In a recent blog, I contended that “when all relationships are ‘legalized’ then legality and morality lose their meaning.” Such a blurring of sexual morality is the end result of the work of Jenell Paris, Professor at evangelical Messiah College, who recently published with InterVasity Press The End of Sexual Identity (see my review on Amazon). She writes about masturbation and [unmarried] sexual partnerships:
Masturbation is very much like all other dimensions of human sexuality, which is very much like spirituality. There is gift, beauty, understanding, and pleasure, but also mystery and not-knowing; we live with incomplete understanding of ourselves, our intimate partners, and the sacred…both masturbation and in sexual partnership, unruly, wild, and unpredictable parts of ourselves often emerge. If cared for, acknowledged, and brought into the light, the wildness of sex still doesn’t submit to domestication, but it can offer practice in humility, humor, and groundedness. When we ignore it, trying to be more angel than human, what is repressed often returns in distorted and harmful forms. We were created human, not angels, and nothing highlights that more insistently than sexuality. Learning to handle, acknowledge, and discuss sexuality – including masturbation – with appropriate boundaries and in trusted circles, is part of the journey toward authentic personhood.
How does one engage in acts of narcissistic self-pleasuring and lawless fornication in “humility and groundedness”? Oxymoronic is the word that comes immediately to mind. Another one is “Christian false advertising,” for so many of the rising generation of believers will doubtless be tempted to try that kind of “Christian” living, only to find out one day, too late perhaps, that they have been sold a false bill of goods and have no idea of what “humility,” “goundedness” or even “Christianity” actually mean.