Appearing in earlier material Dec. 10, 1999  and                 separately  Created Apr. 16, 2010 and vastly improved and changed, too!

Nudity & Modesty Carefully Considered


Sub-headings:
The Situation at Present
Is Nudity Bad?
Modesty Definitions
Modesty Accounts
Girding and Girdles
The Veil
Tertullian on the Veil
Other Clothing Issues
The Common Perception
Necessary Changes at Times
Some Dangers in Immodesty
The Spirit vs. the Flesh
Loose (Relaxed) Conduct?
Group Nudity
Nudist Colonies and Resorts
The Righteous Standard 1st
A Very Dangerous Development
The Naked Truth!
Realistic Practical Expectations
Small Indiscretions
Righteous Proper Distinctions
The Conclusion

Related Articles

The Situation at Present
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I see perplexing things with nudity and issues related to it. There are 2 extremes, both of which are wrong. One side says there is absolutely nothing wrong with nudity and it should be openly practiced. On the other side are those who are very prudish and condemning of any and all nudity. But in the light of scripture, it is impossible to defend either side. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. I invite you, I dare you, to objectively reconsider this whole subject with a fresh start, carefully using the Bible to settle all things. But also of concern is where our misunderstood interpretations have led to some dangerous circumstances.

Even now in the 21st century, nudity is still quite the subject of controversy. Governments use it for their own private and questionable agendas. We have to be protected from nudity and it is considered as serious as rape or adultery. Christians also have many problems with it, whereby families are afraid to be seen naked by each other in their own homes and some even believe it is wrong to show any flesh above the ankle or knee. They also seem to equate nudity with fornication, adultery, and rape. Wow! Such extremes. But really, I do not find the Bible supporting these extremes. So I am going to explore the many facets of nudity, nakedness, and related subjects such as modesty, porn, and the like. Maybe together we can make some sense of this.

As always, all Christian couples want to guard against activities that clearly are wrong such as wife swapping, adultery, prostitution, fornication, incest, or anything serious like those. And there are behaviors that could lead to sin, too. Being naked is not a serious crime per say, such as putting a man in prison for 3 years for being naked (exposing himself) or giving him 40 lashes. But if some couples were to hang out together in a nudist colony type of situation, or maybe around a hot tub or a pool, or at a camp at the lake, or something similar, they may not be violating any specific commands of God. But could they be flirting with powerful forces that could get out of control? Nudity could and is considered loose conduct by many. One is flirting with disaster. Loose because when we relax ourselves that much, we could be leaving ourselves open to subtle but ever growing temptation. I am speaking to the typically conservative USA where nudity is not a common thing in most places.

It is also the heritage of the USA that it was made up of a good portion of Christian peoples who sought freedom from religious persecution and control and longed for religious freedom where they could follow the dictates of their own consciences. Ironically, among their own groups, they were not very tolerant themselves and they were primarily made up of very conservative cautious views of many things. Dress was quite modest and conservative, usually covering the ankles or very close. This became the general climate in which the country developed.

But at the same time, this country was developing and those in power such as big business and the government they controlled, wanted as many people as they could get to help develop the resources of this country. That required many hands and laborers so they wanted to encourage breeding if not create laws that mandated it. As well, unbridled immigration has always been the policy at all times in this nation, even though at times it caused great strain in the country when too many came in too fast, to adequately care for. These needs or desires of big business sought laws that would help promote lots of births and population growth so that they would have lots of cheap abundant labor and soldiers to enable enforcement and conquering of the rest of the world with the grand dreams and ambitions of those at the highest places of business in the world.

These two forces, Christians and those who controlled the USA and the world or hoped to, would be the forces that shaped our nation and the world as it is today. These are important to know and understand as we try to figure out why our national laws and even common industrial democratic world wide laws are so different from God's laws. I propose that Christians got side tracked by politicians and other powerful forces who did not care for God, but had their own agendas to promote and enforce, which Christians went along with, not truly consulting the Bible on such matters as their leaders promoted among them.

Sex and the Power of the Visual    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9WZFeA4FzI

He Wants You    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlZsGpWJmos


Is Nudity Bad?
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We can't avoid it. Let's talk about it. We know about the attitude toward nudity in Jesus' time. Is it a sin to see someone naked? No! But it was considered shameful to be seen naked. And priests have to cover their loins when approaching the alter. And nudity is only one step removed from sex and tends to make you think about sex so there is plenty of grounds for concern. But there was never any actual punishment for nudity or a law that forbid it at all cost? I can't find any!! God clothed Adam and Eve after their fall so there is a sort of precedent for clothing, especially among those who follow God's rules. And While violating no law, it was still a humiliation and disgrace to be naked in public other than if you were taking a ritual bath in ancient Hebrew times. So there were contexts in which nudity was sort of permissible.

But do let me clarify, that Paul spoke of modesty and that loose conduct was forbidden. Certainly, open free display of the naked body would be loose conduct, which would be prohibited among followers of God. But our modern decadent age also makes it a challenge to remain "clean" and keep our kids clean, for today, the open display of the body in very tight revealing clothing nearly renders women naked, though fully "covered" in thin revealing material. A battle is being waged and it does bring up challenges that we must face for our kids' sakes and because risqué clothing is now the rage, even for very young girls, and pornography now essentially free with internet access, we are burdened with additional things to consider and weigh.

To run, hide, suppress, ban things like this from our kids will never work anymore. We must face the enemy head on and deal with all matters in a practical way that will render the best overall results.

First below, we see a young man who was lightly clothed, more than usual so that it was noted yet not condemned. It was likely a warm if not hot night, and the disciples were in private in the dark without the presence of women.

Mark 14:51 "And one, a certain young man, was following Him, having thrown a linen cloth about his naked body. And the young men seized him. 52 But forsaking the linen cloth, he fled from them naked."

Next we see Peter hanging around with the guys and being totally naked while doing so. We can assume that no women were around, of course.

John 21:7 Then they cast, and they no longer had the strength to draw, from the multitude of the fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord. Then hearing that it is the Lord, Simon Peter girded on his coat (for he was naked) and threw himself into the sea.

Most interesting is the next example. Here we encounter a man possessed and who lived a long time among the tombs naked and apparently, no one bothered him doing so. No arrests, fines, or imprisonment, as one might get today for such a thing.

Luke 8:27 "And as he stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes, and he lived not in a house but among the tombs."

The Jews and Jesus seemed a lot more relaxed about nudity at the time then we are now. So I don't see nudity as the horrible crime that we make it out to be today. It was considered to be shameful, of course, as can be seen by an example from scripture:

Revelation 16:15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is the one watching and keeping his garments, that he does not walk naked, and they may see his shame."

Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History: Book III
Chapter 28: Cerinthus the Heresiarch

These are the words of Dionysius. But Irenaeus, in the first book of his work Against Heresies, gives some more abominable false doctrines of the same man, and in the third book relates a story which deserves to be recorded. He says, on the authority of Polycarp, that the apostle John once entered a bath to bathe; but, learning that Cerinthus was within, he sprang from the place and rushed out of the door, for he could not bear to remain under the same roof with him. And he advised those that were with him to do the same, saying, "Let us flee, lest the bath fall for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within."

Notes of a Rabbi

Naturally, nudity between the two sexes adds another element. There is nothing to be found in the scriptures that suggests any co-ed nudity nor is there any historical evidence that the sexes bathed or fraternized naked. But it was not a crime to be naked although perhaps seen that way by others as it is in the USA today.

What is rather interesting is that there were a number of ritual bathing pools around the temple in Jerusalem where people might bathe to become ritually clean so as to be able to enter the temple of God in a pure, holy state, a state of cleanliness. They bathed (naked) as required by the law of God given to Moses to become clean.

The men would bath in pools at one end of the temple and the women would bath in pools in another part of the temple area. They likely respected the areas as private to each sex in general. But there may have been some peeking or whatever when we consider what was mentioned in the Jewish Talmud, Baba Bathra, 57b, in reference to Isaiah 33:15. In the rabbinical writings of the Talmud cited, the rabbis found a man who would wander by the section where the females bathed, to be objectionable and improper. This because the women bathed naked as was required in a ritual bathing. So decent proper men would avoid the area out of respect for the women and girls. But not all men would do this. Rabbi Hiyya b. Abba said, "This refers to one who does not gaze upon women who are washing."

So people there bathed naked in full public view. Jesus preached at the temple on more than one occasion. He had to know about it.

So bathing was evidently in open view that could allow one to view a naked woman washing, though he might be thought poorly of for doing so. So nudity didn't carry the prudishness, fear, and stigma that it does in the USA today and in many other places. They did not fear nudity or think it will automatically lead to rape or fornication. Also consider the seemingly mild objection to sneaking peeks at bathing women as compared to how most Christians view photographs of naked women today. For one, the man who might look on at bathing women naked would be considered a voyeur and invading privacy and getting some serious time for it. I don't see that extremism in the Rabbi's writing. Pictures of naked women, otherwise known as porn, is considered by many Christians as practically being fornication, adultery and rape all in one. A little extreme, wouldn't you say?

My whole point is, if public nudity was so horrible, why was it accepted among the Jews in some circumstances? That would be completely intolerable in America. Why didn't Jesus give the Jews hell for such loose conduct? Peter was found to be naked once when Jesus appeared to them after his death. Mark was naked the night Jesus was arrested. A man possessed of demons ran around naked among the tombs and no one arrested him. Jesus didn't run away but approached him and expelled the demon.

Now, I see no problem and believe it would be good in our world of today, that if we had to take ritual baths that places or walls/partitions could be built to shelter the sexes from being viewed. That seems reasonable and proper. By comparison, what many wear in public now is much more shameful. Now I do not know if the ritual bathing was supposed to be somewhat openly public so that ritual bathing was confirmed to all, though I would think as long as other women witnesses women bath, that this should be enough.

Or it may be that public bathing of this type, since it was brief, was not considered a big deal, anyway. If this were so, then we might have to open up just a little. Maybe we are too uptight. But to the best of my ability, I see no harm in some privacy and seclusion.

This type of ritual bathing nudity was for the most part segregated and that is important to note. And it had a practical utilitarian purpose, not merely to relax or have fun. This type of nudity is far too feared by Christians whereas the recreational nudity as I call it, is rightly feared and discouraged by most Christians. I have argued, I believe in my "porn" article, that it was a lot safer at a strip joint watching nude women than it was to be at a singles bar where everyone was clothed. Likewise, pictures of naked women certainly do not threaten anyone as pictures can not do anything to us or we to the people in the pictures. But when naked people are right in front of you, you now have direct personal access and are capable of direct influence from someone who might be very friendly and charming, too! This is the danger. A picture of such a thing can do nothing other than influence your attitude toward it, if even that.

How would many Christians view hot tubs today with the sexes kept apart, of course? Actually, many will still find it objectionable to be naked with other men. Yet for sure, the Apostles were naked in front of each other with no shame. So modesty does seem to have its limits, doesn't it? But as I see it, physical and spiritual cleanliness was of such importance to God, the Priesthood, and Israel that nudity was considered essential at times and had to be accommodated. Of course, respect for women bathing by allowing them to do so without observation was also seen as important yet not so much that one must do prison time if they got a quick peek or got caught with their eyeballs coming out of their sockets. I am sure men were reproved who "spied."

My main point would be that nudity was a necessary part of life and worship and it was not the end of the world if one should be briefly seen naked. Society and law in the USA today is much more strict and prohibitive as well as punitive and harsh. I believe both Christians and government are to blame for this. I want to next consider modesty in dress and presentation.


Modesty Definitions
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It is not easy to find the word modesty in the Bible in most translations. Modesty is a concept and an English word. It is explored in the Bible but is sort of vague at times. It is related to humility and humbleness. I want to explore Greek words related to modesty and used in the Bible.

What I want to point out here is that this word can be both positive and negative in meaning. The KJV translated it once as shamefacedness and once as reverence.

127 aidwv  aidos  ahee-doce’
perhaps from
1 (as a negative particle) and 1492 (through the idea of downcast eyes);
TDNT-1:169,26; n f

KJV-shamefacedness 1, reverence 1; 2

1) a sense of shame or honour, modesty, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect

For Synonyms see entry
5882

Synonyms for Shame, Disgrace.

See definition for
aidwv  127
See definition for
aiscunh 152
See definition for
entroph 1791
See definition for
swfrosunh  4997

127  aidwv is the feeling of innate moral repugnance to doing a dishonorable act. This moral repugnance is not found in 152 aiscunh, which is rather the feeling of disgrace which results from doing an unworthy thing, or the fear of such disgrace which serves to prevent its being done. 127 aidwv is thus the nobler word, 152 aiscunh having regard chiefly to the opinions of others. 127 aidwv is the fear of doing a shameful thing, 152 aiscunh is chiefly the fear of being found out. "127 aidwv would always restrain a good man from an unworthy act, while 152 aiscunh might sometimes restrain a bad one" (Trench).

1791  entroph stands somewhat between the other two words in meaning, but in the N.T. leans to the nobler side, indicating that wholesome shame which leads a man to consideration of his condition if it is unworthy, and to a change of conduct for the better.

4997  swfrosunh, self-command, may not seem to have much in common with these three words. As a matter of fact, however, it expresses positively that which aidwv expresses negatively.


This version of shame is more common in the New Testament, appearing 6 times instead of 2.

152 aiscunh aischune ahee-skhoo’-nay
from 153; TDNT-1:189,29; n f

KJV-shame 5, dishonesty 1; 6

1) the confusion of one who is ashamed of anything, sense of shame
2) ignominy, disgrace, dishonour
3) a thing to be ashamed of


1791  entroph entrope en-trop-ay’
from 1788; ; n f

KJV-shame 2; 2

1) shame
2) respect, reverence


2887  kosmiov kosmios kos’-mee-os
from 2889 (in its primary sense); TDNT-3:895,459; adj

KJV-modest 1, of good behaviour 1; 2

1) well arranged, seemly, modest


Modesty Accounts
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The themes of these words are quite similar with some minor distinctions between them. But we don't find many occurrences of them. But there are lots of description of proper conduct that would apply. So we will have to consider these all together in some scriptures below.

1 Timothy 2:9  So also the women to adorn themselves in proper clothing, with modesty and sensibleness, not with plaiting, or gold, or pearls, or expensive garments, . . .

The sense here seems to be not showing off or rubbing it in, humble and simple, unadorned and without bragging or showing off. Now while it seems to apply to not overdoing dress and adornment, I would think it would easily apply to showing off ones body, if it is particularly well shaped and desirable. More in a minute.

1 Corinthians 12:
22  On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23  and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
24  which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part,
25  that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Paul says that all parts of the body are important and necessary, though we may not see some as desirable as others, referring more to people making up the body of Christ, so to speak. But as well, it does refer to actual body parts as well. Some body parts are far less glorious or pleasing. But it is those parts we often give more attention and care, while other parts do not require a lot of care but all are needed. So we have parts and places that we give more concealment and privacy to, and others hardly any at all. Modesty is linked with presentation or lack of it as in hiding and concealing.

Below are requirements for Overseers, Greek Episkopos, from which we get Episcopol and other similar words, which due to the eventual Latin prevalence, became Bishop.

1985  episkopov  episkopos  ep-is’-kop-os
from
1909 and 4649 (in the sense of 1983); TDNT-2:608,244; n m
KJV-bishop 6, overseer 1; 7

1) an overseer
       1a) a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent
       1b) the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church

As well, Paul prescribes the conduct for Deacons, who serve the Overseer, and wives of these as well.

1247  diakonew  diakoneo  dee-ak-on-eh’-o (also diakonos)
from 1249; TDNT-2:81,152; v
KJV-minister unto 15, serve 10, minister 7, misc 5; 37

RSV) 1 Timothy 3:
2  Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher,
3  no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money.
4  He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way;
5  for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church?
6  He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil;
7  moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8  Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain;
9  they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
10  And let them also be tested first; then if they prove themselves blameless let them serve as deacons.
11  The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things.
12  Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well;
13  for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

To these we could add the fruits of the spirit and fruits of the flesh. We could throw in the scriptures on loose conduct and sexual misconduct. But what we are left with in all these at a high standard of conduct that does not bring reproach and would be considered exemplary. We are given the ultimate high standard to measure ourselves against. Of course, we would all fall at least a little bit short of the perfect standard but hopefully not too much so. But we do have to allow for all to be human and flawed to some degree. How much alcohol is too much? When does business and making money become greed? Double tongued? Presiding well over their kids and families? How much so? Temperate?

