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?”

The Freedom of Naturism

These are my highlights and thoughts on excerpts from this book on Kindle: “The Freedom of Naturism: A Guide for the How and Why of Adopting a Naturist Lifestyle” by Augustine Rae

(My own thoughts will be in italics.)

Location 31

Another word for “naturism” is “nudism,” which should be rather self-explanatory. Due to Judeo-Christian-Islamic influence, however, there are a lot of negative connotations associated with it. Despite the separation of church and state (at least in the West), religious sensibilities still play a very powerful influence over civil law, which is why you can be arrested for being naked in public. Even the irreligious, as well as those of an atheistic bent, have been conditioned to think of nudity as being something wrong. It is associated with vulnerability and shame at best, or with sexuality and arousal at worst.

This is what makes this innocent and even healing activity seem nefarious to so many. It is unfortunate that a state of mind (that comes from a state of undress) which has so many benefits is disregarded almost wholesale without a second thought. Those who are courageous enough to investigate the naked truth for themselves will likely reap the rewards their open minds have allowed them to see. Even those who ascribe to the Christian faith can not only reconcile the practice to their faith, but find it enhancing their relationship with their Creator God.

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Adam and Eve ate of the apple of knowledge in disobedience of god’s law. And what did they learn? The first thing they learned was the difference between good and evil. The second thing they learned was that they were naked. And thus was born the fashion industry.

While this book is not a Christian or theological book, I like that line that “thus was born the fashion industry.” That could seem like an over-simplistic and not the point of the passage sort of treatment of the text, but it’s not far from the truth. Clothes really were man’s idea (or the serpent’s influence), not God’s. See Genesis 3:11 and God’s “Who told you…” question.

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Naturism is antithetical to all of these [standards of dress]. It does not seek to conform to any societal definitions of modesty—quite the opposite, in fact. It believes that going about naked (sans penis gourds, sarongs, and waist strings) whenever possible, is the ideal condition because it’s natural, hence its name. It also feels incredibly good!

Modesty is a much bigger issue than what is worn by a person. Search this blog for the keyword “modesty” and discover what real modesty is. And yes, modest nudity does feel incredibly good!

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Think about it. Clothes define people’s religious, cultural, and ethnic identities. Examples of this include the headscarves worn by some Muslim women, the turbans worn by Sikh men, or the Stetson hats worn by some in the American south. Clothes also reflect socio-economic status, separating the haves from the have-nots; think of Giorgio Armani versus cheap Chinese fake knock-offs. In the work force, they are sometimes used to denote hierarchy—especially the differences between blue collar and white collar workers, or between supervisors and underlings.

All this make me wonder— Jesus cursed the fig tree. The fig tree! We’ve been trying to use fig leaves since the beginning for problems that they cannot ever resolve. Why was it a fig tree that he cursed? Hmm…

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Naturists also believe that nudity is the default human condition. They argue that clothes are a manmade invention and that our ancestors managed without them long before the discovery of fur, leather, and fabric. They also cite the health benefits of the sun (in moderation and with protective creams) and of exposure to the elements.

I suffer from some undiagnosed skin sensitivity conditions that dissipate when I’m fully nude for extended periods of time. I have linked these closely to my having to wear clothes and the sun focusing on exposed areas like my face when all else is covered. I’ve also noticed that I can be fully nude on a sunny cold day (46 degrees the first day we visited a naturist park), and we were fine, as the body acclimated and the sun could hit us all over. We would’ve been cold with clothes on, but were just fine without them. This is to say nothing of the therapeutic and psychological benefits of naturism as a natural antidepressant and stress reliever.

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From an ecological perspective, clothes generate an industry of waste. What’s hip today won’t be so tomorrow, forcing people to buy new fashions in order to remain proper and up-to-date. One must also consider the expense involved in cleaning, as well as the amount of chemicals and water used.

Going by what is deemed popular at any given time is not usually the smartest approach to anything. It’s taken me some time (and age) to come to this realization!

Common Misconceptions about Naturism:

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1) Nudist and naturist venues are places where people have sex

Most such places have strict policies in place which put a ban on public sex, photography, and outright exhibitionism—especially since many are open to families complete with grandparents and children. Outright voyeurism is therefore prohibited in many places, such as the banning of cameras. Violators are often expelled, blacklisted, and prosecuted.

Friends and family who we’ve told about us often wonder how such a practice could be family-friendly. Well, it is. You have to see it to believe it. And the judgments we often have are in our own minds and not based in reality. You have to have the right frame of mind, and unlink nudity to sex in your thinking.

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2) Nudist and naturist venues are sexually stimulating places

Virtually everyone who’s gone to such a venue finds the truth to be disappointingly otherwise. When everyone around you: men, women, children, the young and the old, are naked, sex is often the last thing to come to mind. Within a day or two, most forget that they and everyone else around them are nude. It’s called conditioning, as well as social acclimatization. Wearing a Frankenstein outfit may make you stand out at any other time of the year, but when Halloween comes around, chances are that you’ll blend right in with everyone else. In a strictly nudist setting, it’s the clothed person who stands out and gets stared at.

I’ve heard Stephane Deschenes say something to the effect of “Many come in for the wrong reasons, but they stay for the right ones.” That was certainly the case for me!

Location 244

Sexual arousal as a result of visual cues is a cultural construct, the product of social conditioning.

Wow! So true. It’s every guy’s reservation about even the thought of being around so many naked people, but it’s not an issue. Since embracing naturism and the truth of arousal being relational and not visual (as even the most popular Christian books promote this lie), I’ve easily ensured that only my wife is capable of making me aroused sexually. Naturism hasn’t negatively affected our love life in any way. Quite the opposite is true. Now we are drawn only to each other in sexual ways. Temptation for anyone else is gone. We base our love not on the exterior, but on our relationship (see www.mychainsaregone.org). I can’t claim this for every naturist, but Christian naturists see this dynamic very clearly.

