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The Boundaries of Godly Sexuality (Leviticus 18:6-29)

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Structure of the Text100

Leviticus 18:6-29 has a very simple structure and message. Its intent is to define the boundaries of godly human sexual relationships. There are three of them, which I call the inner, middle, and outer boundaries of godly sexuality. Verses 6 through 18 define the “inner boundary,” prohibiting sexual relationships with close relatives. Verses 19 and 20 define the “middle boundary,” which limits sexual relations within marriage and prohibits them outside marriage. Verses 21 through 23 define the “outer boundary” of unnatural sexual relations. Verses 24 through 29 tell us about God’s judgment upon a nation that crosses these boundaries. They clearly tell us that God’s judgment for sexual sin applies to all nations, not just the covenant nation of Israel.

Cultural Background

When I started my study of this chapter, I read it not as an ancient Israelite, but as a man whose sight is distorted by the sexual revolution. Our nation, and perhaps the world, implicitly separates sexual intercourse from marriage. Diverse cultural voices tell us that sex is a drive similar to hunger and that it is almost impossible to control. The cultural message penetrates our lives in subtle ways and affects our view of life and the Scriptures. Take the movie, “Spies Like Us,” for example. At the end of the movie, the two heroes, two attractive Russian women, an older Russian man and woman, and two other Russian men have inadvertently launched a missile that will start World War III and end the world. Knowing their imminent doom, each hero enters a tent with one of the two attractive women, the older man and woman go to another tent, and the two men go to a third. This scene asserts an answer to the question, “What is the most important thing you can do when the world is about to end?”

We can better understand Leviticus 18 by understanding what the ancient Israelite view of sexual intercourse was under Torah.

First, in ancient Israel, sexual intercourse was marriage. Exodus 22:16, 17 reads: “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.”

This verse implicitly tells us that ancient Israel had no concept of pre-marital sex. Having sexual intercourse with a virgin was an act of marriage, unless her father intervened. In other words, sexual intercourse was marriage. Another example is Genesis 24, which tells about the day Isaac’s bride, Rebekah, came to him. Genesis 24:67 reads: “Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”

In an uncomplicated way, Isaac married Rebekah by publicly entering a tent to have intercourse with her. This points out once more that in ancient Israel sexual intercourse was marriage. Furthermore, notice that Isaac had no knowledge of what Rebekah looked like or what kind of person she was prior to this event. Obviously, ancient Israel had no concept of making sure that two people were compatible. Rather, they understood that compatibility was something two people made for themselves.

Second, men in Israel practiced, and the Torah regulated, polygamy and concubinage (female slaves with whom the master will have sexual intercourse). This meant that family make-up could be very complex. Leviticus 18 contains the laws that define the most liberal position society may maintain regarding sexuality and remain an intact society.

From the beginning, sexual intercourse meant becoming “one flesh.” “One flesh” is not an emotional attachment between a man and woman. It is an unavoidable consequence of a man and woman joining physically. The Law and the New Testament affirm this. That “one flesh” has no special eternal significance is clear from the answer that Jesus gave to a question posed by the Sadducees about seven brothers who eventually shared the same wife. In heaven, there is no marriage or sex.101

So, if “one flesh” is not an emotional bonding and has no significance to our life in heaven, what does it mean in this life right now? The answer is simple. The Lord makes no distinction between sexual intercourse and a relationship for life. Look at three key texts concerning this.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh” (1 Corinthians 6:16).

Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is acting as a witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith (Malachi 2:13-16).

The first passage is a prohibition of divorce based on the “one flesh” principle.

The second passage affirms that the sexual union produces “one flesh” no matter who or why. If you think “one flesh” only happens at the consummation of a marriage, this passage shows that the act of a man and woman joining physically causes the Lord to recognize that union as “one flesh.” “One flesh” is an obligation before God to be joined for life, commencing with sexual intercourse. The obligation is there whether we fulfill it or not, whether we are able to fulfill it or not, whether we are fulfilled by it or not.

