So, What's Not to Show?

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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So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:24 am

I hope I have this in the right forum. I was recently presented with an argument that I was not all that ready to deal with. It goes something like this
Argumentative Textile wrote:So, then let me get this straight! You say that the Bible does not command anyone but an officiating priest to wear clothes, and you say that otherwise the Bible does not condemn social nudity. Therefore it is OK for you and your wife to be seen nude by your kids or nude in social settings. You also say that you or your wife being or not being seen in a sexual way is a matter of the mindset of the observer and that an observer with a mind properly aligned with Biblical principles will not be aroused by your nude behavior.

Ok then, if I follow that line of reasoning, neither does the Bible condemn you and your wife being seen enjoying sexual coitus and presumably an observer with a mind properly aligned with Biblical principles will not be aroused by your marital behavior. As long as only you and your wife are involved in the "one flesh" behavior what is the harm? So,what's not to show?


Obviously the presenter of this analogy has carefully chosen his words, but trying to parry this assertion is not the easiest to do impromptu. So, to be ready to give an answer, preferably as short and potent as possible; where are the biggest chinks in the armor of this argument, and how are they best exploited? I suppose it might need be handled differently if the analogy is encountered one on one, or in the presence of others. And assuming that the others are at least moderately Biblically astute, it would be necessary to invoke scripture since the argument is presented based on what the Bible does or does not say.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Petros » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:36 am

I don't think the issue is scriptural here.


Nudity is neither commanded [except for some bare feet and heads] nor forbidden [except in defined stuations] in the scriptures.



It is a matter of practical experience in tropical nations and athletic events and dudist events over several millennia that as stated the way nudity operates on the viewer is largely dependent on mindset / cultural norms. In fact it has frequently been pointed out that partial nudity is more likely to arouse even where clothing is the norm.



Public sexual behaviour is another thing altogether. I do not know of any nation where this is the norm. Again it is certainly not commanded, nor is it forbidden - it does not have to be. There is nothing in the laws and customs of Anglic North America nor in the scriptures that prohibits me from eating ketchup. But I am not about to do it. Mindset again.



The mindset that keeps sexual activity private seems to be much deeper and much less culture dependent than covering up or not eating frogs or not belching. It may not be a universal instinct - one hears there are some who are not that concerned about it. But it does seem to be a majority preference in most cultures.



AND unlike avoiding nudity, it does not seem to have to be taught.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby bn2bnude » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:24 am

There is one instance in the Bible where implied sexual activity was outside in a public place. That was with Isaac and Rebekah. That did get them in trouble. Not because of the activity (it hadn't progressed past groping according to one comment) but because Isaac had claimed Rebekah was his sister.

That said, I don't think we can necessarily justify openly exposed sex as a healthy part of any culture I am familiar with today.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:24 pm

Ok, so far the prohibition against public coitus is cultural. But how about a biblical refutation? As for prohibiting public coitus, it would seem that If prohibition of public nudity is taught that would seem to have the situation covered (excuse the ironic pun).
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby jochanaan » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:42 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:Ok, so far the prohibition against public coitus is cultural. But how about a biblical refutation? As for prohibiting public coitus, it would seem that If prohibition of public nudity is taught that would seem to have the situation covered (excuse the ironic pun).
Okay, I'm going to get a little radical here. Actually, there isn't a Biblical command against doing sex ("having" is such a passive word, isn't it?) in public--and I've looked. And the story of Isaac and Rebekah isn't the only place it happened. When Absalom took the kingship from his father David, he also took his father's concubines--in public. (See II Samuel 16:20-22.)

And the claim for it being "a universal cultural prohibition" doesn't quite stand up to careful scrutiny either. Historically, there have been cultures in which, as part of the wedding ceremony, the couple consummated the marriage--in the sight of witnesses. Granted, those cultures were "pagan," but so are the tribes that continue to go naked or nearly so today.

So we're left with Paul's words about "food sacrificed to idols" in Romans 8-10. Because this is such a "mark of shame" among society today, especially Christian society, we are forced to give in to the strong scruples most people have about it; not because it is a sin in itself, but because it would evoke a strong revulsion-reaction in most. That's the only Biblical ground I know for the prohibition.

(Note that I am absolutely NOT suggesting that multiple partners or "casual sex" is okay! I am assuming that the people hypothetically doing the act in "public" are a married couple.)

