Some thoughts...

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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Some thoughts...

Postby Bobby » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:08 am

In my time away from here I've been reading up on nudity in the Bible, society, and culture and came to a stalemate. (If the Village doesn't mind, I would like to record my thoughts and progress here on the subject of nudity and nakedness.)




First off, it's clear to me throughout the whole tenure of Scripture that God wants us to be clothed. I agree with Matthew Neal (in his blog "The Biblical Naturist" at blogger.com) that the God created skin clothes for Adam and Eve to protect them from the climate as well as from the thorns, thistles and briers that arose after the Earth was cursed. No sacrifice was made to atone for their sin by God. God didn't have to demonstrate how to slay a lamb for their atonement offering, instead He could've just showed them pictorially how to kill a lamb. He's God. Nothing is

impossible for Him.



It's sort of difficult to ignore the cry throughout Scripture that we should clothe the naked and protect our "shame".



On the other hand, though, it's also difficult to ignore the fact that human body is "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that it is not sinful to be naked or else God would not have told Isaiah to walk around naked in public for 3 years nor would a Micah, the prophet, have even suggested that he would tear off his clothes and disgrace himself in public as he mourned for Israel.



Although I'm not going into much depth here, I came to the conclusion that nudity is a powerful thing which is why God wants us to protect it. Therefore, there are appropriate times for being naked which I won't get into now. (I'm still working through it all.)



A good book from a sociological and Christian perspective is Ruth Barcan's book, Nudity: A cultural anatomy published in 2004. I'm reading it at the moment and it has given lots of insight into all the connotations attached to nudity from a pagan and Christian perspective.



Please feel free to comment.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Jon-Marc » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:20 am

We are not commanded in scripture to be clothed, but to be holy. A person can be nude and be holy; our state of dress or undress has nothing to do with our spiritual state. God is not in the least offended by our nude bodies--only by the sinful things people do with their bodies.
The Righteousness of Christ--the ONLY clothing I need.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby JimShedd112 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:54 am

Bobby, I believe you will find your fellow villagers to welcome your comments here as you try to work through this issue, as long as you and all others remain respectful. Jon-Marc has already disagreed with you on the point of clothing being required or desired by God.

Man (and woman) were created nude and only sought to cover themselves AFTER violating God's commandment NOT to eat from the tree of life. Many will argue he clothed them not to hide their nudity, but to protect them from the inhospitable world into which he was about to banish them.

I personally am not religious and, therefore, unfamiliar with all these issues from the Bible. And, even if I were a student of the Bible I won't assume I would be able to answer all these points with clear understanding. However, I think Jon-Marc's point is well made regarding nudity. It is not nudity but what person do while nude (or even clothed) which is considered immoral.

Jim
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Ramblinman » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:40 pm

Jim,
Christian or not, you do have a good understanding of the issues at stake.
In a nutshell, humanity has tried "window dressing" for thousands of years, but never really addressing the problems of the heart. Adam and Eve were trying to solve a spiritual problem with a physical solution.
So that I think explains their desire to grab fig leaves and make aprons. But it is a fair question: why did God clothe them all the more with animal hides? Were the fig leaves not decent enough? Or was God trying to make a teachable moment out of their misplaced shame?

To be sure their physical need for clothing outside of Eden may have played a part. I'll address that first:
I believe that humanity was driven out of a warm climate, out of a place brimming with fruit trees and delicious vegetables into a much harsher world. Even though Israel is the Promised Land, it is not Eden. Though the climate is warm much of the year, the sun can burn unprotected skin and there are a few winter days when sturdy footwear and heavy clothing is necessary to survival.

So imagine that you are a Jew back in Jesus day...
If your neighbor had to sell his coat last summer to pay a debt and winter is coming on and he still hasn't got the money to get his coat out of hock, the neighborly thing to do is help him find a way to keep warm through the winter until he can get back on his feet. When you don't have enough clothes to make it though the winter, that is a form of nakedness. He might feel a sense of shame that he could not provide for himself or his family enough to give them adequate clothing. In the most extreme cases, someone might even be forced to sell all his clothes in the summer and have to endure the mocking of his neighbors as he walked naked to his job every day. His nakedness is not sinful; usually such folks have done their best, but it wasn't good enough. Nonetheless, mocking the naked surely is sinful!

We know from history that many farm workers and fishermen worked naked in the warmer months to reserve their clothing for when it was needed most: in town and synagogue and particularly in winter.
There was nothing sinful (nor particularly sexy) about a naked farmer plowing his fields, building a stone wall, or a shepherd tending livestock, etc. In more formal settings (or winter), except for the poorest of the poor, they got dressed. That's just the way life was.

