Is it right for men and women, unmarried, to be together completely naked? I affirm that social nudism is sinful. In this second affirmative I will press my case further, examining the editor's first denial to show again that social nudism is indeed wrong.
Let's begin with a word about word limits. The editor complains about these agreed to limits, claiming they keep him from giving adequate answers. However, no one forced the editor to debate, or to agree to the limitations he accepted. He agreed to the proposition and the word limits. Let him now do what he agreed to: answer my questions and arguments specifically. Again and again the reader will note that he forfeited opportunities to speak to the real issues in this debate. Urging people to contact him for a "more thorough response" is outrageous. He is supposed to supply those answers in the debate. That is why we are debating! Sadly, the reader will note that the editor had enough words to trash me, announce that I had done no research into nudism (not true), and put words in my mouth. Perhaps less of this sort of unkind writing would leave the editor more room to answer my questions about nudism!
For example, in my first article I asked the editor to tell us about "the lust of the eyes" (1 John 2.16). I asked him to tell us how he keeps from lusting when women are naked around him. I asked if he can guarantee that he will not lust when practicing social nudism. I asked if he could guarantee that he is not causing others to lust. Of course, the editor did not answer these questions. Instead we got vague replies and nonsense about "the context where nakedness is found." He attempted to sidetrack the discussion into National Geographic, art or doctor visits. All of this is pointless and needless. We are discussing social nudism, where people choose to come together completely nude. What we want to know is how lust is prevented in that context. Telling us that nudists keep lust "in perspective" is not good enough. The readers of this debate want to know specifically how the problem of lust is handled. How is it prevented? How can you be sure that you are not causing others to lust, editor? His reply is noticeably absent in specific detail. While charging that I am ignorant of nudism he does nothing to inform us on this critical matter. Let me spell this out clearly and explicitly. Editor, when you are naked and a beautiful woman comes into the room what do you do? What steps do you take to keep from lusting? Is it impossible for you to lust? Have you ever lusted in such a setting?
Let me spell this out clearly and explicitly. Editor, when you are naked and a beautiful woman comes into the room what do you do? What steps do you take to keep from lusting? Is it impossible for you to lust? Have you ever lusted in such a setting?
The editor urges people to become involved in nudism, but refuses (thus far) to give us the very "brass tacks" guidelines and practical matters we need to insure we are not in sin or causing others to sin. I don't want to lust, and frankly, am concerned such would happen. How could I avoid lust, editor, when Bathsheba comes to the nudist camp? How do you? Let us have no more vague generalities, editor. Tell us exactly how nudism works, and how nudists avoid the sin of lust.
That should be an interesting discussion, given that one as spiritually minded and strong as King David could not do what the editor claims he can! Bathsheba's bathing in 2 Samuel 11 exactly parallels social nudism as defined by the editor. Bathsheba was not doing anything to entice David. She was bathing and innocent. Yet she was seen naked and lust occurred. The editor needs to tell us how this differs from nudist camps today, and how he knows that such won't happen now.
The editor asserted that "Neither can God-created nakedness, in and of itself, tempt anyone to evil." That is wrong. David saw Bathsheba's nakedness and was tempted to lust. What the editor needs to tell us is what safeguards are in place at nudist camps to make certain such does not happen today. Again, how does he keep from lusting?
If the editor chooses to answer these questions he can spare us discussing bathing in Bible times. Obviously, people bathed. However, the editor did not quote a single verse of scripture showing unmarried men and women bathing together. Where is that passage, editor? Speaking of passages that are missing, I noticed he cited not one single scripture where unmarried men and women are shown to be naked and God was glorified by it. Why is that? If social nudism is such a great good, as the editor wants us to believe, why doesn't someone practice it somewhere in the Bible? Where is your scripture, editor? Why doesn't God command nudism?
What the Bible does command is clothing. In the Old Testament priests guarded against nakedness with clothes (Exodus 20.6; Exodus 28.40-42). It is no different in the New Testament. Women are to "adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation" (1 Timothy 2.9). While the passage speaks directly to over-dressing nothing in the context limits it to only that. The term for modest means "decent" (Vine's, page 79). Webster specifically says that "modest" relates to "behaving, dressing, speaking in a way that is proper or decorous" (page 871) and that "indecency" is "a lack of modesty" (page 685). How can the editor possibly argue that people who are undressed are dressed modestly? Whatever is made of 1 Timothy 2 it still says women have to wear something, something that is modest. How can a nude woman claim to be obeying 1 Timothy 2?
The editor throws about terms like "chaste nakedness" and "modest nakedness." These terms are foolishness, the proverbial "calling a cat's tail a leg." The editor might as well reference "kind murder" or "loving adultery." There just is no such animal! Nakedness is, by definition, the opposite of modesty and chasteness. No one is modest when they are naked.
