There is so much more to this question than just a cut and dry answer. I think when Pastors are approached with this question its easier to answer on the spot than in a blog. Answering this question takes having some background and some more information than just saying Yes or No. Lets look at some questions I have been asked through the years.Is Masturbation OK if we are married?
Many times people get very legalistic about what they can and can’t do with the confines of a marriage bed. As we talk about this the first Caveat is I would never endorse anything that makes someone feel shame or anything that is being forced on one another. Paul uses these words when dealing with our hearts 1 Corinthians 6:12-1312 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
That being said I think there are ways that manual stimulation can be used between a married couple that are fine and don’t need to bring up thoughts of guilt or shame.What if my Spouse and I can’t be together?
I get this question from time to time from military members who are deployed or are separated for some reason from their spouse. The Bible is very clear that you should only have eyes for your spouse. If this brings you closer to your spouse during long separations and doesn’t drive a wedge in your relationship I would say that could be OK. I would beware of the wandering mind and if doing it distracts from thoughts of your spouse I would steer clear of it altogether.My wife isn’t that interested in sex and I am so can’t I do this to tide me over until the next time we have sex?
Although this may seem like its the same question as above I view this differently. Masturbation can distract and be a coping mechanism that isn’t healthy inside of a relationship. I would strongly warn against doing this and labeling it as a need. Sexual appetites are like any others the more you feed them the more they consume us. Excessive masturbation can lead men and women to have a skewed view of sex with your spouse.I’m single and It keeps me from sleeping around. Isn’t this ok?
I would disagree with the thought process here altogether. Jesus said this when dealing with thoughts of the mind.Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So if your lusting after women its the same thing. Keeping a pure mind is difficult enough in todays world and adding masturbation and fantasy to it is not going to make that any easier. Masturbation is not simply a physical act it also engages the mind as well, and that is where we need to be extremely careful.Is the act of masturbation alone a sin?
The Bible tells us everything we need to know not everything we want to know. Unfortunately the bible isn’t filled with an FAQ section. The Bible is very specific when it comes to the heart issues that can surround masturbation. The Bible tells us not to worship ourselves, Not to lust after women, That our eyes are the window to our soul, To be careful and guard our hearts and many more things that can relate to this issue. When pressed I don’t think we can say the act in and of itself is a sin but it can cause us to sin and this is why we must be very careful when dealing with this subject.
This post was written by Rod Poepping of XXX Church. The original post with comments can be found here: http://www.xxxchurch.com/men/pastorsblog/what-do-i-do-when-asked-if-masturbation-is-ok.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Zombies are everywhere. Ever since the classic “Night of the Living Dead,” the undead have shown up in movies. Zombies now are featured in top-rated cable TV shows, and in apocalyptic novels and survival guides. An entire genre has ignited around the concept of adding zombies to classic literature (“Pride and Prejudice with Zombies,” etc.). But why are we drawn to these gruesome figures?
In the New York Times, columnist Amy Wilentz reminds us why zombies scare us, and why we can’t help but watch through our clenched hands covering our eyes. The zombie myth is rooted in something quite real, and quite terrifying. The zombie stories emerged in a Caribbean context of brutal slavery. The zombie’s horror is that he is, she writes, a slave forever. After all, if even death cannot free you, you can never be free.
That’s exactly the point, and here’s why it should matter to Christians.
Zombies are horrifying not simply because they’re mean and aggressive. They are horrifying because they represent what ought to repulse us: the rotting decay of death. But they still walk. And, beyond that, they still crave. In their search for human brains, they are driven along by their appetites, though always under the sway of a slavemaster’s will.
That’s our story.
The biblical story of the Fall of humanity is one of a humanity that comes under the sway of death by obeying the appetite. God places a fiery sword around the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3 tells us, so that the primeval humans wouldn’t eat of the Tree of Life and live forever. Why? It’s because God didn’t want to consign humanity to a never-ending existence of this kind of walking death. He sentences us to the curse of death so that, ultimately, we can be redeemed.
The Gospel tells us that, apart from Christ, we were walking in the flesh, that is slavishly obeying our biological impulses and appetites without the direction of the Spirit. As such, we were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But we weren’t inert. We instead, though dead, “walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). We were walking dead slaves.