 Location 251

Many find that it’s clothing that’s sexually stimulating, or at least, various states of undress. When nothing is left to the imagination, however, the fire surprisingly tends to die out.

There is clearly a disconnect in thinking that if certain body parts are covered, then it’s less “sexy” than if all was exposed. This comes from a pornographic mind and what’s needed is a renewed mind. Clothing and attitudes entice. A modest nude does not.

Location 260

Naturist venues are open to everyone: men and women, young and old, the beautiful and the otherwise. Even those who want to go to these places often stay away because they feel insecure about their bodies. These insecurities are exactly what naturism seeks to address, among others. It teaches that textilists are inherently judgmental and shallow because of clothing. Clothing is an artificial construct, subject to fashion, culture, religion, and even politics. As such, people are taught to judge others by how they look and by how well they try to fit in or not.

One of the many things I love about ethical naturism and core beliefs behind it.

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Since a number of these venues are family-oriented, many believe that children become sexualized at a young age. Registered nudist and naturist venues for families have strict rules that only allow children in if they are accompanied by their families.

It’s a misconception to say naturists are immoral people. They can be. So can non-naturists. The other common argument is against pedophilia. Naturists would agree pedophilia is terrible! That’s why background checks are done and everyone is protective of the little ones. Remember, a pedophile is often hiding and not out in the open exposing themselves. Clothing hasn’t stopped immoral people from their crimes in the outside world. The sad truth is that in many ways, kids are safer in family-friendly naturist venues than they are outside of them.

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Children and Nudity This is perhaps the biggest problem textilists have with naturists. With all the pedophilic scandals out there, many believe that children who grow up in naturist communities or with naturist parents become sexualized at a young age. Some have even argued that children who grow up in such a setting are victims and that their parents’ rights over them should therefore be terminated. Such accusations have prompted official studies into the matter, both here in America, as well as in Europe. There are a number of these studies available, so feel free to look them up on your own. The studies found that there is no correlation between pedophilia and nudity in the home. In fact, the sexualization of children is higher in more conservative, textilist families than in nudist or naturist ones.

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Studies of cultures where social nudity is the norm, or where social nudity is considered acceptable in certain situations, reinforces such claims.

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it is not group nudity that causes pedophilia or the sexualization of minors. Most victims of sexual abuse grow up in textilist homes, after all.

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Textilists who accuse naturists of pedophilia are not only hypocrites, they also reveal their own insecurities and repressed fantasies.

Naturist Ideals

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1) Nudity is natural. Nudity is the default human condition. Being naked, especially when outside, allows people to develop a greater rapport with nature. It also reawakens the human body to sensations that have become dulled through years of being covered up, making people more in tune to their body’s wisdom.

I’d say there’s even a spiritual component to the spiritually minded. I don’t worship creation, but being as created in creation does connect me closer to my Creator. I can’t explain it, but it’s a powerful experience.

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2) Nudity is healthy. Many naturists claim that being naked, especially in nature, has healing benefits, and that it can strengthen the human body against disease.

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Increased exposure to sunlight (in moderation) also increases the intake of Vitamin D which combats osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

Location 343

…clothing provides fertile breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria, which can result in body odor, yeast infections, athlete’s foot, and even urinary tract infections.

I had a reaction under my arms recently from my shirts. I spent a week at a naturist park, and no issues at all. The day we left and I had to put clothes on again, I had discomfort in the same spot!

Location 347

Tight belts, ties, and girdles can impede breathing. For men, tight pants increase testicular temperature, which lowers sperm count and reduces fertility. Surely there’s no need to get into the problems caused by tight shoes and high heels? On the topic of footwear, have you visited a pediatrician, lately? They’re now recommending going barefoot. It’s been found that going barefoot stimulates your brain into growing extra neural connections, which can prevent Alzheimer’s, boost memory, and improve cognitive ability.

It’s no wonder the clothes tend to come off at the first opportunity after a long day!

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3) Nudity promotes sanity. Many social nudists claim that they have less hang ups about their bodies and are more accepting of their physical shortcomings. They also believe that their lifestyle encourages a sincere respect for the opposite gender, while others claim that it reduces porn addiction.

This is so true. In the case of porn and respect for others, the renewing of the mind through a robust understanding of Imago Dei (image of God) with naturism as a catalyst has not only reduced by porn temptation, it’s eradicated it completely. Nudity does also promote sanity. I tend to get stressed more if I have extended periods of time without being able to be naked in nature as God intended from the beginning.

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4) Nudity promotes equality. This was discussed earlier. Without clothes, people have little else by which to connote social and economic status. Also, it becomes harder to denote religious, cultural, and political affiliations. As to one’s racial background, naturists argue that skin color and body hair aside, people tend to be pretty similar from the neck down.

In a naturist setting, you remember people physically by their hats or sunglasses or tattoos. You also get to the know the real them, and that’s more memorable in the long run.

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5) Nudity encourages honesty. Naturists believe that clothing promotes dishonesty and encourages hypocrisy. They insist that one of the reasons people become superficial is because they can hide behind clothes which can be tailored to make them seem other than what they are.

That’s exactly what I was just thinking and saying. We should all just ditch the fig leaves and stop hiding!

—————

This book is an easy, short read, and a great guide to freedom through naturism. Purchase your own copy here.

Don’t Try Naturism!

If you love how Hollywood and Madison Avenue dictate what the standard of beauty should be for everyone, don’t try naturism. Naturism intends to see beauty in everyone and in every body, regardless of whether or not they look like something out of a fashion magazine!

If you love fake and airbrushed images of people that are virtually impossible to replicate without the aid of technology and software, don’t try naturism. Naturists know that the standards of beauty that are upheld by society are a fantasy. They actually prefer and celebrate real bodies as they are. So if you love Photoshop manipulation of images, don’t try naturism!

