Definition -- Naturism: Naturism is characterized by the practice of
social nudity, with the intention of encouraging respect and acceptance for
oneself, and for others. A naturist philosophy asserts that the naked human body is inherently decent, and that clothing
should not be worn out of shame, but for practical reasons such as warmth,
protection and loving sensitivity to non-naturists when on their
turf. A naturist is one who enjoys naturism. A few years ago
naturists were known as nudists which can be a pejorative term.
Our personal journey into naturism came as a result of a theological study (see
Good Nudity) that was prompted by a series of life
events. We have met many other Christians in our naturist journey who also found the joys of clothes-free
If you consider yourself a Christian
and you've never thought about nudity
(or only thought about it in a negative way), we'd ask you to ask yourself the questions we
asked. As you ask these questions why do you believe what you believe? What is the
theological / Biblical substantiation for your answer? Most of us
answer from our cultural upbringing, not a Biblically reasoned answer.
Does God have a viewpoint on the naked body?
Can a Christian look at nude art?
Can a Christian take an art class and see and draw a live nude model?
Can a Christian be a nude model for an art class?
How come doctors seem to be allowed to view a nude body – does a medical degree
give them that ability from God?
Is nudity found in movies right or wrong? Movies like “Schindler’s List” have nudity, is
How about nudity in the family, at what age does God say a parent should cover up
around their child? Should they cover up?
Does God have an opinion on siblings bathing together?
What about innocent
What about the "natives" in other lands should missionaries clothe them?
What we discovered
in attempting to answer these questions was that there is such a thing as
good nudity and that it is assumed in life. This truth of good nudity provides the theological answer to the questions we asked.
A Christian naturist is one that believes God has created the body and that the body is good. They have come to see that God does not forbid simple, non-sexual nudity. In fact, most
Christian naturists feel that God has used naturism to add to their lives in the following ways:
Body Acceptance. Our culture has been brain washed by the Madison Avenue fashion
experts who tell us in picture and words what a “perfect” body is like. How many times
have you looked in the mirror and thought disparagingly at your body? Not enough
muscle, undefined abs, too little breast, wide hips, or not enough hair, and so it goes. Naturism puts you in touch with your body and you see that others are “just like you.” Plus, you realize that the “super models” in life are really not that pretty nude and the
magazine “centerfolds” are definitely airbrushed. Bottom line: you realize it doesn’t
matter what you look like.
Body Demystification. We are all curious. Naturism allows the body to be seen and thus
demystified. You see what the clothes are covering. The discovery is made that bodies
are similar and at the same time different.
People Acceptance. Once people are naked equality takes over. You no longer judge
or assess the value of a person by what they wear. We’ve always thought of ourselves
as very non-judgmental type but we’ve discovered that we have been prejudiced by
what people wear.
Age Acceptance. In our American culture we have pushed our senior citizens to the back
of the shelf. We have devalued them and we have definitely devalued their bodies. To
see someone in their “golden years” naked is at first a potential shock. It happened first
to us when our fathers were ill. We were so unprepared to deal with their nudity. Now
years later as we’ve been in various naturist contexts, we’ve come to see (once again)
how popular culture has conditioned us that the body of an aged person is ugly. How
sad. Thanks to social nudity, we now look upon the human form, regardless of age, as
something beautiful – yes, wrinkles and all.
Creation Awareness. When we go through life we seldom take “time to smell the
roses.” Being in a social nude environment (especially for the first time) causes us to
become in touch with the surroundings. We’ll never forget the first time we felt the air
and sun on our entire body. The sensation of “being alive” was heightened and the
awareness of the world around became enhanced. As we’ve talked with others, they too
have stated such enhanced sense of being.
Communication Expansion. There is something about sitting in a social setting with other
naked people. It might be around the pool, in the hot tub, or even under a shade tree.
But regardless of the context, discussions happen – about all topics too! They happen
far more frequently and with far more ease than in a clothed environment. You may or
may not like to talk to others, but a common exclamation made by those who try social
nudity is how friendly the others are.
Pornography Prevention. There isn’t a day that
goes by that we don’t hear of the effects of porn in the lives of people. Loss of jobs, obsession with the Internet, and unrealistic
sexual expectations are caused by the porn industry. No matter what you think about
porn, it has harmed people and their reputations. Many men (and a growing amount of
women) in our culture “salivate” at any sign of skin. Why is that? We suggest that the
mind has been conditioned by our culture to equate nakedness with sex. “Madison
Avenue” does this deliberately because “sex sells.” We have discovered that social
nudity and other forms of Good Nudity counteract this and renew the mind to the
goodness of the body. In a nude setting all is seen. People who have battled porn learn
that all bodies are good. Because our society doesn’t have or appreciate simple good
nudity (i.e. non-sexual nudity) the only thing it has is pornography. As soon as people
step into the context of the good nudity found in naturism they discover the lie of the
world regarding the body. The grip of lust is broken in the heart by the goodness of
seeing the body in all ages, sizes, shapes and colors.
We are not ashamed
of the Gospel of Christ, the Word of His Grace, nor the Image in which we
are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We want to counteract the
world’s view of that image and proclaim the liberation of Christ for the
whole person. Naturism isn’t for everyone, but acknowledging the goodness of the body is critical for all.
Naturists, by and large, are the friendliest and most upright bunch of folks we've
ever encountered. Often, sad to say, demonstrating more love and
grace than church folk. We've met fellow pastors, priests, CEO's, teachers,
doctors, dentists, police and fire personnel, truck drivers, accountants, and
every other type people and occupation you can think, who are nudists.
There really is something good to be said for innocent
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