The third passage tells us that God made a man and a woman “one flesh” because he “was seeking godly offspring.” As I shall show, when society denies the principle of “one flesh,” children are no longer safe.

The Inner Boundary of Godly Sexuality

By understanding the close association between sexual intercourse and marriage, the diverse and complex family make-ups, and the principle of “one flesh,” we can better understand Leviticus 18. The first section prohibits sexual intercourse with “close relatives.” The modern word for this is incest. The second section warns the Israelites of the consequences of disobeying these prohibitions.

A question that one might ask is whether the first section discusses incest in the modern secretive oppressive sense, or does it tell an Israelite who they cannot marry? I believe the answer is both. I am going to defer discussing abusive forms of incest until later and discuss the question of marriage. Given the liberal marriage relationships in ancient Israel, if your father dies or divorces your mother and she is alone, can you, her son, marry her? If you have received her into your home for support and protection, are sexual relations with her appropriate as with your wives and concubines? Given the broad scope of sexual relationships within the family in Israel, this is not an unnatural question for an Israelite to ask. In fact, different ancient cultures gave different answers to questions like these. The Persians, for example, encouraged unions with mothers, daughters, and sisters as having special merit in the eyes of the gods.102 The answer for Israel, however, was “No!”

What follows is a table that I created to help you understand the relationships the Lord makes off limits to family members. It includes the verse, a modern wording for the relationship described in Leviticus, and the penalty for violating the command, as found later in Leviticus 20.

Verse

Relationship

Penalty

7

Mother and son

Death, 20:11

8

Step-mother and son

Death, 20:11

9

Brother and sister
Brother and maternal half-sister

Cut off, 20:17

10

Father and granddaughter

Burned, 20:14

11

Brother and paternal half-sister

Cut off, 20:17

12

Nephew and aunt (father’s sister)

Barrenness, 20:20

13

Nephew and aunt (mother’s sister)

Barrenness, 20:20

14

Nephew and aunt (wife of father’s brother)

Barrenness, 20:20

15

Father and daughter-in-law

Death, 20:12

16

Brother and sister-in-law

Barrenness, 20:21

17

Father and step-daughter
Father and step-granddaughter
Husband and mother-in-law

Burned, 20:14

18

Husband and sister-in-law

None

Compare the first prohibition, verse 7 (mother and son), with the last prohibition, verse 18 (husband and sister-in-law). A mother and son relationship is much closer emotionally and physically than a husband and sister-in-law. There was no closer verifiable blood relationship in the ancient world than a mother and the children she bore. In the context of “close relative,” mother and son have the closest possible relationship; a husband and his wife’s sister have the least. Notice, then, that as you go down the list, the relationships become less and less close.

Why is this list different from similar lists in other ancient cultures? I submit to you that this list of prohibitions is a logical extension of becoming “one flesh” through sexual intercourse. For example, verse 18 prohibits a man from marrying his sister-in-law. There is no genetic reason for this (I am assuming a culture permitting multiple wives). But if Fred is “one flesh” with Amy, Ava is as good as a blood sister. Here then is how the “one flesh” principle applies through the list of prohibitions:

(1) Verse 7 says you cannot marry your own mother. This restriction continues to be obvious even in our own day.

(2) Verse 8 says you cannot marry your father’s wife. For this verse to say anything different than verse 7, it must mean a wife other than your mother. It is worth asking, “Since, there is no genetic closeness between a stepmother and stepson, why is this relationship second only to a natural mother and her son?” It is because your father is one flesh with your mother and his other wives, and you are to honor him by honoring them.

(3) Verse 9 says you cannot marry your own sister or half-sister born to your mother. To discriminate between verse 9, “father’s daughter or mother’s daughter,” and verse 11, “daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father,” means verse 9 applies to sisters related to you through your mother, and verse 11 applies to sisters related to you only through your father. I would suggest that this is so because of the certainty of blood relatedness through the mother. With the father, this is not always the case.

