The Renewed View of the Body

The Renewed View of the Body

Here at, we have offered a very different understanding of the unclothed human form as compared to our culture’s (and, unfortunately, the church’s) view which we have called “The pornographic view of the body.” We do recognize that using such a term might feel inflammatory, but it certainly is not intended to be so, at least not needlessly so.

But let’s lay aside that rather emotionally-charged label and consider two scenarios based on the differing views about the human body and sexuality. We have made every effort to present both scenarios in as positive light as possible, yet without hiding the implications. We have attempted to be objective, but we are biased towards one of the views nonetheless. We do have a point to make. However, we will wait until the end for our comments.

If you have read the entire MyChainsAreGone website, you’ll remember that we also published a corollary to lie #2 having to do with the idea that men are primarily aroused visually. Some may react with strong disagreement to the suggestion that being visually aroused was not how God made men, nor how He intends for men to be.

In Proverbs 5:18 (KJV), we are told, “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” The context leaves no doubt that this “rejoicing” is about the sexual enjoyment that a man should have with his wife. Also, the clear implication is that for the entire duration of his life, his sexual pleasures should be centered upon the woman he married while young. This is the Biblical standard and mandate.

So what we have presented below is a comparison of the traditional view regarding how a man is sexually aroused and what we’ve called a “Renewed” view, which claims that men and women are relationally aroused rather than visually aroused. We have focused on the impact and implications of the contrasting views as it relates to the various stages and changes in life.

Traditional view of a person’s sexual responses to the sight of a woman’s form.
Renewed View of a person’s sexual responses to the sight of a woman’s form.

Core Belief:

Men are primarily aroused visually, and when they see a nude woman, their innate natural response is to be aroused and sexually drawn to that woman.

Men, as well as women, are designed to be aroused relationally. God did not create man to automatically lust/think sexual thoughts simply when he sees a woman’s unclothed form.

Response to Nudity:

As sexual expression and experience is to be limited to marriage, nudity is primarily sexual. The Godly man must make every effort to ensure that his wife’s nude body is the only one he allows himself to see. Allowing the sight of any other woman amounts to infidelity.

Sexual expression and experience should be limited to marriage, but the godly man knows that seeing a woman’s body need not be defined as a sexual experience. He knows that the sin is to objectify the nude form as sexual and/or to indulge in the sight of it for personal sexual gratification.

Marital Intimacy:

The couple comes together on their wedding night and see each other for the very first time. The experience is wonderful and very worth the wait. They eagerly anticipate the opportunity to enjoy each others’ naked bodies for the rest of their lives.

The couple has reserved sexual intimacy for their wedding night, regardless of whether they have seen each others’ bodies before. They have not allowed themselves to respond to the sight of nudity with sexual lust, so their wedding night is truly a consummation of their relationship and love. It is wonderful and well worth the wait.


The man finds visual contentment in the sight of his wife’s body. Seeing his wife’s nude body excites him and leads to a very fulfilling sexual relationship.

The man enjoys the beauty of his wife’s nude body, but it is not the driving force towards his sexual fulfillment. Rather, it is his warm and intimate relationship with her that draws his heart and his body to hers. They have a very fulfilling sexual relationship.

Visual Temptations:

Sexualized images of bodies in the culture are literally unavoidable and men are constantly under attack from a variety of different sources (TV, internet, advertising — even women at work or church. The man must continually be on his guard to turn his eyes away to preserve both his soul and his sexual interest for his wife.

Because he has learned not to respond negatively to unclothed bodies sexually, nude or partially nude images are viewed objectively either for their artistic merit or as sad oversexualized marketing preying on illicit and dehumanizing falsehoods. Rather than attracting the man’s attention as a temptation, the images no longer have a negative effect.

Personal Temptations:

The man must be on his guard because there are simply too many women whose idea of dressing attractively amounts to conforming to the sexualized styles of our culture. These styles are designed to draw sexual attention to the body. A man may find it very difficult to interact with such women when work or social context demands it. Any woman not his wife is dangerous, and her continual inappropriate appearance maybe his downfall.

Because the man has learned that sexual appeal is not based upon the display of skin, but in the depth of relationship, the revealing attire of women he interacts with does not stir inappropriate thoughts or responses. He is not distracted by a woman’s attire. He avoids staring at her form, not because it is dangerous to him, but because it would simply be impolite. Personal temptations that he must avoid have to do with guarding his heart emotionally rather than guarding his eyes.

Sexual Interest:

When the man feels the physical desire for sexual release, he will also sense a increased eagerness to see his wife’s body, since that is the means by which he experiences sexual excitement. At the same time, his alertness to the sight of other women’s bodies will be heightened, as will his temptation to have a sexual response to such sights.

When the man feels the physical desire for sexual release, he will seek out his wife, for it is only in his relationship with her that he experiences sexual excitement. The temptation from other women is very small because none have the relationship with him that his wife does. The simple sight of a woman does not require a sexual response.

Life Changes:

As a woman experiences the changing of time upon her body, youth fades. Along with that youthful beauty, she loses some of her sexual appeal. The man still disciplines himself to be satisfied with her body as it is, but the sexual impact of her nudity on his libido has waned. In some cases, a woman’s body may change significantly due to disease or lifestyle choices. These drastic changes will affect his sexual desire and require a stronger resolve to flee from the enticements of other women, especially younger ones. As she ages, his wife simply does not and will never again have the kind of sexual appeal that she had when they married.

Physical appearance is part of a who a woman is, but the man values his deepening relationship with his wife more than her youthful beauty, and since his sexual response is based upon his relationship with her, rather than on her physical appearance, his ability to respond sexually with his wife is still strong. Changes in appearance do not take anything significant away from her femininity, therefore, the man’s sexual relationship deepens with each passing year — even throughout their twilight years.

