Questions From Readers
● In view of the fact that it has been stated in the Watch Tower publications that the works of healing performed by Jesus and his apostles did not depend upon the faith of those cured, how are we to understand Matthew 13:58, which reads: “He did not do many powerful works there on account of their lack of faith”?—N. B., United States.
Today many faith healers, when brought face to face with the fact that they cannot heal a person, claim that it is due to his lack of faith. However, this is merely a subterfuge to explain away their inability to heal. Such, however, was not the case with Jesus and his apostles. There is nothing in the record to indicate that the widow of Nain exercised faith that her son would be brought to life again. Jesus merely noted the mourning mother and comforted her by raising her son from the dead. Thus also Peter and John healed a cripple at the temple gate without any expression of faith on his part. He looked at them expecting to receive some alms, and, to his amazement and astonishment, he was made whole.—Luke 7:12-15; Acts 3:1-8.
What the Scriptures state at Matthew 13:58 is that Jesus did not do many powerful works because of their lack of faith, not that he could not do works there. Apparently few people came out there to see him and to be healed. This was in striking contrast to other places, of which we read: “Great crowds approached him, having along with them people that were lame, maimed, blind, dumb, and many otherwise, and they fairly threw them at his feet, and he cured them.” The very fact of their bringing these to Jesus was a sufficient act of faith. There is nothing to indicate that Jesus quizzed these as to their faith.—Matt. 15:30.
● Is there any objection to a dedicated Christian minister’s belonging to a nudist group or living at a nudist camp or resort?—M. D., United States.
Whether man would have continued naked had he not sinned the Word of God does not explicitly state. However, we do note that after the first human pair sinned Jehovah God made clothes for them, slaughtering animals to provide the skins. (Gen. 3:21) Certainly that was a change from their original nakedness. But since these clothes were provided by the Creator himself, who would dare claim that Adam and Eve would have been better off without them? Certainly throughout the Scriptures we note that God’s servants wore clothing, and oftentimes it is described.
More than that, man is the only creature on earth that has need of clothing, and that for at least three sound reasons. First, as a protection from the elements and nature, from heat and cold, from rough terrain or thorns, and so forth. Secondly, there is the matter of beauty and comeliness. Clothing adds to the appearance, helps give one a measure of confidence and serves to cover one’s unseemly parts, even as the apostle Paul notes at 1 Corinthians 12:23. And thirdly, there is the matter of modesty. Thus we read at Revelation 16:15 that Christians should take care lest they lose their garments and be exposed to shame. True, this refers to spiritual garments, but the illustration would be without force if the nude state were to be preferred to the clothed.
Further, the Scriptures admonish Christian women to be chaste and modest in their attire: “I desire the women to adorn themselves in well-arranged dress, with modesty and soundness of mind.” (1 Tim. 2:9) It would be stretching credulity to believe, as claimed by the nudists, that men and women of the world are of such a high moral tone that in the presence of nude women they would not be likely to transgress along the line Jesus mentioned at Matthew 5:28: “Everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Therefore no dedicated Christian minister can remain in good standing in the New World society of Jehovah’s witnesses and at the same time be a member of a nudist colony or frequent nudist camps.