What’s so good about Christian Naturism?

How has my life changed for the better since adopting this lifestyle? For one, it’s like coming home. It feels like I am the way God made me to be all along. Growing up and through my teens, I skinny dipped, and went out streaking in the woods. Then I came to believe the lie that such activity is childish and slightly deviant. I since have broken that agreement, and am thankful to embrace the naked truth! The other day when walking a trail at our park, I felt so alive and appreciative of God and his blessings (forget the fact that it was only 50 degrees out and I didn’t have a stitch on!).

What else? There’s a lot more. For instance, nudity has become totally and utterly demystified. This paradigm shift breaks the conditioned link between the body and sex, as well as the dualistic view that the soul is good and the body is inherently bad. Relearning for myself that the body and soul are intertwined and made for good has been revolutionary for me. This means I no longer objectify anyone or lust in my heart. Before, it was automatic, and if I was aware of it, then I felt guilt and shame over those thoughts. Simply put, I’m a better person, a better husband, and father. Before, I was powerless to help protect my boys against filling their minds with porn, as so many do. My weak instruction would’ve been “do as I say, not as I do!” But now I’m able to be honest with them and tell of my former struggles and how I’ve been surprised into freedom by changing the way I thought about the body, the image of God, and the renewing of your mind.

I now see everyone as beautiful and a fellow image bearer. Judgmental attitudes are greatly reduced, as a result. Instead, a healthy (and holy) respect is elevated in the place of judgment. You begin to see the whole person, not just the outward appearance. (Didn’t God say that while man looks at the outward appearance, he sees the heart? Yes, according to 1 Samuel 16, this is a godly trait!)

I did not care for legalism before my change in embracing naturism, but even so, I probably was legalistic in places. Now I really can’t stand either legalism or libertinism, but I feel compassion for other believers who are trapped in this type of bondage. It truly saddens me now, and not just in the area of body positivity. I’ve seen how attitudes against a wholesome theology of the body stem from deep man-made traditions and ignore solid biblical exegesis and historical context. 

I have a deeper appreciation for grace than I did before. Far too many Christians accept the grace and love of Jesus, but instinctively hold on to a system of law that has already been fulfilled in Christ. Gratitude for the work done on our behalf, that we could never do on our own is a much better way to live and please God, over a rules-based behavior that stems from unwanted guilt and shame.

I have a keener awareness of the enemy’s schemes and how he deceived the whole world (John 8:44; 1 John 5:19). Since the very beginning, our adversary has viciously attacked the beauty and innocence of the spousal union as God’s ideal. He hates the image of God, and so tries to distort and pervert it however he can.

In the relational arena, I’m more open and honest than ever before, and long for others to enjoy the deep and rich blessings God offers like I do. Because shedding clothes is an act of vulnerability, they are oftentimes not the only things to fall off. Small talk, triteness, and phoniness are likely to vanish from conversations with those of a like mind. Instead, our conversations are with substance and from the heart. Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet are naturists (Christian or not). I think this is one reason why. 

While interacting with those who are not Christians, there is an opportunity to shine a light and to dispel some of the baggage that people associate (in many cases rightly) with this term and those who claim it. With true Christ followers, the fellowship with those brothers and sisters who are free with their bodies in non-sexual social nudity is a thing of beauty. It’s rare to achieve that level of unity in the textile world.

My wife and I have both gained a greater confidence. This is an area I didn’t not lack as much as Mrs. Phil did. When you can be naked around other people and be unashamed, there’s not much you can’t do!

On that note, we are not the most in shape people. Body acceptance has been a huge blessing. Naturists are on a mission to put an end to body shame, and are accepting of all body types. That said, we do see the importance of taking good care of our bodies and want to improve that area for reasons of good health. Our word for this year (see our blog about our words for the past two years here) is “temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 proclaims that our bodies are the temple of God. This implies so much more than the “don’t drink or smoke” and “get in shape” declarations that often come from this verse. However, there is some good sense in taking care of our bodies as we also care for our souls.

It seems obvious, but this “city boy” is much more appreciative of God’s creation and I feel more drawn to be in His nature He created for us. I have less need for all the extra trappings and materialistic distractions people become obsessed with and need to accumulate and maintain. I focus more on what is important and not on the things that may steal my joy for no reason. I realize how insecure the general population can be, and appreciate knowing and being secure in my identity in God. 

