Who Hates Nudity… God or Satan?

This is a repost from our good friend, Matthew Neal at The Biblical Naturist blog. Used with permission.

Who hates nudity… God or Satan?

I’ll wager very few people have ever asked that question.

Is the answer obvious? I don’t think so.

The way things are in our culture today, you might quickly conclude that God hates nudity because it’s so closely associated with perversion and sexual sin.

On the other hand, you might assume that because it is such a powerful tool for sexual temptation, Satan simply loves nudity! “The best tool in my toolbox!” you can almost hear him brag.

Stop and Think About It…

Perhaps the answer isn’t that simple. And certainly the Bible would have something to say about it, right? Well, I believe there’s plenty of evidence in the Bible to tell us who hates nudity, and who doesn’t.

Let me start with God and give the biblical facts, then I’ll give the facts as they relate to Satan. A simple examination of all the facts should lead us to the right answer.

God’s View of Nudity

  • God Created mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).
    • God made us to look like Him; human beings are a divine “self-portrait.” (articles: 1 2 3)
    • Our image-bearing is utterly and completely unrelated to clothing. In other words, we are “in God’s Image” without clothes. Clothing contributes nothing to that fact.
    • God forbade murder for the very fact that our bodies are made in His image. Murder is the only destruction of the body (the soul and spirit are not destroyed) (Genesis 9:5).
  • God’s original design for human society was complete nudity (Genesis 2:25).
    • The creation, as God pronounced it (with the first couple completely nude) was “very good!” (Genesis 1:31)
    • Because God cannot change (Psalm 55:19), we must conclude that He considers the naked human body just as “good” now as He did before the fall. Man’s view of nudity certainly changed with the fall, but God’s view cannot and did not change.
  • The first overt evidence of sin in Adam’s life was the fact that he no longer accepted his own nudity as good and right (Genesis 3:6-7).
    • God’s question to Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” was not an affirmation, it was a rebuke (Genesis 3:11).
    • God’s next question—delivered without waiting for an answer to the first—was, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Adam’s rejection of his own nudity signified a rejection of God’s place of authority in his life.
  • God blessed the physical union of Adam and Eve, describing it as becoming “one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Through this union, He expected them to obey His command to “be fruitful and multiply.” (Genesis 1:28Genesis 9:1)
    • This plurality-expressed-as–a-unity (which may mirror the unity-in-plurality of the triune Godhead – Genesis 1:26 Genesis 2:24) literally requires the nudity of the man and the woman. God approves of and blesses the union (Proverbs 5:18); he must also approve of and bless the naked state through which it is experienced (Hebrews 13:4).
    • The fruit of the womb are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Every baby ever delivered has been born with the mother’s naked body exposed. Every baby ever born has been born completely naked. This blessed and joyful nakedness is by the hand of God.
  • In all of God’s Old Testament laws and in all of the New Testament instructions, never once has God declared animosity towards simple nudity.
    • All bathing and the elimination of body waste of necessity had to outdoors when the Law was given, yet God never told them to avoid the exposure of their bodies to others (All He told them was to make sure they buried their feces! – Deuteronomy 23:13).
    • God actually commanded one of His prophets to prophecy nude for three years (Isaiah 20:2-3). God could and would never lead a prophet to actually do something which He hated.
    • Jesus Himself—Who never sinned—was nude on multiple occasions in His life on earth (birth, circumcision, baptism, foot-washing- John 13:3-4, crucifixion- John 19:23-24, and resurrection- John 20:6-7).

Satan’s View of Nudity

  • Satan is opposed to God. That which God loves and blesses, Satan hates and distorts (Matthew 16:23).
  • Satan was not made in God’s image… only mankind was (Genesis 1:26-27).
    • Satan sinned because he wanted to be “like God” but could not (Isaiah 14:13-15). When God made mankind in His image, it gave man a likeness to God that Satan himself would never possess.
    • Satan is a murderer (John 8:44). Murder is the destruction of the human body (Matthew 10:28), which bears God’s image (Genesis 9:5).
  • The very first thing that Satan influenced Adam and Eve to do after they submitted to his will was to cover their naked bodies (Genesis 3:6-7).
    • Satan was the “who” of Who told you [Adam] that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11). While we are not told in the text that this is true, Satan is the only player in the entire story (God, Satan, Adam, or Eve) who had the knowledge and motivation to tell Adam that he was naked.
    • While Satan’s specific words to Adam and Eve after the fall are not recorded, we can be certain that he did not (and has not) from that moment forward been silent.
    • Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). He has exerted influence of deception on the thoughts and actions of all mankind ever since the fall (John 8:44).
  • Satan hates marriage and the beauty of marital sexual union.
    • Satan has sought to dismiss, dishonor, or destroy marriage since the beginning (as contrasted to God’s will stated in Hebrews 13:4).
    • Satan desires to distort and defile sexual union since the beginning (Genesis 6:1-5).
  • Satan has been fully and completely defeated by a naked Savior (John 16:11)!
    • Although Satan battered the naked body of our Lord almost beyond recognition (Isaiah 53:2-3), yet Jesus died without any sin of His own so that He could take all the sin of the world in His body on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:211 John 2:21 Peter 2:24).
    • Although Jesus lay clothed in the tomb for three days, He left every stitch of that clothing behind when He came out of the grave (John 20:6-7), bodily risen from the dead! This, indeed, was the final and fatal blow to Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15)!

