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I have long since convinced myself that God is not in the least offended by my nudity. Lately I have been wondering if He is offended by my wearing of clothes. This question came into my mine after reading T.H. Pine's new book, "Father Al Sees The Future" (available on Amazon).
My question is based on a few observations:
1. God created us nude and in his image and called it "very good"
2. Before the fall God and Adam and Eve walked together nude in the cool of the evening in the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden.
3. Our skin is the largest and most sensuous organ of our body.
4. We were created to live in community.
5. We are taught to be honest, modest, open, forgiving, tolerant, and loving in our relationships.
As I see it, the unnecessary wearing of clothes hinders the full enjoyment of any of these factors and renders a couple of them (2 & 3) virtually impossible.
Reasons 2 & 3 are the two new thoughts that recently came to my mind. Why would God in His wisdom create such an organ as our skin with it sensitivity to the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze of the evening and want us to deny it?
The church is one organization that has always taught me that only a covered body is acceptable to God.
I don't think I'll be able to argue my opposite conclusion in church next Sunday, but still I wonder. Am I wrong?
I don't think so, at least not in and of itself!! After all Gen 3:21 says "And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them." So, no, not an insult. I'm reasonable sure that he would be more insulted by the blatant use of clothing in a tempting way. It is a dilemma, fashion in some places has young women wearing reasonably skimpy summer clothing. For most that is fine and wonderful to see, but for some women that is an excuse to be temptresses. The other side of that is there are also men who would look on that as an "invitation" when it is not!
So, without getting into a lengthy diatribe to explain it further. Humans are and always have been the source of the problem!
If what you say is true, then God didn't intend for us to live in Minnesota.
Thanks to the both of you for your responses I purposely made this post short and vague in order to try and generate a lively discussion. You both make very excellent points.
Thanks for responding.
Some people were born there. But where does this "compulsive" thing come from?
But notice how virtually everyone everywhere wears some clothing all year round? It may not be much but even the most isolated people in the Amazon River basin or somewhere in Borneo wear clothes. In those very few places where people do not generally wear anything, among adults it is usually only the men who are completely naked. Of course, those people probably haven't heard of God, or at least of the one we frequently make reference to, I assume, so they are off the hook as far as insulting anyone.
I don't know about you lot, but if it wasn't for the puritanical thoughts around here (including crazy work criteria), I would be naked from March to November (sorry but the winter months are just too cold, even though there are days which are great - like today with temperatures in the lower 20s).
I've not posted here for a long time (I've backed off a lot of boards). I wanted to comment on this thread, however, that the first issue of Fig Leaf Forum (November 12, 1994 www.figleafforum.com) explores this with an article titled "The Second Sin".
Although FLF is not very active anymore, it has a lot of resources for nudists and naturists. As far as I know you can still sign up to read the articles.
Thanks for bringing up the FLF publication. Someone advised me about that forum back when it was just getting started. I have all of the print copies. I'll have to go back and read #1.
Yes, both FLF and Sunny's site have been immensely helpful to me in my pursuit of truth and encouragement in my journey into nude living.
Back to the original point of this thread, I don't believe God is insulted by our clothing, but it can be a reminder to us that clothes were the original (attempted) cover-up of sin. So, in that sense, shedding our clothes can be a symbol of our declaration of openness to God, and therefore a way to bring glory to Him. For the last several years, I have had my morning devotions, as well as my daily prayer time with my wife, while still nude. I often declare to Him in beginning my prayer that I am coming before Him with nothing between us. I am abandoning any attempt to hide from Him that which he so wondrously created.
My wife doesn't fully agree with me on this, but she is accepting, and it is a good reminder to me of my relationship with my Lord. The only thing I can find in scripture that He tells me to put on is righteousness, not clothing.
So, in my view, clothing is not an insult, but nudity can be a praise to God.
I stumbled on this by accident but sometime there is a divine intervention that causes these things I feel.
In the beginning Satan and his minions were cast out of heaven because they wanted to be like God. When man was created in his image and likeness Satan became jealous or else why would he have tempted Eve to eat from the tree? Now as far as I know the one thing man can do that angels can't is procreate. The one Godlike thing that we can do with God's help is recreate life! So it only stands to reason that Satan made them ashamed of the parts of their body used for procreation thus the fig leaves.
The clothes God made were for protection from the outside world (Minnesota); the cold, wind, rain and things that bite and stick. I think we got it wrong, the body should be exposed and covered when necessary. Modesty is a man made ideal from those who found it hard to control themselves; so they decided to control the rest of us.
