Some thoughts on women, masturbation, sex, marriage,

Hello everybody. This is my first post in this forum. I already read a few interesting threads and liked your critical approach with argumentation on different topics.

Honestly I post some of my thoughts here in order to critically analyze how I feel about some of these subjects and hopefully allow me to reach an opinion.

Introduction
I’m a 23 years old guy a bit disoriented/confused about these topics. I never dated a girl, never kissed any, never had sex. I’ve masturbated since I was 11 years old and I still do.

Recently however I feel the desire to seek someone to love. Before making anything I’d regret laster I find important to analyse the issue in detail.

I’ve been teached catholic religion but I can’t define myself a praticant (at all) since the last time I went in a church was like 5 years ago. I’ll describe how I feel about that below ;). I hope I won’t tell too many wrong things :rolleyes:.

I will mostly try to describe the subjects from a moral/ethical perspective with a few references to the catholic religion. Feel free to comment (both ethycally and “religiously”) my statements :thumbsup:.

Why I don’t go to church very often
First of all let me make one thing clear: I believe (maybe not as strongly as other people do, but still) in God. My “issue” is with the Church.

In particular I don’t understand how - in order to speak with God - you must speak with a sacerdote or priest. How in order to confess my sins I have to confess to them instead of to God directly? This is why I find evangelical religions better (at least in this aspect): you can speak to God from your home without needing to speak with an intermediate.

Furthermore I don’t like some positions of the Church and how their representatives use the Bible in order to do what they want (for instance the Crusades but IMHO there are many other examples).

Masturbation
As said before I’ve been masturbating since I was 11 and I still do (quite frequently in fact). I’ve been reading a bit on the issue in this forum and on the net and from the church viewpoint there is nothing to discuss: it’s wrong.

I think it’s become a (bad) habit that I’m not likely to change at least not in the near future. I think there has to be some sexual release in order to avoid doing something worse.

Women
In my teenage days I’ve always though how cool it would’ve been to have a girl with whom to have sex.

Only after my 20s I’ve realised how wrong I was and am indeed happy that I didn’t do what I consider now to be a mistake. What I wanted wasn’t (neccessarly) sex. I wanted a long love relationship, a real girlfriend.

Maybe I’ll seem a bit too romantic or whatnot but I feel that sex, just for pleasure and lust, is just “empty” as well as risky (STD / STI and pregnancies). After years of masturbation I’m also beginning to feel this emptiness of a real love relationship. I’m not sure if I can express myself clearly enough on this point. If you don’t understand, please say so.

Sex
I understand (now) that sex just for lust and pleasure is - at the very least - “empty”. I can imagine how a life out of sex but without love would leave you “hollow” inside.

There has to be more than just physical satisfaction in a relationship. There has to be love.

Now on one hand I’m not gonna get into the bed of the first woman I’ll go out with.

On the other hand I don’t know if I’ll wait until after marriage before making love with her. Still I think the act of sex is something very intimate to be carried out with someone you truly love (and she loves you back) whom you believe you will live with for the rest of your life. I think it’s both a physical and spiritual (not necessarily in the theological sense of the term) union of two people.

And I wouldn’t care if she already slept with others as long as she is sincere and committed to me.

Sexual contraceptives
I’ve read what the Catholic Church position on the use of contraceptives is. Evangelic religions seems to be more liberal with regards to this subject and such is my view.

While still reminding that the act of sex must be first of all an act of love (and only then an act of pleasure) with someone truly special to you, I firmly believe in the usage of contraceptives. I find that if some particular conditions (social, econominal, …) are not met and an unwanted pregnancy occurs, the soon-to-be-born child will not be granted the happy life he/she deserves.

It is therefore my belief that contraceptives should be used if you don’t feel ready to become parent yet. That however has only to be a temporary solution. If in a few years the conditions for a parenthood are satisfied then the use of such contraceptives may be stopped if both parents are sure of this choice. Why should one carry such a burden if they’re not ready yet?

Another case might be after you got what you consider to be a “good” number of children. I mean, we have to make sure they grow up well, so it’s not wise to have say 50 children :smiley:

Well in this case you could say that you shouldn’t have sex at all (which is safer anyway) which I believe is somehow difficult in a real relationship.

Marriage
Well I’m still far from it :wink:
Still I think one has to make himself an opinion of what it really is.

When I’ll find the woman of my life and I’ll feel I’m ready for it I’d like to marry her because I want to live the rest of my life with her. I will want children with her. I understand (from personal experience) how family stability is important for the children and adolescent boys/girls.

Still life isn’t so easy as a straight road. Most of the times there are a few bumps along the road :(. You see couples getting divorced after 1 year or even 10-30 years of marriage. In this case - what does the Church (or the Bible) - tell about divorce?

From what I’ve been reading Catholic Church tells divorce is a sin. It also tells that once you have sex with someone (before marriage) you’re bound together since you “forge” your soul with theirs (something along these lines that I read on this forum).

But people make mistakes! Bad situations happen! Can’t a divorced person marry again? Don’t people deserve happiness? Don’t people deserve a second chance?

