Rebellion of Nudity & Meaning of Clothing - Piper

Are there any other issues that bother you about nudism / naturism not covered above? How can it be Christian? Other? Any question is acceptable, just keep the conversation courteous and respectful.<P>Only Residents and higher may post here.

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Postby jochanaan » Sun May 18, 2008 9:53 am

Me neither. Some go so far as to say that it was inevitable that Adam and Eve would eat the fruit. It may seem inevitable to us now--yet what if they hadn't? Would we EVER have learned to wear clothes? Would the world have been so changed that clothes became necessary? :?:

The way we are is NOT inevitable. Jesus' sacrifice changed things so that we have a way to heal, and become naked and open and healthy and well again. Praise His Name! Amen.
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Postby Ramblinman » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:00 am

We need to remind our Gentile readers of God's use of the covenant in dealing with his people.
This passage about clothing was either a covenant or it was not. A lot hinges on this.
Secondly, even if God's clothing Adam and Eve with skins were a covenant, it would not necessarily have applied to all spiritual descendants of Adam and Eve.

As a quick review, there were Old Testament covenants between God and individuals, there were Old Testament covenants between God and the literal children of Israel as a people, and there were covenants that extended beyond the Old Testament to include all who call upon the name of the Lord, Jew and Gentile alike.

Now let's take a look at the passage in Genesis in which God removes the fig leaf clothing and replaces it with garments of skin. By inference, the skin required the death of a pair of animals. The animals would have necessarily been the first sin offering to God.

In order for us to say that God's action on behalf of Adam and Eve also applies to us, we must assume that it constituted a covenant and not just any covenant, but a perpetual covenant that applied to all believers in God Almighty for all time.

God did not create a perpetual covenant of clothing. If he had, it would have been issued as a command for all generations. Just to name one, the rainbow, for instance, was God's covenant to all creation that survived the worldwide flood in Noah's day that he would never again destroy the entire earth by flood. It remains in effect.

When God dressed Adam and Eve with the animals sacrificed as a sin offering, that action was never repeated, not in Adam and Eve's life nor in the patriarchs' lives. Search the Torah, the Mosaic law and you will never find a command to wear the skins of animals used in sin offerings. The Torah goes into great detail about the procedure for sin offerings and other sacrifices. If skins were to be used, the Torah would have said exactly what to do.

It would even be hard to categorize the dressing of Adam and Eve as a covenant for them alone. Gods action came with no instructions to continue to wear these skins nor any command for them to wear the skins of animal sacrifices.

As others have suggested, when God dressed Adam and Eve, it was to redirect their misguided sense of shame away from their bodies toward a recognition of their souls' need for blood atonement and divine forgiveness.

Even Jews living under Mosaic law could only derive moral instruction from this and not infer a command to wear fur or leather. Christians even more so have no justification from scripture to infer a command to literally wear clothing.
This passage simply shows us that God makes provision for his people to return to right relation to him. And of course the New Testament confirms that this sacrificial system was culminated in Messiah Jesus' atonement for us, separating us from sin once and for all, no longer merely covering it.
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Postby Alfie » Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:31 am

Ramblinman, why would you say that the killing of those first two animals would be a sin offering that formed part of a covenant?
I don't see how the simple killing of two animals in order to remove their skins for clothing means that it is either a sin offering or a sign or whatever of a covenant? It seems to me that it is simply a practical necessity. It am happy to be corrected if I am wrong.
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Postby natman » Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:34 am

Somehow I lost track of this strip and missed several important posts.

Desert Hiker wrote:Clothes witnessing to our fallen state, and nudity witnessing to our redeemed state--this is a positive?!

If it were only that easy, eh?! Truly, we would no longer have to waste our precious time preaching to the choir--all the saved ones are starkers! :lol:

Seriously, no matter how you twist this one around, it places Christian naturists in a morally superior position--what is lawful for us is NOT lawful for them--WRONG!


