#TalkingThursday – If you don’t talk about Jesus who will?
Dear reader, hello! The question today is: On the scale of Immoral to Appropriate, what does the bible have to say about getting a body massage? Massages often lead to sensual arousal, particularly for men. So, is it a good idea for Christians to work in this field or take part in its services? Should Christians give or receive a massage? Is massage therapy, for that matter; holistic healing, an idolatrous, new age technique?
We must acknowledge right away that sexual sins are particularly a sin against one’s own body, as such we must look at the immediate implications of our actions when they involve any form of sexual immorality. There isn’t much discussed biblically which mentions therapeutic massages, thus this post won’t be very speculative.
It is typical for Christians, like anyone else, in search of a solution to their legitimate issues of body aches and pains, to consult Massage Therapists albeit secretly. There is a lot of medical evidence supporting the benefits of massages and holistic therapy in general, and it is also a fact that there are practicing Christians who are Licensed Massage Therapists. Unfortunately, like many other professions, Massage Therapy is not excluded from the presence of charlatans and deceivers who unlawfully exploit clients for mischief.
FIRST BIBLICALLY RECORDED MASSAGE THERAPY
In Esther 2, it is recorded that Esther, the young Jewish orphan-cousin of Mordecai that would be future Queen of Persia, as part of her preparations for the empire-wide beauty pageant for the King Ahasuerus to pick a wife – received several treatments of massage and special diet… the regular beauty treatment for the women lasted a year…massages with oil of myrrh for six month and with oil of balsam for six more..”
SHOULD A CHRISTIAN GIVE OR RECEIVE MASSAGE THERAPY?
“Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (I Corinthians 7:1). The type of touch Paul was talking about is not a casual touch, but sexual touches. The reason being that touching another person, to whom you are not married, in a sexual way can lead to certain thoughts and actions.
“What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:20-23).
Such touches also mean that one is engaged in sexual foreplay with someone to whom you have no right. While a massage can relax tight muscles, there are unethical people who use massages for sexual play. The reason is quite simple, the intense pleasure causes people to desire it again. They use the pleasure produced by your own body to empty your wallet. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:14).
The bible verse here says “a man not to touch a woman”. As christians, if we must attend the spa or get our body massaged, it would clearly be more appropriate to have this done by someone of the same sex. Women would be better off getting massaged by women and men by men. In today’s society, the excuse for not sticking to this is that it is a very professional scene and many men would rather have a female massage them for fear of looking or feeling “gay”. However, because of the wide change in sexual orientation, it would be even safer to ensure that although the person massaging (masseuse/madam) is of the same sex as you, they also share your sexual orientation. i.e they are hetero and not homo sexual. That way, you aren’t being complicit in any subconscious sexual activity and the spa treatment stays as professional as possible.
Of course it is not always the case that a woman massaging a man or vice versa leads to immorality, there are plenty people who are able to perform their jobs without involving or acting on sexual urges, m
y mum actually owns a spa currently run by a lady who does treatments for both men and women.
However, as christians we ought to know our weaknesses so we never give the devil a chance or a foothold in our lives. We must be extra careful the kinds of activities we engage ourselves in, particularly where it leads to sexual immorality. This can later trigger feelings of guilt that the devil can exploit and it can also lead to a temptation to continue in the activity rather than repent. Many extramarital affairs often begin with “a massage”. Another reason to be wary of unknown spa treatments is that some involve the use of techniques linked to eastern pagan religions – e.g. “chakra manipulation” to bring healing and relaxation etc.
SPA TREATMENTS & HEALING
Every nation, race, tribe or clan has special people gifted with the knowledge and skill or training to perform “intentional and systematic manipulation of the soft tissue of the body to enhance health and healing” i.e. therapeutic massage or physiotherapy. The medical benefits of this are indisputable. However, some attribute the healing effect of the technique to the recipient’s or therapist’s “innate force”, or occult powers; some credit a so-called “source”, “energy”, or their various gods or idols – e.g. Buddha etc.
To accept the notion that healing is by a person’s “innate force”,or an idol is to deny Almighty God His honor, glory and power . “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Isaiah 42:8. In the Christian scheme of things, Yahweh Elohim, is the One who heals.( Exodus 15:26 ).
No matter how beneficial or effective these treatments are, we must be wary of receiving them from those who do not share our mindset or who attribute the glory of its healing to idols.