Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

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Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby Petros » Sun May 11, 2014 12:42 am

Is it possible to find a whole congregation that for an entire year can avoid the pitfall "Exegesis means what Big Brother / the consensus / my Study Bible says it means"?

Heard today on a media event outlining what Genesis tells us:

"why do we wear clothes? Because of the sinful nature of man"

Does this imply that clothes free on minmal clothing or clothing optional cultures have people whose natures are less sinful? Does it imply that wearing clothes keeps us from sinning?

Or could it just be that the person or persons responsible never paused to think?
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby jasenj1 » Sun May 11, 2014 6:18 am

Petros wrote:Is it possible to find a whole congregation that for an entire year can avoid the pitfall "Exegesis means what Big Brother / the consensus / my Study Bible says it means"?

No. And it is self-delusion to believe that any of us can avoid that pitfall all the time. Isn't that the precursor to Adam's original sin? "Did God really say..."

Heard today on a media event outlining what Genesis tells us:

"why do we wear clothes? Because of the sinful nature of man"

I think I would agree with that statement.

Does this imply that clothes free on minmal clothing or clothing optional cultures have people whose natures are less sinful?

No. It may imply their sin manifests in different areas of behavior. The Bible tells us all men are sinners. Perhaps this hypothetical culture gossips a lot, or steals a lot, or worships other gods a lot.

Does it imply that wearing clothes keeps us from sinning?

It may keep us from committing a certain sin - lust, or jealousy. But it does not keep us from sinning in general, and brings with it a whole host of other sins - lust, jealousy, pride.

Or could it just be that the person or persons responsible never paused to think?

They probably thought. But they thought through the lens of their culture - because obviously whatever _I_ do and _my_ culture does is the RIGHT way.

One might ask a similar question: "Why do we have locks on our doors? Because of the sinful nature of man."
Does that mean we always keep our doors locked? Or that not having a lock is sinful? No.

And the sin that led to clothes wearing is not lust - as we are so often told - but shame. Adam and Eve became ashamed of their bodies. Something God had declared very good, they decided was bad, inadequate. People typically take the response to the awareness of their nudity as a correct one. But the Bible (IMHO) doesn't say that. It says that's what they did, and God chastised them for it, and made accommodation for it. But it doesn't say we can't or shouldn't ever be nude again.

- Jasen.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby jjsledge » Sun May 11, 2014 6:43 am

And the sin that led to clothes wearing is not lust - as we are so often told - but shame.


I thought it was fear. Gen 3:10 . . . and I was afraid, . . . and I hid myself.

Jerry
Those who judge the motives of othere are simply revealing what's in their own hearts. Frank Viola "Revise Us Again" p.89
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby ezduzit » Sun May 11, 2014 7:28 am

jasenj1 wrote:
And the sin that led to clothes wearing is not lust - as we are so often told - but shame. Adam and Eve became ashamed of their bodies. Something God had declared very good, they decided was bad, inadequate. People typically take the response to the awareness of their nudity as a correct one. But the Bible (IMHO) doesn't say that. It says that's what they did, and God chastised them for it, and made accommodation for it. But it doesn't say we can't or shouldn't ever be nude again.

- Jasen.


IMO it was not their bodies Adam and Eve were ashamed of but their sin (disobedience) and the resulting fear that led them to "cover" themselves ie it was a good dose of Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Ez
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby Petros » Sun May 11, 2014 9:26 am

Looks to me as if the "aprons" are a separate issue from the hiding.

Not impossible the hiding [clearly inadequate given omniscience] could even reflect "If God sees me wearing this he will realize something happened.

It seems clear that the aprons and their 21st century descendants are part and parcel of a human baszed - not God given - code of values and behaviour and submission to that - little gentlemen do not scratch in public - ties to the sinful nature.

But it is also clear that clothing as practiced stimulates lust as often as it slows it, and is no hedge against voluintary or involuntary sexual activity.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby jasenj1 » Sun May 11, 2014 10:15 am

jjsledge wrote:And the sin that led to clothes wearing is not lust - as we are so often told - but shame.

I thought it was fear. Gen 3:10 . . . and I was afraid, . . . and I hid myself.

Jerry

I think ezduzit has it better. The sin was disobedience. Shame, fear, etc. followed as evidence of the sin. Those emotions themselves may not have been sin, but they came from a sinful root.

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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby Ramblinman » Sun May 11, 2014 11:07 am

I am more annoyed by the failure of exegesis that leads to the conclusion that the Bible teaches that the lack of clothing is inherently shameful due to the fall rather than realizing that the scriptures merely report the cultural perception of nakedness as shameful and use it as a metaphor that we are deprived spiritually.

Isn't it poignant that Adam and Eve tried to address a spiritual deprivation with a physical solution? Cover the flesh that the spiritual nakedness be less self-evident?
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby jochanaan » Sun May 11, 2014 4:15 pm

Petros wrote:Is it possible to find a whole congregation that for an entire year can avoid the pitfall "Exegesis means what Big Brother / the consensus / my Study Bible says it means"?...
I've never experienced or heard of such a church. But God is a God of miracles! Yet there is probably also an opposite danger of "everyone doing [or thinking] right in their own eyes."

