Who Hates Nudity… God or Satan?

This is a repost from our good friend, Matthew Neal at The Biblical Naturist blog. Used with permission.

Who hates nudity… God or Satan?

I’ll wager very few people have ever asked that question.

Is the answer obvious? I don’t think so.

The way things are in our culture today, you might quickly conclude that God hates nudity because it’s so closely associated with perversion and sexual sin.

On the other hand, you might assume that because it is such a powerful tool for sexual temptation, Satan simply loves nudity! “The best tool in my toolbox!” you can almost hear him brag.

Stop and Think About It…

Perhaps the answer isn’t that simple. And certainly the Bible would have something to say about it, right? Well, I believe there’s plenty of evidence in the Bible to tell us who hates nudity, and who doesn’t.

Let me start with God and give the biblical facts, then I’ll give the facts as they relate to Satan. A simple examination of all the facts should lead us to the right answer.

God’s View of Nudity

  • God Created mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).
    • God made us to look like Him; human beings are a divine “self-portrait.” (articles: 1 2 3)
    • Our image-bearing is utterly and completely unrelated to clothing. In other words, we are “in God’s Image” without clothes. Clothing contributes nothing to that fact.
    • God forbade murder for the very fact that our bodies are made in His image. Murder is the only destruction of the body (the soul and spirit are not destroyed) (Genesis 9:5).
  • God’s original design for human society was complete nudity (Genesis 2:25).
    • The creation, as God pronounced it (with the first couple completely nude) was “very good!” (Genesis 1:31)
    • Because God cannot change (Psalm 55:19), we must conclude that He considers the naked human body just as “good” now as He did before the fall. Man’s view of nudity certainly changed with the fall, but God’s view cannot and did not change.
  • The first overt evidence of sin in Adam’s life was the fact that he no longer accepted his own nudity as good and right (Genesis 3:6-7).
    • God’s question to Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” was not an affirmation, it was a rebuke (Genesis 3:11).
    • God’s next question—delivered without waiting for an answer to the first—was, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Adam’s rejection of his own nudity signified a rejection of God’s place of authority in his life.
  • God blessed the physical union of Adam and Eve, describing it as becoming “one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Through this union, He expected them to obey His command to “be fruitful and multiply.” (Genesis 1:28Genesis 9:1)
    • This plurality-expressed-as–a-unity (which may mirror the unity-in-plurality of the triune Godhead – Genesis 1:26 Genesis 2:24) literally requires the nudity of the man and the woman. God approves of and blesses the union (Proverbs 5:18); he must also approve of and bless the naked state through which it is experienced (Hebrews 13:4).
    • The fruit of the womb are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Every baby ever delivered has been born with the mother’s naked body exposed. Every baby ever born has been born completely naked. This blessed and joyful nakedness is by the hand of God.
  • In all of God’s Old Testament laws and in all of the New Testament instructions, never once has God declared animosity towards simple nudity.
    • All bathing and the elimination of body waste of necessity had to outdoors when the Law was given, yet God never told them to avoid the exposure of their bodies to others (All He told them was to make sure they buried their feces! – Deuteronomy 23:13).
    • God actually commanded one of His prophets to prophecy nude for three years (Isaiah 20:2-3). God could and would never lead a prophet to actually do something which He hated.
    • Jesus Himself—Who never sinned—was nude on multiple occasions in His life on earth (birth, circumcision, baptism, foot-washing- John 13:3-4, crucifixion- John 19:23-24, and resurrection- John 20:6-7).

Satan’s View of Nudity

  • Satan is opposed to God. That which God loves and blesses, Satan hates and distorts (Matthew 16:23).
  • Satan was not made in God’s image… only mankind was (Genesis 1:26-27).
    • Satan sinned because he wanted to be “like God” but could not (Isaiah 14:13-15). When God made mankind in His image, it gave man a likeness to God that Satan himself would never possess.
    • Satan is a murderer (John 8:44). Murder is the destruction of the human body (Matthew 10:28), which bears God’s image (Genesis 9:5).
  • The very first thing that Satan influenced Adam and Eve to do after they submitted to his will was to cover their naked bodies (Genesis 3:6-7).
    • Satan was the “who” of Who told you [Adam] that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11). While we are not told in the text that this is true, Satan is the only player in the entire story (God, Satan, Adam, or Eve) who had the knowledge and motivation to tell Adam that he was naked.
    • While Satan’s specific words to Adam and Eve after the fall are not recorded, we can be certain that he did not (and has not) from that moment forward been silent.
    • Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). He has exerted influence of deception on the thoughts and actions of all mankind ever since the fall (John 8:44).
  • Satan hates marriage and the beauty of marital sexual union.
    • Satan has sought to dismiss, dishonor, or destroy marriage since the beginning (as contrasted to God’s will stated in Hebrews 13:4).
    • Satan desires to distort and defile sexual union since the beginning (Genesis 6:1-5).
  • Satan has been fully and completely defeated by a naked Savior (John 16:11)!
    • Although Satan battered the naked body of our Lord almost beyond recognition (Isaiah 53:2-3), yet Jesus died without any sin of His own so that He could take all the sin of the world in His body on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:211 John 2:21 Peter 2:24).
    • Although Jesus lay clothed in the tomb for three days, He left every stitch of that clothing behind when He came out of the grave (John 20:6-7), bodily risen from the dead! This, indeed, was the final and fatal blow to Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15)!

So what’s the conclusion?

When you look at the biblical data above, it’s pretty clear that the one who hates the unclothed human form is not God, but Satan!

How Satan Treats Nudity

How does that biblical conclusion square with what we see in our world today? It appears that the only place you find nudity exposed today is within the domain of Satan’s work! Pornography, sexual immorality, sexual perversion, even Satanism and witchcraft all use nudity.

But think about it… that which someone loves, they protect, preserve, and honor. That which they hate, they abuse, destroy, and dishonor.This is true for no one more than it is for Satan.

Tell me… does pornography and sexual immorality protect the nude human body? Does perversion preserve the human body? Do occultic activities honor the unclothed human body? No, no, and no.

Satan exposes nudity within pornography to dishonor the body. He uses it to distort sexuality… to bring destruction to the body. He uses it to deceive us into rejecting the sight of God’s image as found in the unadorned human form. We—the church—have God’s Word… we should know better!

The World Bought it All

Satan’s efforts have been very successful.

  • He has caused almost all of society to spurn the public exposure of the naked human body.
  • He has so distorted our understanding of its exposure that we only see sexuality there, ignoring or completely denying the image of God.
  • He has so deftly crafted an impossible standard of “beauty” that young women learn almost universally to hate the look of their own bodies, considering them “ugly.”
  • He has managed to get us to believe that seeing the sags and wrinkles of aging human bodies is somehow “disgusting” and repulsive… something you don’t want to see in others, and which you don’t want seen in yourself.

This is the world’s view of the naked human body. And this is Satan’s work.

Satan hates the naked human body. And for millennia, we have followed in Adam’s footsteps, listening to Satan’s voice urging us to participate in his insult of the Creator. Even the Church has been duped into promoting this offense against God… treating it instead as if it were a sign of holiness.

