A Conversation with Mike and Linda

This is the first of a series of short videos from Aching for Eden Productions.

WARNING: This video contains nudity. If that offends you, please go to another part of the blog and read article after article until hopefully nudity (the Image of God and crown of creation) offends you no more. If you’re just not there yet, that’s ok, we get it. We were once there too. If so, you can skip the video, and just read the transcript.

Mike: I would walk around periodically on the property naked and I would ask the Lord, “Why does the wind and why does the sunshine feel so good?”

I started Googling naturism. And the world has a lot of bad areas that they claim as naturism,
which was nothing biblical. So I took a complete biblical view of it. So whatever I felt, I needed
to seek the Lord if it was true or not. Is it in His word? Is it somewhere where I can accept it being godly?

And then I stumbled across www.nakedandunashamed.org. That put things in context. But even though I saw it on his page, I still tested it with the word.

Linda: Right. Oh, it took me some more time, you know, obviously the body image thing
and all of those things. But, you know, with Mike’s help and teachings that… you know, helped
me to realize that I am beautiful. You know, we’re all created in His image and just accepting that, learning that it’s okay. I mean, so much more acceptance in this atmosphere than in the world’s atmosphere. There’s so much judgment out there. And there’s just no judgment in this lifestyle, this, you know, living as God intended.

Mike: Total non judgment, no body image issues. You would think that growing up in textile world, Hollywood’s got it right. You’ve got to have this particular figure. You got to have, you know, a guy’s got to have a six pack. I mean, perfect body image. That’s what they portray.

Covering up God’s creation and what he truly designed for us from the beginning, that’s Satan’s lies. It is just everything that God created good, Satan tries to reverse it. So once you start looking at the world
and what they say is good and you actually get up enough courage…

Whoever sees this give naturism 15, 20 minutes at a naturist venue and all of that garbage will be gone. This is what God intended, as far as I’m concerned. It gives you true freedom. All the worldly garbage is gone. You have to just throw the world behind you.

And every time Satan or anybody makes you think of, “Oh, this isn’t right or that isn’t right.” who’s telling you that? Christ or Satan? True freedom in naturism is putting Satan Step on him!

One of the first biggest things we did was, and it’s huge, going on in a bare necessities cruise.

2500 naked people all… nobody cared. But the reason why I brought that up is body image. A woman has had mastectomy. She’s got scars all across her breasts. She’s the happiest one on the beach because God has given her the peace, that she’s still beautiful.

Linda: And the acceptance from the people.

Mike: That was… people that have amputees, missing limbs. You know, the world says you need to put a fake prosthetic on so you can, you know, look like us. You know, they need them for walking too. Okay, don’t get me wrong, but the world has said so many of these things. You go to a naturist venue, it doesn’t even get noticed. You are what God’s made you. You know, whether you’re born with a situation or something happened in life. It’s just a blessing.

Linda: You know, it still takes a little while for you to get through that, because you can’t really believe
that people aren’t judging you for your imperfections and all the things that you feel are imperfect. Although God does not see it that way because He made me perfect. But here, nobody… It doesn’t matter, you know? No, it doesn’t matter.

Mike: Hollywood says you have to look like A-B-C, and naturism is delete A-B-C and what God’s given
you is a blessing. Yeah.

Linda: Unless you experience it for yourself, you’re never going to understand. And if you just give yourself that opportunity to just not worry about what anybody else has to say, because that’s your first thing, what are people going to say? How are they going to look at me? Am I going to look too heavy, too
thin too this, too that? If you just give yourself the opportunity to experience it, then you’ll understand why God created us this way.

Mike: 15 minutes. That’s what I say. 15 minutes. If you allow yourself to come to the naturist venue in 15 minutes, if you have clothes on, you’re going to feel like the oddball. You’ll want to take them off. And not one person is going to notice that you’re naked. You’re the only one that’s going to notice you’re naked. And then in another few minutes, you’re like going to go, “Why did I wait so long? Why did I wait so long?”

Fixation & Identity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I kind of love that!

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

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!

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!

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. 

Behold the new!

The Phil you all have come to know in the pages of this blog is not the Phil I spent most of my life married to. When Phil was trapped in the sin of lust, it was evident in his actions and reactions. His reactions many times seemed exaggerated for the situations.  

I remember very early on in our marriage we got into a fight, I don’t remember what the fight was about (probably sex), but Phil got so mad that he punched the wall near our bed and put a fist size hole in it. That hole stayed there until we moved out and our landlord fixed it. That’s not the only hole he’s made as a result of anger. The house we currently live in has a hole in one of the doors. For most of our marriage I lived with the Phil that was angry a lot. 

Let me be clear, I never felt like I or the kids were in danger. He never hurt me (us) physically. There were emotional and mental scars however. There were times when he would make me feel so small. He would attack my ability as a homemaker, as a cook, as a wife and as a mom. Those attacks hurt so badly, but when I would show emotion, he would belittle me for crying. 

I mentioned sex before. That was what most of our fights were about. The infrequency and quality was always the problem, even though in my mind it wasn’t infrequent. I was rarely in the mood for intimacy because I didn’t feel loved or respected and I didn’t respect him. And I was exhausted from basically being a single parent (more on that below). 

I wasn’t the only one who had to deal with his anger though. I was always more concerned for our kids. I would try to shield them when I knew he was upset or I knew he was going to be upset. When he would come home from work,  I would send them to their rooms to play so he could have some peace. There were a few times I would leave the house and take the kids to the park to play if he came home in a particularly bad mood. 

