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The great masturbation debate of Ghana

Pastors in Ghana can’t agree whether masturbation is a sin against God.
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Masturbation is a lot like soccer. Why would one stop? Here, Ghana's Andre Ayew (R) vies for the ball with Mali's defender Ousmane Coulibaly during the third-place playoff Africa Cup of Nations football match between Mali and Ghana, in Malabo, on Febuary 11, 2012. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

The great masturbation dispute of Ghana started with a simple phone call.

During the “Pastor Chris Live Show," a man from Ghana called in to ask how he can overcome his masturbation habit, Ghana web reports.

In response to the question, Pastor Chris said:

“The reason you want to stop this is because of what you think it is….God is not worried at all about persons who masturbate because it has got nothing to do with Him [God].”

Further, he launched into a full soccer analogy.

As you do in Ghana. In Ghana, a soccer fanatic nation, things are always compared to soccer, which – mercifully – is not on the list of activities God disapproves:

If you were in the habit of playing football, you probably would not ask ‘how can I stop playing football? But because you think there is something wrong with this, that is where your problem is coming from. But no matter how wrong it is in your mind, get this straight: (masturbation) in itself, it is not a sin against God….There are many Christians who think it is a sin against God and Satan uses this against them, oppressing their minds and making them feel ineffective and inefficient in the things of God. But when you get to understand that it has nothing to do with God and that is all about you and your own body, then Satan loses his power to use it to accuse you. So if you don’t like it, stop it but God has got nothing to do with it. It is your own body, masturbation is about your body and God is not offended by it. He is only offended by any habit that takes a hold of your mind and if this takes a hold of your mind and dominates you then, God is offended by the fact that it takes a hold of your mind.

I, myself, don’t get the soccer/football, analogy.

If I were playing football, I would probably always ask myself: “Why I am playing football? Can God please make me stop?”

But that’s beside the point.

What’s fascinating about the Pastor’s answer is the part where he says: “It is all about you and your own body.”

I always thought Christianity didn’t recognize the concept of “one’s own body?”

Which is, after all, why The General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Alfred Koduah, got involved and retaliated shortly after the show.

He said the implied endorsement of masturbation by a renowned man of God, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, leader of the Christ Embassy Church, is plain wrong.

According to Koduah, masturbation is a practice of sexual self-pleasuring.

Meanwhile, the only sexual act God allows is that of sex in marriage which often leads to the bearing of children and gratification on the part of both people.

He said that any act of sexual gratification done outside the context of marriage is wrong. On top of things, addiction to masturbation has several effects which include psychological and physiological problems and the possibility of long terms effects after one is married.

So he therefore urged all who indulge in the practice to repent and pray for God to have mercy on them.

Quoting from the Gospel according to Matthew the Chapter 5 and the 28 verse to buttress his point, Apostle Alfred Koduah said “anybody who looks at a woman or man lustfully, wishing to have her has already committed fornication or adultery with her in his heart."

Further:

Masturbation, is a sexual fantasy; fornicating with the mind… In the days gone by, when you are a man and your brother’s wife died without any children, you can fulfill your duty as brother-in-law to the woman by marrying her and naming any offspring after him (the deceased) to preserve the family line...Onan in Genesis Chapter 38 is an example of this. With Onan, when he married his brother wife (after the brother Er, died), he disregarded this principle when he withdrew before climax anytime he was having sex with her (now known as Coitus interruptus) and spilling his seed on the round. But the wrath of God came on him and he was killed so that tells us that anybody who toes that line will incur the wrath of God. This is also to tell us that masturbation does not glorify God. So if my colleague pastor is saying this, I don’t agree with him and I think he should go back and read his Bible carefully….

To use a soccer analogy with an Onan twist:  Thou shalt not commit the offside offense. Do not touch the ball, or score, if you are in an offside position (also known as outside marriage.) Also, do not score after you have just gained an advantage, particularly on your brother’s wife.

So complicated.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/wanderlust/masturbation-debate-ghana

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