still_life_with_open_bible_candlesti “But godly men will not masturbate, even if the Bible is silent about it” — or so people say. Is it OK to create “rules” for living that God didn’t include in the Scriptures? Can they help? Can they hurt?
Man-Made “Rules” for Righteousness
Man-made rules for righteousness always make sense. They’re really pretty easy to defend. But… that doesn’t make them God’s Rules. We are not obligated to follow them. We should not assess our spiritual maturity or health by them. Why? Because those man-made rules—no matter how wise they appear to be—are of no value at all in the promotion of righteousness. God really couldn’t be more clear on this… let me show you:

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.(Col. 2:20-23)

Need I say more? Listen, it is absolutely senseless to waste time defending a rule for righteousness that God didn’t give to us. Even if you can defend its “wisdom” impeccably, the rule is still worthless. And if I read Paul’s words correctly here, we should actively reject those rules… if for no other reason, to demonstrate to ourselves and others that we will not be submissive to man-made rules for righteousness (be ready for some criticism from the defenders of those rules, though…). No, man-made rules cannot help.
But it Gets Worse…
There’s another very significant reason to reject the man-made rules…

Man-made rules for righteousness are counterproductive to purity!

Those false rules for righteousness do not keep us from being enslaved to our sin… they actually  make it worse! How can I say that? Let me explain:
  • We can’t expect God to support them!
      • God will not contribute to the “success” of a man-made rule for righteousness; He’s already told us that they are worthless.
      • If any real success were to be attained by following man’s ways, it would ultimately mean that God is untrue. Therefore, our commitment to man-made rules for righteousness invite God’s active opposition.
  • They Distract Us From the “Real” Rules.
      • God has real rules for righteous living… but if we are trying to follow false rules, we do so at the expense of a proper focus on the real rules.
      • Time, energy, and spiritual focus are given to fruitless efforts… rather than efforts that will yield fruit.
  • We lose out on God’s Grace.
      • When we fail to live up to false rules, it results in false guilt.
          • False guilt is not God’s will
          • False guilt does not lead us to grace.
          • False guilt results in hopelessness, defeat, condemnation, and despair.
      • God gives us His grace to follow His true will. We lose out on that if we’re pursuing something else.
      • All effort expended to follow man-made rules are going to be completely in the power of the flesh. And that’s a recipe for failure.
Let’s Get Practical…
So, how does the “No Masturbation” rule actually impede someone’s progress towards sexual purity? I’ve known of many young men who battled continuously with masturbation, trying desperately to follow that “rule.” As a single man, I was one of them! The rule was and is never any help to sexual purity. Instead, it creates a persistent state of frustration and failure. Let me lay out the progression of how I believe this particular rule has such a debilitating impact on a young man who wants to live his life in purity before the Lord. Let me say up front here that this is my speculation based on my own observation, reasoning, and experience. Hopefully, however, it will resonate with men who are struggling… and serve as an encouragement to them.
A Recipe for Failure
(Note: I’m going to describe what could potentially be the experience of a single man who is committed to celibacy and sexual purity until marriage, and who therefore does not have the opportunity for sexual release with his own wife. For married men, this should only apply when the opportunity to unite with your wife is not there.)
  • I commit to “No Masturbation”
      • This false rule is treated as if it is God’s rule, and therefore also a measure of sexual purity for a young man.
  • Increased (and ever increasing) physical sexual pressure.
      • This is simply how the male body works.
  • Heightened sexual awareness and interest
      • When sexual pressure is elevated, everything about the man feels and responds to that pressure.
  • Frequent involuntary sexual responses.
      • All the plumbing works as designed (that’s a good thing!)
  • “Oh, by the way, that is LUST that you’re feeling there…”
      • Satan whispers a lie in the man’s heart to induces false guilt and erode resolve.
  • I might as well give in… to masturbation… and  lust…
      • The desire to have release is powerful.
      • The man feels like he’s already failed (although he really hasn’t).
      • The man gives in to masturbation.
      • The man does not know that it is possible to masturbate without lust, so he doesn’t even attempt to avoid lust while masturbating.
  • After release, there’s a deep sense of shame and guilt
      • The guilt for the lust is legitimate, but it is assigned in his mind equally to the masturbation.
  • “You’re a no-good, hopeless, dirty-minded failure… how can you think you’re of any use to God at all?”
      • Another lie from the enemy, who doesn’t play fair…
  • Live in hopelessness, despair, and on-going defeat
      • After yet another failure, the resolve to live in purity is gone, and the man feels like any renewed effort will be just as fruitless, so he stops trying to fight it all.
  • Finally cry out to God in desperation and repentance
      • God’s grace is greater than our sin, so the man’s heart is restored to fellowship with God.
  • Repeat… and repeat… and repeat.
Result: A man who truly loves that Lord and wants to serve Him lives in a perpetual cycle of defeat and guilt. Yes, man-made rules can hurt.
Unintended Consequences
As is typical with “rules” based on man’s wisdom, there are unintended consequences to the commitment to a rule that God did not give. Because purity has been defined by man in a way that God did not require, the rule is false. Following the false rule results in increased strength in the temptation that God never intended us to face.