I was hesitant to jump in on this thread initially. I try to steer clear of making statements about what God is thinking. Only in a few places are we told of His thought processes and those are on specific subjects, such as the presence of sin or the practice of idolatry (read any of the prophetic books). We were given the 10 commandments but those only hint at what God was thinking.
My 1st reaction to the question by Phillip was, “Can any thing we do INSULT God?” We can anger Him or cause Him sadness through our actions, but do we have the ability to insult Him? I don’t know, I don’t think so. Being able to insult implies a power or control over someone’s mental or emotional state. It’s an interesting question though.
Any discussion of clothing ultimately has to go back to the garden. That’s the 1st mention of clothing in the Bible along with the events leading to their making. On this business of the clothes, God didn’t tell them to wear them. Adam and Eve chose to make the clothes, God showed them how to make them*, and then sent them out.
Nudity in general is not mentioned much in the Bible. Nakedness is described as less than preferable. The usual result was the naked person being clothed as an act of kindness. Being naked outside of your control implied you were poor.
We are told Peter, and likely others, as a tradition, worked the fishing boats naked to preserve their clothes. Isaiah was asked to go about naked for three years as a sign to Israel of their impending enslavement. Conquered people were usually carried off to slavery by the victors. Not only were they stripped of their freedom and belongings, but also their clothes. This was to enforce the power of the victor over the conquered. If you were naked you most likely were a slave.
Clothes, in general, were a tool. Like a hat or a shovel. Their purpose was to shield or protect from the elements. When we begin to think of clothes as necessary or important to who and what we are, we begin to walk close to the edges of idolatry. I think this is what Paul spoke of in 1 Tim 2:9. Do not make clothes more important than the person. People (souls) are more important to God than clothes. Jesus tells us in Matt. 6 and Luke 12 to not worry about life, food, bodies or clothes. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matt. 6:25. He is not saying to go around naked, but to not make status symbols, elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, (1 Tim 2) into a form of idolatry. Bringing the focus on yourself not God.
Phillip, I agree we are made in His image, but I have always thought of that as “spiritually in His image”. I don’t think I physically look like God.
BlueTrain, clothes-compulsive to me is having clothes associated with every human endeavor. An outfit, suit or uniform for everything. Nothing we do requires nudity except bathing and some don’t even disrobe for that!
Bornnude, thanks for the link to Figleaf Forum. Got a copy and will read it.
Nudewalker, interesting idea about Satan and re-creating life. Hmmmm.
Just curious?? Who of us has the likeness of the spirit of God? Oh some but not all. God is love but we don't show it.
Adam heard Him walking in the garden... has feet?
God Spoke. He has a mouth John 9:29
God Sees. He has eyes Is 53:10
God hears. He has ears John 9:24
God has hands Job 6:9
Sits on His Throne He has a butt Is 6:1
Wears a robe Shoulders?
Jesus said John 14:9 He who has seen Me has seen the Father
And everyone carries his image. So no matter the birth defect we are still able to recognize a person is a human and so then the image of God.
You are often unable to recognize His likeness in their/our spirit or our love for others but we can recognize His image, our bodies.
It's been 3 weeks since I started this thread and I think the discussion has pretty much run out, so I'd like to explain my reasons for presenting the question. I framed the question to be attention getting, vague, and very open ended. I thank each of you who made comments. Each of you contributed to the question in a way that expanded the discussion and introduced new questions.
Obviously I do recognize the desirability of clothes (need I say necessity?) in harsh and cold climates. The basic thought that caused me to raise the question of insulting God by wearing clothes was the realization of the very nature of our skin. I have long known of the scientific facts about our skin as being our largest organ, and even of its ability to sense warmth, cold, wind, water, snow, etc....... I had just never considered that understanding as a gift of God, as a way to honor God by utilizing the full sensory nature of our skin to enjoy His creation. I had experienced many times the joy and total contentment of being nude on a beach with the stimulation of the warmth, the sand, the breeze, the sounds. I have often walked nude and alone in my backyard on a summer's morning experiencing the early morning sun, the sounds of the birds, the breeze wafting through the trees, the cool dew on my bare feet. I have experienced all of that many times without ever thinking that it was the gift of God in our bodies that we were created to enjoy, and that by denying the full sensory expression by covering our bodies we were saying in effect, "No thank you, God. I know you don't want me to feel this good."
