Friday, September 11, 2009

The Sin of Onan

Graphic enough? You want more graphic... go to Wikipedia. But I won't provide the link.

Ok, here we have in this graphic what appears to be the sin of Onan- Genesis 38:8-10. But it's not.
Refusing to fertilize your sister-in-law is not necessarily a sin.
Onan was not required to fertilize her.
There was no commandment.

Yet Onan made a commitment.
A commitment to his sister-in-law. A commitment to his father.
A tacit commitment to his heavenly Father.
Yet what he gave his sister-in-law was mere incest. The progeny that he promised his father was a mere lie.
And his contemptuous spew was held in contempt by his heavenly Father.
Onan's contempt consumed him. Onan's procreation was pro-rouged. Onan's own creation was recused.

Now some may think that Onan's sin was that of masturbation.  That getting his rocks off violated a boundary stone.
Yet, as the passage suggests- it was his intent, not his contents that were at issue here.
It was his heart, not his hand that was at issue here.
It was not his hand that was not right. It was his heart that was not right.

The Bible does not speak of masturbation as being sinful. It speaks of the heart as being sinful.
It does not speak of orgasm as being sinful. It speaks of orgies as being sinful.

However, as regards masturbation...

Here I find Mark Driscoll reasonably accurate and helpful (though I find him much too casual). Though he is often vilified as the "cussing pastor"- few vilify his gospel or theology. I would not dispute his statistic that the average husband masturbates a few times ("3 to 4") a week either. It would be consistent with National Health Services of Britain's recent recommendation of "an orgasm a day". Something Mark was criticized- for encouraging his married sheep to try for "one week".
Mark Driscoll- is also vilified for endorsing a website called Christian Nymphomaniacs, as well. I will not provide that link either. Suffice to say it is intended for women. And even non-Christian women will likely benefit of their counsel.

Here I find the less-casual and less-cussing John Piper (who even made a huge repentance of saying "ass") as being slightly less accurate and slightly less helpful. I would challenge his contention that "vivid and exciting thoughts and images are necessary for masturbation". I would also challenge his opinion- that "wet dreams cannot occur without those images". Though my challenges would only be from personal experience as well.

I find the less-casual John Piper much more accurate and much more helpful here.

As I prepared this blog, the sometimes-helpful-tool Zemanta automatically provided close-up images of a man masturbating. I was not offended or excited. But it was a distraction on the right side of my monitor- so I disabled it.

In closing, may I encourage you- to grow less distracted in your Christian walk. Keeping your eyes on the prize (Php. 3:14)- even if it means disabling Zemanta. Sure beats plucking out your eye (Matt. 5:29).

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