(4) Verse 10 says you cannot marry your granddaughter. This question could legitimately arise if your son and his wife were killed and you began caring for their children.

(5) Verses 12 through 14 deal with the three ways a woman can be your aunt. The principle of “one flesh” applies to verse 14, which refers to an aunt who becomes “one flesh” with your father’s brother.

(6) Verse 15 deals with a father and daughter-in-law. This is the inverse of verse 8 which prohibits the son from marrying his stepmother. It is not as serious in terms of “close relative” because the commandment to honor your father and mother does not apply, but clearly the notion of “one flesh” applies. Until the son marries a girl, it would be possible for the father to marry her. Once the son has married her, the two are one flesh.

(7) Verse 16 also stems from the principle of one flesh—you cannot marry your brother’s wife. There is an important exception to this stated in Deuteronomy 25:5, 6: “If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry the name of the dead brother so that his name shall not be blotted out from Israel.” This is called Levirate marriage and was an important institution.

(8) Verse 17 says you cannot marry a girl and her mother. If you marry a woman who has children by a previous marriage, you may not marry her daughter or her granddaughter. By becoming “one flesh” with your wife her children and children’s children become your own.

(9) Verse 18 says you cannot marry your wife’s sister while your wife is still alive. This “close relative” relationship is at the fringe of the inner boundary and has more to do with the feelings of the two sisters who must compete for the attention of the same husband. The kind of distress that can occur is illustrated by the competition between Leah and Rachel, who were sisters married to the patriarch Jacob.

I want to pause here before continuing on, in order to present some other observations and some reflections. First, the “close relative” laws here are the most detailed and severely punished of all similar laws in ancient times. This is significant because, a nation’s laws will protect what its people consider important. The law of the Lord tells us, by its exactness and severity, what He considers most important, and from this section we must conclude that the Lord values the family and the “one flesh” principle very highly.

Second, nowhere in the Bible is compatibility ever a criterion for a relationship. This is somewhat off the main subject of the text, but it is illustrated by the fact, mentioned earlier, that Israel had no such thing as premarital sex. Once you had sexual relations with someone, he or she became your spouse. In the illustration of Isaac and Rebekah, Abraham sent his servant off to find a wife for Isaac. Isaac had no choice in the matter. He was expected to marry Rebekah and live with her and love her. The brother who must marry his dead brother’s wife and the wife who must marry her dead husband’s brother also illustrate it. This was an obligation that they were to fulfill whether they liked each other or not. The Lord expects us to get along with each other, and to compensate in love for differences and conflicts.

Third, I have emphasized how these laws relate to the question, “Who can I marry?” in order to show how the “one flesh” principle applies. I have already mentioned that these laws also pertain to more secretive violations, but I will defer this once more until later.

The Middle Boundary of Godly Sexuality

Verses 19 and 20 limit when you may have sexual intercourse with your wife, and they also prohibit adultery. I refer to these laws as the “Middle Boundary of Godly Sexuality.”

Verse 19 prohibits having intercourse with your wife during the uncleanness of her monthly period. All discharges from the body are considered ceremonially unclean, and the woman’s monthly flow is no exception. Obedience to this law relates specifically to holy living within the Mosaic covenant. There are two ways a man can violate this: one is accidentally in which case he is unclean for seven days as is the woman, and the other is the deliberate act of sexual intercourse during her period, and this is to be punished by death. The issue here is fundamentally one of holiness. The Lord has said the woman is ceremonially unclean and to purposely come in contact with an unclean woman was to violate the holiness of God. Therefore, it was strictly forbidden.

Verse 20 prohibits having intercourse with your neighbor’s wife and is an important transitional verse, because a change in a person’s concept of sexuality must occur before he can imagine and commit adultery. The change is this: adultery denies the concept of “one flesh.” It is failing to recognize that the person you are committing adultery with is “one flesh” with another person. Adultery divorces sexual intercourse from marriage and elevates it to an independent status. It focuses on sexual fulfillment as a goal rather than a byproduct of a relationship. It is important to also note that children, produced by an adulterous union, are quite frankly a grievous nuisance.