Wife’s Perspective:

The woman knows that her body is sufficiently attractive to her husband while she is young, but as the years and other factors take their toll, she also knows that her body will no longer have the sexual appeal that it once had. She still holds the exclusive rights to her husband’s sexual interest, but she must constantly be on guard against potential rivals. Everywhere she turns, there are enticements vying for her husband’s attention. She knows instinctively that she cannot compete visually with younger women or pornographic images.

The woman knows that years and other factors have taken their toll on her body’s natural and youthful beauty, but her relationship with her husband remains strong. She does not compete against other women’s beauty, but celebrates it as a gift from God. Her husband’s sexual interest in her is based on the strength of their relationship, not solely on her looks. She can rest securely because she knows that she and her husband hold to a renewed view of the body.


By the time a couple reaches “Old Age,” most people would likely affirm that those in a healthy relationship would be squarely in the “renewed” column. Of course, we would agree. In fact, we would suggest that if a godly man is going to truly “rejoice in the wife of [his] youth” for his entire life, that at some point, he must transition to the point of being sexually aroused relationally rather than visually.

But if the renewed view is true for a man in Old Age, then it is true from the very beginning. If that is to be the driver for the sexual enticement in old age, then it can and should be the driver for the sexual enticement throughout life. If such a response is possible to learn when old, it is possible to learn while young.

We hope that you will also give serious consideration to the very last pair of entries entitled “From the Wife’s Perspective.” We firmly believe that the false view we have held for so long has deeply wounded and victimized women. This chart shows two of the ways that has been manifested:

1. It shows how the traditional view can leave women in a constant state of fear regarding their husbands’ mental and physical fidelity.

2. It also leaves them with an ever-present dissatisfaction with their own bodies and its declining power to be sexually enticing to their husbands.

How can a woman ever be free of this fear and dissatisfaction unless she has full confidence that her husband’s sexual interest in her is not based at all on her appearance? Once again, this hope is to be found squarely in the “renewed” column. We believe that the “renewed” view is really God’s will for all of us. It is the only view that will carry us righteously through our lifetimes, and it shows us a much surer pattern for mental and physical fidelity within our marriages.

— the MCAG Team

You’ve made it this far, why not check out the blog?


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Klaas Klooster

I have gone through the whole website and am very blessed. I came to this site via another which was the one that provided the same teaching regarding the body. Through this truth, as relayed here and there, I have been set free from the power of porn. Hallelujah!

    comments user
    David Martin


    I’m sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. and praise the Lord for the freedom that He’s given you!

    Spread the word… people all around you desperately need the same truth and the same freedom.

    David Martin (aka Pastor Ed)

comments user

Wow, it’s really difficult to read something like this and just allow it to completely unseat a belief that’s been taught to one from little up, you know? I’m still weighing your teaching against what I know of Scripture, and I’ve been surprised at how little of my belief on this subject (the generally accepted view) is actually supported directly by Scripture!
There are two passages that I’d appreciate your comment on, though, if you don’t mind; early in chapter 47 of Isaiah, and also near the end of Jeremiah chapter 13, God refers to the *shame* of their (Israel’s, I presume) nakedness; He speaks of lifting up the skirt/ baring the legs to display their shame, so I presume it’s referring to the pubic/genital area. I realize that this is not speaking of an actual person (i.e. an image-bearer of God), but the implication from those two references is that there is a shame in nakedness for people. Could you comment on that? Or perhaps I’m simply assuming a connection that isn’t there between shame in nakedness and the generally accepted view that naked = evil?

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    David Martin

    Thanks so much for your comments and questions.

    I understand how difficult it is to lay aside things that we’ve been taught all of our lives. But it’s time to reevaluate what we’ve been taught. The “truth” that we’ve been taught has not resulted in freedom with reference to sexual purity in the church.

    I will be happy to address your questions, but before I do, let me challenge you to seek the answers yourself. As you’ve already noted, it is shocking that all of the Scriptures that we’ve always been told meant this or that about the body and nakedness turn out to not teach what we’ve been told.

    It’s likely, therefore, that we will find that these two passages will also fail to hold up to honest scrutiny.

    Here are some questions I’d suggest you keep in mind as you do further study:

    * It’s a mistake to assume that every word in the original languages really means exactly what the English word used to translate it means. Take a deep look at the Hebrew word “ervah” (translated “nakedness”). Does it really only mean simple nakedness, or does it infer something more?

    * Is there anything else in these passages to which the “shame” is better attached? Could it be shameful behavior rather than simple body exposure?

    * Is it possible that God is invoking a culturally understood relationship between such exposure and being publicly shamed? If so, must we then conclude that God’s intended meaning of any exposure in any other context must also be public shame?

    * Are these passages intended to give us God’s perspective on simple nakedness? Can these passages bear the weight of demonstrating that God always considers any nakedness to be shameful. If not to that extent (“ANY nakedness”), by what measure or which scriptures might we determine where nakedness is not shameful (Marriage? Healthcare? Childcare) and when it is?

    I will wait a week or so before I compose my answer (probably as a new MCAG blog post), but I want to give you the chance to address these questions and post your thoughts.


    David Martin (aka Pastor Ed)

      comments user

      If I may jump in, I have thoughts on this as well. I’m sorry for writing a novel- and on my phone, no less! My thumb will never be the same!

      Let me just say, first, that I also feel very blessed to have found this web site- it answers a lot of my questions very well and I hope that some of the new ideas here will bear scrutiny and become a welcome part of my thinking in the future. However, I have some concerns which I think tie in with mpetersheim’s question, and I think I may also have part of a solution.

      As guidance for how to perceive others, I believe your advice has immense value. It raises concerns for me in an area peripheral to your original topic, however, which I think tie into this discussion. This website seems to be mostly concerned with the conduct and inner life of the person doing the seeing, not the person doing the wearing ( although we are all both). My comments involve the person doing the wearing much more than you have discussed, and they may be outside the scope of the blog.