Indeed, there will be varying degrees of these qualities in us all. But many things considered unacceptable today were done by the Apostles. Bathing in a public bath, same sex only I assume but I can not say for sure but I think it likely. Public ritual bathing near the temple! I find this next account interesting to note in what Ignatius of the 2nd Century AD had to say about nudity in regards to Mary, mother of Jesus.

THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE PHILIPPIANS: Chap. 6

"And why do you abuse the nature of the Virgin, and style her members disgraceful, since you did of old display such in public processions, and did order them to be exhibited naked, males in the sight of females, and females to stir up the unbridled lust of males? But now these are reckoned by you disgraceful, and you pretend to be full of modesty, you spirit of fornication, not knowing that then only anything becomes disgraceful when it is polluted by wickedness. But when sin is not present, none of the things that have been created are shameful, none of them evil, but all very good. But inasmuch as you are blind, you revile these things."

First I want to caution that Ignatius has had most of his writings completely tampered with, with both short and long versions in existence with the short long usually presenting the opposite of each other in certain doctrines. But what is commented on seems quite reasonable and worthy of consideration.

Christians that Ignatius writes to had insisted, I gather, that "Mary" be covered up. Now there should be no images of Mary so I doubt this is without error, and it may be that "Ignatius" may not be right in what he states. But it is worth taking note of. They called her members, assuming to be breasts or maybe even buttocks, disgraceful or unclean. Ignatius pointed out that they used to present her naked before they were Christians and with the intention of stirring up unbridled lust and desire. Yet now they call these disgraceful and shameful and demand they be covered up. But as Ignatius does point out, body parts are not really of themselves anything bad or unclean but that our thinking of them is what can justify them or condemn them. It is not the body parts but our sinful nature that creates a need to cover up.

But that Mary has become an image should cause us to be weary of this account in its entirety. But it offers a different view and forces us to think.

I say that while a naked statue, providing it is not a representation of anything Godly or religions, such as Mary, is not the worst of things. Yes, it just might stimulate some interest, but it is not itself unclean. But given that we are born of sin, we must be mindful of shame, and not boast publicly of a brazen immodest display, even though the statue may not be of anyone alive or real. So I do hold the account a little bit suspect but not without some merit in discussion.

Very public displays of nudity are unnecessary and we do not need to encourage nudity and its obvious ability to stimulate and arouse. I will address this more later.

But what I will argue emphatically is that nudity should not be a serious crime as it is today. I have seen commonly, 3 years sentence in prison for "exposing one's self" or for "indecent exposure." Indeed, displaying one's self naked in public is shameful and/or immodest. But a felony? Absurd! The naked body is not fornication or adultery nor rape. It could be seen as threatening, I suppose but one could be very scared and yet not justified in being so scared or threatened. Nudity has to be placed in perspective. Make it a good misdemeanor and fine them $100 or $500 if you like and let it go at that.

Even more silly to me is "voyeurism" and "electronic surveillance" whereby if you take pictures of people in public, without following them around, then you are still charged with a felony, as if your picture constitutes a rape or nearly so when it is far less than even public "exposure." I don't think it should be a crime at all. How many people are filmed, taped, or photographed innocently by others all the time. We have gotten extremely paranoid and our thinking very disturbed. Many parents go insane thinking their daughter was photographed in normal conduct fully clothed. Tthey fear what might be the intention or thought behind the photo, as if the thought or intention was far more important than the actual photograph, which only showed her in public appearance what everyone else saw, without taking a photograph. It is truly absurd. Of course, many a jealous husband might resent his wife being photographed in public while walking by as well. But it is all so silly.

We have established a very dangerous present here in the USA empire. In normal law of old, all that really mattered was the act, not its motives or intents as much. Taking a picture should be just taking a picture. If you are dressed so provocatively in public, that your fear a picture recording it, then you are acting shamefully and should put more on. But if you are presenting yourself to the public, it should be fair game for photographing as I see it.

We should not fear being photographed in a public situation. It has been done since cameras were first invented. No one ever paid attention to it till recent years when the government tried to whip up hysteria and paranoia so that they could destroy any sort of free speech or reverse surveillance against the government as well as making it publicly shameful and illegal to even admit an "underage" female is beautiful or desirable to photograph in public. It all has a sinister purpose behind it as I see it.

What I say is that Christians should want to do things God's way rather than that of men's, which all are in rebellion to God and decency and ultimately serve the devil in their purposes. So running around naked in public would certainly be scandalous and uncalled for, but to suggest that it merits the serious punishment of 3 years in prison, which is allowed to be a hell hole where beatings and rape occur all the time, is way out of proportion to God's laws. There is no actual prescriptive punishment for nudity in the Bible and there are situations where nudity is required and protected in the Bible.

We want to be guided by God and His laws rather than that of men. We must obey the laws of the land. But Christians, if they insist on voting and writing laws, (which I do not recommend) should not be insisting on more than God requires for prohibition and punishment. We know the government has other agenda of very questionable intent, but we should not be supporting or encouraging that sort of legislation and punishment. Let the devil do as he pleases but don't be helping him, right?

Try as I might, I can find no specific standard for dress or clothing. Nor can anyone else on the net that I can determine. But I do believe we can be guided by a consideration of girding, girdles, skirts, and veils. These might give us something to better gauge what is acceptable or not. But having done that, I think you will find that within the Bible, there is very little. But we do have drawings and pictures of ancient practices of the Mid East and these will have to suffice as our best guide. And we have the common views of those we live around as well.


Girding and Girdles

What does this have to do with modesty. Quite a bit, actually. Lets just consider them and talk about it after.

Hebrew words for Girding and Girdles:

02296 rgx chagar khaw-gar’
a primitive root; v;
{See TWOT on 604}

KJV-gird 31, appointed 3, gird on 3, gird up 2,
be afraid 1, put 1, restrain 1, on every side 1; 43

1) to gird, gird on, gird oneself, put on a belt
       1a) (Qal)
              1a1) to gird
              1a2) to gird on, bind on
              1a3) to gird oneself


0247
rza ‘azar aw-zar’
a primitive root; v;
{See TWOT on 59}

KJV-gird (up) 14, bind about 1, compass about 1; 16

1) gird, encompass, equip, clothe
       1a) (Qal) to gird, gird on (metaphorical of strength)
       1b) (Niphal) be girded
       1c) (Piel) hold close, clasp
       1d) (Hiphpael) gird oneself (for war)


0232 rwza ‘ezowr ay-zore’
from
0246; n m; {See TWOT on 59 @@ "59a"}

KJV-girdle( s) 14; 14

1) waist-cloth, the innermost piece of clothing
       1a) of God’s power over kings (fig.)
       1b) of faithfulness (metaph)
2) waistband
02290 rwgx  chagowr  khag-ore’  or
rgx  chagor  khag-ore’  and
(fem.) 
hrwgx  chagowrah  khag-o-raw’  or
hrgx  chagorah  khag-o-raw’
from
02296; n pr m; {See TWOT on 604 @@ "604a"}
{See TWOT on 604 @@ "604c"}

KJV-girdle 3, apron 1, armour 1, gird 1; 6

1) girdle, belt
2) girdle, loin-covering, belt, loin-cloth, armour


073
jnba  ‘abnet  ab-nate’
of uncertain derivation; n m;
{See TWOT on 256 @@ "256a"}

KJV-girdle( s) 9; 9

1) girdle, sash, waistband
       1a) of high priest
       1b) of other priests
       1c) of high official

 

 

 

 

 

Greek words for Girding and Girdles:

4024 perizwnnumi  perizonnumi  per-id-zone’-noo-mee
from
4012 and 2224; TDNT-5:302,702; v

KJV-gird (one’s) self 3, be girded about 1, have girded 1,
have girded about 1, be girt 1; 7

1) to fasten garments with a girdle or belt
2) to gird one’s self
3) metaph. with truth as a girdle
       3a) to equip one’s self with knowledge of the truth

TVM: Future
5776, Middle 5785, Indicative 5791, Count: 33


2224 zwnnumi  zonnumi  dzone’-noo-mi  or
zwnnuw  zonnuo  dzone-noo’-o
from
2223; TDNT-5:302,702; v

KJV-gird 2; 2

1) to gird
2) to gird one’s self


2223 
zwnh  zone  dzo’-nay
probably akin to the base of
2218;
TDNT-5:302,702; n f

KJV-girdle 6, purse 2; 8

1) a girdle, belt, serving not only to gird on flowing
garments but also, since it was hollow, to carry money in

Exodus 28:
41  And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
42  And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
43  And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.

It should be understood that most tunic type clothing worn by both women and men, went down to about the knees or mid-calf. They did not go as low as say even the Amish go today. If one was going to be working in a sitting, crouching, or kneeling position, one would often gird up their clothing to enable comfortable and practical movement and posture. As well, if one was going to run, one would gird up their clothing to near their waist to enable free fast movement of the legs. Greeks at the Olympics went one further and competed naked so that they would be completely unencumbered in their athletic competition.

So while women generally were well clothed, they also did raise their skirts some to enable work close to the ground. Men were most likely to run and gird themselves up to do so. Working in shallow water would also cause them to gird up as they might as fishermen working near shore. Peter was naked doing so, right? So even with Girdles and Girding, these were not strict coverage that never showed the knees or thighs. Today we wear shorts if we plan on athletic activities or perhaps certain work situations. Bathing was done with minimal clothes and ritual bathing done with no clothes at all.

Men eventually came up with pantaloons which we now call pants. Women continued with skirts, some getting longer and many getting much shorter in the last 100 years. Women wearing pants began in earnest when they entered in mass into the work place during WWII. It was necessary and practical. Pants continue to be useful and practical, even to women. Why even men did not always wear them. But they switched due to practicality so why not women, too?

Should women have stayed in dresses? Well, if they had stayed at home, maybe. Dresses are still used in more formal settings. Shorts are very practical and functional. But here, too, they may have gotten too tight or too short for modesty's sake but we'll get to that in a minute.

I bring this up because of the Amish or perhaps many of you are familiar with the Duggar family on TV. I like some things about the Amish and I really respect the Duggars, but I also differ on some ideas and this modest clothing issue would be one of those that I differ on. Amish men seem to always wear pants. I can't say for sure about the boys but I think they wear pants and not shorts.. The girls wear dresses nearly to their ankles. I don't think the Duggar boys wear shorts at all and the girls wear dresses at about half calf. Even their swim wear is very conservative compared to anything typically American. It harkens back more to the early 20th century. They mean well and do their best to live as they believe fulfills the Bible's requirements. But I also try to live by the very same book and I find some differences.

I consider shorts to be somewhat the same as girding one's loins, so to speak. In many respects, Bermuda type shorts are more modest than typical girding in ancient times was. So I am a bit puzzled as to objections to shorts, especially when one participates in athletic type activities such as running and the Duggars have participated in such an event and do play as well. Amish do play baseball. Some Amish in Maine play volley ball, co-ed even. Amish probably do not swim or bath outdoors like at a river side, lake, or beach. I doubt Israel refrained from such things. And the Israelites did bathe ritually.

As well, much of Israelite clothing was often just to keep the sun off them when they lived in Egypt and Israel. In fact, at home, women might also have relaxed (reduced) their clothing to some degree, to permit comfort and avoid sweating and make movement easier. Among family, just as in our own time, one does not have to be as concerned about presentation. We might run around in pajamas, bathrobes, towels, or even underwear. The word "family" comes from and is related to the words "familial" and "familiar." Families come about by the union of a man and a woman and the resultant children have a closeness and bond that is not shared with to the same degree with those outside of the family.

Every bit as important is recognizing that the world and mankind have evolved and progressed over the 6,000 years since Adam was created. As society and nations progress and develop, some circumstances change and could require us to face new circumstances and possible have to adapt and change to adjust to the new circumstances so that we remain in God's will in a solid way. An example would be one that dawned on me just recently. The city had just installed a new playground just across from my father's and my place. The kids seem to really like it. But I notice that some girls love to play in their short skirts or mom likes to dress them in skirts and live vicariously through them. They don't seem to mind showing off to the boys, either. Not like my day.

But in debates about pants vs. skirts for girls, girls are far more athletic and active today than ever before and I think that is positive. But it is the active lifestyle and play that merits more modesty so that dresses are not really practical in play situations as I see it. Yes, dresses were quite a long standing tradition for women but times, culture, and lifestyle have changed and we need to change with it. Cameras, video, computers, cell phones, the internet, are some things that have changed our lives in many ways and require us to rethink some things in our past and present. Air travel, huge dense cities and may other things have given us a different world to live in and issues to deal with.

The battle, really, is between tradition and the needs presented at the moment. Many conservative Christians think dresses should be the standard since as long as they can determine, it has always been the standard for western women. Pants to them, signify women being like men. I do not agree. But in the case of dress, the struggle is between tradition and modesty. To me, modesty favors keeping reasonably covered up in the right places while enabling freedom of movement and play or sport. Even athletes of ancient times wore less in competition than in other aspects of life.

Just before I started school, the tradition of the school and town was to build 2 sets of monkey bars to climb and play on. This way, the girls, who always wore skirts, could play on one set all their own so boys could not look up their dresses. Fact! The boys were required to stay at the other set, several hundred feet away. By the time I started school, girls did not play on the monkey bars at all, evidently not really enjoying it anymore, anyway.

But whether you keep the sexes slightly separated or just dress them different, I don't think exhibitionism or immodesty is the best way for kids to conduct themselves, if one is concerned about God and His laws. But we always need to be ready to re-consider what we have come to believe. In this respect, I think the Duggars, lovable and well intentioned, are actually wrong on the pants vs. shorts and on the skirts vs. shorts or pants. They favor tradition instead of practicality and real modesty, while allowing for play or sport, which in no way offend God. Even Amish girls play baseball and volleyball. And well that they should! They do wear long skirts and it is this I would alter.

They reason that the "Enlgish," their term for outsiders in the USA, do those things and that Amish have no reason to imitate or follow the English in this. But it is not for imitation, but for practical reasons that they might consider doing so, even as Paul said athletes do in order to win.

So while tradition has some merit up to a point, tradition without reason deserves to be questioned and re-examined. Many pagan practices and beliefs are traditional. Tradition is nothing unless soundly and completely supported by the Bible. So new situations beg for reconsideration, using the Bible as the final judge of principle, of course.

Now before I address more, I want to elaborate on another feature of dress in ancient times, the veil


The Veil
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From the Old Testament Hebrew:

Genesis 24:65  And she said to the slave, Who is this man walking in the field to meet us? And the slave said, It is my master. And she took the veil and covered herself.

Song of Solomon 4:1  Behold, you are beautiful, My love. Behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are as doves’ from behind your veil.
Song of Solomon  4:3  Your lips are like a cord of scarlet, and your speech is becoming; your temples are like a piece of pomegranate behind your veil.

Isaiah 47:
1 Go down and sit on the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon ; sit on the earth; a throne is not to the daughter of the Chaldeans; for they shall not again call you tender and delicate.
2 Take millstones and grind meal; uncover your veil; strip off the skirt; uncover the leg; pass over rivers.
3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered; yea, your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance and I will not meet a man.

In ancient times, veils were common in many nations. Veils have known purposes and perhaps more that we do not know about. Young girls, prior to adolescence, went without veils, even as they do today in nations that still use veils. According to Christian writers like Tertullian (about 3rd century AD), girls would begin to veil themselves when they developed secondary sexual characteristics and were eligible for marriage.

Note that the fair young maiden in the Song of Solomon, the Shulammite girl, is veiled at the time she longs for her shepherd boy and is sweet talked by him. More notable is how Rebecca was not veiled, too young to be wearing a veil but upon coming upon Isaac, who she is given as a wife to, puts a veil on at this time, to acknowledge her marriage to him, whereupon Isaac alone would then have a right to unveil as his.

A veil was a symbol of hiding one's self away from men in general and allowing only the man who would marry her to be allowed to see her and uncover her. It is possible but by no means certain, that a veil to was keep wandering eyes limited as to what they could see. Eyes can often lead to more if both are intrigued. A veil sort of sends out a message that only one man may be allowed to penetrate the veil that hides the women from others.

This seems quite extreme to us today. But as humans evolve in personality and living circumstances, this seems to be instituted by God initially and later dropped by some, as time went on. A woman with a beautiful face was certainly something that would catch men's attention, since the body was more hidden away with the clothing of the time, unlike now in the USA, when often you need not be left to wonder what they look like completely revealed. Yes, it was a very modest presentation with a veil and this likely helped keep strangers from too much interest, for if a stranger or new person came along after a young woman began to veil herself, he would not know as easily what she might look like.