Verse 20 is transitional. If a society has established the inner, middle, and outer boundaries of godly sexuality, it is this portion of the middle boundary that collapses first in society. Once the middle boundary has collapsed, the outer and inner boundaries collapse soon afterward. I bring this up now before I discuss the outer boundary, because the outer boundary is best understood from the viewpoint of the collapse of the middle boundary and its effect on society and the land.

The Outer Boundary of Godly Sexuality

At one point in our nation’s history the three boundaries of godly sexuality were firmly established from a cultural viewpoint. I understand, of course, that individuals within that culture may have disregarded them, but both our laws and popular consensus supported them. This included a family based on the Judeo/Christian affirmation of one husband, one wife. This was even higher than the Jewish marriage because it included one wife. The ancient practice of polygamy was abandoned through the teaching of Jesus and the effective ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of men.

Towards the beginning of the century our nation, following the lead of Europe, adopted the doctrines of higher criticism that began to tear away at the Bible. Science embraced the theory of evolution and turned away from God. The church, caught by surprise, retreated and disconnected itself from our culture. It was no longer an active force. People were set free from God, and shortly thereafter, sexual intercourse was set free from marriage. Sex became autonomous and recreational. Somewhere, someone got the idea that romantic attraction was the proper foundation for a lasting relationship and sold it to us. The movie entertainers and artists, the purveyors of this message, were the first to suffer a string of divorces and remarriages, but we ignored the evidence, and we accepted the lie. The middle boundary began to collapse.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s marked the near total destruction of the middle boundary of godly sexuality. Sex became completely autonomous. People began to live together without long-term commitment. Masters and Johnson studied human sexual response using the real thing as well as some artificial machines to let them observe what otherwise could not be observed. Marriages began to fail by the score. Unwed teenagers became pregnant. Children became a nuisance. Then The Joy of Sex appeared in the bookstores. Sex became so explicit, so open, such a good seller of merchandise, that society maintained a constant low-level state of sexual arousal. The outer and inner boundaries began to fall.

As the middle boundary crumbled, grandfathers, fathers, uncles, and brothers sexually molested family members. I do not know a single person who is not personally aware of an incident. Putting a stop to this, however, is very difficult. Once sex is set autonomous, the wheels begin to move and it’s hard to stop the wheel.

Outer Boundary Stage 1—The killing of unwanted children

“Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:21).

In the middle of Leviticus 18 is a verse that is seemingly out of place. What could this possibly have to do in the context of unlawful sexual unions? I think this is the first phase of the destruction of the outer boundary of godly sexuality. It means that children are no longer safe when the middle boundary falls.

In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision. It is the modern equivalent of ancient child sacrifice, but don’t take my word for it. Hear it, instead, from someone who views it from a pro-abortion position. The following is a quote from a 1984 science magazine article entitled, “Infanticide” by Barbara Burke,

Among some animals, then, infant killing appears to be a natural practice. Could it be natural for humans, too—a trait inherited from our primate ancestors? When we hear that some mother has killed her own baby, we are horrified and assume she must be deranged. Some killers, of course, are sick. … But human infanticide is too widespread historically and geographically to be explained away just as a pathology or the peculiarity of some aberrant culture. Charles Darwin noted in The Descent of Man that infanticide has been “probably the most important of all” checks on population growth throughout most of human history.

… This may seem a cruel and inefficient method of family planning, but in cultures without effective contraceptives, where childbirth is safer than primitive abortions, it may appear to parents to be the only way to keep family size in line with family resources.103

I do not believe there is much difference between offering children to Molech and offering them up to abortion. For different reasons and different conclusions, Barbara Burke does not believe there is much difference either.

Outer Boundary Stage 2—Homosexuality

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22).

