Monday, April 10, 2023

Jesus Left Them in the Tomb!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

As I write this, it is Resurrection Day. The day we celebrate the singular defining event in all history.

During worship this morning, a man in our church prepared and delivered a Spoken Word composition. It's a powerful medium for articulating truth.

During his presentation, he said something that struck me.

When Jesus left the grave, He left your sin on the floor. When He turned around to see where His body had lain, He smiled and said, “Sin, that’s where you’re going to stay!”

That’s a powerful image and a great way to say it! And what a wonderful truth!

What struck me when he said that was this… Jesus really did leave something behind in the grave… physically… do you remember what it was? Jesus left behind his clothing.

Both were Left Behind.

Could there not be some theological significance to these parallel observations? He left our sin there… He left he grave clothes there. Could these two declarations of what Jesus left behind in that tomb really be one and the same?

Death fell upon mankind when Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus conquered death when he came out of that tomb alive. He left our sins in that tomb.

Clothing came into the world as a direct result of mankind's sin. After his death He was wrapped in grave clothes. He left those clothes in that tomb.

Jesus was naked when He came out of that grave. There were no robes and tunics left behind for a dead person in the grave… just in case. The only clothes Jesus had in the tomb were the grave clothes, and God made a special point of telling us that they remained in the tomb (John 20:1-7).

But I had never considered that there might be theological meaning to part of the story.

The origin of sin and clothing are the very same event. They were both dealt with by the same event. Jesus left man’s sin AND man’s clothes in the tomb.

Denying Half of the Truth

Many a preacher will correctly proclaim that Jesus’ death and resurrection made a way for us to be restored to the relationship with God for which we were created. That was the relationship lived by Adam and Eve before they sinned. Go Get Those Grave Clothes

But most of those same preachers will just as vehemently declare that, “Oh no, that doesn't mean you can be naked and unashamed. We still have to wear clothes!”

   … As if somehow the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we're insufficient to cancel all of the penalty and curse of our sin.   

Jesus Buried Our Sin… and Our Grave Clothes

We who know redemption and the relational restoration should be the most confident in our freedom to be naked and unashamed. Especially in this day and age, could there be a more powerful declaration of our liberation from the curse of sin?

How sad and tragic it is that we who have been entrusted with the message of the Gospel would sabotage the Gospel message by holding on to (and religiously defending!) the devil's idea that our bodies are shameful… and that that is something we can never escape... not even through the power of the Resurrection.

I hope you had (and always have!) a wonderful Resurrection Day!

- Matthew Neal -

See also:
Longing for Eden
Who Hates Nudity… God or Satan?
Christmas and Naturism
Unclothed Servants
Redemption, a Work Accomplished by Christ’s Body

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Are Women’s Breasts for Men’s Sexual Pleasure?

The Cultural Assumption

So… are women’s breasts designed by God to give men pleasure? Are we really supposed to think about breasts sexually? Does the Bible teach that???

The church today has bought wholesale into the culture’s sexualization of the female breast. And because of one or two scripture passages, they have failed to discern that this notion is not, in fact, Scriptural.

“Let Her Breasts Satisfy You…”

Here’s the first passage… Solomon tells men with regard to sex:
“Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;” (Proverbs 5:19)
But does that mean that God made women’s breasts to pleasure men?

To be sure, the passages is about sex. “Let your fountain be blessed” is a pretty clear (almost graphic!) reference to the male ejaculate. The entire passage covers Proverbs 5:15-23. And the main point is, “Guys, find your sexual fulfillment at home with your own wife only.”

It’s in this context that we find the reference to breasts... without quoting the entire passage, here’s the nut of it (Proverbs 5:18-20 - NASB):
18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

Read It Pornographically? … or Biblically?

We read “breasts satisfy” and our minds immediately jump to pornographic imagery of men ogling and fondling large breasts and think, “Wow, the Bible actually endorses that!”

But what does “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times” really mean?

Well, Let’s put on our biblical thinking cap and consider it thoughtfully.

Since there’s a phrase that comes before it that is constructed as a parallel thought, “As a loving hind and a graceful doe…”, then it is safe to say that if we cannot articulate how these two statements are similar, then we do not yet understand the passage.

First of all, we have to acknowledge that this passage of Scripture is poetry. And as poetry, we should expect some “poetic” language… phrases and thoughts that draw parallels in our thinking that help communicate the intended message in an artistic way.

So… how ARE “hinds” and “does” like breasts satisfying?

Well, first of all, it can’t be about the simple sight of female deer (hinds and does are essentially synonymous). It must be in the fact that these female deer raise young deer. And for a long time, those young get their nutrition solely from their mothers. NOW we have a potential connection between the deer and breasts!