Having not grown up with her previous to her womanhood, she would be unknown. But anyone who grew up with her would know much better what she might look like. Maybe this was part of the plan as well. And for married women, the veil would help keep interest to a minimum. It had a lot of good intentions. It could also have been an admission that beauty was a very powerful force to be contended with and not denied, ignored, or given a free reign. As well, it would help to keep flirtation with others to a minimum. It was a woman's willing admission that she was only for one man and no other. We have sort of turned our backs on the powerful forces of beauty and sexual attraction, allowing them to run wild.

Were the ways of old too severe or have we become far too loose, promiscuous, and showing no regard for a force that psychologically, was a stick of dynamite. In ancient times, they admitted its power and tried to keep those forces in check, knowing how sin had crept into them from Adam. The veil as an added layer of clothing to keep suitors at bay unless they knew the girl before as a youth and would diminish the power of beauty which can make intelligent people make bad decisions based on looks rather than personality and compatibility.

In Isaiah 47, note the virgin daughter of Babylon, young and tender. She is forced to work at manual labor and reduce her clothing to perform it and even has to strip off her veil and skirt, which goes beyond work style and uncovers her legs to cross the river naked and her shame seen. In our time, there is a lot of exhibitionism and so such modesty may not be common but in most times and places prior to WWII, it was a shame and humiliation to be forced to be naked in public.

So I bring up here what I reserved for later, earlier previous. The beauty of a female is a very powerful drug. I am serious. It has the exact same effect in the brain as the most powerful drugs, such as cocaine, and other stimulants that addict people. Beauty get men high. It is beauty that primarily stimulates sexual interest and continues to affect the mind while having sex. Men have sex primarily through their eyes and vision center. Women mistakenly think its in the vagina.

Little known or promoted, the underneath of a man's penis, where the glans meet the shaft, is an linear area with a very small bud in it. During orgasm, this area, normally not that sensitive at all, becomes super-sensitive and produces an extreme sensation of pleasure. In fact, when men or boys first discover that ability, the penis becomes so sensitive are climax that one he can not touch it, it being sort of painful, really. But the brain adapts and calibrates to that the sensitivity is lowered enough to produce great sensation without too much of it.

But this area is normally nearly insensitive. What ramps it up? The brain and how much the man feels stimulated by the visual surroundings and other aspects of the encounter and circumstances. On the other hand, to some degree, it would appear that the woman's clitoris is always sensitive and is tucked away and insulated by tissue that reduces direct sensitivity. But with men, the penis is not sensitive till the mind is aroused.

Nudity and other visual stimuli are what cause desire and arousal in a man. The veil is sort of a recognition and admission of this fact. As long as a woman is single, she displays herself for availability. Upon marriage, she now takes herself off the market and limits her visual display to only her husband. This is sort of a bold way to emphasize that it is improper to stare or visually with your eyes, make contact and flirt. To avoid adultery, stop looking at women who are known to be married. And if married, the veil was a good way to make that apparent.

As well, I believe the veil was only for married women. As well, the veil was for being out in public. It was not something they would typically wear at home. So while we might think this absurd now, it has some reasonable logic if one understands its purpose. God, thru Paul required this in his time, the 1st century.

But if girls veiled themselves as soon as puberty took over, than this might have some wisdom, since it might admit that since both sexes have arrived at a peak of their powers, that the veil might help dampen it ever so slightly. But I know there are varying customs when it comes to the veil.

But today, fornication and adultery are everywhere. Few even give it a thought. They call it freedom but if your a child growing up in this society of broken marriages and single parents, its a disaster. So to be honest, if I had a choice between veils and protecting kids, or "freedom" and hell for kids, I'd take the veil. But for sure, Christian women should be dressing far more modest so as not to attract the attention of all males so much.

Yes, we all love to be attractive to the opposite sex, but once married, the attraction narrows to only one now. But practically speaking, today, everything is so out of hand, one does well just to avoid the worst of sins, such as fornication, idolatry, murder, and blood. To worry about veils today, well, I am just not so sure it is the right emphasis. Certainly, we want to be pure in spirit, which means not wanting to fornicate or not getting as close to it without doing it, as is possible.

With Satan having stepped up his attack in these last days, the battle strategies and techniques of Christians will have to adapt. We give attention to the most important things and don't sweat the little details. The veil was fine at one time. But I think there are more important things today to be concerned with. No. 1 on that list is learning God word, the Bible, every chance you get and trying to make more chances for it. We need to be prepared for that "battle" (symbolically speaking) with the devil and his followers.

From the New Testament Greek:

2 Corinthians 3:13  And not as "Moses, who put a veil over his face," for the sons of Israel not to gaze at the end of the thing being done away. Ex. 34:35
2 Corinthians 3:14  But their thoughts were hardened, for until the present the same veil remains on the reading of the Old Covenant, not being unveiled, that it is being done away in Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:16  But whenever it turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Ex. 34:34

Here, veil is used in reference to our relationship and that of the Jews with God. God is hidden and not accessible to the Jews under the law who rejected Christ, but when our hearts and minds are turned toward God, then the veil or barrier disappears between Him and us. This was similar to what a veil did between a woman and her husband. He was never veiled if he so chose but all other men were veiled and she was hidden away from their eyes. Below in Hebrews are more analogies of the veil that Christians are able to get past to God, due to the sacrifice of God's son.

Hebrews 6:19  which we have as an anchor of the soul, both certain and sure, and entering into the inner side of the veil, Lev. 16:12
Hebrews 9:3  But behind the second veil is a tabernacle, that called Holy of Holies,
Hebrews 10:20  which He consecrated for us, a new and living way through the veil; that is, His flesh;

I might also point out that circumcision was a sign/symbol whereby the top of the foreskin was cut off so that the penis was not hidden from sight of men or God. We were always exposed before Him and that little tip cut off would remind Abraham and his descendants. Today, much more of the foreskin is cut off than is necessary, I suspect. That is another issue.



Tertullian on the Veil
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Tertullian wrote this piece and it offers some ideas worth noting.

ON THE VEILING OF VIRGINS.
Chap. 1
HAVING already undergone the trouble peculiar to my opinion, I will show in Latin also that it behooves our virgins to be veiled from the time that they have passed the turning-point of their age:

Chap. 7
For if (it is) on account of the angels--those, to wit, whom we read of as having fallen from God and heaven on account of concupiscence after females--who can presume that it was bodies already defiled, and relics of human lust, which such angels yearned after, so as not rather to have been inflamed for virgins, whose bloom pleads an excuse for human lust likewise? For thus does Scripture withal suggest: "And it came to pass," it says, "when men had begun to grow more numerous upon the earth, there were withal daughters born them; but the sons of God, having described the daughters of men, that they were fair, took to themselves wives of all whom they elected." For here the Greek name of women does seem to have the sense "wives," inasmuch as mention is made of marriage. When, then, it says "the daughters of men," it manifestly purports virgins, who would be still reckoned as belonging to their parents--for wedded women are called their husbands'--whereas it could have said "the wives of men:" in like manner not naming the angels adulterers, but husbands, while they take unwedded " daughters of men," who it has above said were "born," thus also signifying their virginity: first "born;" but here, wedded to angels.

Chap. 11
But it is not so; but from the time when she begins to be self-conscious, and to awake to the sense of her own nature, and to emerge from the virgin's (sense), and to experience that novel (sensation) which belongs to the succeeding age. [{ When she reaches puberty! }] But even if it is "on account of the angels" that she is to be veiled, doubtless the age from which the law of the veil will come into operation will be that from which "the daughters of men" were able to invite concupiscence of their persons, and to experience marriage. For a virgin ceases to be a virgin from the time that it becomes possible for her not to be one.

[{ When young, a girl is not nearly as inclined toward the opposite sex. But when she hits puberty, they often are completely transformed psychologically. Now they are aware and often eager and flirtatious. So with this change in attitude and nature, the veil helps to put a damper on her new found interest and boldness, as well as that of the males. I think this is what Tertullian was indicating in his words and if not, I think it likely a reason among many why a veil was employed. }]

And accordingly, among Israel, it is unlawful to deliver one to a husband except after the attestation by blood of her maturity; thus, before this indication, the nature is unripe. Therefore if she is a virgin so long as she is unripe, she ceases to be a virgin when she is perceived to be ripe; and, as not-virgin, is now subject to the law, just as she is to marriage. And the betrothed indeed have the example of Rebecca, who, when she was being conducted--herself still unknown--to an unknown betrothed, as soon as she learned that he whom she had sighted from afar was the man, awaited not the grasp of the hand, nor the meeting of the kiss, nor the interchange of salutation; but confessing what she had felt--namely, that she had been (already) wedded in spirit--denied herself to be a virgin by then and there veiling herself.

Another secret mother, Nature, and another hidden father, Time, have wedded their daughter to their own laws. Behold that virgin-daughter of yours already wedded--her soul by expectancy, her flesh by transformation--for whom you are preparing a second husband! Already her voice is changed, her limbs fully formed, her "shame" everywhere clothing itself, the months paying their tributes; and do you deny her to be a woman whom you assert to be undergoing womanly experiences? If the contact of a man makes a woman, let there be no covering except after actual experience of marriage.

[{ Tertullian asks, as if it was absurd to think otherwise, if they really thought a girl was not a woman after having gone through all her "changes." Apparently, he is not expecting many challenges to that. But if there were any, then he says at the very least, she is a woman upon contact or marriage. So even if a veil is not used before marriage, it is certainly used after, in the days of the Apostles and after for some time. And less you doubt what ages Tertullian refers to, the next words spell it out for you! }]

Time even the heathens observe, that, in obedience to the law of nature, they may render their own fights to the (different) ages. For their females they dispatch to their businesses from (the age of) twelve years, but the male from two years later; decreeing puberty (to consist) in years, not in espousals or nuptials. "Housewife" one is called, albeit a virgin, and "house-father," albeit a stripling.

[{ Tertullian points out that many "heathens," the nations, do not worry about physical development but only likely psychological development, deeming 12 to be old enough for girls and 14 for boys. Again, I favor each person considered individually. But this is a far cry from how age of maturity or consent is viewed today, where psychological state does not matter, nor sexual developments in the body but only age. Tertullian refers to nature as a big factor. Roman law in the days of Emperor Justinian in the 5th/6th century AD, gave 12 for girls and 14 for boys so this was the way it had been for some time, even among pagans as well as Christians.

Tertullian, alone of all the writers of the 2nd or 3rd century, makes a big deal about little things, indicating his being on the extreme and out of harmony with the mainstream of his time, maybe. Veils were not uncommon in his time but neither were they the standard everywhere. But he is quite concerned about the veil. I will discuss that more on an article about dress and grooming eventually. Anyway, enjoy the next versus of his. }]

Chap. 14
Let her strive as much as you please with an honest mind; she must necessarily be imperiled by the public exhibition of herself, while she is penetrated by the gaze of untrustworthy and multitudinous' eyes, while she is tickled by pointing fingers, while she is too well loved, while she feels a warmth creep over her amid assiduous embraces and kisses. Thus the forehead hardens; thus the sense of shame wears away; thus it relaxes; thus is learned the desire of pleasing in another way!

[{ I am switching to regular black text from here on in as I am done with Tertullian . . . }]


Tertullian spells out the sudden interest a young woman develops and the male attention that also follows, yes, often at 12 or 13 in any age prior to the latter 1800s. Because this is such a powerful awakening, that we all have lots of difficulty managing and trying to cope with at that age, that a veil was likely put in place to dampen the ease with which interest and attraction take place between the opposite sexes. As well, a way to de-emphasize the attraction to looks and try to place a little more emphasis on trying to appreciate the personality. It could also be a way to help the young keep in mind their won vulnerability to the opposite sex and its temptations.

What is different today is that things are so out of hand, we can not expect to be as free of the influence of the world as when the world was more sane and behaved. As the world gets worse, we get worse, though not as much so. With the state of the world at this paragraph, 2014 AD, with little girls wearing thong mommy thought were cute or acceptable, and acting like strippers on kiddie pageants, and girls wearing "yoga" pants in public all the time, and sex being accepted everywhere as normal and common, and of opportunities for all, we will do well, just to avoid fornication. To worry about the height of a skirt, or what movies we watch, seem a little absurd by comparison.

Our kids expect some credibility and reasonableness from their parents. Since doing wrong is considered normal by the world, we have enough to do to just stand out as not being loose or immoral. Indeed, I believe in home schooling so as not to put undue burden and pressure upon our kids. Parents tend to worry about little things and neglect the very serious stuff, like marrying when puberty sets in. If we don't allow God solution for sexual temptation, which is  marriage, then we are likely to lose our kids to "sexual freedom."

Our world today does not try to keep our appetites and desires in check and balanced, moderate. Today we let our libidos go wild and unrestrained. We imagine there are not consequences. But we have given little attention to the children that come about by accident and what happens to them. Indiscriminate sex leads to many children who are not born into a stable protective  relationship reinforced by both families and communities, too. Though not specifically stated in the Bible, I do believe it is self evident if carefully thought about, that God tried to protect and regulate reproduction by absolutely requiring a marriage before sex (and the usually accompanying breeding) could take place.

We are a world lead about by our drives and lusts. We have yet to see the complete disaster that will occur in not much more time. But the veil was not such a bad idea and behind the purpose of the veil was a bit of modesty and restraint of our difficult nature. The genie can not be put back into the bottle! Sex is now out there and everywhere. You must make peace with that, but letting your teens marry, which means you will likely have to let them live at home since jobs are no more and houses are out of sight in price.

Will you adapt, or will you surrender to the devil and his followers?


Other Clothing Issues
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The next scripture in Hebrews has an interesting illustration from Paul. Paul refers to us as running a race to the finish, and in doing so, doing as runners who race and compete do, by removing every sort of weight and hindrance that would slow them down or make movement more cumbersome. Paul obviously felt the readers should be able to comprehend this strategy and appreciate the context of competition and its unique rules for dress, even as some types of work affect what can be worn or not. We have spiritual weights that distract and weigh us down and we need to get rid of them, even as a runner does in a physical way.

Hebrews 12:1  So therefore we also, having so great cloud of witnesses lying around us, having laid aside every weight and the easily surrounding sin, through patience let us also run the race set before us,

1 Peter 3:
1 Likewise, wives, submitting yourselves to your own husbands, that even if any disobey the word, through the behavior of the wives, without a word they will be won,
2  observing your pure behavior in fear.
3  Of whom let it not be the outward act of braiding of hairs, and of putting gold around, or of clothing of adorning garments,
4  but the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of the meek and quiet spirit, which is of great value before God.

In Peter's advice, he discourages the outward appearance and its inward motivation of showing off and striving to cultivate a meek and quiet spirit before God, which God highly values. So women are most apt to win over their non-believing husbands by cultivating this modest humble spirit of behavior, rather than the fancy clothes, the make-up, the jewelry, the hair styles and all that vain outward stuff. Men like a woman that is easy to live with, which high maintenance women often are not. This is a form of modesty and humility to pursue for everyone who reveres God.

Revelation 3:18  I advise you to buy from Me gold having been fired by fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, and your shame and nakedness may not be revealed. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Revelation 16:15  Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is the one watching and keeping his garments, that he does not walk naked, and they may see his shame.

These 2 verses from Revelation are interesting for they focus on being clothed and avoiding humiliating shame. Garments (clothes) are to be white, purified, clean so that our shame and nudity are not revealed. And the eyes salved so that we can see. So our eyes need opened and enlightened as well, right? So we need to have all our clothes on which symbolizes being on the watch so that we do not walk naked and people see our shame. So running around naked is not the thing to do in the normal course of life. But there were exceptions such as the ritual bathing where one might be visible but not seen as immodest for serving the needs of the ritual bathing to be clean before God in His temple.

Now we left off with the Duggars and the Amish. Their clothing is quite conservative and there is nothing wrong with their choices but these may be too restrictive for many. And I do believe that when one compares all possibilities, and recognizes that the Bible does not have ANY specific regulations on clothing, and since in every nations, the man that fears God is acceptable to God, and since every sort of language and culture, within reason, is acceptable, it is also likely that a variety of clothing styles may also be acceptable.

So to me, pants are not a sin against God nor immodest. They are a different type of clothing. Now if they are too tight and shape revealing, that could be objectionable. Spandex would certainly fit that as I see it. And to forbid shorts seems a bit excessive as well. There can be shorts that are too revealing or high cut inseam or too tight, but it does not prohibit all shorts. As well, I do not find fault with bathing suits and swimming. We get wet when we swim and excess clothing certainly makes swimming cumbersome and when you get out of the water, the clothes remain wet and cold and take along time to dry. If its in the 90s, it hardly matters but if you are swimming in temperatures in the low 80s as is not uncommon in Maine, keeping wet clothes on for too long is very cold.

