Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Second Adam

1Corinthians 15:21-22

"So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life." New Living Translation

"For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." Revised Standard Version

"For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." New King James Version

Bible Verses Bold; Quotes from the Bible in Light Blue; Jesus words in red.

Jesus was in so many ways referred to as a "second Adam" or the "other man".

Adam in Hebrew simply means "ruddy" or "red", "man", "mankind". Why call him red? Reminds me of people who used to call me "Red" because I'm red headed, well, was anyway! The earth was probably red clay that God made him from. I would say that is a good a theory as any!

The important question is, why was Jesus associated with Adam? Was it because Jesus was red? I don't think so. He might have been, but I doubt that was the reason.

It says in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (I am paraphrasing here) that Adam brought death into the world, Jesus took death in our stead for sin. If we, coming from Adam are sinful, then we again coming from Jesus are cleansed from sin. So sin, the curse of Adam, is no longer a part of our lives as a way of life. We can sin (without Adams help), and unfortunately do sin, but we go to Christ for our forgiveness, which overcomes anything that the original Adam (or we) has done.

Both the original created Adam and Jesus (born of God) came to this world in a sinless state. But Adam sinned for all of humanity, whereby the Second Adam, Jesus took the sins away from humanity. Adam's sin has been taken away for all of humanity.

See also 1 Corinthians 15:45 "And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." (NKJV)

The New Living Translation says "The Scriptures tell us, 'The first man, Adam, became a living person.' But the last Adam--that is, Christ--is a life-giving Spirit."

Of course, this last verse was talking about our resurrection into life as spirit as well as a renewed life in the flesh. That does not mean that the flesh or human body is somehow evil or that Jesus is ashamed of our bodies. In fact, just the opposite! Jesus did resurrect back into his original (human) body, though he had eternal spirit life.

So where does that lead us?

Again, like the original Adam, Jesus was found in the garden the day of his resurrection. It appears he likes gardens, since it was in the garden that he prayed before his crucifixion. He could have gone anywhere, but decided to stay in the garden. Unlike those paintings where it shows Jesus coming out of the tomb while all of his followers looked on, they were actually off somewhere else. So he stayed around and waited until the women showed up. They first went to the tomb where they discovered that he was resurrected. Then as they went out to tell the others, they found whom they thought was the gardener. After questioning him of the whereabouts of Jesus' body, he revealed to them that he was Jesus himself! You can read this in John 20:1-18. Matthew, Mark and Luke each gives a slightly different perspective of the account. The important message, good news or gospel, (which were first given by women) was that Jesus is risen and alive!

There are some similarities in the four gospel accounts as well as differences. One account has Jesus in the Garden, while another has him walking to Emmaus. One says that Jesus came up to Mary from behind.

The similarities show the angels all wearing white robes, even though there was only one angel mentioned in one account and another says two angels. But they all do agree that they (the angels or "men") were wearing white robes.

It is interesting that none of the accounts mentioned what Jesus wore. They all did agree that he left his linen wraps and face cloth behind...neatly folded of course.

In Luke 24:12 Peter had to go see for himself. He ran to the tomb and found "the linen cloths lying by themselves".

Hmmm, I wonder...if Jesus left the cloths behind and no one mentioned what he wore, could it be possible that He may have worn nothing? Can that even be possible? If so, then how? And if not, then why? I do realize that just because it is not mentioned, that it does not necessarily mean that he wore nothing.

However, we have this human idea that somehow our bodies are evil and must be at all times hidden from view of any other person. That is a Gnostic belief that Paul had to resist and teach against. In our human perspective, Jesus cannot possibly be naked! "Not MY Jesus", we say self-righteously.! Is that true? Is it even biblical? Would Jesus allow himself to be caught without clothing? Let's ask it another way: Is Jesus in need of clothing at all? After all, he was sinless and clothing will not help him resist sin. We think we have to wear clothing because we sinned. He did not sin, so why should he? He overcame the world and it's ways and thinking. Then did he have a body to hide?

Luke 24:39 "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have."

(Again, he was resurrected with a human body, flesh and bone, without robes)

This reminds me that Jesus was not ashamed to wear the body of a human being, before or after his resurrection. He is not a sinner, and he is worthy to take away our sins, even as a naked man made of flesh and bones. Since Jesus is not ashamed of the human body, why are we ashamed? Are we to become like Jesus? He said that he has overcome the world. The very reason we should not fear is because of Him. John 16:33 "...but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Why do we still live in fear? Wasn't that the exact sentiments of Adam? Gen. 3:10 "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And we have been afraid ever since then.

