Saturday, September 22, 2012
Right now my thoughts are these (as abrupt as they may be):
I would define "sin" as any harm set in motion against my being a unique embodiment of human existence within the universe of all unique embodiments of existence. "Sin" is not the activity that I do. It's the harm. The harm ("sin") is the consequence. It ("sin") is the punishment. Setting enough of that ("sin") in motion at one time can result in my death sooner than it must occur. I could say that "sin" can be "a little bit of death" or "a whole lot of death" set in motion against me (and, consequently, against everything else) as the wages of my sins (On a humorous note, I might get paid overtime.).
Now, does masturbation inevitably, absolutely without further qualification, set harm in motion against my life (and the rest of the universe)? Does it set a bit of death in motion for me (and everything else)?
Well, if I want to be nitty-gritty nit-picky about it, any activity I could name justly sets a measure of harm (psychological, physiological, social, economic, intellectual, spiritual) in motion, and it all adds up against me (and everything else).
"Sin" is a matter I'd be wise to consider when I'm contemplating my thoughts and actions. Given that my "contemplations" are thoughts too, and that they are probably imperfect thoughts fed by my embracing of imperfect information, I'm in a "damned if I do-damned if I don't" mess twenty-four-seven. What am I to do?
I want to be real. Too much of anything can be seriously harmful to me. Too much water. Too much air. Too much ice cream. Too much sugar. Too much study of ONE subject. Too much ignorance. Too much.... How harmful is acceptable? A little tiny bit? A whole lot? Where should I draw the lines (about each and everything that I think, say, and do)?
It seems to me that the apostle Paul didn't see any problem with loop holes implied by "all things are lawful but not expedient." What exactly is "expedient" for me (and everything else)? What's so expedient about heterosexual intercourse and procreation. Can't they help set harm (a little / a lot) in motion?
I will face it! Masturbation can be a bit of a problem solving (expedient) activity for me. It can help prevent (so it's expedient for) me from doing some activities that (in my mind) could be a whole lot more harmful (to me and to everything else), that is it can prevent other sins. But, as wonderful as it may seem to be, it (as with any wonderful habit forming activity in which I could indulge) can help generate (exponentially) great harmful effects on me (and everything else), that is it can help other sins to result, and result faster, sooner, and more devastating than they have to in this current life of which I am a part.
I don't see quick-fix remedies for anything given in the Bible. What I see are seeds and foods for thought to help me manage my thoughts and behaviors in view of what I am, who I am, and where I am. But, like seeds and foods, I have to engage in using them and learning how to use them more and more effectively as I grow more and more in God.
To me, in and of itself, masturbation is not sin. "Sin" is any harmful consequence against me that could result from masturbation. It's to my advantage to be aware of the possibilities and wisely make my decisions twenty-four-seven.