Recently within mainstream evangelical Christianity some rather shocking events
have come up within a close proximity of each other. One evangelical church’s
youth group produced a nude calendar for a fundraiser, another group considered
the development of a nudist camp for evangelical Christians, and a Christian
minister recently posted his “scriptural reasons” for becoming a nude
photographer on the internet.
Twenty years ago I would have never imagined the need to have such writing on
this topic. The legalisms of many fundamentalists groups in the past have left
many oppressive scars. This has led the Church on a progressive path to become
more flexible in the liberality for believers in Christ. On the most part I
would have to say this was rightfully done. However, it would now appear that we
have let the pendulum swing to the other extreme. It now becomes necessary to
address this particular subject to find some kind of balance.
This balance must contain direction from the Word of God as well as godly wisdom
behind it. God’s word will always provide both. In our past we found the
directive of the law but many times lacked the wisdom and reasons behind the
directive. It is this lack of wisdom behind the directives that result in
legalism as well as these extreme liberal positions Only when we understand the
wisdom behind the directive do we find the strength or even the desire to obey
the directive. Wisdom then is the missing element that will give us the needed
balance to directives even to those areas that are somewhat vague or general in
their interpretation called that “Gray” zone.
I hope the following will provide us with the necessary wisdom about nudity in
In The Beginning…
Our first mention of nudity is in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and
ashamed.” Gen 2:25
In this text, the scripture is describing a time before the fall. Now this is
important to understand because we cannot quote this and apply it as a
permission for our day and time. The only thing we can understand from this
text, is that the original intent from our creator in His perfect world was that
nudity was natural and uncomplicated. We must understand that we do not live in
this natural perfect world anymore. Things changed as a result of the fall. Sin
was progressive as well as the attacks of the enemy Satan. We need to understand
the spiritual warfare side of a bigger picture to know what can apply to us
Our Condition after the Fall: Setting the proper stage for
Aeon is the Greek word used for world and does not mean this planet but rather
the present age or system existing on this planet.
This present world system is against the ways of God and under the control of
Satan. This evil one is a fallen angel and the rebel leader of fallen angels who
are against God, mankind and all of creation.
“ the whole world is under the control of the evil
one.” I Jn 5:19 (NIV)
Not only has he taken control of this present system and age, he keeps people
from understanding the real truths of God’s ways and rules.
“In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of
which believe not,” Cor 4:4
He does this blinding by providing “alternatives” to the truth such as,
rationalizations, justifications, compromises and flawed logic. Through these,
he creates his own wisdom and ways of doing things called the natural order of
All we, as fallen creations have to do, is just grow up in this environment. We
are automatically subject to these natural ways of believing and doing.
These alternate ways of thinking and doing become so real because, “everybody
else is doing it”
The Fall produced a Flawed Mental and Physical Condition for
…”the imagination of man's heart is evil from his
Heart here is speaking about your mind not the organ that pumps blood.
It is your ability to make a free will choice based upon experience and
knowledge. What we determine or imagine apart from God’s ways are
just a part of the “natural” ways of this present system.
Our mental and even physical state was altered in a lesser form as a result of
the fall of mankind. This combination is called our sin nature.
: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and
wicked: who can know it?” Jer 17:9
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be
fashioned like unto his glorious body, ....1 Cor 15:48-50 “... flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
Phil 3:21 …There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: … It is sown
in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in
power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a
natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1 Cor 15:40,43-44
A historical and cultural observation of caution would confirm this physical
weakness of our natural body. In dealing with nudity from our physical nature
for the male, would be the testicle. This manufacturing plant for Testosterone
produces the sex drives and aggressive behavior in all males. In all cultures at
all times, men who were caretakers or guards of harems and palace dorms housing
females for various reasons were always neutered to keep them “faithful” to
their duties. They were called Eunuchs. This important observation tells us that
the beginning point toward a path of unfaithfulness is due to a mental and
physical flaw inspired first by the mere sight of nudity.
David, A naked man after Gods own Heart
This weakness both mental and physical is also confirmed by many stories
contained in the Bible. Let’s look at one such story, David, a man who is
described as, “ seeking after God’s own heart”. This was an honorable thing to
be said by God toward any individual. This also tells us that David on the most
part was a strong believer in God and a great man of faith. But in spite of such
a high acclaim, he fell, because he like many of us today, did not quite grasp
this thing of nudity.
