Paul H. Byerly
We have heard a lot of explanations of why masturbation is sin, but we have yet to have anyone give us a good explanation for why the Bible does not say it is. Is there any other sexual sin which is not directly and clearly identified as sin in the Bible? There are passages which clearly label as sin such things as fornication, adultery, lust, incest, rape, homosexuality, and even bestiality. Surely the urge to masturbate is more common than most of these, and much stronger than many of them, and yet the Bible says nothing about it. If God felt it necessary to tell us not to have sex with animals, why didn’t He also find it necessary to tell us not to masturbate?
I can only come up with three reasons why “thou shalt not masturbate” is not found in the Bible:
Number one makes the Bible incomplete, while number two is the heresy of Gnosticism. By process of elimination I am left to conclude that number three must be true.
I know some will say, “it does not matter why God didn’t say it,” or “who are you to question God?” But it does matter; if you want to add to what God has called sin you must first give a good reason why God did not say it Himself. Since there is no doubt that masturbation was known of and practiced by those who originally read and heard the words of the scripture, the Bible’s silence on the issue is extremely difficult to explain if you are convinced masturbation is sin.
Most of the arguments we see against masturbation seem to work because the person making them starts with the belief that masturbation is wrong. If someone starts with the question “is it sin” and studies the scripture to find the truth rather than to support what they have already decide the truth should be, the results are different. It is our prayer that asking “why didn’t God say masturbation is sin” will help people to reexamine the issue and find a Biblically sound answer.
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