Kids would play naked until they got to a certain age. Through much of European history, kids played naked in the warmer months too. Their garments had to be put aside as long as possible for a time when they were needed for survival. Bathing in many Roman Empire cities and medieval Europe was often in a public bath. There was some misbehavior among the pagans, but the Bishops did not forbid Christians to bathe with their pagan neighbors, they were just instructed to behave in a godly manner. Elsewhere, people bathed in rivers in the summer. There were no swim suits, people bathed nude until very recent times. In some areas, men and women swam separately, but families bathed together and at least in Roman times, many bath houses did not have separate times for men and women.

Back to the issue of God creating garments out of animal hide for Adam and Eve...
One other reason could be that God "played along" with Adam and Eve's sense of embarrassment with nudity. Of course he questioned the whole concept of nudity, asking the rhetorical question "Who told you that you were naked?" (The implied answer is: you are NOT naked. In Eden's gentle clime, there was no such thing as naked: your unclothed body is sufficient, needs nothing added.
But God used their sense of shame about their unclothed bodies and redirected it:
the animal hides required a blood sacrifice and the hides from these sacrificial animals literally covered Adam and Eve.

But this act is clearly did not establish a precedent, nor a covenant. No subsequent animal sacrifice required that one make garments out of the sacrificial animal and wear them. There was no command, "thou shalt not be naked". Not even a command, "Thou must wear animal hides". This was a one-time event for the benefit of two specific people, but we can learn a spiritual lesson from their struggle with guilt and shame.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby JimShedd112 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:34 pm

Thanks Ramblinman for the compliment and for your perception of why God may have clothed Adam and Eve before expelling them from Eden. You've probably given others food for thought with your analysis.

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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Larryk1052 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:47 pm

Bobby, you state, "First off, it's clear to me throughout the whole tenure of Scripture that God wants us to be clothed." If this is true I would appreciate you giving clear scripture reference to what you consider to be the tenure of scripture. Just stating this doesn't make it so. You must if you are making this conclusion give us the scripture proof that it is so.


I have studied this subject and can not find any evidence that God commands humans to wear clothing. Clothing doesn't make us righteous or keep us righteous. Nor does the absents of clothing make us sinneres.
Larry in Kentucky

"Nude" just means barefoot all over.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby jochanaan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:21 pm

Interestingly, Genesis 3:21 says nothing about an animal being sacrificed; merely that "the LORD God made coats of skins." We know that God is able to make something from nothing... :?:
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby ezduzit » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:00 pm

jochanaan wrote:Interestingly, Genesis 3:21 says nothing about an animal being sacrificed; merely that "the LORD God made coats of skins." We know that God is able to make something from nothing... :?:


I`m think`n there was an animal or animals walking around REALLY naked :lol:.

Seriously tho , I believe there was a "blood " sacrifice made because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Clothing is just a picture of our "covering" until the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sin.
Ez

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby jochanaan » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:36 pm

ezduzit wrote:...Seriously tho , I believe there was a "blood " sacrifice made because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Clothing is just a picture of our "covering" until the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sin...
That doesn't necessarily follow. It was Jesus' blood that cleansed Adam and Eve's sin. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins..." (I Peter 3:18, my emphasis) Praise His Name! And there is no hint in the Bible that the "coats of skins" were in any way a sacrifice, neither in Genesis 3 nor in any other passage, and I think there would have been if God intended it that way...
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Bobby » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:46 am

Life got a little hectic for me since my last post. So I will get back to you on the "call to be clothed throughout the whole tenure of Scripture" hopefully during next week some time.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby ezduzit » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:59 am

jochanaan wrote:
ezduzit wrote:...Seriously tho , I believe there was a "blood " sacrifice made because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Clothing is just a picture of our "covering" until the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sin...
That doesn't necessarily follow. It was Jesus' blood that cleansed Adam and Eve's sin. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins..." (I Peter 3:18, my emphasis) Praise His Name! And there is no hint in the Bible that the "coats of skins" were in any way a sacrifice, neither in Genesis 3 nor in any other passage, and I think there would have been if God intended it that way...