Going back to "Argumentative Textile," I suspect he's trying to expose our supposed "double-mindedness" rather than asking an honest question. I don't know how to reach such people. For every argument we can come up with, they come up with another point or go back to one they've "made" before. One might even say that they are overcome with a "spirit of division" rather than the Spirit of freedom and a true wish for understanding.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby natman » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:21 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:Ok, so far the prohibition against public coitus is cultural. But how about a biblical refutation? As for prohibiting public coitus, it would seem that If prohibition of public nudity is taught that would seem to have the situation covered (excuse the ironic pun).


I too could not find anything in Scripture that prohibits public sex between a husband and wife. In the nomadic Hebrew culture of the OT and on through the middle of the 19th century, most home consisted of one room. Most family were agrarian and therefore a large family consisting of several male children who could work the fields or flocks was important. In all likelihood, children observed or at least heard their parents "conceiving" new siblings. This would not be too alarming because they would have also been familiar with animal husbandry in the breeding of working stocks and flocks.

As mentioned, there are several examples of husbands and wives having sexual relations in public places in the Bible. As I recall, there is another one in the Song of Solomon, written form her, his and their friends perspectives.

One point worth mentioning is that Absalom's public sex with David's concubines (2 Samuel 16:21-22) was more likely a means of announcing to the world that Absalom had taken the thrown of his father.

However, in our culture today, beyond the cultural prohibition, I think there is also a "safety" component to having sexual relations in private rather than public. Men tend to be at their weakest directly after sexual relations. The act of sexual privacy may have originally occurred so that no one would take advantage of a man during this period when he is weak or groggy.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Larryk1052 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:22 pm

I think the analogy is faulty. Nudity is a natural state of being. Coitus is an action or behaviour, specifically a sexual action which simple basic nudity is not. Simply being nude is not a sexual behaviour. A person (male or female) who is just naked and not engaging in any kind of sexaully provocitive behaviour should not arouse any one.


However, if two people are engaging in sexual behaviour, regardless of marital status, they most likely will cause an observer to have sexual thoughts and or desires.



The only reason someone would see this as an analogy is because they have been conditioned by our culture to see nudity as sexual.



To support my position. It doesn't take two people engaging in coitus to arouse sexual thoughts. Just observing two people ingaging in heavy "petting" will trigger that. Porn is sexually arousing not just because the people are naked, but because they are engaging in behaviour that most humans desire.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Bare_Truth » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:38 pm

As I see it,The flaw in "Argumentative Textile's" analogy comes in the second part
Argumentative Textile wrote:..........
Ok then, if I follow that line of reasoning, neither does the Bible condemn you and your wife being seen enjoying sexual coitus and presumably an observer with a mind properly aligned with Biblical principles will not be aroused by your marital behavior. As long as only you and your wife are involved in the "one flesh" behavior what is the harm? So,what's not to show?
(emphasis added)

That is one rather large size presumption!

I would argue that while seeing nudity as sexual is a learned response (and can be unlearned). The display of sexual activity is inherently sexual in humans. The activity of the married couple on view is unquestionably sexual! To observe it, and identify it for what it is, involves a sexual thought. Pornography depicts nude persons because some degree of nudity is necessary for sex to occur, but it depicts suggestive posturing and sex because that is inherently sexually stimulating. Simple nudity is not inherently sexually stimulating.

The applicable scripture here is either 1Cor 6:12 or 1Cor 10:23
1Cor 10:23(KJV)
All things are lawful for me,
but all things are not expedient:
all things are lawful for me,
but all things edify not.
Or as this is rendered in the New English Translation (NET):
All things that are lawful are permitted to me,
but not all things that are permitted are profitable.
All things that are lawful are permitted to me,
but all things that are permitted do not edify.
The inducement of sexual urges in others in a manner, time, and place that is unsuitable for them would not be profitable or edifying (up-building) for them.

[Note: the (NET) translation stands alone better than the (KJV ) and is provided for those who are not familiar with the context in which Paul wrote 1Cor 10:23]
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Walking Bare » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:32 am

The original post addresses the slippery slope argument. Especially within secular society the slide from simple nudity to sexual activity is not that far.

Example: at least three America Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) have dropped out of the association in the last few years and moved to "lifestyle clubs" allowing open sexual activity.

Even within this thread this argument has begun to be made. We must continue to search the Scriptures to determine God's boundries.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby dby » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:03 pm

It might be that Isaac and Rebbecca were engaged in some sort of sexual expression, though it is not clear from the text. The word in question is Tzakhaq (rendered as "sporting" in Gen 26:8 in the KJV). This is the same word used earlier to describe Sarah laughing at the idea that she would give birth at her advanced age - there for her son was called Yitzchaq (Isaac) because she Tzakhaq (laughed). Unless you study the Hebrew you miss many things like this.