      I married into a family with strict standards of dress (although my husband IS the man you describe in the “renewed” column- praise the Lord!) and I have done a lot of thinking about modesty and whether my heart is truly in the right place even though I don’t feel that their strictness is good or necessary. I have felt the discomfort that you mention about the sexualization inherent in a prudish view of the body. It is very real- you can’t have one without the other. I have felt very objectified whenever my clothes were discussed, and wondered whether lust was a factor. (I must just emphasize that my husband is not in any way part of the problem. You can’t necessarily control your family, more’s the pity!)

      I have also wondered about differing cultural standards of modesty- how can an extremely minimal amount of clothing really be appropriate? What you said about the inherent decency of the body, and about being the image-bearers of God, was helpful to me, though- if the body really is not an obscene thing (which of course it is not) then wildly differing standards of dress are possible, as long as they emphasize and preserve the dignity of the wearer as God’s image-bearer, as informed by his or her conscience.

      However, I do have a concern, and it has to do with this dignity. It’s easiest to express with examples from my own life: I have two children, and when I was expecting my first, my midwife required us to attend a childbirth class. This was a natural birth oriented curriculum (Bradley), and there was a lot of candor and openness about the pregnant body and the mechanics of birth. As part of the class, we were shown videos of birth. IAs I watched part of the first one, something in me just mutinied. I could not watch that video. The woman was whimpering with pain, and her husband was telling her how to breathe. Someone was video-taping her pain as she writhed and gasped- I ran to the bathroom and shoved my hands in my ears. I could not stop crying and refused to watch any more videos for the whole course. The instructor was frustrated with me, but I just could not do it. How can I explain? The woman in that video was vulnerable- she was exposed. Exposed! She wasn’t even naked- she had a nightie and robe on. But her pain was open to the world’s view.
      That may be a silly example to write here, since we’re talking about clothing, but it is the most articulable instance of something that happened again and again during my pregnancies, and most of the other times did involve the ladies being naked. For some reason it seems that midwives like to hang picture of water births all around their offices, and every single time I saw one it was the same- I writhed inside. Keep in mind that I was volunteering to have the same kind of birth- and paying a lot of money for it: I’m not against birth! Nor am I against nakedness! And you can bet I didn’t burden myself with clothing when it came time for labor. But seeing the exposure of such vulnerability- it cut to my core. I knew I would feel unspeakably violated if a similar image of me in my private pain were shown to the world, to strangers.

      And it was the same with breastfeeding- it was a wonderful experience, with the cuddly baby and the bonding and everything. I had to seek help from my midwife in the beginning and was totally untroubled by the thought of involving her in the process. I never felt bullied or shamed into feeding only in private. But I always covered up in public, because to me it was an issue of dignity. I would have been frankly devastated to have my breasts exposed to the world. They are not dirty or pornographic or shameful- they are private. It bothered me so much to hear all the natural-birth advocates saying that women should be able to breastfeed in public and that it would be so empowering- I can’t imagine a less empowering experience than to have my private space open to the public.

      And I think that’s the issue here: dignity. We do not only cover things that are disgraceful- we also cover things that are private. We do not install public toilets on the sidewalk, although a good digestion is a great gift and certainly not shameful. We do not discuss our finances with our husband while sitting at our friend’s dinner table, even though we probably have nothing illegal to hide. Our feelings, birthday surprises, our periods, the poetry we have written but never shown anyone, our prayer diary, the little songs we sing to ourselves while doing the laundry alone- these can be kept private without being regarded as bad or unhealthy. Not everything good has to be public.

      Do you remember when Prince William and Kate Middleton were on their honeymoon and there was a big flutter about a French tabloid being about to publish topless photos of Kate sunbathing on a private beach, and the royal family paid them not to publish, or something, and there was a big to-do? I read a news article about that and one commenter said “What’s the big deal? Went cover up beauty?” That bothered me so much. She thought she was in private. Just because our bodies are not dirty or obscene (and of course it’s not!) doesn’t mean they’re public property, or that there’s any other acceptable response than quickly averted eyes and “Excuse me, ma’am!” while retreating, if one walks in on a woman uncovered and trying to be private.

      What concerns me is that it seems possible that your line of reasoning about the inherent decency of the body could lead to the extreme of trivializing a woman’s conscience or desire for her privacy. It seems like you could be saying that it’s sinful not to want to be naked in public. I hope that’s not what you’re saying.

      And really, it would seem that the person you describe as having a renewed view of the body is not going to go be a nudist- they will wear clothes that they feel are appropriate in any given situation. It is every person’s privilege and responsibility to choose to keep private what they feel is private. Whether it’s our inmost thoughts or our body parts, privacy is something we seem to need.

      Also, what we do in private reveals who we are. In the Jeremiah passage, it seems that Israel’s sins against God are being shown for what they are- their normal privacy has become secrecy in which they act against God, and their evil deeds are becoming known. “Ervah” does seem to mean shameful exposure, not just regular nakedness. And it seems that a garment that is usually worn is being uncharacteristically stripped away. I think it could be interpreted as Israel’s attempts to dignify their wrongdoing being foiled, and their wrong behavior towards God exposed.

      Thank you for all your work to help people be free- I really appreciated reading all that you’ve written on the site and anticipate that it will help me be free in my own thinking as well. I would be very interested in your thoughts about what I’ve said, which are my only concerns about your excellent and God-honoring work. I apologize again for the novel. Thank you again.

        comments user
        David Martin

        Thank you “Ms” for your comments!

        I’m so thankful that you have found the MCAG articles to be helpful to you. And it’s great to hear that your husband lives the “renewed” view of the body.

        In response to your comments and questions, however, I think that there’s basis to challenge your perspective here. Here’s why I say that.

        You speak of “dignity” and “privacy” as if they were universal absolutes and experiences… but I believe even your own experience will reveal that they are not… you seem surprised that some other women would not mind their travails of labor being observed by others. You say that you could never breastfeed your own child without covering up, yet other women are completely unabashed about it. If your own concept of dignity and privacy were innate in all women, then we should expect that all women would feel the same way.