So… what is the primary purpose of breasts? They feed babies, right? The satisfy babies... that’s what breasts do best!

Breasts Satisfy… everyone knows that.

Solomon Is a Poet

Solomon wants to tell men, “be satisfied with your wife alone.” But as a poet, he picks up on the concept of breasts satisfying babies and paints the picture of a man being satisfied by his wife the same way that breasts satisfy babies… and for a baby, that’s the only source of satisfaction he has! And so it should be for a man.. satisfaction in his own wife alone.

It’s a literary mechanism that actually works really well…   as a metaphor, but also as a creative and artistic turn of the phrase.

Breasts are something that is a unique physical feature of women. So, Solomon invokes the reference to the breasts to speak of the entire woman. The proof of this is in the fact that if you changed Solomon’s words to, “Let her femininity satisfy you at all times,” you can see that the core meaning of Solomon’s teaching is not lost at all as it applies to the overall message of the passage. The only thing lost is some of the artistry of the poetry.

Fawns find their only source of satisfaction in their mother, that “graceful doe.” Men are to find their only source of sexual satisfaction in their own wife.

Then there’s the poetic mechanism of parallelism so common in Hebrew poetry… two phrases which either mean the same thing or opposite things. In this case, they mean the same:
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.
This is not, “Enjoy a body part” and then “focus on the love”... those are two different messages. Rather, the meaning of “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times” is actually equivalent to “Be exhilarated always with her love.

The “breasts” are an artistic reference to all that is a woman. This is not a passage that proves that God made breasts to be sexual turn-ons for men.

And No… Song of Solomon Doesn’t Sexualize Breasts Either…

The other passage often used to defend the sexualization of breasts in the bible is Song of Solomon.

But that book speaks equally of every part of a woman’s physical beauty—showering each body part with the same sort of accolades… including her hair, nose, and teeth. It is only the breast-obsessed mind that reads the passage and finds any peculiar sexual attention on breasts.

We as people of the Word should not act like people of the World.

The World sexualizes breasts.

God’s Word does not.

— Matthew Neal


See also

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Christian Naturist Retreat!

Hello, everyone!

I haven’t written for a while... but that might be changing soon... more on that below.

Eden Ranch - Family Friendly Christian Naturist RetreatI’m just letting you know about a new Naturist Retreat that is being built in Livingston, TX (near Houston). And it is specifically Christian!

It’s being established by a pastor named Jim Moore.

How could a Pastor do such a thing, you ask?

Well, it's like this... when someone comes up to you as a pastor and asks you to help them talk their Christian friend out of being a “nudist,”
  • and you agree to do so... 
  • and you’re responsible enough to come into such a meeting fully prepared with all of the biblical direction that speaks to the issue... 
  • and you’re honest enough to seek what the Bible really says... 
  • and you’re committed firmly to the authority of God’s Word rather than the traditions of men...
  • and you discover that the bible doesn't actually say what you expected it to say...
  • and you tell the person that asked you to meet their friend what you actually found in the bible..
  • and so you suggest that they might want to JOIN their nudist friend instead...
Then... you ask yourself... “So, what am I going to do now?"

Well, the honest follower of God’s Word is going to lay aside their old beliefs and embrace the truth of God’s Word instead!

The rest—as they say—is history!

That’s Pastor Jim's story in a nutshell.

It’s a story I'm personally familiar with! You open the bible fully expecting it to forbid social nudity... only to find out that God’s Word is actually quite friendly to the practice... IF... we are honest and diligent enough to remove our modern cultural blinders.

And like me, Jim and his wife decided that they couldn’t honestly continue to live as if a lie were true. They had to live as if the truth is true instead. That’s why I wrote my 3-part series, Naturist By Biblical Conviction (Part 2, Part 3). Wow... I just realized... I wrote those articles over 10 years ago!

Jim and his wife also set up a web site to publish articles detailing the biblical understanding of God’s Word that led them to their current beliefs and practices. I’m happy to share it with you!

And... if you would like to help Jim and his wife establish this new retreat... they have set up a GoFundMe page.

I hope that you’ll pray about helping them!

 Meanwhile... I am hoping to begin publishing a little more on this blog. The problem is finding topics to write about. I’ve pretty much covered all the ground I needed to biblically, so I’m thinking about a series that I might call, The Logical Files... to deal with logical reasoning regarding naturism as it relates to what the Bible teaches.

And, as always, if there’s some Scripture passage that you have some questions about, please feel free to contact me or comment on the blog post to raise your questions. I just might write a new article to answer your question!

One last thought... I was talking to Jim on the phone and remembered the words attributed to Abraham Lincoln...

“When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest.”

