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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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Jon-Marc » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:27 pm

I will never understand how anyone can believe that God created the human body, left them without any covering, and that He is offended by the human body that He created.

Adam and Eve sinned and ate of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, covered themselves with leaves and hid among the foliage in a feeble effort to hide from God. God's concern was not because they were naked, but that they had eaten of the forbidden fuit and obtained knowledge that God hadn't intended for them to have. The tree was a test, although God certainly knew they would fail that test.

While God could have created skins for them, I believe that He made the first blood sacrifice for sin since sin can only be covered or washed away by innocent blood. The skins were NOT meant to cover any "offensive" nakedness, but it was meant as protection for their bodies since God was casting them out of a perfect environment into a harsh, cruel world that He had just cursed with thorns and other hazards to the body.

While it is possible to take scriptures out of context to "prove" that God is offended by nudity, there is NO such scripture. The priests were commanded to wear certain clothing when they were engaged in their priestly duties, but NO commandment says that clothing must be worn any other time.

The New Testament scripture that speaks about women dressing modestly has nothing to do with how much clothing is worn as much as it has to do with women not adorning themselves in such a way as to entice men. The scripture speaks of the wearing of jewelry and how the hair is done in a fashion to get a man's attention, and that women are not to do that.

Scripture in Leviticus is often taken out of context, misquoted and misused to "prove" that nudity among both genders is sinful, but those scriptures are speaking about incest (a man in a sexual situation with female relatives), and it's NOT a forbiddance of social nudity in general.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby JimShedd112 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:30 am

Jochanaan, I agree with youy that seeking out opportunities to celebrate nudism with others, or to live full-time in a nudist resort like jon-Marc, is the best way to keep down thew self doubts and worries that somehow going nude is wrong. It absolutely is NOT. Unfortunately, society has been indoctrinated to believe it is by association with pornography.

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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Bobby » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:18 am

Previously, I said that it is clear when you take the whole tenure of Scripture into account that God desires us to be clothed.

Let me just make it very clear that I see personal nudity as a good thing and the body as beautiful regardless of shape and size. God created us and we should value His creation. However, I firmly believe that there is a place and time for nudity and for covering.

I was asked to support my claim that when one looks at the whole tenure of Scripture it is clear that God desires us to be clothed. Certainly, He doesn't desire us to be clothed all the time since clothes have their place (like when we bathe, make love, etc.). It is also true that some tasks require us to wear clothes such as waste removal, heavy current electrical work, lab work, etc. Here clothes serve to protect us. But, I digress.

The first instance where we encounter clothes is after the Fall (Gen 3). Before the Fall nudity was good, some would say that it was neutral. But, the Fall led them to associate nudity with shame that is why Adam and Eve tried to cover up their nakedness. It was an undesired state.

One of the principles that I cannot deny is that God sometimes uses the physical to illustrate the spiritual. Let me give you an example. In Matthew 4, Satan tempts Jesus after He had already fasted for 40 days to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger, but Jesus rebukes Satan by these words, "It is written,'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matt 4:4 ESV) I submit to you that just as we depend on food for sustenance in the physical realm so we are to depend on the Word of God in the spiritual realm. This is why Christ calls Himself the "Bread of life". And the same argument can be made for water since Jesus is the "Water of life".

Now, we know that air is essential for our continued existence on Earth. Without it we are dead. So, it is with prayer. Prayer links us to God. It is the only way we can communicate with God. It is true that our actions speak louder than words and that fidelity is proven through actions. This is why our life is a prayer to God. But as with any union, no matter how much the two parties love each other and show their love to each other through humble service, if they do not communicate, their relationship will not last.

So, throughout Scripture God raises the call for us to return to Him which amongst other motifs is embodied in the clothed/naked motif or dichotomy. A text that is frequently sighted is that of Rev. 3:14-19 where Christ speaks to Laodicea informing the church/age of her true state - "exposing her nakedness" or "bringing the darkness into the light". He then requests her to come to Him so that He can clothe her with His righteousness.

Then, there is the encounter of the demoniacs of Gadarenes with Jesus (Matt 8:28-34). You will recall that these men were demon possessed and lived in the graveyards without a stitch of clothing. After Christ cast the demons out of the men we find them seated at His feet, clothed in their right minds. Does that not mean something?