        This, of course, argues for the conclusion that such perceptions and personal experiences are actually conditioned responses in an individual… so that the conditioning and responses could vary wildly from one person to the next. And that’s precisely what we observe around us.

        Now this is not to invalidate your own experiences, preferences, or feelings, but when we are discussing what should be considered universal truth, we all have to be very careful not to assume that our own perceptions are the best measure of that truth. It’s a real challenge, but we need to scrutinize our own perspective very carefully to ensure that we are not presuming in others something that is really only our own conditioning.

        Even something as “personal” and “private” as going to the bathroom is literally a perception that is cultural. Consider what the Romans provided for “bathroom” facilities in the ancient Roman baths: … men and women using the same facilities with no dividers between the seats… how would that play today? Yet in those days, it wasn’t such a “private” matter… and evidently no one cared (full site:

        When we delve into something we suspect to be a conditioned response–in ourselves or in others–we need to ask what it is that a certain level of “exposure” is perceived to mean. Those that do not recognize the conditioning will simply assume that it actually means what they feel it means. For example… what does it mean about that women whose photos of childbirth adorn the walls at the midwife’s home? Well, to you, it means a violation of privacy–an indignity. To those women, it might mean a badge of honor or accomplishment. To the midwife, it means success stories and images of the ideal. Whose perspective of that meaning is “correct”? Who should change their way of thinking to match the others?

        Am I trying to encourage you to rethink your own responses to such exposure? Well, yes, I am. That’s what MCAG is all about, actually… trying to get people to recognize that their own conditioned way of perceiving and responding to the human form is unhealthy, urging them to think about it another way… a way that’s in alignment with universal truths (God’s image) rather than cultural definition (sexualized).

        When it comes to the idea of “dignity” as it relates to exposure of the body, keep in mind that God’s original design for human society was full exposure. If there was no indignity in that exposure before the fall, can we really defend the notion that now there is indignity in full exposure? If that perception came as the result of sin, then shouldn’t we consider that result of sin to be something we should actively try to overcome?

        Finally, a few comments about the Hebrew word, ervah. While that term is the only OT term that is ever associated with shame of any sort, a full review of its usage in the OT reveals that it is not always associated with shame. However, it does always seem to be associated with “active” nakedness, and almost always, that “activity” is sexual. Wrong use of our sexuality is shameful, and I believe that every time you see shame and ervah together in the OT, you’ll see that there is sexual misconduct in the context… even if it is metaphorical as it is in the passage you reference (describing the rebellion of Israel against God as sexual impurity). You can read my full study on ervah in this article:

        I hope this has been helpful.


          comments user

          I was mostly talking about exposing someone who didn’t want to be exposed. We all have put own comfort levels and our own way of reinforcing our personal dignity with the way we dress. Our standards are not all the same, but how could one say that people do not dress for dignity, however that looks for them in their culture? My concern is that your view would not consider it wrong to violate my privacy, since my preferences are not everyone’s. I feel like I’m hearing that I have no right to the privacy of my breasts or my births because some wouldn’t consider theirs private. I urge you to consider that there is a place at this table for those who do not view the body as sinful, but feel the need for their private space. I do not think that’s wrong, and with all due respect, I never will.

          comments user
          David Martin

          Thank you for your thoughtful followups, “Ms.”

          Allow me to respond again…

          You say that you were talking about exposing someone that did not want to be exposed… but as I read your original post, what I was addressing was your own discomfort with watching another woman’s birth. Presumably, the woman in the video consented to having the birth recorded and then shown to other expectant parents. My concern was that you found that unbearable… even though the other woman evidently did not mind the “exposure.”

          I was not suggesting that you yourself should be equally willing to experience the same sort of exposure, but that your discomfort with watching another woman’s birth was inconsistent with the truth. If she doesn’t mind that exposure, why should you mind watching and learning from her experience? If she did not consider it too undignified to do, what would compel you to leave the room when you saw it?

          I interpreted your actions as an expression that you believe deep down that others should have the same sense of “privacy” or “dignity” that you do, as if there is a moral standard regarding such exposure that should apply to all. My assertion is really just that that cannot be the case. You have no obligation to embrace her openness, of course, but should that mom (and her midwife and videographer) refrain from capturing the event if she is fine with it?


          comments user

          Also, you seem to be assuming that I think all people should or do share my own feelings about the appropriateness of this or that. If you will reread what I originally wrote you will see that this is not the case. In my original comment, I was very careful to specify that I realized that not everyone feels as I do about the particulars, but that I was concerned that your view did not respect the workings of individual conscience. Also, I believe, as you do not necessarily seem to (although I may well be mistaken about your view), that there is a role for the conscience in dressing, and that it is possible to disobey one’s conscience in what one wears.

          I also find it interesting that you cite the ancient Roman bathrooms as evidence that using the bathroom in public shouldn’t necessarily turn any hairs. The ancient Romans were not known for their tendency to do the right thing as a culture- their bloody games are a good example. A nation’s conscience can be quieted all too easily- see 1930s Germany. Our own culture approves of everyday practices that would probably appall those from other contexts- maybe for good reason. Please understand my point here: what the Romans did (or what any secular culture has ever done) is not a good basis for determining what we as individual followers of God should do. I believe that you were right in saying that the Christian’s view of these things should be informed by Scripture alone.

          I also think it is pertinent that the Bible contains so many instances of God providing, telling people to provide, or promising to provide clothing or covering for people as an expression of His care for them. You speak of clothing as part of the Fall, and that is where we first see people wearing clothes, but it’s certainly not the same as the curses- we don’t ever hear of God increasing the pain of childbirth for a woman who was especially faithful, or promising to make a believing man’s toil especially hard!

