"In reading about the Greeks andd their wholeness idea of body and spirit was in conflict with the dualism that I'm also awear of with the physical word being evil and the spirit world being good. I thought this idea was in place by NT times. I'm sure Gnosticism also had this as a major view. Gnostisism was just starting to develop during the 1st century AD."
Gnosticism was one of those things Paul warned the church about. The Jewish culture had always believed that the body and spirit are one.
That is why they held to the Great Commandment to "Love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul", which Jesus quoted, then continued with, "and love your neighbor as yourself" which was lost in meaning when gnosticism took hold.
Gnosticism is becoming a strong force in the church again when the idea that the more knowledge you have, the better you are.
But ironically, while it's the physical they shunned and the spirit they were trying to become, yet they are doing so with physical knowledge.
They feel that the body is bad and the spirit is trying to get out. My question to them would be, why is the spirit trapped in the body in the first place?
When God created man, he breathed into him and "he became
a living soul
. (emphasis mine)
Like the Father, Son and holy spirit, we are mind, body and spirit, all one.
And like Jesus, we are through Jesus and the holy spirit, one with God. And Jesus told us to love one another as a sign that we are of God, which is what Jesus said in addition to the Great Commandment. It all comes together.
As I was thinking earlier today, dogs are happiest when people treat them like...well...dogs (The Dog Whisperer has a better way to say it). And our fish seems quite content to live in tank and act like fish. And our bird, though I do question its motives, act like a bird, even when it insists on eating dinner with us! Otherwise, it acts and thinks like a bird!
Humans on the other hand, seems to be discontent to be human. And sometimes we tend to think we are being punished for being human!
We are covering ourselves as if something is not right and our bodies are evil and need to be hidden at all costs! Somehow, our children, who come out into this world, seemed to have missed that point! So they are taught our displeasure at being who they are, children! We cover them up as if they are shameful! There was a time in the country that children "are to be seen, not heard".
And we wonder why we look at each other with distrust and shame.
How do we let the world know it's OK to be human and that God created us to be in his family? We are not stuck in some filthy body as spirit beings trying to get out! We are what God created us to be! When we die, then
we will find out what God wants us to be next! Not until then!
Jesus felt just fine being human! He didn't walk around with shame and fear! When he was resurrected, he said, "Look! Here is my bones and flesh! See and touch!" (or something like that).
If Jesus was flesh after
his resurrection, then what will we be? He wasn't faking this! He does not say "Here is my bones and flesh" while pretending, that would be lying to us. He was physically resurrected, as witnessed by his empty tomb!
But Gnostic's are not comfortable with that. They feel he was just a vision, a spirit that looked like flesh. But his life said otherwise. It would be much harder for the Gnostic's to prove their point than it would be for us to prove that it's perfectly fine to be naked.
Look here for a view I just looked up (wanted to make sure I was right)
"Duality of spirit and body: Spirit is of divine origin and good; the body is inherently earthly and evil. Gnostics were hostile to the physical world, to matter and the human body. But they believed that trapped within some people's bodies were the sparks of divinity or seeds of light that were supplied to humanity by Sophia."
Here is whats scary:
"Snake Symbol: Some Gnostic sects honored the snake. They did not view the snake as a seducer who led the first couple into sinful behavior. Rather, they saw him/it as a liberator who brought knowledge to Adam and Eve by convincing them to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and thus to become fully human."
Isn't that just this side of Satan worship? And the Christians are still insisting that we must be clothed, that Satan was correct! AAARRRGGH!
So we have a huge problem out there and it's no wonder humanity is still in its belief that they are not yet saved for God through Jesus Christ. They have to accept that or they will live out their lives in fear and ignorance!
I need to remind myself that the suffering (we call "trials") I go through is not always God punishing me for "wrong deeds" or sin, but my own stupidity and not living up to Gods view of me. I need to believe God, not my actions, though I do have to behave as a Godly person who appreciates God's love for me. I need to take that love and share it with humanity, not live in a spiritual squalor that resembles a millionaire who insists on living like a homeless person under a bridge!
We are human as God created us and we need to live like it! But without living sinfully.
God made us this way! REJOICE and be glad in it!
"May the Lord protect our nudity from the sight of those who will not benefit, and may he allow us to be seen by those who will."