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Nakedness - a Spiritual Experience?

By Bill Lockwood

religion, articles, christianity

Ladies Home Journal (Oct., 1995) asked actress Demi Moore "how she feels about her body" since "she has appeared nude on three magazine covers since her first Vanity Fair one." Her response is bizarre. "I feel the best that I've ever felt about it, and it has nothing to do with how I actually look."

She added, "It's more that the body, mind and soul are one, as opposed to needing to look a certain way to be happy. Because it's like all things that are an exterior experience. They don't really feed you."

In other words, if I read her correctly, flaunting her nakedness is a "spiritual experience."

Some claim to receive "spiritual highs" from "smoking dope," others from banging loud rock-and-roll through their heads, but Demi says it is in taking her clothes off before audiences that she finds spiritual satisfaction.

A new twist to spirituality. I suppose some will call this the "ministry of nakedness." Of course, in view of the fact that modern society has no absolute standard of spiritualness, who can fault this interpretation? It simply becomes "whatever feels good, do it" and call it "spiritual."

An Exterior Experience?

I thought it interesting that she avoided saying the obvious. Instead of "nakedness," it is "an exterior experience."

Perhaps the makers of the new Politically Correct Bible will plug this phrase into passages instead of "nakedness" for fear of offending strippers and beach bums.

Another of Moore's mesmerizing answers during the interview: when asked how it feels to be the highest paid actress in history, she quipped, "I don't have a relationship to that as a concept of myself ... I don't relate to myself about getting a certain fee."

My initial reaction to this is to become a cross- examining lawyer grilling her on the witness stand. "Come now, Miz Moore, do you have trouble relating to yourself " when going to the bank? Is it a "truly spiritual experience" to fill out those pesky deposit slips?

I wonder how "spiritual" do the millions of men become when viewing the "exterior experiences?"

Some may, Gandhi-like, pretend her nakedness accentuates their spiritual alertness. This would have been an excuse in David's day. When David looked upon Bathsheba bathing, he could have been experiencing a new spiritualness—intensifying his relationship with God.

Not only so, but he was witnessing Bathsheba enhancing her own devotional spirit. The more he stared, the more devotional she seemed. Thus, he was finally moved by her "exterior experience" to experience her exterior for himself. Moore thinks nakedness does not "feed you," but it fed David's lust.

This new hermeneutical key also unlocks the meaning of other verses. In Genesis 9:21 Noah "was uncovered within his tent." Ham, who "saw his father's nakedness," was prophetically criticized for interrupting this "exterior religious experience."

Genesis 2:25 discloses that Adam and Eve were not ashamed of their nakedness "because they had not yet learned to relate meaningfully to clothes."

God demands that we offer our bodies as a spiritual sacrifice (Rom. 12:2).

He has something to say regarding our "modest apparel" (1 Tim. 2:9-10) and warns us that to look upon a woman "in order to" lust after her is not a new height of spirituality, but is sinful (Matt. 5:28).

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Published December 1995