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!

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.

Longing for Eden

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

God made us for Eden.

If we want to know God’s desire and intention for the human race, the truth is to be found in our creation. And that’s found in Genesis 1-2. In those chapters, we find that the first man and woman placed by God in a Garden Paradise called Eden.

Paradise lasts, it turns out, for only two chapters… but there is much to learn there before sin tainted creation. Eden is what God made us for. And that explains the longings that we have to “return” there.

Relationships

Among the other perfect elements of life in Eden, Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect relationships. God Himself exists in the eternal and perfect communion of the Trinity, and our capacity for relationship is one of the ways that we bear His likeness.Therefore, I am focusing our attention on relationships in this post.

There were three essential relationships which the first human beings experienced in Eden. All three were part of God’s intention and design; all three were in evidence before the Fall, and all three were damaged by the Fall.

The three relationships were:

  • Their relationship with God.
  • Their relationship with their spouse.
  • Their relationship with themselves.

By God’s design, all three of these relationships were perfect because they were exactly as God intended them to be.

  • Relationship with God: They were created in God’s image and likeness, and they obeyed Him as their Lord. (Genesis 1:26-272:16)

As God’s crowning creation, the man and the woman were especially honored to be made in His image, and they alone were given the opportunity to obey or disobey God. They alone were expected to live with God in perpetual volitional obedience. While they did so, their relationship with Him was perfect and unhindered.

  • Relationship with Their Spouse: They experienced true “one-flesh” union with each other. (Genesis 2:24)

Just as each person of the Godhead exists in perfect union and relationship with the other persons of the Godhead, so the man and the woman were designed by God to live in perfect union with one another. Before the Fall, this relationship was mutually giving, loving, and unselfish.

  • Relationship with Themselves: They knew no shame. (Genesis 2:25)

Both Adam and Eve were completely at peace with who they were. There was no need to hide either physically (they were naked) or emotionally (without shame). They were exactly as God made them and intended them to be, and it was enough. There was no sense of any kind that they needed to be more, less, or different than what and who they were. Shame is not and never was God’s desire for His highest creation. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were each in perfect relationship with themselves for they were utterly without shame.

Damaged by the Fall

All three relationships listed above were severely damaged by the sin of Adam and Eve. This damage was evident in the actions of Adam and Eve immediately thereafter.

  • Relationship with God: When God approached them, Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of God. (Genesis 3:8-9)

Adam and Eve no longer felt free to be in God’s presence; instead, they felt fear. Furthermore, their understanding of God was skewed so that they were now deluded into believing or hoping that if they hid among the trees, He would not know where they were.

  • Relationship with Their Spouse: Love and trust were lost. (Genesis 2:12-13)

Adam and Eve were no longer unified. When tempted, Eve chose not to believe what her husband had told her and follow his guidance for her. Eve was then party to Adam’s Fall. When confronted about his own sin, Adam chose to blame rather than to fulfill his own responsibility as husband to love and protect his wife.

  • Relationship with Themselves: They were ashamed of their bodies. (Genesis 3:7)

Adam and Eve no longer accepted how God had made them. They now considered parts of their own bodies to be less than good, and they felt exposed and vulnerable. In their effort to hide their own sense of inadequacy, they sought protection from external coverings.

The Longing Remains

  • Man still longs for the peace with God that he was made for.

Adam’s perfect relationship with God was damaged, but deep in his soul, there was still a yearning to know and walk in peace with his Creator. The fact that perfection was lost does not change the fact that we were made for that relationship. God also desires that we walk with Him. That is why He sent Christ Jesus to take away our sin and restore us to our relationship with the Father.

This side of heaven, we will never know a perfect relationship with the Father like Adam did before the Fall, but we still long for it, and we are called to pursue an ever deepening relationship with Him here and now.

  • Man and Wife still long to be united in perfect love with one another.

A man still longs to have the be fully one in body and soul with his wife, and a woman still longs to give herself fully to a man who will love, cherish, and protect her. Neither will see complete fulfillment of that desire in the fallen state, but they can and should pursue the ideal.

We can experience tastes of that unity when we love with God’s love and give ourselves as fully as we are able to our spouses. Even in our fallen state, there is no more fulfilling human relationship that we can experience than the one between husband and wife when each fully gives themselves in unselfish love.

  • We all have a deep longing to be completely and transparently accepted exactly as we are.

So much of our lives we spend seeking approval and/or affirmation. We are constantly aware of our own inadequacies and failures. Hiding or covering our imperfections are perpetual motivations. We want to feel good about ourselves, and we want others to accept us as well.

Children – and adults – are most free and “alive” when they know for sure that they are truly “ok” exactly as they are. They shy away from contexts where they are judged, and they blossom and shine in a context of complete acceptance. This kind of acceptance is what we were made for. Indeed, the Bible calls it, “naked and unashamed.”

The Rub…

Notice that I didn’t say that we should pursue “naked and unashamed.” Everyone knows that since we’re fallen, there’s no way we can ever get any taste of “naked and unashamed” in this life, right?

    Says who?

We will never experience the fullness of pre-fall unity with our Heavenly Father in our fallen state… but that sure doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue an ever deepening relationship with Him.

