/50’s who did had less cancer than those who didn’t.

    I think once Elvis was considered the anti-christ by several churches. They have obviously used the same methodology here.

    Now because the bible doesn’t mention it, doesn’t mean its compulsory either. And I can assure you being married 16 years doesn’t give you an understanding to how a man’s sex drive functions.

    It would be easy to generate an argument on the other side:i.e. you should masturbate frequently, as it will release more endorphins into your system, God built this facility into your body – its a crime not to use it, and when you are happier and less stressed you will be more loving and can show the grace of Christ more easily in all your actions, then more will be drawn to Christ, and be welcomed into eternal salvation. And you will be less likely to divorce or cheat on your spouse if they can’t keep up with your sex drive at that moment, and for women esp – if they havn’t hit the menopause their sex drive can vary dramatically during the month.

  45. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Minesweeper

    so when exactly did this mortal sin get established in the RCC ?

    Well, according to an article I’ll link here in a minute, 2,000 years ago. It says:

    The traditional view of masturbation has been consistent for all of the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history.[32] Early Catholic theologians universally condemned both masturbation and contraception as sinful. One such example is Clement of Alexandria, considered a saint and a Church Father, who said of masturbation, “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.”.[33]

    St. Thomas Aquinas, the most prominent Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church, writes that masturbation is an “unnatural vice,” which is a species of lust like bestiality, sodomy, and pederasty, and that “by procuring pollution [i.e., ejaculation apart from intercourse], without any copulation, for the sake of venereal pleasure … pertains to the sin of ‘uncleanness’ which some call ‘effeminacy’ [Latin: mollitiem, lit. ‘softness, unmanliness’].”[34]

  46. Minesweeper says:

    “The traditional view of masturbation has been consistent for all of the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history.[32] Early Catholic theologians universally condemned both masturbation and contraception as sinful. One such example is Clement of Alexandria, considered a saint and a Church Father, who said of masturbation, “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.”

    CITATION[32] For historical examples of condemnations of masturbation, see:
    Pope Leo IX, letter “Ad splendidum nitentis,” in the year 1054 DS 687-688
    decree of the Holy Office, March 2nd, 1679: DS 2149 Translation: 1124:
    Voluptuousness [Latin: Mollities, lit. ‘softness, unmanliness,’ another word for ‘masturbation’], sodomy, and bestiality are sins of the same ultimate species

    Pope Pius XII, “Allocutio,” Oct 8th, 1953 AAS 45 (1953), pp. 677-678:

    Did you check the citation to see if it was correct ? Fixed that for you.

    If it has been “consistent for all of the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history” then it has occurred before the time of Christ’s ministry.

    And from the same document :
    “However, the Catholic moral theologian Charles E. Curran stated “the fathers of the Church are practically silent on the simple question of masturbation”.[22] Arthur J. Mielke stated James Brundage’s view as: “the themes of masturbation and sexual fantasy were unimportant to either pagan or Christian writers until the fourth or fifth centuries” (when the rise of monasticism happened).[23]”

  47. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Minesweeper

    Did you check the citation to see if it was correct ? Fixed that for you.

    No I didn’t read the citation. So what? And, “fixed” *what* for me? I’m not seeing your point.

    If it has been “consistent for all of the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history” then it has occurred before the time of Christ’s ministry.

    Again, not seeing what you’re saying.

    And from the same document :
    “However, the Catholic moral theologian Charles E. Curran stated “the fathers of the Church are practically silent on the simple question of masturbation”.[22] Arthur J. Mielke stated James Brundage’s view as: “the themes of masturbation and sexual fantasy were unimportant to either pagan or Christian writers until the fourth or fifth centuries” (when the rise of monasticism happened).[23]”

    Perhaps they didn’t read Aquinas’s writings in full. Or they were doing what you’re doing and ignoring what is inconvenient for them because they want to lessen the severity of something that they personally believe should not be considered sinful. But in all seriousness though, you’re clearly trying very hard to rationalize something that the Church says is sinful because you don’t want it to be sinful. But deluding yourself into thinking that a duck is a goose doesn’t make it any less of a duck.

    Also, I’m convinced of Church authority, and you flat-out refuse to acknowledge it’s validity, which means we can debate this until we’re both blue in the face and still never come to an agreement. So, I’m bowing out now.

  48. Minesweeper says:

    @Feminine But Not Feminist , Fair enough.

