A Whole Nude World

A review featuring excerpts of “A Whole Nude World: Why You Should Come Join Us Today!” By Michael Douglas (not the actor!).

When this book came out, I bought it right away on Kindle and also a hardcopy. I did this one, because it seemed interesting and I always like to learn more about this subject, and two, because I’d seen on Twitter that the author tagged us in a thank you tweet. This was a surprise to me, as well as having our blog cited in several footnotes throughout the book. We were also listed first in the list of recommended blogs for Christian Naturism. 

All this said, I appreciated a lot in this book. The constant encouragement to try it out for two days to see if all else that is said is true. He maintains that after only one visit, nerves and other factors may not paint the full picture for you. He takes a brief looks at the history of the movement. He also includes Christian issues that are commonly seen as objections and a reconciliation of these ideas. The author set out to write the book he wishes was available to him when he was researching naturism as an American and a Christian. This is an admirable desire and contribution. Some political concept are brought up from the conservative point of view, but are minimal.

I ended up buying another hardcopy to give away to a friend to introduce them to the idea and benefits of naturism. One critique is that it could’ve been shorter in length, more brief. It’s a good starter book with practical advice. What I like to do in these reviews is post some of my highlighted excerpts and let the author’s work speak for itself (good or bad). So here are some of my favorite quotes:

Many Americans have unquestioningly passed down the puritanical mindset about nudity cemented in the Victorian Era: nudity presumptively equals sexuality. p.8

I wanted my friends to know that the Holy Bible and naturism are compatible; people who proclaim Jesus Christ is the Son of God participate in naturism even today. Some Christians have believed and taught myths about the human body and many people still believe and teach them by relying more on what tradition says rather than what God has actually said. p. 9

People who spend time naked are often happier than clothed people. This is why many times you see pictures of people enjoying naturist places or naturist events, the people in the group photos are smiling. Naturists write anecdotes on Reddit, their blogs and other online places about how naturists seem to be friendlier than other people. p. 44

Minds take time to change, especially on this issue where the opposite view is prevailing and has been reinforced for decades; rarely does a full-blown change happen overnight. Be patient. p. 70

…you won’t be judged based on your appearance. The people you meet at a naturist place have seen it all before—birth marks, scars, all stages of pregnancy, stretch marks, signs of aging, tattoos, piercings, pubic hair, etc… Concerns about your particular look, while understandable, will be greatly minimized because it’s not novel and your personality is what matters. You are a unique individual, a Designer’s original; at a naturist place, you will be respected as one and people want to listen to you and hear what you have to say. Being naked is a very freeing experience. p. 72

You didn’t let your nervousness over driving alone immediately after you got your license stop you from driving a car ever again and now driving is nothing remarkable. p. 74

The idea that children are harmed by viewing the nudity of adults lacks substantiation. In fact, Swiss psychiatrist Helga Fleischhauer-Hardt reached the opposite conclusion as the famed Dr. Spock and Dr. Brothers. “No evidence supports claims that exposure to nudity produces a higher number of psychosexual problems in either children or adults who were raised in such an environment.” p. 82

Of all the clear moral laws in the Bible, Christian naturists have not found verses supporting the universal clothing mandate taught by many people. p. 87

Since the Bible does not explicitly call public nudity sinful, Christians should not be elevating or equating our personal policy preferences to meet the standard for what defines a sin, as God said adding to His Word is problematic. p. 90

“Nakedness was such an ordinary part of everyday life for the ancient people of God that their identity, through circumcision, was never in doubt.” p. 91 (quoting Bob Horrocks)

You will encounter people as whole people and not just for the collection of parts barely covered like on a textile beach. The cultural standards people place around clothes and nudity make objectifying women a bigger problem because certain parts are covered…. If the laws were repealed against nudity, people could see more skin: the penis, breasts and vulva would lose much of their mystique as nonsexual nudity normalizes. A federal judge recognized this when she wrote the following in her ruling “The irony is that by forcing women to cover up their bodies, society has made naked women’s breasts something to see.” p. 94

Another way to recognize this is true is to argue that decades and decades ago, it would have been a scandal for a woman to show her shoulder down to her arm or a man to display his chest on a beach and sometimes showing that much skin resulted in legal problems, yet today Americans do not think anything of a topfree man or a woman showing her shoulder anywhere in the United States. p. 94

[On the stumbling block argument] That argument is summarized in a quote falsely attributed to Mark Twain: “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” p. 103

The naturist response to “nobody wants to see that” is nobody is looking at you or evaluating your looks. Naturists don’t believe that any part of the body is dirty, private or ugly because your body was created by God. We don’t hide our ears even though those are a twisted flap of skin and cartilage; if you want to consider any body part ugly, ears are a great contender; most people don’t think about their own ears or other’s ears very much because they are just there. The naturist view is the rest of your body should be just like your ears. p. 107

Your scars, weight, and other perceived imperfections you notice when you are naked alone, but naked in a group of 2, 3, 7, 15, 50 other people, the imperfections you used to notice often matter little and you focus on the community experience and how much fun naturism is. p. 109

Whole studies have been done about how naturism relates to body image and studies show naturism helps people deal with body image issues and they are more confident and happier despite their perceived imperfections. p. 109

…experience comes from practicing, not just knowing about a topic. p. 142

You can see there’s lots of good content here. Of course, there are pages and pages more. Get your own copy on Kindle or paperback today!

