Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

We hear a lot of talk about harming children nowadays. Doesn't exposing them to nudity in the home (and elsewhere) give them a warped outlook on life?<P>Only Native and Permanent Residents may post here.

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Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby natman » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:32 pm

Kids--Naked and Unashamed
For years, I’ve erred on the side of modesty. Maybe we need a little nudity after all.
Amy Julia Becker

http://www.christianitytoday.com/amyjul ... hamed.html

I've heard Christians say that if we still lived in the Garden of Eden, we would all be walking around naked. The story in Genesis 2 seems to support this idea. It was only after God confronted Adam and Eve about their tragic and rebellious decision to eat the fruit that they realized they were naked. It was only after that choice that they experienced shame. And so God, in a gracious and comforting indication of his ongoing love for them, clothes them even as he sends them out. Without sin, would everyone be naked all the time?

Perhaps we should start a Christian nudist colony, in which we all claim our status as the ones who need not feel any shame before God because of the work Christ has done for us. Or perhaps we should look forward to walking around naked in heaven. My kids would certainly be excited about that prospect.

I've always resisted the idea that we will be naked together forever, both for theological reasons and also, quite frankly, because I'd rather not bare my full body in front of anyone other than my husband on a regular basis. And I'd rather not see tons of other naked bodies all the time either.

Theologically speaking, the account I offered above oversimplifies the situation. As the story comes to us, Adam and Eve were the only humans in the garden, and they were a married couple. If other equally blissful couples had been on the scene, there's certainly a possibility that they would all wear clothes in public but feel no shame when they were naked in front of their respective spouses in private. Moreover, Adam's and Eve's nakedness acts within the story not just as a fact of their lives but also as a symbol of their sinless state. Their lack of shame extended not only—perhaps not even primarily—to their bodies, but more importantly to their very being.

Fast-forward to Jesus on the cross, and we find a naked man who bears the shame of the world, the sin of the world, and who then returns, clothed, in order to offer new clothes to his followers. Again, all this talk of nakedness and clothing operates not only on a literal level but perhaps more importantly on the level of our souls, encouraging us to know the freedom that comes in placing our lives in God's hands and turning away from focusing on ourselves.

And maybe that's all there is to it. God clothes us in righteousness, and we have every reason to keep our clothes on around one another too.

Still, I wonder whether there is something to the connection made between that physical experience of nakedness and freedom. Again, my kids seem to revel in being naked. They marvel at their physical being, even the things I seek to hide with clothing or makeup: their roly-poly bellies, their pale skin. I am starting to teach them about respecting other people by, say, changing their clothes in the bathroom rather than stripping down in public, but I'm trying hard to do so in way that affirms the pleasure and unselfconsciousness they experience in their bodies.

And then I read Zanthe Taylor's piece, "The Glories of Nudity," detailing her experience at a Korean spa in which mothers and daughters bathe naked alongside dozens of other nude women. As Taylor writes, "It was challenging to disrobe without feeling utterly exposed, but I didn't want to show my daughter I was fazed by it, so I stripped off and closed the locker door on my clothes." Her essay goes on to describe the freedom she felt in this experience, which was not in any way sexual in nature but rather an opportunity to see herself and other women without being ashamed of her body. She also describes the astonishing array of bodies all around her and how different it is to form a view of women's bodies from real women rather than magazine cover models. She never uses the word shame, and yet I was struck by how much the experience could help her form—for herself and her daughters—a positive understanding of her body as a good gift rather than a necessary but corrupted vessel.

Taylor isn't calling for public nudity. Just as I imagine Adam and Eve had boundaries on their shameless nudity, the Korean day spa has only one room for women that allows for this nude experience. But Taylor's essay challenged me to reconsider the role nudity might play in teaching my children, and my daughters in particular, to receive their bodies as good gifts from God that they can enjoy and use in service to others.

God gave us our physical bodies, not just our souls, and the two remain intimately connected. Perhaps the experience of nakedness has something to teach me about the freedom of being accepted, as I am, without needing to cover up my flaws or brokenness. Perhaps nakedness has something to teach me about grace.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby jasenj1 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:33 pm

I see the usual band of naturist apologists have already hit the comment section pretty hard. Well done. :biggrin: :cross:
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby MoNatureMan » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:38 pm

Question
From all I understand Jesus was on the cross naked.
If this is true, when and how did the covering show up on all the pictures and artifacts?
Somebody here has probably already researched that.

Ron
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby Petros » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:46 pm

An interesting piece - some of the commentary seemed a bit cranky.
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: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby natman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:46 am

MoNatureMan wrote:Question
From all I understand Jesus was on the cross naked.
If this is true, when and how did the covering show up on all the pictures and artifacts?
Somebody here has probably already researched that.