Now I think you are reading more into my comments than I intended. My point is that just by the fact that there exists a desire in this world to still cover our bodies with coverings, whether they are animal or fabric, brings us back to that moment when our first parents were thrown out of the Garden. I believe this is particularly true for Christians, and even more true for Christian naturists. As Christian naturists, nudity does not give us any moral superiority. It simply witnesses to the fact that we acknowledge that Christ's atonment on the cross paid it all, even going so far as to remove the self-inflicted guilt that would cause us to attempt to hide ourselves, our bodies, from God and others. Similarly, clothing witnesses to the fact that we have not gotten to the point in our sanctfication where we trust completely in the work of Christ on the cross. Otherwise, Christians and especially Christian naturits would be boldly naked all of the time. This was the epiphany I had when I first discovered Christian naturism. Just as with any other measure of Christian-ness, our comfort with our bodies falls somewhere along a spectrum.

This is not equivelant to saying that just because someone is naked, they are saved, or just because they are clothed, they are not saved. Obviously that is not the case.

Desert Hiker wrote:God's law is the same for everyone! I cannot support any argument that gives Christians a liberty that is only lawful to Christians.


I certainly do not think that is what Piper is projecting, nor am I. Our liberty to be naked is not a liberty from the Law of God, but from our own self-imposd shame of our bodies as a means to hide from God. Others, even non-Christians have this same liberty. They just may not realize it.

Also, I do not see God's use of skin's as a covenant in an of itself. However, I do see it as a "type and shadow" of the new covenant that would one day be realized through the one-time shedding of Christ's blood to cover all the sins of the elect.
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Postby Ramblinman » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:47 pm

Alfie and Nathan,

Bear in mind that I was arguing against the premise that God's provision of animal skins was a lasting covenant.
I felt that it was important to answer this objection as it is central to many arguments that clothing is a moral necessity for us in our day.

Scripture does not rule out the possibility that the blood sacrifice that obviously occurred may have been a covenant between God and Adam and Eve and seems to be the first of all subsequent blood sacrifices.

My main point was that whatever it was, making skins from a sacrifice is an act that began and ended with Adam and Eve.
Believe me, the Torah would never leave out such an instruction to the Hebrew people.
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Postby Ramblinman » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:57 pm

Alfie,

To answer your question about covenant more directly, animal sacrifice was a pre-Mosaic covenant that was amplified and incorporated into Mosaic law. You probably don't recognize it as a covenant because it is actually only a part of a much larger covenant of atonement that God implemented the moment he confronted Adam and Eve after their fall from grace. This covenant was completed by Messiah Jesus. None of this has any effect on our freedom from the obligation to wear clothes.
This really is a side issue and merely coincides with the creation of skin coats immediately following that first sacrifice.
Keep in mind that God did not accept Cain's bloodless fruit sacrifice, but was pleased by Abel's blood sacrifice from his herds.
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Postby dby » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:55 pm

Alfie wrote:Ramblinman, why would you say that the killing of those first two animals would be a sin offering that formed part of a covenant?
I don't see how the simple killing of two animals in order to remove their skins for clothing means that it is either a sin offering or a sign or whatever of a covenant? It seems to me that it is simply a practical necessity. It am happy to be corrected if I am wrong.


Again, I would remind the readers that Genesis says nothing whatsoever about God killing any animals or placing coats of animal skin upon Adam and Eve. Read the parallel passage of Job 10:11 which uses the same Hebrew words:
"You clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews."

Did God also put animal meat upon Adam and Eve to clothe them? No, of course not. The human skin which coats us is the same human skin that God gave to Adam and Eve after they fell. There is another strip which covers this more in depth.
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Postby Ramblinman » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:44 pm

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
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Postby JohnCaleb » Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:58 pm

It seems a stretch to think that Adam and Eve did not have skin before the fall.
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Postby dby » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:35 am

Ramblinman wrote:Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21


As I said - there is NOTHING here to suggest that these were animal skins. This was a move from a more spiritual nature to a more physical nature.
"You have clothed me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews." Job 10:11

Note that the word "clothed" and the word "skin" is the same in both verses. They are also in the same in the Hebrew (though the root word LABASH takes on slightly different tenses in each verse.)