And, in our death, our appetites weren’t silenced but instead drove us along. This walking death, the Apostle Paul writes, was driven along as we “carried out the desires of the body and the mind” (Ephesians 2:3).
Caribbean people could resonate with the horror of zombies because they knew what it was like to be enslaved by evil people, with no hope of escape. And maybe our culture pays attention to zombies because we know what it is like to be dead inside, but unable to find peace, unable to stop walking.
The Gospel doesn’t just extend our lives forever into eternity. That’s what we, left to ourselves, think we want. The rich young ruler asks Jesus how he can inherit eternal life, but Jesus points out that he wants to eternalize his present state rather than to be hidden in the life of Jesus Himself. That’s a zombie walk, and Jesus loves us too much for that.
Jesus offers instead life, and that abundantly, as we eat of His flesh, drink of His blood, share in His triumph over the accusing slavemaster.
So let’s have some sympathy for the zombies. And next time you see the trailer for a zombie film, or see the picture of a walking corpse on the cover of a novel, remember that that was your story once, too.This post was written by Russell D. Moore who is dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. This column first appeared on www.russellmoore.com.THIS POST IS IN HONOR OF ONE OF OUR IRONSTRIKES TEAM MEMBERS WHO HAS A SERIOUS UNSPOKEN PRAYER REQUEST. PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM TODAY...
BE A MAN.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul
Peter in speaking of "fleshly lusts" uses the words, sarkikos
(fleshly) and epithumia
describes the impulses, cravings, and desires of the carnal flesh. Epithumia
is a compound word. Epi (over)
(passion). Hence, epithumia
describes a person so overcome by some passionate desire that he completely gives himself over to it.
Interpreted, this means that your flesh is never content until it has completely taken you over and consumed you.
It is impossible to freely participate in only a little taste of sin and then walk free of it. Once the flesh has been allowed to indulge in that sin, the cry of the carnal nature to indulge in sin once more will become stronger and stronger, ferociously working against you in its attempt to pull you deeper & deeper into sin until you are completely conquered by it.
If you have one temptation that you have to constantly fight more than others, how did that fight begin? Did you look at something or allow your flesh permission to do something that you knew was wrong? Did you open the door to this attack yourself by not saying no to the flesh at a critical moment in your life? What are you going to do now to shut the door to the devil and drive this battle out of your head and flesh?
It is a whole lot easier to avoid fleshly temptations that it is to uproot them once they get deeply rooted in your mind, will and emotions. So if the world around you is crying out for you to participate in its sinful activities, remind yourself that you are just a temporary traveler in this world with no rights to participate in such activities.
Make the choice to refrain from the works of the flesh.By making this decision, thru the power of God's Holy Spirit, you can avoid horrific battles that others fight every day in their minds because they didn't say no to temptations that were offered to them.
This post was adapted from Sparkling Gems from the Greek.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Last week was anti-porn week here at Ironstrikes. I hope that you were able to read about the five topics:1. Porn and sexual satisfaction2. Porn and fake relationships3. Porn and women4. Porn and cruelty5. Porn is insidious
Readers have asked about the Zillman-Bryant study from which these five posts were taken. In the early 1980s, Dr. Doll Zillmann of Indiana University and Dr. Jennings Bryant of the University of Alabama wondered whether continued exposure to video pornography had any impact on people's sexual beliefs and their attitudes towards women. For their experiment, 80 male and 80 female college-age participants were divided into three subgroups, and each group was shown 4 hours and 48 minutes of media.
1. The first group, the “Massive Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-violent pornographic films over a six-week period.
2. The second group, the “Intermediate Exposure Group,” was exposed to 18 pornographic films and 18 regular films over a six-week period.
3. The third (control) group, the “No Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-pornographic movies over a six--week periodYou may be saying, "that is an old study, what relevance does it have to today?"
At a 2011 conference, Dr. Mary Anne Layden commented about Zillmann and Bryant’s 25-year-old research. “When this study was done, what was called the ‘Massive Exposure Group" -- seeing five hours of porn over a six-week period -- "I now call that the Friday Afternoon Group."
Her statement is far from an exaggeration. A recent survey of 29,000 people at North American universities, shows 51% of men and 16% of women spend up to five hours per week
online for sexual purposes, and another 11% of men spend anywhere from five to twenty hours per week. What used to be “massive” exposure is now common practice.