          Meanwhile, we see lots of instances in which clothes and covering are a blessing, a relief, or a symbol of God’s favor. Tabitha, who sewed for the widows, was raised from the dead. God tells the believers not to worry about food or clothes, not saying they don’t need clothes, but promising that He will clothe them. The prudent wife makes clothes as a business, and she and her household are beautifully dressed. Then there are these two passages:

          “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” 2Cor.5:2-4
          (He’s obviously not talking about actual clothes here, but I think it’s very pertinent to my point about the importance of clothes to our dignity- and I believe that God using clothes in this illustration shows that dynamic very clearly)

          ““Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’” Matt.25:34-36

          It seems like you are saying that, ideally, Christians would live in an Eden- like state, but I have never seen any indication of that in the Bible. The martyrs in Heaven are given white robes. Also, Adam and Eve were married, which we won’t be in heaven, and they did not work for their living, which we as believers are commanded to do- it seems clear that neither the coming Kingdom of God nor the present community of believers are a second Eden.

          Mainly, it seems that you’re saying that since the body’s not bad, clothes and wanting to be clothed must be bad. I do not believe that Scripture supports this, and it seems to me that it weakens your otherwise excellent message.

          comments user
          David Martin

          Yes, I did interpret your words as assuming that others should have the same sort of sensibility as you have. It seemed to me that your post was an attempt to explain why certain levels of “privacy” or “dignity” should still be practiced by others.

          I’m sorry that I misinterpreted your intent.

          Allow me to summarize my message…

          I believe that almost all perceptions of appropriateness regarding nakedness and exposure are culturally conditioned. If that is the case, then it should not bother any of us–nor surprise us–that others have very different levels of comfort than we ourselves have. They need not conform to ours, nor we to theirs.

          My point in noting the Roman’s toilet facilities was simply to point out that our sense of required privacy today is not an innate human trait, but a conditioned response. If you think about it, it has only been within the past 100 years or so that indoor plumbing has afforded us the level of privacy that we now consider non-negotiable.

          As you have correctly noted, the Bible does not condemn clothing. In fact, the cultural meaning of clothing is even invoked in a number of passages to communicate heavenly truths.

          The mistake would be to assume that the the meaning for clothing that we sense today (modesty, sexual propriety, etc) is going to be in play in heaven… or even that that’s what was in people’s minds when those Scripture texts were originally penned. The fact is that those ideas were not in the minds of the Biblical authors, for their cultural perception of clothing and the unclothed human form was drastically different from ours today.

          A careful study of the Bible reveals that while God doesn’t mind clothing, He never requires it either. Never are we told which body parts need to be covered and which may righteously be exposed. Even among Christians–let alone other religions–there is no agreement on how much exposure is acceptable. Consequently, we must conclude that such rules and regulations aren’t God-given at all, so we should not hold to them as if they are. It’s not a problem if we have our own preferences in these regards, provided we do not presume that our own preferences actually reflect God’s moral requirements or demand that others conform to them.

          You mentioned the repeated call for the righteous to clothe the naked… and this is true, but we should be careful not to presume that the need that the poor had was a moral need (to cover “sinful” nakedness) rather than a physical need to be warm (see Job 31:20 & James 2:16).

          You say that the Bible never indicates that we should live in an “Edenic” state, but I’d also challenge you to find where the Bible tells us that we must not. The fact is that the relational states that were a reality in unfallen Eden are still the relational ideals that we should pursue today; we had a perfect relationship with God… with others… and with ourselves. All three were damaged, but all three are still worthy of our pursuit today. Jesus himself pronounced the pre-fall marriage reality as the post-fall ideal when he quoted Gen. 1:24 in Matthew 19:3-6. Would Jesus promote Gen. 1:24 as a post-fall ideal but reject Gen. 1:25 (“naked and unashamed”) as a post-fall ideal that we should still strive for? This does not mean that we must try to be naked all the time, but certainly that we should endeavor to have no fear or shame with our own nakedness or that of others.

          The only reason that we reject any effort to recapture any sense of “naked and unashamed” today is because we have a false–pornographic–perception of what the exposed human form means. This, of course, is what MCAG is written to battle.

          As I said before, there’s nothing wrong with being clothed. But there is something wrong with the requirement of clothing for ourselves or for others… for that belies a false view of our bodies and a rejection of God’s ideal that we have the freedom in our hearts to be “naked and unashamed.”

          One last thing… let me point you to an article that I wrote that addresses the issue of the biblical purposes for clothing. I hope that it will demonstrate that our current assumptions today about clothing are not completely biblical:

          Thanks again for writing and thanks for your encouragement regarding our message.


        comments user

        Thank you for your comment. I feel the same way. There are simply some things that are simple private and NOT for public display. God gave us clothing to cover up our nakedness when we (Adam and Eve) were expelled from the private Eden into the public world. We are told NOT to be like Romans and Greeks and of this world, worshiping pagan gods, public displays, immorality. We are to be better.

          comments user
          David Martin

          Dee, I’m really glad that you’re reading through the MCAG site.

          You are correctly noticing that our perspective is much different than what the church has been teaching for the past several hundred years. Your comments here are a reflection of that teaching and mindset. I would urge you to seriously pray and ponder the possibility that what the church has been teaching is actually false… and contrary to the teaching of God’s Word. Demonstrating that is the very purpose of the MCAG site’s articles… for we ourselves have no authority to make “truth” claims apart from the authority of God’s Word.

          But that is also true for you and the rest of the church… none of us have the authority to make “truth” claims apart from the authority of God’s Word. On this particular topic, however, the church has been making such “truth” claims for years… to the point that most Christians have not really honestly questioned the actual truth of the claims.

          For example, you said directly that “God gave us clothing to cover up our nakedness…” That is a “truth” claim about God’s intent or purpose in giving Adam and Eve clothing. But support for that claim is not found in the Bible. The entirety of the account is this: “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” That’s it. There is no reasoning found there, no purpose, no command. Yet your statement claims that God’s purpose was “to cover up our nakedness.” That purpose simply is not in the text.