If you love looking at your own reflection in the mirror and scowling and feeling down on yourself, don’t try naturism. The practice of naturism may lead to body acceptance, and could result in you actually loving yourself— not just the body that is keeping you alive, but also the person you are under your skin. So if you love to hate your body, don’t try naturism!

If you love getting embarrassed over any talk or mention of basic human anatomy, don’t try naturism. The frank and matter of fact way they talk about body parts is too mature for most audiences (not sexual, mind you, but not immature). So, if you love being immature, don’t try naturism!

If you love bouncing your eyes every time they determine there might possibly be an attractive person in your peripheral view, don’t try naturism. Christian naturists have reported that issues with chronic lust and porn compulsion tend to vanish completely after embracing naturism. And instead of being hyper-vigilant at all times for the ever present threat of visual stimuli, they’ve learned to change their mind and heart about how they see others as being made in the image of God and worthy of respect and dignity. So if you would rather live constantly on guard for such things in constant fear, don’t try naturism!

If you love having tan lines, don’t try naturism. They have all over tans and got them the natural way (no spray tan or tanning beds). Keep those tan lines and don’t try naturism!

If you love being in bondage in your own skin, don’t try naturism. You may not feel like you’re in bondage, and that’s the bondage working! If you were to try naturism, you might be overcome with a feeling of freedom and liberation you never even thought you needed, but can’t believe you never had before. Stay in bondage to your own body shame and don’t try naturism.

If love wearing bras and even do so when you are at home by yourself, don’t try naturism. Naturists prefer the natural state to those unnatural and painful inventions. They also are less likely to develop breast cancer, as a result (Search for “Dressed to Kill”).

If you love packing suitcase after suitcase of clothes for your vacation, don’t try naturism! Naturists prefect taking “nakations” where they basically only have to pack towels. Becoming a naturist will ruin you to any other type of vacation. Just don’t try it!

If you love being superficial, phony, or even fake around people and enjoy others hiding who they really are, don’t try naturism! Naturists tend to be open about who they truly are, not hiding anything physically or other. Their conversations and relationships go deeper and connect on a level that is quite uncommon. Avoid this level of human (non-sexual) intimacy. Don’t try naturism.

If you love spending lots of time and money on clothes and laundering them, don’t try naturism. Everyone loves doing loads and loads of laundry. Naturists don’t have to do as much or worry about what to wear. Safe yourself the terror of becoming hassle-free. Don’t try naturism.

If you love the constrictive feeling of clothing and the feeling of wet, clingy swimming costumes, don’t try naturism. When what we’ve come to know as the swimsuit was invented in the 18th century, the way everyone one else swam for centuries prior (naked – skinny dipping) was finally done away with! That is, except for naturists who keep up that dreaded tradition. They even call such innovations nasty names like “shame suits.” Keep the damp sogginess for yourself, and don’t try naturism!

If you love tan lines, limiting your production of vitamin D, and smothering the largest organ on your body, don’t try naturism. You could instead order vitamin D pills by the bottle and avoid what naturist have wrongly claimed to be a “wonderful sensation of an air bath on the skin” simply by not trying naturism, ever. The body can breathe just fine through layers and layers of clothing!

If you love having mental health issues, don’t try naturism. It’s been touted as a natural anti-depressant and many have claimed it’s helped bring healing to everything from anxiety to PTSD and so much more. But we have drugs for all those things, so don’t even worry about trying naturism.

If you love sleeping in your clothes despite studies proving it is unhealthy, don’t try naturism. Otherwise what would happen to the pajama industry. Or pajama parties? Naturists say sleeping naked is great and comfortable. But at this point why would you believe anything they say? Don’t try naturism.

AFE News

Here’s a quick note to update you on what’s going on at Aching For Eden (AFE).

We’ve surpassed two years, now, of having one post a week since we began this blog. Thank you for reading! It’s because of you that we keep this going. Thanks also to those of you who have contributed to the blog by writing occasional guest posts. This helps us keep fresh content week after week. Keep it coming!


Aching for Eden is and always will be free, of course. If you’d like to give in a monetary way, check out the new swag page. There are currently three t-shirt designs where you can look great (if you have to wear something) and we get a small kick back and any tips. It’s not necessary, but it’s there if you are so inclined.

We’ve added some new memes to the memes page, as well as some new resources in the newly reworked resource page. Perhaps you’ve never looked at those pages. Now’s a great time to check it out!


ISO a digital artist. If anyone knows of a digital artist who is a believer, who would have a heart to volunteer his/her skills to a special project, have them contact us through the contact us page. Thanks!


AFE was ranked by Feedspot as #14 out of the top 35 naturist blogs of the year. They rank sites based on traffic, social media, and freshness. This came as a surprise to us. We happen to be the only Christian site on the list!


AFE has been cited repeatedly in the book, “A Whole Nude World” by Michael Douglas. The website is also mentioned in a short story by our friend, D.H. Jonathan in a book (Holiday in the Nudist Colony). The story is a sequel to his novel “Life Models” which you can buy on Amazon here.


Progress on our book has stalled a bit, but it’s Phil’s intention to try to work more on it in the rest of the year. We’re hoping for a release sometime next year. Stay tuned, and subscribe (at the bottom of the home page) so you don’t miss any great new content!


Lastly, Phil was featured recently  in a CNF (Christian Naturist Fellowship) newsletter. You can read his short column in the image below:

Surface Level Understanding

Can you imagine learning to fly an airplane by only reading manuals? Having read about how to safely and effectively lift the plane into the sky and maneuver it in the air and land again, would you be so confident as to try to fly alone? Book learning cannot be the sole piece of pilot training required to successfully take to the air. There must be a practical and hands on approach to learning with one who is an instructor or at least already a pilot in order to have the best results and avoid a crash, serious injury, or death. This is true of most learning: to drive a car, to play guitar, to lift weights. You would not rely on having book smarts alone for any of these disciplines. What is needed are hours of practice, reps, building muscle memory, conditioning body and mind for the task you are learning or training to do. Otherwise you are left with only a surface level understanding. One must consciously and intentionally move from the theoretical to the experiential to enjoy the rewards of whatever is being learned.

