Lies of the Christian Moralists
Christian Moralists (CMs) are not liars. In fact, the idea of telling a lie is totally repugnant to them. They have a love for the truth, and much of what they teach is true.
It is true that there is a definite difference between right and wrong, good and evil, sin and sanctity. We need to have a zero tolerance for sin, no matter how it manifests itself, and we definitely need to have zero tolerance for sexual sin. The CMs are very right to condemn all inter-personal sex outside of a male-female marriage. The Bible clearly teaches that fornication, adultery, incest, homosexual acts, and bestiality are sinful. While we can have compassion for those so tempted, we cannot ignore what the Word of God says. We cannot condone acts of sexual immorality. Yes, abstaining can mean that our flesh is unsatisfied and even our emotions can be in pain, but we can live without sexual pleasure and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is King, not sex.
But while the CMs are right to declare the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, sin and sanctity there are many things in which they are wrong, totally and completely wrong. In their sincerity and integrity they believe a lie.
The Broad Brush of “Porn”
When they talk about “porn” most CMs paint everything and everyone with the same broad brush. Simple nudity, and beautifully portrayed sexual acts, and the most hardcore depictions of sex as a purely and sometimes degrading animal act are all lumped into the same vile category and called “porn.” So the teenager who masturbates while looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, the young man who jerks off while enjoying Playboy style nudes, the man who occasionally strokes one out while watching a couple onscreen making love, and the lascivious guy drooling over and masturbating to a woman being degraded by three men violently pounding away at her every orifice are all equally “struggling with a porn addiction.” This is nether reasonable, nor right. The CMs feel if it is sexually stimulating and used as an aid for masturbation, it is sinful and sordid and must be condemned as porn. They are wrong.
Masturbation is Sin
For the CMs all sexual imagery is sinful because it stimulates our sexuality and can lead to or assist in acts of masturbation. And masturbation is wrong. Although they say it is no where mentioned in the Bible, it is still wrong.
But here is where the CMs are mistaken. Not only is masturbation clearly mentioned in the Word of God, it is only mentioned as a matter of fact, and that in passing. In Leviticus 15:16-18 a mean who has masturbated is merely told to clean up afterwards, the same instruction he receives about the act of marriage. And, unlike other things mentioned in that Old Testament book, he is not told to make an offering for his sin. It is regarded merely as a sanitary issue, no sin involved.
Objectifying is Wrong
The CMs quite often rant on about how men “objectify” women. To which I say, “Oh, give me a break!” Everyone I see who I do not know is first a body with a face. I can look at and enjoy the curves of the body and admire the beauty of the face. This is normal, natural and healthy. It is the way God made us, and it is good. Even when I get to know her and she becomes more of a “person” to me, someone whose character, personality and interests I know and like, she never ceases to be an enjoyable body with a pretty face. To think otherwise is simply unreasonable. I am not degrading her or myself in any way when I notice her fabulous female form though a flimsy summer dress, or I savor the extra skin I can see at the beach, or enjoy the nudity of those women who choose to share it in photos or on film.
All Sexual Desire is Lust
The CMs maintain that if I notice an attractive female and feel sexually stirred I am lusting. And I am really falling into lust if I take a second glance. If I am in private and aroused by what I see in person or on screen and touch myself in any way I have gone into lustful moral depravity.
Nonsense! This is complete and total nonsense. Nonsense that holds many a man in bondage to ridiculous ideas of how the world works and what Christian purity is all about. Those who accuse these men of being in bondage to lust are themselves putting them in bondage to wrong ideas about lust.
Lust is desire
with the intent to
commit sexual sin
with that person,
either in ones imagination,
or in person.
Lust is desire with intent. Not the intent to enjoy the view. Not the intent to become sexually stimulated. Not the intent to masturbate. Lust is desire with the intent to commit sexual sin with that person, either in ones imagination, or in person. Desire that simply enjoys the view or is stimulated by our imagination - even with the aim to self stimulate - is not lust. The young man who is masturbating to the image on a screen does not want to have sex with that woman. He wants to stroke his way to an orgasm. His aim is not fornication, or adultery. His aim is masturbation. He wants the pleasure of stroking for a while, perhaps “edging”, and the ecstasy of an orgasm. He need not rush to finish the “nasty” deed in hurried shame. He can take his time, ride the waves of sexual pleasure, and have a joyous and satisfying climax.
I thank God for the strong stand taken by the CMs on many, many issues of importance to society, our individual lives, and Christian culture - but on the issues of lust and masturbation, not so much. I prefer to walk in freedom and truth and enjoy the view.
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Christians Enjoying Nudity and Erotica
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.