Likewise, in Genesis 21:9 we find 15 year old Ishmael Tzakhaq with 3 year old Isaac. Some have suggested that this was sexual child abuse and this is why Sarah demanded that he be thrown out. On the other hand there is long standing oral history that he was playing "William Tell" with his younger brother - attempting to put an arrow through a piece of fruit placed on his head. This still would have been worrisome to Sarah and she still would have demanded his removal.

At the Golden Calf in Exodus 32:6 the people rose up to Tzakhaq - quite possibly a public sex orgy. 3000 people died on that day. (And in an odd parallel 3000 people were gained back in Acts 2).

Joseph is accused by Potiphar's wife of Tzakhaq ("mocking") in Gen 39:14 - yes, she was making a charge of attempted rape.

So really we could take the term Tzakhaq to be anything from actual sexual activity to being nothing more than simple laughter. Sarah was certainly not having sex when she laughed at the idea of having a child. However, we could argue that she was actually thinking of sex - "I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my husband also being old?" (Gen 18:12)

Another case of public sexual activity which has not been mentioned yet is the case of Zimriy and Kozbiy the Midianite woman in Numbers 25. They were apparently engaging in sex in the door of the tent. (Some would argue this was the door of the Tabernacle). Pinchas (Phinehas) the son of Aaron drove a spear through both of them (by tradition through their sexual organs) and killed them for this. It could be argued from this and the Golden Calf that public sex is part of pagan worship and is therefore forbidden for those who follow the Bible. (Though obviously we have many who would argue that we are now "under grace" and that these things are now completely permissible.)
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:00 pm

dby wrote:Another case of public sexual activity which has not been mentioned yet is the case of Zimriy and Kozbiy the Midianite woman in Numbers 25. They were apparently engaging in sex in the door of the tent. .... It could be argued from this and the Golden Calf that public sex is part of pagan worship and is therefore forbidden for those who follow the Bible.


I really cannot agree that this is a valid basis for making any claim that public sex is part of pagan worship and therefore forbidden.

If these two incidents are the only examples, the conclusion is not warranted and is a serious overreaching. In both cases fornicating with a pagan foreigner and engaging in Idol worship are more than sufficient grounds for major punishment (capital in these cases). so there is simply insufficient grounds for assuming that the public factor has anything to do with it.

That being said, I think that there far better grounds to reach a conclusion that public sex violates reasonable practice.

The matter of sex that is likely to be observed by children of the couple is a matter that seems to lack a clear basis for injunction so far. As the nature of living arrangements in various cultures and much of history seem to make such observation likely although it is perhaps not in current western culture.

An interesting aside, in an obviously strained and unusual situation, according to some history articles that I have found from time to time. Apparantly in marriages among royalty where making aliances was at issue, it has been recorded that after the marriage was made, the royal couple were escorted to the bed chamber, put to bed, and then observed, in order that there would be a witness to testify that the child born of the union was presumably the child of the royal couple. That was likely followed up by very careful observation and tracking of the baby at birth until the identity was clearly establsihed when the child had grown to a size to be clearly distinguished from any substitute.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby pugiofidei » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:46 am

This might be considered a matter of prudence more than anything else, but there is reason to think otherwise. The sexual act is ideally private, since it is ideally exclusive. From the standpoint of aesthetics, the performance of sex in public appears to include others in the act, even if only remotely. Appearances are important, being as we are bodily creatures.
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:56 pm

pugiofidei wrote:The sexual act is ideally private, since it is ideally exclusive.
That is about the most succinct argument so far and one of the best. :)
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Re: So, What's Not to Show?

Postby arom » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:29 am

Wow, I came here looking for some help resolving Exodus 20:26 and stumbled into a beehive.


Reading this thread the following came to mind...



2. As Christians we are free to live our lives, but not everything we might do is right.

(for example: don't greet your textile friends nude at the door when you have invited them over to hear the Gospel - nudity in this case is likely to be a stumbling block for your textile friends).



2. While in ancient times children experienced the concept of mating first had (by watching animals) and certainly experienced nudity at least among thier family/clan/tribe, today children do not have that benifit. (My parents raised cats while my bother and I were in 4-6th Grade to teach us the basic truth about life). What happened in ancient times does not automaticly make it right in today's society. I would have to go back to the simple fact that in the time of Christ, or even before that during the reign of David, public sexual intercourse was not the norm; while historicly we can prove that public nudity was the norm.



Just as the absence of a prohibation on nudity in the Bible gives us the freedom to practice it among like minded people, so then the absence of a prohibation on public sex does NOT give us the freedom to practice outside of the privacy of our bedroom.



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