I believe the same is true with the belief and practice of naturism. I say this because I know of many who are currently in the place of being interested in and not opposed to the idea of it, but have yet to actually try non-sexual nudity in a naturist park or nude beach. I know this because that was me for a time as well. I suppose some people jump in the deep end (literally and metaphorically) on a whim or impulse and have an immediate “baptism” or adoption of a new way of life in one instance. For others, as it was with me, it starts with curiosity, research, and a time of pondering before an attempt is made of trying the theory out in real life. There are moments of “dipping your toes in the water,” staying nude after showering and doing regular things nude around the home. There are sometimes opportunities to trek outdoors nude by yourself when plenty of privacy is afforded. For me, I joined a community of naturists online before I had been socially nude in a shared physical space. 

Then came the moment for the proverbial “ripping off of the bandaid.” Sink or swim. After I had learned all about the practice and encouraged my wife to learn with me, we had a moment where we conducted a grand experiment. We were going to go beyond the theoretical and move swiftly into the practical and experiential. Our “diving into the deep end” would take place in Florida with 5 other Christian naturist couples in one clothes-free airbnb for a whole week. We would see if all we had been learning was true or not.

It was and it did not disappoint! Transformative is an understatement. Watching YouTube videos, reading articles, interacting with naturists online, reading books, even studying the Bible and praying all led to this moment of taking our clothes off and interacting with others as we really are without anything to hide behind. The head knowledge gained during that time had to be transferred to our heart and to the rest of our body. Superficial knowledge alone was not sufficient to convince us of life change, but the real life application did the trick, and immediately! There is no going back now.

The whole point of this article is that “believing in” is not enough. There has to be a doing. Also, learning the history, the benefits, and the therapeutic effect that naturism can bring a person is not near as convincing as is trying it out for yourself. Neither I nor anyone can convince anyone just by singing the praises of naturism with words and stories. Having your own experience is the only way to fully know and understand what we try to communicate. You want a full understanding and not one that is only surface level.

Surely, some who try may find that it’s not for them. My take on that is that there is some shame or religious indoctrination or something else to work through in those cases. The very activity of naturism could be the cure they need, but they need to commit fully. One author suggests two visits will solidify the positive effects of naturism. If your first experience is awkward or too nerve racking, he suggests to give it a try a second time, and then decide if it’s for you or not. For most earnest seekers of truth, I believe the first experience will be life changing.

I’ve often said that the only down side to naturism is that it ruins most textile activities or vacations. A “nakation” where you can go clothes-free for an extended period of time is amazing. It keeps you ready for the next time, which usually can’t come soon enough. When you see your friends and family enjoying clothes-obsessive activities during their recreation time, you can’t help but think to yourself, “You’re doing it wrong!” They aren’t. They are just doing what everyone does. I just know of a more satisfying and relaxing way for me to rest and play.

Chain Breakers

My personal friend R. B. Mears just released his book “Chain Breakers – A Novel about the Naked Truth” on Amazon Kindle. I was excited to read it, and it proved to be quite an entertaining ride. The story follows the protagonist, Matt, as he discovers a powerful truth most in the world and (especially in Christian circles) are completely unaware exists.

You can read the author’s description of the book below. It shows most of the plot, so nothing I have to say will be a spoiler. What I appreciated from this book was the innocence and childlike wonder that it portrays. Older characters are reawakened to simpler times when there was more freedom and less shame. Religious minds are educated about the way prudish thinking can trace its origins way back at the beginning in Genesis 3. Genesis 1 and 2 is a much better place to be and the situations in this story are very eden-like. Naturists know that even after the fall, this existence isn’t out of reach or beyond belief. This book isn’t shy about speaking of the way Satan has blinded so many as ruler of the world. (That’s a chapter in my upcoming book as well, so I was happy to see this largely ignored concept portrayed repeatedly.)

It’s fun, insightful, and inspiring. It motivates me to be even more bold in my outspokenness as to the effectiveness of Naturism to fix many problems that abound in society faster than anything. The proliferation of pornography and the abundance of body shame and low self-esteem are easily done away with through the tenants and beliefs of naturism. Young kids take center stage in this story teaching grownups what God can do through his power if we would but humble ourselves and believe.

The one phrase that came to my mind as I read the book was “unbelievably believable.” There are many scenarios and encounters that result in immediate transformation. Even the author writes the “unbelievableness” factor into dialogue in a couple of instances. It seems too good to be true and far-fetched. However, as a Christian naturist myself, I found the stories of instant night and day changes believable. That’s really what happened with me, so it was a joy to relive that through these many characters over and over.

Get the book here!

Mear’s tale of toughness, boldness, courage, and sensitivity will make your heart happy if you are one who has been freed from chains that held you back. If you are a in a bondage as you read, it is my friend’s prayer and ours as well, that you would be made free through the naked truth.

The name “Chain Breakers” is not just a neat club name and mission statement. It is also an homage to the oft stated resource of MyChainsAreGone.org, which we highly recommend. Fun fact: Aching for Eden is also mentioned in the story!

