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Mar 11, 2008

Spiritual Castration

I had an interesting and humorous conversation with the parents of a two year old boy the other day. For some odd reason our flow of conversation landed on the topic of boys and masturbation. Rather abruptly and out of the clear blue sky, the mother of the boy made a thundering prediction that her son would NEVER take part in this kind of thing in his entire life. Her voice was filled with the conviction of a politician trying to convince a crowd of voters while her eyes displayed a fearful uncertainty.

The moment the statement left her lips, she nervously spun her head toward her husband and locked eyes with him, giving him a "Can I get a witness?" look. As spiritual and upright men, both he and I simultaneously broke out in a fit of laughter. She clearly wasn't amused. When her husband told her he thought it was possible that the boy just might do that at some point in his life, she immediately began to concoct a plan as to how she could prevent it from ever happening. It was quite clear that this woman was adamantly against such appalling behavior, and was prepared to do whatever it took to steer the boy clear of it.

While the three of us began to explore how the prevention of future masturbation investigation by the boy could be administered, it became startlingly obvious that there was only one way to ensure absolute success. It was my idea. I spoke it with the same thundering tone that she had used earlier.

"The boy must be castrated!"

You see, our conversation had brought us to an interesting dilemma. If the boy was allowed to keep his sex organs, the masturbation possibilities would be present with the boy for the rest of his life. However, if we removed his sex organs in an attempt to ensure that he would not masturbate, he would also never be able to procreate. It came down to a humorous draw - masturbation vs. procreation. Obviously neither of the parents considered my advice in the matter. I'm quite certain that this boy would be tremendously relieved at that.

I see a very similar dilemma in Christianity today concerning our hearts and the subject of sin. Unfortunately I fear that a good majority of Christian people have opted for the first solution, castration, in an effort to ensure a sinless life. We read verses where Jesus says that "Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (Matthew 15:19). Then we couple it with that famous verse in the Old Testament that says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9), and out of fear and hopelessness, many of us take option number one.

A buddy of mine in New Mexico once said, "The pipeline within us through which God plans on revealing Himself to the world has been shot down years ago by us, to keep us from sinning." At the advice of our Christian leaders, thousands of us have unknowingly and unintentionally chosen spiritual castration in an effort to ensure that we would never sin. It has become a common cliché to quote this Jeremiah verse whenever anyone suggests that we search our hearts, trust our hearts, or listen to our hearts about anything in life. The moment a Christian buys into this deadly and misguided concept, they become a victim of what I call spiritual castration. 

I personally feel that many leaders in Christianity encourage "heart castration" because it's effects are similar to what takes place after a dog owner castrates his canine: the castrated dog becomes more docile and less likely to leave the owner's side while being walked. Animal castration is often performed in an effort to correct behavioral problems such as disobedience, howling, late night barking and the ever popular humping of the leg when dinner guests arrive. Other neighborhood dogs are less likely to get into confrontations with a castrated dog because they can sense a lack of testosterone. They don't see him as a threat. Many pet owners will testify that once their pet was "fixed" (interesting term), the dog lost a significant portion of it's energy and wild tendencies. It's in the nature of a dog to roam free, but once castrated, he no longer desires or even cares about freedom.  

I have found that Christians who live from the heart simply CANNOT BE TAMED. There's a wild essence in the Spirit of God that requires absolute freedom to roam wherever and whenever He chooses. "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:8). This is the true and unadulterated nature of the Spirit of God and it's also true of the nature of man. If the untamed Spirit of God is given access to the wild heart of man, and the two connect and become ONE, the possibilities are limitless. Unless the human heart in which that Spirit dwells is fully castrated, there will be no controlling that man once the two unite!

Sadly, the world today has gained an entirely different interpretation of Christianity. It is not uncommon to hear people describe their idea of true spirituality in terms that fit a castrated family dog. Christians today are seen by the world as being docile, tame, quiet, predictable, obedient and pathetically domesticated. Our wild essence has been cut out from within us because we've allowed our hearts to be spiritually castrated. Trust me in this - it was not this way two thousand years ago!

