Definitions of Christian Naturism

Words have meaning. With language, it quickly becomes important to define your terms. It’s likely we used the same words, but have completely differing takes on what those identical words mean. Then we land into some trouble.

But which definitions are correct? What about when definitions differ? I suggest you look for the commonalities in the multiple submissions. No definition is perfect, but they help us with understanding.

All of that said, I’d like to attempt to define Christian Naturism today. It’s not naturalism, and it’s not bird watching. It’s naturism and from the perspective of a Christian living a vibrant faith in action. I should say first of all, that for me, Christian comes first, and naturist second. I’m a Christian who happens to be a naturist.

Someone asked on social media what people’s definition of Christian Naturism was. I didn’t have anything tucked away. I haven’t really read any authoritative dictionary entry type of definition for this growing group of the population. But I thought about it and quickly penned something and hit submit. That’s what I will submit to you today, along with those submissions of some of my online friends.

I said:

To me, Christian Naturism is the viable notion that one can restore the innocence of Eden as best as is possible in this fallen world until all things are made new. This is true especially in regard to our bodies, created “very good” (not dirty or obscene in and of them selves, even in a “naked and unashamed” state. People’s inherent value is much more than skin deep, so naturism paves a way for seeing yourself and others as God sees, and elevates the concept of Imago Dei (the image of God) to new and greater heights. Often the past experiences of judging others or viewing them as a source of temptation vanish under the newly held convictions. The freedom afforded is worth celebrating and holding onto with passion and grace.

A friend who has the gift of brevity said:

We would say we are simply Christians without the human additives…these being clothes 😜

Another said:

God has created us and called it “good.” Sin has marred our view of that creation He called “good” and felt the need to hide from Him. If we accept that we are redeemed through Christ and His sacrifice, we no longer need to hide. If we keep our focus on Him and not the view of the world that sees nakedness only in the context of sexual sin, we recognize that we can enjoy the freedom that He originally called “good.”

This friend had another interesting perspective:

God made us with the plan based on the garden. Man had all he needed provided by God. It was a simple life with everything supplied by Him. No need for selfishness, greed or having to compete with each other. Just to take care of all things in the garden. In other words love God, walk with Him, and love His creation. Just as Jesus said when asked which was the greatest commandment!

Along those lines, this friend said:

To me, nudity is a tool. Jesus said the greatest commandment was love God with all our heart, and the second was to love our neighbor as ourself. I think nudity is a tool to actively put those two commandments into action. The state of nakedness increases and demonstrates humility and increases our openness towards our fellow man.

I also think it is a tool that helps us examine the traditions of our fathers and opens us to question if those traditions come from God and lead us towards God, or not.

The friend that originally asked the question said this:

We were created in the image of God and any shamefullness associated to our naked bodies is a result of flawed cultural learnings, misinterpreted Bible verses, and misdefined terms like modesty.

Another friend added this element:

Christian naturists have allowed the blood of Christ to circumcise our hearts. Putting to the death the sinful nature, we step out in faith and transform ourselves into little children in terms of how we see the body, just as Christ himself orders us to do in Matthew 18.

This friend had more to say:

Y’all are a lot more concise than I will probably be, as this is a question that deserves some concentrated thought… I may not have time to respond again in a timely manner so you’ll get the disorganized version: Christian Naturism is the recognition that God’s pronouncement on His naked creation as “very good,” was not based upon his creation’s perception, but on truth (as it is impossible for Him to lie or be in error). It was His intent that the Imago Dei (the image of God) should be revealed, and that in so doing we would know Him. He has revealed Himself through what has been made but reveals the very image of Himself through our bodies, both male and female. Satan, who hates God and His image, inspired Adam and Eve to cover that image, and specifically those parts through which we have the power to recreate that image. Those parts are the most potent symbol of His relationship to His bride. In our rejection of God, inspired by Satan, we fell under a curse: however God’s son Jesus Christ has redeemed us from that curse so that we no longer follow the flesh (our sinful nature, which we received when we chose to live by our own knowledge of good and evil) but the Spirit of God which He causes to dwell within us. He has transformed us, by the renewing of our minds. To the pure, all things are pure. In Naturism we as Christians are able to appear before him naked, humble, honest, and pure.

And this friend added this:

I’m am nude in imitation of Christ, who died on the cross naked in complete innocence. By dying the death promised Adam, he has opened the gates of Eden and access to the Tree of Life to all who receive him. I seek the communion with God, my spouse, my body, and with nature which Adam and Eve had before the fall.

“Nude to follow the naked Christ.” -Saint Jerome and Saint Francis

There could be much more that could be said. This is just a very small cross-section. It’s a fairly short post, but let’s all add to it. Put your definition in the comments and we’ll all learn from each other!

27 thoughts on “Definitions of Christian Naturism

  1. Randy M. Olson

    Why is it important to have clear well defined language? Because,

    Those that control language control culture.