The commitment made to pursue purity becomes the very reason that purity is so difficult to maintain!

So… Where Is the “Way of Escape?”

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13 – NASB)

I can only guess how many men have come to scoff at this verse—the “promise” of a way of escape—when they’ve never consistently found it. I suggest to you that the way of escape is to reject the commitment to something God never asked of you! Learn how to masturbate without objectifying God’s daughters. Learn how to masturbate with gratitude in your heart for God making you sexually alive and virile. Learn how to gain release righteously. It is much easier to avoid lust and sexual thoughts or responses to women when your body isn’t screaming for sexual release!
A Recipe for Relief.
  • I commit to “No Sinful Lust”
      • This is God’s rule. And it’s the only one needed.
  • Increased physical sexual pressure.
      • This is simply how the male body works.
  • When needed, masturbation is employed to release the pressure.
      • The heart is committed to thank God and reject sinful lust.
      • No false guilt. No shame.
  • The power of temptation to sinful lust is greatly reduced…
      • …When not combined with pent up sexual pressure!
  • Daily life is focused on pleasing the Lord… not on “avoiding masturbation.”
      • Because physical sexual pressures are managed effectively, the man’s mind is free to focus elsewhere.
  • Live in… and by… God’s Grace!
Result: A man who lives in freedom can live for the Lord he loves.
Yes, these characterizations are probably oversimplified and idealistic… but hopefully you see my point.

It is better to learn how to masturbate in purity before God, than commit to a rule for “purity” that God did not give.

It is never OK to justify the rejection of God’s true rules for righteousness… that’s why I didn’t start the Masturbation FAQ articles with this one… I had to first demonstrate that “No Masturbation” is not one of those God-given rules. Only then, can we look at it and see that following it is a mistake, or discuss how following it contributes to impurity rather than purity. — Pastor David Martin =========================== Check out the rest of the articles in this FAQ series: Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

