A reader of this blog who goes by Arid Lasso has been creating these memes out of reading that he is doing. The books he is citing in these are books we have also recommended on our own resources page. I will share some of these a few of my own comments about the quotes. These and future memes our friend will create will also be featured in a collection on our memes page.
I think the first part of this quote would go unchallenged by most. Yes, we should view others incarnationally as sacred embodiments of God’s image, physical temples for His Holy Spirt, fleshly expressions of souls Christ died for. This bit gets mostly affirmed by the majority of Christians. But then the second part of the quote becomes unthinkable to the very people who embrace the first part. If the first part is true, then it should liberate us both from prudery’s impure thinking about the unclad human body and from pornography’s misuse of human nudity for self-gratification. So where is the disconnect? It’s an if then statement. If this is true, then this also is logically true. However, there is a cognitive dissonance in the porno-prudish mindset. Once that is broken, the logic flows and the liberation occurs.
This reaffirms what I was just saying. The logic has to be solid. The “inborn” response to nudity as bad is a mental glitch whose neural pathways must be remapped. This is what happened with me, and the former lie I had believed so long vanished for good. Reject that very body taboo and there is no need to defend a lie any longer. Everything changes, and our response to nudity does not cause uncontrollable lusts, but instead praise of the Creator and love for a fellow image bearer.
Our search must be a search for the truth. There can only be one truth if it is indeed truth. Our enemy is described in John 8:44 (NIV) this way: “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Contrast that with a verse just a few verses prior to this: “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV)
When you look, it’s so easy to see the devastating effects of this form of thinking that is the default way of thinking. Religiously reinforced. While my main bondage was porn and lust, my wife’s bondage was body shame. We both needed deliverance. A redeemed view of the body as the image of God changed us both. These types of bondages in others are now so apparent to us, and it saddens us that, like in our case, years will be wasted without a liberating knowledge of the truth. There is freedom for those brave enough to seek it.
This is what happened to me. Purity culture may have had the best of intentions, but we instead have reaped the consequences of such training and conditioning. The attempts to curb impure thoughts through hyper modesty and covering up have been tried and found wanting. To say they’ve failed at restoring one’s sexual brokenness is an understatement. You say there has to be a better way. I say there is!
This quote is especially fitting at Christmas time, which is around the time you’re reading this if you follow the blog every week. Our Lord was made flesh and dwelt among us. The idea that flesh is bad and spirit is good is a gnostic heresy. While we can give mental ascent to this statement, and agree the heresy is wrong, we miss the fact that we live as though it is true. We decry heresy in one breath and embrace the heresy’s claim in actuality. Spirit good, body bad never ends well. Which is why Satan planted that idea from the very start.
This is one of those arguments that “textiles” don’t know how to handle. That exception and that of doctors and nurses really ought to have the whole house of cards come crashing down. Mrs. Phil delved into this type of reasoning of making exceptions to a non-existent rule in this article entitled, “It should be that easy!“
I’m more and more convinced that legalists do not know they are legalists. I see legalism everywhere and those who hold legalistic views are often oblivious to that fact. Can well-intentioned individuals trying to honor God and please Him be in such grave error by doing so that it’s actually rebellion? I believe they not only can but do. They may do so unwittingly or because they learned to do it. That was pretty much my experience. I just finished Watchman Nee’s classic book, “The Normal Christian Life.” It is an amazing work and in it he says Romans 6 is about freedom from sin, and Romans 7 is about freedom from the Law. He argues that deliverance from sin is not enough, but that we also need deliverance from the Law. This is a light bulb type of revelation that many need to internalize!
Those in the church that would accuse Christian naturists of false teaching, are actually the ones guilty of promoting and perpetuating false teaching. Many are afraid to even broach the subject. More and more people are speaking out against the purity culture message, but they stop short of the full application of their new reasoning. They reject the blame game, and take responsibility for their own lust, but continue to be squeamish when it comes to nudity. Again, this gnostic heresy that gets played out in our modern times is the root of all that dehumanizes. Those humans who bear God’s image (and that’s all of us) are a blend of flesh and spirit that is complexly and perfectly intertwined. We cannot separate the two. What is done in the flesh is also done in the spirit. And what is done in the spirit is also done in the flesh. Can we be whole persons? Can we maintain purity in both aspects of Imago Dei: body and soul? Not likely if we persist in an attitude that holds as “bad” what God made as “very good.” Let’s stop avoiding the real issues, and stop trying to “cover up” the problem!
9 thoughts on “Quotes from Kindle”
Matthew 18:3 And said “Verily I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (4) Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus was clearly telling us to humble ourselves before the truth so clearly laid out before us. Thank you for shining light for those of us trying to make that transition.
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I’m not sure Jesus is telling us to humble ourselves before the truth as such. But little children do tend to take things at face value. Not with the preconceived and cultural ideas that we adults tend to have. They haven’t had time to get their cultural glasses. I tend to think that Adam and Eve’s sin of eating the fruit wasn’t so much about knowledge of good and evil, but being able to define it for themselves. Becoming like a little child means I remove my cultural glasses and take God, and by extension his truth, at face value. I think we were created to trust God with the truth. And I’m cool with that.
Watching “Elf” right now like we always do before Christmas and there is a scene where Buddy the elf hears Jovie singing in the shower. When she asks if it was because she was naked he says, “I didn’t know you were naked.” It’s that childlike innocence we must recapture.
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I sometimes wonder if that response, “I didn’t know you were naked”, was behind God’s second question to Adam in Genesis 3. “Who told you you were naked?”
That’s what I thought of too.
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These are sure spot on!
I think of my involvement in purity culture. Mainly through the Australian course Valiant Man. In it there is a definite call to take responsibility for my own lust. But in practice, it didn’t work that way for me. Because I needed to “bounce my eyes”, have accountability partners, internet filters, etc, the focus was on what I was seeing. What I was seeing was people. More specifically, what I was seeing was female people. If they weren’t there, in my vision, I didn’t need to bounce my eyes, trigger the filter or call my accountability partner. Do you see where I’m going with this? If the beautiful women would kindly stay out of my vision, then there would be no chance of lust. Deep in my heart, I knew that my line of thinking put the blame of my lust problem on the women who so thoughtlessly crossed my line of sight. I would even blame my wife for not being as sexually available as I wanted. I’d thought that if I felt more fulfilled in that regard, other women wouldn’t be so much of an issue. As an aside, sex is no more frequent at the moment, but I feel much more fulfilled with it. Shows what a change of mind does.
Valiant Man talks a lot about brain tracks. The author has studied neurochemistry. He says that in average we talk at 250 words per minute, but think at 1250 words a minute. Apparently when our thoughts go in certain directions repeatedly, our brain chemistry creates tracks which makes that thought pattern automatic. He said that those brain tracks are permanent. If we were able to find the beginning of one, we could start to create an alternate one. Sound hard? Actually, when I got to the point where I thought I was getting somewhere, my lust/porn issue would poke it’s head around the door and say “gotcha!”. Freedom came in 2 days. The amount of time it took me to believe the truth and grasp the grace.
The brain tracks are still there. Very rarely the show up when the fear of potential consequences of people finding out where my thoughts on nakedness and clothing are. They show up in the form of a woman dressed in a way which says “please look here”. Then the, very short, bungi cord of truth pulls me back and I see the Image of God and any lust evaporates.
P.S. Have a blessed and happy Christmas. In Toowoomba, Australia they’re predicting a maximum of 25⁰C. That’s 77⁰F if my conversion is right. You Naturists should come over here some time so you can celebrate Christmas outside like we do.
This is a very good article. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
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This one came together pretty easy. Great quotes to riff on!
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