Still, we would hope that some leader or group somewhere would at least listen to, for example, the new understanding of human nakedness and its relation to Christianity that most of us have been led to...
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby Petros » Mon May 12, 2014 1:25 am

"right in their own eyes" - that is, of course, always a concern. But at this point in my life I tend to doubt that the magisterium is much of a solution. If a thousand people are searching for a lost child, or pirate treasure, or the truth, the odds are not improved if they move en bloc. The odds are greatly improved if they follow different paths - and a glance at Paul, John, Peter, James tends to confrm that God opens different doors and paths for different seekers.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby natman » Mon May 12, 2014 12:11 pm

I think there are actually two questions involved.

1. Why do we wear clothing?

In this case, I would agree with JJSledge. Adam and Eve chose to cover themselves out of fear and exposure to the wrath of a just and righteous God. Today, the primary reason we tend to wear clothing is out of fear of exposing who we REALLY are. We use clothing to produce a false impression of who and what we are or to identify who and what we are (such as in the case of police men, firemen, military etc.). People wearing suits and ties often do so in order to portray educated professionalism and therefore trust in their work. We often cover our bodies so that others cannot read our involuntary body language, limiting such reading to the face and posture.

2. Why did God give us clothing?

While some will say that it is because of our sinful nature, I prefer to say that it is because of the result of Adam and Eve's sin. Because they sinned against God, God graciously expelled them from the Garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live eternally apart from God. However, in so doing, they were cast into a world full of thorns, thistles, biting creatures, heat, cold and other afflictions. Again, God graciously provided clothing more significant than mere leaves to protect them. But He never COMMANDED them to wear them all the time, and He never told them to hide their bodies from Him nor each other.

In his book, "The Holiness of God", R.C. Spoul states it this way, "God never COMMANDED us to wear clothes. God ALLOWS us to wear clothing because He knows that we need them for protection at times and that we cannot be 100% open to the scrutiny of others 100% of the time." (paraphrased - ' I don't have my copy here with me).

It is NOT because of our sinful nature. In fact, I believe that psychology shows that covering ANYTHING 100% of the time only INCREASES our sinful desires to discover what lies beneath and to pervert our understanding of it's purpose.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby Ramblinman » Mon May 12, 2014 2:15 pm

natman wrote:....we cannot be 100% open to the scrutiny of others 100% of the time." (paraphrased - ' I don't have my copy here with me).


Would you care to discuss that part of Sproull's statement?
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby natman » Mon May 12, 2014 2:29 pm

Ramblinman wrote:
natman wrote:....we cannot be 100% open to the scrutiny of others 100% of the time." (paraphrased - ' I don't have my copy here with me).


Would you care to discuss that part of Sproull's statement?


As I recall (again, I do not have the book in front of me), Sproul mentioned that psychological studies had been done where people were forced to be nude 100% of the time. Many could not handle it from the first moment. But others did not seem to have problem with it... initially. However, after a period of time, they all felt a need to "cover up", either by clothing themselves physically, by getting away, even for brief periods of time, or by internalizing themselves, psychologically or emotionally.

Personally, I think some of this is social conditioning. We often respond the way we have been trained or the way we THINK we should respond.

I think that, because I grew up with a "naturist" attitude, it would take me much longer than most to get to some point that I would need to "cover up", physically, psychologically or emotionally, but I am pretty sure that even I would have brief moments when I felt I needed to hide my true self.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby jasenj1 » Mon May 12, 2014 3:17 pm

Ramblinman wrote:
natman wrote:....we cannot be 100% open to the scrutiny of others 100% of the time." (paraphrased - ' I don't have my copy here with me).


Would you care to discuss that part of Sproull's statement?

As an introvert I would wholeheartedly agree with that statement. I have a deep psychological need/desire for isolation. I'd really rather not have people watch me poop, or sleep, or do various personal hygiene activities. But maybe that's not what Sproul or you meant.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby jasenj1 » Mon May 12, 2014 3:29 pm

natman wrote:I think there are actually two questions involved.

1. Why do we wear clothing?

... Today, the primary reason we tend to wear clothing is out of fear of exposing who we REALLY are.


I think you're using "we" a little loosely there. Do you mean humanity in general, people under the culture of the USA, folks on this forum?

I think people in general use clothing for group identification - much as you stated. That "clothing" may be a tattoo or penis gourd or a three piece suit.

In the USA people also wear clothes because we are conditioned to- and that conditioning is reinforced by laws.

2. Why did God give us clothing?

While some will say that it is because of our sinful nature, I prefer to say that it is because of the result of Adam and Eve's sin. Because they sinned against God, God graciously expelled them from the Garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live eternally apart from God. However, in so doing, they were cast into a world full of thorns, thistles, biting creatures, heat, cold and other afflictions. Again, God graciously provided clothing more significant than mere leaves to protect them. But He never COMMANDED them to wear them all the time, and He never told them to hide their bodies from Him nor each other.

In his book, "The Holiness of God", R.C. Spoul states it this way, "God never COMMANDED us to wear clothes. God ALLOWS us to wear clothing because He knows that we need them for protection at times

I wish that interpretation would gain traction in the US.
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Re: Well, not really an UNANSWERED question

Postby prairieboy » Mon May 12, 2014 10:29 pm

"We need them for protection at times."
The protection we seek most is to keep others from seeing the real me.
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