still_life_with_open_bible_candlestick_and_novel_thumb[1]I might be ‘addicted’ to masturbation? How much is ‘too much’?” In Part 1 of this FAQ, we showed that the the Bible mentions, but does not condemn masturbation. In Part 2, we saw that we do have freedom to masturbate, provided it is not an expression of sinful lust. But if we’re “allowed” to do it, can we do it too much?
Compulsive Masturbation…
I’m not a psychologist nor have I studied compulsive behavior, so my statements here are only my opinions based on my understanding of truth, my experiences and observations, along with my own reasoning from the Scriptures. If a person is so compulsive about masturbation that they have no control over it, they should consider seeking assistance from those who are trained to help people with compulsive behaviors of any kind.
It’s Not About the Masturbation
First of all, we need to acknowledge that—as with all habitual behaviors (eating, drinking, nail-biting, etc.)—it is not that the activity itself is wrong or unhealthy, but that a person is somehow driven to repeatedly engage in the activity to an unhealthy degree. And so it is with masturbation. Simply because someone struggles to control a habit, we need not assume that the behavior is wrong. Each of us simply needs to be the master over the behavior rather than the other way around. There are many people who have tried but failed to break a masturbation habit for years. While they may now know that it’s not forbidden by God, they may still wonder if there should be a limit to how big of a role that habit should play in their lives. This is what I want to address.
But How Much is “Too Much”?
The bible says so little about masturbation that many claim it says nothing at all. in Part 1 of this FAQ, we saw that there is a scripture passage that applies directly to masturbation… at least for men. But if we can conclude that masturbation is not forbidden in the Bible, can we discern any guidance that would help us answer the “how much” question? Let me share a couple of passages that might guide us to a reasonably practical answer to that question.
“I Will Not Be Mastered…”
“All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” These are the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 6:12. The first point we must acknowledge is that we should not allow ourselves to be “mastered” by even a good thing. If we are totally consumed by any activity—be it eating or drinking or video gaming or masturbation—we need to examine our hearts to see if there is some sort of idolatry there (i.e. devoting ourselves to something other than God). If so, we should deal with it in our lives.
It’s Not Always About “Need”
It is true that there is a physical need for sexual release, and masturbation can meet that need. But if we’re honest about it, no one is so virile that they “need” that release on a daily basis. The body has to replenish itself after every release and that takes time. For the young, that time is much shorter than for the older among us, but for none will the pressure become unbearable after just a day. For most (and maybe all), 2-3 days or more could be endured without any trouble. Remember, self control is still a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). If someone is so driven to engage in masturbation on a daily basis, there is most likely a different problem in their spirit that is the root cause, and that’s what should be explored. It is not merely an issue of physical “need.”
The Adrenaline Rush…
I believe that part of the reason that so many men believe that they “need” sexual release so frequently is because they are addicted to the adrenaline rush that they get from viewing and masturbating in response to pornography. The “allure of the forbidden” is very real, and the anticipation of experiencing that “forbidden” view of sexually charged images initiates an adrenaline rush. That adrenaline joins forces with natural hormonal responses and propels the individual to find release of the artificially heightened sexual tension through masturbation. In other words, their drive to masturbate is more than justa simple physical need.
Back to the Bible…
I am not trying to create any sort of “rule” that will tell anyone how much is “too much.” The Bible doesn’t give such a rule, so neither will I. However, if we take another look at Lev. 15 where masturbation is regulated in Old Testament Law, we can at least discern that God did not expect masturbation to be a daily habit and occurrence in a man’s life.
“Private” Wasn’t So Private Back Then…
Masturbation makes a man ceremonially unclean for a day. When someone was ceremonially unclean according to Hebrew Law, it meant that they were not to enter the temple or participate in any of the other required ritual expressions of their faith. So, when anyone was ceremonially unclean, it would typically be public knowledge. When a woman was on her period, for example, everyone needed to know about it because they had to avoid even sitting on the same chair that she had sat upon (Lev. 15:19-23). If a husband and wife made love the night before, they would have to decline any involvement in religious rituals for the day (Lev. 15:18). And… if a man had masturbated, he too would have to decline (Lev. 15:16-17). In other words, the timing of a woman’s cycle, the occasion of a couple’s marital intimacy, and the frequency of a man’s masturbation habits were all—at least to some degree—common knowledge.
“You’re Still Unclean?!?”
That a person would be ceremonially unclean on a given day—for any of these and many other reasons—was no big deal. But if someone was ceremonially unclean perpetually, then something had to be amiss. There is no “rule” here about how much is too much, but the law in Lev. 15:16-17 seems to imply that no one was expected to be ceremonially unclean every day. Religious rituals were required of everyone and they had to exercise enough self control to ensure that they were ceremonially clean when they needed to be.
So, What’s the Conclusion?
The Bible doesn’t give an answer to the question, “How much is too much?” But it does seem to assume that you won’t need a daily fix. Paul’s words definitely warn against allowing ourselves to be “mastered” by any sort of habit. If you find that you’re still “mastered” by this habit, I rather suspect that you’re also in bondage to porn or some other false means of sexual arousal. If so, you should first deal with that addiction (read through the MCAG web site… multiple times if necessary) and most likely when you experience freedom from porn, the masturbation habit will lose its grip in your life as well. If masturbation is simply a tool for sexual release, then you have the freedom to use the tool when you need it. Just as you eat when you can sense that your body needs food, you can also tell when your body needs sexual release. In either case… don’t be a glutton!
A Bit of Advice…
To the single men out there… relax. Take care of yourself and make sure the internal pressure never gets so strong that it weakens your resolve to stay pure and avoid treating women or their bodies as sexual objects… either in person or virtually. To the married men out there—whenever possible—save that release for times of intimacy with your wife. Your body—including your sexuality and your sex drive—belong to her (1 Cor. 7:4). Allow that internal pressure to drive you to her… that’s God’s design! To everyone,
  • DO have a heart of gratitude towards God at all times for creating you as he did… sexually alive and virile. It’s His will that you are as you are. It certainly doesn’t bug Him.
  • Do NOT ever mix masturbation with lust or pornography… if you need porn to successfully masturbate, your body still doesn’t really need release.
— Pastor David Martin =========================== For more on this topic: Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

