The Sign of Circumcision

When you hear the word “sign” you get the impression that you should to take note of whatever it is that is being called a sign. In fact, most signs are visible, otherwise how are they to be seen and understood?

It’s a terrible analogy but imagine driving high speed on a country road and you see a sign with a cloth draped over it obscuring the message it contains. You wonder what it was trying to convey, and as you are free falling to certain death, you realize it must’ve said “Bridge Out!” OK, I warned you that this would be a stretch, but if there are dangers present on a road you would want a sign to also warn you! Signs communicate all sorts of truths and provide direction and understanding for greater purposes than the sign itself. 

We don’t give much thought to the “sign” of circumcision today, do we? Let’s start contemplating this sign of the Covenant through this “part 1” video:

There’s a lot more to cover, which is why we made a two part video. The question, though, is why did God make such a sign? Maybe you can add your thoughts in the comments. With hyper-privacy and prudish thinking today, we can’t really fathom this being a visible sign, but it certainly was in those days. Maybe the only place today where this would be visible would be the gym (interestingly enough that word comes from the Greek word for naked), but even then, people don’t walk around exposed very often, even in the dressing room! In Bible times, however, you would know for sure who was and wasn’t circumcised. Watch “part 2” for more of which you may not have considered:

The issue of circumcision caused some drama in the New Testament era. Did Gentiles need to be circumcised after conversion to Christianity? It sparked quite the debate as a new issue that was never pondered before. The Judaizers seemed to think they should be circumcised. What did Paul have to say about it? And again, how did people even know who was and who wasn’t in the first place? The answer is nudity was much more commonplace then, and not a taboo like it is today.

Have you thought about this?

Now this last observation is sobering. Our Lord was crucified naked. They cast lots for his clothes. Early art depicted this, but censored art gave way to the loin cloth making the image less shameful and grotesque. Our Lord endured the cross, scorning its shame (Hebrews 12:2)- the shame is not in the nudity, but rather in the complete subjugation and forceful nature of having been tortured. However, our Lord declared, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily (John 10:18 NLT).” He bore the shame of a lowly criminal’s death by his own volition. 

Pilate hung the sign above Jesus that read, “King of the Jews.” Everyone could see that he was not a Roman. He was in fact a Jew. This, not because of the sign above his head, but also because of the sign of the Covenant on his body, which was then broken for us. He gave us another sign- the bread and the cup, that we might remember the new covenant and proclaim his death every time we eat and drink of it until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:26). 

See all posts and videos in the “Objections” series here.

What about priestly garments?

“Holy” simply means set apart. When God chose for himself a people, it was for the purpose of setting them apart, but not so they would feel special or superior, but rather to be a light for the nations (Isaiah 60:3).

This is why God had for the nation of Israel clear distinctions between them and the surrounding countries or people groups (or they were supposed to have them). They were to be different. The whole world could be known for one way of being, but God’s people were to be holy and set apart. When they let their light shine before others, the hope would be that the others would see their good deeds and glorify the father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

What does this have to do with Christian naturism? It is context for a discussion regarding the priestly garments God instructed to be worn. It helps set up this video…

It really doesn’t have anything to do with Christian naturism at all. It’s simply another objection that is raised when prudish Christians struggle to see the freedom we enjoy as permissible or beneficial. As with the other objections, a careful study of the text will exonerate Christian naturists from any guilt on their part for living “as God intended.” The perceived guilt is instead projected onto them, coming from a mind that has not been renewed on issues of the body. A friend pointed out in a youtube comment on one of these videos that those who make objections need “reNude” minds!

As the video points out, the issue isn’t the sight of simple nudity. Otherwise why would the priests be stripped bare to be ceremonially washed in front of the whole assembly?

The issue here was one of differentiation. Israel was to be an example of not just morality, but overall goodness. This is the reason idolatry was such an offense toward the Lord. When all the surrounding nations practiced sexual immorality as a part of their religious worship, God in no uncertain terms said, “Not so with you.” The invention of undergarments that went from the waist to the thigh would make it impossible to emulate and practice the pagan rituals that were commonplace in that time.

