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Naked come, naked go

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Romans 5 is very clear that within humanity, there are really two humanities; one headed by Adam and destined for death, and the other headed by Christ and promised eternal life. Orthodox Christians have always held that the way to transfer membership from the first humanity into the second is to be born again by the Holy Spirit.  Yet for some throughout Church history, the idea of charting new paths from one to the other has proved far more attractive.

The Adamites were a well known North African cult in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Centuries, devoted to regaining the innocence of pre-Fall Adam.  Their main expression of (or motivation behind) this rediscovered ‘liberty’ was to practice ‘holy nudism’- both in every day life, and in public worship.  They tended to meet underground, and referred to their services as ‘Paradise’.  Their favourite Bible moment was, unsurprisingly, David’s undignified dancing in his pants at the return of the ark in 2 Samuel 6.


Adamites having a jolly in the street, disturbed by armed soldiers

Despite being condemned as heretics by the likes of Augustine, the Adamites saw something of a revival in 15th Century Bohemia with a sect of Taborites who ‘indulged in predatory forays upon the neighborhood, and… committed wild excesses in nocturnal dances.’  A further revival in 17th Century London saw Adamites rejecting most civil, moral and social restraints on their behaviour- including marriage, adherence to the law, and the ‘false modesty’ of society.  Perhaps due to the chillier location (London is hardly Algeria) this group tended to restrict their displays of the ‘divine state of grace’ to closed meetings in members’ homes.

 10 Comments

Lord Vader   (Tue 10 Feb)
Merrie Theologiane - Why are all the popele in the picture white if they're from North Africa?
Merrie said   (Wed 11 Feb)
The picture isn't of the North African Adamites... I am your father.
Lord Vader   (Wed 11 Feb)
Merrie Theologiane - why do the people in the picture have guns? Surly guns were not around in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th centuary? Lick me
Lord Vader   (Wed 11 Feb)
Merrie Theologiane - why do the people in the picture have guns? Surly guns were not around in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th centuary?
Sam Hughes   (Wed 11 Feb)
with the rise of temperature due to global warming surly that means we will be worshiping naked by...2020? and if that is the case i better hit the gym.
Luke   (Fri 27 Feb)
This is surely evidence that there were guns in the 2nd century. Who would have thunk it.
Bb Stevens   (Sun 19 Apr)
Christians get unduly vexed about nudity. Surely the Shullumite danced naked in the Song of Songs?
Leviticus Boothroyd   (Sat 13 Jun)
Stevens, that is an argument from silence and not nudity and thus does not stand. I find the small dog in the picture the most surprising thing, surely if you're dancing naked the last thing you want to have around is such a hound.
Jonny Rose   (Thu 21 Jan)
I continue to indulge in this practice to this very day. I hope one day that other conservative Evangelicals will be able to reconcile this 'holy nudism' doctrine with evangelicalism as nonchalantly as I have.\r\n\r\nJoin my church if you are interested in furthering the Adamite cause:\r\n\r\nhttp://thehappychurch.wordpress.com/about/
Jakob M   (Tue 6 Apr)
The Taborites were not Adamites; the Adamites in Bohemia were initially part of the Taborite sect, but were quickly thrown out and persecuted and killed by authorities.
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