I recommend “Chain Breakers” to young people and adults as well, who are open minded enough to have faith like a child to reclaim the innocence and wonder of our created state.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Caleb held up a hand. “If you could, would you want to see porn right now?” Matt and Ben stopped their frisbee catch, and both looked at Sam. He shook his head and looked at each of them for a moment. “No. I really wouldn’t. It’d seem kind of gross right now.” Ben threw a look at Sam. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!” (p. 42)

“I’ve found that only 1% to 3% of a populace will be those who seek the truth and embrace it. In philosophy, it’s almost a given that if you find yourself in agreement with the vast majority of people, you’re on the wrong side of an issue. The problem is, most people look to the crowd to decide what to believe, who to like, and even who to vote for.” Sam looked serious. “I’d rather be right than be popular. (p. 52)

his mom said. “Everything I’ve ever been taught screams that it was wrong, but I realize now the Bible had no issue with what we did. A year ago we both would have thought all that nakedness would’ve left our boys scarred. The truth is, they both seem like it was the best thing ever for them. Sam has changed so much I’d swear he’d been abducted by aliens if I didn’t know better.” Sam gave a short laugh. “I feel a lot different too, mom.” (p. 67)

…if your brother is teaching you kids about this, he needs to learn he’s playing with fire. Being naked in mixed company is the sort of thing that causes lust and sexual problems.” Matt realized the man was trying to make a point. “And wearing clothing all the time would fix that problem?” The man nodded, trying to sound authoritative. “Of course. That’s why we have to wear proper clothing.” Matt smiled. “No. Wearing clothes is surrendering to sin. Christ dying on the cross is the only thing that gives us the ability to crucify our sinful nature. We can rely on the blood of Christ to keep us from sin. My friends and I chose to circumcise our hearts, and because of that, we see one another innocently when we’re naked, as God intended us to do.” The man looked down on Matt. “Well, you’re still young enough not to be tempted by lust, but it will cause problems when you’re older.” Ben moved forward. “You’re wrong. My brother is seventeen, and we both used to look at hardcore pornography all the time. I know what lust is, what it feels like, and what it can do to your soul. My brother and I started going naked in our everyday lives to face the sinful nature and make it flee in God’s name. We learned a lot about it on a website called MyChainsAreGone.org. Because of that, porn is disgusting to my brother and me now. Look it up on that website and see for yourself.” The man looked completely confused. (p. 130)

Grandpa said. “It was a bit different then. Things were hard, but we boys had fun. This river was a lively place back then.” “Did you and your friends skinny-dip back then?” “Well, we didn’t call it that,” Grandpa chuckled. “We just called it swimming. No one had a swimsuit like boys do today.” “Were you just that poor?” “Well, we were poor, all right, but even the wealthy boys swam naked in the river. I expect a boy swimming in shorts back then would’ve been laughed at.” “What if people saw you?” Chris asked. Grandpa chuckled. “Son, everyone saw us. No one cared, and we sure didn’t. We weren’t bashful like boys are today. If someone had seen us and acted shocked, we all would’ve just laughed.” “That’s hard to imagine,” Chris said. “Not really,” Grandpa said. “If you had been raised with us, you would’ve gotten over your shame pretty fast. In a way, I feel sorry for your generation because you can’t experience that. I think you’d feel a lot different about yourself if you did.” (p. 146)

“I didn’t mean to make everyone mad,” Ryan said. Sam smiled disarmingly. “We’re okay, Ryan. That type of thinking just really seems sick to us now that we’re away from it. It has a pull on you now, but you can escape that pull the same way we did. You can be a part of this club and be accepted, but you have to practice innocent naturism.” “The de-scummification process has begun,” Mike said. (p. 215)

“The issue about clothing is the same. Most Christians have been tricked into thinking the body is evil, and throw away freedom of the body. They cover it in shame. Today the view of the body is owned by Satan. It’s almost like he has the copyright. God’s followers won’t even talk about the body in a normal way. If a kid is curious about God’s most wonderful creation, he has to go to Satan’s realm to see the body. Satan uses that power to destroy lives with his porn and sex outside of marriage. Modern Christianity has given Satan this power. (p. 248)

The truth is that Almighty God Himself is the author of mixed, innocent nudity. God proclaimed it as good. It was Satan who taught man to be fearful of being seen naked. “Satan didn’t like seeing God walk with man in the cool of the morning. Satan hated that Man was made in God’s image, and didn’t want to see it displayed. Now the question for all of you is this: Adam sinned, and brought us all into sin. But Jesus gave Himself to save us and undo what Adam did and more. (p. 267)

I just don’t get it. Why is it so important for everyone to be naked?” “Like I was telling you,” Matt said, “it isn’t important to be naked. It’s important to be able to be naked. It’s all about strengthening the connections between your body, mind, and spirit. If those connections are strong, your whole being gets stronger, and your connection to God can grow.” (p. 289)

“Okay, you say you’d give anything. What if it costs you or your parents nothing. No money at all, no work, and only fun? What if all you had to give up was the shame, fear, and self-hatred you’re feeling now?” “And clothes,” Ben said laughing. “You’d have to wear the clothes God made for you.” (p. 300)

“Today, you’ve all seen a great deal of evidence that what these young people have done is a good thing. The world will now do everything it can to shame you out of supporting it. You all have decisions to make about how you’ll handle this. (p. 328)

Here is the author’s description of the novel:

It is Matt West’s 14th birthday, and in a tense moment Matt finds himself rescuing another teen trapped and hanging by his legs from the sharp barbed wire on top of the stadium fence. Matt helps the boy escape, but the victim’s shorts remain hopelessly bound in the barbed wire, and the boy he rescues falls to the ground naked. Kids are gathering.

In a moment that changes his life, Matt hands the injured boy his own shorts — leaving himself completely naked. Matt refuses to hide, and defiantly stares back as a kid he doesn’t like videos him. Things seemed even worse when the sheriff pulls up and his 14-year-old daughter — who Matt knows — sees him naked.

Matt becomes a hero to his family and the first responders for his self-sacrifice, yet when the video goes viral on a pornographic web site Matt suddenly learns who his true friends are, and that pornography is a horrible plague for teens and young adults everywhere.