God wanted a marked difference between those who were his people and those who are on the outside looking in. He still wants that today. It’s a sad shame we often take our cues from the culture around us, instead of the other way around. We have a way that is more “holy.” I don’t use that term to sound religiously better than or holier than thou. God is still calling us to treat others with the respect and dignity they deserve as being made in His image. It’s time we opt for this higher view.

See all posts and videos in the “Objections” series here.

Clothe the Naked

Jesus tells us we should clothe the naked. How many naked people do you know? Not too many these days. There’s not too much of a lack of clothing anywhere today. Even in some of the most poor areas of the world, you can see t-shirts of the team that lost the Super Bowl which were printed in case they won. The loom (and the fruit of it) has made clothing fairly affordable and extremely accessible. And yet, Jesus tells us to clothe the naked.

How do we apply the words of Jesus today? Some would say a Christian should never go to a nude beach or worse a naturist resort, because Jesus says to clothe the naked. Is that how we should apply it? Here is an article we wrote that examines what clothes Scripture does command. We think it’s worth the read!

For now, watch this short video to see what Jesus means by “Clothe the Naked.”

The video makes it pretty clear that clothe the naked simply means to care for the poor. One verse we didn’t have time to include in the video would be Isaiah Chapter 58:7. It asks “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” Clothing was handmade and expensive. Like a modern day credit card, your garment was collateral and if you lost it, you’d be cold and night and in abject poverty. You’d sell all you had before loosing your cloak, which was also your blanket.

We need to understand the historical context before we claim the Bible says what we think says. Nowadays clothing has gotten more intricate and fashionable and accessorizing. In fact, when the Bible speaks of modesty, it’s not about covering the body as much as it is avoiding ostentatious dress. Modest fashion, to us, is an oxymoron. More on modesty here.

In summary, clothing the naked, is not so much about nudity as much as it is about kindness, compassion, and loving your neighbor.

See all “Objections” series blogs and videos here.

Noah and the Curse

Does the story of Noah and Ham justify racism and slavery? Many used to think it did. Does it support the prudish view that you are not to see another person naked? Many today think it does. Upon closer examination, however, it does neither.

It comes down, like so many other objections, to simple Hebrew euphemisms. Watch the short video to see the explanation:

A perspective of Michael Heiser’s that I would agree with comes from his “The Naked Bible Podcast” (I love the name, and it’s not even a naturist podcast!) Here is a downloadable transcript. This great episode about this oft misunderstood passage rehashes the scholarly work of Bergsma and Hahn found here.

What IS clear is that there is something way beyond simple nudity at play here. And yet, this remains one of the most common objections of all against the practice of non-sexual social nudity. There’s not much else to say about this that is not covered already by the video or the podcast link.

One other resource that would be beneficial to anyone who brings this story up against Christian naturists would be “Who Said You Were Naked?” by David L. Hatton. While it does not bring up this story, it is a clarion call to those who have had those knee-jerk reactions like this of body shame and porno/prudery in their theological framework to think more deeply and be more body friendly like the God who created us is.

On page 192 he says:

When Gnostic prudery’s enchantment is broken, a mental veil is lifted. The blind legalism of deceptively “opened” eyes is replaced by a human-friendly vision of our incarnate nature. Body shame insulated us from a proper perception of ourselves. Body acceptance mentally restores not only a human-friendly attitude about our embodiment, but a Creator-honoring perspective on His handiwork.

A variety of resources and evidences confirms this awareness. One is a careful, thoughtful review of Scripture itself, but only when done with the culture-tinted spectacles of prudery removed. Then we will see that, unlike today, those in Bible times were familiar with routines that made occasional nudity a normal part of life. A human-friendly rereading of the Bible can also show us how God uses our physical sexuality to symbolize His divine plan for human salvation and how our bodies visually reflect certain divine attributes or convey divine message about Himself.

I agree with Hatton, not only on these points, but also the conviction he has written about– that once you know the truth, you must speak the truth as a way of making restitution for the wrong and harmful interpretations the church has historically baptized as gospel.

See all posts and videos in the “Objections” series here.

