Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers Love World, a.k.a Christ Embassy shocked both fans and critics when he recently declared that masturbation is not a sin and God is absolutely not bothered a hoot about what a Christian does with his body. Masturbation involves deriving sexual pleasure by fondling one’s own body and actively using the mind to get sexually aroused. Apparently, many members of Pastor Chris church had problems with this issue – which they consider as a sin; and having discussed it extensively on a chat forum, decided to get the Pastor’s assistance.
In his comments which is available on the Youtube (http://www.youtube.ng/watch?v=DBi8l621wbQ), Pastor Chris was responding to questions from his members and fans, moderated by Pastor Kwaku from Ghana. Kwaku asked: “Pastor, how does one overcome masturbation?”
The response by Oyakhilome was surprising: “The reason you are thinking of stopping it is because you think it has become a habit for you…masturbation is not more than a habit than any other habit.” And then he added the shocker: “This habit has nothing to do with God but a lot to do with the body of the person practising.it”
For the avoidance of doubt, Pastor Christ explained what he meant by “habit”. Masturbation is just another habit, just like “the habit of playing football”. And to break that habit, one simply replaces that habit with another habit.
The Pastor was not done yet, as he veered off the original question of how, to the issue of why? Why think of breaking the harmless “habit” of masturbation? “There is one thing I would like to bring to your mind that may be of help to you because the reason you are thinking of stopping this is because of what you think it is.” With characteristic charm and emphasis Oyakhilome then proceeded to say: “No matter how wrong you think this is in your mind, get this straight, in itself, it is not a sin against God,”
Speaking further, Pastor Chris said it was only Satan that is oppressing the people of God by troubling them with the unnecessary guilt that masturbation is offensive to God. As a result of this belief that masturbation is a sin, Satan uses it to oppress people of God “making them feel ineffective an inefficient in the things of God.” (See updates and white-washing efforts at http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2012/03/21/masturbation-not-a-sin-oyakhilome-insists/)
The main issue then, according to Pastor Chris, is that members of his church that have become steeped in the “habit” of masturbation need not feel bad about it. What offends God, is one’s feeling guilty about masturbation. In his words,: “Masturbation is about you and your body. God is not offended by it, He is only offended by any habit that takes hold of your mind and if this takes hold of your mind and dominates your body, God is offended….…so if you don’t like it, stop it, but God’s got nothing to do with it. It is your own body.” “ It would appear Pastor Chris is deliberately trying to challenge the Scriptures: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1Co 3:16 -17). For good measure, that Scripture adds: “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. (1Co 3:18)
In his advice to those, who being weak in “faith” truly needs to get rid of this habit (as the original question requested), Pastor Chris counsels: “So once you make up your mind that you want to break a particular habit, you just do it, you make up your mind…in fact the best way to break a habit is to replace it with another habit.”
One wonders, if masturbation truly were just another innocuous habit as the Pastor would have it, what other sexual “habit” would be strong enough to be used as replacement?
The pleasant surprise, considering the considerable moral downturn of the age, is that most commentators on the internet – including members of the Pastor Chris Church, Christ Embassy, could not agree with this clearly carnal and immoral teaching. While a number of Pastor Chris disciples groped for words to express reservations about their mentor’s teaching, others simply pointed to several Scriptures, such as those warning about fornication not necessarily limited to the physical acts but thoughts as well, or the need to walk not in uncleanness or carnal lusts. Indeed the Bible is emphatic in Ephesians 5:5-7:
“ For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
Caught in the sin of masturbation? Please seek the help of the holy spirit through prayer and fasting. If the son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.