So what’s the conclusion?

When you look at the biblical data above, it’s pretty clear that the one who hates the unclothed human form is not God, but Satan!

How Satan Treats Nudity

How does that biblical conclusion square with what we see in our world today? It appears that the only place you find nudity exposed today is within the domain of Satan’s work! Pornography, sexual immorality, sexual perversion, even Satanism and witchcraft all use nudity.

But think about it… that which someone loves, they protect, preserve, and honor. That which they hate, they abuse, destroy, and dishonor.This is true for no one more than it is for Satan.

Tell me… does pornography and sexual immorality protect the nude human body? Does perversion preserve the human body? Do occultic activities honor the unclothed human body? No, no, and no.

Satan exposes nudity within pornography to dishonor the body. He uses it to distort sexuality… to bring destruction to the body. He uses it to deceive us into rejecting the sight of God’s image as found in the unadorned human form. We—the church—have God’s Word… we should know better!

The World Bought it All

Satan’s efforts have been very successful.

  • He has caused almost all of society to spurn the public exposure of the naked human body.
  • He has so distorted our understanding of its exposure that we only see sexuality there, ignoring or completely denying the image of God.
  • He has so deftly crafted an impossible standard of “beauty” that young women learn almost universally to hate the look of their own bodies, considering them “ugly.”
  • He has managed to get us to believe that seeing the sags and wrinkles of aging human bodies is somehow “disgusting” and repulsive… something you don’t want to see in others, and which you don’t want seen in yourself.

This is the world’s view of the naked human body. And this is Satan’s work.

Satan hates the naked human body. And for millennia, we have followed in Adam’s footsteps, listening to Satan’s voice urging us to participate in his insult of the Creator. Even the Church has been duped into promoting this offense against God… treating it instead as if it were a sign of holiness.

Testimony of a Hostile Witness

Satan’s abuse of nudity is compelling evidence that he hates it. And (if the scriptures provided above weren’t enough), it is also compelling evidence that the nude human form is actually dear to the heart of God.

If Satan hates that which God loves, shouldn’t we love that which Satan hates?

But What About the Animal Skins?

I can’t finish this article without saying something about the skins God provided to Adam and Eve for clothing after the fall. Almost all non-naturist Christians point to that passage and use it to claim that “God really doesn’t want us to be naked now after all!”

Is that what the Bible says? Allow me to quote the account in its entirety:

“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

What do we learn from that brief account? Very little, actually. There is no command. There is no reason given. There is no proclamation of a shift in the divine perspective on the nature of nudity… although many people quote the verse as if there were.

Any and every understanding of why God gave them clothes must be “read into” the text, because the explanation of God’s purpose simply is not there! Quite frankly, alternative understandings actually fit the context better, but they too must be “read into” the account.

The only thing we can conclude for sure is that God does not object to clothing. But we would be in error if we allowed assumptions about God’s (unexplained!) action to overrule God’s clearly stated proclamation in reference to the Creation and its naked inhabitants before the fall. God never called the clothes, “very good.” Only nudity was ever described that way (Genesis 1:26-27,31Genesis 2:25).

I See a Problem…

So… God looked at nudity and said “Very Good!”

Satan looked at nudity and said, “Very Bad!”

The Church today looks at nudity and says, “Very Bad!”

Do you see a problem here?

Matthew Neal

Read the original post and more great content at The Biblical Naturist blog.

13 thoughts on “Who Hates Nudity… God or Satan?

