Reflections on the Journey

It’s been 2 years since the crazy day in October when Phil told me he was a Christian naturist. Lately I’ve been reflecting on all that the last two years have held for us. Looking back, I’m blown away by the transformation that God has done, not only in our individual lives, but also the transformation that has taken place in our marriage, in our family, and in our spiritual lives. God has taken us on quite the spiritual ride!

This morning I was preparing dinner. Baking bread and putting soup in the crockpot. Since I wasn’t cooking bacon, I did all of this nude. I began remembering a time when I was uncomfortable being nude alone! Yes, really! Shortly after our talk in October 2019, Phil encouraged me to try to get comfortable being nude at home. I thought it was so weird! What if someone came to the door?? I remember the first time I opened the blinds in my laundry room and let the sun shine in (we have high windows and I am short so there was no chance anyone would see me). The sun felt so good!

Phil and I were laying in bed a couple nights ago unwinding before sleep. We have an open door policy at our house now. If the door is open or unlocked you are welcome to come in. If it is locked, go away. The other night, Phil and I reflected on what it was like at the beginning. I was terrified to be nude in front of our kids. I was afraid it would scar them for life! I remember sitting in our room in November of 2019 and Phil encouraging me to just go to the kitchen and get a drink while the kids were watching TV in the living room. I remember crying worrying about it. I remember our now 17 year old walking in our room while I was under the blanket and asking, “Are you naked?”. When I responded yes, instead of hugging me good night, he rolled his eyes and huffed and went upstairs. I was devastated! I remember having conversations with each of our boys telling them why we were changing our minds about the body and why we felt it was ok for us to walk around our house nude. They all understood. I remember the slow progress we made with them. Our daughter was still young enough that she didn’t have an issue with it at all. We have come a long way! Our children wander in and out of our room nightly now.- just to chill or to talk. They are no longer phased by our nudity. It’s normal for them. None of them are walking around the house nude, but I consider it a win that they are seeing the body as normal.

They are no longer phased by our nudity. It’s normal for them.

I remember our first trip to the naturist park in the middle of December. It had snowed the day before and we were praying for the sun to be out. God is so good and the sun was shining and it was a balmy 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The closer we got, the more nervous I became and started to wonder if we were doing the right thing. When we arrived we were met by the nicest man ever! He knew I was nervous and never pressured me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. On top of that he was (and is) a Jesus follower and I was so grateful for that! Even though we didn’t see many people that day, I am so grateful for the interaction and conversation we had with that man. I am convinced that the Lord used him to help me! I remember walking along one of the trails that day with nothing but my furry boots on and even with the cold temperature, we stayed on the trail for an hour before retreating to the hot tub. I remember feeling the sun on my whole body for the first time. I will never forget the feeling of freedom and the closeness I felt with God that day!

I will never forget the feeling of freedom and the closeness I felt with God that day!

I remember jumping into the deep end with our naturist marriage retreat and how weirdly natural it felt to be with these fellow believers who also were enjoying letting the bodies God gave us breathe. Those people are amazing parts of my spiritual family now. I remember my first time on the nude beach and how awesome it felt to play in the waves and lay on the sand.

I remember all of the times we have been to the park and all the new friends we have made and all the fun. All the deep spiritual conversations we’ve had and all the encouragement given. When we aren’t there, we long to return.

God took something that was meant for evil (a pornography addiction) and turned it into good using naturism. That’s what God does if we will let him. If we will get out of the way and listen to the Lord, he will open new doors for us. He will show us his love and grace in ways we never could have imagined! I’m so grateful that he had prepared my heart and mind, even when I didn’t know it was happening, to be able to embrace my husband and this journey. Even though I’ve been a Christian since I was 7, God used naturism to start me on a new spiritual path. I was stagnant and stale and really dry bones, but God challenged me in my thinking, starting here and it continues. Are you up for the challenge?

Let Us Err on the Side of Faith

This is written by a personal friend who goes by Okie61. He wrote this short, but profound piece for his family and he was gracious enough to share it with us all.

My Family:

By nature Christians try to err on the side of caution when it comes to doing anything that could offend God or other Christians. When we talk about any concept of covering the human body, most Christians would be even quicker than normal to abandon dialogue and state that ‘erring on the side of caution’ is the only prudent course of action.

But when it comes to depending on the power of Jesus’ blood, isn’t erring on the side of caution also erring on the side of little faith? When considering the power of Christ’s sacrifice to save us, is it wise to err on the side of the argument that judges His perfect gift as being…well…not quite as powerful as Adam’s sin?

God created man and woman with the intent that they walk naked with Him in the cool of the morning. God didn’t do that with a child’s innocence. He authored their perfect life with an intellect we cannot fathom, nor should we question. When God acts, He acts with perfect reason.

God knew man would fail, and God knew that an ultimate sacrifice would be required to forgive man’s sin and restore man to God’s plan. Did God author the sacrifice of His only begotten son so that it would not completely cover Adam’s sin? No. In fact, God used the perfect sacrifice of his only begotten Son so everyone would understand that there was no sacrifice more perfect, more powerful, or more complete. As Christ said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Sadly, the issue of naturism does cause many Christians to waver in their awe of the power of Jesus’ blood. The worldly view of the naked human form is so steeped into our culture that most Christians mistakenly consider that Christ’s sacrifice falls short of atoning for Adam’s sin. It is Satan’s lie that makes people consider that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t entirely perfect or complete. Isn’t it an insult to underestimate the power of God? Isn’t that what Peter did when he attempted to walk on the sea to meet Christ? Didn’t that lack of faith by Peter sadden our Savior? Didn’t Christ portray Peter’s lack of faith as a weakness? “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:30)

  1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
  2. Looking unto Jesus the author and FINISHER of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, DESPISING the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Note that Jesus is the author and FINISHER of our faith. He didn’t start it and leave something to be completed later. We are buried in Christ’s death, and we are raised in his resurrection. His blood gives us the power to crucify the lusts that at one time made us sin at seeing the human form— made in His perfect image. Not only does it give us that power, it gives us the responsibility to wash our hearts clean in that sacred blood.

I believe anything less is denying the power of the blood, which washed a wretch like me white as snow. It. Is. Finished.

Your loving dad.

The Sign of Circumcision

When you hear the word “sign” you get the impression that you should to take note of whatever it is that is being called a sign. In fact, most signs are visible, otherwise how are they to be seen and understood?

It’s a terrible analogy but imagine driving high speed on a country road and you see a sign with a cloth draped over it obscuring the message it contains. You wonder what it was trying to convey, and as you are free falling to certain death, you realize it must’ve said “Bridge Out!” OK, I warned you that this would be a stretch, but if there are dangers present on a road you would want a sign to also warn you! Signs communicate all sorts of truths and provide direction and understanding for greater purposes than the sign itself. 

We don’t give much thought to the “sign” of circumcision today, do we? Let’s start contemplating this sign of the Covenant through this “part 1” video:

There’s a lot more to cover, which is why we made a two part video. The question, though, is why did God make such a sign? Maybe you can add your thoughts in the comments. With hyper-privacy and prudish thinking today, we can’t really fathom this being a visible sign, but it certainly was in those days. Maybe the only place today where this would be visible would be the gym (interestingly enough that word comes from the Greek word for naked), but even then, people don’t walk around exposed very often, even in the dressing room! In Bible times, however, you would know for sure who was and wasn’t circumcised. Watch “part 2” for more of which you may not have considered:

The issue of circumcision caused some drama in the New Testament era. Did Gentiles need to be circumcised after conversion to Christianity? It sparked quite the debate as a new issue that was never pondered before. The Judaizers seemed to think they should be circumcised. What did Paul have to say about it? And again, how did people even know who was and who wasn’t in the first place? The answer is nudity was much more commonplace then, and not a taboo like it is today.