A Washing Machine Revelation

By John Figleaf

We hated our washing machine from the very first day we bought it over seven years ago. It frustrated my wife intensely, which caused me to dislike it very much also. After all, “if Mama ain’t happy – then nobody’s happy!” After my wife’s disabilities increased and I had to take over the laundry, I begin to literally hate this machine that would never seem to work like I wanted it to. It would tangle clothes, go off balance, and often sit and go into “sensing mode” for no apparent reason. From the very first day I began to curse that machine calling it all kinds of derogatory names and even kicking it and pounding on it with my fists! I’m really not a violent guy, but this was a bit of a phobia I had towards it – for seven long years!

Recently, after a really frustrating day with the dang thing, I finally had it and was going to get a new one. This one was going to the junkyard – that is until I looked at the prices of new ones! Yikes! Even the cheap ones are expensive! Ok, now I’m looking with a new mindset of perhaps living with this monster of a machine a bit longer.

I don’t know if it was the Holy Spirit or just me in desperation, but a thought came to my mind. John, you’re cursing this machine all this time. Why don’t you try blessing it? Quickly recognizing the biblical truth before me, I right then and there repented for cursing my washing machine and started to call it blessed out loud. I even declared it to be part of the Kingdom of Jesus and is therefore blessed in my household!

Well, wouldn’t you know it – shortly thereafter the Lord opened my eyes to what was wrong with it and how it could be fixed. I say, “opened my eyes” because I literally was blind to a simple method of making it work correctly. I’m a mechanical kind of guy. I should have recognized the problem easily, but I believe my cursing it literally blinded me to the obvious – and blessing it literally opened my eyes to changing this machine from a monster to a very pleasant and useful piece of equipment.

Shortly thereafter, I began to ponder about how this cursing thing had affected my life in various ways. Naturally, I began to review my journey out of lust and pornography into Christian Naturism – and the similarities began popping up all over the place.

  • I was constantly cursing my body.
  • My body was a monster – rarely acting the way I wanted it to. Always going off balance and getting tangled up in stuff it shouldn’t.
  • Just as I would kick and beat on the washing machine, I would abuse my body by looking at porn and doing destructive things with it. It was the same love/hate relationship I had with the washing machine. I had one and had to use it for better or worse.
  • Just like having a phobia about that washing machine, I would look at my body as evil and corrupt and must be dealt with very harshly.
  • I also began to see how many woman could hate their body and call it cursed – hoping to get rid of it and upgrade to a new model!

It wasn’t until I fully realized that my body is blessed because it is the Image of God that I began to be “repaired” and now my body works properly. I call it blessed and it exists in a blessed environment in the Kingdom of Jesus. My being nude is no longer going off balance with lewd. My nudity is no longer tangled up in the spin cycle of the world. The lie that my body is cursed has been washed away! I am clean, whole, and functioning very nicely without clothes. Who needs a washing machine anyway!

Breaking Naked (by Jochanaan)

This is a guest post from our friend Jochanaan’s blog. Reposted with permission. Check out the original post and the rest of his blog here.

Reconditioning Our View of Nudity

Many people have become aware of nudism or naturism in recent years. They have lots of questions about it, and many objections, but there are two objections that I see over and over; the words vary, but the common “threads” run like this:

•Our religion or laws or founding documents forbid it.

•It’s just a prelude or excuse for sexual activity. 

The first objection can be answered by study, logic and reasoning. But the second one is harder to dismiss since it’s many people’s life experience. 

Can humans in fact be naked together with other humans without always doing or thinking about sex? Even asking the question seems foolish to many people. Many men who have yet to experience nudism wonder how we nudists control that semi-involuntary bodily reaction known as erection. But as many nudists have discovered, we can be naked together with no more arousal or wish to do sex than if we were at work, or a concert, or any social gathering.

How do we do this?

Before I became a naturist or nudist (the terms are interchangeable but have slightly different connotations), I developed a simple reconditioning program for myself. At first I wasn’t sure this program would change my thoughts about nudity, but it did. Now it’s time — long past time, maybe! — to tell others how they also can change thought patterns that seem to be unchangeable. 

By restudying our sacred texts, seeking out non-erotic nude imagery, and going naked by ourselves and with others, we can break societal mindsets and recondition our minds and bodies to experience nakedness not as erotic or shameful but as normal.

Restudy our sacred texts

In late 2000, one evening as I was browsing the Internet, I stumbled onto a Christian Naturist web page.

Despite my Evangelical Christian upbringing, nudity had fascinated me from at least my teen years on. I must confess that that evening, not for the first time, I was browsing for nude photography, not pornography but nudist and naturist photos. As I searched, I felt as usual a mixture of thrill at doing something “forbidden” and shame at going against what Christian leaders had continuously emphasized, that to like nakedness was to be “immodest” and to “fall into lust.” So it stunned me to learn that some Christians believed it was okay to be naked among other naked people. But I found a statement of faith on this Christian Naturist web page that, in every detail except one, matched what I had been taught and personally believed about the Trinity and the Bible and the Christian way. Therefore I had to accept these people, naked or not, as brothers and sisters in Jesus. “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God…” (I John 4:2)

The one detail in their statement that didn’t match what I had been conditioned to think was that they believed nudity was good, non-erotic and normal.