Testimony of a Hostile Witness

Satan’s abuse of nudity is compelling evidence that he hates it. And (if the scriptures provided above weren’t enough), it is also compelling evidence that the nude human form is actually dear to the heart of God.

If Satan hates that which God loves, shouldn’t we love that which Satan hates?

But What About the Animal Skins?

I can’t finish this article without saying something about the skins God provided to Adam and Eve for clothing after the fall. Almost all non-naturist Christians point to that passage and use it to claim that “God really doesn’t want us to be naked now after all!”

Is that what the Bible says? Allow me to quote the account in its entirety:

“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

What do we learn from that brief account? Very little, actually. There is no command. There is no reason given. There is no proclamation of a shift in the divine perspective on the nature of nudity… although many people quote the verse as if there were.

Any and every understanding of why God gave them clothes must be “read into” the text, because the explanation of God’s purpose simply is not there! Quite frankly, alternative understandings actually fit the context better, but they too must be “read into” the account.

The only thing we can conclude for sure is that God does not object to clothing. But we would be in error if we allowed assumptions about God’s (unexplained!) action to overrule God’s clearly stated proclamation in reference to the Creation and its naked inhabitants before the fall. God never called the clothes, “very good.” Only nudity was ever described that way (Genesis 1:26-27,31Genesis 2:25).

I See a Problem…

So… God looked at nudity and said “Very Good!”

Satan looked at nudity and said, “Very Bad!”

The Church today looks at nudity and says, “Very Bad!”

Do you see a problem here?

Matthew Neal


Read the original post and more great content at The Biblical Naturist blog.

Myths of the Naked Body

The following is a repost from a friend named Randy. Used with permission.

In the West, particularly in the United States, society has been convinced over time to accept several myths about naked bodies as truths. The acceptance of these myths as truth has lead to a myriad of issues, but those issues are another discussion. Most of these myths are derived from well meaning members of the Christian church over the last couple of centuries. Like the well meaning Pharisees of Jesus’ time who used man made rules to try to keep from breaking the commandments, many Christian use these myths the same way — as truths to try to keep themselves and others from sinning. Some of these myths are loosely based on scripture others are just based on speculation.

Myth One

Naked Bodies are Not Natural. This one is largely based on tradition. They reason and argue that clothing and covering the body is the way it has always been. Many go so far as to believe that clothing is what separates us from the animals and is the beginning of a “civilized” society. After all, you never hear of anyone in “civilized” society growing up naked. It only happens with “those savages,” “those naked savages.” Yet, after man was created, naked by the way, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NAS95). “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25 NAS95). God never changed his mind.

“If people were meant to be nude, they would have been born this way.” — Oscar Wilde

But that has not stopped the Church from pushing the second myth.

Myth Two

Naked Bodies were/are Commanded to be Hidden by God. Many people look at the passage in Genesis where God provides skins to Adam and Eve as proof that God wants clothed humans. In reality, Adam and Eve started it, not God. They are the ones who created clothing for themselves. They are the ones who invented clothing. “They sewed fig leaves together and they made themselves loin coverings”(Genesis 3:7 NAS95).

They sewed leaves together, who does that? In our current age hunters and snipers come to mind first. Why did they cover themselves? Were they hiding from other people? Who, since only they existed? From each other? From the animals? Maybe from the serpent? Or from God? Up until this point they had walked naked with God in the Garden. Now, Adam and Eve have made camouflage and are actively hiding from God. But, why? Why did they decide that they needed to hide from God? Again, these questions need more exploration, but now is not the time.

As the story progresses God asks the question, “Who told you that you were naked?” Reading between the lines we can expand the question, “Naked? I never said anything about you being naked. Who told you that you were naked?” In the book Uncovering the Image, Bob Horrocks points out that this question God did not, even as Adam and Eve had covered themselves, see their nakedness as a problem.

Yet, God does provide our first parents with skins of animals, surely that means we are to cover ourselves at all times. Paul Bowman postulates:

“It is reasonable to believe that if God had actually condemned nakedness he would have told Adam that, because he had sinned, he was no longer free to be naked and unashamed of his body, After all, God did decree several consequences of the sin they committed.” (Nakedness and the Bible)

Bowman goes on to point out that immediately following God giving them skins, he banishes them from Eden, and sets a guard so they cannot return. Why garments of animals skins outside the garden? We must look at one of the consequences of their sin:

“cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:17–19 ESV)

It appears to me that this wasn’t and act to cover their sinful flesh but another of God’s acts of love toward his beloved creation, partial protection from the environment that was cursed because of them. There is also the belief in many circles that the animal skins were a foreshadowing of the shedding of Christs blood for our sins. Bowman also rightfully points out, If God had given Adam and Eve clothes intended to conceal their bodies — new and improved clothes at that — it would have been a ratification of their efforts to conceal their sin! It is unthinkable that God would ever reward sin, or even reward any efforts made to conceal the results of sinful behavior.”

Myth Three

Naked Bodies are Aways Sexual. Really? We are born naked, not sexual and Job says we return naked, not sexual. Bathing is typically done naked and is normally not sexual. Physical exams and surgery are at least partially if not totally naked, and definitely not sexual. Additionally, throughout the history of the world there have been many naked societies. If naked bodies were always sexual those societies would not have been able to exist because of twenty-four-hour-a-day sexual activities. Our western culture has driven and continues to drive the sexualization of the naked body. “Actually, the loin cloth on an otherwise naked body does call direct attention to the covered area, and it would therefore very likely create titillation by its removal in a sexual situation. On the other hand, observations of daily Life among naked tribes indicate the sight of genitalia in Nude society is not in itself erotic”, Aileen Goodson. “Complete nudity in itself is not erotic. It becomes so only when preceded by or contrasted to a state of dress. In this limited context then, all clothes become somewhat immoral, if we define immorality as inciting sexual interest. Habitual nakedness may indeed be capable of elevating man to a higher mental plane…” Dr. Marylnn J. Horn, “The Second Skin: An Interdisciplinary Study of Clothing”. Dr. Horn goes on to say, “It is the undressing, not the being nude, that is sexually arousing, because it leads the viewer to the association of a sexually intimate experience.”

Myth Four

Naked Bodies are Obscene or “Gross I don’t want to see that.” If humans are created in the image of God then this statement are a spit in the face of our creator. “How is it possible for the human body, which was created in the image of God, to be offensive to anybody? Satan would love to see God’s greatest creation be considered offensive”, (unfortunately, I have misplaced the reference for this quote). Our society is currently in a body image crisis. We see it in the way we treat our bodies from eating disorders to body modifications. Liz Egger laments, “As a naturist myself I find it astonishing that a religion can worship a particular deity yet regard its most miraculous creation – the human body – as obscene and wicked and so shameful that it should be hidden from view.” David Hatton rightly opines, “When people teach that the human body is dirty or obscene, it creates fertile ground for pornography. This is why porn addiction is so strong in our society, even among Christians. Our culture is inundated with a sexualized view of the body. I’m sorry to say that the church has been a key player in spreading that idea.” We need throw off the obscene view of our naked bodies and return to a healthy view of the naked human our form. We were created in the image of God, with penises, scrotums and a broader shoulders or with vulvas, vaginas wider hips and larger breasts. Beautifully made in our differences and similarities.

