Leviticus 15:1-33, 18:1-30
Sex sells. It is the American way. Americans will use sexuality to sell just about anything. Think about this for a minute. What does a scantily clad woman really have to do with a car? Is she an expert on its fuel efficiency or horsepower? Is she a mechanic? The model hired to sprawl over the hood — probably not. So why is she there? She’s there because the typical American male has given in to his animal-like sexuality. In fact, in our culture we have even exalted this type of voyeuristic and consumerist sexuality as the norm and as good.
When it comes to sexuality there seem to be two camps. On one side we have the pin-up girl, free-love, recreational, voyeuristic, barn-yard sexuality where women are sex objects and men are competing to be the alpha male. In the other camp there is the “Victorian” approach to sexuality. Somewhere along the line the church bought into the notion that sexuality was dirty and evil. The church has clung to the notion that spiritual things are good and physical things are bad. Since sex is one of the most physical things humans can do, it was seen as debase and obscene.
Unfortunately, most Christians are very confused in this area which has led to a great deal of emotional pain and confusion. Much of the confusion about sexuality has come from a misunderstanding of passages like we find in Leviticus 15 and 18. Upon first reading it sounds like God is saying that sex is bad and that if you do it you will be “unclean.”
Within the confines of the covenant relationship of marriage, sex is a beautiful and ordained gift from God. It was meant to be enjoyed. However, outside of the confines of a covenant relationship (e.g. Lev. chapter 18…sheep? hello!) sex can be one of the most emotionally, physically, and spiritually devastating experiences in a person’s life.
Sexuality is sacred to God. That is why sexuality is under such intense attack in our culture. If culture sees sex as nothing more than a recreational pastime, then we will be destroyed by the damaging effects of promiscuity. If the church is convinced that sex is “dirty” and a desire to be suppressed or overcome, then good marriages will be destroyed and Christians will be attacked by shame, leaving them wounded in the battle.