If Your Hand Causes You to Sin...
One reader's suggestion for a happy and safe future.

by Url Scaramanga

I would like to thank Mr. Victor T. Cheney for recently sending me a copy of the second edition of his self-published pamphlet titled "Celibacy Guaranteed: For a Safe and Happy Future." Mr. Cheney has asked us to share parts of his pamphlet with you.

From page 3:

There is only one way to be sure of permanently eliminating the sex drive and guaranteeing the purity of our priesthood, and that is to remove the source of the hormone which causes it and the aggressive instinct which is its cohort?. Removal of the testes for the purification of the priesthood is not some new idea or experimental notion; it has been used for millennia. The history of this means of assuring purity is still traceable in spite of the suppression of information on the practice since the First Nicaean Council in 325 A.D.

A cornerstone of Mr. Cheney's argument is Mark 9:42-46:

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

The pamphlet goes on to trace the history of castration both in Scripture and church history, as well as medical advances ensuring the safe and risk-free removal of the offending organs.

Part II, "The Benefits of Castration," outlines how the prescribed solution would alleviate sexual temptation, crime, disease, pain, anguish, psychoses, degradation, suffering, premature mortality, acne, and baldness. "Castration offers a blessed relief from all of these problems that bedevil us." Full of statistics and citations, "Celibacy Guaranteed" is an insightful, detailed, and frighteningly logical read.

Apart from wrestling with the best way to handle the growing epidemic of sexual immorality within the church, Mr. Cheney's pamphlet should make us stop and think once again about the ramifications of our hermeneutical approach to Scripture. I recommend taking Scot McKnight's very popular Hermeneutics Quiz to determine your own views and possible inconsistencies.

[For the record, Url does not advocate castration as a legitimate method of sin management.]

October 03, 2008

Displaying 1–10 of 15 comments


October 18, 2008  8:07am

I don't think we can so easily dismiss this as some nut - Chris pointed out Mt 19.12, "For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it."

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October 08, 2008  2:26pm

this has got to be a joke-

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Joe Chip

October 08, 2008  2:20pm

Absurd. Are we, in the year of our Lord 2008, seriously considering mangling our bodies to avoid sin? Should those who struggle with lying cut off their tongues? Should those who gossip line up for a frontal lobotomy? God's grace IS sufficient for us to get through this life without resorting to maiming the temple of the Holy Spirit. God gave us our body parts (genitals, hormones and all) and named them good. I can't believe this is even being discussed.

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October 07, 2008  6:26pm

The most important sexual organ we have is brain. Hence, Origen was wrong when he castratred himself to avoid lust... The statement of Jesus in Mark 9:42-46 was a hyperbole obviously, which then means that we have to do something drastic and serious that is lifestyle-modifying and habit-altering to deal with the sin of lust. That might mean unsubscribing our internet cable if that is what it takes to get us off internet porn. The main thing is not to castrate one's self, but to be smitten by God's holiness and majestic glory that the temptation of lust loses its power upon us and suddenly becomes something appaling to our sanctified imagination.

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Rich Tatum

October 07, 2008  5:05pm

I wonder if the sin of irrationality justifies separating yourself from your head? It would surely prevent the proliferation of peurile pamphlets. Rich BlogRodent

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October 07, 2008  2:45pm

About hermeneutics... If castration is a fitting application of Mk 9:43-47 (Mt 5:29-30), then we may need to consider blindfolding our left hands while writing contribution checks as an application of Mt 6:3. Or ... we may want to consider that Jesus was possibly using hyperbole to emphasize his point in such teachings. Just a thought...

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October 06, 2008  7:00am

Do we know castration ends lust? I can't imagine it does, and if we still have lust in our hearts, we become guilty of the act associated with that lust. Maybe the lust has more to do with escapism and control, thus testes removal would only take away the ability to act on sin, but the root of the sin is still firmly planted in the individuals heart.

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Chris (Jesdisciple)

October 05, 2008  2:59pm

A few related verses, and then some questions... 1 Timothy 4:1-3 (Mandatory celibacy is wrong.) Matthew 19:9-12 (Celibacy can be good.) 1 Corinthians 7 (Paul preferred celibacy.) Both Jesus and Paul explain that some are to be celibate and some not. Now, is there practical support in Scripture for (i.e., someone righteously practicing) castration for any purpose? If Jesus meant literal physical mutilation, how does this sexual implication relate to the institution of marriage (which Jesus supports) in general? If castration is good, it is only as a personal decision - like a fast, but permanent. It should not result from peer pressure or any other selfish pride. But it quite plainly cannot be either soundly refuted or soundly proven based solely on Scripture.

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Don Warrington

October 04, 2008  10:28am

It's interesting to note that a very well known Father of the Church castrated himself. According to Eusebius of Caesarea's History of the Church, the Egyptian Church Father Orgien did just that to himself. Eusebius characterised it as "a think that provided the fullest proof of a mind youthful and immature, but at the same time of faith and self-mastery." Origen did it to fulfil Matt. 19:12 and "to rule out any suspicion of vile imputations on the part of unbelievers." I would think that this would have certainly been on the minds of those at Nicea 1. But it didn't stop the Bible translator Jerome from characterising Origen as the greatest teacher since the Apostles.

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October 03, 2008  6:27pm

With so many Protestants running to Catholicism (or at least many of its practices) who is surprised? Would this just apply to the clergy? What about the gals? Oh, so many questions!

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