We will never experience the fullness of pre-fall unity with our spouses in our fallen state… but that sure doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make any effort to give ourselves fully to the one God has given to us.

We will never experience the fullness of pre-fall innocence and purity in our fallen state… but that sure doesn’t mean that we should never even attempt to live “naked and unashamed.”

Can anyone show me in the Bible where God has forbidden such a pursuit?

God’s pre-fall ideals for humanity are His post-fall ideals for humanity. God never changed His mind about them. He understands that we are dust and that we are fallen; He knows that we won’t fully attain the ideals until after we are fully and ultimately redeemed, but He still wants us to pursue His ideals here and now. His grace is greater than our inability to get all the way there, so we have absolutely no reason to hold back.

Roadblocks to Eden

We were created for Eden. If we are honest with ourselves, we will see that we still long for it on all counts, even though we have built and maintain false roadblocks to getting there:

  • We tell ourselves that if we really draw close to God, we will have to lose or give up something. We trade what is to be found in God for what little comfort we can find in the pursuit of our own ways.
  • We tell ourselves that if we really open up to another person, we will get hurt by them. We embrace the predictability of emotional and/or physical isolation to protect against the threat of pain.
  • We tell ourselves that if we really attempt to be naked, we will only know shame. We choose the safety of hiding behind clothing in a vain attempt to thwart shame.

In all cases, the tradeoff is tragically misguided. All we really do is promote the false notion that our fallen state is unredeemable. We accept being less than truly human. We miss out on what God made us for.

Most everyone will rightly tell us to lay aside the first two roadblocks, but precious few will ever encourage anyone to lay aside the third. Most, it seems, will vehemently forbid any attempt to “return to Eden”… but on that point only! There is no logical or biblical defense for that distinction. To be consistent, we must either forbid all three pursuits, or encourage all three.

Welcome to Eden!

I invite you to Eden!

Yes, God blocked the entrance to the physical Garden Paradise in Genesis 3:22-24, but His clearly stated purpose for doing so was so that the man and woman would not partake of the Tree of Life and live forever physically! It was not a declaration that their longings for the relationships of Eden could not be pursued!

Instead, God gave the promise of a Savior (Genesis 3:15 the “seed of the woman”), and that Savior became the One by whom we could once again live forever! Even that human desire is still ultimately God’s will for us… just not in our unredeemed state!

Lay aside the roadblocks. All of them.

  • Give up anything that keeps you from pursuing your relationship with God.
  • Give up emotional and physical isolation from your spouse and others.
  • Give up your confidence in clothing and shed your shame.

Welcome to the freedom of being completely human… the way God meant for you to be.

Matthew Neal


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

When is it ok?

When is nudity ok?

Is it ok to be nude when you are married in front of your own spouse? Yes? I agree. Should there be any shame there? No? Agreed again. That’s why I think Adam and Eve (a married couple) should not have felt ashamed of their bodies to cover themselves with fig leaves. It was not God’s idea. The text says they were afraid, not ashamed (Genesis 3:10). We project our own shame onto them. The text does say that the pre fall state was that they were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). All of a sudden it’s shameful for a married couple to see themselves? Might they have been listening to the serpent who hates God’s image (Genesis 3:11)? Could he be the “who” of “who said you were naked?“ God was never ashamed of their nakedness. He seemed more upset that they covered themselves with fig leaves. Jesus would later curse the fig tree (Matthew 21; Mark 11). A coincidence? Maybe so. Maybe not.

When is nudity ok? 

At the doctor’s office? I agree. You reason that they can maintain a professional and respectful demeanor when viewing your nakedness while checking on your health and wellness. Then I would simply ask why we can’t all hold that same respect toward another person? Do we need training and credentials to be respectful? A piece of paper makes a difference? Or do we simply need to unlearn some social conditioning?

When is nudity ok?

In the changing room at a gym? Well, sure. Most changing rooms in the United States, at least, are not co-ed. Even then, many are too ashamed of their bodies to be uncovered in front of those of their own gender. Gang showers are practically a thing of the past and privacy is the new normal. For more on this point, read, “Way too much privacy!” on this blog.

When is nudity ok?

Maybe it’s good to ask what nudity was ok? This piece from The Biblical Naturist answers that question and links to several other sites such as this one to back up its claims. The main point is that in Greek and Roman times (when the New Testament was written), while clothing was normal, so was nudity in certain places like the river, or the bath houses, or the gymnasium. In fact, the word gym comes from the Greek word for nude. There were religious prude types back then too, but culturally in Jesus’ day, even in Jerusalem, non-sexual nudity in mixed company was not a big deal, like it is today.

When is nudity ok?

Let’s continue asking when it was ok. In Bible times, work was often done in the naked state, which makes sense if clothing (before the industrial clothing industry) was extremely expensive. Why mess up your only garment (in many cases) while working? In Scripture, we see this mostly in the case of Peter fishing (John 21:7) and Jesus post-resurrection, being mistaken for a naked gardener.

