We have this one meme on our memes page, and while we aren’t sure who to credit, some clever individual wrote this thought-provoking piece:
Is nudism healthy?
Allow me [to] try to argue the alternative:
Nudism isn’t healthy.
People should be ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid to be and to look as God made them.
God must hate us to have made us this way.
Nor should we tolerate or respect what other people look like.
Especially if they’re overweight, of a different race, too old or too young, or just plain ugly.
People like that should be forced to cover themselves up at all times so we don’t have to look at them.
Young attractive people deserve to be sexually harassed and assaulted if they’re not sufficiently covered up.
Them not covering themselves up enough causes other to be uncontrollably sexually irresponsible. So they have it coming to them.
We should fight our children’s natural instincts to be free of the restrictions of clothing and want to feel the sun, wind, and water unbroken across their bodies.
Sensuality and feeling good about yourself is sexual and we rightfully should be screwed up about how we view our genders and sexuality.
We must condition ourselves to be totally compulsive about being dressed so we stay dressed even when we’re alone in the privacy of our own homes, so we can never be comfortable bathing if others are around
…so we’ll properly fear going to a doctor because we don’t want them to see our bodies
…and so we’ll feel appropriately insecure about ourselves and our bodies around our families, with our friend, and in our intimate relationships.
Yuck! How about instead we just realize that what people call “nudism’ really is just how we’d feel by default if we weren’t so screwed up otherwise.
My reaction to this is that we need to flip the script. There are so many misconceptions about naturism in general, and Christian naturism specifically. Christian naturists are Christians. Christians who aren’t naturists have a lot more in common with Christian naturists than they might believe at first (once they figure out what “naturist” means!). There is more common ground than there are differences. And the differences are not obscene or wrong in any way when you understand the motivation behind it.
In negotiations it’s understood that the goal is to get the other party to a “yes.” However, sometimes the best approach is to first get to “no,” before it’s time for a yes. That’s kind of what I hope to do in this following section. Please help me flesh this idea out in the comments to add to what I have.
For those opposed to the practice of Christian naturists, I would ask:
Do you think lust is a good thing?
Christian naturists do NOT think lust is a good thing. They also do not equate nudity with sex. The normalization of nudity doing non-sexual things like gardening or mowing or painting desexualizes nudity and more importantly desexualizes the mind. We live in a “pornified” culture and the conditioning is strong, but naturists have broken that link between simple nudity and sex. Lustful thinking cannot easily reconcile this separation, it’s hard to fathom unless you’ve broken that connection in the mind (search the blog for renewed mind to see more on this.). Thinking otherwise is a projection of a mind that still agrees with our culture. Hook up culture is an extreme that cheapens the body down to a tool separated from the whole person. Prudishness (and body taboo) is the other extreme that Christians often take on to avoid being “like the world.” Both extremes have a low view and deem the body as hyper-sexual and obscene in many cases. Christian naturists have a high view of bodies as a “very good” creation of God.
Do you think Christians should be sexually immoral?
Christian naturists believe in maintaining sexual integrity at all times. They hate porn or anything that objectifies people and their bodies. They lament that many of the problems that exist today come ultimately from an ungodly view of the body: fornication, adultery, divorce, rape, unwanted pregnancy and abortion, prostitution, human trafficking, pedophilia, gender dysphoria, and everything in between.
Do you think there is any sin that Jesus can’t help you overcome?
Christian naturists believe that God’s power is enough to make both men and women mature in their faith. To many, they cannot fathom the thought that we could be in a large group of naked people without lusting. Many blame their objectifying thoughts on the revealing clothing of others and say it’s their fault that they can’t handle their thoughts. Lust becomes this ever-present, always needing to be avoided issue. We don’t do that with any other sin! We don’t think Jesus can’t help us overcoming a lying problem, but we act as if lust is a whole different thing and pure thinking depends on several other factors out of our control. Christian naturists reject that notion and live differently.
When someone is in bondage to a certain sin, do you think they should remain that way forever?
This is a bit like the last question. For me, I was in bondage for 20 years. The purity culture I grew up with failed me and the tactics to undo lustful thinking were woefully inadequate. Naturism served as a catalyst to get me to see others as God sees them, and by so doing extending them the respect and dignity that comes with being made in God’s image. Humans are the pinnacle of God’s creation, and not to be objectified for selfish gain.
One quick story that encapsulates all I’ve been saying here would be using the movie Titanic. I remember my youth minister asking in a sermon why they had to put those nude scenes in what would otherwise be a good movie. This made me want to see those scenes, actually. And I saw those scenes over and over. We owned the VHS tape and I would fast forward to watch that scene with Kate Winslet. And then feeling guilty and full of shame, I’d rewind it to “get rid of the evidence.” My mind wasn’t redeemed. Once my wife was watching and noticed it wasn’t where she had left it, so she knew what I was up to. Just the other day, my wife and teenage boy were watching this movie as research for a school project (streaming, not VHS!). It came to that scene and my wife, acting on old impulses (before embracing naturism) instinctually thought to fast forward or have him look away. He is now used to seeing us walk around the house nude. He knows what our bodies look like. He told her in that moment sensing her internal struggle, “Mom, they’re just boobs. Not a big deal.” I wish I had the maturity of my 14 year old son when I was an immature 20 year old newlywed husband! See the difference! I was obsessed with watching this scene over and over, and it’s nothing to him, because my wife has been brave enough and confident enough to overcome body shame and prudishness in our home. Normalizing non-sexual nudity is the best way to porn-proof your children.
Do you believe that it’s good to oppress women by making them cover themselves entirely so lustful men won’t be tempted?
Christian naturists are so saddened by this and do not see the logic behind it. If it worked, those who live with the most strict of dress codes would be the purest among us. That is simply not the case! I’ve met several Christian naturists that come from mennonite and even amish backgrounds. They are so much happier and free as naturists, and they attest that in the strict conservative setting lewd behavior is quite prevalent and always in secret.
Do you see the hyper-sexualization of culture getting better with time?
I don’t really. It’s always been bad ever since the beginning. Points 12-17 of our “Personal Manifesto of a Christian Naturist” deals with how Satan has violently attacked humans on this point since the fall in Genesis 3. He is the “who” of “Who said you were naked?” and he hates the image of God. Everything that is not God’s “very good” ideal is a distortion of his will.
Does God usually change his mind completely from one chapter to the next? If God declared all things to be good, very good, when did he change his mind?
Maybe we don’t have to flip the script at all. We have to recover the original script. The script was flipped in Genesis 3, and that’s why we are in so much trouble. We just need to flip it back and recover the innocence of Eden. It really is that simple! And it really is possible (see Revelation 21:5).
Sound off in the comments if you have more to add. I’ll add a few more in the first comment! Thanks for reading.