Matt’s friends learn of a web site called MyChainsAreGone.org that helps them defeat the effect of pornography in their lives. Together they skinny-dip in an old farm pond and learn that simple, innocent nudity is a powerful tool to fight the errors of modern Christian purity thinking of the body. As they study the Bible, they face temptation and sweep it out of their lives. The teens form a club called the Chain Breakers that helps other teens in their church and town escape the porn cycle and live free. As their church is split by their understanding, an old preacher explains they have learned a truth as old as the Bible itself, and that God can use their innocent naturism.

The families of these brave young men and women get organized, and a whole new Christian ministry of healing is formed. Read along as the Chain Breakers change lives, have fun, and learn about real freedom.

If you are struggling with the effects of pornography in your life or the life of someone you love, this book has been written to help you understand you can once again have the mind of a child when it comes to lust, worldly thinking, and porn. You can join a Christian Naturist movement that has accepted the power of Christ’s sacrifice to heal the mind that has been so damaged by Satan’s lies.

Way too much privacy!

I recall a time when I played sports in school. There was a communal shower with no separations or stalls between shower heads. In college the showers had a column with four shower heads in either direction, so you are facing another teammate as you get clean after a sweaty practice or game.

Those times are long gone. Now there is way too much privacy. More recently I remember going to a church camp where there were private stalls for showers, a curtain to hide behind and another area as a buffer to change in with a second curtain AND a sign out front to show that it’s occupied. This includes several layers of protection from having any amount of flesh being seen by another person. The newest generations are obsessed with privacy. How is that working out for us as a society?

Chad W. Thompson spends the bulk of a chapter (chapter 3) in his book “That Famous Fig Leaf.” noting that:

The circumstances in which nudity can occur outside of a sexual context are becoming more and more elusive, as is indicated by the disposition of many adolescents and millennials towards communal showers. Yet bodies that are, at least partially, exposed for the purpose of sensual gratification are everywhere. We live in a culture whose inhabitants spend billions of dollars a year to see each other naked on Internet sites and in pornographic films, yet are often uncomfortable changing in front of each other in locker rooms or even being seen in a swimsuit on the beach. This is due to either bodily insecurity, or fear of being sexually objectified. Could it be that we have so profoundly fused the image of the exposed body with sexual gratification that there is no context left for it to be laid bare without evoking either shame or arousal?

Thompson’s work is well-researched as he quotes various other author’s books and articles of interest. This excerpt is especially enlightening: 

A 2009 article from The Oregonian, “Shower Together at School? No Way, Dude,” observed: It’s a rare student who showers after sports or gym classes these days. A quick dab of deodorant and a dousing of cologne or perfume, and it’s on to the next class . . . Communal showers—the awkward rite of passage into puberty—are a thing of the past. In fact, Oregon schools haven’t required showers for at least a decade. The same is true nationally.77 The New York Times, in a 1996 article “Students Still Sweat, They Just Don’t Shower,” wrote: Students across the United States have abandoned school showers, and their attitudes seem to be much the same whether they live in inner-city high-rises, on suburban cul-de-sacs or in far-flung little towns in cornfield country.78 The article goes on to quote student after student listing all the reasons they would never shower, or change clothes, in front of their same-gender classmates. “You don’t want to get made fun of,”79 stated one fifteen-year-old boy. “. . . you don’t feel very good about yourself,”80 said an overweight student who used to race to the locker rooms after class so that he’d be done showering before the other boys arrived. “You never know who’s looking at you,”81 said an eighteen-year-old female from Illinois. Quotes from these students’ teachers only further illustrate the fact that students are changing the way they change. “These guys don’t want to undress in front of each other,” said a high school teacher in suburban Chicago. “I just don’t get it. When I started in ’74, nobody even thought about things like this. The whole thing is just hard for me to accept.”82 An Illinois football coach said “These guys would play a two-and-a-half-hour game, and then they’d just want to go home, all muddy, so they could have their privacy. Used to be, when you get sweaty and stinky, you wanted to take a shower.”83 Also mentioned in the Times article is a boys’ tennis team that practices mornings before school at the community racquet club, just a few blocks from the high school. “But rather than shower at the club, many of the boys get picked up by their parents and driven back home to shower, and then return to school.”84 The article goes on to say: A generation ago, when most schools mandated showers, a teacher would typically monitor students and hand out towels, making sure that proper hygiene was observed. In schools with pools, students were sometimes required to swim naked, and teachers would conduct inspections for cleanliness that schools today would not dare allow, whether because of greater respect for children or greater fear of lawsuits.85 Mass contempt for public showers seems, to many, to be something which emerged only in recent history. Yet when the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to file a lawsuit in federal court over a mandatory shower policy in Pennsylvania, the lawyer who worked the case was overwhelmed by correspondence from adults who supported him. “People remembered their own humiliation. I myself remember moving from my little country school to the city school, and being mortified about having to take showers. But in those days, you did what the schools said, you did what the teachers said.”86 

And later he goes on to say:

According to the New York Times: Modesty among young people today seems, in some ways, out of step in a culture that sells and celebrates the uncovered body in advertisements, on television and in movies. But some health and physical education experts contend that many students withdraw precisely because of the overload of erotic images—so many perfectly toned bodies cannot help but leave ordinary mortals feeling a bit inadequate.89 In a more recent Times article, “Men’s Locker Room Designers Take Pity on Naked Millennials,” Choire Sicha reports on the emerging demand for nudity-free locker rooms. Sicha describes the fear which drives men to slide their underwear on under their towels: “Each day, thousands upon thousands of men in locker rooms nationwide struggle to put on their underwear while still covered chastely in shower towels, like horrible breathless arthropods molting into something tender-skinned. They writhe, still moist, into fresh clothes.”90 Bryan Dunkelberger of S3 Design, an architecture firm that designs locker rooms, told Sicha: In the last 20 years, maybe 25 years, there’s a huge cultural shift in people that ultimately affects gyms . . . Old-timers, guys that are 60-plus, have no problem with a gang shower and whatever. The Gen X-ers are a little bit more sensitive to what they’re spending and what they’re expecting. And the millennials, these are the special children. They expect all the amenities. They grew up in families that had Y.M.C.A. or country club memberships. They expect certain things. Privacy, they expect.91 Mark Joseph Stern, writing for Slate.com, commented on Sicha’s article, “While older men generally remain comfortable being undressed among others, younger ones insist on maximum privacy, pining for a way to strip, shower, and change clothes without even a flash of nudity.”92 Why is there such aversion to nudity among millennials? In the article “Nothing to See Here: A History of Showers in Sports,” ESPN sports writer David Fleming describes the sociological constructs that converge when clothes come off, most of which are far more pronounced today than in the age of the boomers: When stinky teammates strip down to their most vulnerable state, it conjures, for some, a range of emotions: their most awkward memories (middle school gym class), deepest insecurities (size), purest symbolism (baptism) and most ignorant defense mechanisms (homophobia).93

The normalization of nudity can do wonders for the fear and insecurity of so many. Yet, the opportunity for nudity in a non-erotic context is a rarity. What is also mind boggling and perhaps the subject of another article altogether is the rise and commonplace of sexting among the same people who would have trouble changing in public among their own sex. The sexting is often done without a face in the photos, so that the headless body can’t be traced back to the person. There is more confidence this way, but really it is a lack of confidence to not include ones face. A headless photo of the body — how much more dehumanizing can one be?

The naturist experience stands in stark contrast to all of this (do you see what I did there?). Their photos are evidence. Naturist photos are like anyone else’s vacation photos, except for the fact that they are naked. Some people ask why naturists take and share their photos? I would ask why non-naturists take and share their photos? They want others to share in the experience of where they were and what they were doing. Those who know them will live vicariously through their trip to Disney through the record of photo ops. For naturists, it’s the exact same. They took a trip, not to Disney, but to natural hot springs, for example, and maybe you should add it to your bucket list. Their smiles are always huge as naturists are often at peace and joyful about what they are doing. They aren’t ashamed of their bodies or having their heads attached to them. Doesn’t this sound like a more wholesome and healthy way of being? I think so.

In a world that is way too private, naturists in essence have not much need of it. I grew up with privacy at a premium. The ability to be so matter a fact now with nudity is a blessing in many ways. I’m no longer repressed under a body shame taboo. Nakedness isn’t mysterious, and the body isn’t a source of lust like I once thought it was. It just is a body, and more importantly it’s a somebody.

Just the other day, my wife and I went over to some naturist friend’s house for the day. As we arrived we were greeted by a naked man. After going inside, we were told we could also get comfortable if we wanted to. That’s what we did. We ate together, played games, and eventually took to the hot tub on the porch and had a wonderful time and great conversation. None of this had any sexual connotation or anything I would call indecent. Quite the contrary. It was a sweet time of fellowship. When it was time to head home, we changed back into our street clothes and left. No shame. No insecurity. Just comfortable and intimate (not in the sense that some would interpret intimacy). 

And that’s just the difference. Where some are not comfortable dressing in a locker room amongst those of their same gender, others are completely in their element hanging out (literally) in their own skin in mixed company. I’ve been on both sides of that spectrum. I know what both those feelings are like. I have no desire of going back to how I was before. I strongly believe that the uninhibited version of myself is the more sane, mentally and emotionally healthy, and well-rounded individual. One experience is fraught with anxiety and hang-ups; the other replete with ultimate relaxation and relational bliss. For me, it’s an obvious choice. You CAN have too much privacy. 


Source:

Chad W. Thompson, That famous fig leaf : uncovering the holiness of our bodies (Cascade Books, 2019), 28-32.

Quoted in Thompson:

77. Owen, “Shower Together,” para. 3.

78. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 5.

79. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 23. 

80. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 25. 

81. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 27. 

82. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 9. 

83. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 30. 

84. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 28. 

85. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 8. 

86. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 14. 

89. Johnson, “Students Still Sweat,” para. 16–17. 

90. Sicha, “Men’s Locker Room,” para. 4. 

91. Sicha, “Men’s Locker Room,” para. 5. 

92. Stern, “If You Are Not Comfortable,” para. 1. 

93. Fleming, “Nothing to See,” para. 3.

Owen, Wendy. “Shower Together at School? No Way, Dude.” The Oregonian Extra (July 22, 2009). http://blog.oregonlive.com/oregonianextra/2009/07/shower_together_at_school_no_w.html.

Johnson, Dirk. “Students Still Sweat, They Just Don’t Shower.” The New York Times (April 22, 1996). http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/22/us/students-still-sweat-they-just-don-t-shower.html.

Sicha, Choire. “Men’s Locker Room Designers Take Pity on Naked Millennials.” The New York Times (December 3, 2015). http://www.nytimes.com/2015 /12/04/fashion/mens-style/mens-locker-room-designers-take-pity-on-naked-millennials.html?hpw&rref=fashion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0.

Stern, Mark Joseph. “If You Are Not Comfortable Being Naked Around Other People, You Are Not an Adult.” Outward. http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/12/03/locker_room_nudity_is_healthy_and_normal_fear_of_it_is_irrational.html.

Fleming, David. “Nothing to See Here: A History of Showers in Sports.” ESPN The Magazine (July 8, 2014). http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/11169006/nfl-showers-hostile-environment-michael-sam-espn-magazine.

Sexual Response & Nakedness

This article first appeared on our friend’s site at www.nakedandunashamed.org. It is reposted here with permission.

In general, the assumption amongst the majority of non-naturists is that the sight of another naked human will cause sexual arousal or lust…especially the sight of a naked woman, by a man.

They say that experience is a great teacher and that if you can use other people’s experience that is even better as it can at times lead to wise decisions without having to make your own bad decisions first.