Following the book The Joy of Sex came The Joy of Gay Sex and The Joy of Lesbian Sex. As the outer boundary began to crumble with the destruction of children, as sex became autonomous, sexual experience between members of the same sex was an unavoidable next step. Here is why: if your sexual goal is pleasure independent of marriage, and your sexual freedom comes from denying its wrongness, there is no foundation left to judge an alternate practice. Consequently, many homosexuals are begging for us to be compassionate and accepting. What follows is an extended quote from Dr. Edward W. Bauman, a prominent Methodist television minister,

I was prepared for trouble, but the intensity of the storm took me completely by surprise. The whole thing started when I presented a television program and preached a sermon on “The Gay Life” as part of a series on Love and Marriage. I must confess to some negative feelings about homosexuality and it wasn’t difficult to find excuses for turning my attention to other things. As the time for the TV taping approached, however, I began to prepare, working hard to make up for lost time. The preparation included covering the books on a long reading list and talking with numerous individuals—straights and gays, medical doctors and psychiatrists, ministers and members of their congregation, men and women, young and old, Christians and Jews. A lot of time was spent getting “into” the Biblical passages on this subject. I prayed and meditated, and began to share some of my ideas with other members of the Christian community. Then I presented the TV program and preached the sermon, suggesting among other things that we need to express compassion and acceptance toward the homosexuals among us.

The intensity of the anger I encountered almost swept me off my feet! The deep primal feelings many of us have on the subject have been so repressed that when we are confronted with them, they break out like a pent up storm.104

The “deep primal feelings” Dr. Bauman is talking about is part of the outer boundary. We must remember that once upon a time our culture had deep primal feelings concerning adultery, premarital sex, divorce, and abortion too. One by one we have gotten rid of them, but I believe it’s time to get our “deep primal feelings” back.105

Outer Boundary Stage 3—Bestiality

“Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion” (Leviticus 18:23).

This verse marks the current line in our culture today. We are not there yet in a widespread way, although bestiality occurs frequently in pornographic books. If our nation accepts homosexuality as it has accepted adultery and abortion, bestiality will be next. Perhaps it will have mythic overtones, such as Zeus in the form of a bull.

God’s Coming Judgment

“Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled;106 so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-29).

This should be sobering to a lust-filled society. This is not Israel violating its covenant with God. This is God looking at Gentile Canaan, seeing how it has defiled the land and is casting Gentile Canaan out. This is a universal principle, not a covenant principle. God judges all nations alike.

Acts 15:23-29 contains the text of the letter from the Church in Jerusalem to the Gentile believers accepting them into the church without binding them to Jewish Law. Verse 29 reads: “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.” God is against sexual immorality, and His condemnation is universal.

As we read Romans 1:18f. think of the progression we have seen in Leviticus 18 from the crumbling of the middle boundary of godly sexuality, through the crumbling of the inner and outer walls.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.107

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.108

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

May God have mercy on us. This passage in Romans follows the same course as the passage in Leviticus does—line by line practically. Once homosexuality is accepted, it seems all kinds of wickedness can be expected to break out. Quite frankly, I believe the Lord has given us as a nation over to our sinful desires.

The Christian and the Church’s Response

The spread of adultery, pre-marital and casual sex, abortion and homosexuality is the result of our nation turning from the Lord. He has given us as a nation over to the sinful desires of our hearts. It is very hard for us as individuals and as a church to remain pure in such a society, as the problems in the Corinthian church demonstrate. It is hard, but not impossible. I do not know if we can turn our country around or not. I know many who are working on many fronts to do just that, and we are beginning to see some battles won in the areas of pornography and parent’s rights.

We must examine our own attitudes toward sexuality. How closely do we associate sexual union with becoming “one flesh?” Is it to the degree that we have seen in Israel? If not, can we change?

