Straight Talk on Sexual Self-Stimulation

“I was [sexually] abused when I was young. I’m so addicted to pornography and masturbation” said a married man to a Christian counselor. Two single young men also shared their struggles:

“I’ve been battling with masturbation for a long time now and it’s killing me. I notice I masturbate each time I feel depressed. I’ve prayed and done a lot still I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.”

“I have a very big problem with both sex and masturbation. It has really gotten to me. I am a devoted Christian … yet I find it difficult to quit … I have planned to cut myself off media, phone and internet so as to stop going through porn sites and downloading its content … Why is stopping sex and masturbation too difficult for me, or is it my FATE? I am really confused.”

Unfortunately, sexuality is still a no-go area topic in many Christian circles. This is why I applaud Christians who summon the courage to open up about their personal sexual struggles. I’ve come to realise that when such “uncomfortable” issues are swept under the carpet of church rules and “uptight” conservatism, they not only fester but eventually become elephants in the pews. Many people in the church today are suffering from silent frustration as a result of private problems that have created turmoils in their hearts. They can’t find anyone who understands or is able to handle the details of what ails them.

Sexual issues need to be openly discussed because they are crucial to life, and it’s an area where the devil is enslaving many believers. I was told of a Christian guy in my undergraduate days who broke with “tradition” during a Bible study by telling how God helped him beat the sinful habit of masturbation. Typical of hyper-conservative student fellowships, his audience looked on with shock and distaste, but he defied their countenances. As he was leaving the fellowship that evening, about 5 Christian brothers walked up to saying “Please sir, I’m struggling with masturbation, can you help me?” If we are really going to help people find freedom and healing, we’ll need to blow open the citadels of pretence and role-playing that the devil has used to wall us in.

Masturbation or “solo sex” is a hot topic on several fronts. A 2016 survey by TENGA, a sexual health and wellness company, indicates that “88 % of 1,200 Americans masturbate.” To remove the stigma from self-pleasure, this company launched “an online empowerment campaign that celebrates and encourages masturbation” called #DoItInMay. Secular society has always lauded masturbation as a safe, healthy valve of release from sexual pressure. Some scientists tell us that it boosts the mood; has a natural sedative effect; helps maintain body immunity; prevents prostate cancer, heart diseases and STDs and even confers a longer lifespan!

If one’s life is patterned by their claims, solo sex becomes a placebo to cure almost all of life’s hitch. I guess a time would soon come when we will be told that if we don’t masturbate frequently, our brains will stop functioning and our hearts will stop beating! From a scientific perspective, however, one needs to tread with caution before touting masturbation as a “silver bullet” to bodily infirmity.

Masturbation triggers the brain into releasing a flood of internal chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin into the bloodstream. These natural “drugs” give quick, temporary escape and relief from stress, insomnia and anxiety. This can make masturbation a convenient “drug” for instant pleasure and self-medication. It results in a chemical dependency that people use to escape from boredom, negative emotions and the stresses of life. We all know how drug addicts resort to drugs to escape from reality. Sexual self-stimulation works out the same way. Thankfully, the debilitating effects of addictions are not disputed by secular society.

Frequent masturbation stimulates acetylchlorine and parasympathetic nervous functions and when it is excessively done, large amount of this hormone and neurotransmitters are being produced, thus altering the body’s chemistry. This leads to fatigue, erectile dysfunction and pelvic cramps. Even in the medical world, there are check and balances that govern drug use. That’s why pain relievers are given with prescriptions. When the body is made to naturally circumvent these regulations through masturbation, it becomes a form of self-abuse.

Many scientists, psychologists and even some Christian leaders argue that masturbation is not a sin. If that is the case, why do many men and women feel so guilty after indulging in it? The ready-made answer that such people are conditioned by social indoctrination and upbringing doesn’t cut it. That response is an indication of our God-given conscience which must not be muffled with empty rationalizations.

This is why science, psychology and philosophy – albeit beneficial – cannot be our final arbiter of truth, ethics or morals. The Bible, God’s Word is. Science sees man as a “higher animal” that is subject to all baser instincts and desires, but the Bible dignifies man, stating that he is created in God’s image. Psychology also fails to address the complexity and depravity of the human heart. The Encyclopedia Britiannica presents a lengthy discussion on sexual deviations but adds that:

“Although most psychiatrists and psychologists consider masturbation an expected practice on the path to heterosexual relations, it serves equally to gratify in fantasy many of the sexual deviations discussed above” (16:610).