Have you thought about this?

Now this last observation is sobering. Our Lord was crucified naked. They cast lots for his clothes. Early art depicted this, but censored art gave way to the loin cloth making the image less shameful and grotesque. Our Lord endured the cross, scorning its shame (Hebrews 12:2)- the shame is not in the nudity, but rather in the complete subjugation and forceful nature of having been tortured. However, our Lord declared, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily (John 10:18 NLT).” He bore the shame of a lowly criminal’s death by his own volition. 

Pilate hung the sign above Jesus that read, “King of the Jews.” Everyone could see that he was not a Roman. He was in fact a Jew. This, not because of the sign above his head, but also because of the sign of the Covenant on his body, which was then broken for us. He gave us another sign- the bread and the cup, that we might remember the new covenant and proclaim his death every time we eat and drink of it until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:26). 

See all posts and videos in the “Objections” series here.

Top Ten Reasons to Become a Christian Comfortablist

This clever and insightful article comes from our friend, Jason. You may recall him from this interview post we did with him. He is also instrumental in the writing of the scripts for our “Objections” series of videos. He’s a good friend and encouragement to us, and we’re so glad he submitted this piece…

Top Ten Reasons to Become a Christian Comfortablist

  1. It’s literally how God made you.
  2. Less Laundry.
  3. Teaches Body Acceptance.
  4. Teaches Humility.
  5. Teaches Vulnerability.
  6. Reminds You that You’re Human.
  7. Helps You Sleep Better.
  8. Makes You Heathier.
  9. Helps De-Stress.
  10. Promotes the Gospel.

What’s a Christian Comfortablist?

It’s like a Christian naturist/nudist, but instead of being naked all the time and/or hating to wear clothes, the mindset is this: clothing is mostly unnecessary. It’s not necessary for “modesty.” It’s not necessary to hide any particular body parts. Clothing is decorative and/or functional. If there’s no good reason to wear it, for example, anytime a person is swimming or sitting in water, then a comfortablist doesn’t wear it.

  1. It’s literally how God made you. God hand-sculpted Adam’s and Eve’s naked bodies from the clay and breathed into them the breath of life. Had He wanted us to be furry or walk on all fours so that our breasts and genitals were obscured, wouldn’t He have done so? By observation, we can see that God wanted our upright bodies with visible genitals to be seen by each other.
  2. A comfortablist is going to have less laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. If desired, bras and underwear can be eliminated from the wardrobe. Resources of space and electricity can be maximized.
  3. Being around other naked people help us realize that our bodies are similar, yet different and come in all shapes and and shades.
  4. For those of us who do not enjoy being seen naked, humbling ourselves and submitting to being seen is a righteous act.
  5. And this leads into vulnerability. When we take away the barriers of clothing, our human status tends to go with it. It’s easier to be truthful and open about your thoughts and beliefs when clothes-free.
  6. Wearing nothing on our skin reminds us that we are a created being – it grounds us – connects us to our roots as living, breathing, feeling beings.
  7. With no restrictions binding you or making you a great place for breeding germs, sleeping nude is also good for genital and reproductive health.
  8. Sunlight is known as the best disinfectant there is. Allowing your skin to make full us of sun and air lets your body soak up vitamins and can also clear up skin blemishes.
  9. Some would say there’s nothing like coming home from work and taking off a tight bra. Why not just take it all off? De-clothing as a ritual is a great way to relax and unwind and tell your body that it can breathe more freely.
  10. In the New Testament, we are called the Body of Christ. Our nude bodies testify of creation and of the truths of fruitfulness and community. Just as the body is made up of many interconnected parts, so is the church meant to be. Owning our humanity – our naked selves – is to testify that Jesus Christ has defeated the Curse and is building His Kingdom with and through us.

So there you have it. Do it for yourself. Do it for Jesus. Try living in your skin when it feels comfortable and see just how great it feels!

Quotes that Speak to Naturism

Directly and Sometimes Indirectly

I have been collecting quotes relating to many subjects for many years. Below is a collection relating to Naturism and Nudism. Since this was a list that I never intended to share as I began I did not always cite where I found the quotes. So, if you know the source please let me know so it can be updated. Others I have intentionally taken the name off because they may have been from private conversations of online chats. If you recognize a quote as your own and you would like your name added please make me aware. There are many more I have collect but not yet sorted, but I’m guessing that most people will not want to read through more that fifteen pages of quoted. 

I would like to thank Phil O. and Mrs. Phil for allowing me the opportunity to make this list public. They are an inspiration and I look forward to meeting them in person in the future.

Thank You,

Randy


Definitions

“Naturism is the enjoyment of getting naked as possible, wherever and whenever appropriate, alone or with others just for its own sake.”—Liz and James Egger, The Complete Guide to Nudism, Naturism & Nudists

The unclad human body is either morally neutral, or it is not. Naturists are moral reformers, whether they think of themselves in those terms or not. Naturism calls upon people to regard their own bodies and those of others as acceptable, not something to be feared or reviled. —Gregg Gatewood (https://nakedtruthjournal.blogspot.com/2010/10/transparency-in-facebook-age.html?m=1#comment-form)

“[Nudity] doesn’t have to be communal before it becomes nudism.” —Liz Egger  

“Nudism is a simple non-judgmental recognition of what is.”  -Sean Ian Hale 

“I am not a naturist, a nudist, a streaker, nor an exhibitionist. Labels are for clothes. My unclothed appearance is also not motivated sexually nor out of any gratuitous need to seek attention. I believe that while society continues to have a fundamentally negative relationship with the human body and appearance, we can never be a free or mature society. It’s the 21st century. Time to evolve.” – Russell Higgs – naked activist

“While Ethical Naturists enjoy the freedom of being nude, they also see naturism as a creed and a life philosophy. They believe that it is immoral to make people ashamed and embarrassed of their own image. They understand that society’s attitude towards the human body results in a lack of self-esteem.  The consequence is often a lack of self-confidence and the beginning of a variety of emotional dysfunctions. Accordingly, they strive to accept their natural selves and to respect others.” —BareOaks Family Naturist Park https://www.bareoaks.ca/ethical-naturism/

Creation 

“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 

“When we gaze upon the human body with purity of heart, what we are seeing is God himself” —Jim C.Cunningham

“The key to being Naked is not just about taking your clothes off … It’s about seeing, feeling and acknowledging every inch of your skin as a holy temple.”—Stephanie McManus  

“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.” —Liz Egger  

“You, reader, were created by the divine Word in your mother’s womb no less truly than Adam & Eve were created by Him. The same beautiful, wonderful, creative God still creates beautiful, wonderful things, including your body.” —Jim Cunningham 

“Nudity is the purest expression of the beauty which is visible, perfect and manifest work of God.—Alexandre Najjar” 

“A Creator-honoring, incarnational view of the naked human body dispels the fantasy-laden, porno-prudish conception religiously taught and pornographically exploited in Western culture.” David Hatton  