XIR130941 The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite, detail of cupids fishing (mosaic) by Roman, (3rd century AD); Louvre, Paris, France; out of copyright.
ANC351864 Fishermen in a boat, 2nd-4th century (mosaic) by Roman; Musee Archeologique, Sousse, Tunisia; Ancient Art and Architecture Collection Ltd.; out of copyright.

When is nudity ok?

Let’s come back to today’s times. How about on TV and entertainment? Is that ok? You may say no, and yet you may still indulge. You rationalize that it’s how culture is today, and you can’t escape it. Then you may feel guilty about it. For me, since I was pretty sheltered, any glimpses of flesh on movies and such was a thrill and a temptation. Since I equated nudity with sex, I’d have an immediate sense of arousal and could not just view it in a natural way. It was like I was doing something wrong something bad and needed to repent. There is a lot of legalism around what a Christian should or should not watch. It does come down to one’s own conviction and freedom or lack thereof. How you view the body is key. Is it a dirty and obscene source of temptation and forbidden fruit? Or is it the image of God and the crowning glory of his creation? To see it as such changes everything. The prudish view degrades the individual and calls bad or evil what God created as “very good” (Genesis 1:31). This body bad/ spirit good talk sounds like gnostic heresy to me!

When is nudity ok?

What about museums and art? What about sculptures? I recall a fountain outside of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant. My mom had us take a family photo in front of it. There were nude figures all over the fountain. This was before I had told her we were naturists. My wife and I looked at each other, both sensing the irony of the situation. My mom was oblivious.

A friend wrote this on social media the other day: “This statue is on a street in Las Vegas, and you can see families passing it all day. No one cares. No one is offended. No one is upset that women and children can see it. Yet if it were revealed that it is a live person doing a “human statue” all of a sudden it would be obscene and vulgar. It’s almost as if people tacitly say that the human body is not obscene, just actual humans.” A real double-standard!

Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine chapel is worth studying. It’s a brilliant piece that then was censored and restored as nudity was banned and then reinstated. He is quoted as saying, “What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?”

When is nudity ok?

For Skinny dipping? Absolutely! Most people have had a skinny dipping experience. Whether they thought they were rebelling at the time or were fine with it. That amazing feeling you had, you can have all the time by embracing the way we were made and the way we will go from this life (Job 1:21)! Given enough privacy, most owners of hot tubs have probably soaked in the nude. This is my theory anyway. When my non-naturist friends talk about their pools with privacy, they say things like “You’re welcome anytime, but you may want to call ahead before you come.” The idea of skinny dipping is fairly normal. It’s the mixed company that presents a problem for the same people who like it otherwise. I say we just shed our hang ups about clothing and our insecurities as well as our soggy bathing suits.

When is nudity ok?

Bathing and showering? Yep. Sadly, these are some of the only moments people are ever nude. This and during sexual relations, which is why nudity is so sexualized. This is part of the problem today with clothing compulsion.

When is nudity ok?

Sleeping naked? Some might agree or disagree or wish they could agree. Sleeping naked is great and has certain health benefits. The pajama manufactures will never tell you this, but I wouldn’t expect them to. When asked to write some advice to newlyweds, we just say “Sleep naked.” A pastor friend heard us say that, and wished he could, except what about the children coming in? They’d see us naked! We shrugged and instantly were saddened by how dreadfully scared everyone is by the prospect of being seen in such a vulnerable state.

When is nudity ok?

Is it ok for the naked cultures that have been or those still in existence today? Well it certainly is for them! That is, until we come and clothe them. In the Bible clothing the naked is more about helping the poor than it is covering nakedness. Whether we like it or not, it’s been documented many times over, that when clothing was introduced to naked cultures (oftentimes by well-intentioned missionaries) the problems with pornography and sexual temptation were introduced right along with the clothes. We unwittingly imported a body taboo and accompanying shame which brought about devastating consequences. This angered us so much when we read about it and reflected on the “Who said you were naked?” question in Genesis 3. Read more about this in this book.

When is nudity ok?

You say it may be ok in some of these cases. You might concede a few of these but still maintain that it’s wrong in a social nude setting. You are free to believe that, but we’ll have to agree to disagree. We explore the insanity of making exceptions to rules in “It should be that easy!” on this blog. I say it’s ok any time provided that it’s not violating any laws and it’s done with those of a like mind. Perhaps the issue isn’t really the nudity, but rather our mindset toward it.

Naturism and Christianity

By Wayne Jayes, Chairman of KZNNA

Editor’s note: This great article is a repost used with permission. See the original post by clicking here.

Introduction

My two main passions in life are my Christian faith (done in the Anglican way) and Naturism; and I love to find the spaces and places where those two things intersect. Most people would think that Naturism and Christianity are polar opposites, but they are not; they intersect more often than most people including both naturists and Christians would expect.

Christianity and bodies

Many people think that Christianity is a mainly spiritual way of living. I don’t think it is. Of all the religions that I know of Christianity is the most grounded and body centred religion. Christianity starts (as does Judaism and Islam) in the Garden of Eden with a naked man and a naked woman. Christianity develops radically differently from the other two Abrahamic religions, because if we skip some thousands of years ahead we have the New Adam, Jesus coming naked into the world in a human body just like everyone of us. Theologians call this the Incarnation, God becomes flesh. An early Christian school of thought felt that God could not possibly be contaminated by becoming flesh, their belief was that the physical world was evil and the spiritual world was good. They believed in a dualistic world. Early on this doctrine was rejected by the fathers of the Christian religion, they held that God created the world as one, both physical and spiritual and it was all good, after all, God said it was. To this day orthodox Christian doctrine is that God’s creation including us humans and our bodies are very good.