  49. Mrs. C says:

    @Minesweeper-” Considering how little Peter wrote in the bible, I would have considered if he was the sole arbiter until his death he would have written most of the NT.”

    Writing back then wasn’t as easy as writing today. It often (but not always) involved the use of a scribe and the materials to write with seem to indicate that it was a tedious task. Jesus never told anyone to write anything down. He told them to go and preach the Gospel. It was Peter’s responsibility to preach and to make decisions on “binding and loosing.” He was not commissioned to write everything down for all posterity. Sometimes in the early church it was necessary to write letters to the various churches when questions and problems arose and of course, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John felt it necessary to write down all they remembered and learned to preserve what they knew about Jesus’ life and his teachings. There were many other writings among the churches floating around as well and eventually the Church had to decide what writings and letters were inspired and contained vital information pertaining to the faith. In addition to what was written, there was also a lot of things the Church did that they learned from the oral teachings of the apostles. This is what is called Tradition and why the early Church Father’s writings are so important. They personally handed on the oral teaching of the apostles before the New Testament canon was ever decided upon. They received their authority by the apostles who laid hands on them or from those who passed down this laying on of hands in the first few centuries of the Church. Their interpretations of the various letters and writings of the apostles were a great help in understanding the context and meaning of what was written. There is a lot more Scriptural arguments I could use but this isn’t the topic of the post so we can’t really get into it here.

    Obviously, if you firmly believe the Church has no authority for interpreting Scripture and deciding what will “bind and loose” in heaven and on earth, then you are free to objectively interpret these things for yourself without personal feelings mucking up the process. The Church has reasons beyond masturbation being “yucky” as to why it calls it a sin. It is believed that it’s God’s will that our sexuality is a gift to be used for a specific purpose. As far as this – ” its a crime not to use it, and when you are happier and less stressed you will be more loving and can show the grace of Christ more easily in all your actions, then more will be drawn to Christ, and be welcomed into eternal salvation. ” If you use this argument to prove the “good” of masturbation then the same could be said for any sin we struggle with. Any action that makes us happier and less stressed doesn’t objectively point to the moral goodness of that action. Sometimes we have to be more loving even when we don’t feel like it, much like a wife who doesn’t “feel like sex” should generously give it out of love for her husband, even if at the time she’d feel much happier vegging out with a good book and getting some sleep.

  50. Looking Glass says:

    @Minesweeper:

    It’s at the end of a long day for me, so the jokes are going to be terrible. All are forewarned!

    This really devolved into a sticky situation. And I see the comments section couldn’t “hit it & quit it” very well. Hopefully there isn’t a huge mess to clean up.

    Okay, now with that is out of my system, going back to the original comment that Minesweeper started this off, I think it’s best to understand that much of how the evil that rests in our hearts reacts to Salvation is to hit Christians square in the head with the Idiot Bat. Truly, that’s where much of the disaster always begins. I wish I had short way of describing it better, but it’s always fascinating to watch. (And brutally sad in a lot of cases)

    Most of the problem in this realm comes from putting control & rejection of parts of the world ahead of God. “Rejecting the World” becomes much of the religion. And this really isn’t a new thing, in the least. At the same time, Christians should produce some “structure” and we need to remember that, for most of our history, the population was illiterate. They really just want the basics. The problem is we have a really hard time handling even those, sadly, most of the time these days.

    On the hilarious side topic, Onan is about fraud more than anything else. While providing an heir for a deceased brother seems to have been a cultural practice in the region, the issue is really about defrauding the purpose of the entire action. We don’t use the word “treacherously” much these days, but it’s actually a massively important point to God. But it’s important to remember this bit from Isaiah.

    “16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
    cease to do evil,
    17 learn to do good;
    seek justice,
    correct oppression;
    bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow’s cause.”

    Isaiah 1:16-17 ESV.

    Matthew 23:23-24 ESV

    23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”

    Justice presupposed Order, God’s Order. Ignoring Righteousness & Godliness is very dangerous. That’s why we need to be careful when casting something as sinful without at least a solid basis.

