Why Humans Have the Sense of Shame
In the Western World we take for granted that the sense of shame came from the teachings of the Bible. Indeed it does stem from the forbidden fruit incident in the Garden of Eden, but the real author of shame is not God! Genesis 3 reveals who the real author is!
The incident in the Garden of Eden set the course of human history from that moment. It determined the direction followed by humanity from the beginning until now.
God had told the first man, Adam, that he, as a man, was wholly physical. Here was the newly created man. Grasp the significance if you can! Suddenly, a full-grown adult man received consciousness.
He looked around, everywhere he saw beauty! There were colorful flowers, stately trees, green lawns, well trimmed shrubs, shimmering pools, the audible laughter of a tripling stream. He was surrounded by breathtaking magnificence. Then the man looked at himself. He must have wondered, “What am I?” Once, I remember, I fainted. Then, when consciousness again came suddenly, the question was grasped, involuntarily, “Where am I?” But, Adam must have wondered, not only where, but what!
And God told him. ‘You are dust.” After the man had sinned. God said, “out of the (ground) wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou, return.”
He said the conscious man was dust composed of matter. The revelation of God is plain: “God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7).
This man, composed of physical matter from the ground became a soul (same verse).This scripture does not say God put an immortal soul into a material body. It says God breathed breath into his nostrils into the man’s lungs. God breathed this breath this air into the man’s nostrils, just as all men breathe air in and out of their nostrils just as dumb animals do!
This man, composed of matter out of the ground, became a breathing, living soul. The soul, then, came out of the ground. The soul is composed of matter, not spirit. The word soul is translated from the Hebrew word nephesh. It means “life of animals.”
But what has all this to do with the origin of this teaching that sex is evil? It has everything to do with it!
Satan uttered the first recorded lie in the history of mankind. He told mother Eve she would not surely die or, in other words, that she was an “immortal soul.” But God says souls that sin shall die (Ezk. 18:4, 20). God said to Adam and Eve that if they took of the forbidden fruit, “Thou shalt surely die.”
Notice how Satan himself put in human minds the sense of shame and guilt toward sex.
In the creation chapter, Genesis 1, it is written that in creating man, God created the physical sex organs “male and female created he them” (v. 27). “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (v. 331).The physical organs of sex, then, God pronounced “very good.”
God gave the first man and his wife full instruction in regard to His intended purposes and uses of sex, as we shall cover in detail later. God ended His instruction His teaching of necessary basic spiritual and physical knowledge, as recorded in Genesis 2:24.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” Then follows verse 25, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Notice carefully! God had been personally with Adam and Eve. The three had been talking together. Adam and Eve were naked. Nothing in God’s instruction regarding husband-and-wife relationship had caused them to experience any sense of shame in regard to sex. In the privacy of this one married couple, bound in marriage by the Holy God who was speaking with them, there was absolutely no sense of shame in regard to sex.
Now continue right on next verse! See what now happened!
Remember, as originally inspired and written, the Bible was not divided into chapters and verses. These were added by uninspired men much later, as a matter of convenience in biblical study. The very next verse, continuing immediately, is verse 1 of chapter 3:
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Immediately Satan begins to discredit revelation as the founding source of knowledge that is, God’s teaching. He subtly and craftily implies: “Look! God knows better than that! God was misrepresenting!”
God had told Adam and Eve that the wages of sin is death- for eternity eternal punishment! God told them they were mortal, and could die! Satan uttered the first recorded lie of history: “Ye shall not surely die!”
In other words: “Why, God was deceiving you. He knew you are immortal souls!”
The Genesis account is exceedingly brief and condensed. It merely summarizes, in fewest words, these conversations and events. We learn much from later passages, and from history.
Filling in the omitted gaps and details, what Satan said becomes clear. As soon as Satan got in his lying, deceptive talk, and the woman had obeyed him, eating the forbidden fruit, and her husband deliberately had eaten it with her, the next verses tell us this:
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (v. 7). Now continue, next verse:
“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him. Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (vs. 8-10).
Notice God’s answer! “Who told thee that thou wast naked” (v. 11)?
Yes, who put the sense of shame about sex in the minds of Adam and Eve? It was Satan who had been telling them things! God didn’t!
All the time God had been talking to them, instructing them in true and right knowledge, they were naked. But nothing in all God taught them gave them any sense of shame toward sex. This idea that sex is evil came from Satan. It was an accusation against God an attempt to make what God designed appear to be contaminated and degrading. It was inextricably tied up with the false “immortal soul” lie!
But absolutely nothing in what you have just read justifies nudism, or nudist colonies. That is not the teaching of God at all! Rather, God Himself clothed Adam and Eve. Let’s now learn how under what circumstances, and why!
