Monday, November 24, 2014

Stepping Out of The Box

Today's challenge for individuals and for small and large businesses and corporations, is to "Think Outside the Box".  Even if they did think outside, will they actually step outside the box as well? Thinking is one thing, doing is another.

As Christian Nudists, we do more than "Step out of the Box".

Today's Christians are getting bolder.  They are wearing "casual Friday" clothing to Church and actually stepping out of the Box of conventional church settings. That was shocking to the proponents of the three piece suit tradition. They are trying to break down the walls that Christianity (as a religious organization ) has created for itself.  And they are excited about that and we are excited for them.

Allen Parker speaking in church at White Tail Resort 
But a nudist will dare to take one more step. We step out of clothing into our version of Casual Friday and serve humanity with the gospel in the nude.  That's right. Totally naked, without clothing, as God made us and as we were born.  And most of the "Casual Friday" set is not quite ready for that yet.  It is unfortunate though that we still carry some of our "clothing" with us in our baggage.  Our church customs, limited beliefs, concern over things that a church has created, based on the idea that our bodies are sin and must be covered, are still haunting us and holding us back. Oh, we still believe we can go beyond some of those beliefs, long enough to be nude that is.  But when we change our beliefs about our bodies, shouldn't that also change our beliefs about our doctrines that have been created over the years based on a Clothed Mentality?  It is time we step out of more than just our clothes, we need to leave the box behind as well.  I'm not say we abandon all  Church teachings.  We are Christians and we are still teaching basics such as baptisms, repentance, Jesus Christ, the Trinity, Communion, all bibilcally based doctrines. But when a Church accuses us of "Sin" based on doctrines that do not exist in the bible, shouldn't we take another look at what they believe and why they believe this or that?  We are taking off more than our clothing, for we are not truly naked. We are wearing Christ, his righteousness and we are created in His image and likeness after all.  We can do more in Christ.  We have that advantage.  Step out of the Box, step out of our traditions, and

Let the Holy Spirit challenge you to do more.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Have You Answered the Question Yet?

When we have a problem in our life, the first step toward resolving this problem is to admit we have one.  An alcoholic will deny he or she is an alcoholic and will never do anything about it.  Now once they admit it, they still have a choice whether they want to do something about it or not. Some choose to live the life of an alcoholic long after they admit and will continue to admit it and live that way.  Fortunately, there are groups (AA for example) that helps alcoholics.   There are groups who help those with sex addictions, gambling, etc.   But the first step is answering the question or admitting there is a problem.
I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid

In Genesis chapter 1, we see a creation story which outlines in a poetic way how God created the heavens and earth. Sure, this is not a scientific absolute step by step way, more like a quick outline.  But somewhere in that creation, he created “Man”.  Later, he created “Woman” out of that Man.  At the end of chapter 2, we learn that Man and Woman, who were named Adam and Eve, were naked (Arom in Hebrew) and not ashamed.  Arom simply means “Naked, Nude, without clothing”.  (Gen. 2:25) (See Hebrew Strongs Concordance 6174 Arom) This revelation was not written within the original “creation” chapter, but part of a second story of the creation (same but told differently).   It was as if it were either added in, or written by someone who was used to being clothed and telling the story to those who saw them as naked or nude.  The first story, Chapter 1, says that God created them in their “image and likeness”

Later, Adam and Eve took of the tree that God told them not to eat and their “eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked” (Erom, (5903) naked but crafty, shrewd, naked but up to no good or what rednecks may say “nekid”). They made for themselves coverings or aprons out of fig leaves. I have handled fig leaves before and they have a slightly rough surface. I don’t think that was very comfortable.  They also hid behind a bush when God came to talk to them in the “cool of the day”.  God was not upset by their nudity since he told them to multiply and fill the earth and to take care of the earth, walked away and left them as naked.  There were no command to dress or cover themselves.

But I have to question that word.  Because when God confronted them about this new “revelation” on being naked and afraid, God asked The Question:  “Who told you that you were [Erom]?”  And without waiting for an answer, He then proceeded to ask the second question “Did you eat of the tree I told you not to eat or touch?”

That first Question, we have yet to answer because Adam did not answer it. He just answered the question about the tree, while accusing not just Eve, but God himself!  “The woman YOU gave to me…….and I did eat”.  It was a confession along with an accusation.

But the question “Who told you that you were naked (Erom or “naked and  up to no good”) was never answered.  Have you answered that question?  Many today thought Adam and Eve did the right thing by covering up. When they took of that tree of knowledge of good and evil on their own, they discovered that they were naked (Erom, which is not simply without clothes, but “nekid”), they felt shame and wanted to hide it because that is what God wanted them to do.  But I quickly disagree! Why? Because God asked the question, “Who told you that you were naked” then immediately associated that with “did you eat of that tree” (paraphrased) without waiting for an answer.  Why?  Because God certainly did not tell them!  Again, why? Because in God’s eyes, they were not naked!