The problem today is that we have lost focus of the freedom that we were originally intended to possess. We have turned Christianity into a quest for superior morality. We have exchanged the wild mentality of "What can we do today?" into "What should we try not to do today?" Because of this disappointing trade, we have lost the very essence of who we were meant to be. The person who sins the least, is the most respected and admired, while the person who lives in the wild is looked down upon with contempt. We praise the timid and uncertain pastor who allows people to walk all over him, and then we scoff and shake our heads at the guy who stands up and fights back.

By today's standard of Christianity, the Apostle Paul would be considered arrogant, uncontrollable, disobedient, loud and obnoxious. We would immediately want to confront his controlling attitude and his anger problem. The essence of Paul is totally foreign to modern day Christian thinking. Our churches wouldn't know what to do with Paul. He had a set of balls that would put an elephant to shame!
If you are a Christian who holds to the teaching that we must not trust our hearts, you have rendered yourself sterile. The entire essence of Christianity was intended specifically for the heart of man! Due to many Believers' castrated nature, they would probably be better off without their belief system altogether. You have to take an honest look at the trade that you have been asked to take part in regarding this issue. Giving up your heart because you might sin is about as ridiculous as my two friends castrating their baby boy to prevent him from masturbating. It's a heartless proposition. Stop living through your head and "by the book" and start living through your heart! This is the "missing link" in the spiritual lives of many Christians today.



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  1. Gravatar

    well,well,weelll! is it the fresh aired breeze of truth and spiritual uncommon sense i smell?
    I KNOW SO!Without question for MYSELF at least the nail has been hit directly on the head.
    Dear friends,I was invited to an outting with some of you today, but was urged to "check out " the web site first "so i knew what i was getting innto" I see what i'm getting into is how spiritual i am, and i mean "HOW I AM" I have become so accustomed to a guilt, and fearful fundamental belief about a christian god from others,beliefs i question when i hear things like "GOD WONT, CANT, NEEDS,DISLIKES,OR WANT'S as these are traits of the human ego, not the grace or providence of that which understand god to be to me.painful has been the time i've spent without a like minded and heart person or person,s to share my god with.God to me is the UNIVERSAL ENERGY OF CREATION it does not judge the creation, but honor's it for what it is, instead what is not, simply stated if you say or do with love you can do nothing wrong.Spiritual castration can be healed look within yourself to find what you fear and re-evaluate the perception or belief that brings you to fear,trust in love in god in yourself find the truth inn love heal the fear and live in honor of a god that gave you at birth everything you need for complete fulfilment and that fulfilment include absolute freedom from judgement or fear as long as you the highest vision and the granest version of who you can be.

  2. Gravatar

    Excellent diatrube. We are now ready to move past the last 2,000 years. Jesus came to shake the orthodox Jews out of their comfort zone, to bring a sword of truth. Christians today are to comfortable and scared to "do the works that he did" They think they have to wait until Jesus comes back. Well I'm gonna take action now, and now is the time. What are we waiting for.

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    Ha ha that's funny .. it brings me to a conversation i had with my pastor once. Another mother there was vehemently declaring her son wouldn't masturbate either. I was saying that's ridiculous of course he will and our pastor was standing with a look on his face like 'oh how come in the middle of this conversation' :)Our boys were only 18m at the time. Now i have a 3 y.o and he rarely wants to play with himself and i'm worried about him! ha ha. But people assure me .. it's ok HE WILL! People are funny aren't they! But i agree .. you have to let people be who they are created to be and guide who they are not try to castrate or control them to the way you wish they would go. I heard the other day about that verse teach a child in the way they should go and they won't stray from it - a different perspective actually. This guy was saying that you train them in the way they should go according to the bent/personality of that child - who GOD created them to be - NOT who you think they should be! Again - all about listening to God on the matter!

