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  1. #1
    StealDragon's Avatar
    StealDragon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    Default I knew it couldn't be a sin...

    How masturbation became known as a sin...


    How on earth did the Church come to regard masturbation as ‘seriously sinful’ when the Bible is totally silent on the matter?

    Bruce Puddle - Contributing Author
    section break
    The answer is scary!
    digging for truth

    To understand how this ‘masturbation is sinful’ idea came to be part of Christianity even up to today, you have to understand some history. So read on. This is fascinating and scary stuff.

    Around the time of Jesus some religious ideas, most likely originally from India, were arriving with traders and beginning to become popular in the countries around Israel, especially among the huge numbers of Greek-speaking people. The most important groups who adopted these ideas were the Stoic philosophers and a religious sect called the Gnostics.

    One of their main teachings was that God had created only the spiritual world; the entire natural physical world, including human beings and their bodies, were created by Satan. They began to teach that the human body and its functions, especially its ‘sexual functions’ were totally evil, and tolerated only because there was no other way to produce children. For the first time masturbation was said to be evil, for two reasons: it ‘wasted one’s life force’, which they believed was limited in supply; and it was pleasurable.

    This was not what the Jews believed. Their Bible said that God had created everything, which of course included our sexual abilities. What’s more, Genesis 1v31 says, "God saw all that he had made and behold it was very good." So the Jews believed that sex was God’s idea and that within the sacred bond of marriage, where it found its fullest expression, it was to be celebrated and enjoyed.

    As for masturbation, this was never mentioned, nor was it ever listed as a sin in the horrendously detailed lists of sins in books like Leviticus. The Jews clearly regarded masturbation as a natural fact of life and not even worth a mention.

    Not only did the Jewish Bible never mention masturbation, neither did Jesus or any of the Apostles. There were of course warnings against the misuse of God’s gift of sexuality, but masturbation was never included or named as one of these ‘misuses’.

    But in the world of the early Christians the Gnostics were growing fast and spreading their ideas with great zeal. So much so that by the end of the first century AD (80 to 100 years after the birth of Jesus) the Christians were actually being ‘outdone’ as far as strictness and attitudes toward sex went. They were at times even accused of being a sex-cult and of holding orgies at their communion love feasts. This was made still worse by the fact that early Christians treated women much more equally than did the communities in which they lived. Non-Christian men were really unnerved. The last thing they wanted was some religion that encouraged women to think they were equal to men!

    So what happened? You’ve guessed it. Gradually over the next twenty to fifty years the new generation of church leaders, called by historians the ‘Church Fathers’, began to twist scripture in order to justify an about-face on the vital issues of sex and the role and place of women. This was done so that Christians would be seen to be as pure as Gnostics, and so that they would no longer offend their communities as regards the place of women.

    By 300 AD the turn-around was almost complete. The official church teaching was that you could not be truly close to God if you had any kind of sex life. They even said that sex within marriage was a sin and that God turned his face away when a married couple had sex, even when the purpose was to produce a baby.

    As part of those awful Christian teachings, masturbation began for the first time to be considered a great sin. And things were about to get even worse! A very famous church theologian, Thomas Aquinas, wrote in 1200 AD that masturbation was a worse sin than – now get this – sex with your mother (or if you were a girl sex with your father), worse than rape and worse than adultery. True! Why? Because in the other forms of sex there was at least a chance of a baby being born, while the masturbator committed the awful sin of ‘wasting seed’.

    By the 1600’s both the Roman Catholic church and the newly arrived Protestants were so obsessed with the supposed sin of masturbation that it was not uncommon for boys to be sent to bed wearing a steel box (like a cricketer’s ‘box’) with spikes inside it to discourage erections and prevent the boy from masturbating. I bet it worked a treat!

    For the girls the treatment was nothing short of horrific. Girls and young women were regularly subjected to having their clitoris burnt off with a red hot iron! Why? In 1882 a French doctor wrote, "Repeated cauterizing of the clitoris with red-hot irons destroys its sensitivity, children then become less excitable and less likely to touch themselves." The last western woman to have her clitoris removed to encourage moral purity was operated on in the USA in 1946!