Myth Five

Naked Bodies Harm Children. Let’s be clear upfront. We are discussing NONSEXUAL nakedness. We have already pointed out that not all Nakedness is sexual.

There are not enough studies on the effects of exposing children to nonsexual nudity. Most of the child development experts, e.g. Dr. Spock, Dr. Brothers, and Dr. Dodson to name a few, have laid out the arguments against exposure to nakedness without any studies to back them up let alone justify their conjecture and opinions. Dennis C. Craig and Dr. William Sparks engaged in a five year study to explore how exposure to nudity affects children. Here are their own conclusions:

“The experts seem to agree that a child should not be overstimulated sexually. Since we consider that wise, we raise a few questions: Is it more detrimental to emotional growth to spend “all ones waking hours” attempting to see the hidden bodies of others than to be raised in a physically open family situation where nudity is taken for granted? Is it not possible that the child who casually learns about other people’s bodies has more time to spend on studies and other pursuits?”

“The experts warn about the terrible guilts and frustrations which will develop in a child exposed to nudity… We found normal childhood problems of adjustment, but we also found a group of adults seemingly satisfied with themselves, and very willing to raise their children as they were raised, with nakedness as part of their every day lives.”

“We were told that when children saw their parents nude , they would be overstimulated… But when we spoke to the adults who grew up in a nudist environment, we were told that it was more stimulating for them to goto a regular beach, where everyone wore suits, however small, than to play volleyball or sun at a nudist park where everyone wore nothing…”

“Without previous studies on which to base their conclusions, the experts told us that children, especially during the years from nine to thirteen, should not be allowed to see their parents nude because it would be harmful to them. It seems clear to us, now, after five years of study that this unfounded bias and conjecture has been very misleading. But, more than that, it has caused real harm to more than one generation of American children.”

“We live in a time when the human anatomy is examined, extolled, studied, and lectured about, and at the very same moment is also exploited, ridiculed, and excluded from social acceptance. We insult ourselves by calling our bodies obscene, pornographic, lewd, base, dirty, immoral, or evil, and in so doing deny the basic truth of our own existence. Our anatomy is us— and it is none of those terrible things.”

“There are some families who have learned what Margaret Mead and others were trying to tell us about the need for understanding our natures and not hating our physiology. These singular adults have created in their children individuals more resistant to the negativism of our modern society. They seem at ease with the rigors of living together in a society dependent, sours is, on our ability to relate to one another with love and understanding.”

“What we learned was that the viewing of the unclothed human body , far from being destructive to the psyche, seems to be either benign and totally harmless or to actually provide positive benefits to the individual involved.”

—Dennis Craig Smith and Dr. William Sparks, Growing Up Without Shame.

There are a few, very few, other studies out there that have taken on this issue and similarly concluded that nakedness harming children is in fact a myth and that exposure to real human bodies in a nonsexual setting can potentially be beneficial.

“The existence in so many places of the tendency toward nudity is not a testimony to the fallenness of man. It is rather a testimony of the original condition of man … The inner desire to be naked and unashamed is a longing to get back to our original perfection.” — Philo Thelos

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!

Who Knew?

Some online naturist friends from Twitter have been featured by various news outlets recently for wanting to spend Christmas nude. I made the mistake of reading several of the comments under some of their stories. In a way, I’m glad I did, however. I knew a negative bias exists against naturists, since I once held those very antagonistic beliefs. But after years of being more open minded and free in my views, I needed a reminder of the pervasive ignorance that is out there, and these comments emphasized this point and then some. This is another reason Aching for Eden exists and why I have enjoyed reading from the relatively small niche of naturist fiction books. They are doing what they can to offer a level-headed and accurate portrayal of what naturism actually is. It is not at all what the general public thinks or imagines it might be. Naturist fiction is a great way to normalize naturism against the tide of popular opinion.

We’ve reviewed a few different books and authors on this blog (here, here, and here). Over the holidays, I got to read another book that I had preordered on kindle and just came out. That is the subject of this quick review.

“Who Knew?” by Rowland Jr. was a pleasant Christmas treat. According to the about the author page, “Rowland Jr was a former University Professor, who in early life lived and worked in numerous locations around the world. Still working into his late seventies right up until his death in March of 2021, even attending conferences worldwide when his expertise and knowledge were required, he wrote profusely on many subjects, both fiction and non-fiction and on many fora. He was a published author, and a devoted and blissfully happy husband and proud father with an unshakable faith. He loved books and buying books, was a cheese connoisseur with a fascination for ravens and a love of naturism.” This story was first published in 2016 on naturist-Christians, but in this form this year. I did not know Rowland Jr. while he was alive, but I very much appreciate his offering into this much needed space of both information and inspiration.

Going back to the intro of this post, the stories and situations in this book, though fictional, could come from real life. As a naturist, I can relate and envision how these scenarios in the book could play out in my own relationships or acquaintances. There are accurate portrayals of the knee jerk reactions of people who are outside of the know when they hear about naturism for the first time. This is a lot like the ignorant comments I mentioned before on Twitter. What I love about naturist fiction is the affirmation of my own beliefs manifested in other characters and their interactions with others. It gives me a good sense of relief in knowing, “I’m not crazy!” Left to the crowd-sourced opinions of most everybody, you’d be left to assume that we are all crazy. However, when you really study what naturism actually is, those opinions are shown to be the actual crazy positions. In naturist fiction like “Who Knew?” and others, young people who are from naturist families prove to be more well adjusted in life over their non-naturist counterparts. The craziness of naturism becomes the better philosophy over the common alternative of body shame and squeamishness. 

“Who Knew?” is a nice story with several interesting characters and plot points. As a naturist, it’s a delight to read. What’s more? As a Christian naturist, the scenes depicting Christians who are also naturists are entirely relatable. What seems so outlandish to so many becomes humorous to those in the know. In “Who Knew?” there are pastors and deacons and church leaders who happen to enjoy the freedom of clothes free living from time to time. In real life, the same is true. Who knew?

There are also those whose practice of religion forbids them from ever entertaining the idea, let alone studying to see how it reconciles with God’s original intent in scripture. In “Who Knew?” and in real life, it’s their loss.

One more pleasant surprise in this Kindle volume, is the original artwork done by Ben Nijssen throughout the book. Get your own copy today.

Click the image to see on Amazon.

You may also read about other fiction featured on this blog:

Chain Breakers by R. B. Mears

Muse by David L. Hatton

Novels by D. H. Jonathan

Black’s Beach Hang Glider

How I went from a circumspect life to running around in my backyard in the nude.

This is a guest post, and a wonderful story from a new online friend, Chuck Douglas.