I have seen people use the excuse that David danced before the Lord naked.
Because David was the King and anointed of God, was this act actually approved
by God? Was this the wisest thing to do on his part. The answer often used as
proof of God’s approval is that fact that the Lord did seem to back up David’s
action when his accuser Saul’s daughter scolds him for this public act. Included
in the scolding was the judgment she determined upon him as if she knew his
motives as being vulgar. This dialog clearly describes what was wrong. It was
her disrespectful attitude toward not the person or action but the position as a
God appointed leader. She was punished not as approval of what David did but for
who he was in God’s eyes. She may have seen a potential harm, and may have been
right in her concern but she was passing judgment on him and disrespecting his
position. It was for that she suffered a loss.
How can I surmise this from the text you might ask. You have to look at the
entire recorded life of David to understand this.
Later in David's life a situation came up that shows he probably did not
understand the importance of modesty or the enticing act of the sight of
“Then it happened one evening that David arose from his
bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he SAW a woman
bathing, and the woman was very BEAUITFUL TO BEHOLD. So David sent and inquired
about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam,
the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Then David sent messengers, and took her; and
she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity;
and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told
David, and said, "I am with child." Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me
Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David.” 2 Sam 11:2-6
The rest of the story goes on to tell how David motivated by the desire to have
Bathsheba, sets up her husband Uriah, to be killed in combat by the enemy.
This lusting began when he first saw her naked. He did not guard his mind and
his body fully yielded itself to the path of adultery and murder! And this
happened to one who would be considered by all, as above reproach. How much less
is anyone of us to be compared to King David?
An interesting side note to this is the fact that if David remained faithful to
the Lord, the lineage leading to Jesus Christ was already determined. Had he not
interfered in events they would have turned out to his desire in the first
place. His sin was not in viewing her nakedness but, “beholding her beauty” or
imagining and lusting for what he knew was wrong. Falling in his mind then led
to falling in the actual physical act of adultery and murder. Sin has its
progression beginning from sight then unguarded thought resulting to the
physical act. He then sinned against both God and man.
Naked Prophets in the Bible
There were several mentions of nudity committed by the Prophets. This has been
suggested by some as proof of acceptance to nudity in various forms in our
society today. Only in the proper context can this be seen as a very foolish
attempt to justify the impossible.
The nudity displayed by these various prophets were not to entice anyone into
anything sexual or expressing any artistic form of anything. This was in proper
context, each and every time, a visual sign of humility and a brokenness before
God and man. I am sure the sight was unmistakably one of conviction and remorse.
This again cannot be in any manner used for any justification for expressing
nudity in today’s society.
This weakness of being exposed to a visual form of nudity is not confined to
just men. Women have Estrogen flowing in their bodies the female equivalent to a
man’s Testosterone. A bit different but this substance makes a woman just as
subject to the physical and mental temptations as with the man.
This story begins with sight also.
“And it came to pass after these things, that his
master's wife cast
her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. Gen 39:7
Joseph was not even nude but his handsome sight was enough to lead her on a path
of deception and lies to get even at Joseph for rejecting her sexual advances.
Again sight first was the initial enticement. Joseph unlike David
understood the importance of living a “guarded” life. Joseph was subject to a
series of bad mishaps this being one of them. As he found himself with a rather
nice looking married woman who appeared to him in a very seductive way, she
literally ripped his robe off him. Finding himself alone with a naked married
woman now naked himself he ran away from her out of the room. The Bible says to
flee from the very appearance of evil and this was one of those incidents.
Joseph acted in accordance to the Bible and Fled from the very presence of this
A Third Dimension to Contend with; Fallen Angels and Demonic
As if we didn’t already have many things working against us in the area of
nudity, we have another dimension added. There are supernatural magnifications
created by supernatural beings called demons. This dimension is not fully
understood by many within the church or even those involved in ministry today.
The most common misunderstandings today are;
1.What are Fallen Angels and what did they do in Genesis 6?
2.How are Fallen Angels different from Demons?
3.How do they influence our lives today?
These three questions are directly involved with our topic of nudity and the
Bible as we shall now see.
Angels fall first by sight
Angels who are of a much higher order than fallen man were also subject to the
same temptations. Their knowledge and wisdom was from the eternal perspective.