“If only we are as upfront about our nakedness as God originally intended, we will dispel the dark lies of pornography and also come To appreciate our own unique, very real beauty “ —Jim Cunningham  

“What the nudist does believe is that the artificial conditions of our machine age have robbed man of light and air that are not only valuable but essential to his physical well-being.” -Frances & Mason Merrill  

“If man were meant to be naked, he would have been born naked” –Oscar Wilde

Self Image

“No one – not one single person in the whole world!- should ever look in the mirror and think “this body is not acceptable to be seen nude.” — Steve @ anaturistfamily.com

“After my morning in the buff, I’m calling BS on “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Going naked with three strangers showed me that beauty is entirely mine to own.”—Jo Stanley

“Nakedness should never be discouraged…the very fact that the law does not permit exposure of certain sex organs is bound to give children a warped attitude toward the human body.”—A.S.Neill

“Conversely, getting naked was the thing that made me realize I am more than a sum of my parts and that no one will ever put me under the micro-scope I’d applied to myself.”—Amy Nickell 

“The truest you can be is taking off those clothes.”—Dacher Keltner

“Naturism offers a way of being that dares to suggest that who we are without any additions or covering up is all we need to be.”—Philip Carr-Gomm  

“Our genitals are neither vulgar or shameful, but the way we have been taught has made us subconsciously feel uneasy about the entire matter.” —Dennis Craig Smith, Naked Fear  

“Body image and the shame for it is a time honored way to sell all sorts of products. It’s insane, but it’s hard to break. When you do break free, it’s like a ton of chains have fallen off your shoulders.”  —Name Withheld  

“For girls especially, there is so much pressure in our society to be a perfect size. As a result, there is a whole generation of people killing themselves to meet a standard that is impossible. Part of living a naturist lifestyle is accepting your body and regaining a normal body image.”-Nicky Hoffman   

“The path to body acceptance is quickly accomplished —and is fun. Since nudity is our natural state, so is body acceptance our natural state. We are born with it and are returning to it; and since we have already been there, there is nothing new to learn. It is simply a remembering of something we’ve already experienced and is accomplished with great joy and freedom— and a sense of returning home.” —Daniel Ziegler  

“Why would anyone want to teach their children their bodies are disgusting, unacceptable and offensive to even look at? Why would anyone want to teach their children self shame, self disgust and to despise their body or any one else’s body? Why would anyone set a bad example to their children by having a prejudicial bigotry against another group of people?” —Unknown

“Here I am! Naked and unafraid! You don’t even have to love me, but is it so much to ask you to simply co-exist?” —Dan Carlson  

“In the world of textiles, we are constantly being bombarded by Madison Avenue and the advertising industry with messages of how we are to look, act, dress, behave, and feel, and it is implied that if we don’t live up to these expectations, I.e. look or dress or act or feel a certain way, there is something wrong with us. We begin to compare ourselves with the models on the screen rather than real people, and we begin to not like ourselves, believing that only the flawless deserve a high measure of self-esteem.” —Daniel Ziegler  

“For someone to tell me – especially the government – that I have to wear clothes, they’re telling me that I have to be ashamed of myself. Government is mandating that people shame themselves.” —Dan Speers  

“To be naked is to be oneself.” —John Berger, ‘Ways of Seeing’   

“Being natural and matter-of-fact about nudity prevents your children from developing an attitude of shame or disgust about the human body. If parents are very secretive about their bodies and go to great lengths to prevent their children from ever seeing a buttock or breast, children will wonder what is so unusual, and even alarming, about human nudity.” —Dr. Lee Salk, Psychiatrist  

“I like it here. When I go to the other swimming pools they all look at my legs. When I come here they look at me.” —12 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy concerning a naturist swim

Religion & Christianity

“God chose the penis to be a sign of the Old Covenant, which He established with Abraham.” —Michael A.Kowalewski.  

“Hiding the body is symptomatic of the soul’s need to hide from God.” —Wayne Olson

“Christians have been partly responsible for this in their attempts to control people’s sexual expression and thereby actually increasing the sexualization of the human body. Clothing actually does nothing to suppress lust and often accentuates it.” —Bob Horrocks 

“To put a loincloth on what God allowed to be stripped off is a sign of our own fears regarding spiritual nakedness.”—Michael A.Kowalewski  

“When sermons teach that [Bathsheba’s] beauty caused King David’s lust, they expound not the words of Scripture but the minds of preachers.” —David L. Hatton

“Oddly enough, when you realize that you actually do have permission before God to see a naked body, it rather loses its mystique and emotional power in your life” —Matthew Neal, The Biblical Naturist http://thebiblicalnaturist.blogspot.com  

“Christians have fallen into the trap of equating nakedness with sin alongside a culture which uses intimately revealing clothing and nakedness to entice and seduce. Such a heady combination has created an unhealthy and unbiblical attitude to the human body.” —Bob Horrocks 

“If uncovered and left that way for periods of time while the mind is kept busy thinking about common life and work, pretty soon the nakedness looses it’s lust appeal —Name Withheld  

“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.” —David L. Hatton 

“Reptiles hide their genitalia to the extent you have to use invasive equipment to figure out if they are male or female. Isn’t it odd that the serpent, the reptile we associate with what God turned Satan into after his garden of Eden assault, is an animal that has no external sex identification?” —Name Withheld  

“When God first asked, “Who told you that you were naked?” it was apparently Satan who had told them this, but now it is missionaries who carry Satan’s message for him telling unaware people around the world that they are naked… For many cultures, which did not previously have a sexually perverted perception of the body, Christians have manufactured indecency where it never before existed…” —Aaron Frost 

“What a singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back in his note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under the severest penalties!” —Henry David Thoreau, Journals  

“Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves.” —Thomas Fuller  

“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.” —Cannot locate reference.  

“Forcing others to wear clothes because we cannot control our own lust, is abuse of others.”  

“Fig leaves belong on trees, not people.” —Corky Stanton

Modesty 

“The convention mis-called “modesty” has no standard, and cannot have one, because it is opposed to nature an reason and is therefore an artificiality and subject to anybody’s whim— anybody’s diseased caprice.” —Mark Twain 

“Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue.” —John Kenneth Galbraith

“Adam & Eve entered the world naked and unashamed— naked and pure-minded. And no descendant of theirs has ever entered it otherwise. All have entered it naked, unashamed and clean in mind. They have entered it modest. They had to acquire immodesty in the soiled mind; there was no other way to get it. A Christian mother’s first duty is to soil her child’s mind, and she does not neglect it.” —Misplaced My Reference  

“Man is the sole animal whose nudity offends his own companions, and the only one who, in his natural actions, withdraws and hides himself from his own kind.” —Montaigne, 1533-1592 

“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?” —Michaelangelo  

“Furthermore, because God created it, “The human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve its splendor and its beauty.” —Pope John Paul II

Clothing

“Complete nudity, in itself, is not erotic.  “It becomes so when preceded by, or contrasted to a state of dress. In this limited context then, all clothes become somewhat immoral if we define immortality 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” 

“It is an interesting question how far people would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes?” —Henry David Thoreau

“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.” —Marilyn Horn  

“What we try to de-emphasize by pretending to ignore, we actually focus on by avoidance. If our intention is to focus attention away from the genitals and our sexuality, then we are achieving exactly the opposite by demanding they be covered up and denounced.” —Dennis Craig Smith, Naked Fear 