God of course was not pleased with them. He wanted Adam to come out and spend time with Him. He was expecting Adam and Eve to be exactly as He left them, which was naked.

Since we have accepted Jesus' love and mercy, then how can we live in fear?

We now come back to Jesus in the Garden. When Jesus left the tomb, he left behind the cloths that covered his body. As we have just read, He was resurrected back into a human body, with flesh and bones. The disciples can see and feel that he is flesh and bones.

Here is another clue that we can use. The women thought in one gospel account that he was a gardener. John 20:15 "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, 'Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.' "

Now what in the world does being a gardener have anything to do with this? Lets take a look at another clue: John 21:7 shows Peter fishing on the boat and was naked because he "stripped for work." Or we can put it another way, Q: "Why was he naked?" A: "Because he was working."

Jesus was thought to be working in the garden. Therefore they thought he was a gardener. Again, the original Adam worked in the garden and he was naked.

History shows that working nude in the day of Jesus was quite common. Men in the fields were known to work nude. Carpenters worked nude on hot days. (Wasn't Jesus a carpenter?) Slaves often worked nude. (Weren't we called to be slaves of Christ?) Women were known to work with just a cloth around their waist, with their breasts exposed. Women openly breast-fed their babies in public (Motherhood was honored in those days). Nudity was not considered a crime. So to see a carpenter, field worker or a gardener working without clothes was not uncommon or shocking. (This does not imply that everyone worked nude, but as a whole, is not uncommon either)

Now being God, as Christ was and is, do you think he really needed clothing? No, of course not! He was born of the Holy Spirit, which came from God and not from the Adam who sinned.

So to see Jesus as a second Adam, restoring the relationship between man and God, thus removing the clothing that hid us from the beginning, is not a stretch of anyone's imagination. Adam brought sin into the world and Jesus removed sin. Adam hid from God; Jesus removed the covering for sin.

When Jesus died, the curtain or cloth in the temple tore from top to bottom. This is symbolic in several ways. Matthew 27:51 "Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split." A custom of the day when someone died and family or friends are in great grief, they would tear their garments or "rend their garments" as they would say, by tearing it from the top down to the bottom leaving themselves in a sense or even literally, naked. So the first symbolism is that God the Father "tore his garments" in grief at the sight of His firstborn son dying. The second symbolism is that God opened up the way to Him by removing the cloth that separated us from Him in the Holy of Holies. The third is that God never put them back on! It is still open to this day. In fact, God does not even live in a man made temple anymore. He lives in us by using us as a temple. 1 Corinthians 6.19: This passage refers to the body as a temple. Our naked bodies, as God created them, are His temple. Then why do we keep our clothes on as a symbol of shame? Is it to separate us from God and each other? Is it to hide God's glorious temple? God removed His cloth, why can't we remove ours?

Are we still stuck in our man made temple of cloth?

If someone were to ever see me casually naked, he or she might possibly ask, "Have you no shame?" My answer would have to be "No. My shame was taken on the cross and never to enter my life again."

Jesus is the second Adam, who got it right.

An afterthought: After reviewing this article before publishing, I started thinking: in view of the above idea, is calling a preacher a "Man of the cloth", an oxymoron? Sounds to me like they want to stay hidden behind the cloth, rather than ripping it off like God did.

Original copy of this is located at The Second Adam on Boyd Allens Christian Naturism

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is Nudism a Religion?

Many wonder why I'm a nudist, a Christian Nudist at that! (And some just don't care)

In reality, I'm a nudist, not because of some religious dogma, but from a lack of it. Simply put, I just don't like to wear clothing.

So why are we making a "religion" out of it? We aren't. All we are doing is answering the religious zealots who insist on making a religion out of wearing clothing. So we have to drag religion into it to make sense out of it. To answer their condemning questions.

To help you out a bit, below is an excellent article called Acceptance by someone who is not a nudist, and who is not promoting nudism, but who does know I am a nudist (I told him when we were talking at a meeting one time) and found it very "interesting".

This Acceptance is about God willing to accept the reality of what happened in the garden of Eden and though does not approve of their broken ideas, accept that reality and work from that point forward. It helps explain our understanding of why humanity wears clothes even though God never made that a command.

I hope to hear some comments from here and there as well.