    Once we give away our “naturist” language we give away our ability to thrive as an acceptable part of the larger society.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. John Figleaf

    All good definitions! I’ll throw my hat in the ring with this phrasing:

    Christian Naturism is the practice of living the “naked and unashamed” life as God intended in the Garden of Eden. This lifestyle is enhanced by the understanding and application of Genesis 1:27 which states: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” NKJV

    Liked by 4 people

  3. jeffnkr

    All of these definitions are EXCELLENT! These are definitions of Christian naturISM. I would like to add that a Christian naturIST is a Christian, first. He or she would therefore decline to be involved in activities that perpetuate the unfortunate association of nudism with immoral sexual activity, while loving nudists, and seeking God’s help in being more than just a casual friend to them.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Elizabeth 🌸

    Good definitions, but there’s something that’s missing. Not he bit about getting your kit off, but the bit that comes after that. The aligning of who you are, who you were created to be. It’s part of Christianity anyway, and it’s also part of naturism, and to that extent naturism is therefore also part of Christianity, not separate to it. It’s the revealing of who you are, and peeling off all the parts you’ve acquired that aren’t truly you. But it’s definitely easier in the buff, making the connection with all the clothes you’ve peeled off too.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Steven Howatt

    I am not sure how we can define a thing that is NOT a “thing”, but more an ideology, world view, or perspective, that being “Christian naturism”. Any more than we could define “Christian obedience”. Sure, we could offer examples of it, but…

    I think what “Christian naturism” does is recognize what God said and did in Creation, the perfect melding of a physical and spirit being. Christian naturism does not recognize any inherent sin in nakedness itself, as it is what God created and intended. God’s provisions for protection in an environment that was changed/damaged when sin entered the world are not seen as a change of His perspective on nakedness.

    I personally believe it is the Accuser, Satan himself, that has always been the one that tells humanity that the image of God, in which all humanity are created, must be covered up. This idea is based on inferring from the question (not a rhetorical question) God asked in the Garden, “Who told you you were naked?” Adam and Eve, having eaten of the fruit that provided a “knowledge of good and evil”, now had a conscience to access things that God never intended them (in innocence) to have to assess. Satan took advantage of that new ability, told them they were naked and that it must be covered as it was wrong. Some of this is inference, of course, about things not explicitly said, but note that God never said or implied that nakedness was wrong. Also note that it is still just as easy to have a wrong conscience about something as it is a correct conscience, and it is the benefit of the Holy Spirit and the scriptures that keep us on track with what is true.

    So, Christian naturists do not believe the lie of Satan, that nakedness is inherently sinful (for any human, whether Redeemed or not) and must necessarily be covered up. This is an ideology. The “law of love” and other considerations (environment) enter into individual decisions over whether or not nakedness is appropriate, now that humans are “blessed/cursed” with a conscience/awareness.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Ted Adams

    It becomes a joy to be able to live in the love of God as a nudist. The shame if also the ground cursed has been also taken away in the crown of thorns worn on the head of Jesus on the cross. We were made from the earth, and though it was cursed, yet the earth brings forth many wonderful plants, and beauty of the earth. It is blessed and sings to the Lord. The creation is also waiting on tiptoes for us to be shown when Jesus comes again. I think that we will be naked in our new bodies in righteousness and have joy in being free without all the added things of life we live now.
    To be naked is to be intact with Jesus Christ in our bodies, enjoying the freedom and liberty to just enjoy the natural flavor of life. We have more to sing and enjoy them many who are afraid of God if they even thin about being naked in some areas. In all of this, a Christian has more to be praising God for and just to take to prayer, music, and in many of the pictures of situations shown, to raise ones arms towards heaven and praise God with creation in glorious abundance of love for Jesus Christ, what he has done for us, and be in harmony with all he has created. What is sinful about that?

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Reuben

    How I see Christian Naturism should be defined is to look at our Creator’s original lifestyle plan for mankind. Eden paradise garden. they were naked and it was the normal way to be, they didn’t think about it because that’s all they knew.

    Christians now see the prohibition placed on sinful lusts, and since those lusts seem to have the innate tendency to latch onto the mere sight of the natural body to feed off of, that sight is thought to be an automatic instigator of those lusts, and is therefore condemned and forbidden along with the lusts as if they were all one and the same together.
    I was raised to think that way, with the plan of maintaining my purity that thought pattern was impregnated thoroughly, and I was raised never seeing another naked person in my young life. But at the same time a lust compulsion/addiction arose and grew, mainly turning inward, self lust, which is also known as same sex compulsion. I fought it in my mind relentlessly, but without gaining victory. For over 30 years I contended with it. Until getting so dirty minded I despaired of ever gaining the victory myself, decided it would take a miracle of Divine power, so mentally tossed the whole mental mess in God’s lap and started asking Him to clean up my mind. Right away He started leading me on quite the shocking adventure of discovery. He taught me how the lack of conditioning to see the normal natural human body in common life had allowed the carnal lusts to rise and latch onto it. So all I needed to do was recondition my mind to see our naked selves as part of the normal background scene of life to be seen and passed by with little notice, and that would cause the lust driving part of my brain to also ignore it and stop throwing lust onto it. So I tried it out, and found that it really worked.