Blind and Naked

The book of Revelation was written in Apocalyptic genre. Our bookstores today don’t carry books in that category. There are no Apocalyptic sections or aisles to peruse. The highly symbolic nature of this style of writing is very foreign to us. Revelation also has over 400 allusions to the Old Testament. If we knew our Old Testaments better, our interpretations of this prophetic book would be more in tune with the author’s intent. As always, historical background and grammatical context are key to arriving at a good understanding of the intended meaning of the text. That was our approach to the following video.

I just love the way Jesus knows his original audience and shines a light directly on what needs to be addressed with scathing accuracy. That the World May Know with Ray Vander Laan points out the following details about Laodicea’s history:

Laodicea was renowned for three main industries:

A banking center for the province of Asia Minor, including a gold exchange; The textile center where glossy, black wool was woven into garments called trimata that were prized in the Roman world; The location of a major medical school known worldwide and where an eye salve called Phyrigian powder was made from a local stone.

Revelation 3:14-22 makes a lot more sense when you know these details.

In 60 AD an earthquake destroyed the city. Unlike surrounding cities, Laodicea refused funds from Rome to rebuild the city because they prided themselves on their own wealth. Their banking institution even minted its own coins that said the words, “We did it ourselves.” (See Bema podcast)! In their pride, they confided in themselves leaving little room for God (sounds familiar). They only sore spot was the source of water.

Laodicea was situated between Hierapolis and Colossae. Hierapolis was known for it’s hot mineral water and Colossae had cold spring water. Water had to be piped in from 6 miles to Laodicea. The mix of hot and cold caused the water in this town to be, you guessed it, lukewarm!

All of these facts make Jesus’ words sting all the more. In this passage, Jesus is not saying that nudity is a sin. Far from it. He’s comparing and contrasting several areas to point out the spiritual need of the people. They aren’t rich, they’re poor, spiritually. They aren’t healing blindness, they ARE blind, spiritually. They don’t have luxurious black wool garments, they are naked and need white clothes (Lookup Revelation 19:8 to see how the text itself interprets the fine linen we are to wear). Compare and contrast.

Some people insist on reading Revelation literally. Others spiritualize everything allegorically. I choose to read it naturally. If it’s a symbol (commonly known as one) let it be a symbol. If it’s a literal reference, let it be one. You can’t read all of Revelation literally. Otherwise (just one example) the flat earthers may be right about the four corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1)! We know that to be an expression meant to convey the idea of the whole world. That one is obvious. Psalm 50:10 is an example outside of Revelation showing how numbers need to be weighed, not measured. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. What about hill #1001? Does he cease to own the cattle from then on? Or is all the earth the Lord’s and everything in it?

A strict literal reading might in some small way seem to indicate that nakedness is shameful. However, this is not the natural reading of the passage. The poverty and destitution associated with nakedness, before the invention of the loom, is what was shameful. Is being poor or blind a sin? No. Those are the other word pictures given in context. The point isn’t to show these pitiful conditions as sinful in and of themselves. The point was to show that when you trust in yourself and try to prove you have no need for God, you are actually to be pitied for your spiritual condition of weakness.

There is great danger in pride and self-confidence. Let’s not let that also define how we approach sacred texts, ignoring all the clues left to help us interpret Jesus’ words correctly.

Nudity Equals Lust?

All of the videos in the Common Objections series are important to me at a personal level. This is because they reflect they very way that I used to think. I’m certainly not the only one. They are common. I learned them from others. I was conditioned to think in a way that was prudish at worst or close minded at best. This strict upbringing meant to keep me away from lustful attitudes had the very opposite effect on me. These videos exhibit my new learning and what to me (and many others) is a better way of thinking. The lust issue goes away when a new and wholesome way of thinking emerges.