This is why my second charge is valid. Nudism can lead others to sin. Even if the editor can be certain he won't lust (which he can't be) he cannot read others' minds and know if they are lusting. The editor talked about the rules of nudist camps and how we can know people's motivations by their fruit. That isn't good enough, editor. Are you saying one can't keep his/her lustful intentions secret? Lust is not an open sin — it occurs in the heart (Matthew 5.28). How do you manage to read hearts, editor?
This means that the editor has no idea what women are thinking when they gaze upon his nude body. He has no way of knowing whether they are lusting or not. He cannot read anyone's mind. He cannot know what other's are thinking. He can't tell if a person has come to the nudist camp specifically to lust. He could be leading people into sin regularly and not even know it. Tell us, editor: how can you guarantee that you are not causing people to lust when you exhibit yourself naked? Again, we need a detailed description of how this problem is handled!
Incredibly, the editor admits this is a problem. In his response he says there are an "uncommon few, who like David, have an overpowering problem with lust, even when exposed to chaste nakedness." So there are some who lust in the presence of nakedness! What an admission!
How does he know there are only an "uncommon few?" What evidence would he cite to back up this blatant assertion? But even if we admit, for the sake of argument, that only a few lust, how would he identify these folks so he can be sure not to lead them in sin? How does he know those people aren't at the nudist camp with him? What would he do if one appeared? How would he know it?
The editor attacked the alt.christnet.nudism post. Yet the point stands. The poster said he can "get his eye full of attractive bodies" at nudist camps. It matters not if he is a Christian nudist or a pagan nudist. He testifies that he lusts when he goes to nudist camps. The context of his post certainly indicated he might be a Christian nudist, but again, establishing that is not necessary to the point: some people lust when they see nakedness.
In short, the editor is participating in something that mirrors David and Bathsheba's situation perfectly. He could lust, for their are no safeguards of any kind against him seeing a person naked and lusting. He could cause others to lust, and in fact, may have done so because he wouldn't know if it is happening. He does admit some lust when they are around naked people. How then can nudism be right?
My third charge is that nudism destroys one's influence. The editor basically replied by saying "does not!" Why then does so much Christian nudism material complain about misconceptions by the world and by other Christians? If people today don't see nudism as being absurdly incompatible with Christianity why is the editor publishing the Fig Leaf Forum? It's obvious: he can't be salt and light while he is practicing his nudism.
The fourth charge against nudism was virtually ignored by the editor. I asked how he could urge people to this lifestyle without knowing if they would lust at a nudist camp. Remember, the editor admits there are those "uncommon few...who have an overpowering problem with lust." How does he know that he isn't urging those very people into nudism and sin?
It was also very disappointing to see the editor give no time or attention to my questions about what social nudism does for him. Why does he want to be naked with others? What does he gain by being naked around other people that he cannot gain by being naked at home? What scripture would even remotely suggest that nakedness is desirable and helps one serve God?
The editor tries to act like there is nothing wrong with nudism, and that everyone naked in the Bible does so without condemnation. He even says "Never is physical nakedness itself a matter of shame, embarrassment or condemnation." Really? Try Genesis 9.22-23; 2 Chronicles 28.15; Isaiah 47.2-3; Ezekiel 16.8ff (why does God cover nakedness if nudism is good?); Ezekiel 18.7 (why does the good man cover nakedness? The editor says good people go naked!); Micah 1.11; 2 Corinthians 5.3ff (the desire for heaven is spoken of as "we want to be further clothes"). What of Revelation 3.17-18? There an apostate church is said to be naked and needing clothes. Even if that is a figure of speech, what does it mean if nakedness is such a grand thing?
In summary, let me lay out the editor's course for his next article. We will have no more complaining or evasive maneuvers. His job is to take up my questions and answer them specifically. Here are the matters needing his specific attention:
1. How can nudists be sure they won't lust at a nudist camp?
2. How can nudists be sure they are not causing someone to lust after them?
3. How can nudists be an influence for Christ when so many believe their behavior is immoral and wrong?
4. What passage would suggest that nudism is desirable or helps one serve God?
5. What do you get from being naked around others that you cannot receive from being naked privately in your own home?
We look forward to the editor speaking directly to these matters. There is much work left to do from my first article. It is past time to give attention to these very real objections to nudism. The editor's inability to grapple with the real problems of nudism show that he cannot deny what I have proven: social nudism is a sin against God.
Next article: Second Debate Negative
:: Debate Introduction
:: First Debate Affirmative
:: First Debate Negative
:: Second Debate Affirmative
:: Second Debate Negative
:: Final Debate Affirmative
:: Final Debate Negative
:: Does God Approve Of My Sin?
:: Letter To A Texas church Of Christ
:: A Rejoinder
:: Rejoinder Response
:: A Debate 'Post-Mortem'
:: A Letter To The Editor
:: A Letter To The Preacher
:: Reflections On Lust
:: On Lust
:: The Problem With Lust
:: What A Beautiful Tree! Is That Lust?
The Good News
:: The Gospel Of Jesus Christ