Jim,  Thanks for being an honest Man of God!!

By HIS Grace,

— Matthew Neal

Relevant Links:

Naturist By Biblical Conviction
Eden Ranch - GoFundMe

Monday, March 27, 2017

Wasn’t Clothing the “Norm” in the Bible?

An Unaddressed Issue.
One of my non-naturist readers submitted an important question a while back. I thought the answer deserved its own new entry into The Biblical Naturist blog.
Here’s the email in full:
I've been reading and enjoying reading your thebiblicalnaturist blog. Your arguments are compelling and convincing. I'm a Christian, but not a naturist/nudist. Your blog has convinced me that the Bible doesn't condemn nakedness. However, I DO have a question that I haven't seen addressed.
From your descriptions, and analysis of Bible passages, and from my readings of Scripture, it appears that, while nudity was not really promoted or condemned in biblical times, most people wore clothes most of the time. They often went naked for: various jobs, prophesying, bathing in public communal baths, and exercising, but from my readings, the default was still clothed. Except for Adam and Eve, most accounts of nakedness were either related to a job, or some unusual situation.
I like the idea of making my home clothing optional, but I don't see bible passages stating that this was the norm.
I once asked a Sunday school teacher of mine (who had been an archaeologist in Israel) about footwear in NT biblical times, and specifically, during corporate worship. He indicated that wearing sandals (usually that person's best pair) was the norm. So... wearing your "Sunday best" seemed to be practiced even in Jesus' time.

While nakedness was much more common and much more accepted back then, I still get the impression that:
- Nudity still wasn't the norm. If it were, I would expect little to no mention of someone's nakedness. But nakedness seemed to be a condition to be mentioned as significant.
- The common man (or woman) walking down the street or living in his home was clothed.
- It was nothing like a naturist or nudist resort, even in people's homes or yards.
- Being naked in town would be like a homeless person is now. An indicator of extreme poverty, and to be avoided.
- Corporate worship (in a synagogue) was a clothed affair as well.
I would welcome your comments and views on this matter.
Thank You
Thanks for writing, Bill. Let me see if I can address your question in a satisfactory way.
First of all, I’m grateful that the blog has opened your eyes to the fact that the Bible neither promotes nor condemns nakedness. That acknowledgement all by itself sets you apart from the vast majority of Christians. And I really appreciate your words of affirmation about my work.
Now let me dive in on your questions.

The Question In a Nutshell…
Rather than comment point by point on what you’ve written, I’m going to see if I can summarize your question—hopefully accurately and fairly enough that I will not be guilty of creating a “straw man.” How does this sound?
  • In the Bible, isn’t it the norm that people were clothed most of the time?
And the answer to that is a simple “Yes, it is.”
But I’m pretty confident that that’s not the answer you were really looking for, because that answer is nothing more than the acknowledgement of a historical fact. It doesn’t mean much… or at least we haven’t yet discussed what that fact means.
The reality is that there are probably other questions—unstated, but implied (or presumed)—behind that question. There likely are assumptions about what the answer must mean, therefore answering in the affirmative to the question as stated is taken as assent to the veracity of the unspoken assumptions behind the question. But that is not the case. So, let’s uncover the assumptions and THEN answer what I suspect is your question’s real intent.

Assumptions, Assumptions…
Let me take an educated (and experienced) guess at the assumptions that you—or others—might be holding behind your question:
  1. You’re The Biblical Naturist; you’re obviously teaching that the Bible promotes naturism.
  2. Whatever we see as common practice in the bible should be adopted as normative (i.e. morally required) for us today.
  3. The descriptions of public life we read about in the Bible fully describes life for the common folks in biblical times.
Ok… so now I’m treading very close to “straw man,” right? I’m putting words in your mouth that you didn’t say so that I can shoot them down. That’s almost the case, but let me give the reasoning behind why I’ve articulated these assumptions as being hidden within your question (if not for you, then perhaps for others who have pondered the same question). Then I’ll give my response to each.

1. You’re The Biblical Naturist; you’re obviously teaching that the Bible promotes naturism.
  • The subtext of your question is, “How can you promote naturism when it’s obvious that the bible does not promote living life naked as a ‘naturist’?” If this subtext that were not in play, then the question would not really be a question, but simply a historical observation.
I do not promote naturism, nor do I teach that the Bible teaches that we should live naked. I don’t teach those ideas because those assertions would be false! The bible simply does not command or promote nakedness as a way of life. I’ve never stated or suggested otherwise.
What I teach is that fact that the bible does not command or promote clothing either! Clothing is not a moral requirement for righteous living. Clothing does not commend us to God. Our bodies are not visual impediments to moral purity. To teach any of these notions is to assert a falsehood.
Many times I’ve been asked, “Why is nakedness such a big deal to you??” … to which I answer, “Nakedness is not a big deal to me. Nakedness is only a big deal to those who believe it is morally wrong.”
No, I don’t promote naturism, I just confront the lies that claim that the Bible teaches against social nudity. (I wrote a blog article about that, too).