still_life_with_open_bible_candlestick_and_novelMasturbation and Lust… are they the same? In Part 1 of this FAQ, we demonstrated that when masturbation is mentioned in the bible, it is not condemned. If we claim it is wrong in spite of that fact, we risk creating and promoting a “man-made” rule for righteousness… something that’s doomed to fail (Col. 2:20-23). But masturbation and lust are pretty tight… Could it be that masturbation should be considered wrong… because lust is wrong?
Let’s Agree about Lust…
“Don’t Lust” absolutely IS one of the “God-made” rules for righteousness. In the Old Testament, it is the 10th commandment (Do not covet… your neighbor’s wife) and in the New Testament, Jesus stated it quite clearly in Matthew 5:28. So, where there is sinful lust, there is sin. Period.
But… What IS Sinful Lust?
This will be the subject of a future blog post, but for now, let me offer a working definition here: Sinful lust is a strong desire for—and the intent to possess—something which I cannot righteously obtain. Notice that it is not simply a strong desire for something, but also the active intent to pursue the possession of it. Notice also that if the object of the desire can be righteously obtained, it is not sinful to desire and possess it.
Is Masturbation Always an Expression of Sinful Lust?
Let’s be clear… if the answer to that question is “yes,” then we can declare unequivocally that masturbation is wrong. But what if the answer is “no”? What if it is possible to masturbate without sinful lust? As I already said, anytime masturbation is engaged in lustfully, it is wrong. But what about masturbation without lust? If that is possible, then based on what we covered in Part 1 of this FAQ, we have to conclude that masturbation itself is not forbidden in Scripture. Therefore, that’s the question we have to address.
Answering That Question… Subjectively
To start with, we should acknowledge that in the one passage where it is mentioned in the Bible, masturbation is not equated with lust. Since the Bible is silent on that question, any objective scriptural declaration on a masturbation-lust connection is not possible. Instead, we have to look at our subjective experience. And since we are in the realm of the subjective, we should very naturally expect that different people will have different experiences, and therefore reach different conclusions.
My Own Experience
I can only speak from my own subjective experience, but for the purpose of the question at hand, it is as valid as anyone’s. I can unequivocally say this: I learned to masturbate long before I knew…
    • the mechanics of sex.
    • what sexual attraction to a woman was.
    • that masturbation had anything to do with sexual function at all.
I first started masturbating even before I was physically mature enough to ejaculate. And no one “showed me how,” either. It was simply a matter of discovering the function my own body. When I think back on it, I know that I was not lusting after anyone. There was absolutely nothing that I was desiring that I could not righteously possess. I was only exploring and experiencing the pleasurable sensations produced by my genitals in response to stimulation (which, by the way, is part of God’s good design of our bodies).
My Own “Valid” Conclusion
Therefore, my conclusion has to be that it IS possible to masturbate without sinful lust. Of course, I learned to associate and practice masturbation with sinful lust later, but that was a learned association, not an intrinsic one. And anything that can be learned can also be un-learned. I know that others’ experiences might lead them to a different conclusion. And, of course, their experience and conclusion is just as “valid” as mine. Their conclusion applies to their life, and mine applies to my life. But if masturbation without lust is possible for me, it must also be possible for others. Consequently, no one can claim that masturbation is always an expression of sinful lust for everyone! … although many do make that claim.

Those who claim that masturbation is not possible without sinful lust are really only admitting that they themselves cannot masturbate without lust.

For them—and for that reason—masturbation is wrong. But that does not give them the right to impose their own limitations on everyone else.
Pick the Right Fight
If you’ve been fightingfightingfighting the urge to find physical release through masturbation… I suggest that you’ve been fighting the wrong battle. Here’s why: when you finally “give in” to the urge to masturbate, you don’t even try to avoid lust. Have you noticed that?

You have so thoroughly bought the lie that masturbation IS lust that you have just assumed that a decision to masturbate is also a decision to lust.

Those two decisions don’t have to be linked.