          To be sure, it’s worth asking “Why did God clothed Adam and Eve?”… but we must ask that question with an open heart and mind rather that with the presumption of what it “must be.” And no matter what we conclude the answer is, we must hold it with very loose fingers, acknowledging that the reason is really just our own speculation. And we can never use the results of our own reasoning to establish moral requirements for godly living. God did not issue a command for clothing here… and we must not either.

          For a careful and thorough examination of the question “Why did God clothe Adam and Eve?” I recommend The Biblical Purpose of Clothing.

          Pastor David Martin

comments user

It’s been a bit longer than a week. 🙂

    comments user
    David Martin

    Indeed it has been longer than a week, Kevin. I was hoping that the person who posted the question would post their own follow-up…

    But, sorry to say, it had slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder.


      comments user

      Sorry, I’ve kind of let this question slide, as well. I’ve been thinking about other things, but you’re right, David, it would be beneficial to me to formulate and post my own thoughts on your comments before reading a follow-up blog post. 🙂

comments user
Nathan P.

Just finished this and realized I really need to look at how I see the body – men and women. Only when I see it made in God’s image and not something that causes me to sin but my heart does can I break the chains that sin has had on my life for the last two decades! Hallelujah!

comments user

I liked what you wrote about how important the body is to God. It reminded me why I should eat healthy, not get tattoos, etc. And I liked how you spoke about how we were formed in the image of God and uniquely made from dust. It brought to mind some scriptures such as the Lord is for the body and the body for the Lord and that fornication is sinning against ones own body. And also how God says our body is a dwelling place for Gods spirit. I also like how you said truth sets us free.. but I think a lot of this information is way off the mark, either that or I’m just not able to receive it.

The first problem is yes, we know the naked body is not automatically sexual. This is obvious. If you watch on youtube there are uncivilized tribes that are out there and they walk around naked, the women/children and men. It doesn’t look sexual whatsoever. If I go to a beach and a girls togs come off and her buttocks are exposed, so what? I don’t get aroused or lust after that. Sex appeal and sexual energy is what causes lust. Pornography communicates sexual energy which excites fantasy and desire. Also how you said we are “relational attracted” it even talks in the Bible about the lust of the eyes so that doesn’t make sense to me… it says the fallen angels saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful and had intercourse with them..

Also, there’s a difference between lust and love, a huge difference. Whenever emotions or relationships are involved, I actually get turned off by that. There are people for instance in Japan, who go to a prostitute just to relieve their sexual urges but then they go home to their wives whom they actually care about and not say a word. Even in the Bible, God forces the rapist to marry and provide for the women he raped.

It’s the will of the flesh, our animal instincts. Before Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, they were basically like animals and didn’t have an internal recognition of what is right and wrong. A bear could brutally tear apart 5 children for dinner and it wouldn’t feel guilty about that one bit. So the struggle is that we live in an animal body, that also has a soul. We can choose to live animalistically and behave like the monkeys do (they socially have hierarchies, get jealous, have pecking orders, alpha males, complex sexual behaviours, some animals also participate in homosexual activities and gang rape).

When Adam and Eve ate that fruit, they suddenly became aware that they were “naked”. If it didn’t matter that we were naked, then it wouldn’t be such a big deal to have sex.. nakedness means exposing all of your insecurities towards another person. There are “spirits of lust” that cause a person to be in bondage to lust, knowing the truth is a part of that, but what about demons? If you are occupied by an unclean spirit it wouldn’t matter whether you knew the truth or not. It says “the truth” not “knowing the truth” as in, the truth is an actual thing that will set you free. “And who the son has set free is free indeed”. Jesus also says “I am the way, THE TRUTH and the life.

Did you really get set free from porn just from those articles? Wow.

comments user

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Zantetzuken. Since it seems you’ve read more than this article, what specific “information” in the main MCAG articles do you consider “way off the mark”? We are certainly “way off” from the perspective of our social and religious culture, yet we’ve carefully tried not to “miss the mark” of God’s view of the bodies in challenging that cultural perspective. But your words show why you might be “not able to receive” our message.

If you believe “sex appeal and sexual energy is what causes lust,” then no, we are not on the same page. Our modern sex-obsessed culture and its advertisement industry invented the nebulous, indefinite concept of “sex appeal,” whose parameters change with fad and fashion. However, “sexual energy” is God’s creation and gift. Although it can be used lustfully, it has never been the cause of lust. Nor does “pornography communicate sexual energy.” Rather, porn displays exploitative sexual fantasies that stir up lustful desire, causing people to misuse their “sexual energy.”

As far as this last article, if “it doesn’t make sense” to you that God meant for us to be relationally attracted, remember that the context here is marriage. God never intended “the lust of the eyes” to be the guiding source of attraction between human mates. His will for us is always relational. Even your reference to God’s command that the rapist marry and provide for his victim perfectly illustrates this divine intention. However, your fallen-angels and Japanese-adulterer illustrations both exemplify relational incorrectness, because both scenarios illustrate what lies outside God’s plan for the relational union of human spouses.

We also clash in our views of human anthropology. Theologically, humans are an amalgamation of animal bodies with angelic spirits, a union of cosmic matter with a celestial consciousness, which Triune Deity calls a Self-portrait: “Let Us make man in Our image.” Before or after the Fall, we were not “like animals” merely from having physical bodies. Humanity was equipped to name the beasts, cultivate gardens and govern the earth. Our fallen sin nature, which includes “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” cannot be attributed to “animal instincts.” Through imbibing the forbidden fruit—which gave a “knowledge of good and evil” apart from a direct relationship with God—we became morally independent without ceasing to be moral beings. Then and now, humanity still knows “right and wrong” from living by “every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4). That fruit is behind the myriad wayward moralities in our fallen world, where “every way of a man is right in his own eyes” (Prov 21:2).