I have written about lust and my dealings with it and how I have overcome this sin at length on various posts. Here are the search results of all the articles tagged with the keyword of “lust.” This video is a short summary of both the problem and the solution:

I’m convinced that the solution to the problem of lust is to see others as God sees them. Last week’s article was about that, in case you missed it. The opposite of lust is love. You can’t be loving others and lusting after them at the same time. I think a big problem growing up with “purity culture” was that the church told us (in not so many words) that we would struggle big time with lust. If you believed that was true, it would become your reality. It was for me. I wrote the following into a sermon and I stand by it today:

I used to have a problem with lust. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. Lots of statistics would say that half of us men right here have the very same problem. It’s no surprise to hear that Catholic priests report this as the most common sin by far in the confessional. Popular Christian books say that it’s every man’s battle. And while I don’t agree with that notion now, I do think it WILL be a battle for you as long as you THINK that it will be. It doesn’t have to be. I once thought it was. I thought I’d struggle with this issue until the day I die. And I would have, if I had left it up to me, myself, and I.  As long as it was ME fighting this war by my own strength, I’d be doomed to fail. I can only have so much willpower. I can do ALL the things the quote unquote experts tell me to do and still be one trigger away from failing again.

It’s defeatist to say all men are visual and can’t help themselves, they’ll always fight this impulse and compulsion. God helped me reject those lies and trust Jesus to be powerful enough to deal with this sin as he does any other sin! When you give it to God, he helps you see other people as he sees them, not like the world sees them, and that changes everything. 

Let me put it this way. Do you struggle with the command not to murder your brother? Jesus tells us not to do that. If you’re like me, that’s an easy commandment to keep, because you have no desire to kill your brother (hopefully!). Jesus also says not to look at a woman with lustful intent. He says that’s adultery of the heart. When it comes to this, we often throw our hands in the air and say it’s hard, if not impossible to do. But it’s not! It’s actually easy! You can let God redeem your mind on this issue like any other issue and the desire will be removed from you. Praise God, I can thankfully tell you that I have no desire to lust after another woman, or even after my wife. Lust is selfish, and the opposite of love, so I don’t even want to lust after my wife. Let me be very blunt, I would rather die than objectify another human being!

Yes, I have other sin to deal with, but this particular sin that used to be a big struggle is over and done, I mean mortified and put to death! And it wasn’t willpower or software or accountability or trying really hard or anything I could do depending on my own power that killed this particular sin at the root. It was God! You have to let God kill the spider, not just brush away the cobwebs of lust prevention as they will surely grow back as long as the spider lives. You can bounce your eyes to death, and try to avoid all temptation, but you can’t. Or you can let God deal honestly with you at the core, the real problem- the issue, not the symptoms. All that is recommended to us by experts to deal with lust is as Dallas Willard calls it “sin management.” They are only coping mechanisms. But we weren’t meant just to cope in life. We’re meant to be responsible for our actions and to love others as God does. The trick was letting God do his work in my heart and mind to completely remove the desire to even be tempted in the first place. Charles Spurgeon said, “The swine rolls in the mire with delight, but the sheep abhors it… He is a new creature in Christ Jesus, and sin is destroyed in its energetic influence over his life.”

I stopped depending on my own understanding. I even stopped depending on the leading experts and what they say to do or not to do. It was complete and total dependence on God to change the way I think, to renew my mind. He did it, without my help. He’s powerful enough to do just that. Now I can thank him for the incredible transformation in my life.

When there’s a real transformation or metamorphosis, a butterfly can’t go back to being a worm (or caterpillar). It can only pretend to be one again and crawl around on the ground again instead of flying. Isaac Watts wrote the hymn “At the Cross” where the first verse says: Alas! and did my Savior bleed and did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I? People have been offended by that language or “such a worm as I” – they’ve changed the hymn to say “such a one as I” so as not to be so strong. I say keep it as Isaac Watts wrote it! I was a worm! I had this sin that I tried to shake on my own over and over and couldn’t do it. And then I’d hear at every marriage retreat and men’s conference that just about everyone else struggles with this too. They say “boys will be boys,” but I have boys I’m trying to raise to be different. God changed me from worm to butterfly with his power, reconditioning me to see others differently. And now I can’t and won’t go back to how I was before. I can’t go back! It’s so much better to fly than to go around on my belly like the cursed serpent in the garden in Genesis 3. That’s low and it’s dirty. It’s a curse. It’s bondage! God does not want us to stay that way. It’s so much better and it’s God’s intent to let your heart soar. God’s ways are truly better than any man-made strategy, plan, or tradition, or method of sin management. Now, having surrendered it fully to God, purity is easy, and it’s out of pure joy that I keep Jesus’ command.