What if—instead—you determined that when you feel the need for release, you maintained control of your thoughts… to ensure that you were not objectifying and mentally “using” other people for your own gratification? Could you not instead offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for His design in your sexual capacity? Couldn’t you give thanks for the hope that your sexuality holds for you to reflect His image as a source of new life? God wants you to be sexually virile. He intends for your gonads to function… especially while you are young. He made you that way on purpose!!
A Little Known Secret…
Nobody really seems to know it, but guess what… the battle to avoid lust in our hearts is much easier to win than the battle to suppress the sex drive and sexual function in our bodies! Whose big idea was it that we should think of them as one and the same? Wait… I think I know the answer to that one… Listen—it is no coincidence that the battle that is easier to win is also the only one that God has told you to fight!! If you assume that masturbation and lust are synonymous, your battle with lust will be nigh on impossible to win (know the feeling?). Do yourself a favor… focus only on the real fight. Yes… you have permission. — Pastor David Martin =========================== For the rest of the articles in this FAQ series: Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

still_life_with_open_bible_candlestick_and_novelI’m going to take some heat for this blog post…

(Note to our Catholic brothers and sisters… these articles are written from an Evangelical Protestant perspective. Due to some differences in how our traditions come to our understanding of God’s moral law, there will always be some issues upon which we disagree… and this is one of them. I urge you to ensure that you are following your own understanding before the Lord in the faith tradition that he has led you to.)

Secret Sin or Providential Provision?
Some college buddies of mine called it “The Big M.” It’s called lots of other things, but whatever it may be called, it’s definitely a BIG issue! Is it wrong or not? There’s probably no bigger “Frequently Asked Question” that we’ve had at MCAG. So I’m going to try and answer the question biblically and reasonably.
But before I answer…
I have to establish a ground rule here—a presupposition that undergirds my response. If someone disagrees with this foundational premise, then they are not likely to agree with my conclusion. It is this:

I cannot accept and will not promote a “rule for righteousness” that does not arise directly from the pages of Scripture.

As we are taught very clearly in Col. 2:20-23, there is absolutely no value (against fleshly indulgence!) in any man-made rule… no matter how well-articulated or how wise it may appear to be. One of the most persistent realities that sabotage all the failed strategies against porn is that you are told to measure your purity/righteousness/freedom according to man-made rules. At MCAG, we reject any “rule” that is not stated clearly in the Bible.
The Bible Really DOES Talk About Masturbation!
Most people claim that the Bible does not mention masturbation. So, into that silence, they are all too ready to define and insert “God’s Moral Will” about the practice so that we all can know that masturbation really is wrong… God just forgot to mention it. Don’t believe me? Just Google “Bible” and “Masturbation” and see what you get! It’s amazing to me how many Bible teachers readily admit “the Bible doesn’t mention masturbation… isn’t that amazing?” then turn around and tell you why it is wrong… as if God just “forgot” to address it. But I disagree. I believe the Bible does mention masturbation… just not with the clinical word that we use to describe it in modern times… And I suspect that the reason no one seems to recognize it is because the passage does NOT condemn the practice!
A “Seminal Emission”
The passage I speak of is Lev. 15:16-17. However, to fully understand it, we really should look at verses 16-19 (and the following verses too, if you want). Here is the passage: 16 ‘Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. 17 As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening. There it is. Masturbation in the Bible. Some claim that this is really talking a “nocturnal emission” and claim that it only applies if the guy is asleep. But that limitation is not found in the passage. Furthermore, we’ll see in the very next verse that the guy is obviously awake there, so we can’t just “read it into” this verse. There is nothing specified in these verses about whether the “emission” happened spontaneously or by active intent. Clearly then, it must apply to either case, so this passage definitely does speak to masturbation. Notice the only “penalty” for this event is that the man will be ceremonially “unclean” until evening. But does that mean that the practice is wrong? “Unclean” can’t be good, can it? Don’t jump to conclusionslet’s read on… 18 If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening. This verse gives the same “penalty” for a man having sexual relations with his wife… which of course, also includes a “seminal emission.” Let’s keep reading… 19 ‘When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. (The verses that follow expand on the regulations regarding a woman’s period) Here, we see the very same “penalty” for a woman having her menstrual period! Would anyone try to make the case that marital sex is wrong? Or a woman’s period? Of course not! Therefore, we cannot claim that the Bible teaches that the practice of masturbation—in and of itself—is wrong!
Summary of the Biblical Teaching on Masturbation
Here it is: If you masturbate, you are ceremonially unclean until the evening. By the way, be sure you clean up your mess. That’s it. Of course, there are other important matters to discuss relative to masturbation… like how it relates to lust and addictive or compulsive behavior, but this is where we must begin! I’ll cover those related questions next. — Pastor David Martin =========================== Stay tuned for the rest of the articles in this FAQ series: For a very honest, thorough, and biblically sound study about Masturbation, see: Is Masturbation a Sin? Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