Christianity and nudity

Some things to think about: In chapter 3 of the book of Genesis, at the start of the Bible shortly after God had created Adam and Eve we are told that God was walking about the Garden at the time of the evening breeze. What do you think God was wearing, while he was enjoying the evening breeze on his skin? It seems inconceivable to me that He was anything but naked. And the angel who drove Adam and Eve from the Garden? What was he wearing?

The Expulsion from Paradise by Benvenuto di Giovanni  (1436–1518) in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Worship

There are some strands of Christianity which hold that what one believes is the most important thing, for many Christianity is all about what is going on in your head. For me Christianity is primarily about worshipping God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and the only thing which we can use to worship God are our bodies. We use our bodily senses, and we use the postures and gestures of our bodies as well as our voices to worship God.

With our five bodily organs and senses (eyes to see, ears to hear, noses to smell, mouths to taste, and hands to feel) we experience the transcendent and immanent nature of God. We look at stained glass windows, the beautiful vestments which the clergy are wearing, the rich silverware and crystal glass used for celebrating the holy communion. We hear the organ and the choir singing and chanting, we smell the incense wafting up the nave aisle and around the altar, we taste the body and blood of Christ in the communion, and we use our fingers to feel the texture of the Bible, prayer book and hymnal in our hands.

We use our bodies while worshiping; we stand to sing the hymns, kneel to pray, sit to listen to the lessons from Scripture. We make the sign of the cross over our heads and hearts at the mention of the Trinity, we bow our heads on hearing Jesus’ name, and genuflect at the altar.

The Naked Jesus

Next let’s consider the four pivotal moments in the earthly ministry of Jesus,

  1. Jesus’ birth
  2. Jesus’ baptism
  3. Jesus’ crucifixion and
  4. Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus’ birth

As mentioned above, like each one of us, Jesus came into this world naked. This is so obvious it barely needs stating, but it is an important theological fact. Jesus was a naked body at the very start of his life, just like us.

Jesus’ baptism

At first when we think of it, that Jesus was naked at his baptism seems surprising. A very early Christian text called the Apostolic Tradition, presumed to have been written by Hippolytus of Rome some time before 235AD, gives instructions on many aspects of Christian life and ritual including baptism in Chapter 21.

21. ¹At cockcrow prayer shall be made over the water. ²The stream shall flow through the baptismal tank or pour into it from above when there is no scarcity of water; but if there is a scarcity, whether constant or sudden, then use whatever water you can find.

³They shall remove their clothing. ⁴And first baptize the little ones; if they can speak for themselves, they shall do so; if not, their parents or other relatives shall speak for them. ⁵Then baptize the men, and last of all the women; they must first loosen their hair and put aside any gold or silver ornaments that they were wearing: let no one take any alien thing down to the water with them.

So a very early Christian explains how early baptisms were done and it is very clear that they were to be done naked, and being an early apostolic source means they were following the custom passed down from Jesus.

Many artworks portray Jesus being baptized naked, for example the centre piece in the dome of the Arian Baptistry in Ravenna, Italy.

The centre piece in the dome of the Arian Baptistry in Ravenna, Italy

Another is from the monastery at Daphni, near Athens, Greece.

Monastery at Daphni, near Athens, Greece

Other artwork depicts naked baptisms, for example, The Appearance of Christ to the People by Alexander Ivanov (1806–1858), in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

The Baptism of Christ, by Cornelis van Haarlem in the State Art Gallery in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The Baptism of Christ, by Cornelis van Haarlem in the State Art Gallery in Karlsruhe, Germany

The Baptism of Christ by Maarten van Heemskerck  in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

The Baptism of Christ by Maarten van Heemskerck  in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Jesus’ Cruxifixion

That Jesus was naked at his crucifixion is not controversial, the Bible says as much, Matthew 27:27 -35 details how the Roman soldiers stripped Jesus of his clothes and then divided his clothes among them by throwing dice. And much the same account is given in Mark 15:24, and Luke 23:34. In John 19:23 the soldiers take his clothes (in Greek his ἱμάτια) and then removed his tunic (χιτών in Greek, which was the garment worn next to the skin). There can be no doubt that Jesus was left naked at this point.

Art also points to this truth: Michaelangelo’s Crucifixion in the Convent of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy, make the point very beautifully.

Michaelangelo’s Crucifixion in the Convent of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy

Jesus’ resurrection

The idea that Jesus was naked at his resurrection is more controversial. But if one takes the words of the bible at their face value it seems that Jesus would have walked out of the tomb naked, after all the grave clothes he was buried in were folded and left in the tomb. 

