Masturbation - Why is it so bad!?

So I have been searching for this answer for a while, and in the Bible, I have been unable to determine why masturbation without lust is so wrong! The Bible stresses that lust is a horrible thing, which I can easily and whole-heartedly agree upon, however it never even mentions the ‘sin’ of masturbation. I find this interesting, as every other sexual sin was covered in some way or another. Now going back to masturbation without lust, please do not tell me it is not possible to masturbate without lust, as being a 14 year old guy, I know it’s very easy to get urges after a while just because of the raging hormones! I’ve never looked at porn, nor have I ever truly wanted to as it disgusts me, but I honestly cannot understand why masturbation is so wrong. I did find an interesting scripture, however that may be somewhat interpreted as masturbation and or a nocturnal emission," 'When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 17 Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. 18 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. " What I find interesting is that it is not specifically mentioned that the man had a nocturnal emission, while in other verses in the bible (e.g. “If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there.”) it is mentioned by name that that’s what it was. So if we assume this was referring to masturbation, all God says is to clean up, which is exactly what he says for having sex in wedlock or having a period! Can someone please explain to me why masturbation is so wrong without lust? I would really appreciate it as I’ve been struggling to understand this for about 2 years now! Thanks!

The simple answer is that with or without what you do or do not recognize as “lust,” it is the turning inward of a gift (sexuality) that is given by God and meant to be used outwardly, within marriage, rather than directed toward the self.

While it is also a physical urge, it is, in the human being, much more than that. We are meant to engage our wills regarding our sexual urges, as opposed to simply surrendering to these biological urges and letting them control us, as if we are lower animals.

Sexual activity is integral to our dignity as full human beings, and thus it is related to our ability to love another person (not just ourselves) and to create life with a partner.

We all have many appetites; some of these are more prominent in certain phases of our life and at certain ages. We have difficulty controlling some of our behavioral impulses as young children, sexual impulses in adolescence (and some would say throughout our lifetimes ;)), verbal impulses – which some people substitute for physical violence – in adulthood, etc. In order to grow in spirituality we have to take control of our impulses, urges, and appetites – whatever those are and whenever they occur.

I’ve met some holy people in my life, yet never have met anyone of any age who had all of his or her impulses and appetites in complete submission to his or her will. Everybody is ultimately ‘on the journey’ and we all need each other’s prayers and support in that journey.

Incorrect. The reason Catholics disapprove of men beating their meat every now and then is because they feel an odd compulsion to prevent a member of their society from experiencing the slightest amount of joy or satisfaction.

Elizabeth502 gave the proper, theological and charitable Catholic response to the OP, so who are you to dare say “incorrect”? In fact, your response shows the flaw in your protestant theology. You seek hedonistic pleasure and if that means no self control and self abuse, so be it.

:clapping:RevJ
Other than you had the urg to comment on this question, you missed the why, as men, you don’t engage yourself. God made us in his own image. Not as the wild animals of the earth. We have reason. So what you are saying is that you feel men should be able to act as dogs and call it good. bow-Wow.:clapping:

For the OP from the catechism:

Offenses against chastity

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

To the OP,

As your own Biblical research shows, there bible does not list it is a sin. Even in Leviticus where sexual sins from incest to bestiality are listed, it is not.

The Church decided (See catechism) that it is. If you believe the church to be infallible, then you have your answer.

Well said Susie73! :tiphat:

Nice try. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. The Catholic Church’s teaching on masturbation, and all of Protestantism’s teaching until the 1930’s I might add, is rooted firmly in scripture. If you come on to the world’s largest Catholic website to throw around tired remarks like that then don’t expect to be taken seriously. One would assume that anyone who presumes to know what cumpulsion an organization such as the Catholic Church operates under should also know a thing or two about the Bible to back that assumption up. To that end, actually reading the Bible and knowing a little about it helps.

God’s law as given to Israel through Moses upheld the traditional Jewish understanding of how important it was to have a male heir and to perpetuate the family name and blood line.

"When brothers live together and one of them dies without a son, the widow of the deceased shall not marry anyone outside the family; but her husband’s brother shall go to her and perform the duty of a brother-in-law by marrying her. The first-born son she bears shall continue the line of the deceased brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel. If, however, a man does not care to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go up to the elders at the gate and declare, ‘My brother-in-law does not intend to perform his duty toward me and refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel.’ Thereupon the elders of his city shall summon him and admonish him. If he persists in saying, ‘I am not willing to marry her,’ his sister-in-law, in the presence of the elders, shall go up to him and strip his sandal from his foot and spit in his face, saying publicly, ‘This is how one should be treated who will not build up his brother’s family!’ And his lineage shall be spoken of in Israel as ‘the family of the man stripped of his sandal.’ (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)

Perpetuating the family name and having a male heir was so important that if a married man died without a son, his brother was responsible for raising his heir with his dead brother’s widow. The surviving brother would incur the expense and bear the responsibility for caring for the widow and raising the son but the son would not be counted as his. Instead, the son would inherit the estate of his mother’s deceased husband. The God given penalty for not doing so was public humiliation.

Then Judah said to Onan, “Unite with your brother’s widow, in fulfillment of your duty as brother-in-law, and thus preserve your brother’s line.” Onan, however, knew that the descendants would not be counted as his; so whenever he had relations with his brother’s widow, he wasted his seed on the ground, to avoid contributing offspring for his brother. What he did greatly offended the LORD, and the LORD took his life too. (Genesis 38:8-10)

Onan disobeyed God’s law but was punished far in excess of what God’s own law demanded. God himself set the punishment of public humiliation for not raising his brother’s heir yet God did not mete out the punishment which his own law demanded. Instead God handed down the harshest punishment, death. Why?