The cultural and (unfortunately) “Christian” taboo that our bodies are shameful and/or primarily sexual is painfully in evidence at the gym where I work out.
Good Ol’ Days
At my high school in the locker room for gym class, guys stripped, showered, and dried off without ever bothering to wrap in a towel. The same was true at the YMCA I joined while in graduate school. But that was 30+ years ago… and times have changed. Today, at my gym, nearly every man quickly secures a towel around himself just to go back and forth to the showers!
It’s Funny…
It is almost comical to watch. Some guys are so stricken by the fear of someone seeing their bodies that they do a Houdini straight-jacket routine just to change clothes. Before removing pants and underwear the towel goes around first. It sure looks awkward as they undo their belt and zipper, remove their pants, then underwear, all the while trying to keep the towel from falling off. The towel doesn’t come off until they are in the  shower stall and the curtain is pulled. When it is time to dress the procedure is reversed.
 Gymnophobia and Porn
What gives? We’re all guys! Who cares about nudity in the locker room? I recently counseled a young man in his late teens who was experiencing sexual identity issues. To help him get comfortable with his own body, I suggested that he go to the shower at the gym without wrapping in a towel. He was appalled!  “No one does that!” he said.  In all the time he had been going to the gym with other guys, he had never seen another man totally naked. Nor have they seen him. Isn’t it a little ironic that we have become so guarded against others seeing our own naked body, and yet many will go straight home and purposefully view naked bodies in sex acts on the internet?
A Connection?
Could there be a connection? If we never see an unclothed human being unless it’s a sexual context… or we never allow our own bodies to be seen unless we are interested in sex, might that explain why we are so squeamish about nudity in a non-sexual context like a locker room? No one wants the locker room visit to be a sexual experience, so everyone keeps covered up. Unfortunately, that just reinforces the nudity/sex connection. What if… what if… we didn’t have such a strong association between sex and nudity? What if an unclothed person was just that…  a human being without clothes. What if we could treat a man like a man, and a woman like a woman… no matter how much of their body we see? Then, maybe—just maybe—porn wouldn’t have the profound sexual impact on us that it has today. — Pastor Bill =========================== For more on this topic: The Pornographic View of the Body or My Chains Are Gone Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

Breastfeeding_in_public_3God has patience with Christian teachers who support or promote a worldly, sex-obsessed view of female breasts. How do I know? Because He did with me.
He’s Patient, but Not Passive…
I used to parrot the “moral majority” by defiling my Gospel preaching with a message that unwittingly portrayed women and their breasts as sex objects. Sadly, this cultural idolatry pervades the American church. God has already passed judgment on this pornographic view of the body by turning over our nation to the scourge of porn addiction that inevitably results from it.
It’s Cultural, Not Natural
Blind to how culture shapes thinking, many Christians teach that men are compelled by the sin nature to lust at the sight of women’s bodies, especially their breasts. If this doctrine were true, it would eliminate from fallen humanity all societies where breasts are customarily naked in public, yet such societies exist. This ridiculous falsehood is further exposed by the response to it from these cultures themselves.
Breasts Are for Babies, Not Men
Carolyn Latteier, the author of Breasts, The Women’s Perspective on an American Obsession, wrote, We do have a peculiar obsession with breasts in this culture. A lot of people think it’s just the human nature to be fascinated with breasts, but in many cultures breasts aren’t sexual at all. I interviewed a young anthropologist working with women in Mali, a country in Africa where women go around with bare breasts. They’re always feeding their babies. And when she told them that in our culture men are fascinated with breasts, there was an instant of shock. The women burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, they fell on the floor. They said, “You mean, men act like babies?
They’re Beautiful, Not Sexual
This false theology may sound funny to them, but to me it’s emasculating. As a man who has helped tens of thousands of women nurse their newborns, I’ve never lost any male appreciation for the beauty of breasts or for the part they play in God’s awesome design of femininity. Yet, even at the outset of my nursing career, I realized I wasn’t reacting to them in the lustful way I’d been taught to expect! My culture had fed me a lie, and that deception came most consistently from the same lips that preached the Christian Gospel.
Repentance… Not Prudery
The bottom line is “we’ve acted like babies!”—not in a ludicrous way that makes bare-breasted women in Mali laugh—but with such utter immaturity that we should be shedding tears.
  • How could we—while claiming to honor the Creator—so decadently degrade His anatomical wisdom and artistic design in the female breast?
  • How could we—by social and religious precept—lead generation after generation of children to turn their natural, wholesome attraction to breasts into a lifelong perverted obsession?
This ungodly behavior calls for repentance!
Mistaken “Modesty” promotes Lust, Not Purity
Immodesty isn’t the occasionally naked breast but the exploited one, strategically hidden or partially revealed by social custom. The habit of making breasts visible only for sexual activity socially defines them as avenues of sexual enticement. More modesty is shown when they’re laid bare for nursing on a crowded subway, exposed for modeling in an art class, or uncovered for sunning on a clothing optional beach. Treating unclad body parts realistically and respectfully is always modest. But when clothing is unnaturally trusted as a moral prevention for lust, then immodesty infects a whole culture, as it has ours. Our mistaken morality wraps the body up in a fantasy that tempts sinners and saints alike. I believe God abhors it.
God’s View, Not the World’s
Did you grow up with our culture’s pornographic view of breasts. Your only hope of expelling it from your mind and heart is by learning to see breasts the way their Designer does. His view is the truth, and only the truth will set you free. — Pastor David =========================== For more on this topic: Teaching God’s Design for Breasts—A Message about the ‘Visible Breast’ for Christian Leaders and The Pornographic View of the Body This article is also found on Pastor David’s Blog. Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

