The next video in the Objections series comes from Revelation 16:15. What’s it say? What’s the objection? Let’s just watch to find out!
As we see in this short video, context is key to interpreting Scripture. We quoted commentator and scholar FF Bruce (a non-naturist to my knowledge) who gave the historical framework to understand what is really happening in the text.
I wanted to go just one step deeper. Notice the context of the passage in Revelation 16. It’s the 6th of 7 bowl of wrath. Our verse is a parenthetical in between verses 14 and 16 which talk about Armageddon:
14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Revelation 16:14-16 ESV
Now, this is not a blog on eschatology (study of end times). It’s about Christian naturism. So we won’t delve into what Armageddon is or isn’t. I have my opinions, but that’s for another occasion, suffice to say the verse in question is about being ready for the return of our Lord. Opponents of Christian naturism ignore this context and simply pluck it out of the passage and use it for their purposes in countering what they believe to be evil. As you see here, the ESV does not even mention “shame.” Where the King James Version mentioned “shame” the English Standard Version simply says “exposed.” Just as FF Bruce stated in the video, those temple guards who fell asleep on the job and weren’t vigilant had their (expensive) clothes taken away and burned as they left in disgrace. This historical background supports the context of being ready for our spiritual battle and be spiritually awake as we wait for the Lord and Armageddon (however that plays out). It does not work to just say nudity is shameful as proponents of body shame in the church tend to do.
Proof-texting is never a good idea. We aim to give context to the passages we quote from the Bible. We want our conclusions to match up with the revelation of God’s word, not the other way around. Too many Christians start with their ideas and use Scripture (out of context) to try and support our idea. Perhaps we will be accused of doing the same to support naturism. The truth is, we came to naturism after years of holding these same convictions about Bible interpretation and being against the ideas we promote on this blog. We started asking better questions, and applying the hermeneutical principles we said we believed, which resulted in being naturists by biblical conviction. (See my friend’s awesome posts about that phrase and his conclusions here.)
We will have more videos soon and more regular blogs every week for the foreseeable future. Thanks so much for reading and sharing these posts and videos with others!