God’s 2nd rhetorical question in Gen 3:11 (“Who told you that you were naked?”) shows that it was not by eating the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve “suddenly became aware that they were ‘naked,’” but through new information from a personal informant, the master deceiver. God’s question showed that His evaluation of their natural state as “very good” (Gen 1:31) did matter. Also, to Him, it was indeed “a big deal [for them] to have sex” because that was His directive: “multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28). Your sentence, “If it didn’t matter that we were naked, then it wouldn’t be such a big deal to have sex,” implies that nakedness is inherently connected with sexual intercourse. But this wasn’t the case either for them or for nude animals. It’s not the state of nudity but God’s one-flesh institution of marriage that determines “the big deal” in proper or improper sexual activity.

Jesus is Truth the Person, but He definitely does use truth to set us free by dislodging false thinking from our minds with true information. Your statement, “It says ‘the truth’ not ‘knowing the truth’ as in, the truth is an actual thing that will set you free,” does not jive with Christ’s actual words in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If demons block our minds from receiving the truth, God provides various means of grace for the spiritual warfare that can expel them. Yet, a mind cleaned out of demons will not stay so for long, unless God’s truth is embraced. To break the power of a porn or sex addiction, a holy, incarnational, God-honoring view of the body is essential. No, our articles didn’t set us free, but adopting the godly body acceptance we describe in them has not only liberated us from porn but motivated us to share its truth with others.

comments user

I would find it useful if there were some specifics offered on what it means to be “aroused relationally”. Being aroused within the confines of marriage is the goal here but if it is not primarily the sight of my wife than what is it? Physical touch?

I should mention that I’m defining arousal here as a physical sexual response and perhaps this article means something else?

    comments user
    David Martin

    We are more sexually aroused relationally than we are visually or by touch.

    Have you ever had your heart skip a beat at the sound of your loved one’s voice? Before sight or touch have anything to do with it?

    Have you ever found yourself becoming aroused at just the thought of that person?

    Or think of the opposite problem… have you ever seen a man who had a stunningly gorgeous wife for whom he has absolutely no sexual arousal response?

    The fact is this… that while we as a culture have conditioned ourselves to respond with sexual arousal to visual stimuli, this is really just conditioning. But make no mistake, when the relationship is sour, the visual will not overcome it. And when the relationship is strong, the “lack” of visual stimulus will be utterly irrelevant.

    Physical touch would mean nothing if not connected to relational meaning. And the reason the simple sight of your wife can turn you on is not a factor of exposed skin, but of a meaningful relationship. If the only time you ever see her unclothed is when you’re about to have sex, then of course that is going to condition you to take your mind and body down the road of physical intimacy when you see her unclothed. Do you think sex every time you see her face? Of course not… because sex isn’t the only time you see her face. But that special twinkle of the eyes or turn of a smile… that could do it, right? While perceived visually, these are not “visual” triggers… they are relational triggers, for the same “trigger” from a different person would not bring the same result in your heart or body.

    I hope this addresses your question. Feel free to write again.

    David Martin

comments user

Do you have any suggestions for HOW to learn to be relationally aroused, for those who are conditioned to be visually aroused and want to change?

    comments user
    David Martin

    Hey, Jewel. Thanks for writing. I apologize for the delay in getting the question approved and responded to.

    Relational arousal isn’t something that needs to be “learned,” it’s the visual-arousal that needs to be unlearned!

    Think about it… no matter how nice your wife looks, if you and she have been at odds relationally during the day, there’s not likely to be any “activity” that evening. That tells us that the “relational” part is already much stronger in our lives than we realize.

    But it’s a lot easier (less relational work) to allow ourselves to use the visual arousal to excite our thoughts about sex. But this is what we need to deactivate!

    And like Pavlov’s dogs, the only way to deactivate the conditioned response is to “ring the bell” when there’s no “food served.” Or more plainly, you need to have the opportunity to have exposure to the visual stimulus without it being a context where sexual arousal is the expected, acceptable, or natural response.

    Exactly how God leads you to reconfigure your conditioning is ultimately between you and God. I really mean that, so seriously seek His leading with regard to that question.

    That said, I will mention that I’ve told many people to go to an art museum… with the express purpose of focusing on the nude art. Take a friend. Take your spouse. Talk about why you’re going and what you see and experience there. Most importantly, take Jesus with you… talk to HIM about the artwork! Complement Him for the beauty of the human form (it’s His original artistic design!). And ask Him (the artist) to reveal to your heart what that artistry really means.

    I also suggest that you go to Pastor David Hatton’s website… he has a page specifically set up to answer the question you’ve asked here in much greater depth and with other suggestions. … make sure you open and read the PDF document linked at the bottom of that page called Further Help for Healing.

    I hope that helps!!

    Pastor David Martin

comments user

Masturbation should also be avoided at all costs. Don’t believe the lies that it is harmless.

Testimonies about how masturbation has ruined people’s lives. My testimony is similar

“18 Don’t be immoral in matters of sex. That is a sin against your own body in a way that no other sin is. 19 You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. 20 God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God.” 1 corinthians 6:18-20

    comments user
    David Martin

    Hey, Sky.

    Issues of moral right and wrong are too important to be left to anecdotal evidence to reach a conclusion. This is particularly true with reference to sexual behavior.

    In the passage you quoted (1 Cor. 6:18-20) it only applies if it can be demonstrated scripturally that masturbation is equivalent to “sex” outside of marriage or that God clearly calls it sin. Both of these assertions are not found in the Bible.

    Therefore, it comes back to one singular and undisputed observation… The bible does not forbid masturbation. And whatever the bible does not forbid, we should be very reticent to ADD it to God’s Word! And I mean VERY!

    I still find nothing in your reasoning that forces me to conclude that I should add masturbation to God’s true list of moral laws. Particularly when sexuality and sexual conduct is clearly something that is as fundamental to human existence and behavior. It is simply incomprehensible that God would address the “cleanup” after a seminal emission but fail to say, “don’t do that!” at the same time (or anywhere else in the scriptures).

    So… for this reason, I am still compelled to avoid adding to God’s word something that God clearly knew about but chose not to include in the inspired text.