Kerri and MistyThey’re wearing bikinis! My wife and I enjoyed watching the Olympics. As volleyball fans, we made a special effort to watch as many of the beach and indoor matches as we could. One day, while watching Kerri and Misty continue their Olympic “undefeated” streak, one of my 11 year-old son’s friends came to the house. He ambled into our family room, and upon seeing the ladies playing volleyball in their two-piece “bikini” outfits, this prepubescent boy let out an involuntary yelp and fled the room.
What just happened???
Can it really be that we are so thoroughly indoctrinating our children with a sexually objectified view of the female form that—before they even know what sexual feelings are(!!)—they have learned to treat the sight of female skin as evil… or dangerous? … disgusting? … a sight to be fled? The simple sight of human skin has been falsely defined as a forbidden sexual experience. And when we treat it that way, that’s exactly what it becomes!! Fast forward a few years and guess what it’s going to be like when porn reaches that young man for the first time (and reach him, it will)… that first adrenaline-laden exposure to nudity will trigger a powerful sexual experience that he will remember the rest of his life. How do I know? I still remember when it happened to me… … and so began my own 30+ year struggle with porn. Moms and Dads… if you want to inoculate your kids against porn, make sure their first and only exposure to the unclad human form isn’t from pornography. — Pastor David Martin =========================== For more on this topic: The Lies That We Have Believed—Lie #2 Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

  Creation_of_Eve_by_William_BlakeVictory over sin is short-lived when God’s truth is traded for lies. God’s Kingdom is founded on truth. Only submission to “the God of truth” brings spiritual redemption (Psalm 31:5). Deception led us into sin. Truth alone leads us out (John 8:32). If a lie gives you apparent relief, it will be only temporary. This is why so many fail to find freedom from pornography through strategies based on the lie of body shame. The Creator of our bodies uses the truth of body acceptance to free people from the chains of porn. But knowing the truth intellectually isn’t enough. Truth must be internalized. Traditional approaches to porn addiction focus on the external, trying to control what is seen. God wants to plant His “truth in the inward being,” teaching us His “wisdom in the secret heart” (Psalm 51:6, ESV), changing how we see.
The Undraped Body Is Not Perverted
When the God of truth spoke creation into existence, He deemed everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31), including naked male and female bodies. The sin of our first parents didn’t change the truth about that goodness. All parts of the human form are still “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). It was the heart—not our gender-specific anatomy—that became corrupt:
  • A sinfully perverted perception of the body usurped our Sovereign Maker’s evaluation.
  • Misled human reasoning replaced the truth of God with a lie.
  • What was pure in God’s creative reality became pornographic in the human imagination.
Debunking the Doctrine of Body Shame
If the Fall intrinsically distorted how humans perceive nakedness, cultural history would demonstrate this change universally. It doesn’t.ordinary nudity Modern responses to nudity, in the context of art, healthcare, or cross-cultural experience, also fail to substantiate this popular religious doctrine. In such cases, the absence of automatic sexual arousal at the sight of the nude body disproves the inevitable lust predicted by this teaching. Actually, these ordinary naked situations affirm the original goodness God saw in bare bodies. They prove that body shame is culturally learned, not humanly inherited. If it was inborn, all descendants of Adam would naturally have it. Since they don’t, this doctrine must be false.
Repenting of Cultural Idolatry
Allegiance to this dysfunctional cultural standard undermines God’s truth about our bodies. Under pressure to conform to false thinking in a fallen world, we must surrender our bodies to God (Romans 12:1, 2). The truth of body acceptance liberates us by the power of Him Who embodied Truth (John 14:6), God Incarnate (1 Timothy 3:16), the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Our male and female bodies, just as God made them, play a central role in His creation plan. Let the truth about them displace all distorted images with His image. Make a radical departure from cultural falsehood into a life where the God of truth—and the truth of God—dispel all lies. This the way out of porn. — Pastor David =========================== For more on this topic: The Pornographic View of the Body and My View on Nudity. Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

