It’s a big deal. It gets your attention. Almost like nothing else. I think the only serious rival to sex is God. I googled God. 365 million hits. I googled sex. 407 million hits. God. Sex. Big hits.

Rob Bell has a new book, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality. I have it but I haven’t read it. I haven’t even opened it. I’ll read it tomorrow as part of my preparation for Sex Weekend at Word of Life Church (more info at the end of the blog). But without knowing any more than the title, I can tell you Rob Bell is at least right on this: There are endless connections between sexuality and spirituality.

Let’s get physical.

A kind of euphemism for sex.

Might as well say…

Let’s get spiritual.

Because sex is every bit as spiritual as it is physical.

And that’s the secret behind the success of sex. It’s highly spiritual. For some people sexuality is the only spirituality they know. Part of the intense craving for sex is a craving for a spiritual experience…whether it is understood as such or not.

Sex is spiritual.

(I don’t mean “good” but just what I said, spiritual.)

Because sex is spiritual it is powerful. Very powerful. It is powerfully creative…in the most literal sense of the word. A sexual union between two eternal spiritual beings has the potential to create another eternal spiritual being. But even when the procreative possibilities are eliminated, sex is still very spiritual and very powerful because it is more than the union of bodies, it is the union of spirits.

For this very reason God has restricted human sexual activity to holy ground: The covenantal sanctuary of marriage.

And within the covenant of marriage I dare to suggest that there is even a sacramental aspect to sex.

(This is a thought that theologians have begun to explore. Jewish theologians have more fully developed this concept; probably for the simple reason that for nearly 1,500 years most of the church’s theologians have been celibate!)

Yes, I believe there is a sacramental aspect of sex. A kind of holy communion between a husband and wife. A sacred mystery. A sacred mystery that hints upon Christ and the church.

And that is why sex outside of covenant is very unholy. Not “dirty” per se, but the desecration of the holy. And when we desecrate the holy in our own body and soul the unintended but inevitable consequences are deeply damaging.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Sex is spiritual and sex is a mystery.

Pornography is many things (all bad), but it is certainly the fool’s crude intrusion into what is meant to be a sacred mystery. And the desecration of sacred mysteries always leads to the the destruction of the soul. Remember that.

Sexuality and spirituality go together.

But a Christianity that has been far too Platonist…

(Or in this case I can use the adjective derived from Plato himself: platonic.)

…and predominately led by a clergy required to be celibate, has viewed sexuality and spirituality as poles apart and regarded sexuality as little more than a necessary evil.

It was Augustine (and you know I love Augustine) who taught that sex was for procreation only and that it was possible for a couple to engage in sexual intercourse without sexual passion. Oh, come on, Augustine!

So sex is a big deal. Everybody knows that. But historically the church has done little more than blush at the topic.

But the living God is the God of sex. He created human sexuality in all of its intricacies and wonder. And the Bible is not the least bit shy about sex. Never vulgar, but never embarrassed either. Of course I suppose you know the Song of Solomon is a highly erotic poem. And it’s inspired scripture. Think about that: The Holy Spirit inspired a sexually erotic poem!

(Did that thought just melt your religious brain?)

God created sex. And God saw that it was good.

But outside the garden a lot has gone wrong.

And sexuality is one of those things, that when it goes wrong, it goes way wrong.

It’s a form of spirituality gone wrong.

Sex is heaven or hell.

But Jesus redeems.

And there is such a thing as redeemed sexuality.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my thinking on this topic.

I’ll be talking about these things at Word of Life all next Weekend.

Friday, June 1, 7:30 pm: Let There Be Sex

Saturday, June 2, 9:00 am: Christian Men In A Corinthian Culture
(A “men only” pancake breakfast. It’s free.)

Sunday, June 3, 9:00 & 11:00 am: Sex Monster

Sunday, June 3, 6:00 pm: Sex and the Christian Female
(A “women only” salad supper led by Peri Zahnd)

A weekend of talking about God and Sex. The two biggies. It should be a big hit.

I hope to see you then.