Mankind was given a coat of skin back then which is the same coat of skin that you wear today when you are naked. The Hebrew word for this skin is "OR" (spelled with an Ayin as the 1st letter). Man was originally made in the image of God who is clothed in light (see for example Psalm 104:2). The Hebrew word for light is "OR" (spelled with an Aleph as the 1st letter). Our coat of skin covers over the inner light which was diminished with the 1st sin. At the Mount of Transfiguration this inner "OR" (light) shown through the coat of "OR" (skin) of Messiah showing us both what we used to be and what we will become again when the graves are opened.
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Postby Ramblinman » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:03 am

dby wrote:As I said - there is NOTHING here to suggest that these were animal skins.


Actually there's a lot to suggest it.
God did not take a potato peeler and peel off Adam and Eve's skin and put a new skin over the muscles and fat.
All he did was remove fig leaves and put on animal skins over the the flesh they were suddenly ashamed of.

I know it is animal skin because there were no other people to peel it off of.
No animal can survive without skin. It is possible that the resulting death of this animal coincided with the first burnt offering, but I won't make an issue of it.


dby wrote:Note that the word "clothed" and the word "skin" is the same in both verses. They are also in the same in the Hebrew (though the root word LABASH takes on slightly different tenses in each verse.)



This happens a lot in Hebrew, English and other languages: Context determines the meaning of a word that has two or more meanings.

dby wrote: Mankind was given a coat of skin back then which is the same coat of skin that you wear today when you are naked. The Hebrew word for this skin is "OR" (spelled with an Ayin as the 1st letter). Man was originally made in the image of God who is clothed in light (see for example Psalm 104:2). The Hebrew word for light is "OR" (spelled with an Aleph as the 1st letter). Our coat of skin covers over the inner light which was diminished with the 1st sin. At the Mount of Transfiguration this inner "OR" (light) shown through the coat of "OR" (skin) of Messiah showing us both what we used to be and what we will become again when the graves are opened.


Sorry none of this is logically consistent. If Adam and Eve had an inner light and it went out, God would not have taken a potato peeler and peeled off their skins and replaced them with translucent skins; it would make no difference how translucent their skin was, they would still be in the dark. God's action would have been useless.

For that matter, the Bible does not teach that Adam and Eve used to glow the way Jesus appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. There was plenty of time to put that in the narrative, but Genesis mentions not light. It is simply reading too much into the text to assume a literal light. Even Jesus did not glow all the time and he was always sinless
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Postby dby » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:32 am

Ramblinman wrote:
dby wrote:As I said - there is NOTHING here to suggest that these were animal skins.


Actually there's a lot to suggest it.
God did not take a potato peeler and peel off Adam and Eve's skin and put a new skin over the muscles and fat.
All he did was remove fig leaves and put on animal skins over the the flesh they were suddenly ashamed of.


No potato peelers involved. Rather, it was the reverse of what will occur in the end:
1Co 15:53 [b]For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Mankind was originally created with the Glory of an incorruptible God. But
Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the Glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

I know it is animal skin because there were no other people to peel it off of.


Nobody said anything about peeling it off of someone else. It was a descent from the immortal body that man was originally created with; to the body of flesh and blood which we all currently have. In the end we will all be changed back again.

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Man was originally an inheritor of the Kingdom of God. But we were removed from that with the first sin, when God put that flesh upon the man:
1Co 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does the corruptible inherit the incorruptible.
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Postby td » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:49 pm

This is a fascinating strip!

First, I have found God to behave in a solely practical manner. Throughout Scripture, nearly all of His natural interactions with us earthlings is symbolic of our supernatural relationship with Him. Assuming for the moment that Adam and Eve were common homo sapiens, and that the fig leaves came from a fig tree, and that the replacement clothes God provided came from a living animal who consequently died upon loosing its skin, then we absolutely must interpret clothing as a deeply meaningful symbol of our broken relationship with God (a truly shameful state).