So I got out my old complete concordance and looked up every Bible passage containing the words “naked” or “nakedness”. Reading these verses, I slowly realized that none of them condemned nudity in all circumstances. Two passages in Exodus forbid nudity for priests performing priestly services. But balancing these passages are the stories of King Saul, King David, and the prophet Isaiah all going naked with God’s approval and even God’s explicit command to Isaiah.

A little further study revealed that Jesus Himself was naked at several key points in His ministry. At His birth, of course; but by Jewish tradition He would also have been naked at His baptism. The Gospel of John details how He took off all His clothes to wash the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. The Roman soldiers took off all His clothes to crucify Him; they had no interest in preserving the “dignity” of a condemned criminal. And by the Gospel accounts, it’s likely He walked out of the Garden Tomb clothed only in His resurrected flesh.

There are other Bible passages that mention nudity, but nowhere is there any condemnation. All the teachings the churches have developed are based on interpretations, commentaries and assumptions. Change the assumptions, and the whole “religious” prohibition falls like a house of cards.

So much for the conventional Judeo-Christian teachings on nudity. While I cannot speak about the Koran, the Vedas or the sacred texts of other major religions, I suspect that there are no broad condemnations of simple nudity in them either, or none that would hold up against proper exegesis. 

This is the first step in Breaking Naked: to restudy our most foundational writings without assumptions and with good scholarship to find out what they say, and especially what they don’t say, about nakedness.

Seek non-erotic nude imagery

The other major objection against nudism is that humankind, especially men, are supposedly hardwired to see all nakedness as inescapably erotic. But the testimony of artists, medical professionals and nudists themselves is that they soon became so accustomed to nudity that they don’t see it as particularly sexy. As I continued to study and dialogue with nudists online, I saw that there were three possibilities: they were either lying, or in denial about their reactions, or telling the “naked” truth. If they were telling the truth, then instead of being hardwired, all our typical responses to seeing another naked human, particularly one of the opposite sex, must have been conditioned into us, perhaps when we were too young to understand the conditioning process.

So, before going to a naturist event, I decided to see if I could recondition myself. 

I began to seek out naturist and art websites that featured photographs of naked people in non-erotic settings, such as doing housework or hiking in nature. But my search was different now. Before, there had always been the mix of thrill and shame I have described; but now I intended to bypass these reactions and see nudity as normal, not shameful or erotic. If my body became aroused, I neither encouraged its response nor denied it. And I refused to self-pleasure while I looked, or afterwards. I do not believe masturbation is necessarily wrong or harmful, yet I knew that then it would have reinforced the cultural mindset I intended to break.

In less than a month, I could look at nude images for more than an hour with no physical arousal and no more intent to self-pleasure than if I were at a church fellowship dinner. I was surprised at how easy it was to break the mindset I had had drummed into me. I began to believe this was how God intended for us to live.

And this is the second step in Breaking Naked: to retrain our minds to see nudity as normal. Once we are thoroughly convinced of this, our emotions and physical reactions follow.

Free our bodies

While I was retraining my mind in this way, I also began to retrain my body by going naked in my home. Our society has conditioned us to believe that our bodies are so sensitive to air on our unclothed skin that men will become erect and women moisten at its touch. But this too is a conditioned reaction, and I soon found that I had no more physical reaction to nudity than to being clothed. In fact, clothing, especially if it were tight around my groin, made me more aware of my penis and testicles than nakedness! 

Once late at night, I went to the outdoor swimming pool in my apartment building and swam both clothed and (briefly) nude. I found that I greatly preferred the smoothness of nudity. But because I feared discovery, I couldn’t relax into the experience as I hoped to.

By now I was entirely comfortable with being naked and seeing images of nudity in privacy. One more question remained in my mind: Could I be as comfortable around others? Were nudists indeed as matter-of-fact in their activities as they presented online? There was only one way to find out. 

I found a naturist group that met every month at a local athletic club, and secured an invitation to attend their next club swim.

It was as comfortable and free as I had been led to expect. From the first, there was neither discomfort nor arousal at being naked among other naked men, women and children. And my first real skinny-dip was life-changing! I no longer felt like a collection of body parts with some parts destined to be forever hidden. I was one body. Before the evening ended I was encouraging other first-timers as if I were myself a nudist veteran.

That evening, when I brought my reconditioning to the outer world, was the final step in Breaking Naked.

The Reconditioning Program 

So it is not only possible but easy, by studying texts, looking at nude imagery, and going naked by ourselves and with others, to break the mindset that most of us have suffered most of our lives.

This is my program to Break Naked:

•Restudy your sacred texts.

•Seek out non-erotic nude imagery.

•Free your body, first at home, then in social settings.

I cannot tell you how long to expect this reconditioning program to take. It may take months or years of focused study, or it may just go “click” in an instant. Yet I sense that if many humans, not even a majority but a “critical mass” of us, transform our fear of nakedness into joy, we will be well on our way to heal ourselves, our society and our worlds.

So take as long as you need. There’s no set timetable to break our clothes-minded patterns and stand free at last.

Celebrating…

Hello friends and dear readers. Today is just a quick note to celebrate two items.

The first, and the better of the two, is that today is Phil and Mrs. Phil’s wedding anniversary. 22 years ago, two high school sweethearts stood at the altar and made vows that they intended to keep for the rest of their lives. We are so blessed to be happier together now more than ever in our lives. We never would’ve imagined that we would be naturists, but we feel it’s what the Lord wanted for us. Exactly 2 years ago, we renewed our vows on Blind Creek beach as our first nude beach experience.