2. Whatever we see as common practice in the bible should be adopted as normative (i.e. morally required) for us today.
  • Clearly, the question you asked can only have bearing on whether or not people today can live life as naturists if we also assume that the very description of the biblical lifestyle should be considered a moral mandate on how we also should live. Otherwise, the question is as inconsequential as “Didn’t people walk just about everywhere they went?”
When people are looking for reasons to oppose social nudity, they are often tempted to make the very same observation you made, but with the presumption of moral mandate: “Social nudity was NOT the norm in the Bible, therefore to practice it is NOT normal and not biblically acceptable.”
But the problem is that when we pull out the assumption behind such a declaration and say it straight out as I just did as point #2 above, the absurdity of that assumption is so evident as to be laughable.
Nobody would argue that since people in the Bible never rode bikes, drove cars, or took buses or planes to travel that we shouldn’t either. Didn’t people just walk? Well, of course they did. So?
Yet if the very same logic were applied to travel as is sometimes made about clothes, then we’d have to ban all travel that was not by foot or by the power of a beast of burden!
So, as to the question of whether people generally wore clothing, the answer is, “Well, of course they did. So?”
Common practices of a culture long past are not morally binding on us today. Your question is fine for discussing the way of life in biblical times, but it is irrelevant to the question of the morality or practice of social nudity today.

3. The descriptions of public life we read about in the Bible fully describes life for the common folks in biblical times.
  • If we are looking to biblical times as our basis for biblical behavior today, then it must also be assumed that we know all that we need to know about those cultures we are supposed to emulate.
I shouldn’t need to spend much time on this one, because the absurdity of this claim is also self-evident, even though it too is inherently assumed in the question if we hold to Assumption #2.
Some might claim that we know everything that we need to know because God inspired the inclusion of only those things that we need to emulate… but the hypocrisy of that claim becomes immediately evident when you just compare how Christians live today against what we DO know about life in bible times (like walking everywhere, or wearing only tunics and robes). There’s really no other assertion besides the “nudity-taboo” that anyone ever tries to use “biblical life” to support.
The fact is we know very little about life in bible times as it relates to common nudity. What’s more, we read the biblical text through 21st century eyes. We consider the Bible’s teaching on clothing through the lens of wealthy modern individuals with enough clothes to go for weeks changing clothes every day without ever wearing the same outfit twice.
What did people in biblical times really think about nudity? How common was it really? When we read the bible in English, it’s hard to tell, because a careful examination of modern translations reveals that whenever nudity was mentioned or implied when not shameful or embarrassing, the text has been rendered in such a way as to obscure the nudity that was present. I’ve carefully documented this translational obscuration in the blog series, Squeamish Translating. Those articles focus only on New Testament texts, but perhaps I need to write a version from the Old Testament as well.

In Summary…
I suspect that you’re thinking, “I wasn’t thinking those things at all!” and I would believe you. But I would encourage you to answer the question, “Why would common practices of attire in biblical times matter at all to this discussion of the morality of Social Nudity and its recreational practice?” Perhaps there are other good reasons you could offer, but the only one I’ve ever been able to discern is the presumption of biblical practices being normative for us today. That particular reason is invalid, so that’s why I have addressed it.
The correct answer to that question is that if we can discern that nudity truly was more common in biblical times (for work, public bathing, in individual homes, ritual mikvehs, exercising, etc.), then we can draw a very strong conclusion that since the biblical writers did NOT forbid such public nudity, we cannot and must not have the audacity to claim that the bible does forbid it at all. This purpose for asking the question doesn’t support the nudity-taboo teaching, so you just don’t hear anyone offer it.
On that score, allow me to address a few points in your email that warrant specific commentary.