porn-starI was in a online forum recently where someone posed the question in the title of this post. There are a lot of people today who really see no harm in porn. So… they ask… why is porn wrong? This was my response:


Porn is wrong because it tells lies.
  • It lies about the human form.
  • It lies about the meaning of sex.
  • It lies about relationships.
  • It lies about responsibility.
  • It lies about beauty.
  • It lies about the source of value in a person.
  • It lies about the purpose of life.
  • It lies about sexuality.
  • It lies about morality.
  • It lies about being a father or a mother.
  • It lies about the importance of Family.
  • And because it has such a false understanding of the human body, porn is lying about God Himself, for we are made in His image.
That is—in part—why pornography is wrong. — Pastor David Martin =========================== For more on this topic: The Lies We Have Believed Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…

We exist to glorify God!
Paul said that whatever we do, we should do for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Jesus made it clear that He is very concerned about our thoughts and motives (the “why?”) as well as our actions (Matt. 5:28). Consequently, we would be prudent to assess ourselves by how much our activities, actions, thoughts, or motives glorify God. If we’re coming up short, we need to figure out why and pursue change.
How should we glorify God?
Good question! I’ll get back to that in a minute. Let’s start with exploring how God glorified Himself in the very beginning… when He handcrafted the first man and woman. When God created us (Gen. 2:7), He created us as a naked man and woman (Gen. 2:25). He then pronounced the naked pair, “very good” (Gen. 1:31)! I suspect that since He took the time to evaluate His work and say that it was very good, He feels rather proud of His creation. That which He saw pleased Him. Or stated another way, the very sight of naked humanity glorified Him! However, for centuries, the world—while seeing the magnificence of creation—has failed to acknowledge God as The Creator. Paul clearly articulated the consequences of disregarding the Creator in Rom. 1:18-32. The list is long (about two-dozen) and sordid. Sadly, even bible-believing Christians have fallen far short of glorifying God in response to creation… particularly when contemplating the unclothed human form!
How should we glorify God?
So… how can we glorify God when we see the beauty of the naked human form? Lusting after images created by pornographers surely doesn’t glorify God. The pornographers want us to “worship” sexuality of the human body with the result that our focus is on His creation (the naked form) rather than on Jesus the Creator. Paul’s words of warning clearly apply to such a perspective. But do we as Christians do much better? The common religious view is to deny that the naked beauty crafted by the Creator can result in anything except sexual desire (a focus on the creation). Without realizing it, we—the Church—are blaming Him for our lust. Then, because we hold that God-dishonoring view of the naked human form, we compound our error by creating all sorts of man-made rules about nakedness that have the appearance of wisdom, but in reality, only result in more “fleshly indulgence”  (Col 2:23) Ultimately, refusing to give God honor and praise for His crowning creation does not glorify Him. Both the pornographer’s perspective and the “religious” perspective fail to glorify God as the Creator…  and for the same reason! (You might want to read that last sentence again… it’s a shocker…) Let me say it another way… Pornography and the standard “religious” perspective believe only in the sexual impact of the sight of a naked human body; neither sees the glory of God there.
How should we glorify God?
Sunset.Water-gray-smallWe need to take our focus (thoughts, motives, and responses) off the creation and honor Jesus as the Creator. Give Him praise as Creator when we see a woman. Praise Him for the shape and color of her eyes. Praise Him for how He created her lips, her neck, her breasts, her waist, her hips, her legs. If I listed all her attributes for which I should praise Him as Creator, this blog would never end. The bottom line is thisyou will never be free from pornography until you begin to see the Glory of God in the naked human form. The “Image of God” glorified Him in the beginning… it still glorifies Him today, and if we don’t see it, the sin is in us, not His divine artistry. — Bud =========================== For more on the porno-prudish view of the body, see, “The Pornographic View of the Body” Feel free to Leave a Comment on this post. Please share this blog with others…