They have seen it all and understand much more than mankind, which makes them
without excuse. From this more complete perspective, even Angels made the same
mistake as mortal man and it started by sight.
We see this in Genesis 6:1-4
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the
face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God SAW
the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which
they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for
that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There
were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of
God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same
became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Gen 6:1-4 (KJV)
For the sake of continuity, I will assume that you the reader, are already
familiar with the Genesis 6 scenario and that the “sons of God” are fallen
angels. If you are not, I would suggest reading Churk Missler’s book “Alien
Encounters” or if you can find it, “The Omega Conspiracy” by IDE Thomas.
These two books cover the fallen angels their offspring and demons with their
difference in regards to this Genesis 6 context completely.
Now these “sons of God” were fallen angels but they made a decision to crossover
into flesh and blood so they could experience sexual relationships with human
women. Satan had a greater plan behind this but for our purpose here, we need to
understand that the initial act was started and motivated first by sight. Now
the text here does not say that the women were nude but one can surmise that
Angels having the ability to see everything at any time, could have chosen when
to view the women and probably like David, when they were nude while bathing.
Regardless, the main thought important to us is that by a visual experience in
what ever state, they lusted after what they viewed and acted upon their desires
breaking God’s laws.
What does that tell us about our own human frail condition. We are much less
than the angels with a very limited understanding of things in our linear mortal
existence. If Angels can be compelled by sight, how much more can humans be
subject to the same temptations.
Another aspect of this story relevant to us today is the particular judgment
these sons of God and their offspring received. It is their judgment and their
present condition that we must understand, in order know just who and what we
are dealing with as an additional dimension to our problem of nudity within our
Fallen Angels and their offspring become “ghosts” or Demons
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast
them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved
2 Peter 2:4
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own
habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the
judgment of the great day. Jude 6
It is important to realize just exactly what the punishment was that was placed
upon the angels that sinned and their offspring. It is in this understanding of
the sentence imposed that we discover the disembodied spirits that play havoc on
earth today. On the surface from both scriptures one would imagine prisoners
chained in heavy iron shackles to a wall in some dark pit forever! I must admit
this was my personal image until I looked at all the words in the original
The term "chains of darkness" is referring possibly to much more than
what first appears. Zophos for “darkness” means “a dark shroud (a
wrap around enclosure) like a cloud”. Strong’s includes the idea of a "ghost".
Jude uses the word Desmond for “chains”. This includes a figurative
meaning, (aside from a meaning of a binding of any type) as “an impediment or
disability”. In Mark 7:35 this same word is used as string: "the string
of his tongue was loosed" Desmond was the word used here to describe
the impediment or "string" that was loosed to heal the dumb man who could not
speak. Jude also uses the word Hupo, for “under”. This addition
reinforces this idea of an impediment; so the meaning is, as an inferior
position or condition. Peter uses the word Seria for chains. This
difference in words is another example of the layered and amazing harmony of the
scriptures. This word further defines these chains in function. This overlap of
the same event gives us a whole picture of one event. Seria as developed
from its root and derivatives Suro and Airo can convey the idea of
a preference or choice to be trailed or dragged down and to be taken up or away.
This going up and down is described in the gospel of Luke .
"Jesus asked him saying, What is thy name? And he
said Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him
that he would not command them to go down into the deep." Luke 8:29
Many times the deep, depth, waters, sea and pit are all describing a
subterranean portion of sheol or hell. In this text the word "abussos"
for “depth” means “bottomless depth”. The implication here is that this is where
they were supposed to go, into the bottomless pit. In this sense, these spirits
are in a continual "chain" or cycle of going up and down from the pit. Through
various occult practices they are loosed to roam the surface of the earth as a
ghost or invisible demon spirit, then occasionally being cast back to the pit
under the authority of the name Jesus only to ascend and roam again.
In adding all this up so far; we have the angels that sinned, and their
offspring that are given over to be reserved for fulfilling prophecy, which is
another story not related to our topic here. While in this holding pattern, they
are put into a lesser form, as a dark shroud like cloud - a ghost. This chain is
also a cycle of going up and down from the pit. (Tartaros, the lowest
level of Hades) to the surface world. Humans who entertain occult activities,
which is the alternative to anything from God, sets them loose upon the earth.