The sad thing is that most of us compulsively cover ourselves thinking that we are pleasing God; That in doing so we are honoring Him. It is the most deep seated moral principle that we have. In our churches we discuss every moral issue imaginable except the wearing of clothes.
Maybe I'm crazy for tying this sensory perception of pleasure through our skin as being designed by our creator for our pleasure. After all, many Christian ascetics have taught that denying pleasure in any form was the highest celebration of honoring God.
Anyway. Thanks to all who joined the discussion.
I mentioned somewhere in another thread about the thinking of early nudists, going back to the 1890s in Germany. The basic idea was that man, by moving into the crowded, dirty cities, had become separated from nature and that to restore himself (and herself), they should return to the countryside and literally "recreate" themselves whenever possible. That was also the general thinking behind other "back to nature" movements that did not include or emphasize nudity. That is the origin of the term "naturist," which did not necessarily mean the same thing as nudist. It might even be questionable as to whether or not all nudists are naturists but we split hairs.
It was originally an urban movement, that is, of city dwellers, rather than country folk who did not suffer to live under the crowded and dirty conditions that people did in the city and besides, they were generally a lot more conservative, as is still true practically everywhere.
Just like today, nudist had to continually defend themselves from criticism of various kinds and partly in response, parts of the movement became more conservative, as it seems to have been in the United States in the 1950s. Also, new ideas were put forth by nudists to justify their activities, nearly all of which were related to health, beauty and, believe it or not, nationalism (this was in the 1930s into the 1940s). One such idea was that full nudity facilitated the pairing of the best individuals for reproducing. There was an element of eugenics present. That concept had considerable support around the world in the first half of the 20th century.
As far as I have been able to tell from the literature of the period, God did not have anything to say on the subject and he was left out of the discussion entirely.
It is worth emphasizing, however, I think, that the original object of nudist and anyone else who might be called a naturist, was simply recreation. Not simply fun and games, which were included, but just basic re-creation. That's still the basic object. The old "American Sunbathing Association" even changed its name to American Association for Nude Recreation.
While all of that was going on, cities were made better places to live, too.
I think this is a fair question, but if we're talking about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Biblical God, I don't think it's insulting to him that we wear clothes. I mean, first off, he himself clothed Adam and Eve. Lots of things insult him - the Bible calls them "abominations" - but clothes never made any of those lists.
What IS important is that the REASON we have to wear clothes now (our sin, which brought danger into the world) IS insulting to God. And that, one day, that reason will be annihilated.
So I think the evidence does point towards God having a preference toward Man living nude, just not that he's insulted by clothes, per se. If he was insulted, I think it would have been important enough for him to write down in the Bible (but he didn't).
Many perspectives make for a clearer picture.
I love posts like this one.
Thank you, beachbunny. I can't let your comments go without a response. When I read your comments I laughed out loud and called my wife into the room to share them with her. You've let my "secret" out of the bag. My feminine side is dominant. My wife, on the other hand, is dominant in her masculine side. We often tell friends that our marriage is the perfect balance of masculine and feminine qualities. She has the masculine. I have the feminine. A lot of people have a problem with this and sexual identity (especially right now with all the news about trans-gender). We are perfectly at ease with our bodies and our heterosexuality. This is no secret. It is a source of a lot of laughs for us to talk about our differences among friends. I'm way too old to try to be somebody I'm not. That same thing applies to my worrying about what people think of me. I've gotten to the age (75) where I don't give a ****. And that's a good thing.
God gave us such sensory perception for a reason. I don't think we should deny it.
Thank you for picking up on this. It really had not occurred to me when I first asked the question. I'm happy that this thread has generated so much response.
In a previous post I wrote this to Philip: "I think Philip gets it that our bodies are sensual organs. By wearing clothes most of the time, we dull that sensuality... non-nudists ask how I can enjoy being nude, and how I can relax and enjoy the feeling of being nude rather than constantly being nervous or 'on guard' about who might see me."
Philip also said, and he's right:
Trying to pick quotes from BeachBunny's response but this is a hunt and peck day due to arthritic fingers! I guess the term "forced morals" because, at least in my household, simple nudity was not frowned upon. I would often walk from the bathroom to the kitchen for a drink then head to my bedroom to get dressed. Mostly in the morning and for coffee! My siblings often went from the shower to the basement to get clean laundry or put one of their favorite things in the wash. So when I got exposed to religious teaching it was like they were forcing their ideals on me.
