Nude Baptism And Medical Modesty

A Methodist pastor argued that discomfort with nakedness is more of a personal and cultural issue than a religious one and that in many early Christian communities, converts were even stripped naked for baptism when he was asked if his church could support a walkathon to benefit Medical Patient Modesty. This was strange because most churches are willing to support events to benefit Medical Patient Modesty, a non-profit organization that works to educate patients about their rights to modesty in medical settings. The rebuttals are in red.

Methodist Pastor's Email:

I understand and appreciate that you are sincerely concerned about medical privacy issues. I believe you and others concerned about this can address the issue with your personal health care providers. I'm sorry to hear of the young mother's experience of being observed by medical students during childbirth, even though she had previously discussed her desire for privacy with her doctor and understood that this wouldn't happen. That shouldn't have happened without her consent. On the other hand, I'm sure she also wouldn't have wanted to have had her child delivered by a doctor who had never seen an actual childbirth. They have to learn somehow.

It isn't a personal issue for me; when I'm sick or in pain, it doesn't matter to me whether the person treating me is male or female. I don't believe that it's a faith issue, either. (Sexual abuse is, of course, but that is distinct from privacy and is already illegal.) Discomfort with nakedness is more of a personal and cultural issue than a religious one. In fact, in many early Christian communities, converts were even stripped naked for baptism!

I'm also concerned that placing legal restrictions on medical care providers based solely on privacy concerns may, unfortunately, interfere with patients getting the best care - and that is the main thing, in my view.

Rebuttal: This was an insensitive reply to the young mother who had her wishes that no medical students be present for her C-Section. Medical students can learn to do procedures on patients who give consent and they should never be forced on patients who do not want them. The truth is medical students who are going into specialties such as podiatry, orthopedics, neurology, etc. do not need to learn gynecological procedures since they will not do gynecology at all.

Sexual abuse by medical professionals is unfortunately very common. While it is true that sexual abuse is illegal, it happens often and medical professionals often get away with abuse.

Modesty is a faith issue. The bible makes it clear that modesty is important and that nudity between sexually mature opposite sex should be reserved between husband and wife.

Check out an article, Did Real Christians Practice Nude Baptism? that reveals the truth that the bible does not teach naked baptism at all and that true Christians did not participate in nude baptism. The article also talks about how the New Testament endorsed public modesty and how no real Christian leaders would have expected believers to violate those principles.

While there may have been Christian communities that practiced nude baptism, using this as a standard for medical care is ludicrous. The question for the biblically interested is, does Christian practice determine biblical morality? Since baptism has always been a sign of conversion and association, and, for the Christian community, stems from the Jewish practice in the synagogue, it had to be practiced according to Jewish law, which forbade public nudity. There have been many Christian communities over the life of the church who have allowed ungodliness to be practiced. During the Reformation, some communities were practicing fornication simply because they understood that they were free from the religious law of the Roman Church. This is antinomianism and is a view that approves license. Instead of affirming the righteousness of God, it affirms the immorality of Man. - Billy


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