    This then is the frightening history of how God’s specially designed and universal gift of sexual release got onto the Church’s list of sins. Remember, it never came from the Bible; it never came from God.

    It happened because Christian leaders of by-gone centuries failed to be critical enough of their own ‘traditions’. They did exactly what Jesus had severely criticized the Pharisees for, making up rules that the Bible hadn’t set down, and then having the nerve to tell their people "this is what God says" when God had said no such thing.

    This history also explains why even today some Christians still loudly proclaim masturbation to be sinful, and give the impression that they regard sexual sins as the very worst sins of all. They don’t realize that what they are declaring as truth is nothing other than an ancient pagan heresy.
    Further Information

    This page is a very brief summary by Bruce Puddle, a former NZ Baptist Minister and is based on his book called "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" which looks in detail at this particular question and has heaps more really interesting and helpful information.
    http://members.optusnet.com.au/~aust...bation-sin.htm

    I thought this was pretty interesting. Especially since I made that thread on Asceticism. I had heard something similar to this before and it's nice to have some confirmation by a clergyman. But before I go smiling because I have a reason to hate religion less (or more depending on how I look at it)... I just wanted to know what you guys thought. That site is really interesting by the way. If I had to raise a kid with religious influences it would be very similar to that.

    PS. If this topic is off limits then delete the thread and ... I'll take my punishment.

  2. #2
    adonai is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    It's is a sin, I'm pretty sure that there's several passages detailing how you're not supposed to spill bodily fluids, and one example of god punishing several people trying to practice birth control by pulling out.


    Here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Leviticus 15:16-18
    When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis 38:8-10
    Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother." But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD's sight; so he put him to death also.

  3. #3
    echoblaze is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    the New Testament seems a lot better (morally) to me than the Old Testament... i mean, in the Old Testament, apparently it's right to conquer land in God's name and have incestuous relationships. the New Testament actually gives some pretty interesting viewpoints and parables...

    but anyway, the point is, the Old Testament is hardly something to build up a personal moral system with.

  4. #4
    Jyuu's Avatar
    Jyuu is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    I wanna RP with you SD.
    How about this:
    You help me perform this sinful act with your hands and then adonai can play the role of a god and punish you. Then, finding this kinky, I commit suicide and join you in hell where we can spend the rest of eternity pleasuring each other.
    Naturally I put on my wizard robe and hat...

  5. #5
    MadDogMike is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    About Adonai's second quote, it's argued that what was wicked was not the act of spilling his "seed" upon the ground, but the act of defying God's word and denying his brother's wife from having a child. God said it was his duty, and he directly disobeyed God.

    I don't see how people waste anything when they masturbate. Sperm dies after a couple of days even inside your nads, so what difference does it make if you're not getting laid every day?

  6. #6
    lews_therin_tel is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    ^It's because worldly pleasures are looked down upon. It's like looking down at Yotsuba just because it doesn't have a story.

  7. #7
    fiks_me_manga is offline Senior Member Long Time Member
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    har har har, it isn't considered a sin in the Islam :O
    Flyer than a piece of paper bearing my name,

    The Private Potion, don't drink it!!!

  8. #8
    bipolargraph is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    ^ nooo, it actually is a sin.
    Last edited by bipolargraph; 12-17-2007 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Because I can.

  9. #9
    echoblaze is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    @MadDogMike

    that's an interesting idea... i suppose it's open to interpretation.

    are there people on the board that follows the Bible/Church to the word ?

  10. #10
    StealDragon's Avatar
    StealDragon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jyuu View Post
    I wanna RP with you SD.
    How about this:
    You help me perform this sinful act with your hands and then adonai can play the role of a god and punish you. Then, finding this kinky, I commit suicide and join you in hell where we can spend the rest of eternity pleasuring each other.
    Naturally I put on my wizard robe and hat...
    I cast Lvl. 3 Eroticism. ;D
    Quote Originally Posted by echoblaze View Post
    @MadDogMike

    that's an interesting idea... i suppose it's open to interpretation.

    are there people on the board that follows the Bible/Church to the word ?
    Yeah its open for interpretation. Hence the disparity between its interpretation! xD

    I know CPR and Popo are pretty religious. Usually its everyone else always ganging up on them...

 

 
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