    It’s an element of the psychology of lust operation in our minds that has been missed. We’ve been getting it backwards. Overuse of clothing allows the lusts to rise, (same sex or opposite sex or both) and the lusts drive the clothing on all the more through our misunderstanding. Starting a self propagating cycle with no way out unless we recognise the cycle and break it. We can’t stop the lusts just by trying to control the thought process, I proved that doesn’t work. But we can do something about the clothing side of the cycle.

    As for the biblical scene. The whole premise of Christianity is the scene of the world beginning with mankind in naturist paradise, the sin and fall, the rescue from sin through Christ, and then in time the restoration of mankind to naturist paradise in the end. With one good example of God commanding a prophet to preach naked in the middle. Proving that even under the curse of sin, naked in public is not a moral crime. Isa 20. So with all that naturism as a intrinsic part of paradise lost and paradise restored, and the plan of salvation. I have to ask. Why do we call it evil in the mean time? God has showed me it’s not only not evil, the lack of naturism has been producing a whole lot of evil, and society sees the evil but fails to recognize what’s causing it to rise so prevalently.

    Now I know the Holy Spirit can just erase those carnal lusts instantly, and in some cases He does that, but when we are able to do something to help recondition our own minds out of the evil lusts, He will lead us to do it, and then He finishes the job after we’ve done all we can.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. rbmears

    Not only is this article inspiring, but all of the thoughtful comments as well. Several helped he to understand that we must define Christian naturism for those who don’t understand it. For us, being in a naturist state is merely an acknowledgement of the truth God pointed out, and ignoring the lie that God told us to ignore. God said “Who told you you were naked?” There is so much to unwrap there, and yet modern sermons never touch upon this important question from God.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. grovewarrior55

    Good thoughts and comments by all who have contributed. I am continuously drawn back to the Genesis account trying to make sense of what GOD is telling me and what Satan did to cause Adam and Eve to cover up, Satan’s power is huge and we are going against his first and probably his biggest attack on our GOD. I know that I am part of a small minority trying to make sense of something that in my brain and heart has made the decision to believe but that Satan and the majority of the world are telling me I am wrong. Being one of GOD’s people is no easy task. Thank you to all who have contributed to the conversation, it helps to know that there are others struggling with the same or similar thought processes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Steven Howatt

    “Words have meanings…” Well yes, they may have many meanings. I believe the Oxford English Dictionary at one time listed over 100 distinct meanings for the word “set”. Even more complicated is when words are combined in a phrase, such as “Christian naturism”, or “separation of church and state”. It is good not to assume the phrase is self-explanatory. Even the term “Christian” has by itself been so widely used and abused in society today that is really not distinctive in its meaning – many take it to mean “american”, or of “northern European descent”, rather than “Christ’s one” or “a follower of Christ”. Some would say anyone with faith is “christian”, even if that faith looks to Mohammad or Joseph Smith or Jehovah or elsewhere. Is it actually beneficial to combine those two terms, or counterproductive, as so much explanation for intent is necessary anyway for clarity on the idea?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steven Howatt

      If it is a function of the Spirit of God to lead us into all truth, why do you suppose that only the minds of some believers have been “cleansed from false beliefs” in these matters? As believers we have GREAT freedom, though not all things are profitable, yet the faith of so many to recognize the freedom that they have is so…stunted? Will God “cleanse” the mind of the unwilling believer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • jochanaan1

        Interesting question.

        It doesn’t seem that God will override our free will. So if a believer, despite loving God and knowing the Bible, refuses the knowledge we’ve found, God will not force it on him.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Steven Howatt

    I think that is a great answer. Also, a bit scary, in that I possibly have my own blindnesses/immaturities of faith in other areas, that I am not aware of but have not let God touch. Guess all I can do is ask God to open my eyes that I might see, and trust him with responding to genuine openness where it exists with illumination.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul B

      When God made clothes for Adam and Eve, one thing we miss is that he permitted them to wear clothes. I believe that he wants relationship with us so much that he’s prepared for us to come to him clothed if we wouldn’t come to him naked. I think it’s just another thing that points to the seriousness of their rebellion.

      I had a conversation, a few weekends ago with a local highschool art teacher. She made a comment that people dress to show who they are. My response was to gently suggest that people dress to hide who they are. Then a conversation began which started in Genesis where I tried to point her to the mismatch between society and the church’s condemnation of nakedness and what God says and does in the Bible. She commented on how art school showed her how wonderfully amazing the human body is. I wish I’d asked her what changed.

      Liked by 3 people

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