Additional Comments
Except for Adam and Eve, most accounts of nakedness were either related to a job, or some unusual situation.
I’m surprised that you say “unusual”… I dare say that naked prophets were not unusual. Naked girls milling grain were not unusual. Naked servants were not unusual. Naked fishermen were not unusual. Even naked poor people were not unusual. They might seem unusual to us today, but we cannot assert that it was unusual at the time. To describe them as “unusual” affords you the opportunity to categorize public nudity as “unusual,” when in fact it may not have been at all! That’s 21st century lenses at work.
I like the idea of making my home clothing optional, but I don't see bible passages stating that this was the norm.
The bible doesn’t comment on the incidence of nudity in the home at all, but certainly it must have been common if only wealthy folks had more than one garment in their possession and the garments worn during the day were repurposed as blankets at night (Exodus 22:26-27, Deut. 24:12-13). Family bath time, bed time, and laundry day all would have resulted in plenty of family nudity. Again, if we read these sorts of passages without the discoloration of our modern experiences, we’ll miss the implications of what it must have been like when whole families lived together in a single tent, as it was when the OT laws were given.
- Nudity still wasn't the norm. If it were, I would expect little to no mention of someone's nakedness. But nakedness seemed to be a condition to be mentioned as significant.
We must be careful what we declare “If… then” for. Quite frankly, my impression is that nakedness IS mentioned very little in the Scriptures. Nakedness IS mentioned from time to time in the bible, but it is again the modern-day mindset that notes the “significance” of the mention—assuming that the “naked” part is really the point of the mention! The way I see it, the poor’s nakedness was a sign of the poverty which God’s people were commanded to minister to. The mention of Isaiah’s nakedness was notable only because it went for 3 years non-stop. King’s Saul’s nakedness was notable because he had “changed professions,” since evidently nudity among prophets was so common as to not merit a mention. Peter’s nakedness fishing was mentioned only to tell why he grabbed his garment before jumping out of the boat (and he probably wasn’t the only naked fisherman on the boat!).
My point is that it is our modern mindset that says, “Oh… he was NAKED… that’s notable!” when that may not be the emphasis of the passage at all.
- The common man (or woman) walking down the street or living in his home was clothed.
We can guess that this was pretty much the case, but it may not be nearly as universal as we imagine today, 2000 years removed. Have you ever seen a naked person walking around in public? Yet in bible times, Jesus and others made a special point of telling people to pay attention to the naked poor people; it must have been common enough to warrant repeated instructions on that precise point! If people really did often work naked, then seeing a naked workman in the middle of the day would not have been noteworthy; when Mary Magdalene mistook Jesus for the gardener, the most natural explanation for her mistake is that He—having left the grave-clothes behind in the tomb—must have been “dressed” like an actively working gardener!
- Being naked in town would be like a homeless person is now. An indicator of extreme poverty, and to be avoided.
Yes, extreme poverty was to be ministered to by God’s people, and if they did so, then those needs would be addressed. But bear in mind that the “naked” that this is talking about is the same as the “hungry” the bible tells us to feed. Being hungry was not a moral need, it was a physical need. Being naked was not a moral need, it was a physical need (they probably sold the shirt on their back for food, so they no longer had a way to stay warm at night—See James 2:15-16 for a clear description of what the hunger and nakedness meant).
Furthermore, the instructions to feed “the hungry” and clothe “the naked” were not commands to feed any person we meet who happens to be hungry at the moment or clothe every person who happens to be naked at the moment; they were commands to feed the hungry people who truly had no food to eat and no way to get any food, and to clothe the naked people who truly had no clothes to wear and no way to get any clothes.
- It was nothing like a naturist or nudist resort, even in people's homes or yards.
Again, you might be right in the main, but you have no way of knowing this for sure. First of all, I know of no mention in the bible at all of any sort of “recreational” activity… either at home or “on vacation.” We’re really only guessing on this point.
However, it might be worth considering that if a carpenter worked in his own backyard woodworking shop, we could expect that he would strip off his clothes to preserve his one clean garment from getting sweaty and covered with sawdust. The same would be true for a gardener or any other physically demanding home-based job.
Beyond that, however, I can say definitively that there was a place in public life where nudity was precisely like a nudist resort… and that’s the local city’s “gymnasium” (from the Greek word gumnazo meaning “naked”) and any of the Roman Baths common throughout the Roman Empire. Even Jerusalem had a local gymnasium in Jesus’ day (Check out this article). Paul’s writing reveal his own knowledge of the gymnasiums’ existence and the activities practiced on their grounds (he mentions wrestling, running, boxing, and “exercise” a word translated from the Greek word gumnazo in the NT). These mental/physical training sites also served as Universities in their day, and yes, nudity was required for all genders while on the grounds. NOTE: These gymnasiums—or “Palaestras” as they were called—were a part of public life throughout the Roman empire while Jesus was on the earth and while the New Testament was being written!!

The Fine Print…
This is the part where I admit that almost everything I’ve suggested regarding commonplace nudity in biblical times is speculative. I can point to hints of these things here and there throughout the scriptures, but I have no concrete proof (except the point about the local Gymnasiums in Jerusalem… I can prove that).
But… we also have no concrete proof that any of the speculations I have offered are not accurate. My point is not to prove that my descriptions are accurate, but to point out that within the things you wrote, there are assumptions about how things were in bible times which themselves may not be accurate. Drawing final conclusions on my speculations would be indefensible. Drawing final conclusions on your representation of biblical life would also be indefensible. THAT is my point.