Since we do not find an explicit command in Scripture to wear clothes all the time we must assume that clothes aren't a absolute requirement. However, since clothing (and we might even include the make of clothing despite PETA's protest) is extraordinarily symbolic to our supernatural condition, it seems fitting that we use clothing in a symbolic manner. Perhaps God intended clothing to be an iconic reminder both of our sin and his Grace, and to be used regularly for that purpose. Other examples of iconic/symbolic reminders of the way things are include the image of the cross, fasting, marriage, and the Lord's Supper/Communion. Some have practical or functional uses in either the natural or supernatural world while others serve simply as reminders. Likewise, they represent a range of interpretable frequencies from "perpetual engagement" (as in marriage), to "as needed" (as in fasting), to "doesn't matter but why not keep it around more often than not" (as in the image of the cross).

Note: Some people keep the image of the cross with them wherever they go in the form of making the sign of the cross with their hand. Many of these people even find meaning in how they hold their hand and the method with which they do it. I think that's awesome!

I propose that clothes play an important role in our lives as Christians but not for the purpose of shielding other's eye from our genitalia but to remind us and others of our sin. As such, it is not necessary to wear them all the time but only when we are in need of such a physical reminder. By the same token, however, nudity too may serve as a symbolic reminder not prescribed for perpetual use but as it is found useful.

So, it seems to me that there are three uses for clothing, two of them righteous. The first righteous use is for the protection of the body. It is a practical and profane (ordinary) use but God ordained the profane so going about our daily lives is still a righteous endeavor. The second righteous use is as a symbolic physical reminder of our status both as sinners and as forgiven. The third use for clothes is the wicked one: to conform to the world's standards of status and pretension. Nudity has the same uses, including the third.

This leaves me with an answer to the question of whether one should dress only ever simply, as instructed in Scripture. The answer is yes. If we do not are we damned? As Christians no, but only by the Grace of God.
________________________

Now, on a different plane of perspective, I find the discussion about whether the clothes of skin were of another animal or of human flesh and intriguing topic. Since the account of creation is very explicit but decidedly lacking in detail we can only imagine what exactly took place and how things really were in the very beginning.

What if the skins God provided was our own earthly flesh? Does that conflict with the account of creation that we have in Scripture? This may not be how it happened but I don't think the following account could be denied a seat among the list of possibilities.

We know that God is infinitely creative and is not limited to create within what we perceive and interpret to be the natural world nor by our own understanding. Given that, it is certainly possible for God to create from the dust of the earth a creature who is, in the likeness of Himself, a spirit but whose apparition or visual affect on the "physical" environment is similar to the "physical" beasts who are most reliant on wisdom and knowledge rather than physical sturdiness for daily life: the apes. So Adam may have been created and given (visually affirmed) managerial authority over the rest of the created world. God may very well have created other spirits to inhabit the earth as well, who appear to the "physical" beasts as things that are less wise or perhaps of a more subservient nature, such as trees or water. I don't see any reason to assume that, just because we can't/don't see them, nymphs and driads and all those other "mythical" creatures couldn't have been part of Creation. They got into our folklore somehow. Eve then, may very well have been created of Adam's substance and also have been a spirit of this world. (Adam and Eve being spirits of this natural world and God being pure spirit and not contained by this natural world (spirit or otherwise). This certainly would make it easier for Adam and Eve to walk and talk in the garden with God and for Satan to have that cunning little chat with Eve. Perhaps the actual forbidden fruit was the spiritual fruit of a particular driad. Who knows? Perhaps they hid themselves not with a fig leaf taped over their genitals --BTW, did it mention anywhere in the Bible what they hid with the leaves? Personally, I think I'd rather cover my eyes than any of my dangly bits-- but hid within the fig tree. Perhaps the intension was to hide from the wrath of God by means of pretense: "I'm not the person you put in charge of the earth, I'm a humble little fig tree ...really." But alas, just as any good father does, he lovingly withholds ultimate punishment by substituting a few natural consequences, reminding us of the real consequences, and sends us on our way with a second chance. So, God may have essentially said "OK, you can't be trusted with spiritual things so you're not going to be a spirit anymore like me. Rather, you will be reliant on the physical world for your sustenance. You will be bound by the physical world, clothed in flesh and therefore will be subject to physical death. However, I will not withhold my eternal Grace if you are repentant of your inescapable sin."