“Something anti-climatic happens when socially nude. Since nothing is left to the imagination, the body loses its power of seduction and the novelty of seeing nudity fizzles out rather quickly.” — Excuse My Nudeness: But happiness isn’t always found where you’re led to believe. by Vongani Nkuna  

“I wasn’t really naked. I simply didn’t have any clothes on.” —Josephine Baker

“In truth there is absolutely nothing to shop for that can improve our appearance, because anything we might buy is not us, but merely something hung or gooped on us.” —Jim Cunningham  

“Those who remain in harmony with the purposes of God cannot sin. Since clothing was invented to protect man from sin, it is of no consequence to those who practice Christian virtue.” —Amalric of Bena  

“Clothing has a dual function: to protect and classify socially.” —Marc https://www.nudeandhappy.com 

“As I’ve said on occasion (and others have essentially said here), clothing is a tool. Carry it around when you have a need; don’t when you don’t. The goal is not so much a clothing free world, in my opinion, as a clothing-optional one, so if you like to wear clothes for whatever reason–just occasionally or all the time–I say that’s quite all right.” —Name Withheld  

“I like me better naked. I don’t mean that in a vain way…When you put clothes on, you immediately put a character on. Clothes are adjectives, they are indicators. When you don’t have any clothes on, it’s raw and you can’t hide.” —Padma Lakshmi  

“Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence.” —Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”  

“Is not the most erotic part of the body wherever the clothing affords a glimpse?”  —Roland Barthes  

“Quite All dress is fancy dress, is it not, except our natural skins?” —George Bernard Shaw

“Where artificial modesty is strong the apparel is likely to simulate the genuine sex differences, which are concealed. Thus feminine clothing emphasizes the breasts, the small waist, the broad hips, the small feet. Masculine garb emphasizes broad shoulders, deep chests, powerful arms and stalwart legs. This feature illustrates the hypocrisy of artificial modesty and renders it a hollow mockery, for if it is indeed evil to exhibit the human body, dress should conceal its form as much as possible, instead of revealing and accentuating its sexual traits.”  —Maurice Parmelee 

“Clothes make the man, but nakedness makes the human being.” —Kevin Kearney

“The point is NOT that one must be naked, but that one CAN be naked, and in any context” —Richard Foley

“Is it normal for us keep to our bodies covered in cloth 100% of the time? For some people, walking from the bathroom to the bedroom with no towel handy will cause them extreme panic and stress. Is this healthy? Being naked should just be another form of dress, nothing more, nothing less.” —Unable to locate reference  

“How idiotic civilization is!  Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare, rare fiddle?” —Katherine Mansfield, 1888-1923, Bliss and Other Stories  

“The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.”  —Mark Twain  

“Warning: Clothing has been shown to cause extreme psychological I dependence. Wear it at your own risk…” —Ben Thornton  

“Wearing clothes is like blindfolding the skin – you can’t feel the world around you as you should.”  —Barry Knell  

“The best dress for walking is nakedness” —Colin Fletcher; the Complete Walker

Obscenity

“Nudity is a state of fact; lewdity, to coin a phrase, is a state of mind” —Paul Outerbridge

“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.”— Dennis Craig Smith with Dr. William Sparks

“The trouble with these men who try to adjudicate upon what is moral or immoral in dress is that they really know nothing about the subject.”— George Bernard Shaw  

“Inherent in the condition of laws that prohibit exposure of certain body parts is the circular justification revealed by the following: we know exposure of these parts should be outlawed because showing them is immoral. We know exposing them is immoral because doing so is against the law. Bring into the equation religious dogma based on shame, ignorance and misguided beliefs concerning cause and effect, along with the gullibility of the masses, and you have the major components for maintaining the hysterical elements of what Majorie Heins calls “body phobia”.” —Dennis Craig Smith, Naked Fear  

“The forbidden fruit of mere physical sex differences has come to assume an undue importance, and nakedness regarded as an aphrodisiac subject to pornographic exploitation.” —Frances & Mason Merrill  

“Because naturists don’t think of sex when they undress, because naturists don’t think of sex when they are engaged in wholesome family activities. Because naturists don’t grab a towel for cover, after taking a shower in fear of having others view them in a ‘sex obsessed’ manner? Who are the perverts then?” —Unknown  

“Bathing led to nudity. Nudity led to promiscuity. So believed the colonial lawmakers of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Philadelphia was especially strict in those early years. You could be jailed there bathing more than once a month.” —Unknown  

“Some day people will grow up and realize that the only thing vile about human bodies is the small minds some people have developed within them.” —Dick Hein

Prudery

“Prudery, it seems, provides mankind with endless aphrodisiacs; hence, no doubt the reluctance to abandon it.” — C. Willet Cunningham 

“I just think that people are so weird about nudity and the human body. Sex is not bad, naked bodies are not bad, and naked bodies don’t always have to be connected to sex.” —Emily Browning  

“What we need is both freedom from prudery and the freedom to express our feelings” —Margaret Mead  

“Simply put, bodies will remain scandalous or a source of great temptation to you if you are convinced that they are scandalous and a source of great temptation.” —Phil O. (Aching for Eden)  

“Prudery lays the groundwork for a pornographic mindset.” —David L. Hatton  

“Body shame, like prejudice, is not natural. It is learned from others and benefits no one.”   

“The best thing to do would be to designate everywhere as clothing optional, and we could leave little fenced in areas for the prudes to prance around in. Call them “Prudist Camps”. They could peer out of their fences and indulge in their offensive “I’m offended” behavior whenever they saw a natural person walk by, without bothering the rest of us.” —Anonymous  

“I didn’t grow up with a mother telling me what was under my clothes was bad or evil.” —Charlize Theron  

“The main hangup in the world today is hypocrisy and insecurity. If people can’t face up to the fact of other people being naked or smoking pot, or whatever they want to do, then we’re never going to get anywhere. People have got to become aware that it’s none of their business and that being nude is not obscene. Being ourselves is what’s important. If everyone practiced being themselves instead of pretending to be what they aren’t, there would be peace.” —John Lennon

Dichotomies 

“We alternately think of nudity as a perversion and a state of innocence. Why is our response so contradictory and why is nudity treated so differently in different contexts?”—Ruth Barcan  

“If nakedness is so wicked, why do we place it prominently in our art?” —Unknown to Me  

“We see ourselves positioned between Puritanism on the right and pornography on the left—the will to exploit the human body on one side, and the anxious need to suppress the human body on the other”—Lee Baxandall  

“To paraphrase McWilliams: modesty concerning the body makes no sense at all. Feeling shame about what you have when everyone has one as well is an affront to logic, common sense and the human struggle to understand ourselves.” — Dennis Craig Smith, Naked Fear  

“It makes no more sense to compulsively cover body parts because someone might look and lust, than it does to compulsively cover bakery showcases lest patrons look and indulge gluttonous thoughts. God’s way is always truth, and never deceit.” —Jim Cunningham 

Objectification

“To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen by others and yet NOT recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude.(THE SIGHT OF IT AS AN OBJECT STIMULATES THE USE OF IT AS AN OBJECT.) Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display, To be naked  is to be without disguises.” — John Berger 

“If you are used to seeing people naked, you don’t give much thought about appearances.” —Sylva Sternkopf

“Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. To be naked is to be without disguise. To be on display is to have the surface of one’s own skin … turned into a disguise …The nude is condemned to never being naked.” —John Berger  

“If anything “objectifies” the human form, it is a denunciation of the Nude in the act of artistic expression, since art celebrates life”—Dennis Craig Smith

“The universal or widespread practice of nudity would involve the obliteration to a large extent of class and caste distinctions. It would mean more democracy and individual freedom through the disappearance of many oppressive conventional, moral and legal restrictions. It would restore to the body the importance and dignity to which it is entitled.” —Maurice Parmelee  

“By baring it all, it makes it easier to see not just a body, but the individual. —Sylva Sternkopf  

“I’m a naturist at heart,” she says, “I love being on beaches where everyone is naked. Ugly young people, beautiful old people, whatever. It’s so unsexual and so liberating…” —Dame Helen Mirren.