It becomes more obvious that he was naked when we look at the Fourth Gospel account of the resurrection (John 20:15) Mary Magdalene saw Jesus outside the tomb but did not recognize him and thought him to be the gardener. Why did she think he was the gardener? Various authors have suggested that because clothes were expensive people doing outdoor work worked naked so as not to ruin their clothes. We know that Peter worked as a fisherman on his boat naked (John 21:7). Another more convincing reason that Jesus was seen as a naked gardener is because Jesus is the New Adam (see Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-23). And of course Adam was the first naked inhabitant of the Garden of Eden.

The Resurrection of Christ by Peter Paul Rubens in the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium.

The Resurrection of Christ by Peter Paul Rubens in the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium.

Our Resurrection

The Apostles’ Creed, one of the foundational and universal creeds of Christianity states: “I believe in … the resurrection of the body” Some people think that the body in whose resurrection we believe in is Jesus’ body. But this not the full truth, the body being referred to in the Apostles’ creed is our own body. See for example the words of the Catechism in the Anglican Prayer Book 1989:

What do we mean by the resurrection of the body? We mean that God will raise us from death in the fulness of our being, that we may live with Christ in the communion of the saints.

As for me, I believe that some time after my death, at the time of the General Resurrection, my body will receive new life and my naked body of meat and bones, flesh and blood will be resurrected “in the fulness of my being” in some mysterious way which I don’t pretend to fully understand.

Naked we come into the world and naked we will leave this world (Job 1:21, 1 Timothy 6:7) and naked we will be resurrected into the new world with the New Adam.

What about naturism?

The official definition of naturism is:

a way of life in harmony with nature characterised by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment

The two great commandments of religion, reiterated by Jesus are:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

Some parallels can be drawn between these two ideas: I take a panentheistic view of God, that is to say God is in everything, (as opposed to pantheistic view, which is the idea that everything is God), So loving God and loving (or being in harmony with) nature are similar ideas. Naturism asks us respect others, Jesus demands we love our neighbours. Naturism expect that we respect ourselves; Jesus makes the assumption that we love ourselves enough already. And while self-regard is built into us, we do know that many people have great trouble with self esteem and body shame, so in this case I do think that naturism has something to add.

Classic naturism as developed by the early fathers of Naturism (the Durville brothers, Adolf Koch, Hans Suren, Dr. Heinrich Pudor and Richard Ungewitter to name a few) emphasised physical fitness, sunlight, and fresh-air bathing, and then adding the nudist philosophy, contributing to mental and psychological fitness, good health, and an improved moral-life view. These ideas align closely with the Christian ideals of spiritual, physical and mental and social health, engendered by faith, prayer, and worship.

 Naked worship

Worshipping God, while being naked is a truly wonderful and awesome experience, meaning an experience in which one feels real wonder and awe at both God’s creation around you and the transcendent nature of a loving God, who is completely other, sacred and holy: One feels completely in this world but not of this world. On our KZN Naturist Association weekends away I lead a service of Morning Prayer on the Sunday morning of the weekend, usually in a beautiful natural spot, next to a stream or under some trees. It is a service of prayer, scripture and sometimes singing, which many of our members find deeply rewarding. I recommend naked Christian worship to everyone.

Talking about beating lust (the right way!)

The following is an imagined conversation with a non-naturist that doesn’t ever mention naturism. It does, however, assume the lessons that are available to be learned rapidly through the tenets of Christian naturism. In fact, here is a downloadable pdf without any branding or credit given that you can use with non-naturist friends if they aren’t ready to hear about naturism.

Person: I’m going to have to leave soon. I’ve got an accountability group to get to.

Me: Why do you need an accountability group?

Person: Well, you know, every man’s battle?

Me: I’m a man, but I don’t think you should group every man as being in the same type of battle.

Person: Fine, it’s about lust and struggles with pornography, and the group helps us to not do that stuff that most guys deal with regularly.

Me: Oh, we’ll circle back to that, but I’m curious, is it working?

Person: Um, sometimes, I mean I have days and sometimes even months of victory at a time, but then inevitably I fall off the wagon again.

Me: Thanks for being honest. Are you always honest in your group?

Person: For the most part. I guess sometimes we answer only the questions asked and avoid telling the whole truth. The shame we feel helps motivate us. We all struggle with it, so when one person shared their defeat, it’s not as bad when I share mine. But then sometimes it gives me ideas of new ways I can be tempted like the other guys!

Me: That doesn’t sound very promising. And shame should never ever be your motivator. Aside from the support and encouragement, it seems like you all need a breakthrough!

Person: We do! That’s why I said it’s every man’s battle. Don’t you have the same struggle?

Me: Thankfully, no. I used to, but not anymore. Not ever.

Person: How long has it been since you looked at porn?

Me: Is that how we are measuring victory? Avoidance of any visual stimuli?

Person: Well, yeah. Temptation is all around us. If I can avoid seeing something, I won’t fall into temptation! You know, ‘cuz all men are visual.

Me: There you go again with “all men!” What you see is not as important as how you see what you see.

Person: I’m not following you.

Me: OK, so if you see a woman, let’s say, do you automatically lust after her?

Person: It depends whether or not she’s hot or not.

Me: So if you determine that she is attractive, let’s use that word instead, you automatically desire her in a sexual way?

