My friend Jason (if you read the comfortablist blog, you know about Jason) has been helping me with this project since I put out the first “Objections” video. In fact, this video is a remake of the first one released. We have tweaked the content a bit and upgraded the voiceover. Instead of an artificial intelligence narration, we have hired a professional. Some generous naturist friends have contributed to help pay for these services. Jason and I do the writing and video editing pro-bono. If you would like to contribute towards our plans for at least 10 of such videos, let me know on the contact page and I will email you a way to help out. Each narration costs about $50-75, and we are finding unique voices for each video. Of course, there’s no pressure. We want to keep all our content free to view!
We are looking forward to putting out a new video as time allows, and hoping they will be shared far and wide. We especially hope that some of the videos get shared and seen outside of the naturist community to help stretch the thinking among our textile oriented friends. In case you missed the first video with a professional voiceover, you can watch “False Modesty” here.
The following objection and argument is an easy one. We will be delving into more difficult objections soon. However, that said, many opponents of Christian nudism (they may not even know the term “naturism”) will use Leviticus against us. As stated, the defense is easy, but it often doesn’t matter, if you are set in your ways. It would most likely take more than this video to convince anyone of a better way, but it’s such a common argument, that we must address it with an honest approach.
There can be achieved a chaste nakedness. Simple nudity is simply not prohibited…
Thanks for reading, watching, and sharing. Stay tuned for more exciting installments on this series of common objections to Christian naturism answered.
We often quote and make references to David L. Hatton on this blog. His writings have helped and challenged us both in many ways.
Today, we will feature a wonderful poem of his with added visual elements. I have produced this video with David’s permission with the hopes that it blesses those who see it and would agree with its powerful message, and challenge those who may be startled by its assertions.
To that end, if you would want to share this video with others, please do so! Copy and paste this link where you would like:
A printable PDF file of “Christians and Nakedness” is available here via David L. Hatton.
CHRISTIANS AND NAKEDNESS
Today we are not used to the body when it’s bare, The skin beyond our face and arms beneath the clothes we wear. Untaught to see its beauty, we’ve learned to label “lewd” The “birthday suit” we started with, which God created nude.
It’s true we make exceptions for toddlers full of glee Who run around in pure delight, stark naked, clothing-free. But those who rediscover this liberty so clean Are called, when they come back to it, “perverted and obscene.”
Yet artists, who observe it in models posed unclad, Acknowledge how the human form is beautiful! Not bad! When health-care workers view it, no decency is gone. A patient’s dignity remains when seen with nothing on.
It’s found by missionaries, to naked peoples sent, That “porn” invades a culture’s land to which “our clothing” went. It’s known by skinny-dippers who bathe in sea and sun That recreation in the buff is simply healthy fun.
The church has failed her duty to guard and to proclaim That God’s own image in our flesh is free from body-shame. Instead, the naked body is marketed for lust, Relinquished into sordid hands by pulpits breaking trust.
Are human bodies “sinful” without their textile wraps? Must children have to look for them in pornographic traps? Can’t we who praise our Maker sustain our hungry youth Whose natural curiosity God meant to feast on truth?
False modesty is shameful! It sends the lovely breast Into a realm of carnal thoughts when mothers nurse undressed. It bans the Sistine Chapel, where nudes are plainly shown, And censures Michelangelo for sculpting them in stone.
We’ve grown quite unaccustomed to normal nudity. We even hide ourselves at home from friends and family. Some people hate their bodies, despising God’s design, Embarrassed if they must disrobe and let His glory shine.
Yet most of our ancestors all bathed in open air. They lived and dressed in one-room homes and saw each other bare. We trim for sports and work-outs. Greek athletes did so stripped! And Christians went to Roman baths with just their towels equipped!
The ancients often labored like Peter, in the nude. When prophets preached without a stitch, nobody called it “Rude!” The early church’s converts were naked when baptized. Though Bible scholars know these facts, they’re never advertized!
Have we made better progress in our morality By pushing man-contrived taboos on human nudity? Did God create His likeness to foster sinful lust? Do we confirm the Serpent’s scheme for souls God sheathed in dust?
If we could just recapture the ancient attitude That saw no scandal in a field of gardeners working nude, If we more often witnessed God’s image on display, We might regain a wholesome view of nakedness today.
Let me use this meme from our ever-growing memes page as a springboard for today’s post.
Have you no shame?
Why would I want any?
I absolutely love that attitude and believe it to be the godly response to an ungodly question. What really is a shame is that we as a society ask such questions and think this way. We’ve equated a portion of the image of God in us (the body) with the feeling caused by our wrongdoing. Allow me to try to explain a bit better…
It sounds a whole lot like the scene way back in Genesis with our first ancestors in Adam and Eve. Shame is not of God. However, it shows up on the scene fairly early in the human narrative. Let’s examine this phenomenon.
God utilized the refrain “it is good” after creating something, but after creating both the male and female form in his image, he says “it is very good” in Genesis 1:31. They are the crowning glory of creation and were so in the unclothed state in which we are born and the same state in which we shall depart this life (see Job 1:21).
Genesis 2:25 states that Adam and Eve were naked and without shame. In fact, shame did not exist at this time, neither did the concept of clothing, or the word “naked” when you think about it.
The crafty serpent convinces both Eve and Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and their eyes were open to a whole new world.