Once set loose, they roam to magnify the lusts and desires of mankind. Their
ultimate goal is to occupy the souls of men to vicariously experience the
pleasures they can no longer experience in this limited disembodied form. We
call this possession which for many is more of a trespassing. This is where
nudity can take us today. We have hordes of disembodied spirits who would love
nothing more than to occupy humans to an uncontrollable frenzy of sexual
activity. This is why pornography especially on the Internet is the number one
problem plaguing everyone, even creeping right into the ministry. It is why we
seem as a society to be preoccupied with comedy filled with sexual innuendoes.
Most movies have to include a brief nude scene. STD’s are at a plague level with
Aids being the most feared killer. Children breading children with an
overwhelming amount of abortions. With all of this working against us in our
society why would members of the Church want to play around the edges of safety
and soundness, justifying something so dangerous.
So where does that leave us?
Society is already judged.
While everyone is hunkered down waiting for the judgments from God as a nation
or despondent church, I say we already have our judgment. The judgment is the
lack of discernment to no longer know right from wrong. We brought this upon
ourselves by our own ignorance, lack of wisdom and plain disobedience.
The way out.
The Pendulum of nudity has swung to both extremes within the Church today.
In our legalistic past we have tried the touch not, taste not, letter of the Law
without the wisdom of why something is right or wrong. This approach has scarred
many individuals as we add our prejudiced cultural ideas into the mix that are
not necessarily scriptural or compassionate to the individuals. This lack of
wisdom has always been the demise of mankind. Recently our more “enlightened”
liberality has swung or rather is swinging in the opposite direction with
catastrophic results. Our balance is in Biblical wisdom. Our way out is to apply
this in our lives today with the Spirit and the Word in agreement. Applied
wisdom is the missing element of power to give us the desire to be free from
danger with out feeling restricted or condemned.
We are told to walk circumspectly.
Circumspectly in Ephesians 5:15 is to live accurately with determination. It
also includes the mental attitude of considering our actions and decisions
weighing the possible consequences from all angles. The end results must line up
in agreement with the Spirit and the Word. Will your actions draw people closer
to Christ? Is this something you would do if Jesus were with you? Will you be an
influence to others or will you be influenced?
Lot thought he would let his light shine before the peoples of Sodom and
Gomorrah. As a closet believer he fell away being influenced rather than
influencing others. His mistake was not living a guarded life or drawing a line
in the sand.
My own personal experience as a Pastor of a Biker ministry called to witness to
a culture who’s life style was not too far from the people of Sodom or Gomorrah
has defined a good balance by this guide. There were times we were in bars or at
rallies where many things could become a compromising situation. The difference
was our boldness to draw a line in the sand. We made it very clear where we
stood or rather who we stood for. On the backs of our leather vests, we had in
big bold red letters Jesus Christ Lord and God. Along with this was a white
cross. We called it our statement. We did not get pounded or laughed at. We were
never shunned or any of the lies the enemy would tell you to “tone it down”. Our
balance was in being “prayed up” and determined not to compromise ourselves. If
there was any nudity going on we would physically turn away and continue our
conversations. We continued to drink sodas not beer. Our line in the sand was
our determination to go wherever we could to be an influence without being
influenced. The fruitful result? Hundreds of people came to know Jesus
And lived a new life in Him.
…women adorn themselves in modest apparel, 1 Timothy
Modesty in the minds of many means prudish. This is the view and impression left
by the legalism of the past. It actually means whatever is appropriate to the
situation. All of our situations I hope I have clearly shown are in a fallen
world with a hindered mind and body with entities that would magnify and
intensify sexual acts through a beginning point of sight. The human body is not
inherently evil. But in this fallen world it must be guarded. The exchange of
nudity is to be enjoyed as the most private experience by a man and a woman in
matrimony. Heb 13:4 Just as you would not share or publicize your most intimate
thoughts to everyone, you should also have this same guarded mindset for your
body. Public nudity in this fallen world is always inappropriate. With so much
working against us on this level I hope I have supplied you with enough Biblical
wisdom to see this. Modesty is a respect for your self, your fellow man or woman
and for God. It is a disciplined exercise of wisdom knowing our enemy and our
own weaknesses and the raging battle of existing in this fallen world. Draw your
own line in the sand against the “normal” and “natural things” of this world of
deceptions, illusions….and alternatives.