A Different Time
The Holy Bible was written in a time far different than our own. Reading material was rare, as were images. Imagine a world with no books as we know them, no magazines, no photography, no television, no computer, and no internet.
Our forbears never dreamed of a day when would have home libraries with more books than we could possibly read in a lifetime, and a multiplicity of photos of family and friends. Today we have access to almost anything we want, both good and bad, and can capture and access images in an instant. Not just friends and family but the human form in all states of dress and undress, engaging in any activity, even the most intimate and explicit.
Imagine the physical response of a hormonal teenager from 70 years ago to just a few moments of current music videos staring female singers and dancers. Those were the days when a tight sweater and a bare knee broke a young man out in a sweat. Watching a scantily clad Beyonce gyrate while she sings “If you want it, if you want it, put a ring on it” (a very worthwhile message by the way) would not only have produced an instant erection, but so much excitement that the deed would be over almost before it began, whether assisted by manual stimulation or not.
Current Culture Favors the Masturbator
Let’s face it, modern technology and current culture favor the masturbator. They encourage continual sexual stimulation. (Sadly, the culture encourages continual casual immorality as well.) The internet with its plethora of porn is mostly about masturbation. The World Wide Web (WWW) could just as easily be called the Wonderful World of Wankers.
King David as a lad out in the back pasture certainly experienced physical arousal simply due to the normal chemical processes of his adolescent body, perhaps assisted by an active youthful imagination. But with a lack of external stimulation he may have experienced a desire to masturbate less frequently than those of us in a totally sexualized society. The same thing goes for the saints of the New Testament church. Yes we are, indeed, living in different times.
So, there is a lot with which to contend. The Bible does not directly address any of these things. Yes, we know solo sex is just as approved of as spousal sex, but what about related issues such as the use of nudity, erotica, or even porn? They were unknown when the Word was written, so there are no direct answers. That means we have to “apply biblical principles” as best we can. But therein is the rub (pun intended.)
What principles do we apply, and how? And are there any guidelines for finding guidelines? I think there are.