And - again - I’m not planning on going from bed to bed every time I meet another woman. My opinion is that if a love story / marriage doesn’t work out it’s for the best of both to simply cut if off and minimize damage. In my opinion then each of the partners should have the right to re-marry to someone else (again, someone they truly love) and find happyness again. I think it’s better than having to be forced to live together at all costs, don’t you?

Sorry for the long post. I think I might be maybe a bit young (or old) for some of this topics but I help you can help me on my introspection.

Maybe I’ll need to further develop some of these subjects. In that case feel free to ask.
Again I’m not sure where this discussion will lead to but I find it’s important to ask yourself some of these (tough) life questions.

In the Old Testament, we were told to confess sins directly to God. So, on that, we agree.

However, with John the Baptist, there came a new movement. Matthew 3:6 John’s converts begin to confess their sins aloud.

Then, in John 20:21-23, Jesus breathes on the Apostles, his priests, as it were, gives them the ability to forgive sins, telling them that what they sins they forgive will be forgiven. So, this wasn’t our idea to confess outloud to priests. It was Christ’s. This was not man made but divinely inspired.

If Christ had intended us all to keep confessing sins directly to God, why did he bother to breathe on the Apostle’s, if this would later all be rendered “unnecessary”?

Sins must be said aloud in order for priests to know which sins to forgive and which to retain.

Acts 19:18, Penitents confess aloud and divulge their sins.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19, Paul says he has the ministry of reconciliation, or the forgiveness of sins.

James 5:16, James says to confess our sins to one another.

Christ didn’t give the authority to forgive sin to everyone, just the apostles. The apostles then had their descendents.

There is also the issue of the papacy. Some do not accept or acknowledge the Pope’s authority. However, very clearly, Christ gave special authority to Peter. This kind of authority was given exclusively to Peter, not to any of the other disciples.

Christ said to Peter that he would be the “rock” on which the Church would be built. Christ asked Peter, and Peter alone, 3 times, to shepherd his sheep. In the absence of Christ, Peter is their clear leader.

Peter is always mentioned first when the disciples are listed. Peter speaks for the disciples. CHRIST chose Peter to be their leader. Peter didn’t elect himself. This was done by divine authority.

Now today, there have come some 41,000 or so other Christian denominations. However, the Catholic Church is the original church, and I believe, the only Church established by Christ.

The others have come in and have had their man made leaders who disagree on a point, go out and establish their own church. However, Christ established his Church, not “churches”.

We had people like Henry VIII who couldn’t get an annulment, and he was also darned power hungry, wanted to be head of not only the government but the church, as well. He wanted an annulment, because his wife(wives) wouldn’t give him a son.

So, he started his own outfit.

Now, we also had folks like Martin Luther, who had his differences with the Church, but likewise, started his own church. His church also had its problems…killed many a Catholic, but few mention this.

Some will try to say it’s only the Catholic Church which had its abuses, but if you look back, you will see those were very primitive times, and it wasn’t only the Church which was primitive but the government.

Look at the punishments governments had even as late as the American Revolution or so. They did things like hang people, cut them up, cut off their private parts, etc., etc.
That was for things like treason.

So, I find people take this out of context, try to imply it was a uniquely Catholic issue, and it wasn’t.

Now, getting back to papal authority, Christ took it even one step further, but only with Peter. Christ said he was giving Peter the “keys to the kingdom”. Keys, in this part, and another part of the Bible, symbolized authority. Christ said to Peter that what he held bound on Earth would be held bound in Heaven. What Peter loosed in Earth would be loosed in Heaven.

Now, when Judas committed suicide, he was replaced by Matthew. The Church forms what we would not classify in our times as an “institution”. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church is the longest lasting institution in the world, and it’s been studied because of its structure and longevity.

A lot of modern churches (which have almost no history or longevity) often reach back hundreds, if not thousands of years, find some incidents which often weren’t unique to the Church, and try to use this as evidence against the Catholic faith.

Anyway, when Peter was martyred, he was replaced by someone else who would lead the Church, because Christ never intended his Church to be without leadership. Before Christ ascended, he gave Peter authority. When Peter died, another leader was selected.

This system would now be called, “offices”.

The Catholic Church has endured despite persecution and has withstood the test of time.

The Pope, priests, bishops, and cardinals are following the chain from the disciples and Peter, who were given authority by Christ.

Now, I realize some reject the Pope’s authority and the priests. However, the apostles were given authority by Christ and then passed this down even till today. Christ told the apostles that who ever accepted them (Christ’s chosen representatives) accepted Christ. Whomever rejected them, rejected Christ. Whomever rejected Christ, rejected him who sent him (God the Father).

So, by rejecting the priests, bishops, cardinals, and Pope, since they are the descendents of the apostles and Peter, one rejects Christ and, by extension, God the Father.

We are not the ones who are making this up about marriage.

What did Christ, himself, say?

Matthew 19:4 See the complete quote at:

usccb.org/bible/mt/19

Some act as if we were making up these rules, but no. We are obeying the rules that Christ set aside. Everybody else who disagrees with Christ, and the Bible, is in a state of sin, heresy.

Christ said if one divorces and remarries, he commits adultery and condemns his wife to commit adultery.