I see no reason why a thin form fitting material is so objectionable. But it certainly is objectionable to wear thongs, g-strings, little triangles in front and back, or side seams that rise very high so that it is practically a triangle rather than full covering the hip area all around. If someone wants to wear more, there is nothing wrong but I do not fault anyone for elastic stretchable form fitting material for swimming. It is practical and function and it certainly is not nudity and is no where near as arousing as real full nudity would be.

As well, most do not wear their bathing suits much beyond the beach or shoreline. They put on shorts or towels if they go to the snack bar or whatever. And how far one can stay in a suit without violating modesty is not something even worth addressing. Here is the principle as I see it.


The Common Perception  --  Prudish, Moderate, or Provocative?
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As I see it, every culture has a sense of what is acceptable and reasonable and what is outrageous or too far. For instance, while almost no one in USA culture finds form fitting stretchable material as objectionable to swim in and hang around in on the beach or pool. On the other hand, many would object to thongs. There are the few who even see typical bathing suits as objectionable, such as the Duggars (19 Kids and Counting) or the Amish might, but nearly all others see no problem with typical swim wear otherwise. AS well, thongs are commonly objected to, so that if one wants to be seen as reasonable or modest, one would avoid such provocative and immodest displays.

The days of ancient cultures are long gone and the veils and tunics, too. For better or worse, the styles have changed and not likely to ever go back without God returning first. We are judged by the culture and laws of those who we live among. It is these we live around that we must give attention to. We don't want to be seen as provocative, loose, or asking for it or dying for attention. But I propose and suggest that to be far too conservative and extreme could be as harmful as being immodest and indecent/shameless. We represent Christ and as such, we have to be sound in mind and conduct. Sound, reasonable, balanced, moderate, not extreme. If we are not to turn people off and away, we might want to avoid all extremes on both sides. We might avoid the thong or the very short mini-skirt or that very tight revealing spandex that leaves nothing to the imagination.

On the same hand, to look like we stepped out of the early 1900s and full bathing gear of the time, perhaps looking like Mark Twain at that time, most people may not see us as reasonable, moderate, balanced and sound of mind. Knowing the practical aspects of less dress in certain situations, people would expect dress to appropriately reflect the considerations of what is being done.

Now there have been many changes over the years and styles are constantly on the move and that is not for the better in most cases. But previous eras were often too restricted or phony as well. We need to consider the broad range of former and latter times and see if we might strike a balance that will neither encourage mockery and ridicule or nor cause us to be accused of immodesty and indecency. I do believe it is wiser and more reasonable to consider what culture you live in, not what time period you judge to be better. So the context is always relative at all times.

A perfect example to me is shorts. Even Bermuda shorts are considered racy and of bad moral quality among Islamic nations. In respect of the people of those nations, we would dress in ways that would be seen as modest or acceptable, or at least tolerable. But in the USA, Bermuda shorts would be quite modest. But very short cutoffs that hide very little would still be seen as quite questionable to many, even in the USA. Balance is absolutely the best approach at all times. Would you agree with balance and perspective? Soundness and reason? I would think anyone would have God's approval if trying to live by those approaches.

So as I would see it, short skirts would not be modest. And I don't want to lie to you. I love looking at them. But I don't believe they are in my best interests or anyone else's. I believe the flesh needs no help in arousing and that it is better not to give the flesh much room to break loose. Draw a line somewhere and hold to it. I would think the knees would be high enough. Shorts just a little above the knee. Pants not skin tight and painted on, dressed to obviously provoke and entice. These are more commonly done by women and homosexuals as I see it. Men have a different way of showing off. To them, its about showing off your pecs and biceps or looking intimidating. Or maybe that gold chain or other excessive ornaments and signs of wealth, like the fancy car or SUV and all that crap.

But we want to avoid showing off and pursuing things that interfere with spiritual qualities. These things of the flesh fight and battle the spirit at all times. You can not pursue both. By default, if you cater to the flesh in a significant way, you will almost certainly slight the spirit.

Modesty is really balance and reasonableness. It is an avoidance of extremes. It is moderation in all things.

Now I say all this yet I want to balance it, too. The young are impressionable. They will be tempted to do as their peers in the world around them do. Its natural but not good. But we need to help them understand why its not good or right. If we can not convince them, then either we have failed to adequately defend our reasons or they just do not care about God and His ways. Too often, it is the parents that fail their kids by using short pat simple easy answers that do not work.

And while we all strive to stay somewhat within the laws of God, we all tend to stray a little here or there in modesty and balance. But I find this far too often. The principle, a big one in my book, is the rule of priorities. We concentrate on the big top priorities in God's law. And the little stuff is not so important. Another big principle is not expecting too much or trying to live too holy, pure, and righteous for if we try to be too much, we are being unrealistic and are guaranteed to fail and then we need to either start lying or get discouraged with ourselves and maybe give up. We don't want either of those results. so we need priorities that must be kept and we need realistic limits that we do not try to exceed.

And there is no great place where Christians tend to lose a sense of priorities and balance as well as try for too much in righteousness than they are with this area of dress and behavior. We tend to expect and demand far too much righteousness, and not enough concern for the biggest priorities. We strain the gnat out while gulping down camel. We pick the straw out of our brother's eye, while ignoring the huge beam timber in our own eyes.

A few skirts might be a little higher than we would like. Perhaps a little too much makeup. Jewelry, fancy clothes or styles of hair. Guys with ripped chests showing off or that expensive luxury or sports car and other signs of "hey, I'm cool." "You should be impressed by me!" Indeed, I think most of us were somewhat like that when young. If not, we were lucky but most are and deserve a little bit of mercy and holding the tongue. Growing from childhood to adolescence to early adulthood and mid age and on, we slowly grow toward Christ. And if too many insist on too much when the young are going through a lot can often be enough to break them completely, rather than keep them moving closer to Christ.

There are bound to be things that as grown mature adults, we will see as wrong and no doubt, they are. But the young deserve time to grow, mature and slowly come to realize the error of their thinking. Our best move is to carefully and fully explain why they might want to re-evaluate their dress or whatever. But if they are not agreeable to the small things and many of these modesty issues are often small in comparison with fornication, adultery and the like. Pick your battles and don't take on too many battles. Go for the big stuff and be gentle with the small.

Christianity's biggest problem among churches is that they demand far too much of the young and prohibit too much of the little stuff. The young just leave. Churches might consider prophecy or a more deep discussion of matters such as this article brings up.


Necessary Changes at Times
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I do want to balance this with another consideration. While modesty dictates sound proper behavior, nudity was never punished in the Bible the way it is by common USA laws. Often, the punishment for being naked or nude, called indecency or exposure, is as harsh as it sometimes is for rape. This is such a gross distortion of decent law for if you consult a woman who has been truly raped, I am sure she will confirm that just being naked is not even anywhere near as horrible as being forcibly raped robbed of all dignity and rights to control her own body. We trivialize rape when we equate it with mere nudity.

Nudity is a serious concern for us because it is a quantum step towards possible sex. We are all susceptible to temptation and should not be tempting each other or enticing each other face to face. But at the same time, as humans, we tend to push things and there are times when some will enjoy a frolic at the lake or some place maybe, without nothing serious happening. Its not the best of situations but on the same hand, it is not fornication. It is certainly not rape. It hard should merit 3-5 years in prison. Nor would it be justified for religions who practice shunning to expel or shun some caught being a little foolish. Give them a tongue lashing and drop it and be glad it did not go further.

This is balance and moderation. We do not fear nudity. WE avoid it in consideration of our weaknesses. It is not the horrible crime we often have made it out to be. We lose credibility when we exaggerate and grossly distort the degree of harm or danger in some things. I think this is one of those things. Parents get scared when their kids get naked. That is fair. But if you act like the world has just ended, your kids will no longer see you as being reasonable or realistic. They will think you silly and ignore you. We should all appreciate what it is like to be young and especially in a world where nudity or sex are not considered to be any big deal. Some things are a big deal and others could lead to a big deal. But keeping a calm level head is essential if we are to maintain a close relationship with our kids.

Every bit as important is recognizing that the world and mankind have evolved and progressed over the 6,000 years since Adam was created. As society and nations progress and develop, some circumstances change and could require us to face new circumstances and possible have to adapt and change to adjust to the new circumstances so that we remain in God's will in a solid way. An example would be one that dawned on me just recently. The city had just installed a new playground just across from my father's and my place. The kids seem to really like it. But I notice that some girls love to play in their skirts or mom likes to dress them in skirts. They don't seem to mind showing off, either. Not like my day.

But in debates about pants vs. skirts for girls, girls are far more athletic and active today than ever before and I think that is positive. But it is the active lifestyle and play that merits more modesty so that dresses are not really practical in play situations as I see it. Yes, dresses were quite a long standing tradition for women but times, culture, and lifestyle have changed and we need to change with it. Cameras, video, computers, cell phones, the internet, are some things that have changed our lives in many ways and require us to rethink some things in our past and present. Air travel, huge sense cities and may other things have given us a different world to live in and issues to deal with.

So while tradition has some merit up to a point, tradition without reason deserves to be questioned and re-examined. Many pagan practices beliefs are traditional. Tradition is nothing unless soundly and completely supported by the Bible. So new situations beg for reconsideration, using the Bible as the final judge of principle, of course.

Every bit as important is recognizing that the world and mankind have evolved and progressed over the 6,000 years since Adam was created. As society and nations progress and develop, some circumstances change and could require us to face new circumstances and possible have to adapt and change to adjust to the new circumstances so that we remain in God's will in a solid way. An example would be one that dawned on me just recently. The city had just installed a new playground just across from my father's and my place. The kids seem to really like it. But I notice that some girls love to play in their skirts or mom likes to dress them in skirts. They don't seem to mind showing off, either. Not like my day.

But in debates about pants vs. skirts for girls, girls are far more athletic and active today than ever before and I think that is positive. But it is the active lifestyle and play that merits more modesty so that dresses are not really practical in play situations as I see it. Yes, dresses were quite a long standing tradition for women but times, culture, and lifestyle have changed and we need to change with it. Cameras, video, computers, cell phones, the internet, are some things that have changed our lives in many ways and require us to rethink some things in our past and present. Air travel, huge sense cities and may other things have given us a different world to live in and issues to deal with.

So while tradition has some merit up to a point, tradition without reason deserves to be questioned and re-examined. Many pagan practices beliefs are traditional. Tradition is nothing unless soundly and completely supported by the Bible. So new situations beg for reconsideration, using the Bible as the final judge of principle, of course. Pants, as I see them, are not so much revealing of form if they are not tight, and are much more modest than dresses at knee length or shorter for girls at play or even women. Same for shorts. They are practical and can be of modest style as well. Hot pants are obviously not modest.

Amish fear nearly any sort of change. When reviewed as a whole, that is not unreasonable but one is sometimes left to wonder about why they accept some things and not others. Farmers have always been a conservative lot and most early settlers were Christians and farmers. Yet they saw pants for girls as practical after a while. Amish, I suspect, still see dresses as how it used to be and that change is not merited or excused otherwise, as if dresses were instituted by God. But tunics were made for both man and woman and men changed. So why not women?

Oddly, I note that while females often had to cover up far more when swimming, female bathing suits have since, in general, become more body conforming and revealing than most men feel comfortable with here in the USA. Men were very baggy and long inseam shorts while in Quebec, Europe and some other places, the "Speedo" is preferred. The Speedo is much more like what women wear for minimal clothing and tightness. But in the USA, I think Speedos are associated with being gay. But the contradictory styles between men and women is a bit puzzling.

As I would see it, removing as much un-necessary clothing as possible, without going too far, is sensible and practical. But men go against this concept in the USA. Maybe they are afraid the cold wet "shrinking" of their male member and pal as embarrassing, though it is silly. I would prefer that to a great big bulge that some might mistake for arousal. And as for body conforming, unless you are a swimming racer, it is not that important except that the elasticized material does hold far less water which means you dry off far quicker and warm up much quicker so I see the "tightness" as reasonable in a swimming circumstance. 

Trying to impart an appreciation for the laws of God in the face of a world so out of control with temptation is quite the challenge. Cool calm heads must prevail, even as they should in a battle situation in the middle of a war.


Some Dangers in Immodesty
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Here are some concerns I have with immodesty, which could include nudity, too. If you have not been hiding out in a cave for the last 20 years, you might know that kids have gotten real mean in the last 30 years, if not more in many more populated places. Parents have completely let their kids go to hell and it shows. As a result, there is also a lot of open competition of many sorts. One of those is girls competing with their looks. Beauty is something we inherit. It is not something we had any control over and it does not impute any goodness or greatness to us. And it is often not our fault if we lose our beauty as time goes on. It is a gift so we have no right to brag or lord it over others.

Being humble and modest means not bragging about our gifts or advantages. To show off our beauty, our body, our wealth, intelligence, or any other advantage, is not humility or modesty. It is arrogance, competitiveness, striving, and similar things that Paul calls the fruits of the flesh. If we have advantages or gifts, we should be grateful to God and be sympathetic to those who are not as fortunate. One of the problems with bragging is that it can build resentment in those who are not fortunate. That resentment can build until the unfortunates strike out in anger and jealousy toward those who were bragging and rubbing it in.

School shootings became a common phenomenon in 1990s. Even "going postal" became sort of common. People getting teased, tormented, ignored, discriminated or other unfair and indecent treatment would strike out in anger and kill, often indiscriminately, so that those most deserving were often not the victims. This demonstrates just why it is important to take one's blessings in stride, not bragging or belittling others who are not so blessed.

Now lets suppose some young woman wants to show off her very impressive body, say in a miniskirt or similar. It is first of all, a form of bragging. And she may well be very appealing. But she is rubbing it in for the poor girls not so endowed. But there is more beyond this. What sort of attention will she get? Probably lots of it but it is who that could be dangerous. Those more influenced by the flesh will come a calling. And some of them can be quite aggressive and if you don't go for them, they might try to intimidate you into going along with them, anyway. As well, they will likely not care about you but only care about your body, beauty, and sex. Marriage will usually be the last thing on their mind.

Even if you are only among Christians, you will bring out their worst rather than their best or the best of them. As well, if you are really and truly trying to find a compatible match, you do not want the beauty of the flesh to interfere with good judgment. Beauty may induce prospective mates to underestimate their incompatibilities due to the powerful attractions of the beauty of each other. One wants to keep the influence of the flesh to a minimum. This was part of the idea of wearing a veil and dressing modestly. It keeps the beauty of the flesh from corrupting better senses and judgment. And Hey, it beats the hell out of divorce court and alimony!

As well, playing wet t-shirt contests in an open public frenzy can and did lead to problems one time in NYC. Some women ended up getting stripped nude as the guys sort of lost control some. It could have been worse. I recall one of those shows that shows video clips of situations caught on tape. One showed a well built women showing off completely naked on a yacht and moving in extremely sexually suggestive motions. The cops came in and stopped and covered her and arrested her for they feared a riot could ensue. It certainly could have. Mix guys, alcohol, drugs, and beautiful sexy women acting in totally sexually suggestive ways, a very powerful stimulant perhaps more powerful than drugs, and anything could happen.

Inciting riots is hardly modest becoming behavior. Christians would never want to do such things. Sowing hurt, pain, resentment, or any other kind or hurt, pain, anger or anything even close is obviously wrong. Mean girls are an amazing phenomena that is far too common now. And guys have often become far too competitive and even violent, as well as becoming very poor sportsmen. As well, some guys like to show off and some like to show off to intimidate fellow guys as well as attract women.

But this can bring unwanted attention if some other guys want to test how tough or cool you are. Bragging is never a wise thing. Recall the Mosaic law forbid a king to accumulate too many horse for the military, nor gold and wealth, nor to take many wives or foreign wives. Especially with the military and wealth, you do not want to attract too much attention, which wealth and power do. Power makes other nations insecure and concerned about your own ambitions. Wealth makes others want to take it from you.

If you live in a nice home and show off many nice things, thieves will always be looking to break in and help themselves. Modesty is a good way to avoid a lot of unwanted attention. A woman who keeps her appearance and demeanor low key, will avoid a lot of attention, though not all of it. Most of it! But the girl who shows her goods off liberally, will attract all sorts of attention and b in danger often for guys see the display of the flesh as indicating desire to get laid and they will be trying their best to be the one to get laid with her.