I do understand what you mean by socialization however. Despite all the evidence that adult nudity has no ill effects on children there are still those who insist that children will be harmed forever if they see their parents naked. That's what happens to many as BeachBunny pointed out; instead of a learning experience it becomes a punishment. The body is seen as something bad so there is the temptation to see or touch the forbidden fruit.
If you have decided that it doesn't matter whether or not you fit into society or culture, then it doesn't matter what difference it makes to God, either.
Let me mention a couple of things here that probably won't improve thee discussion but they are worth pointing out.
First of all, swimming nude in school was hardly universal nor were school swimming pools especially common. I live in a county with a population of over a million people and no school has a pool. There are county rec centers, however, some of which have pools. Same with the YMCA. There is a grand total of one YMCA in the county. It is not likely the membership constitutes a high percentage of the population. Also, not all YMCAs had pools and some were quite small. It is usually assumed that the YMCAs ceased to have nude swimming for males because of membership problems. That may be true but even in the 1950s, twenty percent of the members were female, according to one source. It's just as likely that objections to nudity came from males as females. In schools, the 1960s and even more in the 1970s, parents became more involved in school activities and it is equally likely that some parents raised serious objections to the practice.
As far as I know, school around here still have gym, although I understand showers are no longer required. When I was in school, showers were a very rushed affair and it wasn't like you actually experienced much nudity then. In real time, it might have amounted to something like five minutes total in a week, maybe ten tops. Any conceivable gain in becoming accustomed to being nude would be more than offset by teasing and harassment because you were small, skinny, overweight, pale or any number of things. I was skinny and pale (being a redhead then) but wasn't bothered at all by nudity but I suspect others might have been. It wasn't something that anyone seemed interested in discussing, either in school or at home. It was just the way it was, like having to take algebra.
I've just now gone back and re-read all the comments, and my husband re-read all the comments and also my posts.
My husband feels these comments between me and Philip may be the most important of the whole thread:
Bluetrain, since your comments about the YMCA, school-based swimming programs, and showers tell me more about how things really worked when you were growing up, I want to respond since I was talking about trying to promote the health benefits of nudity, at least in a same-gender shower and swimming context.
Nice comments here. I'm going to have to give some thought to my next post before doing anything. Nothing worse than a post that makes no sense, not that any of mine are going to be very well written. Doing these post is more like a conversation than writing.
I've written all kinds of things but I'm afraid because they're spread out over many posts responding to many different people, my main point could get lost.
So let's try again. My point is we need to find ways to normalize nudity.
Phillip is asking the right types of questions in this thread. He's turning the nude-textile question on its head. Instead of being on the defensive, explaining our "oddball" decision to go without clothes in private and in the few public places where it's allowed to do so, we should be saying (at least to ourselves) one simple question:
"Is there any good reason for me to be wearing clothes right now?"
Clearly the answer will often be "yes." Apart from nudist resorts and nude beaches and places like Cap d’Agde, nearly all workplaces require clothing. That's not just social custom. Many types of work could be physically risky if done without protective clothing, and that's also true for many things in the privacy of the home. Wearing an apron while cooking isn't done to make the cook look good -- it's done to protect what's under the apron. Temperature is a factor, too. Dashing outside after a snowfall to make a nude snow angel may be fun for a few minutes, and same for running outside and plunging into a snowbank following a sauna, but it's not fun for more than a few minutes.
When my husband and I married and moved into our first home, we wanted to be nude whenever possible and clothed only when necessary. Initially that was mostly a matter of saying, "FINALLY we have our own home and don't have to hide our nudity from other people," and like most newly married couples, yes, we did enjoy finally be able to freely enjoy nudity together without the slightest twinge of guilt. I have little doubt that what quickly became our common practice of coming home, getting out of our hot uncomfortable clothes, and (for me) enjoying the freedom of a body unconstrained by a bra and pantyhose and high heels, helped us a lot by associating nudity in my mind with freedom rather than with shame, and in my husband's mind, with the pleasure of seeing me undress and often spending time with me in bed before making dinner.
That's something nearly all newly married couples could be doing without guilt, no matter how strictly they've been raised. Just what is wrong with a newly married couple being nude at home as much as possible?
As Phillip has also said, the sensations of walking around nude feel great on the bare feet and the rest of the body. That's true not only outside, but also when walking on a carpet inside a home, and when the warm sunshine from the kitchen window lands on the back of a nude woman while she's cooking, or a nude man while he's reading a book in the sunroom or on the back deck.