This scenario makes a great deal of sense if you aren't hung up on the notion that if you can't dissect it it doesn't exist. :roll:

If this account is to be believed, our own bodies are our clothing and our wickedness is hidden by our own flesh. We are our own sacrifices. We cannot escape the physical reminder of our sin and it's consequences because we cannot escape the death of our physical bodies. Thus, whether for good or for ill, clothing hides the reminder. This can be deeply symbolic just as when we hide the cross under black cloth during Holy Week (I know not all churches practice this but many do).

I reckon that, regardless of how you view the account of Creation and original sin, to fully understand the full meaning and purpose of clothes one has to first become comfortable without them.

Just my thoughts.

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Postby natman » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:13 am

Td,

I agree with the first half of your post, but I have some reservations with the premise that Adam and Eve may have onlly been spiritual beings prior to the fall and that they did not recieve phyisicality, "skin" untlil they were ejected from the Garden. I think there are a few clues to indicate that they had physical bodies even in the Garden. First off, they ate. They ate of every tree in the Garden and in particular of the Tree of Knowledge. Jesus demonstrated that spirits do not eat when He appeared to His disciples after the resurrection...

Luke 24:39-43
"Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence."


Also, they made aprons of fig leaves.

Gen 3:7
"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."


Unless we are assuming that the entire created order was spiritual, then there had to be some physical substance for the aprons to cling to.
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Postby dby » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:01 am

natman wrote:Td,

I agree with the first half of your post, but I have some reservations with the premise that Adam and Eve may have onlly been spiritual beings prior to the fall and that they did not recieve phyisicality, "skin" untlil they were ejected from the Garden.


Just to clarify my position.... I did mean to suggest that Adam and Eve were only spiritual prior to the Fall. Nor would I suggest that at the Resurrection of the dead that we are no longer physical. We are all changed, and the corruptible puts on the incorruptible.

This is a reversal of what God did to them at the Fall. Messiah is the "First Fruit" of our Resurrection, and would have been a restoration to the original state of Adam. Yet, He was still physical, otherwise, it would have been meaningless to tell Thomas to touch Him, feel the spear wound in His side, and the nail prints in His hands. Later, He ate fish with them. (Just as Adam and Eve could eat from the fruit of the tree in their Glorified bodies.) However, I suspect that He was already changed, in that He could disguise Himself from the others on the road, He could enter a room that was sealed, etc. And yes, I realize that I am possibly stretching the point here since He is Messiah and can do anything. And entering a sealed room may not be anything different that Phillip suddenly going from a rooftop to out in the desert where the Ethiopian eunuch was.

On the other hand, "flesh and blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, and Messiah ascended bodily into Heaven. So this would suggest that His resurrected body was already changed into that incorruptible state.

Likewise we see a glimpse of this earlier state on the Mount of Transfiguration where the inner-Glory of Messiah shown through His skin. So, to restate my original point - I believe that Adam was originally created in that Glorified body form (which was still a physical body). When Adam and Eve sinned, the Glory departed. The "glow" seen on the Mount of Transfiguration was no longer upon them and they saw that they were naked. They tried making their own "atonement" (Kippur in Hebrew, which means "covering") out of fig leaves. Tradition says that they made something more like a blanket of these leaves and then hid themselves entirely. The mental imagery that I get is of a very young child thinking they can hide from mommy and daddy by pulling the blankets over them.

The OR (Light) of Glory, which they formerly had, was replaced with OR (skin) which we still carry to this day - until we again become glorified. That will be a sudden change - "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye". Again, our physicality does not disappear. Perhaps we might visualize a teeter-totter with physicality over on the left and spirituality over on the right. Originally the majority of the weight was over on the side of spirituality. But right now the majority of the weight is over on the side of physicality. One day, the weight is again going to shift over to the side of spirituality. Right now we are to be working on our spirituality and cutting away the blockage of the flesh (in a spiritual sense) - working against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the boastful pride of life. We are to be working on our hearts - circumcising them. We are to remove the "foreskin" (ORLAH in Hebrew which can also be translated as "blockage") of our hearts. That is done by taking up our cross daily and following after Messiah.

Hopefully this helps to clarify what I was trying to say.
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