Nudity and the Bible

So let’s talk about Biblical nudity.

Song of Solomon is, of course, so full of sex that Christian mothers have been telling their sons to skip that part every since Queen Victoria first set her diminutive derriere on the throne.  What about David, that great man after God’s own heart.  Well, we all know about him and rooftops.  But what about when he danced naked before the Lord and God COMPLEMENTED him for it.

II Sam 6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

(Yes, Yes, I know, he had a linen ephod on.  So if you are ok with men gyrating in public in boxer shorts, then I guess Janet Jackson and her super-bowl show wasn’t so bad after all)

David danced in public shirtless
Shirtless men dancing in public

But let’s go on. Because the Old Testament can easily be dismissed.  Let’s jump forward to Jesus – our Messiah who everyone thinks was such a prude.

Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

So did Jesus have a big problem with public nudity?  This is the only scripture to back this up and it doesn’t talk about erotic desire at all, but only lust.  Christians who are so careful to say that “Sex does NOT equal lust” suddenly can’t spot the difference.

But there are other scriptures that show the Jesus didn’t nearly have the problems that we think.  Certainly the disciples didn’t.  In John 21, we find out that even after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples worked all night on a fishing boat, uh, NAKED.

But what about the women?  How did Jesus feel about boobies?

Luke 23:29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

Apparently, “paps” were a pretty good sight for our Lord!

BUT THAT WASN’T LUSTFUL I can hear you shouting.

THAT’S MY POINT. I shout back.

The early church had no huge problem with nudity.  In fact the people were baptized nude in mixed groups.  In fact, the only shame of nakedness was that it was the condition of the poor people and the slaves and was therefore a “shame”  But note that the shame of nakedness had nothing to do with sex.

So, we see, our attitude about nudity is really just a comment upon our prosperity.  We have gained space to have sex privately, money to buy multiple sets of clothes, and have mistaken our money for Godliness.

In fact, the church is exactly where the book of the Revelation said it would be.

Revel 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see

 

There is one question we need to answer then. Why did Adam and Even cover themselves?

Good question, and deserving of a good answer. Which I will provide tomorrow.

Church fellowship groups – never about men

Man-free and female led
Few men show up

Looked in the church bulletin this morning and saw the same thing that was in every bulletin.  Events this week for the high school teens, the college youth, and the women’s weekly fellowship.

Hmm, do you notice who was left out?  The men, of course.  There was no place for the men to socialize.  There were no hunting, fishing, or four-wheeler/camping trips.  There were no trips to see sports games or monster trucks.

Do you think that men stay home all week and don’t go out with their friends?  Of course not.  The young men are hitting the single’s scenes (They are certainly not showing up to the “college youth” meetings.  Who wants to be sneered at as a sex-addict and probable future “emotional abuser”)

Their are lots of social events that men go to, but none of them are sponsored by the church.  There are soccer groups, bowling leagues, amateur baseball teams.  There are hunting groups, fishing friends, and bars where men can just hang out, drink beer, play cards, and talk about women.  Men get together to go to the rodeo or see wrestling or monster trucks.   None of these are approved by our new female-led churches.  We are more likely to be told that we have to go on “Daniel Fasts” that don’t include meat.  Certainly we can’t drink beer or talk about sports and boobies.

But the fact is that men have always done these things and always will.  The masculine pursuits are as Godly as weight-watchers and diabetes education workshops.  Jesus and his 12 disciples, along with the many other disciples including wives and single women, spent time in the wilderness, resting just before the crucifixion week.  I guarantee you that during that time there was some wine drinking, some wrestling, some races, and I think that the married couples did a lot of humping and the singles flirted.

This is not how the modern church treats its men.  It sneers at sweat, hunting, and bloody sports.  It treats their God-given sex-drive as an addiction.

Oh, by the way, there was one event scheduled that the men were encouraged to go to – Celebrate Recovery.  The church wants them to deal with their “addictions.”

The feminized “supporting” church repels men

Masculine Christianity
Jesus was manly

Brilliant historically researched article at the The Art of Manliness.

The article explains why men have left the church.  I would add that it was after men were driven from the church that proper masculine erotic desire was demonized.   Now today the “supporting” church wants to draw men in and cure them of their porn “addiction”

If the church had kept it’s proper masculinity, this would have been laughed out of the pulpit in the first week.

Rick Warren’s wife on porn. Sincerely wrong

Commanding to abstain from God-created pleasure
Thou shalt not enjoy thyself

Rick Warren’s wife recently admitted to occasionally viewing porn.  Because she is part of the evangelical movement she has to call this occasional use “addiction to porn” even though what she is describing is no more addiction to porn than a vegetarian’s occasional McDonald’s burger is an addiction to meat.

What is happening in the evangelical community is that the traditions of the Victorian age have become internalized until most Christians don’t even realize that we are encourged, not forbidden, to view erotica.   As a result, sincere Chritians are spending much of their spiritual energy on an ascetic attempt to “deny the flesh” instead of serving God.

Paul dealt with the same impulse in the early church when he said that “forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats” was a doctrine of devils.  (I Tim. 4:3)

The flesh and erotica was created by God, and were intended to be enjoyed by men and women.  Christians sexual actions and their erotic thoughts are to be enjoyed either solo or within the boundaries of marriage, because it is within those limits that human beings can best live a holy, healthy, and fulfilled life.

Commanding to abstain from erotica is not Christian anymore than commanding to abstain from meats was Christian in the first century.

 

Lord Have Mercy! Baby’s got her blue jeans on.

 

Here’s a scenario to consider. A married Christian man sees a “Lord have mercy, Baby’s got her blue jeans on” lady on the street. His sexual desire is enflamed. Question, is his desire enflamed for just that woman, or for women in general and for his wife in particular. Will he think about ways to “get in her pants”? Will he proposition her? Will he wish that he had the social or economic status to successfully proposition her. Or will he go home and make love to his wife? If he turns his desire towards his wife, has he not done the healthy, Godly thing? Did not his wife benefit from the “pretty lady walkin’ down the street”? I submit that even if he looked a second and third time and appreciated the finely formed body of the lady, he did not lust after her if he had no intention or desire to have an affair with her. If he appreciated her fine looks and remembered when his wife looked that way (6 children and 25 years ago), then went home to make love to the wife who he remembers as very fine indeed, then he has acted as a Christian and will continue to have a healthy and fulfilled family life.

Your Mama was wrong

The normal viewing of pornography is neither sinful nor ungodly, despite what Mama said. Jesus condemned lust, not erotic arousal. The Bible supports the creation of erotic art. The mainstream Christian world did not condemn nude or erotic art for 1800 years. The early Christians were nude in public without guilt. The modern evangelical attitude towards erotica and pornography is not based in scripture or Christian tradition, but is rather the outgrowth of William Wilberforce’s “reformation of manners” and the resulting Victorian moralist views of the 19th century and the Social Gospel of the early 20th century. Finally, as New Testament Christians, our question should not be, “Is porn sin.” We should rather, using scripture as our guide, ask, “Does watching porn make our lives (and our neighbors lives) more or less Godly, fulfilled, and healthy?” I believe that the question can be “Yes.”
I will develop each of these themes in a separate post.