When God had talked with Adam and Eve, immediately following their very creation, He was instructing them in a situation of husband-and-wife privacy. As long as they were the only humans, alone by themselves (so far as any other humans are concerned), God gave them no instruction to cover their bodies.
God is everywhere-- present at all time omnipresent! When a husband and wife, today, are alone in the privacy of their own bedroom, God is invisibly present!
But, when their children, and other people the public “all living” are introduced, then, we read that God Himself clothed Adam and Eve, Notice it! It appears later, in the same chapter.
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living (her children their family the public).Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:20-21).
Notice the expression, “The Lord God clothed them.” The Hebrew word God inspired Moses to write here, for “clothed,” is labash. It does not mean to cover shamefulness to hide nakedness or any such meaning.
The Hebrew word meaning to conceal nakedness is kasha. But the word Moses was inspired to write, labash, means, rather, the donning of apparel, raiment. It refers rather to outer garments than underclothing.
It implies the idea of adorning or decorating or displaying, rather than concealing or covering over or hiding.
In the incident of Noah’s drunkenness, Shem and Japheth, sons of Noah, backed up with a garment on their shoulders, and “covered the nakedness” of their father (Gen. 9:23).They were hiding, concealing, the result of a sinful act by Canaan, son of Ham. Here the Hebrew word for “covered” is kasha.
So notice, God did not kasha Adam and Eve did not hide shamefulness, conceal nakedness, but rather He labashed them adorned, clothed them.
Of course this clothing did cover nakedness. The differences between the two Hebrew words, labash and kasha, is one of purpose and intent, rather than the fact of being covered. Both do cover nudity. But the Hebrew kasha carries the connotation of concealing, or hiding something that might be shameful, while labash includes no such meaning, and implies adding attractiveness. In other words, although God’s clothing did cover their bodies, it did not imply any sense of shame in what God designed.
This does not mean, under any circumstances, that God would approve public nudity. Not at all. God clothed man! God intended man to keep clothed! God intended the pubic region of our bodies for the privacy of marriage but the reason is not because the pubic region that God designed and made is degrading or evil, but rather, as a matter of proper modesty and decorum!
There are two additional reasons: God designed sex for use only between a husband and wife whom God has joined in holy wedlock. He designed sex for righteous uses and one of them is to bind husband and wife together in a loving relationship unshared with any other. The very privacy of this marriage relationship make it sacred, makes husband and wife dear to each other in a special way never shared with another in adultery. This entire loving, sacred, precious relationship is greatly impaired, or destroyed, when shared with any other. That is why fornication and adultery are so harmful to their participants, and therefore capital sins.
The second additional reason for avoiding indecent or lewd exposure is that undue exposure of the female body is lust-arousing to the carnal male mind.
Nevertheless, these passages in Genesis show positively that the origin of the concept that sex is evil and shameful originated with Satan and not from God!
The pagan world accepted this lie. As a teaching, or doctrine, it became a universally accepted dogma. This fable was popularized by the Greek philosopher Plato, founder of the curricular system of education. Plato wrote it in his book The Phaedo.
It was from this “immortal soul” doctrine that the concept of sex as evil in itself stemmed. Notice how it developed!
This “immortal soul” doctrine teaches that man is dual. While it claims falsely that the “immortal soul” is the real man, and the body is merely the prison in which he is held, yet it teaches inconsistently that man is dual both soul and body.
Thus, the real man is represented as being spiritual, pure, good, righteous, already having immortality. It represents the body the flesh as being essentially evil, filthy, and nasty. Sex organs and sex functioning are physical of the body, and therefore fleshy, sensual and evil.
Thus, Satan has implanted the concept that what God designed and created is evil, while man is righteous.
Remember Satan is a spirit being the former archangel, the cherub Lucifer with no physical body no sex or power of reproducing himself. Therefore he is envious of these attributes bestowed on man. He tries to discredit them and represent them as evil yet also to glorify them as objects of lust. Satan is the real author of prudish dualism. He also goes to the opposite extreme today. He also is the real author of the so-called “New Morality,” which is in fact gross immorality. In this extreme, Satan deceives people into accepting sex as an idol of lust.
In both extremes, he deceives humanity into evils by which he seeks to destroy the human race! This satanic doctrine of dualism is the very antithesis of God’s revelation of the true facts. It is a diabolical lie?
God formed man of the dust of the ground. God beheld every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good! It is what man thinks and does that is sinful. But Satan blasphemes the Holy God by saying that what God made was very filthy, nasty, evil and sinful.
This is the satanic dualism injected into the original Babylonish religion (Gen. 10). It spread into the pagan religions, and into Egypt. From there it flowed into ancient Greece and then the Roman world.
Be watching for the next installment of love, marriage and sex soon to come.