Person: Well, yeah. I have a pulse. All the guys I know are like that! And even the preacher talks about his wife as being “smokin’ hot!”

Me: OK, that’s messed up. Hey, I’m not trying to be holier than thou. In fact, I get it, I used to be the same way. 

Person: You’re saying you’re not anymore? And YOU’RE being honest?

Me: I don’t want to objectify anyone. I’d rather die than objectify another human being, even my wife.

Person: Not even your wife? You have to be attracted to her!

Me: I am.

Person: Well, what’s the difference? 

Me: Terms like “hot” or “ugly” are offensive and demeaning. A person is so much more than the sum or arrangement of their parts. They aren’t a piece of meat. They are an individual, made in the image of God, and worthy of love and respect.

Person: Yeah, I know that! But if they are attractive, or good looking, I can’t help myself, you know?

Me: I don’t. Remember when I said it’s about how you see? I see others as God sees them. Everyone has their own beauty, in their own way, no matter how society has conditioned us to see them.

Person: Conditioned? What are you saying? Some people are just not as beautiful as others. If you don’t acknowledge that, you’re just crazy.

Me: I’m sorry, but you seem a bit obsessed about a person’s physical appearance. That’s what our culture and world does. The standards of beauty that marketers push are not even real, let alone attainable.

Person: I know that, but I just like the girl next door type. Not magazine perfect, but not unattractive.

Me: What if your own wife was disfigured in an accident? Would you be able to look past her scars and see the person you love?

Person: Well, yeah. Absolutely. But I don’t have that relationship with other women, so I can’t promise that with someone I don’t even know.

Me: Why not? Why not see beauty and value in everyone, and reject the notion that only your type is deserving of admiration.

Person: Ah, so you admit that you admire others. You say you don’t lust after them, but you admire their beauty!

Me: I admire that tree over in the distance too. Or the sunrise this morning.

Person: We’re not talking about creation! We’re talking about people.

Me: Are people not the pinnacle of God’s creation? 

Person: OK, yeah, but it’s different.

Me: Is it?

Person: It’s apples and oranges. And it’s forbidden fruit! So when we fall and let our minds wander and do what they do, we have to go confess it to a group of guys and try harder next time. 

Me: Sounds like a vicious cycle.

Person: It is! 

Me: Could it be that you’ve believed a lie?

Person: A lie? What lie?

Me: Well, from what you’ve described, I’ve noticed several lies. That all men are visual and can’t help but react in a sexual arousal manner. That it’s every man’s struggle that can’t be overcome easily. That you have to try harder and have accountability to be pure. All lies. And if you agree with them and believe them, they will continue to control you. 

Person: So what’s the answer?

Me: The truth will make you free (John 8:32). Reject the lies, live as though the truth is actually true, and enjoy the life abundant that Jesus offers and his finished work on the cross secures for you. It’s not by your own power, but by his life in you.

Person: I believe in Jesus, but I don’t see how I can use his power to overcome such urges.

Me: He’s given you a new heart and a new nature. It’s about truth and identity. The new you doesn’t even desire porn, right? It’s not the innocent beauty of the body as the crown of creation. It’s a distortion that objectifies and sexualized what God made very good. You feel trapped and drawn to that which you don’t even want. So agree with the truth, and it loses that power over you. You don’t want that; it’s revolting to you in your new nature. You have no desire or appetite for it. 

Person: That is true. I don’t want it, but I indulge and then feel guilty almost immediately.

Me: The command not to murder my brother is easy to keep because I don’t want to commit murder. This is the same now. I don’t want to objectify another human being made in God’s image, so when I see visual stimuli, it doesn’t faze or tempt me. I move on. The battle is in the heart and the mind. That’s what Jesus was saying. We need to renew our mind and heart. He’s done it for you already. Stop believing the lies!

Person: So you really don’t have this problem?

Me: I used to, but it has vanished and for good! There is no struggle any longer. I don’t need software or anything. It’s like a former alcoholic going down the liquor aisle at the grocery store. If he’s really free, he can do that and not have any trouble.

Person: And your relationship with your wife is better now?

Me: It’s amazing! That’s where arousal is supposed to come from- relationship, not visual. To limit to the visual, seeing or avoiding seeing stuff is to forget about the power of our imagination, anyway. Can a blind man lust? We don’t have to see anything to lust. And when we see something, we don’t have to lust. Arousal based on relationship was God’s original design, and it’s much better and more powerful. Everything else is a distortion and fantasy.

Person: Well, you’ve certainly given me a lot to think about! 

Me: And you better get to your accountability group!

Person: I think I’m too late for that. And I’m just not feeling it now. Would you wanna talk to my guys next week maybe?

Fixation & Identity

The word “fixation” is defined as “an obsessive interest in or feeling about someone or something.” I suppose we can be fixated on a lot of different things or even people. The term comes from the subject on which we fix our eyes. What we not only gaze upon, but what we fix our eyes on, keeping them locked on will become our fixation.

Jesus talked about the importance of the eyes. In the sermon on the mount in Matthew 6:22-23 (KJV) he said, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” What our eyes, and even or especially our mind’s eye focuses on makes all the difference.