These are all very good benefits. What’s not so good? The misinterpretation and undue judgment against Christian naturism is a truly unfortunate reality we have to deal with. My friend Matthew Neal’s words from his blog really resonate with me:

Right now, people perceive of my wife and me as a godly couple who serve the Lord faithfully and are raising a family to love and serve God. This, I trust, is genuinely true. It is not diminished in the least by the fact that we have visited naturist resorts and have no requirement for clothing in our home.

But if those facts were known, the same people who view us as godly now might begin to perceive us as perverse and ungodly people who are damaging our own children and leading them astray—ideas which are patently false.

  • So by withholding some information, people continue to believe the truth.
  • By revealing information they are not prepared to comprehend, people would believe a lie.

I genuinely wish I could tell everyone about my beliefs about the body and my practice of naturism. I don’t think there has been any other decision in my life (besides my faith in Christ and my marriage) that have had a more profoundly positive impact on my life. And while I’m constantly alert to opportunities to invest related truth in others’ lives, I’ve determined that—at this point in time—full disclosure would be more of a hindrance to truth than a help to it.

If this got out to the wrong people at this stage in our lives, we would sadly suffer for it. We have several friends who have had to endure various levels of persecution because of this lifestyle that is misunderstood and where intentions are grossly misconstrued. Those friends, like us, have weighed the pros and cons and have come to the conclusion they will not compromise their beliefs due to the ignorance of others.

Speaking of friends, here is what some other friends think is the good stuff when it comes to naturism. 

One friend said:

For me it is a self-selected symbol or token of my openness and humility before Him and His will, in preparation of my knowledge that one day I will stand naked before Him at the judgment day, not being able to hide anything from Him, inside or out. In like manner it is also a symbol or token of my love for Him, choosing to shun the influence of shame where God never intended it to be. I choose Him over culture, I choose Him over the masses, and I choose Him over myself. I am one with Him.

Another said:

We have grown closer to each other and to God. We are more open with each other and with God, we don’t seem to try to hide as much from Him (I know not possible anyway). We have developed deeper, more meaningful relationships with our naturists Christian friends than our textile friends and we believe closer to God because of that. Probably the biggest area is that we have learned to study God’s Word better and deeper for ourselves rather than simply trusting the church’s / pastor’s / professor’s response.

One friend got straight to the point saying:

Connection. Connection to God. Connection to self. Connection to others. Connection to creation.

One friend confessed the following:

Choosing to think and live this way with no shame nude before the Lord ultimately freed me from the last residue of porn deep in my mind, heart and soul and for this I am so thankful to the Lord’s holy light shining on the deep dark part of me in order for it to be expelled permanently. This is part of the nude journey with the Lord that so many believers in Christ are afraid to take, but looking back it was worth the spiritual struggle for this true God and Christ centered freedom.

Another also testified:

I’ve had much less issue with lust, because when you desexualize the nude body, it beautifies God’s original design of being “very good” and frankly, I believe it has created a deeper intimacy with my wife and I due to the fact that in a very tangible way, there’s even LESS between us. We’re better connected as spouses and as followers of Christ!

Lastly, this friend said:

One thing that being nude around others has shown me is that God’s creation is good, and He called it good, not me, and his creation includes me and everyone else around me. God’s creation isn’t just good, it’s also beautiful, and nudity makes me appreciate God’s creation!

We wholeheartedly agree with all of these. We are grateful for our friends who share not only our opinions on the body, but who also have the same conviction to live out those beliefs and model them to others. Having studied, prayed about, experimented, and lived out this lifestyle for a while now, we are fully convinced in our minds that it is God’s will for us. I wish others would be open-minded enough to explore it as honestly as we have.

Benefits of Naturism

This is a guest post from a naturist friend of ours, Gregory Cook – reposted with his permission. See the original post here.