Some of the strictest couples we know, once they married, started being nude as much as possible in their own homes. Normalizing nudity for them made a difference, and if it made a difference in their lives, how much more for lots of other people who never were so hung up with issues of false modesty, body image, or whatever?
If we can't be encouraging newly married couples to be nude at home as much as possible, where can we be encouraging a healthy attitude toward our bodies?
Things can move on from there.
So let's try again. My point is we need to find ways to normalize nudity.-BeachBunny
Yes BeachBunny, I've heard and seen this same comment on a number of forums. Much like the free breast movement it will take a few of us to get arrested, go to court and have a good enough legal team to get the case thrown out and statutes rewritten. When I was younger and had the money there was a carer to protect. With a family to support there was no way I could afford to lose my job. Now I'm retired I can't afford the lawyers.
"Is there any good reason for me to be wearing clothes right now?"-BeachBunny
There are a number of reasons, nudists may be different but we are not foolish. Thirty degrees outside with a windchill of twenty means yes I'll be dressed then. But I'll be naked in the house until then; Mrs. Walker on the other hand says she feels drafts so she's in flannels. Much like Phillip, I enjoy the sensations like a short blast of cool air if I'm near an outside door. It only lasts a second but can be refreshing if I feel overheated from working in the house.
Things can move on from there.-BeachBunny
It's hard to be supportive and encouraging when there is so much body shaming going on in media and social networking. On the red carpet it's alright to be critical of a dress or gown. It's quite another thing to be critical of someone's body for whatever reason! No wonder it's an uphill battle!
* An interesting thing about the clothes. Adam and Eve attempted to make clothes out leaves. :) Why? To hide sin? To hide their bodies? Was it a knee jerk reaction? The scripture only says “. . . they realized they were naked”. They had eaten of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and then knew about that, but not about how to make clothes. God had to show them how. The result of the 1st sin ** was bloodshed. An animal had to be sacrificed to make the clothes. Gen. 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
The answer to how they knew they were naked might be found in Sunny's story
"Finding a kindred spirit". Adam ate the fruit that Eve gave him and this awakened his self conscience ( he knew he had done something wrong ). This may of exited him and he got a erection, that Eve noticed and Adam got embarrassed, then tried to cover himself up with fig leaves, so she just followed suite.
Same thing happened to Jeff the first time he tried going nude outdoors with Sunny. You have to read it for yourself.
So long for now
Is wearing clothes an insult to God?
Well His son wore a robe, yet He was sinless.
I would also like to add to my other comment that most nudist resorts have a post on their web site about first time visitors concerns, male and female.
Under the male section one question asked is what do I do if I get an erection? And the answer is cover it up with your towel or wrap yourself up with your towel.
After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit a number of emotions came over them, quilt, shame, anger, fear, and worry. These emotions would cause their heart beat to increase, rapid breathing, adrenaline rush, and even cause them to be aroused sexually, something that they had not experienced before.
In this state it drew attention to these areas that made them feel uncomfortable and so they covered themselves with fig leaves.
It was God's choice not to cover Adam and Eve, but it was their disobedience that was their sin and only the shedding of blood would there be remission thereof. God clothed them with the animal skins because they were ashamed to be naked, thus creating a barrier between them and God.
I'm wrong, the reason Adam & Eve realized that they were naked is they looked at themselves and realized they were different from all of the other creatures (animals). They had fur and A&E didn't.
This is why God made them clothes from animal skins, so they would fill accepted or fit in with their animal company.
Think of how God felt when he had to cover up His greatest creation of all, made in His image, man.
My impression is that "primitive" people are more in touch with God than most of us are. But maybe it's Mother Nature they're in touch with. Either way, virtually no primitive peoples go completely naked--or nude, if you prefer. Most of them seem to live in nice, warm places, too. But they invariably wear very little clothing but clothing it is just the same. It becomes a question of modesty. Clearly modesty does not seem to be the issue for the most part, although it quickly becomes complicated.
For instance, the female members of some groups wear a kind of skirt that is ankle-long, yet are topless. The problem is, we view their habits and conventions and judge them according to our own standards.
In some cases, the clothing, such as it might be, is more in the nature of bodily adornment than concealment. But then, that is also true of many contemporary Western styles, at least for women. In all cases, of course, the rules usually only come into play when the individual reaches puberty or otherwise comes of age.