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  #11  
Old 05-14-2015, 11:18 PM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by Andara Bledin View Post
It's totally not a Christian only sort of thing.
Honestly? Yes, actually it is. Or more specifically its an Abrahamic religion thing. Authoritarianism is a separate matter from the problem of "Feel ashamed of your genitals or we'll stone you" thing that Abrahamic religions historically had going on. Though Abrahamic religions are, at their root, authoritarian to begin with.

The Precepts of Buddhism regarding sex are voluntary for self betterment for example. Not mandated or commanded. Authoritarianism is just the mechanism of enforcement, not the root problem of the whole sex/shame thing in Abrahamic religions. Symptom, not the disease, etc.

Obviously, these days not all denominations are like that at all. This its mainly just the fundie/conservative ones. They can't really stone you anymore so they had to ramp up the shame/guilt side of things. In some ways its actually more damaging.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2015, 12:13 AM
cewfa cewfa is offline
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Originally Posted by Andara Bledin View Post
It's totally not a Christian only sort of thing.

It's an authoritarian sort of thing, and if you're in a majority-Christian environment, you're really only going to get that from Christians. Most authoritarians trying to use other holy creeds to support their authoritarianism are going to either do so in places where those creeds are the majority, or in isolation where those creeds are the majority.

Also, have you never heard of Jews pointing fingers about other Jews not being Jewish enough? And, depressingly enough, you run into the same sort of thing from Buddhists. It happens in any situation where there is an authority figure giving instruction on how to behave to those who are ostensibly less enlightened.
I get what you are saying, but from personal experience Christians are the only ones who have made it a point to tell me what I should and should not be doing with my penis. I guess it wasn't so obvious when I was younger and more impressionable, but now that I am older and more mature, it's starting to really weird me out. I'm starting to understand, for instance, how women feel when Christians (mainly) tell them how they should use their bodies and how they should and shouldn't reproduce. Men, in men's group, get the same shtick.

My theory is that these people repress themselves so much sexually and have issues coming to terms with their sexuality that this has nothing really to with God's commandments, as it is that they are acting out because they really repress themselves. Quite frankly, the more I think about the conversation in the group last night, the more I feel sexually assaulted in a way, and I am not sure I can go back to that group. I plan on taking to the Small Group Pastor on Sunday and letting him know how I feel.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2015, 01:25 AM
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Panacea Panacea is offline
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Originally Posted by cewfa View Post
I don't feel like masturbation is a sin, nor do I feel like God cares whether or not you or I masturbate.
Didn't you know every sperm is sacred?

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Originally Posted by cewfa View Post
As for Christians, I know that these gentlemen mean well, and this will not stop me from going to church. I like church and I like to hear the teachings of the pastor and to worship. I won't let anyone take that away from me.
Good, you shouldn't. I'm Catholic, and pro-choice and pro gay marriage. Is that consistent with Church teachings? No. Is it a sin? Depends on who you ask. Do I care? No. I like my faith, and I'm more worried about what I do than what other people do.

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Originally Posted by cewfa View Post
You know, in the 15 years I've been involved with church and Christians, Christians are the only people I know of that seem to be fascinated with what other people do with their bodies. It's starting make me a little uncomfortable. I almost want to ask these men if this is really about God and not some kinky fetish they have.
Well, I think I can give you some perspective on where that comes from.

In the days of the early Church, Christianity started attracting a lot of Greek converts. The apostles, after some debate, accepted these converts. What you ended up with was a cultural clash, because Hellenistic culture was very different from Jewish culture of the day when it came to sex. In addition, the earliest converts to the Church, and the apostles themselves believed that Jesus would return to them within their own lifetimes.

Sex was viewed as necessary only for procreation. If the world was to end, there was no need to procreate, and in fact to bring children into the world seemed cruel. Single converts were encouraged not to marry. Married converts were encouraged to be celibate to avoid pregnancy.

The real issue with sex in Christianity is promiscuity. Sex to promote healthy relations between husband and wife for the purpose of creating children is considered a good thing. Sex out of wedlock was bad; it created bastards that still needed to be cared for, damaged family alliances and endangered the property of the family or clan.

Here's the other thing too: In Judiasm, men could obtain divorces from their wives when they tired of them. The divorced women were often shamed and had few prospects, little property. Ancient Jewish laws actually protected women (women had a right to sex when they wanted it, but men didn't), but were largely ignored.

That's where Jesus came from when he spoke against divorced; he was actually supporting women's ancient rights in marriage.

Christians often take what little the Bible says about sex too literally. The real point is to promote healthy relationships between men and women for the benefit of healthy families, to protect children, and to protect the tribe as a whole.

So bottom line: unless masterbation is done to the point where it interferes with healthy relationships or the daily business of life, there's really nothing wrong with it, and it is perfectly natural and healthy.
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2015, 02:42 AM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by Panacea View Post
Didn't you know every sperm is sacred?
On penalty of death in Judaism, scarily enough. >.>



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Originally Posted by Panacea View Post
Well, I think I can give you some perspective on where that comes from.
You've got some things the wrong way around here.