One question I got was over the bit about not lusting after my wife. I do desire her, more than anything! However I do not want my desire for her to be lust– I want it to be love, and it is, and it’s amazing! I think that will be a whole topic for another blog someday. For more on the difference between lust and admiring God’s created beauty in people see this fascinating piece (What A Beautiful Tree! Is That Lust?) from Fig Leaf Forum’s website.

I don’t love who I’ve been in regard to lust, but it’s still a good quote!

See all the “Objections” series blogs and videos here.

Stumbling Block?

You’ve heard this a million times. Women should dress modestly so as not to tempt the boys to lust. Romans 14 is quoted in support of this claim, at least in part. It’s an often misunderstood passage, especially when it’s not read in it’s full context. A full reading of the text would straighten out many erroneous interpretations! You’ll have to read it on your own to see for yourself!

This short video aims to challenge the assertion that someone’s dress causes others to commit grave sins. It also points out a few of the often overlooked verses in Romans 14:

I used to look at this passage and think the weaker brother was the other person. Surely they are on the other side of an issue thinking, you are the weaker brother. No one thinks of themselves as weak. I thought the point is to accept one another, whether you are the weak or the strong one. We all think ourselves to be strong. Regardless, the instruction to both the weak and the strong is to accept each other. Well, I was wrong!

The weaker brother here is the one who’s conscience does not allow himself to eat food sacrificed to idols. The stronger brother is the one who has the freedom to do so, knowing that idols are not real and there is only one God, and in their freedom they are free to eat anything and answer to God with a clear conscience. The weak and strong are clearly defined. We tend to harp on the stronger brother (or sister) for being a stumbling block to the weaker, in many instances where we should not. For more on this, you can see what my friend, Matthew Neal on his Biblical Naturist blog, has done in a series called “You can’t do that!

We gloss over the even more lengthy instruction to the weaker brother to not pass judgment on the stronger brother who has more freedom. We also forget that these are disputable matters. Any opposing view, belief, or even conviction gets thrown out under the stumbling block excuse. Yes, stumbling blocks become an excuse to stunt growth and keep the weak in faith… weak!

Much has also been written on this passage at www.figleafforum.com. With a free account, you can access the archive and search “stumbling block” or any other phrase to research on your own.

In Fig Leaf Forum, Issue 097, Stumbling Over The Issue Of Stumbling Blocks , Jeffrey S. Bowman says:

We must remember that stumbling is not to simply disagree with the actions of the person. Also, if someone “stumbles” over truth, are they really “stumbling”? Not as I understand it. Should we be silent on the truth because it might offend? I don’t think so. A disagreement of opinion is a totally different issue with a totally different approach. 

In both texts Paul discusses the topics of eating meat offered to idols. He in essence says it doesn’t matter to God if you eat or not. In 1 Corinthians he even goes so far as to say there are no such things as ‘gods.’ They are made up in the minds of the people, so eating meat offered to them is no big deal. However, not everyone has such knowledge. In both places Paul defends the right to eat (or not). This is an often unacknowledged point of the texts. 

…Paul would have been violating his own command if it meant not discussing meat eating with “non-eaters.” He potentially offended the non-eaters by discussing it and then telling them that the meat eating doesn’t matter, but truth is more important than cultural misunderstanding. However, he would not have eaten the meat in front of them. This is the point of not causing your brother to stumble. 

In Fig Leaf Forum, Issue 099, Unexamined Stumbling Blocks, Steve of Colorado Springs CO writes:

Christians often equate all stumbling blocks with evil, but they err when they do this. Jesus Himself was prophesied in Isaiah 8.14 (and quoted by Paul in Romans 9.32-33) to be the biggest stumbling block the world had ever seen, for He tripped up a whole nation: “They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be put to shame.'” Our Lord Himself is the stumbling stone in this text, and He was placed there by His Father.

…So what do you think this implies for us? If you believe that we also will be stumbling blocks in the paths of highly religious, legalistic tares in the Church, just as our Lord was in His day, you are right! In fact, the more we look like Christ—that is, the more righteously we live—the more this will be true. Legalistic tares in the Church will hate us as much as they hated our Lord. 