Tomorrow we are participating in our very first nude 5k. Naturism has been a huge blessing for us. It helped cure Phil’s problems with lust and porn, and helped Mrs. Phil with her body acceptance.

We could never go back to how we were before, nor would we want to!

The second item we are celebrating today is 100 posts on Aching for Eden! If being naturists was something we would have never guessed, being naturist bloggers is even more crazy! It’s also been so rewarding to get to share with all of you what we are learning, and we are humbled that people are reading and finding our posts helpful. We didn’t know if we’d have 5 posts and call it quits or what. We’re still going strong after 100 posts, and we have you to thank for it. Keep reading and sharing this goodness with a world that needs it!

A New Perspective (by G S Royal)

I have a friend who has a fear of flying, so she thumbs her nose at it by deliberately flying. I have another friend who has a fear of public speaking, and he deals with it by joining Toastmasters.  I spent most of my life hiding my body because I was ashamed of it. As a young teenager, I quickly learned that I had nothing down there to be proud of. It took me decades to learn I had nothing to be ashamed of, either. Like my friends, I chose to spit in the eye of what I feared. I chose to accept my body and stop hiding it. To deliberately let it be seen (without offending someone or violating the law).

Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing, is the very thing that will set you free.

Indecent?  No.

So many have been wounded—myself included—by a view of the body “that has the smell of brimstone all over it,” to quote my friend Draco.

Pastor David L Hatton tells a story of a blind man who was sitting on the sidewalk with his hat turned up at his feet and a sign that read I’M BLIND. PLEASE HELP. A few people had put something in his hat, but most just passed on by. A man who worked in public relations came by, turned the sign over, and wrote a new message on it. Later, he came back by and the hat was full of money! What he had written gave those who read it a new perspective: IT’S SPRING, AND I CAN’T SEE IT.

The problem I had, and so many of us still have is this:

My body is beautiful, and I can’t see it.

As though some miraculous metamorphosis has transformed our perspective (see Romans 12:2), we need to see the human body the way God sees it: naked and unashamed, the pinnacle of his creative genius.

Thousands of people have defeated their body shame demons. They have come to see themselves through God’s eyes. And they are doing it through the prism of naturism.

Ungodly?  No.

Most detractors are good church-going people who think they are honoring God by condemning those who live as naturists. In some ways, prudery has been elevated to the value of scripture, and that’s a slap in the face of the very Creator whom they try to serve!

What’s ungodly is listening to the enemy of our souls when he tells us to be ashamed of the image of God that we bear. Let the words of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago speak to you:

The Imago Dei
(The Image of God)

A man and woman—naked—
once in a garden stood
Created in God’s image,
He called it ‘very good!’

Fashioned for a purpose,
one infinite in worth:
to replicate God’s image
through miracle of birth.

Then comes the great deceiver
who so wants to be God,
and have the gift He’d given
these creatures made from sod.

He saw the Imago Dei
they clearly represent
and hated with a passion
everything it meant.

What happened next is epic.
A tree, its fruit, a lie:
“You’ll be like God! Here; eat it.
You surely will not die!”

Then once the bite was taken,
dressed only in their skin,
they heard, “…and put some clothes on!
Your nakedness is sin!!”

How prudishly we’re living
in our ‘enlightenment’,
while foolishly retaining
that gnostic excrement

so readily accepted
by hearts that went astray
when moral independence
was birthed that fateful day.

As mankind swallowed fully
a fallen angel’s plan,
Godly wisdom faded
from the heart of man.

We should actually be ashamed of being ashamed! As Mr. Larry has stated: 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.

What’s ungodly is objectifying certain body parts, and thereby separating the body from the soul that owns it.

What’s ungodly is teaching our children that the mere sight of naked humanity is sin. In doing so we have helped our great enemy create a culture that is steeped in pornographic filth.

What’s ungodly is the prudish mindset that gives pornography its power!

Study the Scriptures regarding this, asking God the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to His truth. Many are finding that these bodies are still fearfully and wonderfully made.  Because of Christ’s redemptive work, our bondage to sin has been broken.  We no longer have to believe the lie.  We can replace it with the truth.  We can once again be naked and unashamed.

G S Royal
©2022

What does nakedness mean?

Words have meaning. And as such, much of our communication can become an exercise in semantics if we cannot agree on the definitions of the words being used.

Classical languages use different words to communicate nuance where English only uses one word to express a host of different ideas. I think of the word “love.” In Greek there were four words for love:

  • Philia – a love found in strong friendships
  • Eros – an erotic love of passion and intimacy
  • Storge – a love found in family relationships
  • Agape – a type of selfless, unconditional love

In English we use the same word to cover the gamut of feelings from “I love my wife”  to “I love frozen yogurt.” I sure hope my love for my wife is stronger and different than my love for froyo! Do you begin to see the potential confusion over words that are identical in every way except for context?

So it is with nudity and nakedness. Watch this video to see what I mean. The video text will be printed after.

The word naked is usually used as a descriptive adjective. 

One might think of a naked mole rat, which describes a pink, nearly hairless rodent, or the “naked” truth, which is a way of saying that the information shared is unvarnished or without ornamentation. Simply put, we usually think of naked as meaning “without a covering.”

What does the term “nakedness” mean in the Bible?

Most of the passages that speak to nakedness are found in the Old Testament. As such, it is from within the Old Testament pages that most Bible teachers today draw their conclusions about what God thinks about nakedness.