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    Katherine Gunn

    Hmm... this is what a friend and I have discovered on following the rough and tumble road out of the institution of Christianity: it is all about the heart. There are so many places in both testaments that God says He doesn't care about the ritual, He wants our hearts. In fact, He says that ritual without heart is something He hates. (Isaiah 66:1-4, among many others)

    When we follow our hearts, He is not as concerned about whether we get everything just so... If we are just doing things out of superstitious fear or because that is the way they have 'always' been done, of what value is that to God?

    He wants out hearts - to live from that place where we hear Him in our hearts - to follow Him from our hearts, no matter what it looks like to those outside....

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    Ben Marney

    You did not mention Deuteronomy 30:6, "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with your heart and with all your soul, that you many live."
    I feel this refers to a purification of the heart in order to make us better servants of the Lord our God. If we have a bad habit or continuing sin in our life, we ask God's help to circumcise it from our heart and life in order for us to live an "abundant life".

  6. Gravatar

    Your article mentions masterbation-something that I always wondererd about. It was this HUGE elephant in the room among our single group with the "100% purity manifesto" being nailed to us. But being apart from that world, more secure in God's love now I am eager to hear a podcast on this subject & "purity"/sex issues like it. The masterbation thing always puzzled me b/c it wasn't mentioned by Jesus or Paul. My guilt came from what the church thought of it and the rules set by it which meant you had to confess it to your "discipleship partner" to be cleansed of your sin. [Justified by James 5:16]. We was repeatedly told touching ourselves is like touching Jesus & other sick stuff. I get not being addicted or "mastered" by anything, esp. if it can override spiritual desire, but wsup?

  7. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    That's a great idea for a podcast show. I think a lot of people would like to hear a discussion on the subject of sexual purity and masturbation. I know from experience in the ministry for over 20 years that the subject of masturbation has brought more condemnation to people then just about anything I can think of. I can't believe that more Christians don't talk openly about that subject because it plays such a significant roll in the personal anguish of so many sincere Christian people. I hate the fact that so many people are made to feel guilty and spiritually dirty over this. I'll talk to the others about doing a show on this. Thanks Connie.

  8. Gravatar

    Excellent post as always....and I enjoy the dialogue in the comments stream as much usually! Did you ever do a podcast or article on this topic Darin? There is so much material on the site it can be daunting to find a particular subject.

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    The first lesson this coming Sunday from the Episcopal Lectionary is about the Ethiopian eunuch to whom Philip preaches and who is baptized. The gospel is about Jesus being the vine while we are the branches, any of which not bearing fruit will be cut off. In thinking about these two verses together, I could not help thinking of spiritual castration as the theme that tied them together. I love this post about that topic. What a refreshing perspective!

  10. Gravatar

    I love this post. There are a few things that bother me though and I will phrase them in the form of one question: "Are those who die spiritually castrated truly Christians?" Revelation 21:8 has always left me with questions regarding the "cowardly". Also the context in which Christ speaks of the unforgiveable sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to the Pharisees (who were hell-bound) and their assertion that He cast out demons by Beelzebub. (Matthew 12) Spiritually castrated people question the work of the Holy Spirit in those who are free, sometimes going as far as the Pharisees in condemning it is as being a work of Satan. So this is even more a reason why I asked my question. I have heard many people who were either castrated or castrators say we should not judge the sincerity of another person's faith, yet as much as this seems kind it seems like a misuse of "Judge not". 1 Peter 4:17, 1 Cor 5:11-13, 1 Tim 6:19-21 etc. We can only guard ourselves from something we see as a threat

  11. Gravatar
    darin hufford

    I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer for any human beings soul. I've asked the same question myself.

    My real opinion however is that it's going to take a lot more then we could ever imagine for God to lose any one of us. I don't think there is any such thing as an unforgivable sin for someone who is "in the family." I have kids and believe me; NOTHING is unforgivable.

    I think the "castrated" people are that way because their religion castrated them. Inside their hearts they are still fully alive. They may spend a lot of time hiding it from others and keeping their mouth shut, but they're still alive.

    After publishing my book, I was shocked at how many (castrated) people read it and said, "I've always believed this way in my heart, but I could never find a way to express it." At the very least, I think most people are confused. They've been told so many scary and condemning things that they're just terrified on a daily basis.

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