Again, Bill, thanks so much for writing… and for giving me this opportunity to put into a blog post some things I’ve pondered for a long time, but never directly addressed. I hope my comments have met your expectations. Please feel free to follow up with a reply here or directly by email.
— Matthew Neal

See also:
I Don't Promote Naturism
Obviously! – a post about Assumptions.
Squeamish Translating, and in particular, the article about Naked Disciples.
A Day at the Baths (this shows the layout details of a bath and Paleastra combined)
Hellenism: Center of the Universe (This one is startling in its implications…)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Biggest Enemy of Christian Naturism

…Is NOT Bible-believing Christians

There are a LOT of Christians who are absolutely sure that the very idea of social nudity is totally immoral and contrary to God’s will… 

But they are NOT the biggest enemy of Christian Naturism.

I’d better define what I mean by “Christian Naturism” first…

Christian Naturism Is…

Christian Naturism: The belief held by followers of Jesus Christ that social nudity can be practiced in a chaste and righteous manner; it is also the belief that the practice of naturism is spiritually and physically healthy, and is in fact, a help to personal moral purity.

I believe that statement with all my heart. I also believe that the church at large would be greatly benefitted by this belief gaining widespread acceptance. I know that I’m not alone in that belief, for I have had the privilege of making the acquaintance of many followers of Christ with whom I have enjoyed fellowship in a socially nude context.

An Enemy of Christian Naturism is therefore anything that would impede the wider acceptance of Christian Naturism among non-naturist followers of Christ.


What Committed Christians Care About

My identity as “Christian” is MUCH more important to me than my identity as a naturist. For me, that means that God’s moral truth is of paramount importance, and living a life that pleases God and is in harmony with God’s Word is what really matters… not the practice of naturism.

A committed Christian cares about:

  • God’s Truth as revealed in the Bible.
  • God’s standards of moral conduct.
  • Living life to please God rather than self or others.

I will never suggest to any Christian who loves God to abandon or degrade even one of those core values in order to embrace any practice or lifestyle.


The Biggest Enemy of Christian Naturism

I hold therefore that greatest threat to the acceptance of naturism among Christians is when that acceptance is married to the acceptance of unbiblical positions on other moral issues.

I’m fully aware that I may incur the ire of many fellow naturists who have appreciated my other works on this blog, but I’m going to name the issues that I believe must be separated from the issue of naturism:

  • Sexual Immorality… in any of its forms:
    • Fornication (pre-marital sex)
    • Adultery 
    • Homosexuality
  • Unbiblical Social Stands:
    • Same Sex Marriage
    • Transgenderism
    • Abortion rights
  • Any rejection of the authority of the Scriptures as God’s truth for His people

I would never ask a Christian to abandon any of their convictions on these issues in order to embrace naturism. In fact, I will openly and vigorously oppose any naturist (Christian or not) who suggests or declares that the practice of naturism presupposes the alteration of their beliefs on any of the points I’ve just listed. Why?

Because doing so is the biggest enemy of Christian Naturism.

I Want Committed Christians to be Even MORE Committed To God’s Word!

I’ve written this blog principally for one purpose… to demonstrate that social nudity is NOT contrary to the moral teachings of God’s Word. I’ve written to demonstrate that the nudity-taboo taught in the church today is a man-made cultural doctrine that is actually unbiblical, offensive to God, and an impediment to moral purity.

I want Christians to study social nudity with a deeper commitment to the authority of God’s word, God’s truth, and God’s standards of morality than they’ve ever had before. I want them to have more confidence that their beliefs and practices are based on careful, honest, and accurate interpretation of the Scriptures than before they sought to discern a biblical stance on naturism.

I will never ask someone to embrace naturism at the expense of God’s revealed truth. Period.

— Matthew Neal —

See also:
Naturist By Biblical Conviction
I Don’t Promote Naturism
I Would NOT Be A Naturist If…

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Connect with me on Facebook!

Hey, everyone.

If you appreciate this blog, feel free to follow me at The Biblical Naturist page on Facebook!

Thanks for your support!

— Matt

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

God Doesn’t Like RED! (the Failure of “Guilty-By-Association”)

Weird post title?

I agree.

No, I don’t really believe that God doesn’t like red. Quite the opposite, actually.

But… if I am careless (and biased) in my approach to biblical interpretation, I can make a pretty strong case from the Bible that God doesn’t like red. He might even hate it!
Ask a preacher about what God thinks about nakedness, and you’ll almost always hear, “Throughout the Bible, you’ll find nakedness associated with shame. Therefore, nakedness is shameful and wrong.” In other words, Nakedness is Guilty-by-Association.