Morality

“Nudity, therefore, may be welcomed as a contribution to morality by with no need for worry lest it makes us too good for our own happiness. The abandonment of our traditional prudery regarding the naked body would bring the natural instincts of man into better harmony with the requirements of civilized society. He would be healthier mentally, his behavior could improve, and his joy of life would be increased immeasurably.” —Frances and Mason Merrill

Anti-nudity laws are very much like the {previous} prohibitions against alcohol, the Merrill’s argue; both produce the exact opposite of their intended effects. Nudity should be allowed instead as a path to higher morality. —N Magazine 40.3, 2021 pg 7 

“Nudeness is truth, it is beauty, it is art. Therefore it can never be vulgar; it can never be immoral. I would not wear my clothes, if it were not for their warmth. My body is the temple of my art.” —Isadora Duncan 

“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 … Habitual nakedness may indeed be capable of elevating man to a higher mental plane.” —Lucy Irvine  

“Our aim is the healthy mind in the healthy body,” Boone said and I had the feeling he’d said it many times before. “We aim to make nudism not merely a fad, but a new social practice. We believe nudism can rid the world of sex ignorance and prudery by making the human body familiar and accepted without eroticism.   “People ask us why we’re organized, why we don’t just practice nudism as individuals. Well, sir, we believe in this thing, we want it extended and legalized in public places, not merely in such hidden spots as this.” —Rev. Illsey Boone  

“A child who has never been allowed to see his parents and brothers and sisters naked sees nudity as something shocking.” —Dr. Helga Fleischhauer-Hardt  

“Walk Nude, and people won’t need to undress you with their eyes.” —Unknown

“Are we so narrow minded that we show war, murder, rape, etc. on TV, but we do not allow to show one of the most wonderful creations (the human body) in its natural form.” —Mario Roman  

The taboo against nakedness is an obstacle to a decent attitude on the subject of sex.” —Lord Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

“To be offended by the visual appearance of another person is prejudice, akin to racism. The right to exist, uncovered, should hold precedence over the right not to view this, for the objection is irrational.” —Terri Webb  

“In a democracy it is necessary that people should learn to endure having their sentiments outraged …” —Lord Bertrand Russel

Enjoyment

“There’s something joyous about [naturism] and I urge everyone to try it … If you can’t get your kicks in that incredibly innocent, joyful way, then the world is not a good place. —Kate Humble  

“Why does one want to go naked? Good god, what an impertinent question! Why does one want to study a sunrise, listen to a thunderstorm, eat a vine-ripened tomato, smell the hair of someone he loves, or hug a dog?” —Bare in Mind, May, 1974  

“I’d go somewhere where no one spoke. I would take a stack of books up to my hips, and I’d read nonstop. And I’d be reading naked.” —Linda Hamilton 

Kevin Bacon confesses he likes to cut a little footloose at home with his family every now and then — naked. “Not when the nanny is around,” he says. “But I will with my wife and kids.” Why? “There’s something therapeutic about nudity … Take away the Gucci or Levi’s and we’re all the same.” —Style Magazine

Freedom 

“I preach freedom of the mind through freedom of the body …” —Isadora Duncan 

“When I free my body from its clothes, from all their buttons, belts and laces, it seems to me that my soul takes a deeper, freer breath.” —August Strindberg 

“I took off my clothes to dance because I felt the rhythm and freedom of my body better that way.” —Isadora Duncan   

“Forcing Americans to always wear clothing while swimming or sunbathing even in designated or secluded areas is as bad as forcing women to always wear burkhas.” —Corky Stanton – Founder ClothesFree International.

“To some, the freedom to be naked if you want may seem a frivolous issue to explore in any depth during our perilous times. But these are rarified times times as well, a time when all things are coming to light.” —Stuart Ward

“The freest people I know are those who have the least to hide, defend or protect. Naked is powerful.” —Alan Cohen 

“Sometimes I like to run naked in the moonlight and the wind, on a little trail behind out house, when the honeysuckle blooms. It’s a feeling of freedom, so close to God and nature.” —Dolly Parton 

“The girl with dark hair was coming towards him across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, indeed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With all its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole [oppressive] culture, a whole system of thought.” —George Orwell, 1984  

“Nakedness means freedom, and although dancing on a sun-kissed hillside with shorts on seems pretty similar to dancing with shorts off, there is all the difference in the world. It is as if your clothes take on the weight of your worries and concerns – they come to embody your defenses against the world, and if you can feel confident enough and safe enough, then taking them off evokes a powerful sense of liberation, of joy and freedom; and more than that – of innocence and of openness to the world.” —Philip Carr-Gomm, ‘The Druid Way’  

“Don’t let those who have body negative values define what is and what is not acceptable. Seize your freedom and restore your dignity!” —BodyFreedom.org  

“Sure, some people might believe they are offended by nude bathers, but, if you never encounter anything that offends you in your community, you are not living in a free society.” —Corky Stanton – Founder ClothesFree International. 

“When I free my body from its clothes, from all their buttons, belts, and laces, it seems to me that my soul takes a deeper, freer breath.” —August Strindberg  

“We find that relaxing with clothes off at Elysium Fields [Naturist Resort] is a great tension reliever, for ourselves and our kids too.”—Lynn Redgrave

Vulnerability

“Nudism, in my mind, is sort of like the ultimate display of vulnerability between people. It is, as has been noted, actually opposite of exhibitionism as opposed to being related to it. Of course, there are some nudists who are exhibitionists, but they are to be pitied for missing for the point, I think.” —Name Withheld 

“Naked is the best disguise.” —Jeanette Winterson 

“[Being] naked out of doors and in the water [restores] my sense of blissful innocence. It takes me back to that place of my almost forgotten childhood, where I got to run around undressed without anyone telling me I had to cover up or be embarrassed.” —Elizabeth Rosner

“[When] one is nude, your senses are heightened … You become open to the universe, not only physically, but emotionally, unprotected, unmasked. It may be symbolic of allowing the Divine and the World to see you as you really are.” —Alkemie Jane 

“[T]o undress is to expose our story. When someone has the courage to stand truly naked before us, the courage to share that story, something deep within us has the potential to be unveiled too.” —Maria Ede-Weaving (quoted by Philip Carr-Gomm)  

“I am convinced that there is an intimacy that we are missing out on walking around in our clothes. It is an intimacy so deep that we don’t even miss it until you experience it. But it is there buried deep in our core waiting for us to come home…” —Mrs. Phil (Aching for Eden https://achingforeden.wordpress.com/2021/02/13/instant-family/ )

“The Britons (say historians) were naked, civilized men, learned, studious, abstruse in thought and contemplation; naked, simple, plain in their acts and manners; wiser than after ages…”  —William Blake, in a review of his own lost picture ‘The Ancient Britons’

In Nature

“In terms of deep reverence, being naked allows us to feel more acutely the relationship with the breeze, the wind, the skies, the light and the dark  … the fullness of the natural world, and so encourages a richer, more genuinely felt interaction.” — Emma Restall Orr

“There is nothing in all the world more beautiful or significant of the laws of the universe than the nude human body.” —Robert Henri

“The woods don’t mind if I strip naked.” —Marty Rubin  

“[Being] naked out of doors and in the water [restores] my sense of blissful innocence. It takes me back to that place of my almost forgotten childhood, where I got to run around undressed without anyone telling me I had to cover up or be embarrassed.” —Elizabeth Rosner  

“I come from a country where you don’t wear clothes most of the year. Nudity is the most natural state. I was born nude and I hope to be buried nude.” —Elle MacPherson, Australian model and actress.

