The “Shame” of Nakedness…

Nakedness is “shameful”?

How many times have you heard something like: “Get your clothes on!“, or “Cover that nasty thing up!“, or maybe “Running around naked is just plain WRONG!“. We have all heard those statements at some time in our lives, but why? Is there something “shameful” about our bodies? Is God’s image in us, which He called “very good“, somehow “shameful“? Why are Adam and Eve described as being “naked and unashamed“, and then a few verses in that narrative later, Adam told God that “I was afraid because I was naked“? Is it really “shameful” to be “naked“? That is what our churches and society would have us believe…

What I would submit to you is that the shame Adam and Eve felt was shame of the heart, not shame of the body, and being physically unclothed had nothing to do with it. First I want to look at Adam and Eve’s condition before the fall, and then their condition after the fall. We will also look at Isaiah 20 to see if there are any clues there.

Naked and unashamed…

They were naked and unashamed” (Genesis 2:25) That is how Adam and Eve are described after God created them in His image, which He called “very good“. In addition to God’s image in their bodies, Adam and Eve were in perfect fellowship with God, and their relationship with each other was perfect as well. We are told that they walked and talked together in the Garden. This is a picture of “perfect-completeness“. God had provided everything they needed physically in the Garden, and fellowship with Him made them spiritually-complete. While it is true that they had no external clothing, in the Garden they didn’t “need” any either. In reality, Adam and Eve were only “nude“, or clothes-free. In the truest sense, they were NOTnaked“, because they were complete, but something happened…

Naked and afraid…

9 – Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 – So he said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself”. (Genesis 3:9-10) Why were Adam and Eve afraid? Was it their physical nakedness that cause their fear?

Not quite… 11 – And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, and in so doing, had disrupted their perfect fellowship with Him. Their “very good” bodies had NOT changed, but their HEART had. They were no longer “complete“. They had become spiritually-bankrupt.

The difference…

Before their fall, Adam and Eve were “unashamed” – complete, even though they had no physical clothing. After their fall, there was a huge spiritual void in their lives, which was actually the cause of their fear and shame, and no amount of clothing could ever erase that condition, although they struggled in vain to do so.

Isaiah 20:

The “naked” Prophet…

In the year that the commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, 2 at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go and loosen the sackcloth from your hips and take your shoes off your feet.” And he did so, going naked and barefoot. (Isaiah 20:1-2)

“Naked” Egypt…

3 And the Lord said, “Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and token against Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (Isaiah 20:3-4)

“Shameful” Israel…

5 Then they will be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their boast. 6 So the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, such is our hope, where we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and we, how shall we escape?’ (Isaiah 20:5-6)

The difference…

Isaiah, one of the Lord’s great prophets, was commissioned by God to proclaim a message both to Egypt and to Israel. God also told Isaiah to take his clothes and shoes off. Isaiah was in intimate fellowship with God, and was proclaiming His message, so Isaiah was by no means “incomplete“. Isaiah was to proclaim that message in the buff – nude, but to those for whom the message was intended, there was a deeper meaning. Isaiah had no reason to feel “shame“, but his audience did.

Egypt was a proud country. Its Pharaohs had build huge cities, magnificent temples and amazing pyramids…to their OWN glory. Their nobles wore fine clothing and expensive jewelry. Their Pharaohs WERE their “gods“, along with an assortment of other “deities” which they worshiped, but there was no place for the true LORD God.

Israel had entered in a defense-alliance with Egypt, rather than depending on the LORD God. When God decided to punish Egypt for their arrogance and godlessness, He also intended it to be a sign to Israel, that they could no longer depend on Egypt for their defense.

God’s Word through Isaiah was that Egypt was going to be totally-devastated by the Assyrian army. They were even going to lose the clothes off their backs…they were going to be NAKED. Their pride was going to be reduced to ashes, and Israel was going to know that it happened. Israel was going to be “dismayed and ashamed“, with no hope.

Isaiah was simply clothes-free – “nude“, but Egypt was going to be NAKED in the truest sense of the word.

Naked and unashamed…

When I post or comment on Christian Naturist Village, I end my messages with “I am naked and unashamed in Christ!“. As a sinner, I know that I have no “goodness” of my own. Apart from Christ, I am spiritually-bankrupt. I can do NOTHING to earn, merit or contribute to my salvation. I know it, and so does God. I bring nothing to the table, because I have nothing to bring. In that sense, I am “naked“, but it doesn’t end there. While God knows my sinful heart, He doesn’t count it against me, because of what Jesus Christ brings to the table for me…His perfect righteousness. HE bore my shame on that cross, and He has given me what only He can give – salvation through grace and a perfect record before God, so I need not have or feel any more shame.

That is how I can be “Naked and unashamed“, because I am in Christ.

God bless!

9 thoughts on “The “Shame” of Nakedness…

  1. Pingback: STEVE COKER: Sounds of silence | Chickasaw JournalChickasaw Journal

  2. Pingback: The “Shame” of Nakedness… | simplenaturist

  3. A while ago I posted this test about nakedness, sin and Christ’s forgiveness. I would like to know what you think.

    “Want to test how you really feel about Christ’s forgiveness of your sins? Find a solitary place that is quiet, strip off your clothes and meditate in His presence. How you feel about being naked will be a direct reflection of what you really feel about your sins and Christ’s work in your life. You will either feel shame because you think what you are doing is sinful (it’s not) and thus you will really show yourself that you don’t believe Christ’s grace covers everything and you, like Adam and Eve, will attempt some fig leaf cover up. Or you will understand that you are ‘clothed’ in righteousness of Christ and therefore have no shame before God because your sins are forgiven and gone. It is a question of whether you truly see yourself from God’s perspective in these matters and being naked in his presence will demonstrate the reality of what you really honestly believe.”

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    • I think that is more a test of how deeply-entrenched porno-prudishness is in a person’s psyche. My purpose is to help people understand that being naked is NOT shameful, whether they are in private or in an appropriate “public” setting. Christians have an even bigger challenge in overcoming porno-prudishness, because it is also drilled into them by the church. We are always naked before God, whether we have clothes on or not, because He knows us even more intimately than we know ourselves, so our ONLY standing before God is through the merits of Christ.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a very good article. I think you got the nuance of the issue with humanity and their subjective view of nudity while showing the shame within the nakedness in their lack of relationship with the true God our creator who created us in his image and likeness.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with Boyd wonderful post. Thank you for sharing I reblogged and hope it gets many readers. Just yesterday I saw a post by someone who was removed from a position of leadership in a Christian group because they live clothes free.

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