Many who claim to be Christians have a struggle with lust and lustful thoughts and/or temptation to seek out pornography. To try and combat these urges, they will try to avoid the sight of any flesh so as to not engage in this struggle. It becomes an exercise of avoidance. There are many problems with this approach. Among them is the simple fact that you can lust after a clothed person or use your imagination to entertain sexual thoughts just as easily. You don’t need to actually see something for a habit such as sexual lust to become your fixation.

Identity is another topic altogether, but it’s an important key in conquering this particular sin habit and any other. This has been my experience. As long as I have a fixation on the wrong thing or with the wrong motive, I’ll never stop struggling. If I rest in my identity in Christ and his finished work on the cross and who I am in him, I won’t have to struggle.

When my focus was on not having sexual thoughts toward women in general, I would keep having sexual thoughts. That was my focus and my failure. When I transferred my focus, my failure vanished. Now I focus on the person, and there are no longer any sexual thoughts that come into play. I used to believe those thoughts were normal, expected, and unavoidable. That was a lie. But you will live and operate as though the lie is true as long as that is your fixation. Change your fixation, and you change the outcome. Now my fixation is Christ and it’s to honor my wife and our relationship as the sole means of my arousal. As a result, nothing else is tempting in that regard. I don’t want anything else. I can see lots of bodies, clothed or not, and I look beyond the skin and into the heart of the person, with a platonic sort of love and respect for them.

I used to be someone who objectified others by trying not to. Now I’m someone who is confident in who I am, and who I am not. My new identity comes into play, and I am a firm believer living in the power of Christ. As long as I tried in my own strength to do good, I couldn’t do it. But instead, I now rest in Christ’s ability to change me to be good (not do good, but be a good tree that bears good fruit), and it becomes easy to do so. I am not one to objectify or dehumanize another person. That’s not in my new nature to do. Our Lord was fully human, and he did not objectify others, but rather loved them, seeing past their outer exterior. When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, she was most likely naked. He didn’t avert his gaze, or bounce his eyes, or cover her up or anything like that. He looked into her eyes and he became her fixation. He helped her in a way that only he could and one she would never have imagined. 

It’s not hard to avoid lustful fixations any longer, because it’s automatically part of my new nature. It’s eating from the Tree of Life and not resorting to the old Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I don’t have to work hard on breathing or concentrate on my next breath. It’s second nature to me. Likewise, so is this new posture to not sexualize others. I don’t have to worry about impure thoughts or motives, because it’s not who I am anymore.

I’m reminded of an old Petra song I had on CD. So I listened again and heard the lyrics afresh:

It’s a God Fixation
A singleness of heart, an undistracted mind
It’s a God Fixation
Addiction of a different kind

I kind of love that!

The author of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 12:2 to fix our eyes on Jesus. Then it speaks of his identity calling him the author and the perfecter of our faith. In Matthew 14:30 when Peter was walking on the water, he was looking at Jesus. When he looked elsewhere, at the wind and the waves, he began to sink. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, not looking to another to satisfy our deepest needs. He alone is sufficient. If and when he becomes our sole focus, the rest of whatever it is we want to change about ourselves will fall into place. We have to trust him. To turn to idols (and that’s what everything else is) will result in failure because it’s a lack of trust in him and his saving grace. Make him your pursuit, rest in his strength and not your own, and your new fixation will become your new identity. Let to old be gone! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV): “…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Immanentizing the Eschaton?

I first heard the term “immanentizing the eschaton” when a naturist friend of mine was let go from his job at a Christian non-profit because of his beliefs about naturism. Instead of hearing him out and studying for themselves, they opted not to give him the benefit of the doubt and instead they accused him of being perverse and attempting to “immanentize the eschaton.” According to this definition, “In political theory and theology, to immanentize the eschaton is a pejorative term referring to attempts to bring about utopian conditions in the world, and to effectively create heaven on earth.” This is certainly disheartening, but not surprising. It’s a common mentality, especially among Christians, to link the naked body to sexuality, calling it lust provoking and even obscene. While they may make exceptions for certain situations like doctor’s offices and such, they hold these knee jerk reactions as core beliefs in order to hold on to their flawed perception of purity. They can’t seem to fathom any notion that one can be both nude and modest at the same time, and to think otherwise is trying to usher in a utopia or the age to come in a fallen world, and that just can’t be.

That’s what I’d like to spend some time on— an examination of that thesis. I used to believe the same, but now I see everything in a new and more glorious light.

Is trying to restore the innocence of Eden an effort in futility? That goal is what caused us to start this site and name it what it is: Aching for Eden- longing to restore the innocence. Being a grown up, can we have faith like a child? Jesus seems to think so (Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:17). Being an adult, can we be born again (or born from above)? Jesus perplexed Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, with these same words (John 3:1-15).

These themes keep coming up to me. It’s like the Lord keeps trying to show me his goodness time after time and in many different ways. Just the other day I listened to a podcast called The God Journey on Restoring Innocence. In it, Wayne Jacobsen said, “Every morning I can awake to restored innocence in Him, so that I can embrace him in ways that lets his glory find access to my heart.”