To start with, it’s worth observing that they will not point you to any Scripture passage which simply and clearly condemns nudity. In fact we can make quite a list of “rules” about nudity that are not found in the bible.

There is…
  • No verse that forbids you to see others naked.
  • No verse that warns you against allowing anyone to see you naked.
The “exceptions” are missing, too.
  • No verse that says you can see your spouse naked.
  • No verse that says doctors are permitted to see their patients naked.
  • No verse that says how young your child may be and still see you naked.
Why don’t they just point to such a verse that forbids public nudity? Simply because there isn’t one.
So, they have to utilize the next best thing… the Guilty-by-Association argument.
“Guilty-by-Association” on Trial
OK… let me say up front that I don’t believe “guilty by association” is any proof of “guilt” at all. Scripture interpretations based on “Guilty-by-Association” are false. I know of no teaching about moral standards—accepted among biblical Christians as doctrinally sound—which is based solely on the “guilty by association” argument.

Wait… I know of one… the argument against social nudity. That’s the only one.

But if “Guilty-by-Association” is not accepted for any other moral teaching, why is it accepted for this one issue? Is “Guilty-by-Association” actually is a sound interpretational means to discern God’s moral perspective on a matter?

If “Guilty-by-Association” is a valid way to interpret the Bible, then God hates RED. And I can prove it!


God Hates RED!

A survey of the Bible shows how the color red is associated with sin or sinfulness.
In the Old Testament:
  • Isa. 1:18 - “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.
    • Obviously, God wants us to know that sin is associated with the color red, for He repeats Himself, comparing sin to scarlet AND crimson.
  • Numbers 19:1-10 – This law calls for the slaughter of a Red Heifer for the sin of the Israelites. The entire animal was to be burned (no eating any part of it) along with some red cloth.
    • The priest who performed the sacrifice was to be considered unclean. Being unclean is obviously not a good thing.
    • Likewise, the one who gathered up the ashes after it was burned was to be considered unclean.
  • Proverbs 23:31 – “Do not look on the wine when it is red…”
    • God’s disdain for the color even extends to what we drink.
  • Genesis 25:25  - “Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.”
    • Later in his life, Esau sold his birthright for some red stuff.” (Genesis 25:30)
    • No wonder God says in Malachi 1:3, “I have hated Esau.”
In the New Testament:
  • Matthew 6:13 – Jesus said, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’
    • Bad weather is associated with the color red.
  • Rev. 6:4 – “And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.”
    • The Second Horseman of the Apocalypse, sitting on a red horse, bringing war, and death.
  • Rev. 12:3“Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.”
    • This perhaps the most damning verse of all, for red is the color of the Dragon… Satan himself!
So, in the scriptures, we see a consistent pattern of the color red being associated with sin, sinfulness, Satan, or other bad things. This is how we can know that God hates RED.
It’s Innate!
This is something that God has built into every person, too. Think of these facts about how we respond to the color red in our lives:
  • We naturally recoil at the sight of blood, which is red.
  • When someone gets very angry, we describe them as “seeing red.”
  • If our financial ledgers have a negative balance, we are “in the red.”
  • We use red to tell people to STOP!! And no one likes to be told to stop.
  • Red is the sign for danger.
  • Red is color of destructive fire.
  • Women painted with red lipstick are a source of temptation to lust for men.
It’s easy to see why red has a negative meaning in human society; this is directly the result of the fact that God hates RED!

The Christian who wishes to live a life pleasing to God will judiciously eliminate red from his or her life.



Everything I’ve just written about how God hates the color red is utter poppycock.

Pure rubbish.

Terrible, terrible interpretation.

And it’s because I’ve invoked the “Guilty-by-Association” argument.
“Guilty-By-Association” Fails the Test
Let’s look at how bad it is and why it’s so wrong.
  1. I was prooftexting. I searched for and cherry-picked verses that I could somehow twist into supporting my pre-determined conclusion. If it didn’t support my point, I skipped it.
  2. And that brings me to my next error… there were many references to red in the Bible that are NOT associated with sin or anything bad. So if red is not always associated with sin or bad things, the color itself cannot be the issue!
  3. I lifted the passages completely out of context. I quoted only that portion which I deemed to support my conclusion. Esau was not rejected by God because he had red hair. The red sky at night (as opposed to the morning) indicated good weather to come. There were four horsemen, each on a different color horse.
  4. I focused on the color to the exclusion of any other part of each passage, making it sound like the color was THE reason the text indicated anything sinful or bad.
  5. I paid no attention at all to the fact that there are multiple words that are translated as “red” in the Bible. They are not all used the same way.
  6. I completely ignored the fact that red is a natural color found abundantly in creation… utilized to great beauty in the natural (and very good!) world!
  7. Finally, NONE of the passage were in ANY way given to us to communicate God’s attitude towards the color red!
This is how you make a point using the “Guilty-by-Association” argument. And it is all wrong.
God knows how to declare His standards of conduct. His clear words of moral absolutes are found throughout the Bible. When God doesn’t clearly call something sin or forbid it, then we must not presume to “add it in” using a spurious or false argument to support it.