There is also the example of Peter who fished naked after the death and resurrection of Jesus (after Jesus had already appeared to him and the other disciples; John 21). What struck me here is the fact that Peter clothes himself before plunging into the sea to meet Him at the shore. Why did he clothe himself? Weren't he and Christ accustomed to seeing each other naked when they washed/bathed in the morning while they travelled together? Does the physical/spiritual principle apply here?

Some people will cite the instance when the unnamed disciple fled the confrontation in Gethsemane naked when Jesus was arrested (Matt 26). They might say that his stripping shows his disconnection with God much like when Judas left Jesus presence to go into the darkness (the physical representing the spiritual reality) during the Last Supper (John 13).

So, it is with the stripping of Christ during His humiliation/crucifixion. His nakedness or shame was exposed for all the world to see. In this instance nakedness represents His sin. Of course, He never sinned and will never sin yet "He who knew no sin became sin for us". Here nakedness was used to humiliate Him.

In Isaiah 58:6-7 we read God's call for us to have compassion on those less fortunate than us and on those who are ill-treated by society. The naked are also mentioned here. Here nakedness is a symbol of lack, true. It is both spiritual and physical here. Let me explain. Verse 6 refers to the (unjustly) enslaved populace so too are we enslaved by sin, Satan and wickedness. The hungry in v.7 refers to the those who are physically hungry as well as those with spiritual hunger with whom we are to "deal [our] bread [lit. food; fig. the Gospel and Jesus]". The homeless in a spiritual sense are those typified by the Prodigal Son, the lost. The naked here symbolise those whose sin is exposed for all to see. They are either aware of their state or not.

The laws in Leviticus 18-20 and their partners in Deuteronomy, I believe refer to incestuous relationships which ARE abominable. Noah's experience I cannot account for except to say that it is a cultural thing and what Ham did was disrespectful. What he did is up for debate.

These are only a few examples.

I apologise for taking so long to answer the request. I procrastinated.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby bn2bnude » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:16 am

I know that nudity isn't mentioned often in the Bible outside the garden.

One of the most telling incidents for me is found in 1 Samuel 19:22-24. In the account, Saul is after Samuel and sends men several times to get him, they all come back prophesying. Saul then heads out to get him and ends up on the ground naked prophesying.

A couple of things that tells me.
  1. God doesn't mind when we are naked and interact with him.
  2. When we believe we NEED to be clothed for some reason (such as under levitical law) maybe there is a different principle at work.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby JimShedd112 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:31 am

Bobby, how do you know God does not want us to be naked? Where have you seen his actual, written word? All the sources you cited were written by men. Not one, as far as we know, was ever actually penned by God.
The same holds true for anyone who claims the Bible is the literal word of God.

The Bible was written by men and translated many times over the centuries with each age putting their own "spin" on the words we see printed there. Even those printed in red (God's word, according to the King James version) were written by men reportedly quoting God.

I'm not arguing men did not actually speak one on one with God or Jesus at one point in time (we'll never truly know in this life, I don't believe) but those men probably passed on their stories orally since they were likely illiterate and could not write down those conversations. And, of course, most of us cannot remember every word exchanged in conversation or lecture, for example. We tend to paraphrase what was said instead.

I challenge anyone to say they have heard the literal voice of God versus thoughts within their head which may or may not be "the word of God".

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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Ramblinman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:37 pm

JimShedd112 wrote:Bobby, how do you know God does not want us to be naked? Where have you seen his actual, written word? All the sources you cited were written by men. Not one, as far as we know, was ever actually penned by God.
The same holds true for anyone who claims the Bible is the literal word of God.

The Bible was written by men and translated many times over the centuries with each age putting their own "spin" on the words we see printed there. Even those printed in red (God's word, according to the King James version) were written by men reportedly quoting God.

I'm not arguing men did not actually speak one on one with God or Jesus at one point in time (we'll never truly know in this life, I don't believe) but those men probably passed on their stories orally since they were likely illiterate and could not write down those conversations. And, of course, most of us cannot remember every word exchanged in conversation or lecture, for example. We tend to paraphrase what was said instead.

I challenge anyone to say they have heard the literal voice of God versus thoughts within their head which may or may not be "the word of God".

Jim


Jim,

I have no direct proof that Noah was literate, but the Lord gave him detailed architectural instructions for constructing the ark. It would have required a knowledge of ship building and the use of the measuring system called "cubits". A cubit corresponds to 18 inches, about a half yard or half meter.