Ron

Not all, but many, even most. Many artworks depicted Christ on the cross nude. Over the years iconoclasts covered many of them. One of the things that Pope John Paul did was to restore many of the artworks to their original condition.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby jasenj1 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:00 am

Petros wrote:An interesting piece - some of the commentary seemed a bit cranky.

The crankiness seems to stem from three things:
1. Adam & Eve's shame & attempt to cover themselves was a rational correct response to their newly discovered nudity.
2. God's providing even better clothing for them reinforces the notion that nudity is wrong and should be covered up.
3. Nudity is often (primarily? exclusively?) associated with shame, immorality, and sin throughout the Bible.

1 & 2 are difficult because the Bible does not provide a clear explanation of motives or the correctness of them. To challenge the common interpretation is a pretty big deal, and makes one look like a heretic.
3 is true because people turn a blind eye to where reasonable nudity is present in the Bible, or the nudity has been translated out.

The cranky folks get cranky when you point to history and extra-biblical data that shows their prudery is not historically supported. That their position is a relatively new extreme interpretation.
Last edited by jasenj1 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby jasenj1 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:15 am

I thought this was a pretty good response:
"Who told them that they were naked? No one. This was the first knowledge they received as a result of having eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, they knew that nakedness is evil. You who are teaching otherwise are on dangerous ground."

Anyone care to counter it? Or has Matthew Neal already done so on The Biblical Naturist?
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:27 am

jasenj1 wrote:I thought this was a pretty good response:
"Who told them that they were naked? No one. This was the first knowledge they received as a result of having eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, they knew that nakedness is evil. You who are teaching otherwise are on dangerous ground."

Anyone care to counter it?...


I'll take a first stab at it. For starters:
The statement
This was the first knowledge they received as a result of having eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, they knew that nakedness is evil.

Is nothing more than rank eisegesis! The Bible simply does not say that. That which is asserted without proof may be denied without proof. The author of this idea has stated a hypothesis as if it were proven fact. That constitutes circular reasoning which is a classical and common falacy.

We say that God is omniscient.... Knows everything ..... Then why would he ask Adam for information? Look at the way the question is framed. "Who told you ....", the question is framed based on the assumption or knowledge that another person was involved. So if God is omniscient, it means that God already knew that the information came from some source other than man. Backing up one step, in the story, we see that the serpent was feeding them (via Eve) disinformation. Even if you argue that that "they knew that they were naked" was a thought that popped into their heads after eating the fruit. The source of that process still starts at the serpent.

The concept of "you will be like God, knowing good and evil" really comes down to deciding for ones self what is good and what is evil. Setting up the categories for oneself rather than relying on God's instruction in the matter. We see this same process when we look at the last verse of the book of Judges. The entire book of judges is a repetition of the people falling away from God until God sends them yet another judge to get them back on track and then the people again abandon God's ways and there is srtife and invasion and subjugation until the people cry out to God. And then the capstone verse of this whole book is:
Judgesn21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Each person keeps taking to himself the right to decide what is evil and what is good, i.e."the knowledge of good and evil"

Therefore even if the serpent had not explicitly told them that they were naked. He introduced them into that mode of thinking.

Expounding a second argument. Prior to the forbidden fruit. being naked was a good thing.
Genesis 1:31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. ....
If the fruit only imparted "knowledge" then to argue that somehow mankind now had also acquired concupiscent lust as well is to argue that the fruit imparted more than knowledge, in that imparted lust as well as knowledge. To do that is to add to God's word what God has not said. If we however, as Christians choose to follow God's instruction, then we will expunge lust just as we expunge all those things that God has condemned. We will reject the argument of "we just cannot do otherwise because 'we were born that way'!" We will do this with strength and understanding derived by power of the Holy Spirt which we received by the laying on of hands at our baptism. Instead we will live our lives as God intended and not to our own devisings.

Ok, that is a starter, please feel free to suggest improvements and alternates.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby Petros » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:54 am

"The concept of "you will be like God, knowing good and evil" really comes down to deciding for ones self what is good and what is evil."

A powerful point that I cannot remember having encountered previously.

The standard model has the three a source of classified knowledge; God, it is assumed, wanted [like a good dictator] to keep people ignorant, to control what information reached them.

Under this assumpton , however, the fruit shifts one's focus from the reality of spiritual contact with God to the soul / mind's reasonings. The story then ties to the deluded in the Emperor's New Clothes [Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such
is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God
as a little child, he shall not enter therein.] The product of the fruit is the Gnosis with which our schools strive - with too great success] to edge out reliance ont the Spirit.
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: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:07 am

Petros wrote:An interesting piece - some of the commentary seemed a bit cranky.