If we really want to know what God’s perspective is towards nudity, it stands to reason that we must correctly understand the words from the Bible and their meanings.

There are three individual words for nakedness in the Old Testament: arowm, eyrom and ervah.

In Genesis 2:25, we are first introduced to arowm, which means “simple and innocent nakedness.” 

“The man and his wife were arowm, but they were not ashamed.”

Later, in Genesis 3:7, after the Fall, the word eyrom for “vulnerable nakedness, with a sense of being exposed to harm” is used. 

“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were eyrom; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

And finally, after the global flood, in Genesis 9:22 we are exposed to a new word for “active sexual nakedness,” ervah

“And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the ervah of his father…”

All three of these variants have their basis in the same root Hebrew word, but their biblical usage indicates different shades of meaning. Sadly, in our common language translations, we generally just get one word, “naked,” which, understandably, has led many to develop wrong thoughts on what nakedness is all about!

God never calls arowm or eyrom shameful. There is no Scripture in the Bible that says, “Thou shalt not be naked” or “Nakedness is sinful.” In fact, He used naked circumcision as a visible sign of His Covenant with Abraham and his descendants.

Ervah, on the other hand, is where we see sin joined with nakedness and shame. If what a person was doing in a situation was sinful, or could be the cause of sin, it was ervah

In the New Testament, the word for naked is gymnos. It means “bare, without clothing” and is the root of the word, “gymnasium.” The gym was a place to exercise in a state of nudity. 

Hebrews 4:13 reminds us that in God’s eyes, “No creature is hidden, but all are gymnos…

Many “grown-up” translations try to “cover up” simple nudity in the Bible, such as when the Apostle Peter was naked and fishing, but interestingly, the International Children’s Bible gets it right!

“…he wrapped his coat around himself. (Peter had taken his clothes off.) Then he jumped into the water.” See John 21:3-7.

What word was used in the Greek for his lack of clothing? Gymnos, of course!

Like ervah above, there are two instances in the New Testament where shame added to nudity produces a negative situation. The greek word aschēmosýnē is used for specific situations when nudity is inappropriately sexual or used to shame. 

In Romans 1:27, this word is used to describe unnatural sexual activity, and in Revelation 16:15, it is used to implicate the consequences of laziness. 

Ultimately, we look to the teaching of our Rabbi, Y’Shua, who teaches us that sin starts in the heart and grows into action. 

Nakedness, like other subjects in the Bible, is actually a neutral state. Most people throughout history have known that simple nudity is not sinful. Yet, if we hold faulty definitions, our thoughts, our actions, and our discipleship journey with other believers in the Body of Christ will be affected. 

It is wonderful that, as New Covenant believers, we have the ability to focus our hearts on Jesus and experience the innocent, pure nakedness of the Garden.

What wrongs might be righted if the church rediscovered this truth?

See also the presentation at https://renude.life/what-is-naked/


[H6174] (ex. Gen. 2:25, 1 Sam 19:24, Job 1:21) — arowm

[H5903] (ex. Gen. 3:7 & 10, Deut. 28:48, Eze. 18:7) – eyrom

[H6172] (ex. Gen. 9:22, Exo. 28:42, Lev. 18:6) – ervah

[G1131] (ex. John 21:7, Heb 4:13) — gymnos

[G808] – ashchemosyne

Introducing ReNude.Life

My good friend has recently launched a new resource that has neatly organized and presented some of the most common questions asked by those who are just learning some of the key ideas we believe as Christian naturists. Then, of course, the answer to such questions are explored in context. Body shame and social conditioning is so pervasive that most people view the naked body either through over-sexual eyes or with great distain as if it were lewd or obscene. This new website tackles the questions Bible-believing Christians might ask in a thorough and creative way.

The site was created by our good friend, and it’s related to Aching For Eden in that most of its content first appeared here in our own Objections series of blog posts and videos we helped create. It’s our joy to collaborate with others of a like mind because we believe this is such an important message that needs to get out in whatever way it can.

I also love the metaphor of the butterfly that is featured throughout the navigation of this site. A renewed (or ReNude) view of the body truly is a metamorphosis and the old ways of thinking are gone for good. Behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:18). A caterpillar should not want to stay that way for life. Likewise, a butterfly would never want to go back to being a caterpillar once it could fly. Nor should we once we’ve tasted the blessings of freedom this life and form of thinking offers us. I make this point at length in this post.

So check out ReNude.Life and share it with those who may be interested in taking a hard look at what the Bible actually says about nudity. Here’s what the homepage has to say:

Answer Questions About Nudity in the Bible

Have you ever wondered what the Bible actually has to say about nudity? ReNude Life is designed to answer questions about nudity in the Bible and promote the freedom that comes through knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You might be surprised by what you learn!

What causes the strong cultural bent against simple nudity? Why is it that nakedness is immediately attached to sexuality? And why does “sex sell?” These are common thoughts, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Our culture’s lack of simple nudity understanding leads to many dangers like pornography addiction, sexual abuse and trauma.

For far too long, Christians have adopted the worldly view that naked bodies are shameful. We dutifully layer on clothing and swimming costumes and force nursing mothers to cover up.
As a result, we have drifted along with a world that places being acceptable and inoffensive first. Scripture, however, tells us that we are the Imago Dei, literally made in the Image of God!
We’ve forgotten that God made us “naked and unashamed.” So, how can we be a light instead of accepting the darkness?