I’d like to take a few minutes with this article to address what I believe is the big lie that Satan has convinced the non-naturist world. He has convinced people that the sight of the beautiful creature that is the human body, made in the very image of our Creator is somehow shameful, sexual and dirty and will cause a sexual response. I can assure you based on firsthand experience and backed by the principles of the Word of God that the opposite is actually the case.

First, a little common sense…anything that is novel will gain attention. If the sight of a naked person is novel, then it is noticed. Anything that is common is ignored. When a person is only naked for a shower or sex, then nakedness is novel and therefore will garner attention and that can be in the form of a sexual response. When nakedness is common and in a nonsexual context often, then suddenly nakedness is no longer novel and it no longer garners a sexual response.

When a person first begins the journey to the Truth as it relates to the naked human form, they are forced to confront all kinds of mental and spiritual training that they have been subjected to that is contrary to the Bible and to experience. They are confronted with the fact that what they’ve been taught might have been wrong and that is a very discomforting emotion.

For example, when I was growing up I was taught “modesty” from I Timothy as meaning dressed from neck to knee for the ladies and long shorts for the guys at a minimum. It’s what I now refer to as our “Sunday Best”. There was no real Bible standard, it was basically whatever the pastor or church taught was modest, that was what the Bible meant. It was making Scripture conform to the pastor/church teaching rather than the other way around. As an adult when I studied the passage and its actual teaching, what I found that the Bible was actually teaching was the exact opposite of “our Sunday Best.” The real concern was that there were poor ladies in the church with literally nothing to wear and rich ladies in the church with their fancy and expensive clothing. The teaching was for the rich ladies to dress more “modest”…an old fashion word meaning humble. Well, the truth is that the most modest attire was to match the very poorest in the congregation. Notice the teaching went on to say not with braided hair, not with jewelry, etc…in other words “modest” or humble. Not the meaning that the church has ascribed to the Bible, but the correct meaning anyway.

Modesty was basically whatever the pastor or church taught was modest.

So, what does our experience tell us that the church isn’t? My wife and I have been biblical, nonsexual naturists for about the last 20 years now and this is the Truth of what we have found.

  1. The commonplace of nonsexual nakedness has led to a desexualizing of our minds and those around us.

We have visited over 20 family friendly naturist resorts across the country and 3 nude beaches and in every case, we have not seen one instance of sexual response at any of the locations we have visited. In fact, what we have found is that the commonplace of nonsexual nudity has eliminated the sexual response based solely on visual stimulation.

  1. We have seen our minds renewed to the point that we used to think the body was shameful, sexual, and dirty…we now see the body as made in God’s image, beautiful and nonsexual in nature.

We no longer view the naked body the way the world views the naked body, we view the naked body as God views it. Isn’t it odd that the church and Hollywood hold to the same belief regarding the body? Living as a naturist has changed that for us. We no longer see the body sexually…we see the body beautiful. All bodies, in fact…tall or short, skinny, or fat, black, or white. You see…when your mind is renewed you begin to see others as God sees them…not as sexual objects, but as beautiful creations of God…made in His very image.

  1. Sexuality becomes more about the relationship than the superficial.

The typical non-naturist is visually motivated. In fact, we are told by good-willed pastors all across the spectrum of denominations that men are visually motivated, so it’s up to the woman to dress modestly to keep the beast at bay. We are told that this problem is “every man’s battle.” I am here to tell you, that is a lie. It is told by Satan to continue the cycle of try, fail and eventually give up trying when it comes to conquering the addiction to pornography.

I can tell you that men and women have been programmed to think this way, but that the thinking is contrary to how God sees us and how God wants us to see each other. Addiction to pornography is a matter of incorrect thinking and incorrect thinking can be corrected. When a person experiences the commonplace of nonsexual nakedness…again, I said commonplace…they see naked bodies doing normal everyday things like mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, vacuuming the floors, gardening, taking a walk in the woods, swimming, playing volleyball, etc. and instead of a sexual response they now see the body as just that…a body.

Think with me for a moment…if this is you and you are now used to seeing naked people doing normal everyday things all the time with zero sexual context how does that change your thinking? You are no longer a victim of Pavlov’s experiment…you are a victor because you now see people as God sees them. You now see people as the wonderfully made creation that He intended from the very beginning when He made them naked and not ashamed.

You see what we’ve really done by teaching that the image of God is somehow dirty, shameful and sexual is that we have propagated Satan’s lie, rather than the Truth of God’s Word.

• God is the One who created us naked.

• God is the One who said that there was no shame in it. God is the One who called it “very good.”

• God is the One who questioned “who told thee…so we know He didn’t start the lie…someone else did…Satan did.

So, what about sexual relationships with our mates?

We have found that because of our lack of sexual response to visual stimuli that our sexual relationship has moved from the superficial to an emotional response.

Our sexual relationship is based more on our friendship now. Our sexual desire comes out of our spiritual connection.

Our intimacy has deepened as has our relationship and our lovemaking is now way better than it has ever been.

The fact that we are not visually stimulated by a simple naked body has not reduced our sexual response to each other, it has strengthened our sexual relationship and made it more intimate and more connected.

The fact that there is no sexual response at the sight of others naked has increased our trust of one another and therefore our intimacy.

It’s almost like, when you experience life the way God intended…naked and not ashamed that you find that God was right all along, which means that the standard teaching in the church was wrong all along.

This is disappointing and unsettling in the beginning because what you thought was foundational was wrong and now you wonder what else was I taught that was wrong as well. Do not let that uneasy feeling stop you from living the life that God intended for you, just realize that you now believe what God said and not what man/Satan twisted it into.

Noah and the Curse

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

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

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

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

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

On page 192 he says:

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

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

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

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

Blind and Naked

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

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

Laodicea was renowned for three main industries:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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