This is the last post in a twelve-part series reviewing and critiquing Dan Boone's book, Human Sexuality. Read more: Intro / Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 /Chapter 6 / Chapter 7 / Chapter 8 / Chapter 9 / Chapter 10
To wrap up the book, Boone talks a bit about holiness. He says that “we veil that which is holy to respect its dignity and to protect it from usage that cheapens it” and that “the veil before the Holy of Holies signified to humans that boundaries are to be respected” (152).
The whole book has been about drawing lines and parsing distinctions of what’s right and wrong. About what needs to be covered, hidden, denied. About what we should turn away from and fear.
Boone says that the tearing of the veil at the crucifixion is “the epitome of evil,” and that God somehow makes something good out of it, but what if the tearing of the veil is an act of holiness itself?
What if, instead of talking about holiness in terms of protecting and defending, we talked about holiness in terms of loving with reckless abandon and radical openness? What if instead of talking about the death of Uzzah, who touched the Ark of the Covenant “unworthily,” we talk about the hemorrhaging woman, who touched Jesus—God in the flesh—knowing she would be healed? Holiness is about healing and love. It is about opening your door to the broken, sitting to eat with the sinner, giving all you have to the needy. It’s not about establishing who’s “in” and who’s “out,” or telling people what they must do to be accepted. It’s about ripping through these distinctions completely—from the top to the very bottom.
I hope the Church of the Nazarene can embrace this kind of holiness.