There was an obvious troll in their midst, but otherwise useful posts by several among the ranks of Christian naturists.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby jasenj1 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:06 pm

Bare_Truth wrote: We say that God is omniscient.... Knows everything ..... Then why would he ask Adam for information? Look at the way the question is framed. "Who told you ....", the question is framed based on the assumption or knowledge that another person was involved. So if God is omniscient, it means that God already knew that the information came from some source other than man. Backing up one step, in the story, we see that the serpent was feeding them (via Eve) disinformation. Even if you argue that that "they knew that they were naked" was a thought that popped into their heads after eating the fruit. The source of that process still starts at the serpent.

I know others, including I believe Matthew Neal and Pastor David R.N., have taken the position that the "who" question points to Satan, but I don't agree with that, and I don't think the text does either.

See this breakdown of Genesis 3:7
"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings."

Upon eating the fruit, they became aware of their nakedness. The realization and understanding of their nudity came as a direct result of eating the fruit. No other actor (Satan) was needed. If you take out the verse break, the text flows as a seamless stream: They ate; their eyes were opened; they realized they were naked. It was an "aha!" moment. The "eyes opened" phrase used here is very commonly used to mean "come to the realization of" or "understand". They ate and they realized they were naked - one motion.

Therefore even if the serpent had not explicitly told them that they were naked. He introduced them into that mode of thinking.

Agreed. Satan likely knew at least some of what would happen to them. He set them up and watched them fall.

Expounding a second argument. Prior to the forbidden fruit. being naked was a good thing.

Agreed. And telling someone they were naked would be near meaningless. Think of telling someone at a naturist resort they were naked. "Oh no! You're naked! Look!" *shrug* "Yeah." There is no negative connotation associated with nudity.

If the fruit only imparted "knowledge" then to argue that somehow mankind now had also acquired concupiscent lust as well is to argue that the fruit imparted more than knowledge, in that imparted lust as well as knowledge.

I don't believe lust comes into play at the Fall. Shame certainly, but not lust. Think of all the emotions that are associated with nudity - poverty, bad body image, vulnerability, the sexual ramifications. There's a lot of negative things associated with nakedness besides lust. And all the things associated with clothes - social status, adornment, protection. Lust comes later and is a result of our fallen minds. Humanity was now on a path to warp (sin) the thinking concerning the human body.

In 3:7 we don't get told WHY they sewed fig leaves into belts, only that they did.

In 3:10 we get:
"He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Now we start to get a motive revealed: fear. What did Adam fear? God had seen him before naked. Was Adam afraid God might attack or smite him? Maybe he felt very vulnerable. There certainly was no lust or sexual motive anywhere in sight.

To do that is to add to God's word what God has not said. If we however, as Christians choose to follow God's instruction, then we will expunge lust just as we expunge all those things that God has condemned.

Agreed.

To finish out the passage, 3:11:
"And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”"

It appears the "who told you?" question is rhetorical. There's no need for an answer or any real answer. The very concept of "nakedness" was outside of Adam & Eve's understanding before eating the fruit. God knows that the only way for them to get this concept was from eating the forbidden fruit.

The commentaries work through this scenario a bit more. God told Adam how Adam knew Adam was naked. And Adam rather than fessing up and repenting redirects the blame to Eve and back to God.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby jasenj1 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:06 pm

Duplicate post.
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby prairieboy » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:56 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:The concept of "you will be like God, knowing good and evil" really comes down to deciding for ones self what is good and what is evil.


I agree with this. The knowledge of good and evil was NOT some impartation of Godly knowledge. If it was, it would be universal like the death that came with it. You don't have to look very far to see that the knowledge of right and wrong is not universal, even within the church, or even from generation to generation within the same church.

jasenj1 wrote:I thought this was a pretty good response:
"Who told them that they were naked? No one. This was the first knowledge they received as a result of having eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, they knew that nakedness is evil. You who are teaching otherwise are on dangerous ground."

Anyone care to counter it? Or has Matthew Neal already done so on The Biblical Naturist?


Let's just look at the sequence of events.

Adam and Eve, sinless, in unhindered communion with God.
Naked and unashamed. And yes, they knew they were naked, it just wasn't an issue.

Adam and Eve, sinners, under the dominion of satan.
Are we to believe that at this juncture they suddenly came to the (Godly?) knowledge that what God had no problem with was actually wrong? shameful?
Do you want me to believe that under the dominion of satan their knowledge had increased? become more pure? Really?
If clothing was the answer, why hide in the bushes?
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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby Ramblinman » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:56 am

No animals wear clothes and some of the terrestrial animals have body hair as sparse as humans, some more sparse.






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Re: Christianity Today - Kids Naked and Unashamed

Postby Petros » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:57 am

"If clothing was the answer, why hide in the bushes?"

Why, so God would not spot the clothing and deduce what had happened. The world's knowledge rarely increases common sense.
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