That is, masturbation can be fuelled by fantasies involving sexually debased acts like paedophilia, rape, sado-masochism, voyeurism, homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality. The human heart is so deceitful and depraved that most sex criminals usually start off by masturbating to fantasies of what they later indulged in. With the way sex toys like strokers, dildos, sex dolls etc are becoming lucrative even here in Nigeria, God’s view – not man’s opinions – of solo sex needs to be emphasised.

Granted, masturbation is not directly mentioned in the Bible and cannot be accurately termed as the “sin of Onanism,” but it’s still a sin because it involves lust of the mind (Matt. 5:28). Virtually all sexual self-stimulation is accompanied by either sexual fantasies or pornographic materials. It cannot be imagined or carried on without committing the sin of lust. It also fails the Bible’s eight fold test: what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

Our body “is the temple of the Holy Spirit … You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Solo sex spiritually defiles our body. God says we are to “put to death … whatever belongs to [our] earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires…” (Col. 3:5), but masturbation does the very opposite: it energizes the fleshy nature.

Furthermore, masturbation is a selfish act. God intended sexuality to help relieve a person’s loneliness, but solo sex does not relieve loneliness. In fact, one feels more lonely than ever after this sin. Being immersed in one’s body sensations is a form of narcissism. As time goes on, self-pleasuring becomes the brain’s preferred method for achieving sexual gratification and this ultimately undercuts a healthy relationship with one’s spouse.

I am not writing this to lay a guilt trip on anyone struggling with this habit. What I’m saying is that it is a sin that one can repent of and forsake just like any other (1 Jn. 1:9). There is one more reason why self-sex should be avoided: it often attracts sexual spirits called incubi (those appearing to be men) and succubi (those appearing as women). These demon spirits are responsible for the sexual dreams many men and women frequently have.

These sex demons are also sought after in the occult and are invited by sexual fantasies. When these spirits latch themselves to men or women, they wield a web around them, draw away their virtues, potentials and vitality and pump their garbage into them. In some cases where the demon already resides in the victim, it will control his or her hands to sexually stimulate himself or herself, at times after having an erotic dream.

One of the ways to know if masturbation has led a person into spiritual bondage is that, it becomes a besetting sin and he/she would be having relationship or marital troubles (if married). That person may be oppressed by a demonic sex partner and needs to be ministered to. Such persons would tell you that they feel more pleasure when they have sex in dreams with demons (who appear as very beautiful ladies or handsome men) or when they masturbate, unlike with their physical spouses. This problem is a very common one. I have personally met real Christians victimized by it.

The way out

Although there are no specific “formulas” to conquer masturbation, some steps are crucial.

1. Repent and forsake the sin. This involves getting rid of porn or sex materials. Because masturbation feeds off secrecy, sharing your struggles with someone matured is also good, but it’s not compulsory.

2. Know what triggers you. Some masturbation triggers are: depression, porn, indecent dress, images of past sexual acts, erotic chats or phone calls, stories or TV shows that border on sexual themes. A guy named Immanuel wrote: “I can remember heavily masturbating to Rihanna’s Rude Boy’s music video immediately it was released till my organ got painful sores.”

Now if Immanuel is going to maintain his victory, he will have to avoid music videos or lyrics with sex innuendos. Some are triggered by certain places, smells, gestures, words or objects. A Christian guy once admitted he gets “triggered” to masturbate once he sees a boxer short. So know your own trigger and address it.

3. Filling one’s heart with God’s Word has a cleansing and renewing power (Ps. 119: 11; Rom. 12:2). Daily meditate on the Bible and control your thoughts

4. Resistance. You can only resist what you dislike. This involves:

a) directly resisting the urge to masturbate by avoiding compromising situations and exercising bodily control (1 Cor. 9:27). One can be tensed up and unable to sleep and feel tempted to give in to it; don’t yield. Endure hardness as a soldier and resist the sin (1 Tim. 2:2).

b) standing back on your feet if you have a relapse (Prov. 24:16). Don’t let the devil beat you down with guilt. Some gain victory quickly, some don’t. Focus on Christ.

c) praying fervently, especially before going to bed. That is how to draw on the power of Christ (Mt. 26:41). A friend told me how God set him free from the bondage of masturbation. After praying one night, he went to bed and while he was asleep, he felt a strange pressure mount over his body. With his eyes still closed, he felt someone raise his hands up and make him say: “You spirit of masturbation, I renounce you in Jesus’ name!” and the pressure lifted. Since that day, the urge to masturbate vanished. There is great power in Jesus Christ.

If you are struggling with this sin but not yet born again, I want to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins at the cross of Calvary and rose again for us to have a new life. Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. Ask Him to forgive your sins and make you a new creature.

Contact me on my Facebook page for confidential feedback.