Because when man and woman unite in sexual union, man brings the sperm, woman brings the egg and God brings the spirit. Without the spirit, the sperm may penetrate the egg but there is no conception. Without the spirit, there is no life. This is why sexual union between husband and wife in the context of a committed relationship is a holy act. When man and woman unite, God is present in a special way. Man and woman bring the created parts necissary for a human body but God alone brings the spirit created in His image required for that body to be alive. In so doing, God allows man and woman to become participants in one of the greatest things He does, creating a human life. Man and woman thus become co-creators of human life in cooperating with God.

Under the mosaic law, Onan’s punishment made perfect sense. Any eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Onan denied God the opportunity to create a life and in return, Onan’s life was demanded of him. A life for a life.

To use a woman for your own personal enjoyment while denying God the opportunity to create a new life is an insult to God. To do so in the absence of a woman is complete selfishness and a slap in the face to the Creator of the Universe. Onan’s punishment, far in excess of what was demanded for refusing to raise his brother’s heir, bears witness to his real crime, which was denying God the opportunity to create a new life. This is not my own intepretation; it is the teaching of 1500 years of Jewish tradition and twenty centuries of Christian belief which is clearly laid out in the oldest books of the Bible for anyone who cares to read.

You can throw around intellectually vapid remarks like the Pope doesn’t want people to have fun RevJ, but you ought to be able to back up that statement with some type of argument. If not, consider thinking twice before you post such nonsense.

-Tim-

Not so. It is clear in the Bible. See Genesis 38 and Dueteronomy 25. Post 9 has an explanation.

-Tim-

The sin of Onan is quite right. In fact, in German, the verb ‘masturbate’ is “ONANieren”.

In a nutshell? A few thousand years ago, a bunch of men decided that anything relating to sex, or pleasure, in any way shape or form outside of it’s use for procreation was a bad thing.

No, I do not engage in masturbation. My wife and I have a rather fulfilling sex life. With that said, it astonishes me that someone can honestly believe that masturbation is going to send them straight to hell. Of course, those on these forums will rattle off the paragraph\verse from the Catechism that tells you not to do it, and that this is what the Church teaches etc. etc. These are the same people that will tell the person who found there teenager doing that, and comes here seeking help, that they need to get them to a priest straight away, take them to a psychiatrist, they are sure to destroy their spiritual life in a heart beat. :eek: etc. etc.

Take it all with a grain of salt… No, I’m not condoning the practice, but I do believe it is a normal, healthy thing to do, for anyone that is coming of age. I also believe God understand this, and over time, will assist you with overcoming it. Hopefully by finding a loving marriage, where both parties can learn to grow and explore.

You’re are condoning the practice.

And you are choosing to follow your opinion over that of holy people who lived close to God the Father and to the bodily form of the Son of Man.

And, you’re poo pooing off Sacred Scripture and by doing that Sacred Tradition, as well.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Offenses against chastity

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2352

By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure.

"Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138

“The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

See, my point made. Thanks for judging me. :rolleyes:

I think I’ll take my own advice, and leave these forums permanently, as the same drivel is spewed over, and over, and over again.

I’m not judging you. I’m discerning your advice which you are giving to a young man addicted to masturbation.

I really think that the Scriptural Proof, as well as the excerpts from the Catechism, speak for themselves. I won’t add to them. What I will do is tell my own story.

I am not a good Catholic, and while I was never a great Catholic I was certainly far more passionate and involved in my faith than I am now. My slide into greater sin and darkness began because of masturbation.

Masturbation is bad in itself, but the worst thing is the fact that masturbation opens the door to greater sin. You say you don’t look at porn now? Keep masturbating and that’ll change. Sins of a sexual nature will be the first yo plague you, and then others will follow. After all, if you’re committing one mortal sin why not two or three? Pretty soon you’ll be in the situation I’m in, a very deep and dark hole that’s difficult to climb out of. I’ve been struggling for years with masturbation, and I will continue to struggle for years. Do yourself and your soul a favor. Don’t start and you don’t have to stop. Or failing that, the sooner you stop the lighter that monkey will be on your back.

What we may think about any given situation does not matter. The Church has the power of binding and loosing sin. The Church has spoken and it’s a done deal. God Himself spoke before that, as recorded in Genesis 38:4-10.

Judging:

How does his sound?

  			Originally Posted by **rotlex** 					[forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_khaki/viewpost.gif]("http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7934948#post7934948") 				
  		In a nutshell?  A few thousand years  ago, a bunch of men decided that anything relating to sex, or pleasure,  in any way shape or form outside of it's use for procreation was a bad  thing.

Sounds a lot like “judgment” to me.

You sound like the kid that complains to his mother that every time he hits the wasp nest, he gets stung.

Here is something that you might ponder: the principles behind arguments you use have been used to justify abortion. The “I don’t do it, but if others want to, it’s fine” thinking. If something is actually good and healthy, then you should do it, shouldn’t you?

If we see a brother that is wandering from revealed truth, we are obligated to offer fraternal correction. Not judgment, but correction. Do you think that any of us here on these boards have not received, and ultimately been thankful for, fraternal correction - many times? From the catechism:

1829 The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.

Neither passage is about masturbation.

Onan has to do with using withdrawal to prevent conception. Not masturbation. Whether you believe Onan was killed for disobedience to God and the Mosaic law or for "spilling his seed’ it is irrelevant to a masturbation discussion.

Topics like lust, adultery etc are repeated countless times throughout the Bible. Masturbation is not addressed even once. If it was any kind issue to them, it would have been mentioned in Leviticus 18. The silence on the subject deafening. It is not listed because it was not “detestable.”

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