Not So Fast… (by G S Royal)

In our search for the truth of an issue, it is not unusual for one spouse to discover it before the other one does. If that truth calls into question a long held tradition or something we were taught by someone we trusted (or even cherished), it’s only reasonable to expect some resistance when sharing your new-found understanding. I have dealt with this in my own mind, not wanting to let go of some things I’ve held tightly for years, while finding it difficult to ignore the truth that is being revealed.  Consider this from Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist:  

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong.  When presented with evidence against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.  It would create an extremely uncomfortable feeling called cognitive dissonance.  And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit that core belief.”

Regarding naturism, for spouses who truly believe IT’S A SIN, we should be proud of them for refusing to participate. That is the first hurdle many Christians have to jump, but many never do. It’s not comfortable to jump hurdles, and without sufficient motivation most will never try. Some may step right up, jump in, and love it, while others require spending significant time reading, studying, and praying, before coming to the understanding that simple nudity is not sinful. (The reason for the nudity may well be sinful but that’s a different issue.) Having reached this point doesn’t mean one is ready to book their next vacation to a nude beach, but it is a major hurdle to have cleared. For most Christians, determining what God thinks about something is the most important task of all. 

The IT’S A SIN mindset can easily be a cop out, too. Hanging that sign on your door and refusing to discuss it further is perhaps a form of cowardice, or worse: a form of dishonesty. We already know what God thinks about that. Challenging a lifetime of teaching is not easy. There has to be a real desire for understanding before we are willing to sacrifice tradition upon the altar of truth. 

Having settled the IT’S A SIN argument, one then begins addressing the second most important question: WHAT WILL OTHER PEOPLE THINK!? This can be a very lonely time because it’s so personal, and requires one to become deliberately vulnerable! We know God already knows, and we can trust Him to treat us lovingly, but we’ve learned the hard way that people are not always so kind—particularly those closest to us! This is when husbands and wives must love as God loves, being persistently kind and caring. There’s no better time for living the Golden Rule.  This isn’t a battle to be waged, but a heart to be won!

Perhaps we err in rushing to convince someone to embrace what we now see clearly. We present passage after passage as evidence, and show the results of word studies that reveal what certain Hebrew words really meant in the context and times in which they were written. We can easily move from that to speculation as to how it all should apply to us now. With all the reading, studying, talking and praying perhaps we need to slow down and take stock. Here’s what I’m sure of: 

God made Adam & Eve naked and they all liked it. Then after the fall Adam & Eve didn’t like it anymore. The ‘liked it’ choice came from a Godly mind, and the ‘didn’t like it’ choice came from a corrupted mind. 

Christ’s redeeming work did more than pay our sin debt, He freed us from our bondage to sin and its corruption! He was called the second Adam for a reason! 

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Once our minds are renewed, we start seeing the naked body with the mindset Paul encouraged in Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Perhaps we should dwell on that for a while.

24 thoughts on “Not So Fast… (by G S Royal)

  1. John Figleaf

    Thanks Gil for a very thoughtful and meaningful article. I especially appreciated the simplicity of the “liked it” and “didn’t like it” phrasing. Sometimes a few new simple words sheds a great light on the subject.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. R. B. Mears

    What a beautiful way to look at the difficulty of being able to understand how hard it is for some to “sacrifice tradition on the altar of truth.” It also is a good warning to those who are just using the “it’s a sin” cop-out to keep wearing the “world-view glasses.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gregory Cook

    The “what will others think” mindset can be a cop opt as well but for many, this aspect is hard for them to overcome. They want to fit in and would rather not “rock the boat” or cause unnecessary trouble for themselves.

    Another aspect not mentioned, and guess there are many, is the fact that some people actually love clothes and what they believe it does for them. You alluded to this when you mentioned being “vulnerable.” Some people don’t like that feeling. They don’t see it as a feeling of freedom as we naturists do.

    Good, thought provoking article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phil O.

      I didn’t really care about clothes before, but now I really don’t care for them! Comfort is king. Last night I was in sweat pants and a t-shirt, what most people call the epitome of comfort and I was so uncomfortable! It wasn’t until everyone non family was gone that I could shed those “comfy” clothes, relax, and unwind!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Gregory Cook

        We agree. I work from home now except one day a week and that one day in the office almost feels like torture because of the clothes. This past week, I literally felt nauseous from how uncomfortable I was.