It is difficult and even impossible to cater to both the spirit and the flesh. AS Jesus said, you can not serve two masters. One or the other is going to get slighted. Invariably, the flesh will usually win out. If we are to sow with a view to the spirit, then we will have to slight the flesh. There is good reason to slight the flesh for it always is working against us. So we kind of have to gang up on it, more often than not. When God restores all things, we will be able to have our flesh under control but till then, it is an enemy constantly plotting against us.

Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?"

We all have fleshly tendencies. We are liars if we say we don't. It is not wrong to want to be married and enjoy a sexual relationship. But since our flesh does constantly struggle to get free and go wild, we need to be on guard against our own more base desires. Inside, there is part of us that wants to go wild, cast off all restraint and grab all we can get. We can never forget this or turn our back on ourselves. We have to be ever on the lookout for what is going on inside us and keep it in check.

Yet one more time I also urge caution in persecuting the flesh too much. We want to take great measure to avoid the serious sins. But the small stuff, while not to be ignored, should be treated with far less urgency and far more reasonableness and sympathy. We all fight the flesh and youth will have far more problems with it due to very high levels of hormones and less experience and control. There is a lot of influence in the world and they deserve some mercy somewhere. if they are good about keeping the really serious stuff, then maybe that song they like, or that movie they want to see, the that outfit that seems just a little too much is not quite such a big deal.

We have to pick our battles and be reasonable with our kids. Parents get laid and have lost some of their drive so it is much easier for them to behave. Its a shame they could not regain that youthful beauty and extreme drive so that they could better appreciate what their kids face. We do not want God to judge us severely. That being said, perhaps we ought to be considerate of what our kids face and deal with. They have it exceptionally hard in our day, much worse than what we probably faced in our day. Priorities, balance, and moderation are the keys. Perfection is not possible and should not be expected, from ourselves or our kids. Only God can and will make us perfect.


The Spirit vs. the Flesh  --  A Battle Royal in each of us
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I don't think enough of us realize the impact of Paul's fruits of the flesh. Just think about these carefully in verses 19-21 in red.

Galatians 5:      from the RSV
18 But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

from GLT
19  Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness,
20  idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies,
21  envyings, murders, drunkennesses, wild parties, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God .

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 
26 Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

It is essential that we are aware of the enemy within us. Our sin, our flesh burdened with sin inherited from Adam. It makes us want to do the very things we should not do. We can never win fully or completely against the flesh, but we do need to do our best to keep it in place, within reason. That means no intense competition with other girls who want to show off their goods. and they may have quite a set of goods to behold and can get a lot of attention. You might have plenty of goods as well. But that does not mean you should show them off and compete in a sort of rivalry.

But now it is essential that we tell the truth, fully and completely. Nearly all us us has wanted to break out and break forth at one time or another and in our youth, nearly constantly. The urges and drives are so overpowering and difficult, that it is nearly impossible to control them. But here is the problem.

Our parents should have been smart enough to know this. Our so called shepherds, those who lead us in church should also have known this and figured it out many hundreds of years ago but they were bought off just 3 centuries after Christ with Constantine, the devil incarnate. So our parents have wandered in ignorance and stupidity and our leaders sought to manipulate and control us rather than guide us toward God. These are the ones who should have been seeking from the beginning to make sure our basic needs were provided for so that we would not suffer to have them satisfied.

Now they did not let us stave or thirst, but they did let us suffer for a very important need of the flesh, even as craving for food or drink are cravings of the flesh. They did not provide for a suitable partner in marriage at a reasonable age when we first become hungry for such a thing (very young, near the age of 13-15 in general) and the continued guidance to help us keep our marriages.

The very best way and really the only suitable way to ward off most of the struggles with the flesh is allow the proper satisfaction of the flesh by helping everyone in the community to find a mate. Yes, the flesh is not evil, but it does have sin/evil in it and it is the sin we do not do. But sex is marriage is not sin. Far from it. It is from God and was/is His will. But that which drives the desire for sex also drives the crazy desires we often feel as well. And if we delay the proper due of the flesh, then the desire for the bad stuff will get much worse.

So the obvious solution is to satisfy the proper desires of the flesh so that the improper ones are kept small and manageable. Every tried to manage a big animal with a will of its own. Its often impossible. But a very small animal can be overcome with much less problems. So it is with small desires vs. big powerful ones that have built up steam and are going a full speed and no brakes, either. Through proper outlets, we release most of the steam and frustration of the appetites of our flesh so that if a little odd stuff is left, which there is in all of us (we must be honest with God and ourselves and our brothers and sisters, too), it will be small enough in most to keep it under control, manageable, maneuverable, navigable.

Then we await for the return of Christ, who will repair us and bring our flesh back to being free from sin and enable us to keep control of our faculties, something we have never known previously, though Adam knew such a time briefly and Eve, very briefly.

But what this means is that the concerns of the flesh should be accommodated as early as possible so that keeping free of errant desires such as showing off and getting attention that is better avoided and can lead to sin. But as well, let us not think we can completely rid ourselves of the sin of the flesh. Our music, entertainment, our dress and grooming, our competing in sports, and so very many other ways we will have some desires of the flesh come out a little. As long as it is just a little, it is no big deal.

We will not "go to hell," so to speak, because that song that sounds so good is a little "provocative," for whatever that may be, or its words a little racy. Or that "R" rated movie, God forbid, right? Or those evil video games (I'm kidding you understand)? Being a little too aggressive in sports or being maybe spending too much time with such stuff. Maybe some like that dress just a little higher than some think proper or others like a little too much.

These are being too picky and overly concerned with matter far too small. If we take care of the very big and important matters such as no fornication, no adultery, not murder, no idolatry, eating no blood, then the Apostles say we are doing fine. Don't sweat the little things too much. I know this is a huge departure from those who want to pick every last weed form the garden, covering several acres. In fact, these fanatic extreme ones make the war against swearing, entertainment, video games and every other sort of vice the most important, and nearly forgetting the importance of avoiding fornication, which nearly all Christian youth are now guilty of, because of putting good jobs ahead of God and purity and delaying marriage for way too long.

These hypocrites are the ones who strain out gnats while gulping down camel. Why? Because they do not understand the principles of Priority, Balance, Moderation, and Reasonable Expectations. Listen, it is as wrong to pursue too much righteousness and purity, as it is to pursue the flesh too much and engage in sin. If the pursuit of purity causes one to fall and stumble, then it is not purity after all, is it? If we pursue that which leads to sin, then that, too, is sin. Personal Shipwreck and Ruin is nothing to brag about. It is miserable failure at its most pathetic.

I also strongly recommend my article on the Spirit, discussing that word and its various meanings and how it is contrasted with the flesh. Essential when discussing subject like this one here on nudity. I link to it at the end of this article as well.


Loose (Relaxed) Conduct?
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In the late 1st century, before the death of the Apostle John, there had developed a sect called the Nicolaitans. The group was started by Nicolas, one of the 7 chosen to administer to the Greek and Hebrew widows early in Acts, according to early post-John Christians Overseers-writers. Yes, Nicolas went bad.
Revelation 2:15 So you also have those holding the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Nicolaitans were a wife swapping free sex cult. I suspect you did not have to be married but the married also participated. It became a very common problem in the early centuries of Christianity as well. And while I have encountered wife swappers who call themselves Christians on the net, I do not know how common it is now but its around. As well, there are those who probably believe in nudity while supposedly refraining from extra-marital sex. Nudist colonies are also around in the USA and around the world, even quite common in some cultures.

I deal with sex and loose conduct of a sexual nature elsewhere. But it is strictly the nudity I want to cover here. I have gone over many principles already. But I want to address many aspects of nudist resorts, nude parties or gatherings, and nudity as it relates to pornography, too.

So first, lets be honest, as always, right? Why would a group who love and each other and trust each other, want to throw off their clothes at a pool, the lake, or secluded beach? Ah, because it is very exciting? Yah, of course! But regardless of good intentions, we have to recognize the extreme power of nudity and its visual impact. It may well be the most powerful drug on earth. It can bring out the worst of obsessions and addictions. There is nothing wrong with excitement. Sexual excitement is good in a marriage. But out of its proper place, it can be very dangerous.

So while people might be well intentioned, it does not mean they are not being foolish or risky. And some will say, the visual appearance of nudity is not sin. True. But it does easily lead to sin. Let me ask, is it wrong to drink alcohol? It is not. Even Jesus drank some. Paul prescribed it for some sickness. But drunkenness is wrong, is it not? And as well, drunkenness can easily lead to sin, especially if it is done in public. Drinking at home is much better, as long as it remains in moderation. But wherever it is, it should be moderation, even as eating or anything else is.

Alcohol can serious impede our control of ourselves. And let us make no mistake, the flesh is every bit as powerful, if not more so, than alcohol. Knowing that such power is present in the display of the flesh, it should never be done with those outside our family in normal circumstances, particularly avoiding those of the opposite sex in outside the family.

Nudity outside the family and in the presence of the opposite sex, is what is basically known in the Bible as Loose Conduct. It is loose, lax, relaxed, care free, defenses down, barriers removed. The flesh is free to let loose if it is overcome. God placed barriers for us to keep the flesh in its place. Clothing is an important barrier to the eyes as well as the limbs and organs. Sure, nudity is fun on steroids. That is the problem. So among Christians, nudity is not really proper. But there is more to consider. but never forget:

Jeremiah 17:
RSV) 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?
KJV) 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
ASV) 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?
GLT) 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is incurable; who can know it?
Roth) 9  Deceitful, is the heart above all things And, dangerously wayward,––Who can know it?

Within us all is the self deceit, ever treacherous and waiting to overtake us, desperately corrupt and wicked. It strains us to really understand it. But its there, however hidden from us as it might be. We have to be on guard against it at all times. We can never trust our inner voices and must always be second guessing them. Our enemy is often ourselves. This is the understanding we should have. So we have to use God's word and His standards in order to determine if something is proper or not.

Now I am writing, not just to spell out or dispel ideas and clarify them, but to show why a lack of balance and moderation, not just of excess and catering to the flesh, but also of the other extreme, in persecuting the flesh or vilifying it and demonizing it, blowing it completely out of proportion, as if it were worse than fornication or nearly so. It is particularly in regards to laws that prohibitions against nudity have gotten so extreme and ridiculous. It must addressed and with courage and distinction. It will be done here as no where else. Only one place on all the web that tells it like it really is. Right here at Truth 1, where truth is no. 1 !!! No bull!


Group Nudity
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So let us begin with this pretense:
"Let's ditch the clothes and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere." (And swimming naked is undeniably more enjoyable and sensuous). "No one here will get out of hand. We will guard each other. And best of all, we can enjoy the pleasure of seeing and admiring each other's bodies. It's quite harmless, isn't it?" Maybe its a pool party among trusted brothers and sisters in the faith. Maybe its at a nudist colony, a nude beach somewhere where such exist.

Well, lets get this out into the open. First, there are those who have no trouble with self control of eating and others for whom this is a big weakness. For others, money and greed are a problem whereas for others, it is not. for some, drugs and alcohol are problems while others have no problem with them or do not even bother with them. Each of us has our own peculiar set of weaknesses and strengths. And what is weakness for some is strength for others. So even though we might not have problems with nudity, others might be vulnerable. As well, we might not think we have a vulnerability to seeing someone naked but are really kidding and deceiving our selves or at least underestimating what is inside us. As well, we might not have problems with it in general till that very special someone who has the perfect look that we have never seen before, at least in person and very near, and then we are tested as we previously not been.

So it may be that some can handle nudity quite successfully. It can happen and does happen. But . . . that does not mean all can handle it well. And we know the problem with self-deception, right? We do not act with just ourselves in mind. We must always be considerate and protective of the possible weaknesses of the entire congregation. You need to read my article on Conscience for a far more thorough coverage of this idea. I link to it at the end of this article as well.
http://www.truth1.org/conscience.htm#Whose%20the%20Judge,%20Anyway?

And I would say that if you were brought up in a family and culture where nudity was a way of life, you may well take it in stride and have no problems with it. But in conservative America, it is not common, except in movies, TV, and the media ;-) although that does seem to be changing among the young as morals disappear. But to those not conditioned to such stimuli, it is overwhelming and over powering, as I think it is for anyone who is first exposed to nudity and porn. It wears off but . . . when first exposed, it will be perhaps to much.

It is for this reason that I say careful exposure to porn is a protection, an immunization, inoculation, or at least removes much of the initial fascination and curiosity that makes the initial exposure so intoxicating. But I'll deal with that in my article on Porn more thoroughly. But you can't fornicate with pictures, which is what some seem to suggest, again grossly exaggerating that situation, while ignoring fornication or suggesting a vow of chastity and purity is going to somehow prevent that which it never has and never will.

But nudity in a culture that is not accustomed to it is very dangerous. Also of concern is how others would view such conduct. If everyone naturally did this, it would not be a problem. But most do not or at least do not know of those who do. And they might view it as scandalous. While they may exaggerate the "sin," that does not make it OK. Do we want to put our preaching in jeopardy or hut its credibility for the sake of running around naked for a while? Kind of a silly trade off, isn't it? Is nudity that important or necessary?

But let me also say, if someone just has to go out and try it, it is not that big a deal, either. Yes, one wants to be ever on the watch and be cautious, but nudity is not a crime that comes with a punishment in the Bible and compared to the really big sins, is pretty small. It is a possible temptation and failure but until it goes that far, it is not a sin but could lead to it. But then again, nearly any normal pursuit can lead to sin, such as making money or eating. Again, it is the laws that often make nudity a horrific crime, which is far beyond what God decreed for such things. But all the same, I do note some hypocritical things about what many nudists claim, which I will cover soon.

A Nudist Beach

But now lets consider nude beaches in parts of the world where that is not uncommon. Many raised with those may think nothing of such a thing. But as well, many think nothing of sex without marriage and adultery, too. So that does not necessarily make it right. But neither are people likely to have sex on the beach, either. But what if someone becomes rather attracted to you? In such a condition, will your defenses be weakened. I think it possible. But I also note on TV coverage of those beaches, it if often those who are well built, so much so that they do not stand out for their attractiveness due to the competition. In fact, many may be more concerned about showing off than finding partners. I think its vain but not a horrible sin of the worst kind. I just think it should be avoided, but if you have to try it, I doubt God is going to cross you off His list for it. Remember balance and perspective! That is what our world has forgotten as we will get to soon.

I do understand that nudity is quite trivial to some cultures or groups. But don't let that cause you to drop your guard. Christianity is a culture, too, and the only one we need to concern ourselves with. And the naked body, depending on who it is, definitely could have spell binding power, even for those accustomed to nudity. I was related one experience by the mother of a model who went to a nude beach in Europe. When she ( the model, tall and blond and beautiful ) got near the beach, all eyes were on her, anxiously awaiting the moment when her clothes would come off. So she decided against the beach and went elsewhere. Everyone knows when a good looking woman steps on to the scene, even on a nude beach. So you know it is having an effect, even where nudity is not given that much attention. It really depends on who you are and how good you look.

Of course, enjoying her beauty is not going to send you to hell ( I do not believe in hell but I love joking about it ). And that is an important distinction to make. so you have fun looking. Where is the crime? Some will say that lusting after her is thinking about her but I destroy that stupid myth on my article on Lust linked at the end of this article. Nothing would have happened but her own sense of privacy and shame or not wanting to be drooled over cause her to leave. Self consciousness is a sense of shame, sort of. Part of the reason for what we might even call fear of being seen naked is that instinct that tells a woman she is in great danger if she allows herself to be seen naked. And there is a real danger in being seen naked if you are truly beautiful. An intoxicated man will not have all his senses and control in tact. He is capable of doing some outrageous things. A woman, unless she has a good set of body guards, is always smart to keep a low profile and not entice anyone with her "gifts."

So God placed an instinct of fear and self consciousness of danger in being overly exposed. Most women naturally have this instinct unless they have come to enjoy getting guys excited and lose much of that fear, that might be better kept. Some women also have egos and love their ability to drive guys wild. But flirting with disaster can be risky. Some may be careful where they show off but it is still immodest behavior in the eyes of God and not conduct for Christians women. Many would not look favorable on a woman who claimed to be Christian and then shows herself off for free or without much hesitation or concern. they may even think or want to think she is asking for it. Its wrong. Again, you will not go to hell, but you could end up with a reputation that might die hard.

I do note that among primitive isolated tribes, where nudity is common or was, and among some tribes, even sharing wives is done, it was started because of the isolation that developed as large populations died out. In small isolated groups, such familiarity is common. That does not mean it is right but it happens. But I also note that most of these tribes are no longer that isolated as development had taken place all around them. As outsiders clothed well became common and interacted with the tribal folks, the tribe began to cover up some. In the presence of others unfamiliar, that sense of modesty, fear, and shame takes hold, even in places where it did not seem to exist before. Interesting, no?