Like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly, our hope is that by renu-ing your mind on the topic of biblical nudity, you’ll be able to strip off old ideas and emerge into the ReNude Life!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Check it out at www.renude.life today!

You’ll NEVER be free!

Freedom wasn’t something I thought I was missing in my life before 2019. I live in the good ‘ole USA after all. I had all the freedom I needed. I didn’t feel like I was lacking in the area of freedom. 

Looking back, in my heart I never really did understand John 8 when Jesus is talking about the truth setting us free. Ok, yeah I believed in Jesus and I had accepted Him as my Savior so I’m already free. I never stopped to ponder that Scripture or let it settle in my heart. It was one of those Scriptures you read and then say, “Oh cool” and move on. 

The Lord wanted to set me free in a different way though. In October 2019 just days after Phil revealed to me that he was a naturist, I was still wrestling with what that meant for him and me and for our family. I had learned enough through prayer and study that I knew I was changing my mind on what the truth was. I had just informed some new naturist friends that I was seeing things differently and I sensed that this was a new path the Lord was leading me down.  Those days were full of interesting conversations and reading and praying together. As we laid in bed that night we began discussing something that eventually led to another confession of sin and I was once again devastated. I tried to remain calm but my heart was overwhelmed with grief. I turned my back to Phil and began to weep quietly. I wasn’t only sad, I was angry! As I lay there so emotionally spent I began to hear an evil laughter in my mind. It was faint at first, but it began to grow in intensity. Even though the laughter wasn’t audible by human standards, my response to it was. “Shut up!”.  Phil responded confused, “I didn’t say anything.” I put my hands over my ears. “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” The evil laughter continued and then I heard the words, “You thought you could do this? You’ll never be free!” followed by the most evil laughter. It was then that Phil realized what was going on and he wrapped his arms around me and held me tight as he began to pray and rebuke Satan. In that moment I saw myself throwing punches. I was in a literal fight. I could feel myself shaking as my hands were drawn up like a boxer trying to protect his face. I’m not sure how long this went on, but eventually the fight subsided and I began to weep. Somehow I knew that I had won. It was the enemies’s last ditch effort to fill my head with lies. Satan wasn’t happy that after 38 years I finally knew the truth about my body and the way God sees me. He wasn’t happy that I was breaking strongholds that I had allowed to consume my life for far too long! My decision to follow my husband in naturism was the proverbial middle finger to Satan (as one of my new friends puts it). 

I didn’t know it then, but allowing the Lord to reveal to me the truth about my body was the catalyst for many other truths the Lord wanted to show me about who He is and what He wants for my life and for His people. It has literally changed everything for me. I don’t believe Satan is all knowing, but I do think he has enough experience to know that this was just the tip of the iceberg for me and he wasn’t happy about it. 

Satan has lost that battle with me. I know who I am. I know whose I am. If doubts about that come, they pass quickly. I know how to combat those thoughts now. The Lord has set me free. It wasn’t just for me that those bonds were broken through. With the help of the Lord we are changing the way our family thinks today and hopefully in the generations to come. Change starts with us and we will do what we can as the Lord guides us to help bring freedom to those who don’t even know they are in bondage and to help guide those who are already seeking. 

Isaiah 60:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”

Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” 

I was in bondage to shameful and hateful thinking towards myself and toward others. Your bondage may be different, but the desire of the Father is that we are all set free from the things that hinder us from fully worshiping God and bringing Him glory. If it holds you back, it’s bondage and you need to be set free.

If it holds you back, it’s bondage and you need to be set free.

Once you’ve been set free, don’t look back like Lot’s wife. Run full steam ahead into the new life that the Lord wants to bless you with! Don’t allow Satan to trick you into falling back into stinkin’ thinkin’.

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  

If the Spirit of the Lord is within you, then you have access to freedom. 

Every time the disciples started establishing rules—no children near Jesus; don’t let the crowd touch Jesus; don’t talk to Samaritan women; don’t let people waste expensive perfumes—Jesus told them to knock it off, and his rebuke was usually followed by a lecture that said, “You still don’t get it! We’re not substituting religious rules with our rules. We are substituting religious rules with Me!” Jesus kept saying “Follow Me,” not “follow My rules.” So most of us have spent our Christian lives learning what we can’t do instead of celebrating what we can do in Jesus.

Mike Yaconelli (1942-2003), Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith

Psalm 119:45, “And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.” 

Romans 8:20-21, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Live in your freedom as children of God!!

Coming to our Senses

This was written by our friend Jason. He is also featured on this post, and this interview as well as having written the scripts for our objections series.

Can a Blind Man Lust?

Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But Lust’s effect is tempest after sun;
Love’s gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust’s winter comes ere summer half be done;
Love surfeits not, Lust like a glutton dies;
Love is all truth, Lust full of forged lies.
Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare

So, can a blind man lust?

When we think of lust, we almost immediately think of the eyes. And that brings up beauty, sex, adultery and pornography.

Several years ago, a pastor would drive 90 miles to my house for prayer counseling because he was dealing with an addiction to pornography. He’d heard from friends of the successes we had witnessed through our Theophostic Prayer Ministry practice and desired to be healed from his addiction.

People use addictions to sex, alcohol, food, drugs, smoking, body-modification and even work–anything to numb the emotional pain in their souls. Addiction to pornography is a pain management problem that manifests as a fixation with false intimacy. It is the pain–and the source of that pain–that must be healed. Often times through traditional counseling, one addiction is removed only to be replaced by another one. This pattern repeats until the person has a socially-acceptable addiction like “hard worker” (read: workaholic).