We were in full-time ministry at the time and he worked extra long hours most days.  They were weird hours too as sometimes he would get calls in the middle of the night. There were ministry obligations that had to be taken care of and that took him away from us a lot. Even though this meant I was doing most of the parenting, I was ok with him being away from us. I dreaded him coming home. Even though we were in ministry, we rarely prayed together. As far as I knew, he never prayed for me. We weren’t in the Word together outside of church. We were really just going through the motions of a pastor’s family. We were dying inside. 

I began to find a pattern in his behavior and the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me that his mood was tied to his pornography use. If he started belittling me and yelling at the kids, it was almost guaranteed that he was struggling. I would approach him and ask if he had been having issues. Sometimes he would admit it and sometimes he would deny it. Sometimes I would just come right out and tell him I knew he was looking at porn. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit’s role in bringing all of this to light and I’m grateful for the role he continues to play in our lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a saint. I definitely contributed to some of the issues we had. I was bitter and angry too, but I dealt with my anger differently. Even though our relationship was pretty unhealthy, there were some moments of good. Some moments of really good. We have lots of home videos and pictures to prove that we really loved each other and that he was a pretty good dad even during those more difficult times. Thankfully, our kids don’t remember very much about angry dad. 

The Lord had been working on Phil for a while, even before naturism. The atmosphere in our home had already begun to shift, but 2 ½ years ago I began to notice an even more drastic shift happening. My first indication that something was different about him was that I began to notice him treating me better. He stopped yelling. He started speaking to me with kindness and genuine interest. I noticed he was more patient with the kids. He was loving on them more. He started asking me how he could pray for me. I didn’t say anything to him about what I was noticing. I think I was afraid of jinxing it. 

Looking back I believe I was able to embrace naturism so quickly because of the changes I had seen in him. Today, I am married to a new man. He has the same name, the same physical DNA, but his spiritual DNA is different. He is the man of God I always wished he would be. Actually he is more than that. I have loved him for a very long time, but my love for him has grown exponentially through everything we’ve been through. The Phil of today is kind, compassionate, understanding, patient, caring, emotionally available and so much more. He encourages me constantly and makes me want to be a better person. I have so much respect for who he is. I am so grateful for him and honestly feel like the luckiest girl in the world! How did I get so blessed??

Today, Phil prays for me regularly. As we are getting ready to sleep he often begins praying for our family or situations we are aware of. We talk through the Scriptures often. He takes care of me so well! Our kids have felt the shift too. It’s been amazing to watch how they have taken notice of the changes in us and have begun to make changes in themselves too. They are making their faith their own and that is such a cool thing to watch in your kids! We’ve gotten to have some really authentic conversations with them and in turn our family has grown much closer to each other. 

Every once in a while a situation will come up that makes my amygdala scream. I’ll expect Phil to act one way and when he doesn’t I’m reminded that the Lord has redeemed him. Phil will remind me in these moments that he isn’t that man anymore. The Lord has done an amazing work in Phil’s life and in mine and we feel so blessed to experience this life together! 

I don’t look at that hole in the door anymore with contempt. Today I look at it and I’m grateful that the man that made that hole has been made new. 

Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Revelation 21:5, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”

I Once Could See But Now I’m Blind

A guest post from Figleaf:

Almost everyone loves the old hymn – Amazing Grace.  The melody and words easily flow from the memory banks of our mind and out of our mouth with deep warm affection. “I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see.”  We understand that verse to mean we were at one time spiritually blind to the truth of the gospel – blinded by the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). But in the last couple of years I’ve discovered the reverse can also be true in a very positive way.  What I once could see – now I am blind to it!

Satan (the god of this age) and his demons are very adept at blinding humanity to spiritual truths.  But his first attack was not to blind, but to have eyes opened!  He even bragged to Eve how their opened eyes will make them like God (Genesis 3:4-7).  As usual he spoke in half truths – their eyes certainly were opened, but they were not anymore like God than he was.

Adam and Eve’s newly opened eyes revealed to them a new perception of body shame, fear, confusion, and disrupted relationship with each other and Father God.  I imagine how in horror they quickly wished they were blind to all of these things once again.  Perhaps they would have been better off putting the fig leaves over their eyes instead of their bodies!

And now Adam and Eve’s perceptions of this new reality have been successfully passed down to humanity for centuries and generations.  Much of this perception has been focused on one thing Satan hates the most – the naked human body as the image of God.  He has successfully influenced culture, society, and the church to reinforce this perception. On one hand he stirs up lust for the human body, and on the other hand he brings shame upon it.

Fortunately the darkness of blinded deception is occasionally pierced by the glorious light of truth.  For me, this glorious light of truth came packaged in the surprising wrapping of Christian Naturism.  All of the previously viewed books, videos, and blogs under the banner of Naturism have brought a light of truth that has been so bright it has blinded me to the lust and shame of my naked human body and the bodies of others around me.

Yes, I once could see and now I”m blind – and so thankful for what I no longer see when I look at a naked human body.  It’s kind of like being back in Eden.  With truth I’ve thrown the old serpent out of my garden, and now I enjoy my nudity without shame or lust – just as Father God intended.


Phil’s commentary: Thanks to Figleaf for this beautiful and insightful reflection. I’m so glad to resonate so strongly with your conclusions. I thought I would tack on this YouTube video that David Hatton was kind enough to send to me just today. I thought what Sister Wendy (the art nun) said so eloquently went well with Figleaf’s great word. She says at the end of this short video, “There’s nothing, nothing amiss in any part of the human body… There’s to me something far more salacious about these sort of snickers and criticisms than in just a Christian delight in God’s skill.”