    If it is a sin for you (and if you think it is, it still is), then don’t do it. If you have concluded that it is detrimental to your spiritual health, then don’t do it.

    I am of the opinion that creating “rules for righteousness” that God did not include in the Bible is WAY more detrimental to spiritual health than masturbation could ever be.

comments user
Beset too often

Thank you for the revolutionary teaching. I found it because I had once again fallen after I swore I wouldn’t. And the first thing I noticed and totally agreed with are all the different ways that other websites try to get people free. I look back and remember going to a 12 step sort of group from my church and being sincerely upset that they taught that you would “always be an addict”. I even lightly argued with them at that time that such a belief doesn’t line up with the Bible. I am 20 years sober of being drug addicted, and I told them what I will tell you now. Jesus set me free from drugs instantly. It wasn’t 12 steps that freed me but one step in the direction of Christ. I am free of drug addiction and am not even tempted by it. I still have friends that every now and then I come across and they will be smoking weed right in front of me and it simply is not a temptation to me. (FYI: I used to smoke a half ounce of weed/day).

I said all that to say this however: I still believe that freedom happens instantaneously. It always did when Jesus came on the scene (with the exception of the lepers instructed to go bathe 7 times…)

I do truly hope to allow this new outlook on nudity to be the renewing of my mind as I truthfully agree with the teachings you have provided through these articles. But I simply have really one question:

How do I deal with general horniness (excuse my language). I am married, with two small children, so sex with my beautiful wife is simply not something that can happen spontaneously whenever one of us feels sexually aroused. I own the fact that years ( I am 44 now and was first introduced to porn at the age of 8) of porn use have probably overly sexualized my mind, and that it will at first be a struggle to break through the lie that my response to a naked woman shouldn’t cause me to think and act on the lust that so easily wants to rise up from within the deceitful heart the Bible says we all have within us, and I will try to continue to ask God to help me not to see nakedness in such a sexual way, but my question is really just asking what (and how) do I deal with those times that I am just sexually aroused and feel like I need a release. I didn’t see any of your teachings tackle that specific area.

    comments user

    Hi “Beset,”
    While it is certainly true that God does choose to instantaneously change us, He also sometimes chooses to heal us in waves over time. I believe you are on the beach of that ocean, dipping your toes in the water. 40 years of pornification of the mind may not instantly be changed by exposure to the truth you’ve just read. However, bathing your mind in that truth- soaking it in – and allowing the Holy Spirit to rewrite all those lies you have experienced since you were 8 years old is going to revolutionize your thinking and actions. Let’s take one step at a time and allow that work to be complete. Maybe Jesus will give you that instantaneous healing you desire. I am in agreement with that prayer, but if He tells you to “go dip 7 times or 70 or 7000,” do it! Feel free to reach out to our pastoral staff for further delving into the underlying causes of that lust of which you speak. Grace and peace!

comments user

in terms of changing our perspective on the nude form of humans, what are your thoughts about The founder David Bolt said his goal is to put the human form back on a pedestal and to see beauty in many forms, old young, male female etc. It feels like it’s in line with what you’re talking about here.

    comments user
    Shawn McCammon

    In the absence of the administrators, I will reply. I encourage you to read, The Centerfold Syndrome by Gary Brooks. You can find it for free at I believe that you will find the answers you are looking for there. There are also great discussions about art v porn on this website and how to differentiate. Objectivication of people is not good for any party involved. I hope that these are helpful. Blessings

comments user
Shawn McCammon

I greatly appreciate the articles and conversations. I have believed this as ive read and studied Scripture and you’re giving me a great framework to articulate these concepts to others as I help men and women break free from the chains of porn and inappropriate cultural impositions upon scripture and God’s people.
The question I have is with the context of Exodus 20:26. It does not appear to be about sex. It is not about clothing for the weather. It appears to be strictly about covering his nakedness going up the stairs for sacrifice. Am I reading something else into this? How do you interpret this scripture in the ancient cultural context?
Thank you!

comments user
Shawn McCammon

Ill give a crack at the answer since Ive seen your responses to others encouraging them to dig for themselves. 😉 The best I can muster for the interpretation comes from interpreting scripture with scripture, especially exodus 28 and leviticus 15. Exodus 28 describes the potential for ritual uncleanliness when not wearing undergarments (not because of the exposed genitalia itself, but because of ritually unclean discharge – Lev 15 – as priests were to abstain from sexual contact for quite some time before offering sacrifices). Further, the mere need for instruction about undergarments belies the fact that the outer garments most often worn were short enough that the threat of exposure was almost a sureity. Thus, the instruction was likely given to the everyday lay-person and not regular priests because the lay person is more likely to be ritually unclean due to sexual contact and the offense was with the unclean discharge and not the genitals themselves. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks

comments user
Wilson A

Just a technical issue on the site to report. The link for “corollary to Lie #2” seems to be broken. I get error number 404 when trying to access it. If you are able to restore it, could you let me know so I can go back and read it. Loved the information in this series. I am looking forward to the change it will have on my life. I started the series about a week ago and finished today. I am already seeing a change in the way I think.

comments user

IT WORKS!!!! IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!! I feel almost ZERO arousal when looking at attractive people anymore. I still like the way they look, but that’s about it. As a nonreligious man, I started this journey in hopes of moulding myself into a kinder, more caring, more civil, and more decent person. Thanks to this website, I’m now approaching the end of that journey. Now, a new chapter of my life begins. I can’t thank you people enough for your efforts.

comments user
Evan Minton

This is the stuff that needs to be preached from every pulpit across America. I guarantee you that even if the porn industry continues to thrive, its Christian customer base would be practically nonexistent. My friend Zach Miller has a podcast called “What Your Pastor Didn’t Tell You” where he talks about biblical scholarship things and interviews biblical scholars on a variety of topics. And indeed, much of that won’t ever be discussed from a pulpit or an average Sunday School lesson. But we can definitely add this stuff to the list. But the church will remain sexually sick until it learns the truth.

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