Blood Transfusion: The Witnesses’ Death Trap

An ex-Jehovah’s Witness friend once shared with me a case of a JW woman who lost much blood while in labour. Since blood transfusion is forbidden by their religion, her family rushed to a fetish priest to stop her bleeding through occult powers. In spite of their efforts, she died. This is not an isolated case. According to a research work by Gupta et al. (2012), in the UK, there is a 65-fold increased risk of maternal death of JW women compared to the national rate. In the US, JW women are at an increased risk of maternal death due to blood loss. Similarly, in the Netherlands, there is a 130-fold increased risk of maternal death of JW women due to obstetric haemorrhage.

Yet JWs are taught “that God values human life and that people must value the lives of others.” (What Does the Bible Really Teach? p 127). But they state: “His principle is that his laws come ahead of suffering, even as in blood transfusion, God’s law takes precedence over the life of a creature” (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1961, 118).

If God truly values human life then, His laws are supposed to protect life, not destroy it. A law that constantly perpetuates the loss of human lives cannot be from the Creator who gave life as a gift. The cover of Awake! May 22, 1994 was graced with pictures of several young JWs who chose to die instead of accepting blood transfusion. Its pg. 2 says:

“In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue.”

What do they mean by the “former times?” Are they referring to the early Christian persecution? This Awake! edition contains the stories of 15 JW children who rejected blood transfusion based solely on Watchtower policy. An affidavit presented to the court by one of them says:

“The way that I feel is that if I’m given any blood that will be like raping me, molesting my body. I don’t want my body if that happens. I can’t live with that. I don’t want any treatment if blood is going to be used, even a possibility of it.”

This level of indoctrination can even make this boy lose the will to live if transfused. JWs are taught that anyone of them who unrepentantly accepts a blood transfusion does so at the peril of losing eternal life on paradise earth. So a faithful JW must accept death rather than break their religious laws which stipulates that: “[T]he receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God’s people by excommunication or disfellowship” (The WT, Jan. 15, 1961, 63). The weight of being disfellowshipped alone crushes many of them.

Watchtower leaders not only brainwash and intimidate children and youths to vehemently reject blood transfusion so as not to lose eternal life, but also command parents to “hold practice sessions in which each youth faces questions that might be posed by a judge or a hospital official” (WT, Jun. 15, 1991, 15).

In Western nations, child welfare departments and lawyers wade into this issue, when transfusion is withheld, but the power that the Watchtower Society wields over the minds of JWs usually prevails. The physicians and lawyers are perceived as “persecutors;” JW parents standing against them or who succeed in smuggling their children out of the hospitals are seen as “heroes,” while those who die for refusing blood are presented as “martyrs,” like the early Christians who were thrown to the lions.

Three proof texts are offered by “the Society” to support their prohibition of blood transfusion.

a) Genesis 9:3, 4 “Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you …. Only flesh with its soul [or, life] – its blood – you must not eat.”

This is prohibiting eating of animal blood, not medical transfusion of blood into the veins. It must also be pointed out that this was the same “proof text” used by the Watchtower Society to condemn organ transplant as “cannibalism” between 1967 to 1980. Either appeal is dubious and eisegetical.

b) Leviticus 17:13-14 “As for any man … who in hunting catches a wild beast or a fowl that may be eaten, he must in that case pour its blood out and cover it with dust … I said to the sons of Israel: ‘You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh.'”

The context of this passage is on animal sacrifices. God told the Israelites to pour animal blood out to the ground because life of the flesh is in the blood. Nothing here speaks of non-sacrificial, human blood transfusion which involves the replacement of blood in the human body with that of another human. The blood being “poured out” in Lev. 17:13 is of dead animals used in Jewish sacrifices, not living human donors and blood transfusion doesn’t render the donor to become a dead sacrifice to God.

It’s instructive to note that even today, Orthodox Jews who strictly hold to the Law of Moses do not reject blood transfusion since such an idea is not taught in the Torah. In fact, of all the religions that claim to adhere to the Bible, only Jehovah’s Witnesses equate eating of blood with blood transfusion – an awkward interpretation that defies both logic and science.

c). Acts 15:28, 29 “The holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication.”

The term “from things strangled” solely refers to animals not properly bled. Under the Law, when dead animals were completely bled, the Israelites were allowed to eat the meat. Therefore, the command here was still prohibiting eating the blood of animals (a rite observed in paganism). No connection exists whatsover between this Biblical command and blood transfusion. When blood is transfused into the veins, it doesn’t get “eaten” in the body, therefore it’s absolutely unwarranted (if not foolish) to suggest that the recipient is feeding on another human soul via transfusion.