I believe our cultural and/or religious inculcation to avoid nudity or being seen nude, or seeing others nude, runs very deep for most people. Overcoming that, assuming one wishes to, isn’t quick or easy and even if we wish to, still isn’t easy. Most people are raised to believe that being nude is only about sex or bathing or maybe at the doctor’s office so social nudity runs against a lifetime of training for most of us. My parents were Mennonites-turned-Baptists and I was raised accordingly. Sex or nudity was a nearly forbidden topic and surely those people who were nudists could only be perverts. Because I was raised so strictly — movie theaters were places of sin and I never entered one until I was about age 17 — that I should develop a predilection for naturism seemed unlikely.

My interest in naturism did happen to begin in a rather unlikely way. Growing up under my parent’s strict rules I happily left home at 19 to embrace fun in whatever form would give me a rush. I had no taste for drugs and not much for booze, adrenaline was much better and legal.  About a month after leaving home I bought a motorcycle and went motocross racing and later became deeply involved in the new sport of hang gliding.  When I was young I’d give most things a go, dangerous or not.

Long about 1974 or ’75 I was at Torrey Pines State Park in San Diego to fly my hang glider. I was an early adopter of the sport of hang gliding and Torrey with its 400ft cliffs facing into the ocean breeze was a great place to fly. Below the cliffs was the well-known Black’s Beach, then an unofficial nude beach. I’d known since high school that there was a nude beach way down there below us but I had little thought to explore the possibilities.

A bit after taking flight from the top of Torrey Pines, the wind slacked, and my hang glider lost enough altitude that I couldn’t land back on top of the cliff. Black’s Beach here I come! Now, I still hadn’t really thought about the reality of landing on a nude beach, just the details of landing on a crowded beach.  As I cruised in for a landing a number of people moved aside for me.  I landed, put down my hang glider, and some guy stark naked walked up to me and said “Those things are far out! How much do they cost?!” I replied, “Doesn’t look like you can even afford a bathing suit let alone a hang glider!” He laughed and asked more questions. Then a very attractive young woman, totally nude >gulp<, walked over smiling and started asking questions about hang gliding.  Hang gliding was new back then so it always attracted some attention when you flew and the location of a nude beach was no exception. More naked people gathered around the glider talking and asking questions as I set about folding up my glider.  To say I was distracted by all the naked women around me would be an understatement. Up to that moment at age 23, I’d never seen another naked woman in person apart from my wife.  I was enough of a gentleman to try not to stare but it was tough not to grab more glances than I should.  But people were so polite, so friendly and a few suggested I shuck off my clothes and join their beach party. Perfect strangers invited me to their beach party! I grew up in California and no beach I’d ever been to was as friendly as that one. I noticed after a bit, too, that there was no “rocket in my pocket” as I might have expected. How can you be around so many naked people of the opposite sex and not be aroused? Had I been overwhelmed and struck impotent by a nude beach? It was puzzlement and my first inkling that nudism isn’t about sex.

Normally, packing up a hang glider back then was a 5-minute job but I took about 45 minutes that day do to the many distractions. The cliff path is a bit of a challenge anyway and I wasn’t anxious to start that trek. Carrying an 18ft long, 35lb hang glider doubled the effort.  Someone kindly offered me a cold soda.  More conversations and more trying not to stare.

I came away feeling that the nude beach scene was something special, something I’d like to try again.  I was a risk taker so to me it was one more risk, less dangerous than flying from a 400ft cliff. A couple of days later I went back to Black’s Beach sans hang glider and hiked the long, sketchy path down the cliff to the beach.  I found a reasonable spot on the sand not too close to anyone else and threw down a beach towel, took a gulp of air, and took off all my clothes. Suddenly everyone on the beach stopped what they were doing and looked at me laughing and pointing! Okay, no, no they didn’t. No one noticed one more naked person on the beach. Turns out there was nothing more amazing about my body than anyone else’s body, nor anything uglier or weirder. I was and am pleasantly average.

I knew, lacking sunscreen or shade, I couldn’t stay long on the beach. I hadn’t planned well.  I lay out there for about 40 minutes, going in the ocean once, fully afraid that I’d be grabbed by a shark or an orca and the news would be screaming “Conservative Christian Man Killed By Orca At NUDE Beach!” Everyone I knew, my wife, parents, friends, and pastors, would KNOW what I’d done! I’d been nude in public. I’d watched naked coeds from the university nearby play volleyball. Worse, total strangers had seen my willy! Horrors! No sharks or orcas grabbed me, though, so once I relaxed a bit more it felt wonderful to be in the water. Out of the water, I got dressed for the rather arduous trek back up the cliffs. I had much to think about the rest of the day and indeed, over the next 35 years or so.

I really wanted to get involved in visiting a nude beach again but the woman I was married to back then absolutely refused to consider it. Subject not open for discussion. I pushed naturism out of my mind for the next three decades or so aside from an occasional nighttime skinny dip in my own swimming pool. When I found myself single again in 2000 and living in Arizona, I decided to at least work on getting some tan on my white body, and shape up a bit to be presentable as a single person. I worked outdoors a lot so I had a nice “farmer suntan” with a brown face and arms and a pasty white body. I begin laying nude in the walled backyard of my new home getting a bit of an all-over tan.  I connected with a local naturist group but that never really went anywhere.Time moves on and recently the bug to be nude again struck me, in part because I’m now married to a lovely woman who is at least willing to be naked on our patio and in our backyard. We are talking about visiting a nude beach or resort on vacation next year and I’m very hopeful about that. I’ve been mostly nude around the house during the late summer and in the backyard, too. Our backyard is semi-private and on the days our next-door neighbors work, I’m more or less free to lay out nude or water plants around the yard. I may even mow the yard naked one of these days. It’s a long way, 47 years, since my unexpected airborne arrival at Black’s Beach and yet I feel like the fun part of the journey is just beginning and this time with my lovely wife’s support.

A Word About the Author

This short post is to explain a bit about how we arrived at the names we use on this site and online. I’m working on a book which will most likely be released under the name Phillip Oak. Here is a short piece that may become Appendix I in the book.


Phillip Oak is a pseudonym as the ideas in this book can be so easily misconstrued. The author longs for the day, if it ever comes, when attitudes toward the body change in a more wholesome way. Repentance and renewal is needed for this to happen, as it has in his own life and that of his wife.

As they branched out together into new territory, the tragic need for a moniker came up right away. He chose a random name, not his own, Phil. A location to meet up with others, and hence share his real name was provided in Oklahoma, so his online handle became Phil Okie along with the email ok_phil80@mail.com (which you are free to write). When moving to a social network that was more friendly toward these ideas, he changed his profile name to Phil Okay. Someone quickly pointed out that he liked the play on words in that name, as if you “feel ok” especially in your own skin. A happy accident, but true nonetheless.

When the blog Aching For Eden was started, the names selected were simply Phil O. and Mrs. Phil. For the book, however, a stronger and more full name felt needed, one with deeper meaning.

Philip the evangelist is a New Testament character to both admire and emulate. He was one of the first seven deacons, chosen to serve because they were “full of faith and the Holy Spirit“ (Acts 6:5). His dependence on the Spirit led to a fruitful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:5-8). His most notable encounter was with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. He explained the Scriptures in a clearer way in the light of Christ, which resulted in an immediate baptism with this prominent official from a far away land. Like that Philip, this Phillip also wants to depend on the Spirit and help to open up eyes toward the end of a clearer understanding of Scripture in the light of Christ’s finished work on the cross. It is in his power that we should desire to operate and like Philip in Acts, later be carried to our next assignment.

