The Body as Icon
Genesis 1:27 (NASB) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
An Icon is a painting of Christ or another holy figure used as an aid to devotion. Christians “write” Icons to make known the Glory of God, provide a pathway into His Presence, and reveal His character and beauty. How much more effective the Icon made by the Hand of God to bring us into His Presence? When I look at you I see God. No, you are not God, but you are the invisible made visible, you are His image. And to unveil the full beauty, glory, and splendor of “the image of God” is not shameful, sinful or smutty; to call the unveiling of God’s Image sinful is simply absurd. We are made by God in the image of God and the more of you I see the more of God is revealed. So how silly it must be to Him then when we look at a naked woman or man and then say, “Oh what shame and ignominy! I so need to repent.” If we are made “in His image” should it not be a good thing to see as much of that image as possible? And how it must sadden his heart for well meaning preachers/teachers/pastors/prophets to condemn all nudity as porn.
Romans 1:20 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Every Man’s “Struggle”. Really?
For some men nudity provokes a continuous struggle of looking, feeling guilty, repenting, and resolving to never “go there” again, and finally “succumbing” to their natural God given inclination and indulging once more. That was once my testimony.
For this man
the enjoyment of nudity
is not a struggle to be avoided
but a pleasure to be embraced
as a spiritual discipline.
Today I look but I do not struggle, and I enjoy but do not feel guilty, repent, or make resolutions. Instead I look - in fact I look intentionally - and I use what I see as a gateway into the Glory of God. For this man the enjoyment of nudity is not a struggle to be avoided but a pleasure to be embraced as a spiritual discipline. Like many an Orthodox Christian who uses an Icon as a means of encounter with the Divine, I use nudity as a means to the same end. It does not hinder my walk with God; it assists my fellowship with Him. I read my Bible, I spend time in prayer, both vocal and silent, and I use the icon of nudity to further experience God. Each of them is a part of my devotional life. Rather than let the image of a naked woman or man keep us from God, we can let it reveal His Glory and usher us into His Presence.
Radically different approach to be sure, but one that works for me and I am sure would benefit many others. The Word of God tells us clearly that the creation reveals the character of God. And we know that Adam and Eve were the crowning glory of that creation. As are we, especially when we are as God intended, naked and unashamed. Praise God. Amen.
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Christians Enjoying Nudity and Erotica
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.