    On the topic of Masturbation, I still can’t see a view to cast it as innately sinful. Porn is a sin, whether it’s the visual that Men prefer or the emotional that Women prefer. (I’d love to see someone give a sermon titled “Facebook is a Sin”, as that’s pretty much what we’re dealing with here.) That, however, doesn’t mean it’s a net-positive for a Man as a regular practice. Shooting yourself in the foot (literally) also isn’t a sin. It’s incredibly stupid, but it’s very difficult to cast it as a sin. (I’ve yet to understand how we have so many problems, as Christians, with saying, “No, I don’t think that’s directly a sin, but it’s STUPID YOU IDIOT!”. Read the rest of Matthew 23, the Pharisees were the most dedicated religion-practicers you’ll find. But they “lost the plot”.)

    But that doesn’t mean that getting it off daily is good for you. Far from it. Having sex with a wife daily, different issue. (I came across a fascinating study about the effects of sex on a Man, though it was more focused on stress-reducing effects. It really does matter the relationship and where a Man gets off.) It’s an issue of “sowing to the flesh”. Are you dealing with a physical function or spend time pleasure-seeking? Hopefully the answer, as a Christian, is pretty straight forward.

    On the RCC, their biggest problem, as it has been since they were founded, is not removing the perverts, heathens and evil Men from their leadership structures. Most of their problems aren’t the hardest things to solve. That they don’t solve them (more “out live” them) has long been a major problem. And we’ve gotten 2 massive schisms as a result.

  51. @ Minesweeper

    Considering how little Peter wrote in the bible, I would have considered if he was the sole arbiter until his death he would have written most of the NT.

    2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    Additionally, you have to recall their backgrounds. Peter is a fisherman. It makes sense that the more highly educated people in the New Testament wrote most of it.

    Luke – doctor – wrote Luke and Acts which by word count compose more words than all of Paul’s epistles combined.

    Paul – pharisee of pharisees and highly educated – writes epistles to most of the Churches that he planted.

    Hebrews – written by some scholar – Basically a large sermon that is coherent discussing a lot of history that isn’t explained well in the Scriptures.

    Matthew – tax collector – not a highly prestigious job obviously but has solid background skills to write effectively.

    Mark – written by John Mark and you can see the influences of Peter’s point of view in his writing. Basically, Mark is taking what Peter told him and writing the gospel.

    The one exception would probably be John who ended up writing a bunch, but even Rev was more at the end of his life.

  52. Minesweeper says:

    @LG, firstly LOL 🙂 then yeah its almost like the same thing that was in the epistles somewhere, some sort of cultish behaviour that sought to deny the existence of the body or something or the body was all bad and only the soul\spirit good.

    I may have that totally wrong, I just can’t quite picture it. But its definitely along the lines of I don’t eat meat sacrificed to idols therefore Im better than you.

    Oh I can go one better, the jews who said circumcision is the way to go to be holier than the rest of the dirty pagans in the church. Lets just say I’ve got that one covered, (err maybe not now).

    I would say Facebook is way more of a sin that Pr0n, it is a factor in almost all divorces, a man can’t generally look at Pr0n for 6 hours straight, a typical married female (most that I know) can pull that off easily. To divorce a man for looking at Pr0n is just an excuse and unbiblical.

    So would you say Pr0n is a sin for the unmarried man or sick disabled men etc, men in prison ? And how about men with strange damaging fetishes, it is not better to take the easier way out ? After all, look at the drop in rape cases since Pr0n was unleashed on the web mid 90’s.

    You can be addicted to food, dosn’t mean food is bad nor alcohol either.

    @DS, I have no doubt. It was more regarding the argument regarding the line of succession and it’s infallibility and permanent authority.

    But now I must sleep !

    Cheers folks.

  53. “Catholics don’t condemn masturbation just because of some lofty idea of what the natural purpose of sex is.”

    Actually, yes you do. The Catholic Church frowns upon masturbation, birth control and marital relations with regard to its clergy because they’re all too happy to propogate the genophobic traditions of men like Augustine and Origen.

  54. Andros says:

    This is why the Catholic versions are wrong:

    1. Nobody chooses to have sexual desire. You are just born with it. Men in particular stronger than women (no matter how much the liberal establishment tries to tell you men and women have equal sexual desire, it’s a lie)

    2. Once puberty kicks in, the desires come on very strongly, and no one has a choice as to whether to turn it off or on. It’s just there, like it or not.

    So how is it that God hard-wires these desires into mankind, and then expects them to be used only for procreation?

  55. Cassie says:

    @ Andros

    So how is it that God hard-wires these desires into mankind, and then expects them to be used only for procreation?