Oak, as a surname, carries a strong symbolism as well. Isaiah 61 is a powerful chapter that Jesus reads in the hometown synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4:16-30. He starts his ministry by laying out his mission, which includes proclaiming liberty to the captives. As the bondages of lust and body shame have once tormented the author of this book and his wife, through Jesus, their broken hearts have been healed and they’ve  both been surprised into freedom. This is very much good news! Now they want to continue Christ’s ministry on earth, opening the eyes of those blinded in the same ways. 

Later, Isaiah promises beauty for ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. These are pleasant realities after overcoming such captivity and choosing liberty instead. Then verse 3 continues saying, “…that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3 ESV) It’s this Christian couple’s great desire to glorify the Lord as an oak of righteousness and to see a forest of the same emerge. 

The oak tree also happens to have some of the deepest roots. When other trees bend and break during storms the mighty oak often remains standing tall, for it is deeply rooted. It’s in this rootedness of what the Bible actually says, not what our culture has taken it to mean, that they aim to withstand the storms of the negative bias of cultural religious taboos. Their own thinking had to change, and grow deep roots in the truth of the word of God alone, not the tradition of men.

Something else, something absolutely beautiful also comes to mind when thinking about this passage. The oaks of righteousness stand in stark contrast to the Asherah poles and other markers erected to false gods. What used to be meant as instruments of wickedness, are now used for righteousness (see Romans 6). Once slaves to sin, we can now be servants of righteousness. Unwanted sexual lust and poor body image are two deadly forms of idolatry, that at their very core end up worshipping created things instead of the creator (Romans 1:25). It is to exchange the truth of God for a lie. For Phillip Oak and Mrs. Phil, this will not be so. Not ever again! And for you, dear reader, may you have the same life changing experience. May the words of John 8:32 be true for you, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 KJV) 


(AS A BONUS, HERE’S A SNEAK PEAK OF A POSSIBLE BOOK COVER.)

Coming Out to a Loved One

This is an example of a conversation you could have with a loved one. Many naturists, us included, are “closeted” (to borrow popular terminology) and have moments when they are required to “come out of the closet” to their closest family and friends, at the very least. While each conversation should be from the heart and not following a script, I want to provide this sample to give just a few ideas that could then be tailored to a specific situation and person with whom you are speaking.

I recall doing this with Mrs. Phil, over three years now. I had prepared some notes to keep my thoughts in line. I was so nervous, but spoke from the heart, and maybe you know the story. If not, you can read about it in the beginning. We’ve both learned a lot more in the last few years, but most of the message remains the same.

Here is what a conversation from a Christian perspective might look like. In fact, I probably need to have this type of talk with a few people soon.


Me: Hey friends. Thanks for sitting down with us. You know we greatly value our friendship and trust you guys. It’s because of our close relationship that we want to let you know some things about us that you weren’t aware of before. You know that we’ve grown in our beliefs about God and life in the last few years, but you don’t know the whole story. One of the areas where we’ve drastically changed our beliefs is when it comes to the body and how we view the human body. So, I’m just going to rip the bandaid off and let the chips fall down where they may, and tell you that we now consider ourselves Christian naturists. 

Them: Naturist? I’m not even sure I know what that means. Is it bird watching? What’s that have to do with the body?

Me: I thought maybe you wouldn’t know the term. Saying it another way, we are nudists. Like, we go to nudist or naturist resorts and nude beaches and stuff. When we went to Idaho a while back, it was to enjoy natural hot springs in the buff with other people of a like mind.

Them: Whoa! OK, this is not at all what I expected. That sounds incredibly dangerous and I’m not sure how you reconcile that with your faith.

Me: I know it’s a bit out there! But it’s a good thing not to judge something you don’t understand. Believe me, I’ve been right where you are, thinking it’d be an oxymoron for a Christian to be a nudist or even a naturist. I thought they were out there rationalizing their own perverted behavior. But then I studied it more, and got to know some, and found it to be the complete opposite. That was projection on my part. I was the one with perverted thinking, having been conditioned like the rest of society, to immediately and always tie sex to nudity. 

We don’t see the simple nude as rude, lewd, or obscene in and of itself. In the same way that a naked tribe would think nothing of it, or in pioneer days, bathing in a stream, or nude baptisms for the first few centuries, which is an often forgotten practice. Even our Lord, Jesus Christ was publicly naked in key moments of his ministry. His birth, baptism, the washing of feet, his cruxifixction, and resurrection, leaving burial cloths behind and being mistaken for a gardener who worked without ever soiling the expensive clothes of that day. 

It was Pope John Paul II that said, “There are circumstances in which nakedness is not immodest. If someone takes advantage of such an occasion to treat the person as an object of enjoyment (even if his action is purely internal) it is only he who is guilty of shamelessness, not the other…Sexual modesty cannot then in any simple way be identified with the use of clothing, nor shamelessness with the absence of clothing and total or partial nakedness…Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person, when its aim is to arouse concupiscence, as a result of which the person is put in the position of an object for enjoyment…There are certain objective situations is which even total nudity of the body is not immodest.”1

His Theology of the Body is relatively unknown in protestant circles, but very important to consider and understand. It goes to show that our ideas of modesty are off base and unhelpful, and the wake of purity culture is all the evidence that’s needed to make this point.

Sin is in the mind before any activity. We must have renewed minds. You can lust in a fully clothed situation, and you can also not lust in a nude one.

Now we not only believe you can have and enjoy non-sexual nudity in mixed company, but we have had incredible experiences for years with these types of situations, and never had a problem. In fact, we’ve had rich moments of spiritual encouragement with other Christian naturists that have enhanced our faith. That level of vulnerability is so rare. It’s stripped of any pretense and gets right down to the heart level when there is literally nothing to hide.

Them: Wow. I have so many questions. Let me ask a very personal one: you don’t get aroused at these places?

Me: No. That seems to be everyone’s fear at the beginning. It’s amazing how “normal” it becomes when everyone is nude, doing normal things we would normally be doing clothed. 

Them: I guess that’s cool. You’d mentioned to us before that you used to have issues with pornography and that you don’t anymore. Did you just replace porn with being around actual naked bodies? I’m just trying to wrap my head around this bombshell.

Me: Great question, and I’m so glad you asked it. My desire for porn has vanished, in large part due to my experience with exposure to simple non-sexual wholesome nudity. And I’m certainly not alone in that. Thousands of other men and women who had porn compulsions have overcome this, and one of the main catalysts for change for them has been embracing the philosophies of naturism. You know we’ve been talking publicly about “Imago Dei” and the image of God. This explains why it’s become part of our every day language. That original intent of God’s is now deeply embedded in us. You might think we can never have such a utopia this side of heaven, but we long for the restoration of innocence and all the wrongs being made new again. We ache for the ideal that was Eden. The world isn’t going to get it, but we at least can and we do.

