I’ve seen some strange things in church under the label of being spiritual…
Shaking, moaning, crunching, roaring, shrieking, interpretive dancing—and the list goes on and on.
Generally speaking, whoever was participating in the weirdness really seemed to enjoy themselves.
It was good for them and they got their jollies from it.
But it didn’t produce new life…
People who don’t know Jesus weren’t being drawn to Him as a result of the antics.
In fact, it had the opposite effect.
It scared them, repelled them, and confirmed what they were already thinking: “this isn’t for me.”
I know this is crude, but I call these church antics “spiritual masturbation.”
Here’s what I mean: you had a good time and it felt good—but no new life came about as a result of the activity.
You got your jollies off and you spilled your seed.
The Bible actually talks about this.
A woman named Tamar had a husband who died before they were able to have children together. According to Jewish law, her husband’s brother should marry her and give her children. Onan (the brother-in-law) married her and slept with her, BUT…
“Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with her, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child…” (Genesis 38.9)
What a slime-ball!
Onan was a selfish jerk—he got his jollies off and spilled his seed.
He had a good time, but he also prevented the possibility of new life.
And God was extremely displeased with Onan…
“The Lord considered it evil.” (Genesis 38.10)
Think about it: churches that are full of Onans will cease to exist.
It’s not about “what feels good to me” or experiencing some kind of spiritual ecstasy.
It’s about producing fruit, bringing about new life, and growing God’s family.
I don’t want to be a jolly-chaser or seed-spiller.
I want to be a life-producer.
How about you?
—Consider this evidence (or fruit) of the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives:
“The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5.22, 23)