As well, I saw one documentary where it revealed that not uncommon in Peru, some make adventures into camps of these tribes and rape young girls of about 13 and often even kidnap them and make them prostitutes in the cities. With guns in hand of the "predators," the tribesmen can do little. But you can see why fear might take hold, although clothing does not really stop it.


Nudist Colonies and Resorts
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This is one of particular interest to me due to contradictions among them. This first group of statements came from a site I found in Nov. 2001, International Science News ( www.unisci.com ). The main writer died in 2007 which was their last post. The site was still up in April 2010 though not updated since 2007. The article was called "The Nudist Lie" by Cathy Keen. I am going to quote statements but not the names of the people who made the statements, for their privacy and my kindness.

        1) "I wonder what it would be like to come to a nudist resort as an adult. To me it's second nature. I believe in it. I feel it is a safe place to be. Everyone has the same thing in common." former Miss Nude World.
        2) "I think I'm a well-rounded individual. I don't have hang-ups regarding sex, clothing or personal communication that are so common today. I'm much more relaxed and more in touch with people than most others."
        3) "It takes away some of the allure of latent sexuality that you find when people are clothed."
        4) "Maybe people think its something else maybe something sexual, but when they get here they find its a social thing and the experience makes them feel good."
        5) "What's predictable is that many people in our sex-oriented society would assume that nudism and nudist clubs are sexually oriented. Yet the human body loses much of its fascination when you stop playing peek-a-boo with it. First-time visitors to a nudist club are struck almost immediately with how unsexy a place it is. Nudists are generally very peaceful, very low-key, very unself-conscious." Excerpted from "Why Nudism from The American Sunbathing Association Bulletin," June 1990.

        1. OK, no one gets in trouble. 2. Some people feel they do not have as many hang-ups. 3. One suggests that there is less allure after you get used to seeing people naked. I have have no doubt about this for constant exposure will surely relieve a lot of curiosity and fascination. I think the same can be said for exposure to porn as well.
        4. This one seems a bit pretentious and misleading as I will show you in a minute. Says its a social thing. You mean, it would not happen if they had clothes on? I doubt it. 5. Reinforces 3, where lots of exposure dampens the fascination and curiosity, at least for as long and the exposure continues and for a while after, perhaps. 5 also says that they are "very unself conscious." I dispute this for sure.

The next sub-heading in the article was: "Nudists Discriminate As Much As People With Clothes ".
        1) The naked truth about the American nudist movement is its failure to live up to the ideal that everyone is treated the same, despite social standing or the shape of their bodies, a new University of Florida study finds.
        The woman quoted below "worked two summers as a housekeeper at a nudist resort as part of her study" and was a practicing nudist for 15 years.
        2)  Especially revealing is the inconsistency toward women, who are told looks don't matter but are exposed to nudist art portraying so-called perfect and impossible-to-match female figures.
        3) "I observed the formation of cliques, men commenting on or joking about the obesity of certain women, women giggling about the size of a man's genitals, sexual comments and harassment - all activities one might commonly witness of larger society."
        4) Nudists tend to think of themselves as progressive and open-minded. Nudists' sense of moral and intellectual superiority stems from their belief in body acceptance in an age of prudery, even to the extent of being able to see the body as non-sexual.
        5) "Essentially, they're mocking the belief that the body is dirty."
        6) "It seems clear that social class distinctions are not only visible, but (are) sustained by the practice of nude recreation. Participants are by no means a cross-section of American society. While the notion of social equality has long been a part of the American credo, it is not practiced."
        7) Nor are nudist resorts "natural," except perhaps for a few nature trails, Woodall said. Most have saunas, nightclubs and all the usual amenities, with older townhouses selling for nearly $140,000 and new ones approaching a half million dollars."
        8) Stripped of its intellectual veneer, nudism is like the rest of society with its share of sexual hang-ups, social distinctions and backbiting gossip about weight, breast augmentation and the size of personal endowments.
        9
) "To me it speaks to the fact that people aren't actually internalizing the rhetoric of nudism, they're only buying into it in an economic sense."
        10) Actually, nudism is a middle-class activity with an influential Washington lobby. The American Association of Nude Recreation's 1997 figures show 92 percent of members are age 35 or older, 47 percent have a family income of at least $50,000 and 83 percent have a college education.

End Article Quotes so far

On the whole, art and sculpture through out nudist colonies show idealized naked women, full of beauty. So as I see it, they are highlighting or even objectifying or idolizing female beauty. Not such a good thing for Christians. It is also as if they are trying to send a message out. Further more, why the need to emphasize the human body in art if there is not a bit of an obsession with it?

Night Clubs are also available in many places. so it would seem to me that sex has to at least be in the back of their minds. Fat ugly people are mocked and left out of any real fun, I have no doubt, just as it is with couples who swing. They do not swing with just anyone. You have to be good looking or your not invited to many of these type of gatherings. As well, these clubs and resorts for the nude are not cheap, creating more exclusivity.

4 and 5 are my main interest. First, I agree with 5 that the body is not dirty, obscene, vile, sinful, etc. Christians cloth themselves out of respect for our weaknesses toward the flesh. Christians would very likely not get out of control any more than those who are nudists do not get out of control although I am sure some non-marital sex goes on for it is no big deal in the world. But the point is that if it ever got going out of control, it would be like an out of control forest fire. Christians do not underestimate the danger of free loose conduct such as the nudity of mixed sexes.

4 is sort of laughable. Superior? Even more, that the body is seen as non-sexual. Is that why they got the naked sculptures and art of idealized beauty in the nude? I am going to blow this one all apart. I was watching a show that was interviewing a nudist resort in Florida. It may have been one of those National Geographic Taboo episodes, though I can not be sure of what channel or show it was on. But the man interviewed said they carefully screened those who wanted to visit the park/colony and that they watch them carefully.

Visitors are spoken to, if they stare. They are discourage from fraternizing too much with the opposite sex, I believe. No talking to underage kids at all. Overall, the impression I got from reading about it, was that they were very guarded and self conscious, much the opposite of what nudists typically claim. Most nudist camps insist on everyone carrying a towel with them at all times in case they have to sit down. Well, then why not at least wear underwear if we are so self conscious about such things. It would seem like a matter of practicality to me.

They do not want to be stared at and appreciated or enjoyed for their beauty, if they have any, which some must have. So then why be naked if you are bothered by such things? Is that a sense of shame or embarrassment I am detecting? Modesty? Self consciousness, too? Well, well, I think they are not so free of guilt, inhibition, or modesty. They almost seem like they want to hide or only want those who will go along with the pretense of non-judgmental nudity. Fact is, if you are not ashamed to look or stare, they will resent it. All the more reason for clothes says I! My impression was that this group was very clique-ish.

But I find the entire pretense of not seeing the naked body as stimulating is the biggest lie in circulation. As you recall my account of the blond model in Europe earlier, if you are beautiful, you are going to be noticed, guaranteed. And it will be the same at any nudist resort. If you don't like it, don't go or wear clothes. I give you one last quote from the article just above:

"Women who venture into these resorts feel relatively safe, thinking they will be among social equals and apparently buying into the unpracticed precept that nudism transcends sexuality and gender."

Well, maybe they buy into it or maybe they don't. But beauty will be noticed, with or without clothes. That is human nature as it truly is, at an instinctive level beyond our control. This sort of reminds me of  "The Emperor Without Clothes." The pretense was that only noble minds could see the clothing but it was a load of crap. Everyone saw the Emperor for what he really was, totally naked. He was lied to. We are all lied to if they say naked beauty is not given lots of attention and that one of the main hopes and prayers of all men is that beautiful women show up at these resorts to get naked so the men can pretend not to stare as their eyes pop out.

Now what of the hypocrisies noted in porn or specially child porn is that nudity can be OK if it is a natural setting not intended to be provocative whereas they also claim that even if they are wearing bathing suits or other clothes, if the intention is to be provocative, which is undefined to make it even more ambiguous and absurd, then it is wrong and obscene. For too many reasons, it is pretentious, ill-motivated, absurd lies. Nudity is bound to be exciting, regardless of intent, if the subject is beautiful. And further, that the intent is more important than whether they are naked or not. Now that pretense is what I call obscene and perverted law and justice. But I'll save my arguments for that more in my article on Porn.

To me, nudists are their own best reason for covering up. The pretense is too obvious. Either they care less about being seen naked and exciting people who see them or cover up. Now we can better appreciate how a veil would have reduced staring and gawking and forced more focus on personality and lessened competition with looks. We also have some sects of Islam where women literally cover themselves from head to toe so that you can see nothing. I see this as extreme, just as nudity would be the other extreme. Bathing suits seem sensible to me, even though form fitting with most un-need material left out for reasons discussed earlier.


The Righteous Standard 1st
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Galatians 6:8 For the one sowing to his flesh will reap corruption of the flesh. But the one sowing to the Spirit will reap everlasting life from the Spirit.

Do we try to get as close to sin as we can or are we careful to stay as far from temptation as possible? The naked body is a very powerful image and stimulant, especially the female image to a man. No doubt, this is why God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve when putting them out of the Garden of Eden. Either that, or it got damned cold all of a sudden. We might be in a social setting with other people around that may prevent extra-marital sex between couples but without clothes there is much more visual stimulation and much less of a barrier. The clothes are already off and the way is clear, right? I don't think Christians really trying would parade around naked with each other, as tempting as it might be.

We have to ask why God chose to cloth man and woman. We also have to note that when they had sinned by eating the fruit forbidden to them, they perceived they were naked and hid from God and covered themselves. Clearly clothing became much more important at that point.

Now we note that aside form those who see nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage, that in general, nothing happens in most nudist situations. But then again, it is not widely practiced in comparison with most public activities. But that some engage is sexual activities in nudist settings is certain and how likely is it that hook ups would not take place among Christians gathering in a nudist situation? We all maintain invisible barriers of some sort or another. When we start letting all those barriers down, trouble can creep in. We maintain barriers that protect us from our more base fallen nature. Our sinful nature is our enemy that we need to be on constant surveillance of with complete vigilance. It just doesn't seem wise to get careless or gamble with our behavior. Is being naked worth throwing away our eternal salvation?

I say it would be inevitable that nudist situations would lead to immoral circumstances and activities among Christians sooner or later. The standards of God make clothing a requirement in most circumstances. 

Think about this. Don't we often take everyone for granted? Do you say thank you whenever anyone holds a door open for you? You should. If you don't, maybe you don't appreciate their kindness. You might say, opening a door was unnecessary. I can do that myself. Or its no big deal to hold a door open. Isn't it nice to know that someone was thinking of you and cared enough to hold the door instead of making you expend that little extra energy to open it yourself. They cared enough to want to extend a small kindness to you. That, in itself, should cause you to be grateful. They actually cared a little and that is or should be important to anyone. We have become far too careless a society and people. We don't appreciate when someone offers a small kindness. That is the first step in a series of steps that leads to hate and murder.

We need to take the time to do the little things for people that show we care and that they matter. In order to create a good world or a perfect world, we need to pursue as much kindness and politeness as possible. If we only do the least amount necessary, then we will eventually degrade into apathy, carelessness, and eventually hatred that lead to a collapse of our world. We usually fall short of our targets and goals, anyway, so we need to aim as high as possible so that if we fall short, maybe we will still be very high and that will be enough to make life bearable.

It is the same here with nudity! Do we aim for as close to sin as we can get, or do we aim for the highest and purest level of conduct possible and stay as far away from sin as possible? I say shoot for the stars. Stay as far away from sin as possible.

This is the ultimate righteous standard of God and I know all about it. Some say I write so as to induce people to the flesh or make excuses in the name of freedom. Not hardly! But I certainly urge balance and caution when dealing with ultimate standards of righteousness for I also well know, which my critics do not know at all and are completely unfamiliar with, is that no one can perfectly live up to perfect righteous standards. In fact, anyone attempting to do so is guaranteed to fail for not one of us was born free of the sin of Adam in our flesh and we all sin and need the redemption of the blood of Christ.

Any who suggest that the spirit of God causes us to no longer sin, is in fact, an apostate and heretic of the worst kind and despite the fact there is no hell, they would be worthy being sent there if there were! For to build up hopes and make people believe lies; and make them believe the impossible is easily obtained, if only you are righteous enough ( so that God will make you perfect ), is the worst and unfair cruelty that causes many to give up hope and cease serving God, believing that no matter what they do, they can not live up to perfection to be saved. We do not have to be perfect to be saved. Jesus paid for the sin of Adam. We only need accept that grace and our sin will not be held against us, but neither will it be removed until Jesus returns and fixes all things over time.

So we will consider the realistic expectations and conduct we can expect from our brothers and sisters in the faith after we discuss one more very important development in the last 30 years or so.


A Very Dangerous Development
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Let's be fair and honest. We have all pushed things to the edge at one time or another. It may not have had to do with sex, but pushing things is also a human tendency that can get us in trouble. It is tempting and as long as you don't go over, you haven't sinned. But gambling with your relationship with God and with your eternal life doesn't sound like a wise gamble to me. And what you do could affect or harm others, too. Do what you want, but remember that you have to answer for whatever the outcome may be. You've been warned about God's ultimate righteousness which none can live up to perfectly. But we do not use this as an excuse to sin. But we do not ignore its implications, either. Sin will be present and continue to some degree. It can not be avoided.

And nudity is becoming more openly practiced and attitudes are getting more permissive and wild. But Christians can not follow that. But on the other hand, however, I have also observed this.

In some respects, nudity is perhaps overly feared, and grossly over reacted to. I recall watching a nature show where three men hiked across a section of the Australian outback. One man on the older side, maybe in his 60's, arrived at a farm. Rather hot, sticky, and dirty from the hike, the couple who lived at the farm filled a tub for him that was outside and he took off his clothes and hopped in. What was entertaining was that their daughter of about 6 or 8 was right there and no one cared. And I don't believe that anyone should have cared. Bathing seems pretty harmless and rather necessary. But in the USA, most people would have had a fit. Men have gone to jail for such exposure. I think we are far too squeamish about such casual ordinary nudity. This is a much different atmosphere from a naked pool party. And there was only one person who was naked and he had good reason to be. Everyone else was dressed. And the daughter did not immediately become a whore upon seeing an old man naked nor was her mind scared for life. The parents were present so that nothing could happen. So everything worked out fine. Not a big deal. And there was no big deal, either.

In some very conservative Christian groups, girls in even modest bathing suits would never be allowed. Now that is extreme as I see it. Some do not even allow girls to wear a dress above the ankles or wear shorts or even pants. I think that very extreme. They can do it if they want but I would not require it. Muslim women are sometimes covered from head to toe, so you can not even tell who they are. Again, way overboard. It is easy to be immodest but just as easy to get too modest, too, I believe. And honestly, I think we may be becoming more overly conservative in our hysterical witch hunt mentality of late, fearing men even looking at our daughters or wives, particularly daughters. To the point where pictures can not be taken of them by their own families and girls in bathing suits are forbidden on the internet if deemed to be " provocative." What constitutes a picture as provocative has never been adequately defined by law and groups like the Civil Liberties Union and others have protested such prosecution but still it has been done, despite the protests and legal motions to the contrary.

We have become so concerned about men looking and "thinking," and "imagining" that we are losing all sense of rationality, proportion and sanity. How long before we make girls cover over from head to toe or ban men and boys from beaches altogether? Indeed, I am not sure but that running around naked is sane and rational by comparison. So we want to gouge men's eyes out and give them lobotomies so they can't imagine anything. And who is crazy and irrational? Oh, I am exaggerating? Really? Are you sure? In any case, irrational fear and extremism have no place among Christians. So while we do well to keep our clothes on and keep them reasonably modest, forbidding pictures of girls in bathing suits on the internet or anywhere seems to drastic and unbalanced and heading in a very bad dangerous direction.

Being overly concerned about thought crimes is not far from having thought police bust in and carry you away for imaginary crimes. Haven't we got enough to contend with, with real crimes? In fact, how odd that in many ways, we seem more concerned with thought crimes and imaginary crimes than we are with real physical crimes. We barely do anything to many rapists. In fact, even if a man should kidnap and repeatedly rape a 10 year old girl, beat the living hell our of her and attempt to kill her and leave her for dead, we let him out after 11 years here in Maine. What??? Oh, and then we have the nerve to protest his living next to us? If we are so upset by him, why isn't he dead? Why do we bother to keep such a man alive, who has proved pretty much beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Why can we think so little of a real and extreme crime and yet get all upset and traumatized by a girl in a bathing suit? Or a guy showing himself off from his 2nd story bedroom window to some school girls? ( It happened in Maine somewhere near 1990 or so ). I think it is the height of absurdity and contradiction. And as if that is not enough, there are books available and legal on the market that show girls and boys absolutely naked, but allegedly not provocative. Or they are said to be "natural" or "artistic" or "artistic expression." Then its OK. But again, how do we define those or distinguish them from "provocative" or intended to be provocative displays, since there is no outward difference between things that have been judged provocative and those which we see in printed ads, sales fliers, or on TV.