We are confronted by spiritual warfare on three fronts in the area of sexuality. First, there is our flesh, which is all too willing to have autonomous sex that is released from association with marriage. When a hedonistic philosophy comes around our flesh begins to leap up and say, “go for it!” Second, there is Satan, who through humanism and other philosophies promotes an intellectual system antagonistic to God’s righteousness. Humanism tells us that autonomous sex is okay. It tells us that homosexual sex is okay. It tells us that killing our children is okay. This is the work of Satan through humanist leaders in our country. Third, there is the world, which is the alliance of Satan and corporate flesh which either ignores or directly confronts the church to maintain societies’ perversions.

If you are losing the battle with your flesh, whether it craves heterosexual or homosexual experiences outside the three boundaries of godly sexuality, you can overcome through living by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). This section of Galatians contains much more for you to meditate upon and ponder. You are not promised liberation from the flesh’s desire, but you are promised that the Spirit will provide you with self-control. Another key aspect of living by the Spirit is love for the brethren, the kind of love that considers all others more important than one’s self.

Against Satan, we have the truth of the Scriptures and the gospel. If we are faithful and true to our message, we will be heard. The message must be presented in all forms: books, music, painting, dance, and the performing arts. Let us instill godliness in our children and encourage their interests in journalism, politics, the arts, and science. By participating in the full spectrum of culture, we can push back the hold humanism has on it.

Against the world, we need a pure and obedient church. We must build strong families based on the principle of “one flesh.” We must learn to have strong marriages regardless of who the partners are, or who they have become over the years. People may be compatible when they first marry, but over the years, they change. Our need to obey the Lord does not change. Our requirement to learn to be compatible with anybody doesn’t change because this is what it fundamentally gets down to. We can learn to be compatible with a person.

I hear about the peer pressure our children are under. Is it wise for us to put our children in circumstances where we ourselves could not stand? We will neither purify ourselves, or the church, or the nation without cost. It will cost us time, money, inconvenience, effort, pain, or worse, but a pure church will stand up before a perverted world. I guarantee it.

Given the fact that the boundaries have crumbled in our culture, it is likely that this message has deeply disturbed some of you. Many of you have past experiences. To you I say this: Look at the love with which Jesus favored the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). Look at how He dealt with the woman caught in adultery (John 8). Remember how He turned His back to the dinner host and his guests to affirm a prostitute who honored Him by anointing His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair (Luke 7). Let your past be past. Receive His love and His words, “Go and sin no more.” But also, through Him and His grace and love, let your sense of shame fall away. You are clean and pure, because He has cleansed you.


100 This message was preached by Don Curtis, an excellent student of the Scriptures, teacher, and good friend. Don graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1974 with a degree in Philosophy. He has since become a Senior Computer Programmer with the IBM Corporation. For a number of years, Don and his family attended Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, until his job took him to Atlanta, Georgia. Partly from Bob Deffinbaugh’s influence, biblical studies and teaching have become a passion in his Christian life. Don is currently an elder and teacher at Cobb Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Kennesaw, GA.

101 I discussed this issue with a person who valued sexual encounters so highly that (s)he found it inconceivable to imagine heaven without sex, especially if we are clothed in a resurrection “body.”

102 R. K. Harrison, Tyndale Commentary: Leviticus, 1980 Intervarsity Press, p. 194.

103 Barbara Burke, “Infanticide,” Science 84, May 1984, pp. 29, 30.

104 Dr. Edward W. Bauman, Reflections on the Gay Life, 1977, 1979 United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

105 It is interesting to see how Barbara Burke, on the one hand, uses evolution to excuse parent’s violent behavior against their children. Dr. Bauman, on the other hand, sees “deep primal feelings” as something we must obviously overcome. It seems to me that “deep primal feelings” would also be an evolutionary left over. Such dichotomies are typical of humanistic thinking in “evolutionary” terms; evolution is always adapted to justify a preconceived moral position.

106 As I typed this I remembered the blood of Abel crying from the ground. Is our country defiled from the millions of aborted babies?

107 This marks the fall of the middle boundary.

108 This marks the fall of the outer boundary.