When a child does something strictly forbidden by their parent, what is the first thing they do? They want to hide the evidence, cover up the infraction, bury their face in their hands. Not much has changed.
Adam and Eve miss their regularly scheduled walk with God, so God calls out to them. They are hiding (Gen. 3:8-10). In my “Personal Manifesto of a Christian Naturist” point #11, I maintain that they covered themselves out of fear, not shame. The editor of fig leaf forum argued this point with a critic:
There we have it—right from the mouth of Adam. It wasn’t shame at all. It was fear. They realized that they were vulnerable, open, unprotected—and guilty—so they ‘covered’ themselves and hid. They were attempting to cover and hide themselves from what and whom they feared (Genesis 2.17; Genesis 3.9-10). I believe Scripture categorically states within these passages that fear is what was motivating Adam and Eve after their fall, not shame.
The text could easily have had Adam saying, “I was ashamed because I was naked, so I hid.” Then my critic would have some ground to stand on. But it doesn’t say that. The Hebrew word that is translated “shame” in Genesis 2.25 occurs 114 times in the Old Testament, yet it’s not used again to indicate shame until Judges 3.25! The text says that Adam was “afraid.” The Hebrew word translated “afraid” in Genesis 3.10 occurs 192 more times in the Old Testament. Not once is it ever translated as any word even remotely close to meaning “shame.”
Genesis 3.21 does indeed tell us that God clothed Adam and Eve with “garments of skin.” Again, my critic seems to insinuate that mankind’s shame was the motivation behind this action. If we are to rely strictly upon what is actually revealed by Scripture in our search for understanding, and not on tradition or presumption or speculation, then I must conclude that there is no evidence that Adam and Eve were ever ashamed of their nakedness. Not before the fall. Not after the fall. Rather, they were fearful because they were naked. Are we then to assume that God covered them because He was ashamed of their nakedness? I don’t see how Scripture would support this possibility either. Only two chapters earlier, in Genesis 1.31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Scripture says “all”—including the naked man and the naked woman.
Humans are the only creatures that cover up. My dog may hide if he understands that I am displeased with him. My kids? Well, as a parent, I am more pleased by the better response of my kids owning up to their mistakes than hiding or trying to cover it up. There is something about being uncovered and laid bare before the one to whom we must give an account (Hebrews 4:13), because after all, nothing is ever hidden from God’s sight. It’s always better to be open and vulnerable, not just in the outer garments, but also in the inner spirit (which is of great worth in God’s sight – 1 Peter 3:4).
An example is from church history of genuine and complete openness devoid of shame would be in regards to baptism. Dr. Michael Wilson writes: In the first four centuries of the Church many of our Christian forbears found no contradiction whatsoever between nakedness at worship, and holiness. Rather, they found deep theological significance in nakedness at baptismal rites. These were not private occasions. Baptismal candidates found themselves ‘naked in the sight of all, and unashamed,’ as Cyril of Alexandria reminds his flock.1
Our experience at naturist parks and nude beaches is that shame is practically absent. What’s often in its place is an innocent joy. In this regard, it’s really quite different than the public pool or a “textile” beach. This is one of the parts of the lifestyle that I love so much! We can be naked and unashamed and full of joy and life. It’s almost as if it’s the way we were created! In a fallen world, can we restore the innocence of Eden? Jesus says in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
We hold on to that promise, knowing that we too are being made new. The sins we commit in the body are forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Jesus bore our guilt and our shame and nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:14). We can live free in the knowledge and experience of close relationship with the God of Eden, without the need to hide a thing.
Are there verses that equate nakedness with shame? I would say no, but others who only look on the surface, would say yes. However, upon closer examination, taking the verses in context, you will discover that there is always something else at play that is causing the shame other than the simple state of nakedness. (Read this article from nakedandunashamed.org about each of these verses.)
Much can be said on this subject, and semantics do play a part. However, the subtle distinction between fear and shame, hiding from nakedness or because of wrongdoing is an important one. David L. Hatton puts this whole scene from the fall in such beautiful poetic form:
ORIGIN OF BODY SHAME
Dressed up as a serpent in crafty disguise, A demon attempted, by using his lies, To blot out the beautiful image that God Had made of Himself out of hand-woven sod.
As naked as truth from the day of their birth, And destined by God to be rulers of earth, Both Adam and Eve were alive by God’s breath, But Satan used knowledge to put them to death.
The serpentine liar pretended to heal Their blind faith in God for what’s moral and real. His trick by that Gnostic fruit opened their eyes, Remaking their minds independently wise.
“You see for yourself, God left both of you nude! Your unhidden bodies are shamefully lewd!” Our first parents listened to what Satan said, For now their life-bond to the Maker was dead.
The diet of conscience controls how it guides, Which sins it allows, or what goodness it hides. So, God found and asked them, with leaves round their waist, “Who said you were naked? What fruit did you taste?”
Some call it God’s will to keep chewing that fruit, Embracing its scruples in zealous pursuit, Maligning His gift of our wonderful skin By calling the sight of its nudity sin.
But others discover a godlier view, Rejecting this prudery’s body taboo, Resisting the porn that is wedded to shame Passed on from the devil’s original claim.
These temples are sacred, not sordid, unclean. If you would be holy, don’t call them obscene. Our hearts can be dirty, or lustful and bad, But bodies are closest to truth when unclad.