In this article I quoted the great Charles Spurgeon on his take about smoking cigars to the glory of God, which may sound funny, but read his thoughts on Christian liberty and see if you agree! Romans 14:23 (ESV) is a great way to summarize the whole issue: But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

When it comes to so called modesty, this reigning philosophy actually does great harm. It places blame on girls for not covering enough of their bodies instead of making boys responsible for their own thoughts. As I’ve stated in other blogs the Duggars teach this religiously and it has not prevented tragedy.

Matthew West put out a satirical music video claiming “Modest is Hottest!” which backfired to the point he had to take it down. Victims of purity culture trauma and folks like myself who no longer like to designate anyone as “hot” as it is an objectifying term, saw through the well-done “light hearted” funny video and didn’t appreciate it. I have a great sense of humor. But I also have seen the futility of thinking that modest dress will curb anyone’s lust (which comes from their heart.) Churchleaders.com documented how this attempt at a silly little video fell so flat. It’s baffling still to me, how so many didn’t even see how his video could be anything but funny! I like Matthew West just fine, but I hope he learns from this misstep. It’s one prime and recent example among many as to why this commonly held belief is fundamentally flawed. There is a better way, and a time to grow up…

See all “Objections” series blogs and videos here.

Naked Shame?

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!

See all “Objections” series blogs and videos here.

Bathsheba Tempts David

Another common objection to Christian naturism is that seeing a nude woman will provoke lust and cause a man to sin. Case in point: Bathsheba and David. Bathsheba really gets a bad rap, but really, David is the one at fault. After all, Bathsheba was just taking a bath. She was doing what people did in those days. David had a view of people’s rooftops and he watched, and what he did was the sin. Seeing isn’t the sin. Looking with intent or desire, and coveting what is not yours (lust) is. Public bathing was a common sight, whether a rooftop or river or creek. Witnessing a person bathing can be perfectly innocent. Coveting, adultery, and murder (as in the case of David) are clear violations against God’s commandments.

As Chad Thompson wrote on page 90 of his book, That Famous Fig Leaf:

The story of David and Bathsheba is often referenced as a biblical admonition of nudity, as if Bathsheba was tempting David by bathing in the courtyard. Yet every other woman in Jerusalem did the same thing. Whether male or female, rich or poor, outdoor bathing was universal to the ancient cultures of both Egypt and Israel. The second chapter of Exodus even recounts Pharaoh’s daughter bathing in the open river while Jewish commoners walk about. Women participating in the culturally natural phenomenon of open bathing was not anything King David wasn’t used to seeing on a daily basis. What led him to rape his neighbor’s wife was not her public bath, but the evil in his own heart. Furthermore, if Bathsheba had committed any sin by exposing her body in public, it would seem odd that Nathan made her the “innocent lamb” in his story.

Watch this video to see a surprising but true example of public nudity that was church sanctioned:

For more studies on baptism practices of the early church read this short paper here.

See all “Objections” series blogs and videos here.

God Made Clothes?

I remember having the talk. No not that talk, the one about fig leaves and God making clothes for Adam and Eve. I was in kindergarten. I went to a friend’s house and we took our clothes off to play. I don’t know who suggested that activity, but it was probably me. I did suggest that we take our naked play outside. So we climbed out the window in his room and played in the grass out back behind his apartment complex. There was nothing inappropriate, other than breaking social convention, that is. It was all fun and games until his mom caught us, then it was game over!

That’s what brought on the talk. His mom told my parents what we had done, and my parents  took me home and sat me down. They told me I can’t be doing that kind of thing, and went on to lecture me about how God clothed Adam and Eve, and we need to be clothed now at all times. The inner nudist in me started to die and shame started taking its place.

It would be half a lifetime later that I would revisit what my well-intentioned parents taught me that day. I had never really pondered God’s question to Adam and Eve, “Who said you were naked?” I never thought much about clothes being an invention of humans (with some help or suggestions from a certain serpent). I was duped like all of humanity. I exchanged the truth of God for a lie. It’s time to reclaim the truth. That’s what this video is about…

See all “Objections” series blogs and videos here.