“Apparently it cannot be repeated to often the ideal of the nudist is not a “ return to nature,” in the sense of the wholesale scrapping of modern civilization; indeed it is not even an immediate sloughing of all its garments. It is merely the correcting or counteracting of some of civilization’s evils through the laying aside of clothes, not when the latter are useful, but when they are detrimental.” —Frances & Mason Merrill

“My favorite thing is to be naked, which is why I always live in remote areas. My ideal is to wake in the morning and run around the meadows naked. I think it’s a good idea to live in harmony with nature.” —Daryl Hannah  

“I like to run down to the beach and have a little swim in the nude in the morning.” —former US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara  

“Be glad, my merry friends, and let the warm sunlight heat now heart and limb! Cast off these cold rags! Run naked on the grass, while Tom goes a-hunting!” —Tom Bombadil in J.R.R.Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’  

“The body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one’s flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable.” —John Muir, founder of The Sierra Club  

“Human beings to me are as much a part of nature as trees or birds, and the unclothed body expresses this belongingness directly and powerfully.” —Wynn Bullock   

“We say ‘nakedness is natural’, but have we begun to think through all that means? It is so basic. A human being is an innocent part of nature. Our civilization has distorted this universal quality that allows us to feel at home in our skin. Other animals have coats that they accept, but the human race has yet to come to terms with being nude.” —Ruth Bernhard   

“We have come into the world naked, and all the animals are naked, why should man hide his body behind clothes?” —Osho 

“With a little inner pirouette of excitement I realized just how much there was to look forward to tomorrow. The thought of being all day naked in the sun was delicious enough in itself, but there was the whole of our new world to explore.” —Lucy Irvine, Castaway  

“I just love having no clothes on outside, and the only time to do that is when the sun’s shining. It’s a wonderful sensation to not have any clothes on.” —P.J. Harvey, singer.  

“Take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet. Then take off your clothes and feel the sun and the air and the world.” —Barry Knell

Humor 

Worf: Captain, I do not think it is appropriate for a Starfleet officer to appear … naked.  Picard: Oh, come now! A big, handsome, strapping fellow like you? What can you be afraid of? —StarTrek The Next Generation  

“You have never seen a person with clothes on? Oh well, you haven’t lost anything.” —Mark Twain  

“I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, : I am mad for it to be in contact with me.” —Walt Whitman: From Song of Myself (1855)

People who walk around in the rain naked don’t get wet, they get washed. —Hone Tuwhare   

“Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! –ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness then indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent. Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are!) has not really known what purity is–nor what faith or art or health really is.” —Walt Whitman, Specimen Day  

“The church says: The body is a sin. Science says: The body is a machine. Advertising says: The body is a business. The body says: I am a fiesta.” —Eduardo Galeano, “Windows on the World”

“When wearing only a smile – be sure to smile a lot.” —Unknown  

“I think on-stage nudity is disgusting, shameful and damaging to all things American. But if I were 22 with a great body, it would be artistic, tasteful, patriotic and a progressive religious experience.” —Shelley Winters  

“I simply can’t understand Why swimsuits are in such demand They’re soggy and damp, Bind like a clamp, And hold about three pounds of sand!” —D.R. Benson  

“Nudism is not a spectator sport. We all have the equipment and everyone can play.” —Jim C. Cunningham  

“Not all the Greek runners in the original Olympics were totally naked. Some wore shoes.” —Mark Twain

“Being naked approaches being revolutionary; going barefoot is mere populism.” —John Updike  

“There are those who so dislike the nude that they find something indecent in the naked truth.” —F.H.Bradley  

“Just because I’m naked doesn’t mean you have to be.” —Richard Foley

Work 

“It is important to work naked from the start, so it becometh as second nature, and no thought of ‘I have no clothes’ shall ever intrude and take your attention from the work.” —Gerald Gardner  

Brad Pitt was asked if he enjoyed starring as the half-naked Greek demi-god Achilles in the film Troy. Pitt said, “I’m naked all the time at home.”  

“If possible, compute in the nude.” —From the book “Supercharging MS-Dos” by Microsoft Press, 3rd Ed., pg. 393, under the section “Static Electricity Is A Killer”  

“On the fourth day of telecommuting, I realized that clothes are totally unnecessary” —Dilbert

Delusions  

“The Body Delusions: Ten Misconceptions About Our Physical Selves 

1. Nakedness in the flesh is ungodly and immoral
2. Without clothes a person is incomplete
3. Nakedness in the flesh is lewd, in art aesthetic
4. Nakedness in the flesh always produces sexual arousal
5. The genitals are vulgar and shameful
6. Women’s breasts are indecent
7. The sex act is nature but obscene
8. Sexual pleasure is lascivious and morally suspect
9. Since primitives are beneath us, their nakedness is irrelevant to the concept of indecency
10. Nakedness during infancy is our and sublime. After that obscene.”
—Dennis Craig Smith, Naked Fear

To Be Nude is Enough

The following is a guest post by a reader of this blog who is now a friend we have met in person. We’ll call him John Figleaf here. We appreciate his vulnerability in his testimony and are thankful he is sharing this piece with us on this blog.

I finally realize that all I really longed for was to be nude – and accepted in it. It’s been a lifelong journey of dealing with sexual frustration as a human male. Part of that journey was as a young Catholic, another part as an agnostic, and the last part as a loved son of Father God.

My young formative years were filled with all of the expected religious shame associated with my body – confessing sins that were not really sins at all but just a youthful discovery of how my body worked. Other unfortunate incidents brought a genuine shame from acts that were instilled in me from others and brought a very real measure of sexual confusion.

Later years shaped all of that sexual confusion and frustration into a heavy burden of addiction that seemed impossible to remove. When I became a genuine follower of Jesus at the age of twenty-nine, the Lord instantly delivered me from a horrible alcohol addiction. But for many years I wondered why Father God didn’t heal my sexual frustrations and deliver me from its associated addictions.

For many years I wondered why Father God didn’t heal my sexual frustrations and deliver me from its associated addictions.

Sexual lust was always looking for a way to be satisfied in my life, but the flesh is NEVER satisfied. Fortunately I was able to keep limits on the addiction and always remained physically faithful to my wife, but the love-hate relationship with pornography is always destructive. Realizing I could not break free (in spite of trying all of the religious tactics), I began to acquiesce by looking for the “good” porn. I even ended up on a so-called Christian website where contributors would write articles and stories of their marital sexual lives. Eventually I realized that it was still lust filled exploitation by confused followers of Jesus.

