Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Sex fascinates all of us. It is a wonderful gift of God, but like many of God’s gifts, it can be misused


By the Rev. Dr. Maynard Pittendreigh

March 5, 2000

Sunrise Presbyterian Church

Miami Florida


Exod 20:1-17

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 "You shall have no other gods before me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

6 but showing love to a thousand of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

13 "You shall not murder.

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."


I see by looking at the newsstands that it is time for Sports Illustrated’s annual swim suit issue.

I’ve never been quite clear about what ladies in swim suits have to do with football or baseball or hockey, but I’m not surprised that the editors of Sports Illustrated are aware that a simple swim suit issue can boost the sales of their magazine.

After all, sex fascinates us, obsesses us, and drives us. We are bombarded all the time by sexuality. And Wall Street learned a long time ago that sex is a good tool with which to sell.

If you can’t sell a car, put a sexy woman behind the wheel and make a commercial.

If you can’t sell a movie, put in a few nude scenes.

If you can’t sell a magazine, put out an annual swimsuit issue.

It is not unexpected for us to think so frequently and so much about sex. After all, we were created by God to be male or female -- one sex or the other.

Since our thoughts, our actions and our lives are so affected by sex, it is not surprising that God deals with sexual ethics in the Ten Commandments.

We have been studying the Ten Commandments since the new year began. We read in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah (40:8) "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."

But not everyone agrees. Ted Turner, who founded CNN, told a group of newscasters several years ago, "The Ten Commandments are no longer relevant." He specifically pointed out his opinion that the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery" was definitely archaic.

We do live in a very sexually confused society.

Almost everything in television, movies and music sends our teenagers a message that they need to become sexually active, and that if they are not, something is wrong with them. But then when they do become sexually active, families are distressed.

Family values have been central themes in political elections in recent years. It wasn’t too many years ago that Gary Hart’s presidential campaign came crashing down when the Miami Herald exposed his affair with Donna Rice. But now we have a President who openly admits that he has had a long history of adulterous affairs. One of these affairs was with a White House Intern. But on the other hand, let any CEO of any major corporation in this country have an affair with an office intern, and its a guarantee that the next issue of the newspaper will have articles about a major sexual harassment lawsuit.

Our society is constantly changing its mind on what is right and wrong. And nowhere is this more evident than in sexual ethics. But Isaiah says that "The word of our God stands forever."

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