Abraham was a wealthy landowner in the Sumerian city of Ur (but apparently many ethnic Chaldeans lived there). Anway, Ur had a writing system called cuneiform and permanent records were etched in clay tablets, which were then sun-dried or baked. It is not far-fetched to assume that Abraham was literate.

Likewise, Moses was educated in the best Egyptian schools, and as third in the kingdom in succession to the Pharaoh, may have been skilled in engineering, trigonometry, geometry, astronomy, and the literary arts.

Daniel, was raised as a nobleman in the court of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and literacy in Hebrew and Chaldi of the highest order was assured for someone of that background.

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a suburb of the highly sophisticated multi-cultural Galilean city of Sephora, chief cities of the Decapolis. He would have learned Koine Greek in order to be conversant with gentile merchants in Sephora. Scripture also indicates that he was able to read classical Hebrew in the temple in Jerusalem in addition to his native Aramaic dialect.

Saint Paul, was an aristocrat, born a Roman citizen, also a pupil at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the most esteemed rabbis and Jewish philosophers of the great city of Tarsus, in the Roman province of Cilicia, (what is now Turkey). Paul could speak Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and could quote Greek poets and philosophers from memory.

Let's not be too quick to call these authors illiterate.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Bobby » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:12 pm

I am in full agreement with Ramblinman.

And in partial agreement with JimShedd.

Before I continue allow me to restate the purpose of this thread. I am a famentalist evangelical Christian. As such I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. What form inspiration takes is up for discussion and is not the purpose of this thread. It is a controversial subject in and of itself especially with the multitude of false prophets going about these days as well as in the past. What is evident though is that God does speak to people and through people. The proof is in the pudding.

The aim of this thread is for us to reason out the doctrine of non-sexual (social) nudity by carefully examining the (Scriptural) arguments for and against it. If we are going to live this doctrine we need to weigh it up against every principle, value, and law.

Western society today, which most of us live in, is mainly the product of two traditions: Greek and Hebrew. We cannot deny that Greece had as great a impact on Christianity as the Hebrews. And the principles from these two traditions have been at odds sometimes. The issue of nudity is one of them. The Greeks welcomed male nudity, as evidenced in the Olympic Games, while the Jews valued covering themselves up (this is the side of Christianity we are facing). We see nothing wrong with interacting with each other nude while the rest o Christendom balks at the idea. So, for us to have foot to stand on we have to look at the issue from every angle.

This thread is also here so that I can share my thoughts with this community and chart my progress so that I and whoever else reads this thread can see my journey and hopefully learn rom it.

That is all. Thank you.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby jochanaan » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:11 am

Fair enough, Bobby. So where are you right now re social nudity? You've probably discovered that there is no general commandment one way or the other; do you believe there is any Biblical principle that speaks for or against it?
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Bobby » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:32 am

Good question, Jochanaan. Currently in my journey I am of the opinion that nothing in the Bible prohibits cross-gender nudity. The argument of a naked woman inciting lust in a man's heart does not always hold true since one can look at a naked woman without lust (as everyone here can testify). Whether I will engage in cross-gender nudity is a different matter. I'm not there yet, Jochanaan. It is a cultural thing. I will, however, gladly socialise with other male nudists. But, I don't trust myself around nude women yet.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby JimShedd112 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:54 am

Bobby and Ramblinman,

Thank you both for your comments. I've certainly been enlightened regarding the men of the Bible - yes, obviously, several were educated, perhaps far beyond what we would expect of suc men in today's society against which I may have been measuring them.

Bobby, thank you for your careful examination of doctrine in trying to discover the truth regarding social nudity.

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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby jochanaan » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:47 pm

Jim, I've appreciated your comments too.

We shouldn't discount the oral tradition, though. When people depend on memory, memory itself gets better, like hearing and touch do for a blind man; and they develop many mnemonic aids over the years. Songs and poetry are some of the best ways to pass on knowledge from generation to generation, and it's not hard for knowledge to be passed for centuries in just this way; witness our EuroAmerican folk-song tradition, with many songs dating back well into Medieval times. (Look up "Sumer Is Icumen In" for a good example.) So it may well be that the Bible's "pre-literate" sources may contain much more literal truth than many can imagine.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby JimShedd112 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:55 am

A great point jochaan.