I have never quite understood how nudity can be considered not provocative since as far as I am concerned, it is beauty, not nudity, that is provocative. But nudity is certainly more revealing of beauty and if we fear kids in bathing suits, mow much more should we fear nudity? The contradictions are almost too much to conceive. I do not object to or protest nude pictures as I caution public nudity, but I fail to understand how naked kids can be OK while kids in bathing suits are not! Or just what is it that defines or constitutes someone or something being provocative? I think we are far too concerned and preoccupied with what goes on in a person's mind and not enough to what they actually do or whether they might be enjoying a particular display or not.

But here is the very worst of it all. You might want a good stiff drink with you before reading this further. Parents are no longer allowed to let very small children run around naked at the lake or beach. I am talking 2, 3, or 4 years old. Too close to being child exploitation or live pornography possibly, according to fanatics of sick minds. Parents are immediately suspect if they take pictures of their kids naked or partially "exposed." The amazing thing is that a majority of parents have done this quite innocently. I got pictures of me naked with I was a young toddler, taken by my parents. They thought I was cute and adorable. Of course, they were right ;-) But it was innocent and not the least bit perverted, although by definition of law, which is no definition at all, then anything has the potential to be considered perverted or provocative, even if it is not.

Now parents should not even be able to be questioned about taking pictures of their kids naked unless you could show that they were publishing and making money doing so and that its intention was "provocative." Myself, I believe parents should be able to photograph their kids naked without even being able to suggest anything sinister or obscene. In fact, it should be exclusively the right of the parents as to where their child could act, sing, or even pose naked for Playboy for all I care. It if can be allowed for a woman to do as proper, then, in my opinion, it should be allowable for a child to do so, with the parents' permission, even as their permission is required if the child is to act or engage in business. I know this is not the law and I do not recommend anyone violating the law. Just the opposite. Obey at all times. I do.

But the sanctity of the family and the right of parents to decide what is in the best interest of their kids should be their exclusive decision always, that can not be challenged without extraordinary evidence of the worst of abuse. As it is, parents can be suspect for an innocent naked picture, or a child behaving in suggestive or provocative ways as if there was no way (like watching TV or other kids) to learn it except from the parents.

To further illustrate my point, in Maine, we had an unusually warm September day, or perhaps very late August and no one was there at this beach except this one family with an 8 year old daughter who was allowed to take off her bathing suit at Popham Beach, a state park but again, empty except for this family, and she was dancing naked and her mother took pictures, thinking it was cute and adorable, which I am sure it was. But when they got the film developed, they were reported to the police, who investigated. The parents were exonerated but the mother was still upset that their privacy could be so violated and that it was so obvious it was nothing obscene or wrong. She was right!

The parents did not deserve to be even questioned. Having naked pictures of your kids should never be a crime. Nudity is not anywhere near that serious a crime, even if photographed naked were for others to gawk and stare at. No one has ever been raped virtually or by proxy of a picture. Nudity should never be a serious crime and if some are inclined to be excited or stimulated by an 8 year old or a 3 year old, that is their problem to deal with and need not concern anyone else. For I would suggest that this sort of thing goes on all the time anyway because no one is ultimately responsible for what they naturally find attractive, exciting or stimulating. These are not things we control. We control whether we will act on, or pay no attention to, what mysteriously seems to excite or intrigue us.

But that a photograph of a naked child is a huge threat to law, order, safety, security or any other silly unreasonable and ridiculous suggestion is absurd and ludicrous. It should make any good sane mind question the intentions and motivations of law makers and law enforcement in suggesting that great harm is done when a child is photographed naked. Its been done since cameras were invented and many, including myself, have been photographed naked and seen by many after. I did not experience harm or humiliation and was not damaged in any way. And I am not the least bit concerned if some guys were gay and got all excited over seeing me as a 3 year old, naked. Same for grown women, too. And I'd be amused if a young girl found me (at 3) attractive. It would be natural and she'd be showing good taste, too ;-)

But seriously, no one is threatened by what others think in their minds. All of us have had all sorts of crazy bizarre thoughts and dreams over which we do not have control over and nor should we be judged by. We should be judged exclusively for our actions, not our thoughts. But our leaders want to destroy any trust, closeness, or intimacy between family members. Governments want to be able to invade and intrude upon family settings whenever they want and find fault with families for being close, or loving and trusting. They want to dissolve family bonds so that the young may be lured away by schools and other such government programming so that the kids may be programmed to think the way the government wants and not the way the parents want.

Parents had ultimate rights but now the government seeks to eliminate all parental rights and take children from parents when ever it pleases the government. It starts with a supposed good reason like protecting innocent children from being exploited but since governments continually exploit all citizens both old and very young, I can assure you that they do not care about exploitation but only who it is that gets to exploit the kids.  They want you kids now! If you teach your kids something the government does not like, then they could accuse you of teaching hate or fear or whatever and take your kids. It may very well happen on a mass scale, I predict, when the government gets ready to acts against Christians when the antichrist is 3.5 years into his 7 year term.

Another problem is that home schooled kids, of which many are Christian, is that they make it difficult for the government to teach and program your kids their way. So they could really use a good excuse to take them from you and "teach" them all over again, the government's way.

So now, any little act, no matter how innocent and harmless, can now be construed as corrupting, perverted, or just questionable, for which your parental rights can be terminated. And why? Because you allow your judgment to be nullified and questioned, being relegated to a distant 2nd, with the government having primary and ultimate judgment over what is right or wrong for your kids. This, even though you pay the bills for the kids and house and nurture them, the government claims to know better than you and you have always put up with it, you fools!

And why? Because you have allowed them to suggest all kinds of horrible things about nudity, closeness, affection, sleeping in bed with parents, and other innocent loving nurturing stuff that was routine in all times previous to the last 30 years or so. Grown men can be locked up for 3 to 7 years for just exposing themselves, as if that alone, were some horrible horrendous crime of unspeaking depths. That is totally insane. And yet, a vicious rapist can get just 11 years for the worst of rapes, actual actions, not just thoughts. And many do not even serve time for real rape. Just community service or parole for a few years or some other weak sentence not worth a powder blown to hell.

When we allow justice to be completely distorted, perverted, and or become completely contradicting and/or absurd beyond imagination, then we endanger ourselves in a big way. That someone can be judged and locked away for photographing girls in bathing suits, by permission of the parents as well as the girls, is beyond any measure of sanity. All because we worry what some dirty old man might be thinking in his head, as if that was really important or made a difference. And believe me, some have been put away for taking photos of girls in bathing suits by permission of the parents. In fact, some websites that never featured girls in bathing suits or even posed provocatively have been shut down just the same. Now honestly, what is it the government is really afraid of or really trying to stop? This really deserves more attention.


The Naked Truth!
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If we were to admit that say a 13 year old girl could be beautiful, attractive, appealing, and even desirable to a normal healthy decent man of say 25, this could open up Pandora's box as far as our governments are concerned, in my opinion. If this could be said about a 13 year old girl, then it would be hard to justify making something acceptable and reasonable as perverted or sinister. And before long, men, young and old, would be pursuing attractive 13 year olds as they have been since time began, till about 100 years or so ago. And if this happened, then younger men and these girls of maybe 12-16 would frequently fall for some of these men and before you know it, marriages and other hook ups would be taking place.

What is wrong with this? Oh, a lot, from the stand point of those who want to train kids their way instead of the parents' way. For if very young women started having relationships with men, they would be influenced by those men, who they really like or enjoy and since nothing is more influential and overcoming than love and affection, these girls would never or rarely be influenced by government propaganda in the face of competition from love. And these girls would influence their other girl friends and the government would lose any ability to influence the minds of the young girls and women, due to competition from those who care more than unfeeling uncaring governments, whose motives are obvious to a fair amount of people now, all over 20 or even 30, of course.

So the government erects an artificial invisible, but very powerful, barrier that forbids any sort of conduct or relationships with "kids" (particularly 12-16) by adults, rather they are innocent, platonic, friendly, paternal/maternal, or romantic so that those under 18 can not develop good healthy rounded relationships with adults and all age groups, and no distinctions in ages as God intended there should be. This is the only way governments can then isolate the "kids" so as to be the only ones to have access to the kids and "teach" the kids. The schools can do as they like with the kids without any interference from adults and their wisdom and love. Love is so dangerous to authority.

So the governments vilify and demonize any sort of fraternization or relations with adults, not even allowing talking, claiming that all such relationships and friendships are evil, bad intentioned, sinister, disgusting, perverted, wicked and every other vile thing you can think of. And with such horrible insinuations made, no man would dare go outside those boundaries, regardless of how much he enjoyed children, even without romantic interests as they reach their teens..

Anything to do with children is consider far worse than a murderer. There is no greater crime on earth right now. It has gotten so bad that even fatherhood has become suspect. Men can not even be accepted or considered as fathers. We have debased, defied, and polluted everything and everyone so that nothing is seen as decent or wholesome and everything is seen as perverted and sick beyond measure.

In military terms, this is known as the tactic of "Divide and Conquer." Get everyone afraid of everybody and every thing so that no one trusts any one and every one is suspect at all times and you will effectively cause all communications and relationships to cease and that is what has happened. Now we don't even know our neighbors any more and we don't want to, either. WE have reaped what we have planted. Now we shall get what we deserve.

It really seems to me as if the solution is much worse than the problem it is supposed to prevent. We might be better off risking more vulnerability in return for having more trust and less fear and much more closeness and familiarity with co-workers, neighbors, everyone.

But if we wanted to fix it all, we would have to admit that 13 year old girls can be attractive and desirable and have things to offer, besides their bodies. This is the border, the line drawn in the sand, on which both sides are lined up. For if girls can be accepted as desirable without being seen as obscene, then all the artificial barriers will disappear, almost over night. This is why men are in jail for photographing girls in bathing suits, even though the parents allowed it. Notice how they did not put the parents in jail as well. More hypocrisy for if they really believe those girls were in danger, then why weren't the parents jailed as well and the kids taken over by the state? I'll leave that for you to ponder. But the parents were no doubt relieved just to be let off the hook so they did not protest over their rights being denied, though rights they were.

I wrote an article on teens marrying as teens for very good and important reasons. These certainly need to be considered. After all, what I am suggesting is political heresy and extremely opposed to political correctness but is filled with solid reasoning and scriptures. Marrying Early is also linked at the end of this article. But what I need to point out here is that our education system, like most around the world, was intended to limit learning, not promote it, and to program kids to think the way big business and its puppet governments want kids to be. John Taylor Gatto publishes many great books on the origins of mandatory schooling in the 19th century and what it has become today and why.

With thorough documentation from those who masterminded all this, Gatto shows beyond dispute how we have been manipulated and programmed over the years so that what we thought and believed prior to about 1860, is not nearly the opposite. Now good is bad and right is wrong and nothing makes sense anymore. Gatto's best work is The Underground History of American Education. You can read it for free on Gatto's website but I appreciate having the book for reference and marking up. Try this: JohnTaylorGatto.com  But what Gatto reveals in stunning detail is essential to understanding the concept of herding the young into secluded guarded buildings free of any adult influence except those carefully chosen and controlled by the government to teach the kids their way.

Kids spend most of their time in the presence of adults other than their parents and most of these are controlled and serve the government and big business for the most part and none dare educate you very much. This is perhaps the foremost way that kids have been transformed in mind and thinking over the years to where we believe nothing we used to believe at one time. You need to read Gatto's book. He has published more since. I have another book of his but have yet to read it yet but have it in my waiting line of books to read.

So what we have is the fact that absurd notions of nudity and modesty have been used to wall off our kids and isolate them from any and all us obscene and perverted parents and adults and adult supervision except that approved of by the governments. And all by insinuating that what goes on in the private recesses of the mind is incredibly threatening, dangerous, and bound to bring our country down in flames over night and almost certainly cause our young daughters to all be raped within days of each other in broad public view by masses of men overflowing with out of control lust and avarice.

So grab your women and children and head for the basement and beg the government for martial law and to hunt down every last man and torture a confession out of him, admitting he secretly lusts for their young daughters and is certain to rape them all if given even half a chance. You think this sounds silly and absurd? Why yes, it does and is; and yet, it is not far from what some claim, either. The silly attitude I describe is closer to the truth than not.

We know that some people can be irrational. Some can fear things that are not there. Some are afraid to go outside of their houses. This is known as agoraphobia. Some fear heights. There are all kinds of irrational fears. But no one would argue these are real or justified. It is recognized the person has an irrational fear, termed a phobia, that has to be corrected so that the person can become functional.

But likewise, our fears today of men's minds, and the safety of our daughters, kids, or whatever, is causing parents to lose all their rights and have their innocence and rights disputed in court. It has isolated our kids from adults, which is also very harmful to the kids, who do not get the wisdom of the adults that they so badly need. We have allowed others to convince us we are in great danger when we are really not. It is irrational and if we do not correct it, it will ultimately cause our demise of our nations and our world, as well as our families and our own freedom. Is losing all that worth it?

If I were faced with martial law, enslavement, and the collapse of society or allowing pictures to be taken of girls and published, I would accept the publishing of their pictures as a far better alternative to complete martial law and absolutely no freedom or rights for either the girls or any of us. But again, I say obey the laws and wait for God to clean this mess up and believe me, He will. Again, the solution for our "protection" is worse than the problem we allegedly need protected from.

Just for information and thought, as well as entertainment, you might consider renting and watching a movie called "Snap Decision," 2001 and played on LMN at times. Its about a mother and her best friend, who innocently photograph the mother's 2 young girls and even younger boy partially naked playing. Its based on a very true story which is why it is so frightening and many reviews found on imdb.com verify this. I recommend viewing the site as well, looking up this movie and reading the reviews.

The detective was out of his mind as far as I am concerned and on a mission to make himself look good by busting some supposed perverts. The prosecutor went along with it, too. But the judge scolded the prosecution and told them this never even should have been brought to court. Yet the pictures in the hands of the law enforcement and prosecution were never returned to the mother's friend and the case remains open, as least as of the time the movie was released, even though the judge found the women totally innocent. Law enforcement is evidently allowed to ignore the decisions of judges. We think and expect law enforcement to use judgment and discretion but they wouldn't know how to do that. As well, I have suggested the real reason for this sort of witch hunt mentality against nudity in the 1st place.

They just want their names in the paper as being heros for saving us all from the worst of scum and villainy, like 2 innocent women. Don't think this is some innocent game. The government means this as the most severe form of intimidation so that parents don't even dare be nice or loving to their own kids for fear of accusations. It has pretty much become impossible to be a good loving parent. The problem is a danger and very big one because we grossly distort dangers and fears where none should be. I'll give you just one quote from a review of this movie and actual events, which mentions the names of the actual accused victims as well.

>>
I don't believe Jen and Carrie ever found a true happy-end in reality. Once hearing such an accusation people always tend to avoid these persons, either in doubt about their guilt (just couldn't be proved) or for being afraid they're under surveillance. Once suspects for being witches / anticommunists / molesters people terminate their normal social life for good.

"I've never thought something like this could happen in America " said Carrie. In fact, I don't know it could happen anywhere else. Such a banal cause, such intense hatred by individuals and mass hysteria following them... I can't imagine it in any other place.
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You have been warned and given an insight few today have. Be careful! Its a jungle out there, but not because of perverts so much, as it is because someone wants your children to do as they please with them and they don't want competition or interference from parents or anyone who disagrees with them. Its not a nice world and never was. The devil rules supreme.


Realistic Practical Expectations
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We are familiar with the very righteous laws and standards of God and they are very high, not with the expectation that we should be able to keep them, but that they should make us aware of our sin and inability to keep them as we ought to. That is why we need our sins redeemed by the blood offered by Jesus for us. Now we even know how being too "modest" and overly concerned with nudity, making it a huge crime when God never did such a thing, has proved to be very harmful to us.

But it is harmful for other reasons, too. We have come to ask and expect so much from our young that they give up and turn from God, since His standards seem far beyond reach and possibility as they are. Christians have done a terrible job of keeping in mind what they can realistically expect of each other. So we will explore that now.