You are correct in that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses from sin and only His Blood .
Heb.9:12-14 , 22 ; 10:1-12................
After reading Heb. Chapters 9 & 10 .........do you think our "clothing " is just a "coverup" for our sin just as Adam and Eve used leaves? a reminder that we need Christ?
Ez
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Bobby » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:42 am

ezduzit wrote:
jochanaan wrote:
ezduzit wrote:...Seriously tho , I believe there was a "blood " sacrifice made because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Clothing is just a picture of our "covering" until the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sin...
That doesn't necessarily follow. It was Jesus' blood that cleansed Adam and Eve's sin. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins..." (I Peter 3:18, my emphasis) Praise His Name! And there is no hint in the Bible that the "coats of skins" were in any way a sacrifice, neither in Genesis 3 nor in any other passage, and I think there would have been if God intended it that way...


You are correct in that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses from sin and only His Blood .
Heb.9:12-14 , 22 ; 10:1-12................
After reading Heb. Chapters 9 & 10 .........do you think our "clothing " is just a "coverup" for our sin just as Adam and Eve used leaves? a reminder that we need Christ?
Ez


In another thread on the importance of wearing clothes, a fellow Christian naturist debated with a conservative Christian on this very same issue, Jochanaan and Ez. His argument, which the conservative Christian brother could not refute based on the Bible, came down to the following: You say that it is a sin to be without clothes and that is demonstrated by God clothing Adam and Eve and that the fig leaves they wore were insufficient to cover their sin and shame. Does it not follow that the clothes we wear today are basically fig leaves and that if we are to be as God wants us to be we should actually be wearing animal skins? That is the clothing God made for Adam and Eve to wear, is not? Does it not mean that we are actually living in sin by wearing the clothes we wear today?


I provide the link to the thread for your benefit(http://www.christianforums.com/t7632566/). The Christian naturist I mentioned is DarkHorse.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby ezduzit » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:18 pm

You are correct in that it is the blood of Christ that cleanses from sin and only His Blood .
Heb.9:12-14 , 22 ; 10:1-12................
After reading Heb. Chapters 9 & 10 .........do you think our "clothing " is just a "coverup" for our sin just as Adam and Eve used leaves? a reminder that we need Christ?
Ez[/quote]

In another thread on the importance of wearing clothes, a fellow Christian naturist debated with a conservative Christian on this very same issue, Jochanaan and Ez. His argument, which the conservative Christian brother could not refute based on the Bible, came down to the following: You say that it is a sin to be without clothes and that is demonstrated by God clothing Adam and Eve and that the fig leaves they wore were insufficient to cover their sin and shame. Does it not follow that the clothes we wear today are basically fig leaves and that if we are to be as God wants us to be we should actually be wearing animal skins? That is the clothing God made for Adam and Eve to wear, is not? Does it not mean that we are actually living in sin by wearing the clothes we wear today?


I provide the link to the thread for your benefit(http://www.christianforums.com/t7632566/). The Christian naturist I mentioned is DarkHorse.[/quote]


The sin in the garden WAS NOT being naked or being found nude , , it was disobedience to God`s word . IMHO clothing is just a reminder that "ALL have sinned"
Ez

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Thulcandrian » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:18 am

Bobby, I think I'm with you on a lot of what you are saying.

My search over the last few years has inclined me to believe that simple nudity is not in itself sinful. I have not seen where God makes an overt command for humans to be clothed. It does, however, appear to be the norm in most circumstances, and public nudity does tend to be associated with shame--not so much the shame of guilt as the shame of defeat, poverty, or general embarrassment, as many have already pointed out.

All that inclines me to believe that nudity is not so much a moral issue as a practical one. When clothing is necessary or comfortable, we ought to wear it out of common sense. If we see someone or someone sees us without clothes, we should not make it into the ordeal that we do. At the same time, I see little purpose in going out of one's way to find opportunities to be nude (although I'm sure many here would feel differently), nor do I see a reason to condemn someone who would.

I haven't sought any socially nude events for some time, in part because of a busy schedule and lack of funds (since most resorts or gatherings tend to have a cover charge), but also because I don't see it as a large priority. I'm no more preoccupied with finding a place to be nude than I am with trying to cover myself after a shower (though I am of course conscious of offending anyone if there are others in my apartment).

More recently, I've tried to view the body and clothing for what they are. There are times when it makes more sense to be naked and times when it makes more sense to be clothed, and right now I see little reason to prefer either one over the other. As with language and art, morality is in the intent of the heart and in the message we convey more than in the object itself.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby jochanaan » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:27 pm

(Hello again from the Silent Planet! :D)

Many of us feel that there is no essential difference between "naked" and "clothed," and thus would agree with you that we shouldn't make such a big deal out of it one way or another. However, I have found that without regularly being naked with other naked humans, I tend to fall back into doubts or shame-based thought patterns. Exercising our freedom regularly helps us to keep our minds transformed. Reason enough to seek out nude events. 8)
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