He also commented about the apostle John in his book, Finding Church, “For John, eternal life didn’t just describe life after death, but the quality of God’s life that we can experience now by entering into an affection-based relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit. Jesus opened the door for us to participate in the divine community in the midst of this broken creation.” (Finding Church p. 44)

This takes the innocence conversation to another level for someone who doubts whether we can experience end-times realities in present day situations at some level. For my friend, it came down to his superiors not seeing how he could be around naked women and not fall into lust. If anything, that may be a future heavenly condition, but in this fallen world, you will always lust because “men are visual.” (I spend a lot of time on this blog debunking that myth and lie). To live innocently as a child does, to not automatically lust at the sight of another person this side of heaven, is that a bad goal? To some it would seem to be. They have a defeatist attitude toward this one sin in particular, exposing perhaps their own impure thoughts onto the matter. 

I’ve made this point quite often and in slightly different ways. But would they counsel someone with another problem the same way? Let’s say an alcohol addiction, or a gambling problem, a shopping compulsion, or a lying streak, or a proclivity to gossip, or a lifestyle of gluttony… I’m sure you get my point. Would they throw their hands up and give up trying to overcome these issues and accuse them of immanentizing the eschaton if they were bold enough to do something about them? Should they put off, prolong, or postpone any hope of overcoming any of these issues until the are ultimately glorified?

Hebrews 6:5 NIV talks about those “who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age” – it seems to me from this text that the powers of the coming age can be tasted today. In other words, we can be enjoying the blessing of the future age here and now.

The Lord has been putting this message in front of me in more ways that I have time to quote here. One worth noting would have to be this one: “The kingdom of God is already but not yet. In other words, the kingdom is here (already), but it hasn’t arrived in its fullness (yet). The kingdom is present, yet it’s future. The kingdom is today, yet it’s tomorrow. The kingdom is here now in the people of God and manifested whenever they are bearing the image of Christ and exercising His authority. But one day it will descend on this earth in its full power and glory.” (Frank Viola, Insurgence p. 121)

I’m a proponent of not just taking men’s words to heart, but seeing what the Scriptures have to say on matters of interest. So let’s look at some verses. 

“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23 NLT

I would ask if we have this new life now? Or do we have to wait until later? What good is it if we have to wait for it? Why would it even be written down for us if it’s not applicable in this very moment? Notice, it didn’t say “wait to love each other deeply until you are born again…” Or “Your eventual new life will begin later and then last forever…”

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT

I don’t need to expand with much commentary, because the case is building on it own in black and white letters. Even, and especially, our Lord acknowledged this concept when he taught his disciples to pray saying, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Why would he instruct us to do this, if it’s not possible? Later in Luke 17:20-21 we see that “One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.’”

I know there is a difference between justification and sanctification. Being justified is “just as if I’d” never sinned at all. In Christ we are 100% justified. Whereas, our sanctification is a process to be completed one day in glory. But why take an important issue like lust and practically give up? Why limit yourself to avoidance techniques and strict measures that do nothing but intensify the problem? Why not trust that in the kingdom that has been established, we can live as new creations and serve others on earth as in heaven? We see enough hell on earth today. We could use a little bit of heaven. We live in the tension of the “already, but not yet.” We are living between two trees (The Tree of Life in Genesis and the same in Revelation). Let us stop eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, trying to manage and maintain our morality by our own efforts. Instead, let’s trust the one who has power to redeem and restore our whole beings in general, and any part that needs his finished work in particular.

One of my favorite verses since I overcame my 20 year long porn and lust compulsion is Revelation 21:5 where Jesus says, “Behold I am making all things new.” Just when does this “making all things new” take place? The verse is found in the book of Revelation which many see as being in future tense, however I believe it was written to encourage those in persecution in the present tense when it was written and for all future generations in their tribulations. There is a timelessness to that statement and the principles throughout the unveiling of the whole book.

Perhaps you have opinions about the hit movie “The Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson, and that’s quite ok. No movie is perfect in its depictions of events or all the details brought forth. One scene that really stuck me was when this verse was stated. They had Jesus say it as he was struggling and falling to the ground. His mother, Mary, has a flashback of a time he fell down as a little kid, and then it shows him bloody and weak falling again. She runs to him to try and comfort her son, but he looks at her with his blood-stained face and comforts her instead with these words, “I am making all things new.” My eyes well up with tears right now as I type these words and think about the scene in my head. He certainly has made all things new with me and paid the ultimate price to do so.

When exactly did Jesus make all things new? Is it solely in the future when there is a new heaven and new earth as we see in Revelation 21? Or might it be on his way to and on the cross, struggling to breathe but managing to utter the words, “It is finished.” (see John 19:30; Hebrews 9:12, 26) Regardless, his work on the cross is powerful today, if you would just believe in it.

In a booklet called Naturism and Christianity: Are They Compatible? the authors claim, “Some naturist 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 with gives nakedness such symbolic potency.” (Gorham and Leal, p. 24) I believe naturism is not only compatible with Christianity, but also a practice that is most fitting. If you are a Christian who would accuse me of immanentizing the eschaton, then I would have to say, “Good! Why aren’t you?”