        Of course, the point of my reply is that people object for many different reasons and some reasons amount to cop opts while others are how they legitimately feel.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim

    Nice post Gil. As I was reading it brought to mind the traditions of the Elders which Jesus railed against. Sacrifice tradition on the altar of truth is a great way to put it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loyal May

    Excellent article, same basic information I have given to many. I wish I were able to write articles as clearly as this. I will be sharing it with several others.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. pastordavidrn

    Anyone who’s read my books on “body acceptance,” especially the first two, can see how strongly I come down on a refusal to turn from tradition to the truth. But I must be careful, as Gil points out, in reiterating my research with a spouse who firmly disagrees with me. While my sweetheart may never, this side of Heaven, turn from her traditional viewpoint, our clashing beliefs about that or anything else should not, and never do, lessen my love for her. But it’s easy, when the subject comes up between us, to undermine my investment of affectionate care by fervently rehearsing my strong arguments. At those times, I’m forced to face my need to submit preacher-tendencies to the discipline of silently “letting go and letting God.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul B

      I heard a quote from Dallas Willard similar to your last statement. When a student at a lecture insulted the Christian faith, he quietly closed the lecture. When questioned as to why he didn’t defend himself, his response was, “I’m practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • pastordavidrn

        In his book, The Spirit of the Disciplines, Willard spends several chapters arguing for the place of the physical human body as essential in spirituality. After reading it, I’m listening through it for the 3rd time.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Gil Royal

      David,
      You know from our previous conversations how important the issue of body acceptance is to me. It was during my research that God led me to your book, MEETING AT THE RIVER. I will forever be grateful for you and your influence in my life. Thank you, too, for leading me to AchingForEden. Mr & Mrs Phil are a blessing.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Steven Howatt

    Many fine thoughts here! I am troubled by one, that bothered me some days ago when I first read it but am just now getting back to it.

    You say, ” Here’s what I’m sure of:
    God made Adam & Eve naked and they all liked it. Then after the fall Adam & Eve didn’t like it anymore. The ‘liked it’ choice came from a Godly mind, and the ‘didn’t like it’ choice came from a corrupted mind. ”

    I am not confident that Adam and Eve were even especially aware of nakedness, as they knew no alternative. I am sure they did like it, as with all of the delights of the Garden that God had created, but just not especially aware that it was a “thing”. I see no reason to believe that they did not STILL like it after they sinned, though the accuser made them think (perhaps) they should feel shame or guilt over it. I am not confident from the Genesis account if their attempt at covering was from inappropriate shame of nakedness (as they were husband and wife, and had been around God before while not covered), or an attempt at camo in order to hide because of the shame of disobedience. There is no evidence that I know of that they desired to be covered more than uncovered, however.

    So, I think the “Godly mind; corrupted mind” and the idea that Redemption changes that is a false premise, with respect to the nakedness. There never was anything wrong with their nakedness, and Redemption does not alter that. The idea that it does leads to the idea that only the Redeemed can be naked in purity, and I do not believe that is so. I believe those that do not yet know their need of Redemption can have a clear conscience and right thinking about simple nakedness, and practice it without sin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pastordavidrn

      This point is well taken. If redemption was the cause of a reversal of attitude about the body, all Christians would “like” being naked, and the unsaved might not, which we know is not the case. I too believe our first parents had no idea of what “naked” meant, because their bare state was just normal life. The deceiver’s instruction to them conveyed a new concept: this part of human reality needs to be hidden. “Naked” was a newly contrived term because nothing in creation had ever yet been hidden so as to become “naked” by being uncovered. Satan’s deception is ongoing, but some naked-people groups evidently rejected it, until Western culture reinforced the deception upon them, and Christian missionaries did this by the culturally idolatrous practice of mixing porno-prudery into the message of Christ’s Gospel.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Gil Royal

    Thank you for your responses. I’ve been thinking of them for days. Apparently I implied much more than I intended by saying, “and after the fall they didn’t like it.” Perhaps I should have said “and after the fall, for some reason they chose to cover up.” But I don’t see the problem with the original statement. Regardless of the decision, it was made with a corrupted mind. But that doesn’t mean that my corrupted mind (or yours) will make that same decision. Some of us deal with body shame and some of us don’t. I didn’t mean to imply that redemption was the cause of a reversal of attitude about the body, but that having broken the bondage to sin that the first Adam put under, Christ made it possible to have renewed minds, and that if body shame was your particular form of bondage, you now could be freed from it .

    Like

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