Nakedness is not a new thing among humans. It is simply inconceivable that God would have failed to clearly state his will regarding nakedness if He really did wish to forbid it (see Inconceivable Omission).

Let’s review how those who use “Guilty-by-Association” make the same sort of errors that I made trying to prove that God hates red…
  1. They use prooftexting. I have seen many people simply list Scripture references rather than present clear interpretation of those verses based on the context. If they do quote a verse, they never present it in its context. When I respond to such folks, I take the scripture reference they’ve given me and quote it back to them in its full context (with an explanation of what it really means), I simply get no reply back! Prooftexting always fails the test of careful and honest exegesis.
  2. There ARE verses in the Bible that present nakedness without any shame or sin associated! Sadly, many of them have been translated out of the English language Bible (See Squeamish Translating) so that the references to nudity that remain in the English translations are mostly negative (Seriously...see Squeamish Translating)! Studying the matter by consulting the original languages reveals this bias against nudity and deals a blow to the “Guilty-by-Association” effort. The fact is, unless all occasions of nudity are equally “shameful,” we cannot conclude that the nakedness is the de facto source of the shame.
  3. Passages about nudity are often lifted out of context. Most notably is the teaching against incest in Leviticus 18… which uses the euphemism “uncover the nakedness of…” for incest (since there is no Hebrew word for “incest”). The phrase absolutely and unequivocally refers to having sexual relations with a close (“blood”) relative (reiterated 4 times in the passage… see Lev. 18:6, 12-13, 17) . Yet those who have pre-determined that the Bible forbids social nudity do not hesitate to rip that phrase in Leviticus 18 right out of its context in their attempt to declare social nudity to be immoral (see also The Meaning of Nakedness).
  4. Opponents of social nudity regularly quote passages of Scripture that deal with nakedness and shame and they invariably assign the shame to the nakedness rather than the behavior of the “shamed” person. The truth is this… every time there’s shame associated with nakedness, there is ALSO a description of the person’s shameful and sinful behavior! It is indefensible to focus on one aspect of an account and presume that it alone is the source for the shame related in the text.
  5. There are a number of words in the Old Testament that refer to a person being without clothes. Here’s another very significant FACT about nakedness in the Bible… of all the Hebrew words that reference nudity, only ONE (ervah) is ever associated with sin and shame! That observation by itself should tell us that simple nudity is not the moral problem Bible people seem to want it to be (see The Meaning of Nakedness).
  6. Opponents of social nudity conveniently ignore the fact that God created Adam and Eve (and all of the other creatures in the world) to live naked and unashamed. It was so significant to His “very good” creation that it merited a special mention in Genesis 2:25. This very positive attitude about His naked creation—expressed by the One who cannot change—is completely ignored and/or discounted. God didn’t change His attitude about the naked human form… people did! (see Who Hates Nudity… God or Satan?)
  7. Finally, there’s not ONE passage in all the Bible expressly given to us in order to inform us of God’s moral view of nakedness (with the possible exception of Genesis 2:25, which affirms the goodness of nakedness). Therefore, each and every passage cherry-picked to make a guilty-by-association argument against nakedness is a passage that was not given to us for that purpose! Again, if God wanted to tell us what His moral opinion is about simple nudity, He could have, and He would have. But He didn’t.
We Must Not Be Hermeneutically Lazy
Yes, we can all see that there are passages where nakedness and shame are closely associated. But nothing is “Guilty-by-Association” when we study the Bible to determine moral truth. Not even for nakedness. It is simply irresponsible and lazy if someone is willing to accept superficial conclusions about nudity based solely on the Guilty-by-Association argument.

As it turns out, “Guilty-by-Association” is the only argument that’s ever been available for use against social nudity, so it’s the only one that anyone has ever heard. It’s been repeated so frequently that no one ever pays attention to the fact that very foundation of the argument is false. Nor do they bother to examine its conclusions and put them under honest hermeneutical scrutiny.

“Guilty-by-Association” is false. It is always false. And it’s high time that solid and trustworthy teachers of the Bible be honest enough about it to lay it aside… even if it means giving up their opposition to nudity.

— Matthew Neal