We would be adamantly against anything that degrades and dehumanizes another human being. We are against any objectification of any kind. Since making they shift in our minds, we see objectifying behavior rampant in the fully clothed or textile world. We opt to choose love over lust at all times.

It must be stated that we believe the notion that is so common in Christian books, teachings, and conferences, that all men are visual and can’t help themselves but to react sexually to visual stimuli is a lie that must be rejected. It has caused much of the very problem it set out to address. Jesus said it is a matter of the heart, not the eyes. 

Them: It’s starting to make a bit more sense, and I’ve stopped seeing you as crazy the more I hear you talk. What else has this new belief taught you?

Me: Well, it’s a new belief to us, but it’s an old one, the oldest. We see it as God’s original intent. Many Christians seem to have their starting point from Genesis 3 and the fall, skipping right over Genesis 1 and 2, where God created humans as the pinnacle of all creation, naked and unashamed, and called it not just good, but very good. The nude human is literally the crowning glory of creation, beautiful as a sunrise. Seeing it this way changes everything. Then notice it was sinful man that created clothing, when they tried to sew fig leaves to cover up. The text says it was out of fear, not shame. When they tell God they were naked (a term unfamiliar to them before eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil) God asks them, “Who said you were naked?” Have you ever thought about that question? Or have you glossed over it like I used to? Who’s the only other character in the story that could have been influencing their thinking with lies? Yeah, the serpent. Evil still speaks all sorts of lies, and when we agree with them, bad things happen.

Them: You are literally blowing my mind right now, but I’m starting to see some things I’ve never even considered before.

Me: Exactly. We’ve found many benefits. Not just for the body, but also for the mind, the soul and spirit. When we are naked in nature, we feel grounded and connected to our Creator at a deep level. It’s a very spiritual experience, not unlike the prophets of old. Isaiah was ordered by God to walk completely naked for three years. When Saul stripped down in public, people asked if he was now among the prophets. Common nudity was normal back in Bible times. We are so incredibly private now. Ask any nurse who has seen lots of non-sexual nudity if it’s a big deal for them, and they’ll tell you it’s not.

Them: I remember now one time at a wedding you said your advice to the new couple was “sleep naked.” We thought that was funny and crazy, but you were serious!

Me: Oh yes! When you let the body breathe as it’s supposed to, there are many health benefits. It’s also the most effective stress reliever I know of. My mental health has greatly improved through this practice. It has a healing effect that’s well documented. Whether it’s anxiety or even PTSD, naturism has helped millions of people around the world. One of the greatest things has been overcoming the body shame that is heaped onto us today from the earliest of ages. Now we are so much less judgmental and see everyone as God sees them, fearfully and wonderfully made, beautiful, made in his image and worthy of respect and dignity. I mean, my wife would tell you that she’s gone from always thinking she was fat and prideful to seeing herself as beautiful and holy. That transformation cannot be understated. She lived with poor self esteem for most of her life, and the body acceptance that comes through naturism is unrivaled in countering this cultural baggage and giving body shame a death blow, like it did with me and porn.

Them: I can’t believe this! My jaw is like on the ground right now. But thank you for trusting me with this.

Me: No, thank you for being the type of friend we can open up to about this. You see, we’ve wanted to tell you this about us for some time now. But we realize how misunderstandings can cause friendships to end, and we didn’t want to risk losing our friendship. That sounds negative, but we want to share this with you because we don’t see it as a negative at all. It’s a positive thing, in so many ways, and we want you to know the whole truth. The naked truth, unvarnished. We are still the same people you know and love. We believe from the bottom of our hearts that this change in thinking has made us better versions of ourselves, better Christians, and better people as a result.

Them: That’s really cool. But I’ve gotta ask, what about the kids?

Me: Here’s one of those misunderstandings that can take place. These resorts we’ve gone to are actually family-friendly. There are people of all ages, all naked as created running around, skinny dipping, playing volleyball and pickleball and hiking, etc. Kids that grow up with all of that don’t have as many of the hangups about the body as those who don’t. Think about it, when we are so private and awkward about having matter of fact dialogue about the body and body parts and the like, they are going to learn about sex from their friends. I would rather teach them myself then have them be curious and turn to immature kids for their sex education. Just a little research shows that this can have a very positive effect on children. So at home, we actually will be around the home “comfortable” even down to nothing. Our youngest daughter has gone with us to resorts and gatherings. It’s been good for our boys to see what a real female body is in their mother, and not just the airbrushed models that Hollywood and Madison Avenue endlessly promote. It’s helped them too with their own issues of lust at their delicate age.

Them: Interesting. That’s a lot to take in. Not that I’m wanting to join you and try this, but how would I learn more?

Me: Well, that’s the last thing I’d like to tell you about. Since we’ve been doing this for years, we have started a blog to help people reconcile their faith with naturism. It’s called Aching For Eden, and there is a bunch on there, as well as a resource page with tons of information to explore. 


Now I realize that this is a best case scenario, and that is sometimes not the case. We haven’t had the liberty yet to tell a lot of people, but with everyone we have talked to, it has gone remarkably well. I have friends who would testify that it’s not always the case. It’s important to be careful about who you share with and how you do it, always relying, of course, on the promptings of the spirit. I hope that everyone we open up to will be understanding and not judge without further exploration into a largely unknown subject. The strategy should be continually bathed in prayer and in love.

1John Paul II, Love and Responsibility (London: HarperCollins, 1981) quoting from the section “The Metaphysics of Shame,’ in order from: p 190, p176, p 190, p 191.

Are They Compatible?

The following is a review of the booklet “Naturism and Christianity: Are They Compatible?” by Karen Gorham and Dave Leal. The authors start with a great question which is simply, “Can Christians be naturists?” I’m glad they asked this question and had the courage to do so, especially since they are biblical scholars. I have not seen many touch the topic even with the proverbial ten foot pole. Gorham and Leal approach the topic from a scholarly point of view, lending, I suppose, an extra dose of credence to their findings. 

I like the second question even better when they ask, “Might it even be the case that Christians ought to be naturists?” They go on to say, “Our primary purpose in writing this booklet has been to investigate the extent to which naturism is consistent with Christian faith. However, in the course of the investigation we will see reasons why Christians might be more than just tolerant of naturism, but might actually see something of positive value in it.” I would unapologetically place myself within the confines of that claim. I don’t need to read the rest of the booklet to investigate it any further, but most of Christendom should. The claim would sound insane to many friends of mine within the faith.

The second section is a brief history of naturism because, as stated, it’s largely unknown in Christian circles. While not exhaustive, it’s a welcome addition to this “investigation.” It then goes into a brief but fair treatment of the meaning of “nakedness” in Scripture and in Christian tradition. There are several great nuggets in these sections, such as these: 

“Christian historian Roy Bowen Ward notes that ‘Christian morality did not originally preclude nudity… There is a tendency to read history backward and assume that early Christians thought the same way mainstream Christians do today. We attribute the present to the past.’” (page 11)

“For the first several centuries of Christianity, it was the custom to baptize men, women and children together nude… the accounts are numerous and detailed.” (page 11)

“The negative attitude to physical nakedness grew out of a mixture of Christinity and a legalistic tendency within traditional Judaism.” (page 11)

“In 4th century Antioch, as in many late classical cities, nudity had remained a fact of life.” (page 12)

“The new sensibility to the body and to nudity demonstrates a change in the collective imagination of the ancient world. Late Roman codes of upper-class dress made the social status of their wearers more blatant than ever before. In doing so, they carefully sheathed the body itself. Emperors no longer showed their power by posing in the nude… high born or low, emperor or beggar, all were formed from the self-same stuff.” (pages 12-13)

We see how things were, and how they slowly began to change.