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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby Ramblinman » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:28 pm

While it is not necessary nor even reasonable to posit an entirely oral tradition for the transmission of the scriptures from generation to generation, your point is well-taken: recitation, perhaps in a call and response format, songs, chants, would result in perfect recitation of scriptures by those who could not read.
Imagine that I made a mistake in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, most of you would spot the slightest mistake in an instant!

Jewish culture was remarkably literate for those times. Synagogues and scribes were in every major town.
The slightest copying mistake was unacceptable in writing of the Torah.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby natman » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:36 pm

Bobby wrote:The first instance where we encounter clothes is after the Fall (Gen 3). Before the Fall nudity was good, some would say that it was neutral. But, the Fall led them to associate nudity with shame that is why Adam and Eve tried to cover up their nakedness. It was an undesired state.


Bobby, I believe that is a mistranslation of the intent of what was being said in Scripture. If you look at Genesis in it's orginal language, you will notice that two separate words are used which (unfrotunately) are both often translated "naked". However, the first, "ערום `arowm" (Gen 2:25), literally means "nude", while the second "עירם `eyrom" means "uncovered, exposed or lacking". It is the same word that is used elsewhere to refer to "nakedness" as a metaphor for "lack" or exposure to the wrath of God or some adversary.

Adam and Eve were not ashamed of their nude bodies. They were ashamed of their sin which left them exposed to the wrath of an angry God, and so they tried to hide among the leaves.

Bobby wrote:Rev. 3:14-19 where Christ speaks to Laodicea informing the church/age of her true state - "exposing her nakedness" or "bringing the darkness into the light". He then requests her to come to Him so that He can clothe her with His righteousness.


That is one of the many GREAT examples where the word "nakedness" is used as a metaphor for "lack", in this case, a lack of morality or loyalty to Christ. Notice that He does not clothe them in rags, but in His righteousness.

Bobby wrote:Then, there is the encounter of the demoniacs of Gadarenes with Jesus (Matt 8:28-34). You will recall that these men were demon possessed and lived in the graveyards without a stitch of clothing. After Christ cast the demons out of the men we find them seated at His feet, clothed in their right minds. Does that not mean something?


In the case of the demoniacs, their lack of clothing meant that they were constantly cutting, bruising and scraping themselves in their demented state. The verse says that they were later clothed AND in their right minds. One does not necessarily relate to the other.

Bobby wrote:There is also the example of Peter who fished naked after the death and resurrection of Jesus (after Jesus had already appeared to him and the other disciples; John 21). What struck me here is the fact that Peter clothes himself before plunging into the sea to meet Him at the shore. Why did he clothe himself? Weren't he and Christ accustomed to seeing each other naked when they washed/bathed in the morning while they travelled together? Does the physical/spiritual principle apply here?


It doesn't say that he "clothed himself". It says that he "gurded up his clothing", which could merely mean that he lifted his clothing up so that he could jump into the water without getting them wet. Many people worked in the nude in Jesus time, including fishermen, gardeners, field laborers etc. because clothes were few and therefore precious, so one did not work in them if they would get overly soiled. However, custom held that one should be properly dressed when attending meetings. Peter grabbed his clothing in case he would need them when he was back on land.

Bobby wrote:Some people will cite the instance when the unnamed disciple fled the confrontation in Gethsemane naked when Jesus was arrested (Matt 26). They might say that his stripping shows his disconnection with God much like when Judas left Jesus presence to go into the darkness (the physical representing the spiritual reality) during the Last Supper (John 13).


Many scholars believe that the young man who fled naked was none other than John Mark, who would later become the author of the Gospel of Mark.

Bobby wrote:So, it is with the stripping of Christ during His humiliation/crucifixion. His nakedness or shame was exposed for all the world to see. In this instance nakedness represents His sin. Of course, He never sinned and will never sin yet "He who knew no sin became sin for us". Here nakedness was used to humiliate Him.


While His perscutors may have assumed that Christ's nakedness would humilate HIM, I think that Christ Himself was not humilated by what He Himself had created and declared "VERY GOOD". Rather, His nakedness was used by Himself to humiliate the rest of the world. That is, to see the price that God was willing to pay, even the stripping and death of His only Son for our sins, should humiliate us all (make us humble) to the point that we bow our heads and accept such a costly gift.
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Re: Some thoughts...

Postby jochanaan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:52 pm

The "fisher's coat" that Peter threw on before swimming (or wading?) to shore appears to have been an upper-body garment. I've heard it described as more a tool belt than a concealing garment. Certainly it wouldn't have covered much. :)
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