Throughout many of these years I also approached my life issues like King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes. Trying everything and searching for wisdom and understanding. I began to open myself up completely to Father God as described in Hebrews 4:13 – “but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” As I began to share all the gory details of my sexual life with Father God I began to notice a pattern of restoration and freedom beginning to evolve.

This eventually led me to an understanding of Naturism. Sometimes non-Christians have a much better understanding of certain aspects of life than “religious” believers. And that is certainly true of Naturism. I discovered I had much to learn from them and began to devour everything “Naturism” in blogs, podcasts, and books.

Then the Lord took me one step further in understanding the joy and special freedom from a Christian Naturism perspective. To understand the naked human body as the image and likeness of God with no shame attached to it was a special revelation from my Father. It was one of those things that moved from the head to the heart. The glory of the body was now viewed through this revelation with a deep appreciation for His very special creation.

When the Lord delivered me from my alcohol addiction I did not drink for thirty years. And then one day I asked the Lord if I could enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine without it destroying me again. And his answer was yes – I was free from my “wrong perception and use” of alcoholic beverages. So for several years now that has become an added enjoyment in my life.

I mention this because I’ve discovered that my life-long sexual dysfunction was simply having a wrong perception and use of it. Through Naturism and really knowing the body as the image of God, I am able to enjoy it without lust, shame, or addiction.

Through Naturism, and even more specifically Christian Naturism, I am now sexually at peace within myself – and just to be nude is enough.

Noah and the Curse

Does the story of Noah and Ham justify racism and slavery? Many used to think it did. Does it support the prudish view that you are not to see another person naked? Many today think it does. Upon closer examination, however, it does neither.

It comes down, like so many other objections, to simple Hebrew euphemisms. Watch the short video to see the explanation:

A perspective of Michael Heiser’s that I would agree with comes from his “The Naked Bible Podcast” (I love the name, and it’s not even a naturist podcast!) Here is a downloadable transcript. This great episode about this oft misunderstood passage rehashes the scholarly work of Bergsma and Hahn found here.

What IS clear is that there is something way beyond simple nudity at play here. And yet, this remains one of the most common objections of all against the practice of non-sexual social nudity. There’s not much else to say about this that is not covered already by the video or the podcast link.

One other resource that would be beneficial to anyone who brings this story up against Christian naturists would be “Who Said You Were Naked?” by David L. Hatton. While it does not bring up this story, it is a clarion call to those who have had those knee-jerk reactions like this of body shame and porno/prudery in their theological framework to think more deeply and be more body friendly like the God who created us is.

On page 192 he says:

When Gnostic prudery’s enchantment is broken, a mental veil is lifted. The blind legalism of deceptively “opened” eyes is replaced by a human-friendly vision of our incarnate nature. Body shame insulated us from a proper perception of ourselves. Body acceptance mentally restores not only a human-friendly attitude about our embodiment, but a Creator-honoring perspective on His handiwork.

A variety of resources and evidences confirms this awareness. One is a careful, thoughtful review of Scripture itself, but only when done with the culture-tinted spectacles of prudery removed. Then we will see that, unlike today, those in Bible times were familiar with routines that made occasional nudity a normal part of life. A human-friendly rereading of the Bible can also show us how God uses our physical sexuality to symbolize His divine plan for human salvation and how our bodies visually reflect certain divine attributes or convey divine message about Himself.

I agree with Hatton, not only on these points, but also the conviction he has written about– that once you know the truth, you must speak the truth as a way of making restitution for the wrong and harmful interpretations the church has historically baptized as gospel.

See all posts and videos in the “Objections” series here.

Blind and Naked

The book of Revelation was written in Apocalyptic genre. Our bookstores today don’t carry books in that category. There are no Apocalyptic sections or aisles to peruse. The highly symbolic nature of this style of writing is very foreign to us. Revelation also has over 400 allusions to the Old Testament. If we knew our Old Testaments better, our interpretations of this prophetic book would be more in tune with the author’s intent. As always, historical background and grammatical context are key to arriving at a good understanding of the intended meaning of the text. That was our approach to the following video.

I just love the way Jesus knows his original audience and shines a light directly on what needs to be addressed with scathing accuracy. That the World May Know with Ray Vander Laan points out the following details about Laodicea’s history:

Laodicea was renowned for three main industries:

A banking center for the province of Asia Minor, including a gold exchange; The textile center where glossy, black wool was woven into garments called trimata that were prized in the Roman world; The location of a major medical school known worldwide and where an eye salve called Phyrigian powder was made from a local stone.

Revelation 3:14-22 makes a lot more sense when you know these details.

In 60 AD an earthquake destroyed the city. Unlike surrounding cities, Laodicea refused funds from Rome to rebuild the city because they prided themselves on their own wealth. Their banking institution even minted its own coins that said the words, “We did it ourselves.” (See Bema podcast)! In their pride, they confided in themselves leaving little room for God (sounds familiar). They only sore spot was the source of water.

Laodicea was situated between Hierapolis and Colossae. Hierapolis was known for it’s hot mineral water and Colossae had cold spring water. Water had to be piped in from 6 miles to Laodicea. The mix of hot and cold caused the water in this town to be, you guessed it, lukewarm!

All of these facts make Jesus’ words sting all the more. In this passage, Jesus is not saying that nudity is a sin. Far from it. He’s comparing and contrasting several areas to point out the spiritual need of the people. They aren’t rich, they’re poor, spiritually. They aren’t healing blindness, they ARE blind, spiritually. They don’t have luxurious black wool garments, they are naked and need white clothes (Lookup Revelation 19:8 to see how the text itself interprets the fine linen we are to wear). Compare and contrast.

Some people insist on reading Revelation literally. Others spiritualize everything allegorically. I choose to read it naturally. If it’s a symbol (commonly known as one) let it be a symbol. If it’s a literal reference, let it be one. You can’t read all of Revelation literally. Otherwise (just one example) the flat earthers may be right about the four corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1)! We know that to be an expression meant to convey the idea of the whole world. That one is obvious. Psalm 50:10 is an example outside of Revelation showing how numbers need to be weighed, not measured. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. What about hill #1001? Does he cease to own the cattle from then on? Or is all the earth the Lord’s and everything in it?

A strict literal reading might in some small way seem to indicate that nakedness is shameful. However, this is not the natural reading of the passage. The poverty and destitution associated with nakedness, before the invention of the loom, is what was shameful. Is being poor or blind a sin? No. Those are the other word pictures given in context. The point isn’t to show these pitiful conditions as sinful in and of themselves. The point was to show that when you trust in yourself and try to prove you have no need for God, you are actually to be pitied for your spiritual condition of weakness.

There is great danger in pride and self-confidence. Let’s not let that also define how we approach sacred texts, ignoring all the clues left to help us interpret Jesus’ words correctly.