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Originally Posted by Panacea View Post
The real issue with sex in Christianity is promiscuity. Sex to promote healthy relations between husband and wife for the purpose of creating children is considered a good thing. Sex out of wedlock was bad; it created bastards that still needed to be cared for, damaged family alliances and endangered the property of the family or clan.
No, women weren't much better than property and treated as such. Sex to promote healthy relations between husband and wife is a major theme to Judaism not Christianity. Also in Judaism, a bastard child, as it were, holds a different social status that limits their marriage options but are considered full relatives for the purpose of inheritance. But the status of being born from adultery or incest is considered hereditary and such a bastard's children will also be considered the same. So still sucks.


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Originally Posted by Panacea View Post
Here's the other thing too: In Judiasm, men could obtain divorces from their wives when they tired of them. The divorced women were often shamed and had few prospects, little property. Ancient Jewish laws actually protected women (women had a right to sex when they wanted it, but men didn't), but were largely ignored.

That's where Jesus came from when he spoke against divorced; he was actually supporting women's ancient rights in marriage.
Other way around. Judaism was the most accepting of divorce of the Big 3. It basically has no fault divorce which could be initiated by either or both parties. Judaism holds domestic harmony in high esteem and it was viewed as better to divorce than live in disharmony. A Jewish woman was not shamed for being divorced. A problem only emerged if she did not obtain a Get ( a document showing that she was actually divorced ). Which she needed in order to remarry without it being considered adultery.

A husband could withhold one to be vindictive ( but he likewise needed one too ) but the wife could petition whomever the local authority was who would then step in on her behalf.

When Jesus speaks of divorce, he specifically speaks against this Jewish practice and laws of divorce when he speaks against divorce and promotes one far more rigid.

Oh, and Jewish men were mandated to have sex with their wives on a regular schedule depending on their occupation. >.>


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Originally Posted by Panacea View Post
Christians often take what little the Bible says about sex too literally. The real point is to promote healthy relationships between men and women for the benefit of healthy families, to protect children, and to protect the tribe as a whole.
The word is seriously, not literally. Its quite literal about this. That is also not the point at all, no. Women were basically property complete with "you break it you buy" policies.

And while Judaism seems much more progressive about these things in ancient times, it has just as many insane rules about what you can and can't do with your penis as Christianity does. Death for masturbation, menstruating women basically being considered the single most unholy thing on the planet and not to be touched even under threat of death, etc.

But since modern society tends to frown on things like stoning and what not now, the throw backs that still cling to said dusty passages have moved on to guilty, shame, etc instead.

Last edited by Gravekeeper; 05-15-2015 at 02:44 AM.
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  #15  
Old 05-17-2015, 01:02 AM
Crazedclerkthe2nd Crazedclerkthe2nd is offline
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Theologically, masturbation is a grey area. The question "Is masturbation sinful?" is a loaded one for any Christian to deal with. A lot of it focuses on two scriptures from the New Testament. One , a teaching of Christ from Matthew:

For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

The other, from Ephesians:

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.


You might notice both verses contain the term "sexual immorality". The constant debates over whether or not masturbation is sinful are usually focused on what exactly is meant by "sexual immorality" in these scriptures. Some Christians do not consider mastrubation to be sexually immoral, others do. The same can be said for anal sex and sex toys.

Personally I believe that masturbation can occur without lustful thoughts. I do not consider masturbation sinful. Being married, I usually approach it as "my wife always has first dibs on me". If she takes a pass for whatever reason then I usually end up looking after things myself (with her being aware of it).
I don't want my masturbation to get to a point where it would hurt the sexual part of my marriage. If it did, then I could see myself being plainly into sinful territory.

The question of masturbation as a single person is theologically more convoluted. Because if God says "Don't Masturbate" and He says "Don't have sex until you're married" then He's left no possible non-sinful avenue open for a single person to get a sexual release. Obviously even single people need release from time to time. Naturally the question becomes: Why would God wall us in like that?

Which leads us back to the debate over whether or not He actually did.

Remember the words "sexual immorality" in the scriptures above are taken from an English TRANSLATION of a very old text. It's easy to lose or distort meaning in translation. This further muddies the picture of what exactly "sexual immorality" means.

Personally I think the exact meaning of these scriptures should be left to personal interpretation. That's pretty much all we have when there's no clear right or wrong spelled out.

Our hearts are good guides. If something really is wrong or detrimental to our physical, spiritual or mental health, we're going to know it.
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  #16  
Old 05-17-2015, 01:49 AM
cewfa cewfa is offline
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After giving this matter a lot of thought, I have come to these conclusions:

1: What I do, or don't do, with my body is none of their business. I am not joining in on no masturbation with these people. If they choose not to masturbate for spiritual reasons, that is their choice, and it doesn't concern me.

2: Most of the men in this group have strained marriages at best, and they freely admit to these. At the risk of sounding judgmental myself, when they fix their marriages they can tell me how "selfish" I am about masturbation.