“Nudity was fairly common in medieval and renaissance society, especially in the public baths and within the family setting. Lawrence Wright observes that ‘The communal tub had…one good reason; the good reason was the physical difficulty of providing hot water. The whole family and their guests would bathe together while the water was hot…Ideas of property were different from ours, the whole household and the guests shared the one and only sleeping apartment and wore no night clothes until the sixteenth century. It was not necessarily rude to be nude.’” (page 14)

A myriad of sources are quoted as careful research paints a picture of the realities of history. Then the booklet transitions into an examination of Naturism. It espouses that, “It is a way of life in which shame and fear of nakedness have no part, but also one in which clothing has a clear function (for protecting against cold, to give just one obvious example).” (page 15)

“The non-naturist sees nudity as almost pornographic, where the naturist sees it as an integrated element of a natural lifestyle.” (page 15)

“…the connection of nakedness and sex, though it may seem inescapable, need not necessarily be so.” (page 17)

“Naturism is clearly very different from the nudity portrayed in magazines, newspapers, video and television. It is not for titillation. Mass nudity is far from erotic. Uncovered genitalia do not lead to an inability to control sexual urges. Nor does clothing prevent rape or assault, or hinder amorous advances. As a naturist once described, ‘There are no orgies, men have no trouble keeping their penises under control, women don’t have to fight off hoards of assailants… Boring isn’t it? But what you find is a greater sense of freedom, more willingness to converse, more willingness to help those in trouble and a greater sense of fun.’” (pages 18-19)

I really identified with certain parts of this section.

“…many naturists have no problem being open about their Christianity with other naturists. However, they cannot be as open about their naturism with other Christians without experiencing or fearing hostility and ostracism.” (page 19)

“Naturists present a kind of acceptance of their bodies not much in evidence in today’s society, but something which is compatible with the Christian faith. A Christian naturist writes, ‘God certainly asks us to accept ourselves and our bodies as he made them. He must wonder at the sense of guilt in his creation turning good into bad, a source of joy into a source of misery.’ Another remarks: ‘It certainly isn’t naturism that I find incompatible with Chrstianity, but shame about our bodies to me sits uneasy with knowing the God whose creation is good beyond measure. God gave us our bodies to live in and to enjoy. He gave us our sexuality too to take delight in. He gave us our intelligence so that we might know how to enjoy and not to abuse both.’” (page 19)

Some other issues like the acceptability of these ideals and body taboo inconsistencies, standards of beauty and others are discussed in the final pages. The mental health benefits are weighed against the neurotic behavior that we call normal today. To that end, I love this quote from Dr G B Barker, consultant psychiatrist at a large London hospital, “I would state dogmatically that if nudity was accepted completely from the earliest age, there would be far less neurotic unhappiness, and less need for vicarious enjoyments of alternatives to sexuality (such as pornography). It is likely also that there would be less promiscuity, because promiscuity is based upon the neurotic inability to find or to form an adult relationship.” (pages 21-22)

In conclusion the authors state that, “There appears, firstly, to be no biblical grounds either for a promotion of social nudity or for placing a complete ban on it. Clearly, though, there is an important distinction to be drawn between physical nakedness and sexual impurity.” (page 23)

“Some naturists say that it is more fitting for a Christian than a non-Christian to be a naturist, given that Christians are new creations living before God, who need not know that shame which gives nakedness such symbolic potency.” (page 24)

“We conclude from this review of the different aspects of nakedness that there is no essential conflict between Christianity and naturism, that there is nothing inherently sinful about the naked body, and that the realization of this is part of what it means to be at ease with oneself, to be healed, to be made whole.” (page 24)

To that I say a big, amen!

About the authors:

Revd Karen Gorham is Priest-in-Charge of St. Paul’s Maidston, having trained at Trinity College, Bristol. Although not herself a naturist, Karen knows and supports many involved in naturism.

Dr Dave Leal is lecturer in Philosophy and Moral Theology at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and writes on aspects of sexual ethics and Christianity.

Click on the image to find a copy for yourself.

D.H. Jonathan’s Books

This is a review of the naturist fiction novels of D.H. Jonathan. If you read this blog often, you may have already heard of D.H. Jonathan, even if you don’t know it. It’s the pen name of our friend Dan Hawkins, who we have featured a couple of times already. Here’s a video of Dan explaining his books, and then I will share my thoughts. The transcript is included at the bottom, if you don’t want to watch the video which features nudity.

As Dan stated in the video, these aren’t Christian books. However, they have some Christian themes coming through them. They are meant for a wider audience, not just the very small niche that is Christian naturism. I appreciate this approach, to introduce some Christian ideas and concepts in a non-threatening and tactful way. For this reason, there are also some elements in the stories that might make some Christian uncomfortable. Some language. Some eroticism. However, his characters are portrayed as real, and that these things are to be expected. He will be the first to admit that the characters have some wrong ideas about nudity and grow through them as the stories develop. I can commend Dan on this authentic progression.

I’ve read all three novels. I think my favorite is his newest, “The Girl Who Stopped Wearing Clothes.” Here is one section that resonated with me quite a bit:

“Tell me,” Don said, “have you ever heard of Imago Dei?” Adam wasn’t sure he heard him correctly, so he just shook his head no. “It’s Latin for ‘Image of God’. Genesis says that we, human beings, were created in that image of God. When God was almost finished with creation, he called it ‘good’. Then he made us human beings. And he called that ‘very good’. We were made in the image of God, and it was that image that upgraded creation from good to very good. So when we humans call the nude body obscene, call ourselves obscene in fact, we are also calling that image of God obscene. I cannot abide that, especially in this day and age when the Internet has given us an epidemic of pornography.” “Pornography?” “Yes. A pandemic of it.” Adam scratched his head. “You know, a lot of people called Dani’s Stossel episode pornographic.” “And therein lies the problem. When people, and especially those within the church, take a pornographic or sexualized view of the body, they become unable to distinguish between what God has called very good and what Satan has used for lies.” “So you are anti-pornography?” “Oh yes. Absolutely. Pornography is one big lie. It’s addictive and destructive, both of those who make it and those who consume it.” “But you don’t think what I’m trying to do is pornography?” “What is it you’re trying to do?” That was a good question, Adam thought. (page 164)

And later this excerpt:

He took a long pause, looking out at everyone in the makeshift pews. “I’m going to be honest with you. We have a pornography epidemic. And I’m not talking about in the world; I’m talking about within the church. And not just within the church membership. Within the clergy.” He paused again, as if to let what he had just said sink in. “In one survey I’ve seen, 63 percent of pastors confirmed that they are struggling with secret sexual addiction or compulsion, including, but not limited to, the use of pornography. 63 percent. And what does it tell us that 63 percent of the people who are supposed to be guiding us have a problem with pornography? First, what is pornography? What is its essence? Pornography is a lie. A lie from Satan. It lies about how people look, how people act, how one can achieve pleasure with no responsibility, no consequences, no sacrifice, no patience, no kindness, no love. And how do you counter lies?” He paused, and Dani heard a few people mumble “Truth.” “Truth,” the pastor said, holding up a Bible. “Truth. Truth is not found in the rules of society, in legalism. Truth is found here, in the word of God. (page 206)

So you can see here that there are sections with the naked truth being revealed and propped up in stark contrast to the lies we have typically believed. This is done in a way that is both entertaining and inspirational. He pulls from his own experience, mostly in his “Life Models” book, but also asks himself what the characters in all his stories may be feeling. Those raw emotions come through the pages in very real ways that you as the reader can sympathize with and feel.