So who did tell them they were naked?  Lets go further back and see who told them they could eat of the tree. The cunning serpent. We know this serpent today as Satan the devil himself; the liar, the thief, the murderer, the Father of Lies.  So if Satan LIED to them about the tree, then could he also have tricked them though subtle lies about their bodies?  God created their bodies and said it is very good.  Satan distorted their view of their God given and blessed bodies.

Up to this point in the creation story, at the end of each “day”, God said it was good.  But when he looked over His whole creation, Adam and Eve (still “naked; Arom”) included, God said it was “very good”.  Not just “good”, but “very good”.  Then he set aside a day and rested from all his work because he was complete. Finished. Done. Nothing more to do. Period.

So whats up with this naked couple?  God said they were very good, He said that He was finished, He rested, He even sent them on a worldwide mission to take care of His creation and to have children to spread throughout the earth.  And he told them that while they were still naked (Arom)!  Without any hint that what they were was bad.  Why should God do that? He already said it was “very good”. So whats up with this naked thing? 

Again, who told us that we were naked?  Especially when God said we are created in His image and likeness! “Let us make man in our image and our likeness”.  God (being Father, Son and Holy Spirit) did not say “Let us make man naked and ashamed of being naked so we shall force them to wear clothing with penalty of hell fire forever if they don’t wear clothing!”  How sick would that be?  Did God create us for clothing or did God create clothing for us?  Did God threaten Adam and Eve with their clothing? Did God command them to wear clothing?  No. He did not!  He only made clothing for them because they were not yet ready to confess their sin and come to God as they were and expose their sin to Him.  Because they were about to go out into the world (out of the garden) inside of their own fears, and God’s love would not allow them to go into the world while living in that fear.   Instead, they accused God and insist on going their own way.  Like an addicted person, they could either not see their situation, or they refused to change and go to their Father for help.  Either way, they had to leave the garden, and we know the rest of the story.

Have you confessed your Sin?  Do you still say “I am naked and afraid?”  If you do, confess to God and He will clothe you with righteousness and love.  In 1 John 4:18 it says “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

God is Love. God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.  Now Jesus came and HE cast Satan out of the Garden and brought us back to himself! Either way, God cast out fear.  First it was Adam and Eve, then in Jesus Christ, God cast out Satan and brought Adam and Eve back into the Garden and this time said to go into all the world and preach the good news.  Of course, we are still created in Gods image and likeness. When Jesus came out of the tomb, it was said he left his burial clothes behind.  So what was Jesus wearing when he came out of the tomb?  He was called “The other Adam” and in some translation, the Second Adam.

We are no longer in the first Adam, but we are now in the Second, Last or Other Adam: Jesus Christ.   He is still flesh, not ashamed to be flesh.  As in Job, he came into this world naked and left this world naked. 

See my other article “What Is Naked?” and “The Second Adam” for more to this story.

I am not naked. I am in the Image and Likeness of God.  It was Satan who told me I was naked. Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  He lied to me, to my family and to this world. God (Father, Son and Spirit) said I was created in their image and likeness (Let us create man in our image and our likeness).

I confess to God the Father in Jesus Christ by the power and revelation of the Holy Spirit, that I once believed the lie Satan gave me, but I am now in Christ, who created me in his image and likeness.  To this world who still believes the father of lies, I appear to be naked.  But in Christ, I am clothed with righteousness alone.  There is no longer any shame or fear, but Love.

“Thank you Jesus Christ for coming into our flesh, our nakedness and rather than being ashamed, you redeemed us and sat us down at the right hand of the Father in YOU. You are still flesh, yet glorified in your former glory.  We are created in YOUR image and YOUR likeness, and we are not ashamed to preach this good news (gospel) of what you did for all of humanity. “For God so loved the world (Cosmos kosmos.  See for more on this), that he gave his only begotten son...”, and we are IN that son.  You do not find our physical state shameful.  You came in the flesh (2 John 1:7) and you crucified that flesh of its sinful desires (Gal 5:24) and you are manifested in our flesh (2 Cor 4:11) and cried out for us in your flesh (Heb 5:7).  We no longer walk in the flesh as if in this world, but in Christ Jesus who lifted us up in spirit and truth.  Our flesh, though is still broken in this world, is glorified in you.  The flesh of this world will be handed over to Satan, since he was the one who polluted it, but in you, we are no longer of this world, even though we are still in our flesh. One day, like you Jesus, we will be resurrected physically and given eternal life. We are no longer ashamed of being in your image and likeness.”

Confess to Jesus and answer the Question. You were lied to. You are no longer under Adam.  You are now in Christ Jesus.