Furthermore, the Internet has not only increased the public’s exposure to porn, but has also changed the way it is consumed. Dr. Jill Manning believes Zillmann and Bryant’s findings have greater
applicability in the modern age because Internet porn tends to be more interactive and consumer-driven. Viewers can select exactly who and what they want to see, custom-tailored to their greatest specifications.This week, I will be giving four solid tips in helping to curb your vulnerability to porn.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN
by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Once there were two friends. One man wanted to be a pastor. The other wanted to be a cattleman. These men both had a desire to please God. As they aged, studied their respective interests/calling, married and had children, God blessed them. However, as God is
wont to do, He did not bless them equally, or so it seemed.
The cattleman felt sorry for the "poor pastor" who was raising his family on a very meager salary. The cattleman quickly became wealthy. He acquired land, cattle, fortune, and family. In joking with the preacher, the cattleman said, "you know, I'm gonna end up taking care of you and your children. With my wealth, you will be cared for."
Nevertheless, the preacher stayed the course, doing what he believed God wanted him to do. After the preacher married, the doctor gave him bad news, "I don't believe you'll ever be able to have children." However, as God is wont to do, God doesn't have to listen to doctors.
So, it wasn't very long afterwards, they had their first child. And then another. And another... It was tough, living on a pastor's salary with so many children. There were times that they couldn't afford coats for these children to wear in the harsh winters of that region. Yet, God did bless. Miracles occurred in the pastor's family as they learned to rely upon God. The pastor's family learned that God does, indeed, take care of His children.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the cattleman lived well. However, there were a few noticeable, glaring aspects to the cattleman's character. The wealthier he became, the less he needed God. He could easily provide for his family.
Also, the cattleman lived a life of sensuality. Much like Esau,
he became a rather coarse fellow, using brash language, not delaying his gratification. He gave himself whatever his heart desired. This lifestyle led to tension within his own family. His children saw that even though the cattleman was a Christian man, what he said often did not match up with what he did. His children strayed from God's best for their lives. However, they did not stray too far. They frequently went to church, they proclaimed Jesus as their Savior but they always had Esau's seed in them. They, too, could be brash, insensitive, living in their own sensuality. Like their father, they were not bad people. Just edgy. Slightly missing the mark for what God desired for them.
When these two families got together on special occasions, the cattleman's sons challenged the pastor's son to games of strength and daring, often berating their manhood. "Come on, be brave! Don't be such a wimp!" were words the pastor's children often heard when challenged to do things that were marginally safe, sensual, just a bit edgy.
The pastor's sons noticed, also, that the cattleman's sons would grab the biggest or choicest pieces of food from the table, when offered one piece of bread, they would take two, drink the most iced tea, all without giving thought to others. The cattleman's sons weren't bad men, they just lived more sensually than the pastor' sons. However, they were missing the mark of God's standards for holiness.(Tomorrow, we will discuss part two of this story)BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
A recent television series called MY STRANGE ADDICTION features tortured folks with varied compulsions such as bathing in bleach, collecting dead things, or ingesting chalk. Each episode gives curious viewers a glimpse into the lives of those with unusual habits. Sadly, these addictions are not habits that give people a full, rich, healthy life.
In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul details the human conflict between living according to the temptations of our sinful nature. Far from casting stones at the sins of others, Paul said, "So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
The Greek word sarx,
which Paul uses for sinful nature, is also the word translated elsewhere as "the flesh." Paul is contrasting the life controlled by a mind set on the flesh with one controlled by a mind set on the Spirit. Paul recognizes that a life driven by the carnal yearnings -- whether bodily for pleasure, food, or sex, or emotionally for status, power, or control -- contradicts God's law.
Pitting body against spirit was typical of ancient Greek thinking. Sadly, centuries later many Christians are still tempted to view the body itself as bad. But that's not what Scripture is saying. In fact, as part of Paul's argument he reminds his audience that God's own Son was in the "likeness" of sinful flesh in order to be a sin offering on our behalf.
It's not the body
that is bad, but rather it is the life that is controlled by the desires of the body that kills. To be "obligated" to the flesh, Paul says, is to die. To live a life driven by the Spirit is to live!
This post is taken from Today in the Word.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.