If you haven’t read anything from D.H. Jonathan, you may want to add him to your reading list!

Click on the book covers to view on Amazon:

For more on Dan, see “Meet Dan Hawkins” and “When Naturism Gets Misunderstood.”

Transcript of video:

I’m an author right under the pen name D. H. Jonathan, which is actually kind of a variation of my real name because I was blessed with two middle names Daniel Hoyt Jonathan Hawkins. So I’m up here names, dates, Jonathan, the first novel is called “The Volunteer.” It’s about a an experiment in public nudity. And it’s kind of an idea I had, you know, modeling for a class and having to get dressed to leave.

I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just be naked all the time?” So I started turning that idea into a novel and then to draw up more conflict I thought, “Well, what if somebody had to be naked?” Well, that changed the whole the whole idea around. And then the second novel is called “Life Models.”

And I worked on that a lot longer than I worked on “The Volunteer.” It’s fiction. There are some things in it, some just episodes that actually happened. But the whole story is just fictional, made up, and it’s basically a love story between two people who model together for an art class, and that’s how they met. And actually, the genesis of that idea came from watching a movie called “When Harry Met Sally.” And when Harry met Sally there are these scenes that are intercut with the main part of the movie where couples or older couples are sitting on the couch talking about how they met. And I remember the first time I watched it, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if this old couple came on and talked about how they were both naked when they first met?” So that was the genesis of what became “Life Models,” because I started thinking, well, how can I have two people first, me naked and just modeling for our class?

I just went with it. And of course, there’s a lot of of me in that book, a lot more so than “The Volunteer.” They both delve into the faith of the characters, Christianity, but they’re not really Christian novels. I wouldn’t call them faith based novels. I never really considered writing a faith-based novel because I always thought it was like preaching to the choir.

I want to reach a wider audience, and even if I just put a hint of faith or Christianity in it, maybe, maybe somebody will get an idea that, “Hey, you can be a nudist and a Christian at the same time.” Because most people, especially people I’ve gone to church with see them as incompatible, because that’s what we’re taught by society, that naturism and Christianity are two separate things.

Meet Mudwalker

Today we are interviewing our friend Chris, aka Mudwalker.

Question: Can you briefly tell us how you got into naturism?

Answer: Around 2010-2011, I got really serious about conventional modesty. As a teenager of 15-16 years old, I was struggling with the usual surges and urges that come with adolescence, and I felt like some of it was the fault of the young women in my youth group. They just weren’t covering up enough! So, in 2012, I decided to load up on biblical ammunition to lob at them to force them to cover up… but there wasn’t any. That drove me to look outside the Bible for the best way to live with clothes, and the evidence spoke for itself… so, I became a naturist!

Question: What does the name Mudwalker mean to you?

Answer: It means I walk where others daren’t tread… even though what I’m doing isn’t actually a big deal! It’s a symbol of my willingness to explore things that are taboo and assumed to be bad but actually turn out to be harmless or even healthy in the end. When I get interested in a subject, I study it as extensively as I know how and reach an informed conclusion. Then, if it seems fine, I start dabbling. That’s what happened with going barefoot in the woods and also with naturism.

It’s also a symbol of our natural place on the Earth, directly interfacing with the environment instead of divorcing ourselves from it.

Question: Have your beliefs created any problems for you? If so, how did you navigate them?

Answer: My acceptance of naturism definitely threw some sparks up with my parents. It almost ended my dating relationship with the woman who would become my wife. But we all worked through it together, and here we are. My relationships with my parents and my wife are all amazing now, and they all agree now that naturism is at least not harmful or immoral.

My family and I moved to a new church recently to get away from an aging, declining, toxic church environment, and I met with the new church’s staff to let them know that number one, I’m an outspoken naturist, number two, given time, I will bring this up to people in the church, and number three, this may spark some controversy. I told the pastors that I wanted them to make an informed decision on our membership, and they did. We are now members. I didn’t know how it would go, but in the end, they were very welcoming!

Question: What would you want non-naturists to know about this practice?

Answer: I’d say that it’s nothing like the mainstream secular or evangelical cultures think. Contrary to the conventional assumptions (and they are assumptions), humans of all ages (yes, even Americans) can tolerate social nudity without losing their minds or their sexual purity. The first time I went to a naturist resort, I saw a beautiful woman across the way, and her body was everything the conventional view of modesty had taught me to fear. But she was just a person to me in that moment, and I went back to reading my book. I was shocked how normal it all was, how easy it is to adjust to a nude environment, and how safe a resort visit is for women and children.

Question: What’s on your naturist bucket list?

Answer: I haven’t written it out before, so this probably isn’t a comprehensive list, but here are some of the big ones!

I want to visit Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and Sunsport Gardens because I hear such wonderful things about their policies, cultures and facilities.

I want to hunt naked. I feel like making a clean kill naked would be a really spiritual experience.

I want to debate a prominent Christian in a public, moderated debate someday when I have the credentials to attract the big fish. Naturism doesn’t get the attention it deserves on the debate stage – I intend to change that.

I want to participate in (or start!) a World Naked Bike Ride in Baton Rouge.

I want to start putting on nude events in the Baton Rouge area for young people, featuring activities like Ultimate Frisbee, barbeque, swimming, volleyball, and party games. I love my local nudist campground, but I want games! I want to move. (And I also don’t want to drive 1.5 hours to get my kit off. Lol!)

I want to facilitate a naked cold plunge event.

I want to go on a naked camping jaunt into the wilderness with just a canoe and a backpack and no clothes.

Things I’ve crossed off my list: visiting Cypress Cove and participating in a World Naked Bike Ride.

Mudwalker’s Extra Bit!

If you’d like to connect with me on social media, I have two Facebook groups! One is “Young Naturists Baton Rouge.” Once we get enough local naturists connected, we can start doing fun in-person events. The other is “Mudwalkers,” which is focused on the rewilding aspect of Mudwalkers. The two groups are specialized: Young Naturists Baton Rouge” is naturist-focused, and Mudwalkers is focused on rewilding.

Bonus: Chris also has a youtube channel with great content. Check out Mudwalkers on youtube. Here’s one example: