Spiritual Masturbation

Over coffee this morning, a good friend reminded me that so much of our “insider talk” as Christians basically equates to masturbatory language. We talk and talk, ascending to higher plains of intellectual enlightenment, making ourselves and each other feel satisfied in the short-term — but not too long afterward, we are unsatisfied and actually feel bad. I’ve begun to look at the majority of doctrinal debates, and thus the majority of Christian blogs, in this way. It’s self-congratulatory: “Aren’t we great for knowing these facts or believing these propositions.” The majority of these conversations make painfully little difference to anybody but ourselves, and yet we continue to expend energy on them.

In the end, these masturbatory exercises rarely lead us to communal or individual transformation, let alone action. As our world cries out for redemption and healing, we basically ignore its cries and choose intellectual pursuits and shallow debates instead. God help us. (no, really … Lord, Help Us!)


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by miller on March 12, 2010 at 12:22 am

    hey buddy,

    you are right of course. and i’ve been so guilty of it! however, as you say, the exercise leaves us totally unfulfilled.

    there is only one thing that will fulfill…

    love and the actions that attend it.

    it’s much easier to study and talk about all we know (or think we know) than to love!

    in this way we are like the people responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.



  2. Posted by Lynn Holt on March 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Interesting word – masturbatory. I had to hit the back arrow 3 times to spell it correctly.


  3. Would the alternative be a spiritual orgy?


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