  1. John Figleaf

    And excellent question that provokes much discussion. Also greatly appreciate that the article included links to additional articles for further understanding of the Imago Dei.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steven Howatt

    “The first overt evidence of sin in Adam’s life was the fact that he no longer accepted his own nudity as good and right (Genesis 3:6-7). ”

    Hmmmm – this might seem like splitting hair, but I am not certain how strong a point this is, or that it is essential to think this is so. Genesis 3:7 says, “7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” The fruit that was forbidden was that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The first part of verse 7 tells us that their eyes “were opened” – this sounds to me like the loss of innocense, the wakening of CONSCIENCE that had not been there before. I think this is the first overt evidence of sin, as far as we, the readers, goes. Now Satan had a lever, a tool to use. The “they realized they were naked” is not explained in this verse, but does seem to correlate with God’s question (which I do not take to be merely rhetorical), “Who told you that you were naked?” I believe Satan spoke to their new conscience, just as he speaks to the conscience of so many believers today and tells them a lie, that nakedness is wrong. And sincere believers are duped. Our conscience continually needs to be directed by what God says is true.or it can lead us into falsehood. Satan would not have this tool in his toolbox apart from that sin of disobedience, evidenced by conscience. I just am not convinced by the text that Adam “… no longer accepted his own nudity as good and right” as an absolute thing, based on what Satan may have said, but perhaps was playing on “the safe side” upon Satan’s words, to see what God was going to have to say. And, it is not in the text, but I can’t believe that the subsequent discussions with the Lord God Almighty about nakedness, even while he was making coverings for them, did not involve some specific revelations about God’s true perspective on the subject.
    So, it seems to me, that “Adam’s rejection of his own nudity signified a rejection of God’s place of authority in his life” is an overstatement. Clearly, to me, his DISOBEDIENCE signified that, yes, but that was in doing what he had been told not to do, not in the act of covering his nakedness, which God still allows. Don’t we all wrestle with our conscience at times, even with the benefit of having the Holy Spirit within us, trying to discern what is proper? I am not convinced that Adam was fully convinced, about nakedness being wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phil O.

      Valid. I didn’t write these words, and Neal desires to speculate as little as possible. Perhaps it could be nuanced more, but overall I think we all agree on the main point. Thanks for the hair splitting. It’s good to fine tune!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steven Howatt

        I know, Phil. And that makes it a bit unfair to comment . Mathew’s scholarship is pretty impeccable, and he might well have a rebuttal or clarification. It does not matter much, as the main points are agreed on, but I thought it worth bringing up for thought.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul B

    I did a little Bible College a number of years ago. One of our teachers told us that, because of the cost of ink and parchment/papyrus, that writers in ancient times didn’t waste words. Adam and Eve’s reaction to the realisation of their nudity and God’s question “Who said that you were naked?”, were included for a reason. I’m not sure that Adam thought that nakedness was wrong, as in sin. But he was hiding from God and his nakedness was the reason that he gave. Something that the English translations don’t show us is the different words translated ‘naked’. The word used in Genesis 1 implies an innocent nakedness. It’s used when God commands Isaiah to be naked for 3 years and when the Holy Spirit comes on Saul and he prophesies naked. A different word is used in Genesis 3. It is from the same root, but it has the implication of exposure. The account doesn’t say what Satan said or didn’t say. But Adam says “I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself.” Their nakedness, which carried no shame, had become a fearful thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. grovewarrior55

    Thank you for reposting this, I grew a lot the first time that I read and digested the information presented here. Rereading today I was struck by the fact that there was no command in Genesis 3 . 21, what if God left it that way on purpose, to be our choice. God gave us all free will to do as we choose but the reality is he wants us to choose to follow him and do his will. Much like in the book of Job, God does not tempt Job, but he allows Satan to tempt Job, Job has a choice to make. Adam made a choice, are we going to choose to follow God or Adam?
    I am making a choice to honor God and follow him.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reuben Titus

    There was a woman born in 1827 Ellen Harmon. who at 17 was involved in a serious bible research group, and started being given many dreams and visions from God, she wrote extensively, many books she published. Now she was not the least bit naturist, but in one of her books describing the scene of the creation and fall, she mentioned why God gave Adam and Eve robes, as it was revealed to her in the vision she was shown of the scene that she wrote about.

    “In humility and unutterable sadness they bade farewell to their beautiful home and went forth to dwell upon the earth, where rested the curse of sin. The atmosphere, once so mild and uniform in temperature, was now subject to marked changes, and the Lord mercifully provided them with a garment of skins as a protection from the extremes of heat and cold.”

    Liked by 2 people

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