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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: The Evils of Masturbation

masturbation

The host of a popular Christian dating podcast recently said that masturbation is giving into a spirit of perversion and should not be done by Christians. 

Tovares Grey, an author and speaker who spearheads the Godly Dating 101 podcast, said in a July 14 episode that it is a “myth” to say that masturbation is “normal.” He clarified that the act of pleasuring oneself in a sexual nature is not a man-only issue because women also struggle with addictions.

“I know a lot of people have the impression that the Bible doesn’t explicitly say anything. So, is it a sin? Is it not a sin?” he said. “I’ve had feedback in regards to the podcast when we spoke about [masturbation] briefly in the past. … And then there was a whole lot of women that commented that they were struggling with that, [and] with pornography. So [it’s a] way bigger issue than I thought.” 

Grey, a husband and father of two, referenced 2 Timothy 2:22 to note that lust is a sin, adding it’s impossible to masturbate without lusting.

The podcaster explained the Bible is “not specifically clear on a lot of things” when it comes to what one can and cannot do, “but it does mention the principles that we should avoid.”

“Why would God tell us to abstain from fornication and then He’s like, ‘Oh, but masturbation is cool?’” Grey said. He dismissed the idea that masturbation is “normal and you should do it.” 

He quoted Genesis 3:4-6, where the serpent convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit by assuring her that nothing bad will happen and that her “eyes will be opened.”

“I believe that’s what the devil is doing today,” Grey said. “He wants you to think, ‘Hey, man, don’t overthink it. It’s normal. Hey, some doctors even recommend it. Don’t even overthink this. God is not going to get mad at you.”  

“Did God really say you’re allowed to have these hormones and not act on them? Did God really give you urges that you’re not able to act on?’” asked Grey, speaking from the devil’s perspective. 

“[Satan tries] to tell you there are benefits to it without considering the consequences of acting out [in] our flesh and turning away from the Holy Spirit.” 

Grey addressed listeners who struggle with addiction to masturbation due to abuse and trauma in their pasts. He recommended that they seek therapy or prayer.

“I know there’s a lot more women who struggle with that and there’s a lot of people who say ‘Oh, I do it because it’s the only time, [I] feel good because of abuse [and] all these other issues.’ And that’s why it’s so needed to go to God in prayer for healing.”

For those who engage in masturbation to release “sexual frustration,” Grey said they need to eliminate things that can lead to temptation. He noted that if “there was no desire for it, there would be no reason to cave into it.” 

“Every single person has a sex drive,” Grey explained. “That’s how God creates us. But what happened was your appetite was growing too much, growing too high.”

“You had too heavy of a desire that you did not know how to release that, because you’re more than likely not married, that you decided to take matters into your own hands.” 

Every sexual temptation is “the enemy” planting seeds in someone, according to Grey. He cited examples of sex scenes on television or music that include sexually graphic lyrics. 

“He’ll plant those seeds, and now when you’re home alone and in the middle of the night, your hormones are raging because you keep listening to this music that you don’t need to be listening to, and now the Enemy is just like, ‘Oh, it’s just this one time,’” Grey said. 

“We don’t realize that that music that we thought was no big deal, it was doing something to our spirit. Because what you constantly feed yourself, your body’s going to desire it.” 

….

“The Bible mentions God only has one standard for His children: holiness. So while people are recommending it, you have to understand that they are not trying to honor God,” said Grey. 

In 2019, then-Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear warned in a podcast episode that masturbation “dangerous because it can be addictive.”

“It’s something that can start to almost re-wire your brain,” Greear said. “It can actually sabotage healthy sexual relationships because it takes sexual desire away from the way that God intended it, which is between two people, and turned it into sort of an auto-eroticism type of thing.”

— The Christian Post, Should Christians Masturbate? July 19, 2022

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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14 Comments

  1. Avatar
    CarolK

    James Dobson said in his book Preparing for Adolescence that ,in his opinion, masturbation was no big deal. Touching oneself was bound to happen in personal hygiene and that often led to exploration for sexual pleasure and that there was way too much guilt about masturbation. (I hope I got that right; it’s been about 30 years since I read the book.)

  2. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    It seems to me that anti-masturbation preachers fall into one of two camps: the ones who oppose it because it can’t result in offspring, and those who are bothered by the pleasure people get from pleasuring themselves.

  3. Avatar
    amimental

    The question of who’s allowed to touch what’s in someone else’s pants should really be left up to the owner of the pants, don’t ya think? Personally, the thing that makes the rounds occasionally about ‘ringing the devil’s doorbell’ cracks me up. And uptight, stick in the ass “Christians” need to pay attention to their own pants. And leave mine alone. Dammit.

    • Avatar
      Karuna Gal

      I like George Carlin’s take on masturbation: “If God intended us not to masturbate, He would have made our arms shorter.”

      • Avatar
        Yulya Sevelova

        This month and last has been especially tough–I needed a good laugh this morning . I’ve come to conclude that Americans really ARE nuts–pun intended.😁🤩

  4. Avatar
    Trenton

    If someone can force you to control one of your most basic urges, they can make you do basically anything. Of course if they can’t, they shame you with a bunch of unneeded guilt. Of course, I love how the people who aren’t actually having sex always feel the need to give out sex advice to anyone.

  5. Avatar
    aylogogo77

    Concerning masturbation making someone feel better because of abuse: He should have added that nobody deserves abuse and that there’s no excuse for abuse. That said, it’s also true that when someone masturbates, it can lead to a feeling of freedom as well as pleasure. One woman wrote in a book about leaving her emotionally abusive husband that masturbating was a first step in taking control of her own body and also of the areas of her life that weren’t sexual.

  6. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    If I consent to myself about masturbation and am not doing it in public, exactly who can it possibly hurt? Seriously, these religious zealots need to be concerned with real issues of consent and abuse, not with someone pleasuring themselves in their own private space.

  7. Avatar
    Dave

    So I went to this guy’s Facebook page and there at the top is a picture of him and his wife in a really horny pose and well I couldn’t help myself after this and so I blame him for tempting me and making me sin.

  8. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Because the bankruptcy of evangelical Christianity touches everything, it will not practice decency and stay out of the bedrooms of others. Christianity is designed to harm, to skew human consciousness and suppress natural being, calling it sin. The longer I spend outside the sick camp of evangelical belief, the better I breathe.

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Bruce Gerencser