Have you ever been young? You were but you might have long forgotten it by now, regrettably. You really need to remember it or get it back. Remember wanting to attract the opposite sex? Remember wanting to be attractive and desirable? Maybe the insecurity or uncertainty of your value and standing among your peers? Maybe you were not fully convinced of what you had been told up to this point by parents, teachers, or others. Those first awakenings of sexual hunger were very strong and not easily controllable. It was almost like we had been a normal person and suddenly you turn into a werewolf and can not control the intensity of the urges and passions. These are very difficult times at teen ages and an extraordinary challenge to keep passions in check.

To make it worse, you might only be 14 and realize you are supposed to not have sex for at least 4 more years at the least, which at 14, seems like a long eternity away. Hard to imagine going that long and even much longer, till 25 or 30. It almost never happens. I first went to work at a hotel when I graduated. I saw about 5 or 6  girls come to work there as recently graduated virgins. They were behaved at first but  you could sense the frustration and hunger which is normal and had already been held back or frustrated for maybe years years by this time, denied while many enjoyed dating and relationships. It would not be but a few months at best and suddenly one night, they went crazy and often did it with wild abandon. Some would feel bad after, concerned for their reputation, perhaps. Others simply went wild after that. But once out in the real world, it does not take long to give in and give up.

There is no reinforcement for chaste behavior till marriage nor even reinforcement of marriage; nor of morals in general for that matter. No real community or social group to effect a protective peer pressure to keep us in line. And what is out there is a very permissive attitude where lax morals are considered perfectly OK and acceptable. Hey, everybody is doing it so what is the problem, they say? So it does not seem bad, since the world forgot about God a very long time ago, say about 6000 years.

One could simply say our young were/are all weak or flawed. But I think that would be unfair. I think they looked at the possibilities and did not see a good outlet or chance to get married. I think they might have thought that marriage seemed far away and where would they begin to look. If you went to school as we nearly all did, then jump out into the real world, suddenly you are not surrounded by everyone your own age. In fact, very few are your age. Most are older than you at 18. We as a society are not set up for marriage. So they sort of accept that if they don't take the plunge, they may never see any pleasure. The world can seem big, lonely, and unfriendly. It is a time of great uncertainty. But most of all, the urge is so strong that will power will fail to enable them to wait. It really is important that we help the young find a marital relationship as soon as possible, and if done God's way, long before 18, more like about 14 or 15.

Now many will say, but our kids were raised in Christ. They forget that the world can still appear to have something to offer and the sex is freely and easily available to those who have personality or looks. There are many temptations and much focus on sex in society today. If your kid is at college far away from home, without the peer influence of family, friends, church, community, etc., they maybe find it very hard to resist. Something has to give.

Some find different ways to cope. Some try dressing more seductively, not to get laid necessarily, but to see what they got or who notices. Its not the best thing but it certainly is not the end of the world and not practically the same as fornication. Maybe they go out with some others who want to have some fun. Maybe they go to a party to meet people. There are lots of ways to get led into things. I do not need to list the many ways they can be slowly broken down or tempted. It can happen rather easy when the young are not fully dedicated to God, though it might have seemed like they were. Knowing God at a young age with urges so intense, will often slight God rather than the flesh. Foolishness is part of youth.

Satan has crafted the world to break people down and cater to their flesh. To send them out into the world thinking they are not vulnerable is absolutely ridiculous. Even we were very vulnerable at that age. As already mentioned, a young person has many doubts and uncertainties and being able to live a life with our flesh under a measure of control is not accomplished fully at 18. In fact, the Bible recognizes a man fit for military duty or first service as a Levite at the temple at 20. So they are still maturing, learning, and coming ace to face with their darker half and  bringing it under control. To be a Priest, you had to be 30. Jesus commenced his ministry at 30. Younger than that is a likely time for trouble. Can you appreciate this?


Small Indiscretions
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The tastes of the young are not refined and might seem a little fleshly or questionable. They will not see things as older ones might. It is not only not seeing it the same, but what they feel conflicts with the spirit at times. This is normal and not unusual. But they need to bring their spirit around to God voluntarily without undue oppressive compulsion. They need to be given some time and room to adjust at their pace, within reason.

The flesh does not get tamed overnight. We can not expect out of the young what we would expect from an older one. It requires mercy, patience, understanding, and careful concern. They need talked to and reasoned with gently and should not be expected to immediately see it your way or turn around. They will come around if the spirit of God is operating on them.

Some will say, you are making excuses for the young! Yes, in this instance, I am. If a man is dying of thirst, shall we fault him for being desperate? If he is starved, shall we really be surprised if he stoops to stealing some food? Will our compassion not give him something anyway? The Bible notes Jehovah, the Father, as saying, "It is not good that man continue alone. I am going to make a helper for him." God had recognized that the man He created had arrived at the point where his urges and longings were kicking in, so it was time to fulfill that need that God Himself had created and intended.

In ancient Israel, when a young man arrive at an age where marriage needed to be considered, the young man would either live in the same house as the parents or his father would grant some land apportioned to his family and tribe for the son, and the father, often perhaps with the help of the community, will build a place for the son and his wife and eventual family. Everything was provided for the new couple. That was God's way! Parents have obligations to do what they can for their young for as long as they live and the young would care for their parents in their old age. Being a family was forever. Obligations did not stop at 18 or end at 65.

It is our duty to see that when our young need something, that we do everything within our power to help make it all possible. Granted, we have much less power and circumstances to help now that Israel did in its day under God. But the typical attitude today says its all up to the young man or woman entering the workforce to do it on their own. This is not what God has ordered.

As well, there are many factors that require we all receive mercy and understanding for many of our flaws. For instance, if a person was born poor, uneducated, and was beaten and used for prostitution, we would have to expect to allow for a little bit more flawed personality than someone who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth and taught the word of God with love in their youth. But the obligation to our youth is our responsibility, not an excuse for youth.

But as a whole, I find most adults far too demanding, their expectations far too high and unrealistic, and maybe even a bit self-righteous and harsh. The young need a little bit of room to flex and even test a little. The Amish recognize this and though I think by sheltering their young so much till teen years causes the young to go kind of wild, at least they recognize that the young might need to test things a little. Now if a group as austere and conservative as the Amish can see this and make room for it, what excuse is left to any of us who are flaming liberals by comparison? Absolutely none that I can see!

So maybe the skirts will be a little daring, the choice of entertainment a little uncomfortable, the spirit a little wild or rowdy. All sorts of things to deal with. Stop, pause, and give it some serious thought before speaking. If we demand too much, it will seem like every little thing is a sin and they might come to believe it is impossible to serve God adequately.

But as well, if attention is not given to real basic needs, then sin will follow. We expect our kids to live to 25 or 30 before marriage and not have sex till then. It will never work. I know it is not likely realistic that many parent will marry their kids off at 15 and have them live with either the bride or groom's parents, though I do believe that to be best, but compromises will have to be made if they are to resist fornication, one of God's most important laws, ever!

They will not be as clean living as you would like if they are to avoid fornication. They might look at porn, which is itself an unfair label of the human body. It is nudity, even if it is provocative or very suggestive. AS a picture or video, it can do no real harm. Masturbation will also be a reality if they are to avoid fornication. That is not forbid in the Bible, anyway as I show in an article on that, also linked at the end of this article as well. To think they will avoid both masturbation and porn as well as fornication is to either make them a liar or guarantee fornication. Removing undue guilt would seem the better thing. But staying at home and getting an education while at home seems best. The family influence is needed throughout their young adult lives for a number of years. They don't just leave home fully equipped at 18 or 20.

Many things thought completely unacceptable like porn and masturbation, were even thought to be nearly as bad as fornication or adultery, which is absurd nonsense. You need to reconsider those silly attitudes and use the Bible to more carefully think about that all. The young, to avoid the truly important things, will need to be allowed to relieve their drives and urges in ways that are not too harmful or dangerous. This relieves the worst of the pressure that pushes many toward fornication.

Christians are way too uncompromising, insisting on near perfection and it is not reasonable or practical and will result in failure. While the flesh has sin, the flesh was and is a necessary part of us. When we hunger, we eat. We need to eat. When we thirst, we need to drink. And to urge to mate and breed is very strong and needs fulfillment. Either let them masturbate or get them married or you will pay the consequences. The flesh can not be completely ignored. That is what needs to be accepted. so be realistic, reasonable, practical, and fair in what you expect of the young. They live in a world completely contrary to what they need. They need a friend and ally and that is your job. Don't become yet another enemy for them to struggle with. They have enough as it is.

I saw many young give up on God because no matter what it was, porn, masturbation, sex without marriage, swearing, or whatever, it was all thought of as being super serious and important, and to have to live up to avoiding every single thing was too much. They threw up their hands and arms and said, well, if jacking off sends me to hell, I guess I might as well go out and do the worst. Fornication, here I come! We do not want that to happen. This is why it is dangerous to expect too much righteousness even as Solomon warned in Ecclesiastes 7.


Righteous Proper Distinctions
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Any law that is good and proper will also have a clear, easily identifiable way to distinguish and determine if the law has been broken. It will not be in any way subjective, but will be completely objective to all. There will be little to no gray area. A well defined law will attempt to achieve a black and white test. If that can not be achieved, then God will often not make it a law that man is to enforce. Some examples will demonstrate what I say.

How do we determine if a girl was deflowered or "defiled" by a man? That is, did he have sex with her? The Bible indicates that if he defiles her and gives her semen, then he must marry her. He has obligated himself. So how do we know she received semen. What if it as a day or 2 after and the semen is gone? The factor determining the guilt of the man was whether the hymen, what some call a female's cherry, was broken. So is the women or girl searched. Yes, by another woman if the man disputes he did it.

But what about the semen? Though God says that giving semen obligates the man, it is not something we can really determine. So the broken hymen is evidence that he did penetrate her with his organ and it is assumed that if he went that far, that he did, in fact, give semen to her. It is very unlikely and remote that he would get in and not finish the job. So the broken hymen was the sole and determining factor in whether a man was obligated to marry or not. It was a clear and obvious sign that made judgment easy.

But many laws in the USA today, do not have any clear definitions or distinctions. Nudity can be criminal and not criminal, but a said means that no one can determine and everyone can only guess at. What was the ultimate intention of the person photographing the nude subject? Is it obscene or not? Provocative or not? No one can tell and regardless of what is claimed, no one could ever be sure. Yet we will prosecute and sentence, without ever having a means to be sure or reasonable.

There are just 2 reasons why this might have been passed as a law. Either because no one bothered to find a clear distinction or because they could not find one. If they could not find one, then there should be no punishment. For example: In God's law, there can be no prosecution, judgment or sentencing of someone for gluttony. It is clearly identified as a sin but since determining it is so impossible for men, that God reserved judgment of that for Himself only at Judgment Day. Though gluttony is no better or worse than any other sin, it is one better left to God, to be fair. God is the boss, right?

So if man believes it is so important to enforce a law that he can not distinguish as to whether it violates the law or not, there must be a reason for why that law is so important as to ignore the impossibility of determining guilt or innocence. Chances are, that if they are willing to ignore the very likely possibility that their judgment might be wrong, in order to punish the crime, the punishment must have the real purpose and meaning of why they do not care if the man is really guilty or not. What are they trying to accomplish with the punishment, that real guilt does not matter?

In the case of child pornography, said to be far more heinous than adult pornography, though I disagree with that premise, the law can call it porn even if clothing was worn, if the intention of the photographer or the subject was to provoke or stimulate. I say murder, whether young or old, is still murder and just as bad for one as the other. Likewise, forced porn/nudity is just as bad for the adult as for the child. And willingly doing it is no better or worse for the child than for the adult. Age distinctions are a lie. God never made any age distinctions. Crime was crime regardless of age. But even more slippery is saying that clothing can be bad, too, if it is revealing more than it should be or provocative or stimulating, yet they can not say what exactly it is that makes a pose or intention provocative or stimulating.

The problem is that many men are stimulated or feel provoked when that was clearly not the intention of the woman, the girl, or even the photographer. What is the standard that clearly distinguishes something as being provocative or not? There is not a single thing that can be pointed to as clearly indicating or not that something is provocative. This is a law without definition and as such, is supposed to not be worth the paper it is printed on and is supposed to be struck down by the Supreme Court. But it has not been struck down, even though it should have been. And this is supposed to be the highest court in the USA and the wisest as well.

It should have not been allowed to be called a crime for being provocative, since that can not even be explained or defined. And it certainly should be prohibited from being prosecuted and punished, when we don't even know and are not able to determine what provocative is by an objective means.

This is why I believe that God's law is far more righteous and just than those of our leaders and lawmakers, who care not about proper due process of law where laws are carefully defined and distinguished so that we can be sure to separate the innocent from the guilty. If we can not tell the innocent from the guilty, then there must not be much of a difference and innocent people should not be prosecuted or punished.

God prescribes nothing that can not be verified and certain. The laws of the land today seem to reflect the wicked unjust standards of the devil, who does whatever he pleases without concern for fairness, objectivity, or decency. As long as something serves his purpose and agenda, it is good, even if not fair or just.

But for Christians, they should not be in favor of laws that God does not also prescribe and that do not uphold good decent righteous standards of determination as God's do. But many Christians today seem to prefer the laws of the devil to those of God. And there is lake of fire that awaits all such lovers of the devil's laws and ways. So if you want to avoid the lake of fire, you might want to side with God rather than the devil and give up this age nonsense and suggest making nudity of any age nothing more than a misdemeanor.

Nudity can harm no one. And even if some were forced to pose nude and the pictures distributed, it is nowhere near the same horror as being raped and should be far less punished than it is right now. No one should be doing serious time for taking naked pictures if the persons photographed did so willingly or their parents consented to it being done, along with the minor.

Of course, some blame porn for abuse of women/girls and rape but that is even more stupid. But I address that in my Porn article, also linked at the bottom.

Christians should be very concerned about proper standards of judgment for any law, that they be well defined. If not, they ought to request the law or prohibition be removed until such time as it can be defined and distinguished. And any politician that supports poorly written laws ought to be voted out of office if one votes. Christians who support poorly written and defined laws will have to answer to God for their sins. So beware my brothers and sisters about how you judge. For as you judge others, so you, yourself, will be judged!

But whatever you do, do not take the law into your own hands or break laws in place. They are the superior authorities, relatively speaking, and we are told by God to obey. So work within the system if you like and petition your government but respect the law so that we give no cause for offense or stiumbling.


The Conclusion
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So I hope at this point, we have seen the full spectrum of nudity and modesty and how those can be deadly, if applied too severely, or too loosely. Either one is bad and the toughest challenge is to walk that middle ground, giving the flesh a little room but not too much so. We prioritize and avoid all the serious sins and finally put the little sins in their place, not giving them too much attention, since they do not deserve it. God will remove all things that aggravate our flesh and cause us to sin in small ways. Till then, our primary concern is with the big sins. Keeping those will certainly distinguish us from the masses, without worrying about little things.

We have seen how nudity can be blown way out of proportion and used to absurd lengths by governments, law, and enforcement so as to make all things good or decent appear to be horribly wicked and perverted. Modesty and purity are important but we do not want to let any prudishness get us too upset over nudity, especially when it is only present in pictures and not live in person. Pictures are no real threat to anyone.

But being overly righteous and making a great big deal over silly little things will make us look bad and hurt our credibility and give those with bad intentions excuses to "protect" us from the horrors that are not so dangerous or horrible at all, especially when compared to what protecting us from those horrors results in, namely the vilification of all things good so that they become all things evil, as well as being brutally punished for practically nothing at all.

The devil is great at making bad good and good bad. He likes to get everything backward, upside down, and inside out. And he has done a good job of it. Now is the time to come to our senses and wake up, confess our former errors and repent of our stupidity and sins. No longer should we make big deals of little things or call the little things big. Moderation truly is the best course.

In anything you face, try to find both extremes and then it will be easier to find that middle ground of moderation and balance. The devil does his best to fool and trick us. He uses our kids and our emotional knee-jerk reactions to kids to get us to act stupid and fanatical. We need to stop listening to the devil and start carefully noting what the Bible actually says and what is actually does not say. We have accepted too much for too long without questioning it.

Now is the time for those who care to make the effort to carefully evaluate all things again, to see what can stand the test and what can not. I hope my articles will help you do that. Your kids and other young will be very grateful  if you do.

Just remember this scripture one more time. "I want mercy and not sacrifice!" Put another way, I want mercy and not the letter of the law. Laws were meant to help and serve people rather than people serve the law. IN all we do, we should always be showing mercy and compassion, the 2 things Jesus emphasized more than nearly anything else during his ministry on earth for 3.5 years.


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