    He doesn’t. He just expects them to remain within the walls of marriage. You misunderstand the “Catholic version” if that’s what you think.

  56. Cassie says:

    “To remain within the walls of marriage” should be “to be acted upon within the walls of marriage.”

  57. Isabelle says:

    I’m French and if anyone can read French in this thread , I suggest them to take a look at the Current French Bible translation for the Matthew 5:28 verse.
    It clearly says ‘ anyone who looks at another man’s wife with lustful intents (..) ‘

    A translation that makes sense and backs up this very intelligent article.

    God bless you all.

  58. @ Isabelle

    Thanks for that tidbit. It’s good to know that other translations of the Scripture stay true to the meaning of the Greek text.

  59. Minesweeper says:

    @Isabelle, the older english ones from pre-KJV are more like that.

    the word lust also in greek is :

    _____Strongs_____
    G1937 epithumeo ep-ee-thoo-meh’-o
    from G1909 and G2372;

    to set the heart upon, i.e. long for (rightfully or otherwise).

    KJV: covet, desire, would fain, lust (after).

    so really the verse is about coveting(to posses) someone else’s wife.

    Which really makes a mockery of our current english translations of Mt 5:28 and the belief system wrapped around it. Particularly when used to justify a divorce (which I have never encountered personally). Interestingly enough, the english trans mention male to women lusting’s only. SO realy sets up men for a fall no matter how you look at it.

    “Matthew 5:28New International Version (NIV)

    28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  60. Pingback: The free will to marry | Christianity and the manosphere

  61. Chris says:

    Bumping the comments a bit. It looks like one of the biggest genophobes out there may be coming around:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/05/josh-harris-apologizes.html

  62. Elspeth says:

    @ Chris: I have mixed feelings about IKDG. Our girls read it when they were 15, 14, and 14 and by far the oldest one has taken the thing to heart the most. At nearly 22 and never having dated despite being attractive and slim, she is reconsidering some the premises. I’m glad she is doing that, and I fervently disagree with those Christians who believe that any form of dating is a guarantee that fornication is not far behind.

    Christians can exercise self control. But there is something to be said for exercising extreme caution with regard to the way dating is done these days. It’s a mess really and it really requires prayer and faith to navigate it successfully.

  63. Chris says:

    Just be thankful that your daughter came around to realizing how much of a repressed modern-day Origen Mr. Harris really is. LTR involve some risk and leaps of faith, but most of the good things in life do.

  64. JamesWatchman says:

    I don’t know where you get your definition of porneia from but it’s fornication AND adultery.

  65. Pingback: Revisiting Matthew 5:27-28 on lust | Christianity and masculinity

  66. You posted some chapters of the Bible to defend your statement that divorce is ALWAYS wrong and sinful. And yet you posted at least THREE verses in the New Testament that say divorce is NOT wrong and sinful under certain conditions. Allow me to point them out for you:
    “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT FOR FORNICATION, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32)
    “But if the husband or wife who isn’t a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:15)
    I was confused if you were saying that the belief of divorce being always wrong was a legalistic heresy or what. The statement before that looked right to me. So it wasn’t a logical dispelling. You’re very confusing.

  67. @ Foundations of Sapphires

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/on-divorce-part-4/

    To summarize the post I mentioned:

    “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT FOR FORNICATION, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32)

    “Fornication” refers to Deut 22 where a woman fraudently misrepresents herself as a virgin.

    If it was talking about marital indiscretions, the text would say: Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT FOR ADULTERY, and shall marry another, committeth adultery. Obviously, the text does not say this (in the Greek).

    As Jesus is discussing fraudulent marriages, He is not giving a reason for divorce.

    “But if the husband or wife who isn’t a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:15)

    This verse allows the unbelieving spouse to divorce. If they’re an unbeliever, they don’t really care about not sinning anyway.

    For the believing spouse, it does not necessarily give permission for remarriage (although that is potentially debatable). For example, a few verses prior to the passage you quoted:

    1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

    There’s no inconsistencies in the positions that the Scripture states, but they are not common positions taken now by most Protestant organizations. Both Catholic and Orthodox follow the most closely to the Scriptures.

  68. Many thanks for clearing this up. This issue seems to cause endless confusion amongst Christians and leads to falsely oppressive teaching on sexuality.

  69. Pingback: Male and female sexual desire is not sinful | Christianity and masculinity – The Fellowship of the Light of Christ

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