Whether Christian masturbation is a sin in the New Testament
In today’s lesson, we will explore whether masturbation is a sin in the New Testament, focusing on the text that misrepresents masturbation as a sin. Because Christians misunderstand the relevant Bible text, they misunderstand masturbation as a sin.
Firstly, Matthew 5:28 is a Bible passage that many Christians misunderstand. Let’s read that passage.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
This section is often associated with sexual imagination, which is not credible.
There are two reasons for this. First, there is the meaning of words. In the text, the Greek word ‘epitumia’ is translated as ‘lust’, but its meaning is neutral such as ‘desire’. The meaning can also be good or bad depending on the context.
Furthermore, the expression ‘having desire’ led us to understand the subject of behavior as ‘seeing a woman’ and ‘having sexual desire’. There is only one main verb, ‘seeing’, and ‘desire’ is preceded by a preposition.
As the situation worsens, the illusion of a gap between “seeing a woman” and “having a desire” arises.
When a person is sexually attracted, it is used as an imaginary tool for masturbation.
Nevertheless, it is a simple expression of one who views a woman to satisfy one’s desires, not with sexual fantasies in mind
Matthew 5:28’s ‘looks lustfully at a woman’ has nothing to do with sexual imagination.
Imagination is possible when no real thing or substance exists, or when the object or substance is invisible.
Your imagination will fail almost every time if you try to look clearly at a specific object while simultaneously imagining another object, situation, or person in your head.
You cannot imagine things if you see them well, and if you try to see things faithfully in your imagination, you become absent-minded.
When an actor is ‘looking’ at a woman, it is impossible to have a sexual fantasy simultaneously.
Therefore, Matthew 5:28 has nothing to do with masturbation imagination.
However, it does not imply that masturbation and sexual imagination are unrelated, or that sexual imagination is morally acceptable.
Next, we have Romans 1:24.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
Matthew 5:28 refers to lust as ‘the sinful desires’. As a result, God has left them to escape ‘impurity’ according to their lust, where ‘impurity’ does not mean masturbation.
Male cult prostitutes and male-female homosexuality, which also appear in Romans 1:26-27, are political crimes, and they cannot mean masturbation because the text refers to mutual sexual degradation. The next verse is Romans 6:12.
Thus, do not obey sin’s evil desires by letting sin rule your mortal body.
In this case, “its evil desires” refer to not just the instinctive desire of the physical body, but rather the corrupt tendency of corrupt humans who continue to go against God after the declaration of righteousness.
Therefore, the evil desire here does not refer to any specific sexual sin, it refers to all sexual immorality.
2 Corinthians 12:21
2 Corinthians 12:21 is the next verse.
I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.
Thomas Aquinas interpreted 2 Corinthians 12:21 as Universal lust, including masturbation, misogyny, homosexuality, and deformed sexuality.
There is no valid basis for these interpretations and distinctions, so it is difficult to say that 2 Corinthians 12:21 condemns masturbation.
Ephesians 5: 11-12.
Here is Ephesians 5: 11-12.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
As a result of the first impression, ‘deeds of darkness’ and ‘do in secret’ were understood to condemn masturbation.
When you observe the back and forth relationship between Ephesians 5:11-12, both meanings become clear. In Ephesians 5: 8-14, Paul contrasts light and dark.
Therefore, ‘deeds of darkness’ refers to the immorality, all kinds of dirty things, and greed listed in verse 3, which is contrary to ‘all kindness, righteousness, and sincerity’ in verse 9.
As well, the term ‘surreptitious action’ does not refer to the innermost side of masturbation, but rather an escape cover-up reflected in the conduct of dark matters.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
Therefore, Ephesians 5:11-12 is far from masturbatory. Next, we have 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;
Two words are used in this passage to describe sexual crimes. Sexual immorality is a generic term for illegal sex, as we have already discussed, and is not included among them unless masturbation has already occurred.
Our attention is then drawn to the word ‘lust’. ‘Lust’ means ‘passion of lust’, which can be interpreted as ‘sexual greed’.
Despite the fact that this translation makes it more convincing to include masturbation in the definition of lust, it is still not clear enough to conclude as such.
According to John F.Dedek, Paul intended the word lust to refer to sexual debauchery and promiscuity, which foreign society deemed extremely normal at the time.
Accordingly, 1 Thessalonians 4:5 ‘lust’ does not include masturbation unless the Bible teaches that masturbation is a sin. As a result, reading 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5 is beyond biblical evidence.