Introduction

Why go nude? Why do you need to go nude? What’s the big deal? Why can’t you just be like everyone else? Questions like these are common, as a lot of people have never thought to consider it. In fact, clothes-compulsive people often lack a positive attitude concerning naturism because they *assume* wrong things about it. Some think it’s simply “weird!” Others think it’s harmful. Still others think you’re sinning and going to Hell if you don’t repent. Unfortunately, too many people have refused to move past their assumptions to actually learn what naturism is really all about, much less consider its benefits.

In my own search for truth, I was surprised to discover just how healthy social nudity is. That is, when you practice it correctly, and when you practice it with the right mindset. (I admit some don’t.) The truth is, the benefits are far too many to list here concisely, and so I have listed the ones common in naturism. Maybe you will agree too if you think it through.

When You Go Nude Socially…

  1. You eliminate class distinctions that we all automatically recognize through clothing. When someone is nude, you cannot tell whether they’re a doctor, nurse, policeman, in the military, a high paid executive, clergyman, or whatever. If they’re in a gang, there are no “gang colors” that say so (except maybe unless they have tattoos). Of course, that means you have to get into relationship with the person and get to know them better if you want to know more. That’s a good thing, right? We all want relationship.
  2. You experience more genuine and intimate relationships with others. When you go nude with others as a naturist does, you’re saying, “I am open and honest, and I trust you. Please accept me as I am flaws and all.” Consider the fact that even in clothes-compulsive society nudity is generally a time of intimacy, such as being born, bathing, having sex, or having a doctor examine you.
  3. You learn to separate nudity from sex, and thus you reduce your tendency to see others as “sex objects.” Naturists keep nudity and sex in their proper contexts.
  4. You learn to accept others based on their character, not their image or appearance. Your appearance is less of an issue among naturists. This includes the size or condition of your body as well as its various parts.
  5. You begin to focus more on the whole person and less on their various parts. You even start to see the body itself as a part of the whole person, and you accept each body regardless of its condition.
  6. You see the physical differences between the sexes easily, and realize that nature defines it. Instead of thinking that wearing a dress, something pink, or makeup makes you a female, you realize the real factors that define both the male and female. It becomes generally undeniable and better understood. In a naturist environment, children learn the differences quickly and easily without anyone having to tell them.
  7. You obtain greater awareness, acceptance and appreciation of your own maleness or femaleness, as well as that of others. Modern society is trying to blend and devalue the sexes but in my opinion, we should be celebrating them without degrading each other.
  8. You begin to see how incessant clothing actually contributes to porn and unhealthy fetishes. The moment you make something unavailable is the moment you create value. Rare things are more valuable than everyday things, so when the nude body becomes an everyday thing, it loses its lust value.
  9. You gain a healthier self-image and greater confidence. There’s no need to try to impress others with a certain appearance when others accept you just as you are.
  10. Your desire to improve or maintain your body becomes a matter of health and respect for your body, rather than an attempt to be or feel accepted.
  11. Your body functions as designed. Whether you believe in God or nature, our bodies function a certain way and do better under certain conditions. For instance, your skin is the largest organ of your body and when you cover it with clothes, it cannot “breathe” properly. It benefits from fresh air as well as moderate sunlight. Besides, you can plainly see what all of the other creatures on earth wear. Nothing! That is nature’s design.
  12. You begin to see just how comfortable, practical, and healthy going nude is. You start asking questions like… Do we really need bathing suits to go swimming? (Some rightly call them “costumes.”) After all, what purpose do they really serve? They don’t keep you dry, warm, or clean. In fact, tight fitting clothes are shown to harbor harmful bacteria. Do we really need pajamas to go to bed? Do they help or do they hurt? Studies show that sleeping nude is better for you. If you would simply go nude for a while, you would begin to ask your own questions.

These are just some of the reasons why social nudity is beneficial. All of the reasons boil down to one thing — health — a healthier mind, a healthier body, and a healthier soul/spirit. We all want to be healthier, and this is why naturists go nude.

The truth is, naturism started as a health movement, and for the most part it remains a health movement even though you may not hear many say it flatly. Each naturist has their list of reasons but whatever their reasons are it all inevitably boils down to health. The benefits are so great that many naturists adopt the philosophy, “clothed when practical and nude when possible.”

All scriptures NIV unless otherwise stated.

© 1997, 2020 Gregory Cook