Should a Christian Masturbate to Avoid the Sin of Fornication?
This is a critical issue affecting most Christians, because a lot of congregation consists of 55% to 80% of sexually active youths ranging from ages 14 to 45. And the sin of fornication is seen as a normal activity now in this present generation. What is our view as Christians on masturbation, especially to those who have seen it as a remedy to avoid fornication? Should it be encouraged?
Romans 6:13 (niv) do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Luke 14:28 (niv) states suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'this fellow began to build and was not able to finish.
1 peter 4:1-2 since, then, Christ suffered in the flesh, you also must arm yourselves with a determination to do the same--because he who has suffered in the flesh has done with sin--that in the future you may spend the rest of your earthly lives, governed not by human passions, but by the will of God"
Also, its expressly known that the bible is against all forms of fornication. Fornication has spiritual, psychological, and physical representations. From the definitions of adultery, incest, lust and others, physical fornication is any sexual relation that deviates from what God has ordained for man. Fornication therefore is any deviant sexual behavior. Adultery deviates from sex within the confines of marriage. Promiscuity is deviant because it is sex outside the bond of marriage, which is ungodly. Incest crosses the boundaries of bloodline within the same family, which is forbidden. All of these deviant sexual acts fall underneath an umbrella of sin, which is called fornication. They are all examples of fornication, but not its definition. Fornication must be defined as deviation from God's commandment regarding the joining of oneself in spirit, soul, or body. The reason that masturbation is not included above is that it is not a deviation from a norm, it is a rejection of the norm. Lust is not adultery, yet they both are fornication. There is no how you would masturbate without having lust. Lust is a craving for sexual intimacy, sometimes to the point of assuming a self-indulgent character. But with the influence of cultures, anything goes this days. When we talk about masturbation we mean sexuality as in self-knowledge and discovery of the ultimate pleasure as well as anything else to do with search for a sexual attainment is noteworthy.
Further more, we should as well be careful to take some certain things for granted just because they are not axiomatically indicated in the scriptures. The same bible also told us that a time will come when the scriptures will no longer be on scrolls again but will be written in our hearts. What does this tells us? A good example would be this. Is cigarette smoking bad? If yes, then where is it written in the scriptures? If you argue out this point by saying cigarette smoke has a bad effect to our bodies and hence we sin against god when we indulge in it, then we can also derive an equally indirect approach to masturbation by saying, you will have to commit the sin of fornication or adultery in your mind in order to masturbate for pleasure which is equally a sin.
In conclusion, the mechanism of masturbation has two combined aspect going hand in hand to derive the pleasure. The mechanical and the mental aspect. Even in the physiology of sex, for the fact a person is conscious of wanting to have sex in a few minutes will alert the brain centers to create some arousal and hormonal actions. Basically, what brings about the mental picture is either a real life picture of a nude partner or sexual scene; a pornographic clip or picture or also a mental picture of a person you are attracted to. In any of these situations, at least the virtual picture of a real person is involved and with the clear picture of this person, the mechanical activity is aided to create arousal. And from recent studies, scientific analysis have made it explicit that without this picture, the pleasure will not be derived (and the proof is the non-arousal of some men despite the fact that they face an attractive woman but maybe she isn't attractive to them). That is to say, you cannot create arousal by mere doing the mechanical work without having such mental picture. So, if you have such pictures in mind which you use to aid the pleasure then you already commit the sin of fornication or adultery with the real- life owner of the mental face or body. And with this simple analysis, it is a direct sin based on the first afore-mentioned biblical verse. It is still part of what Jesus Christ said in that verse and they all fall into "mental sexual sin".