This pastor, however, wanted to really be set free from his addiction and not simply transfer it to something else. So instead of focusing on the fruit of his pain-inducing beliefs (the pornography fixation), we looked beneath the surface to allow the true causes of his pain-medicating behavior to unfold. Like most folks, this was a methodology foreign, yet familiar to him.

We rarely think about this process of natural association, yet perform it constantly. Just as we never think about our internal organs until one of them “cries out,” we also do not think about the how or why we make the decisions that we do, or have the emotional responses we do to external stimuli.

Everything that ever happens in our lives is brought into our souls through our marvelous senses and processed and categorized. It is considered and compared to thousands of “files” from past memory pictures and emotional happenings and then it is acted upon. It happens so fast that it is nearly imperceptible — unless you take the time to ponder it.

Which brings me to our subject: lust.

Lust by itself is not, in fact, a bad word. It is a neutral word that is absolutely synonymous with the word “covet” and the word “desire.” The reason I want to slow down and define it is for us to realize the gravity with which we use words. Even in the English language, lust does not mean “see.” It does not mean recognize. It does not mean appreciate. It does not mean despise. It means hunger, crave, intend to possess.

Depending on the context, lust can mean earnestly desire or it can mean wrongfully desire.

And [Jesus] said to them, “I have earnestly lusted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. (Luke 22:15 ESV)

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Jesus speaking in Matthew 5:28 ESV)

Yes, exactly the same word. Each context determines whether it is “good” lust or “bad” lust. When we are lazy with language, we end up degrading words and their meanings. Remember the Ten Commandments? The last one? You shall not Covet? It is just as accurate to read it You Shall Not Lust…after another man’s wife or possessions.

Is there such a thing as good lust? Perhaps for our ears, the word “desire” sounds more pleasant. Either way, they’re the same word in the original tongue. Scripture offers encouragement for positive desires and prohibitions for negatives ones. Each type is based on the context of the desire.

In summary, Paul writes in Galatians 5:16: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the lusts of the flesh.” In turn, what we will do is gratify the lusts of the spirit.

What about the blind man? If men are so damnably stimulated by sight, then by definition a blind person could never commit this sin. Yet, instead of facing the truth that wrongful lust is a matter of the heart, we have gone to the drastic measure of making rules and restrictions of the strictest sort, thinking perhaps that forced blindness is the answer.

The truth is that a blind man can lust and covet wrongfully any of the things or persons that a sighted man or woman can. It is not the physical attributes that endanger us. It is the evil intentions of our hearts. Wrongful lust requires intent to possess.

What Do a Pufferfish and a Bikini Have in Common?

Ready to Graduate from Felt Board Christianity?   [makeitcozee]

Do you suffer from “felt board Christianity?” If so, it can seem like the Bible is a simplistic bunch of stories with generalized rules for life. “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” it has been called. Do you want to go deeper?  At some point, I think we all do.  We have to peel back the layers and dive in.

Everything Jesus is trying to teach us about the Christian life begins in the heart.

We defined what lust is and what lust is not, so now let’s talk about how the word has been redefined and dumbed down. Large swaths of Christianity presently equate the recognition of beauty in our gender differences as wrongful lust. And because of this lowering of the bar, new concepts have been added in to compensate for the change of definition.

Sight itself has become the bogeyman.

Everywhere we look (no pun intended), it seems there are things and people to see (and I guess that means danger!). When we pop our heads up, we hear this refrain of warning: Men are visually stimulated. Heads down, men. Look away!

Stimulating, isn’t it? —  Photo Credit: Ibrahim Iujaz (CC)

It’s the subject of radio programs and talk shows: Men are visually stimulated. Volumes have been written around the postulate that men are visually stimulated. I wonder how many millions and millions of dollars are changing hands based on this mantra that men are visually stimulated?

Perhaps we should follow the money.  Pornographers and anti-pornographers all benefit financially by continuing to chant this mantra, but never utter this secret truth: women are visually stimulated, too.  Simple biology tells us that human beings have senses. One of those is sight.  Placing visual stimulation in our targets as the problem only creates a missed opportunity for success and creates a vicious, vicious cycle of shame.  Relationships suffer and real problems go unsolved.

The combination of the visual stimulation mantra and the watered down definition of lust have been well crafted into a deadly recipe.  The visual stimulation lie wrongly makes women responsible for the conduct of male human beings and takes volitional control completely out of the picture.  Men have a responsibility to control their thoughts and their actions.  Our self-control problems are not the responsibility of the the fairer sex.

This idea that men are mere predatory animals bound to their wild inhibitions and bursting at the seams with wrongful desire is childish and foolish.   And I propose that pointing to visual stimulation is the wrong place to conclude a discussion about lust.  Stimulation is a bogeyman because stimuli will always exist.   We have applied the wrong labels to the way our bodies react.  Stimulation is not sin.

The real test of a man (or a woman) is how she learns to respond to that stimulus.

People have tried for ages to remove sin by removing the potential for temptation. In this case, the common strategy is to consider that if men are visually stimulated, the stimuli must be removed.  Except, stimulus is not the cause of wrongful lust, is it?  Stimulation is only a sensation, placed by God in our very real, very flesh-and-blood bodies. This strategy will fail.