Treasured

We all know that feeling. We arrive at the area pool with our kids just hoping to get a couple hours of relaxation while they swim with their friends. Instead, the second we walk through the gate we are bombarded with the thoughts. “Wow, she looks great! How does she have 3 kids and still look like that? I have three kids, (or 2 or 1) and I look like a beached whale!” “I should have bought the black bathing suit.” “I should have just worn my shorts instead of this bathing suit.” “Ugh, why do I have to be so fat?” “I shouldn’t have eaten my birthday cake for the last 40 years. I hate myself for eating that cake.”  Anyone else have this experience or one similar? I know it’s not just me. Should we take care of our bodies? Absolutely yes! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” We aren’t all going to look the same in the process of caring for our bodies though. I am never going to weigh 140lbs but I can do healthy things to care for my body at 200lbs. Would God love me more at 140lbs? God’s love is not earned or lost. A good, loving parent doesn’t stop loving their child because of bad choices they make, or weight they gain. A loving parent continues to love that child! When our children are struggling is when we most want to wrap them up and snuggle them until they feel better. It’s when we want to speak words of life into their little (or big) hearts and spirits. In the same way when we are struggling, the Lord wants to comfort us! He wants to take our faces in His hands as he looks deeply into our eyes and tells us, “You are beautiful! You are loved! You are never alone! You are treasured!” 

“You are beautiful! You are loved! You are never alone! You are treasured!”

I want to be seen like that! I want to see myself like that! I want to know I am a beautiful child of God who is known and loved and treasured! Not only that, I want to see others that way! For a long time, most of my life in fact, I was very judgmental. I know I’ve talked about this in the past. I love that the veil has been lifted from my eyes and I no longer look at people the same. God, give me your eyes to see your children the way you see them! Help me to see past the superficial things and ways of the world and into the heart and soul of those around me. Show me the hurting, the lost, the confused, the tired, the worn and weary and use me to pour out your love to them. 

Can we have and develop empathy like this without naturism? Absolutely yes and many have! For me, though, God used naturism to open my eyes to what my attitude was like. No matter how we dress, sweat pants and a t-shirt, jeans and blouse, or jacked up for the red carpet, people are going to make assumptions about us based on our clothing. But clothes don’t make the person. We are all way more than the clothes we put on everyday. My clothes don’t show you what’s in my heart. My clothes don’t show you what my values are. You can only truly know who I am by connecting with me on a more personal level. Finding out what we have in common. With naturism right off the bat we know we have that in common and it opens the door for more conversations and relationship building. We have met so many amazing people at the naturist resort we frequent. Friendships are being built. Lives are being shared. We need each other on so many levels! 

As I type this we are at a Christian naturist gathering. There are around 50 of us here. This week we have worshipped together, prayed together, fellowshipped together, eaten together, and grown together. While our official worship sessions are over for the week, the relationship building continues. Some of these people I am meeting for the very first time, but we already have an instant connection without knowing anything else about each other. As Christian naturists we are like-minded in that we believe we have all been created in the image of God and we are living that out by hiding nothing during this week of iron sharpening iron. We have spent hours in the pool enjoying the sunshine and discussing Scripture while all the kids splashed around. I imagine that is a picture of what heaven might be like except maybe Jesus will be floating around with us! There is no judgement here. There is love, acceptance, respect and appreciation for the bodies that God has given us. God is in this place with us. You can feel him. You can see him in the image bearers that are here desiring a deeper relationship and walk with the Father! God may not walk with us in the cool of the day in the same way he did with Adam and Eve, but there is no denying that he longs to be with us and is pleased when his children draw near to him.  I believe in the same way we long to return to a Garden of Eden existence with God, he longs for that too! Until the day he returns for us, we are aching for Eden together. 

Seeing as God Sees

“…the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b ESV)

This verse is more true than we think it is. We do not see people as God sees them. In the context of 1 Samuel 16, you have a perfect example of this being played out. The singer Ray Boltz described it this way in his song:

One by one,
Jesse’s sons stood before the prophet,
Their father knew a king would soon be found,
Each one passed except the last,
No one thought to call him,
For surely he would never wear a crown.
But when others see a shepherd boy,
God may see a king

How does this play out in real life? We are conditioned by the world around us to see through the lenses of the world. It’s oftentimes a harsh, petty, shallow, and judgmental world. Snap judgments are made instantaneously, many times based on how someone is dressed or other superficial details we observe. We are unaware of how prone we are to agree with the standards of the environment we live in. God calls us to be aliens in a foriegn land (1 Peter 2:11). Being holy as God is holy means being set apart (1 Peter 1:16).

The whole goal of Christianity is to become more Christ-like. Philippians 2 begins this way: “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ… then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:1-5 NIV) The context continues showing how Jesus lowered himself, not considering equality with God as something to be grasped, but instead emptied himself, and gave himself for others. John 15:13 ESV  states that “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Furthermore, we see this beautiful example and exhortation in 1 John 3:16 NIV- “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

True love is extending one’s self to serve others. I see the spousal love analogy (of a man giving himself in love to his bride) as a beautiful picture or image of how Christ gave of himself and sacrificed for his bride. He even said, “This is my body, which is for you…” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Your highest calling as a Christian (how Jesus summarized both the Law and the Prophets) is to love God with everything and then love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). How can we do this effectively? One thing we need to do is to stop seeing others the way the world does, and instead start seeing them the way God does.

Brandon Heath was on to something when he penned the words of his song:

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missin’
Give Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

One last beautiful example is from Genesis 16. Abram and barren Sarai are trying to take God’s promise of being the fathers of a great nation into their own hands. They convince their slave Hagar to conceive a child for Abram. When she is pregnant, Sarai begins to mistreat her, to the point that she runs away. In the wilderness, exposed and vulnerable to the elements, the angel of the Lord comes to comfort her. He tells her to go back, and promises Ishmael (when born) will also have a great number of descendants as well. Verses 13-14 are often glossed over, but they contain the point I am trying to make.

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi (meaning well of the Living One who sees me.); it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.” (Genesis 16:13-14 NIV)

Hagar was a slave woman, forced to conceive a child for her master, mistreated by her mistress to the point that she would run away to the desert to die. This is a person that the world has chewed up and spit out, so to speak. But God saw her. It affected her so profoundly that when others would turn a blind eye, God would see her. 

One of humanity’s greatest needs is to love and be loved and to be seen (noticed, valued and appreciated). Steve Pokorny writes about having your vision redeemed (See book Redeemed Vision). His thesis is that we live in a pornified culture and are blinded by several messages the world bombards us with, that contradict the truth of how God sees us and others. Like the blind man in Mark 10:51, we too should cry out, “Master, Let me receive my sight.”

My mother knows that I am a naturist. The other day, she heard me preach in church about how I overcame the problem of lust in my heart and mind. We spoke a little more afterward about our plans for vacation in a naturist park, where we will gather with many other Christians and have daily times of worship and devotional thoughts and incredible fellowship. “And you’re all naked? How can you do that? You say there’s no lust? I can’t wrap my head around it.” she would say. I replied, “I know. That’s the problem.” This way of seeing others is crucial not just in naturism, although it was naturism that was a catalyst for my change in thinking about a great number of things. You have to see others the way God sees them (Imago Dei, made in his own image). He loves them. He doesn’t lust. You also can’t lust after someone and be loving (serving) them at the same time. 

Sadly, my mom went on to say that she doesn’t even like to see her own body, and called it ugly. This breaks my heart. Because I know that when God sees her, he sees a beautiful person, survivor of breast cancer with a mastectomy, a work of art not just on the outside, but also on the inside. God sees the whole person for who they are and what value they bring to humanity. I see my mom the way God sees her. I only wish she could see herself that way. It’s the way I look at everyone now. I know I’m not God, but should that stop me from trying to be more like Him?