As to adultery, he had this to say:

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 1 Corinthians 6:9

Christ also said He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19.

By saying now divorce is okay, you are speaking against Christ and encouraging others to do the same.

Thank you for your reply, ClearWater ;).

Fair enough. I admit I don’t know the details about every other Christian doctrine so I can’t comment on your statement. In the end even if it’s God’s message & will, it still passes through humans. And humans do make mistakes!

I really admire what Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have been doing. I’ve been less impressed by some talking of other Popes though. Not necessarily because what they’ve been saying is wrong but more because of how they expressed themself (too aggressive and conservative).

In my opinion the Church has had (and still has) much power. Once it was also political and militar. Now it’s mostly the spiritual one.
Still I think everybode in the church - while still delivering more or less the same message - puts it in a way that sounds different from who you’re talking to. In this sense it seems to me that the Priest/Pope/… somehow (at least slightly) the original message of God.

Again, I’m not saying that what God teaches us is wrong. Not at all!
Still I think along the time the message was somewhat modified, more or less intentionally, by those who want to deliver its word.

I’m atrying to rationalize this fact but the more I think about it the less I can understand it. Maybe I just can’t rationalize something which isn’t rational :confused:

So you’re saying that there is no such thing as forgiveness or a second chance?
So you’d either be deemed to live an unhappy life (for both of you) with your partner or be deemed for the eternity?
Honestly I can’t understand how God wants you to live a sad life :shrug:

Again I’m quite young so I basically know nothing of this (or life in general). I know marriage it’s not something to be taken lightly. But real life sometimes is harsh. How could I still live with her if for instance she lied/cheated on me? I can understand the notions of repentment and forgiveness but that has also to be earned and deserved.
So I should be married to her despite what she did/does/has been doing?

Again, thank you for your help ;).

And on divorce, if you allow divorce, how many divorces would be acceptable…1, 2, 3, 4, 10? Where would one even begin to draw the line? It would be our own arbitrary decision. Christ has made his position clear in the Bible.

It’s only a matter of people to read scripture and obey God’s commandments and teachings.

I can understand your point on where to draw the line.
Such situations are even difficult to implement in juridical laws (as well as in other contexts).

However I can’t with all my might and will understand how come anyone doesn’t deserve a second chance in marriage when God is always looked at as loving and forgiving. I can’t really understand this contradiction, sorry :frowning:

X350, I would recommend that you not worry about issues of divorce/contraception. If you’ve never been with a woman before, you need to focus on yourself and somehow try to develop a relationship first . Other complicated issues shouldn’t b your concern now

We believe that the Bible is divinely inspired. We accept that Christ said these things, that he was the son of God, that God knows more about this than we do, to accept what God says on faith. We are told that God’s “folly” is greater than human wisdom.

We believe the commandments were set up in our own best interest, and we strive to accept them.

I’ve noticed in cases where other churches have caved in, permitted divorce, it tends to start down a slippery slope. Now, we have about half of marriages ending in divorce, broken homes everywhere.

Some now divorce for little reason, divorce again and again and again.

Again, we believe Christ said these things, but even in Christ’s times, people asked who could withstand his words. Not much has changed.

I don’t know if divorce is so much the problem as divorce and remarriage.

Well, if we love God, we must work to keep his commandments, but nobody said it would be easy. We believe if more people were to try to live the commandments that we would have peace and love.

You have a point. However, looking at how things go in society nowadays, I’d say it’s better to think about it (even just a little bit) earlier than later ;).

Well, the moment you get into a relationship, contraception and divorce and all the rest will suddenly become issues. Even if they aren’t an issue for you, now, they may be for others around you. We believe it’s wrong to promote these things, sinful.

Correct. Good idea.

We were created in the image and likeness of God. We believe marriage is sacred, a sacrament, something similar to God’s relationship.

It is not a normal kind of relationship but seeks to love in a “covenant” relationship, unconditionally. We are to strive to love like God does. So, we are to strive to love …rich or poor, in sickness or health till death does the couple part.

Now, we say…ah…you got sick…I’ll divorce you and marry someone healthier. Oh, you are old…I’ll divorce you…marry someone younger.

If you put it that way I can agree with you. Your spose isn’t like some kind of object which, when broken of defect, you change or throw away.

I still believe though that in some circumstances (violence, cheat, lie, …) the marriage cannot continue at all. After deep thinking and “Turn the other cheek” as in Jesus told us to do, the situation might not just be sustainable. You “turn the other cheek” once, not a bunch of times! But well that’s probably just my opinion, not what Jesus taught us as in “take your cross and follow me”.

As said before I’m hardly a Roman Catholic praticant so I’m not sure if I can really perceive what you’re trying to say (neither where this discussion will lead to). However I don’t consider myself to be either an atheist nor an agnostic either, so communication should still be somewhat possible :wink:

Probably I find i difficult to accept the message of the Church / Bible in its integrity when I disagree on some (specific) points. Yet religion seems to be a take-it-as-a-whole way of life. Either you accept it in its integrity, or you don’t (at all). There are apparently no half measures to it. Just blindly accept it and obey :frowning:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.