2a: Speaking of selfish, I prefer to use the term "responsible". I know that due to what has happened in my life and my lifestyle, I am not cut out for marriage and definitely not cut out to raise kids. I would end up hurting both my wife and my children, if I was married with a family. Flying solo, as it were, is the most responsible course of action I can take.

2b: In addition to point 2a. I am also for health and safety reasons choosing not to be promiscuous and thus my solo act, as it were, is the safest sex I can have. There is zero chance of an STD and zero chance of an accidental pregnancy.

If God doesn't like it, then God will either allow a suitable woman to come into my life, or he will change my heart and my attitude on the subject.
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  #17  
Old 05-17-2015, 02:06 AM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by Crazedclerkthe2nd View Post
The constant debates over whether or not masturbation is sinful are usually focused on what exactly is meant by "sexual immorality" in these scriptures.
Well, as you say, muddy translations.

"Sexuality immorality" is just how its translated in certain versions of the Bible. Other versions use "fornication" which is closer to the original translations and has specific definition ( Premarital sex, incest, bestiality, sex with someone who is divorced, etc ). The Greek root is porneia ( also the root of pornography as you may notice ) which basically just meant illicit sexual intercourse. IE when unwed, with your mom, with a sheep, etc. Masturbation is not included.

Really, the Bible has nothing to say on the topic of masturbation. The oft cited Onan spilling his "seed on the ground" and getting smited for it had nothing to do with masturbation.

This is also one of those things Jesus supposedly said that the various authors of the New Testament don't actually agree on. As each one basically gives his own list of what he thinks Jesus was condemning. Some of the lists get pretty ridiculously long. Its doubtful that if Jesus even decided to give a bullet point list there that he stood there and rattled off 11 items.

The core teaching here was simply it's not what you put in your mouth that defiles you but what comes out of it. Jesus was basically a social and political revolutionary trying to overthrow the system at the time, I honestly doubt icky sex things were a big topic of concern for him.

Now, the OLD Testament, it has a whole catalog of icky sex things it will stone the shit out of you for. So does Judaism. Wanking = Death in Judaism. That is not a translation or interpretation. Its pretty clear. Wanking = Death. There's even a specific term for it in Judaism ( "Zera levatala" ).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazedclerkthe2nd View Post
Personally I think the exact meaning of these scriptures should be left to personal interpretation. That's pretty much all we have when there's no clear right or wrong spelled out.
Well, no, they should be left to academic interpretation. Personal interpretation is what gets Christians into all these messes to begin with. >.>
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  #18  
Old 05-17-2015, 02:14 AM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by cewfa View Post
2b: In addition to point 2a. I am also for health and safety reasons choosing not to be promiscuous and thus my solo act, as it were, is the safest sex I can have. There is zero chance of an STD and zero chance of an accidental pregnancy.

If God doesn't like it, then God will either allow a suitable woman to come into my life, or he will change my heart and my attitude on the subject.
Frankly, if there is an omnipotent creative force at the helm of the universe, I sincerely doubt it gives a shit whether or not some evolved monkeys touch their weiners or not.

If it does, it was pretty stupid of him/her/it to attach a litany of health and psychological benefits to it and let every other animal on the planet that can reach its own genitals do it in front of us.

The whole masturbation = evil thing is basically the Catholics, not the Bible. And the Catholics wield shame and guilty like a baseball bat to begin with.
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  #19  
Old 05-17-2015, 02:50 AM
cewfa cewfa is offline
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It isn't just Catholics, it is Protestants too. I go to a Protestant church.

I doubt very seriously God cares whether or not I wank. I've never felt bad about it, I just get pissed off when people make judgments of things they know nothing about.
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2015, 03:32 PM
wolfie wolfie is offline
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Originally Posted by Crazedclerkthe2nd View Post
Remember the words "sexual immorality" in the scriptures above are taken from an English TRANSLATION of a very old text. It's easy to lose or distort meaning in translation. This further muddies the picture of what exactly "sexual immorality" means.
Also, the translation into English was merely the latest in a series of translations, so what we're reading now is an Nth generation translation. The Islamic dogma that the original Arabic version of the Koran is the definitive version, and that translations are merely for the convenience of people who can't read Arabic, is good in that it avoids the whole "what did this mean before it was translated?" issue. AFAIK, there is NO surviving version of the Christian bible in the language in which it was originally written (i.e. no translation-induced changes of meaning). That's why the Dead Sea Scrolls are so important - they're a version of the Bible before the last few generations of translation.

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Originally Posted by Gravekeeper View Post
Frankly, if there is an omnipotent creative force at the helm of the universe, I sincerely doubt it gives a shit whether or not some evolved monkeys touch their weiners or not.

If it does, it was pretty stupid of him/her/it to attach a litany of health and psychological benefits to it and let every other animal on the planet that can reach its own genitals do it in front of us.
The old "Why do dogs lick their balls? Because they can" issue.
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