We’re alive. We feel. We see. We smell and taste. We sense. We respond because we’re alive.

Let’s make this real.

The Sky is On Fire! [Jason]

Close your eyes and step outside into the breeze. [It’s ok, you can come right back.] Feel that tickle as the air move across the delicate hairs on your skin? It’s stimulating. Walk into the kitchen when someone you love is baking bread. Take in a deep whiff. Smell that? It’s stimulating. Feel the seat beneath you. Press your foot into the floor. Your sense of touch is being stimulated.

Oh, look, a person! Any person. Maybe it’s a woman. Maybe it’s a man. What are they wearing? What color are their eyes? Are they tall, short, brown, pale, thin, sturdy? Observe their facial expression and posture.

This is the Imago Dei. The Image of God. It really doesn’t matter what they look like, what they wear or what they’re doing–your vision is being stimulated by the greatest of God’s Creation:  a human being.

Don’t turn away.  God wants us to see–and be seen–by each other.

This is why Jesus, rather than condemning our bodies, constantly brings us back to the heart.*  But that is not all He did. He gave us the KEY to overcome wrongful lusting and coveting!

The pastor I spoke of was healed by this key: He learned to see the truth.  Jesus renewed his mind–changed the way he thinks–in regard to the goodness of the body and set him free from the lies that had led him to seek out false intimacy as pain management.  He is still free of pornography today, and that addiction did not shift to something else.

As we continue, here are some points to ponder:

  1. God made our bodies, both male and female. They are good. Gen 2:25
  2. Modesty is an attitude, not a dress code.
  3. Lust comes forth from the heart and is the responsibility of the luster.
  4. To the pure, all things are pure. Titus 1:15
  5. A weaker brother does not have strong opinions; that’s how we know he’s weak.
  6. We are to grow the weak to maturity, not leave them to stagnation.
  7. Uncomfortable truth may not feel good at first, but eventually we feel its freedom.
  8. Truth does not equal American Culture or even Christian traditions.
  9. Cultures change, yet Truth remains. And it sets us free.

As I have learned to come to my senses on what lust actually means–that it is a heart-directed, neutral term–it has freed my mind to focus on people as whole individuals, rather than divide them, body and soul.

Freedom to walk in the spirit enables us to follow Christ wherever He leads.

Have you embraced this truth? Do you see people as whole, or does that idea cause fear? If so, what stops you from really seeing others, body and soul?*Yes, I realize Jesus once said tear out your eye and cut off your hand. That was metaphor, friends. metaphor. Remember, we’re going beyond the felt board. 

Not So Fast… (by G S Royal)

In our search for the truth of an issue, it is not unusual for one spouse to discover it before the other one does. If that truth calls into question a long held tradition or something we were taught by someone we trusted (or even cherished), it’s only reasonable to expect some resistance when sharing your new-found understanding. I have dealt with this in my own mind, not wanting to let go of some things I’ve held tightly for years, while finding it difficult to ignore the truth that is being revealed.  Consider this from Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist:  

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong.  When presented with evidence against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.  It would create an extremely uncomfortable feeling called cognitive dissonance.  And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit that core belief.”

Regarding naturism, for spouses who truly believe IT’S A SIN, we should be proud of them for refusing to participate. That is the first hurdle many Christians have to jump, but many never do. It’s not comfortable to jump hurdles, and without sufficient motivation most will never try. Some may step right up, jump in, and love it, while others require spending significant time reading, studying, and praying, before coming to the understanding that simple nudity is not sinful. (The reason for the nudity may well be sinful but that’s a different issue.) Having reached this point doesn’t mean one is ready to book their next vacation to a nude beach, but it is a major hurdle to have cleared. For most Christians, determining what God thinks about something is the most important task of all. 

The IT’S A SIN mindset can easily be a cop out, too. Hanging that sign on your door and refusing to discuss it further is perhaps a form of cowardice, or worse: a form of dishonesty. We already know what God thinks about that. Challenging a lifetime of teaching is not easy. There has to be a real desire for understanding before we are willing to sacrifice tradition upon the altar of truth. 

Having settled the IT’S A SIN argument, one then begins addressing the second most important question: WHAT WILL OTHER PEOPLE THINK!? This can be a very lonely time because it’s so personal, and requires one to become deliberately vulnerable! We know God already knows, and we can trust Him to treat us lovingly, but we’ve learned the hard way that people are not always so kind—particularly those closest to us! This is when husbands and wives must love as God loves, being persistently kind and caring. There’s no better time for living the Golden Rule.  This isn’t a battle to be waged, but a heart to be won!

Perhaps we err in rushing to convince someone to embrace what we now see clearly. We present passage after passage as evidence, and show the results of word studies that reveal what certain Hebrew words really meant in the context and times in which they were written. We can easily move from that to speculation as to how it all should apply to us now. With all the reading, studying, talking and praying perhaps we need to slow down and take stock. Here’s what I’m sure of: 

God made Adam & Eve naked and they all liked it. Then after the fall Adam & Eve didn’t like it anymore. The ‘liked it’ choice came from a Godly mind, and the ‘didn’t like it’ choice came from a corrupted mind. 

Christ’s redeeming work did more than pay our sin debt, He freed us from our bondage to sin and its corruption! He was called the second Adam for a reason! 

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Once our minds are renewed, we start seeing the naked body with the mindset Paul encouraged in Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Perhaps we should dwell on that for a while.