Sharing the Good Nudes, and Bad Neuters, of Christianity (& God's love for harp playing male virgins)
Sixty residents of the Seminole Health Club nudist camp near Miami comprise a Christian mission that worships twice a week in the nude. According to leader Elijah Jackson, "We're not trying to start a cult here, but I think nudity adds something to Christianity." -- News of the Weird, "Weird Clergy"
In the past another group of Christians worshiped in the nude called "Adamites." They believed that Jesus's grace allowed them to draw closer to God in their nakedness, unlike Adam and Eve who were ashamed and withdrew from God in the garden because of their nakedness. They also cited the verse in which Job reminded his listeners that we all entered and exited life naked, and used that to argue that we will all face God naked. Besides which King David lost his robe in a religious dancing frenzy and danced naked for the Lord. The only trouble I can see with worshiping naked in church is having to set the temperature neither too hot nor too cold and keeping the seats from getting sticky.
Christians who worship naked, and the Bible verses they focus upon, are not to be confused with Russian Skoptzie Christians who focused on Jesus's words, "Some have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven." (Mat. 19:12) The Skoptzie avoided the "lust of the eyes" and "of the flesh," via the use of a knife. All for the kingdom. (Another example of a Christian who made himself a eunich for the kingdom of heaven was the early church father Origin. Incidentally, he believed in the restoration of all things, except perhaps for the thing he cut off.) Will we behold in heaven naked dancing genital-less men -- made eunichs either on earth by their own hand, or transformed into genital-less angel-like beings after death by God?
The author of Revelation mentions "144,000 men... not defiled with women; for they are virgins," who are granted a prominent place in front of God's throne to play their harps. That's what God likes most I guess, harp playing male virgins. (Revelation 14: 2-4)
Old Testament authors seem to concur with at least the necessity of celibacy in the presence of Yahweh, since Exodus 19:15,17 taught that Israelite men must "NOT to come at your wives" prior to "meeting the Lord."
Paul likewise hailed celibacy as a holy virtue, but added, concerning those who could not rise to practice such a virtue, "it is better to marry than to burn" (a verse not often heard at Christian marriage ceremonies today, I wonder why, it's biblical):
"It is good for a man NOT TO TOUCH A WOMAN. For I would that all men were even as I myself. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. [i.e., celibate] But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn... I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Are you loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. The time is short: it remains that they that have wives be as though they had none... He that is unmarried cares for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married cares for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit, that you may attend upon the Lord WITHOUT DISTRACTION." (1 Corinthians 7:1,7,8-9,26-27,29,32-35)
But Augustine's commentary on Paul's verses is especially ripe:
"In the first times, it was the duty to use marriage. chiefly for the propagation of the human race. But now, in order to enter upon holy and pure fellowship. they who wish to contract marriage for the sake of children, are to be admonished, that they use rather the larger good of continence. But I am aware of some that murmur, 'What if all men should abstain from all sexual intercourse, whence will the human race exist?' Would that all would. Much more speedily would the City of God be filled, and the end of the world hastened. For what else does the Apostle Paul exhort to, when he says, 'I would that all were as myself;' or in that passage, 'But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remains that both they who have wives, be as though not having: and they who weep, as though not weeping: and they who rejoice, as though not rejoicing: and they who buy, as though not buying: and they who use this world as though they use it not. For the form of this world is passing away.'" (Saint Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Sections 9-10)
THE LATEST "NUDES" ON THE CHRISTIAN NUDIST EXPERIENCE
Christian Nudist Convocation, Planning their Summer 2008 conference:
The periodic Christian Nudist Convocation took place in July at the Cherokee Lodge nudist camp in Tennessee, and according to a dispatch in Nashville Scene, the group evokes skepticism not only from most Christians (who dislike the flaunting of naked bodies, even if innocently done) but from most Cherokee Lodge members, who see them as too intense for naturism's laid-back attitude. One CNC attendee acknowledged that many Christians would not approve of Cherokee Lodge, but to him "It's Jerusalem." Another compared his work at nudist camps to missionary work: "Some people get sent to Africa, some people get sent to South America and the Lord was like, 'I want you to go to nudist resorts.' And I'm like, 'Wow, what an assignment.'"
SOURCE: News of the Weird
Christian nudists to build village in Florida by Phil Barnoti Wahba (Columbia News Service Dec. 6, 2005)
"Naked Before God," cover story in Nashville Scene. Christian nudists hit the church-and the hot tub-for three days of wet and wild worship in the backwoods of Tennessee by Elizabeth Ulrich
The compatibility of Christianity and nudism is detailed in "Nakedness and the Bible," a self-published book by Canadian author Paul Bowman. The book cites key biblical events, including God's order to the prophet Isaiah to go naked for three years, and states that, contrary to popular belief, Jesus was naked when he washed the feet of his disciples, when he was baptized and when he was crucified and resurrected. "Nakedness and the Bible" states that nothing forbids nonsexual nudity and that misinterpretations of the Bible stem from faulty translations of ancient Hebrew words for nudity. For example, Jim T., Natura's spiritual adviser, and his wife, Shirley, believe the apostle Paul's call for modesty targeted ostentation, not nudity. Besides, said Shirley, 55, women in church wearing "designer clothes and $90 haircuts" are the immodest ones.
Christian nudists have long organized their own services and prayer groups. Carolyn Hawkins of the American Association for Nude Recreation, which was founded in 1931, said most of its 270-member clubs offer Sunday services, including one in North Carolina where they are led by a member who is a Baptist minister. Nathan Powers, a 50-year-old Texan, begins his day praying naked in his backyard. Nakedness intensifies his dialogue with God, he said. "I feel closer to God. It's an act of humility. It is absolutely spiritual."
Jonathan Palmiter was enjoying a recent Sunday morning stroll through a lush yard full of trees and Spanish moss--naked as was Adam in the Garden of Eden. A 59-year-old born-again Christian, Palmiter was visiting Natura, a development 40 miles north of Tampa, Fla., that, when it opens up next summer, will become the first nudist community for devout Christians in North America.
Transgender Televangelist: Sister Paula Nielsen the world's first and only transgender televangelist. Unfortunately, Sister Paula's show is only available on the cable system of -- you guessed it -- West Hollywood.