The general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, has reacted sharply to a shocking revelation by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers Love World, a.k.a. Christ Embassy, that masturbation was not a sin but a habit, which has reverberated on the internet including Youtube, with many people believing that the statement would draw different reactions from men of God in the coming days.
Pastor Adeboye while addressing the ministers and workers of the church in Jos, north central Nigeria on 11th May said: “The pastor of Christ Embassy was quoted by the press as saying there is nothing wrong with masturbation.
“I want to tell you that everything is wrong with masturbation, it is a sin against God and against human nature. Anybody that practises it will go to hell and it is a bad habit you must not get involved as a Christian or as a pastor or worker in the Redeemed Christian Church of God!
“It is a sin against God and your body is the temple of Holy Spirit, masturbating is a way of defiling the body (1 Cor. 3:16-18).”
The clergyman discouraged the members from such doctrine while admonishing them to be fervent with God and not to be carried away by every wind of doctrines.
The video available on Youtube shows Pastor Chris and another pastor of his church, Kwaku from Ghana, who asked Oyakhilome thus while preaching: “Pastor, how does one overcome masturbation?”
In response to his question, the clergyman, in the video believed to have been uploaded in 2011 but which has begun to spread like wildfire, said masturbation is a habit just like any other habit and that it is often misconstrued as a sin.
The reason you are thinking of stopping it is because you think it has become a habit for you… Masturbation is not more a habit than any other habit.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Using illustration, he said that if Kwaku was in the habit of playing football, he would not be asking how he should stop it.
He said: “No matter how wrong you think this is in your mind, get this straight, in itself, it is not a sin against God,” emphasizing that as a result of this belief that it is a sin, Satan uses it to oppress people of God, “making them feel ineffective and inefficient in the things of God.”
He said for Christianity as a religion, this habit has nothing to do with God but a lot to do with the body of the person practising.
“Satan uses his power to accuse you… so if you don’t like it, stop it, but God’s got nothing to do with it. It is your own body.
“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.”
As expected of controversies, the video has generated mixed opinions with some supporting the controversial preacher’s position on the matter, while others think the pastor is wrong.
Also reacting to Oyakhilome’s comment, the prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Ola Makinde said there was only one way of having sex permitted by God in the Bible, which is only through marriage.
“There is only one way of having sex in the Bible which is natural. Masturbation is unnatural and unethical. Whatever is unnatural and unethical is abomination. I leave him to his own opinion,” he said.
For Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, every believer must be able to subject his body to control because it could lead to something else.
Popular evangelist, Pastor Akin Fasawe said masturbation is a sin as stipulated in the Bible, saying that death was even recommended in the Bible for those who practised such things.
“Masturbation is a sin because when you masturbate, you will release. If the minister of God said masturbation is not a sin, he can easily tell his church that fornication is not a sin. The Bible recommends death in the Old Testament,” he stated.
Also reacting on the issue, majority of informed Nigerian readers indicated that they did not support Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s view on masturbation through their comments on an earlier article on the Oyakhilome’s statements.