Eating blood, not Blood transfusion

“Does the command to abstain from blood include transfusions? Yes. To illustrate: Suppose a doctor were to tell you to abstain from alcoholic beverages. Would that simply mean that you should not drink alcohol but you could have it injected into your veins? Of course not! Likewise, abstaining from blood means not taking it into our bodies at all. So the command to abstain from blood means that we would not allow anyone to transfuse blood into our veins” (Bible Teach, 130).

There are several problems with this argument:

1. This interpretation directly contradicts what The Watchtower said in September 15, 1958, 575:
“Each time the prohibition of blood is mentioned in the scriptures it is in connection with taking it as food, and so it is as a nutrient that we are concerned with in its being forbidden.”

As shown earlier, this view was Biblically correct. Yet after some years, Watchtower leaders turned 360 degrees to ban blood transfusion by equating it with “eating blood” just as they smoothly rescinded their prohibition on vaccination and organ transplant. This blowing of hot and cold on critical issues proves that the Governing Body is not inspired by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself.

2. The paralleism used is false. There is a difference between blood and alcohol (or any nutritional substance) infused into the veins. Transfused blood retains its original composition and mixes with the rest of the body, whereas alcohol or nutritional substances get broken down and digested by the body. Transfused blood doesn’t get metabolised, since it is given to replenish the body’s blood supply lost through an injury, bleeding or surgical procedure. Hence, there’s a clear difference between blood orally ingested through the mouth which gets digested by the body, and blood transfused into the body which remains the same.

3. Transfused blood is not “food” or “nourishment” but helps in carrying nourishment to the tissues. Notably, transfused blood itself is not consumed as a food the way it would be if it were eaten or drunk through the mouth – which is then broken down like other foods through the digestion system. This is why a person starving to death cannot be saved by blood transfusion because it doesn’t provide any nourishment for his body. Such a person would need actual food or nourishment which the transfused blood carries to the body tissues.

4. It must be highlighted that Awake! August 22, 1999 says: “Blood is an organ of the body, and blood transfusion is nothing less than an organ transplant.” We are also told that “a transfusion is a tissue transplant” (How Can Blood Save Your Life? 1990, 8).

Based on these definitions, blood transfusion is not “eating blood” but an organ or tissue transplant. In such transplants, the organs are not “eaten” by the body – they don’t serve as food or nourishment. They simply continue their specific functions and purposes as God intended. The same applies to blood transfused into the veins. It is a ludicrous and fatally inconsistent position to endorse organ transplant while forbidding blood transfusion.

To cement their deception, Watchtower leaders wrote:

“Would a Christian break God’s law just to stay alive a little longer in this system of things? Jesus said: ‘Whoever wants to save his soul [or, life] will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it.’ (Matthew 16:25) We do not want to die. But if we tried to save our present life by breaking God’s law, we would be in danger of losing everlasting life” (Bible Teach, 130-131).

Notice how they are deliberately conflating a life-sustaining medical procedure with eternal salvation to muddle up the issue. JWs need to realise that when they reject blood transfusion they are not “losing their souls for the sake of Jesus” but to uphold the ideas of the Governing Body in New York City. No part of God’s law condemns blood transfusion. In the Bible, when Jesus healed a man of dropsy, He did a work which was considered unlawful on a Sabbath day, so He asked the Pharisees: “Who of you, if his son or bull falls into a well will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” (Luke 14:5)

He set aside the Law to do the work of healing and save a life. This principle is called Pikauch Nefesh Rabbinic principle. It dictates that the Law be superceded if it would result in loss of life. This is why blood transfusion is not forbidden in Judaism because its purpose is to sustain life. Conversely, the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion dictates that people be sacrificed on the altar of a man-made doctrine dubiously touted as God’s law. Life is not really valuable to the cruel hoax they worship.

Interestingly, in the Jewish law, apart from pouring out animal blood, the people were also to “burn the fat as an aroma pleasing to the LORD” (Lev. 17:6), yet JWs never follow this command. Breaking the law at one point is breaking all of it. This only way out is this: Jesus has already shed His blood to redeem us, so the Levitical law and the animal sacrifices in it are no longer required to earn God’s approval or receive salvation.

In Awake! (Feb. 2007, 8) we read: “These churches taught ‘twisted things’ … they taught people to worship the State and to sacrifice their lives for it in warfare.” This argument can be turned back on them: Watchtower leaders teach twisted things, demand blind loyalty and teach JWs to sacrifice their lives for them by rejecting blood transfusion. This is their death trap. Just like the 900 followers of Jim Jones; the 83 victims of the Waco fire and the martyrs dying for Islam, the Jehovah’s Witness religion too has its sacrificial victims. Like the others, they are also made into trophies of a legalistic blood cult.