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Who Told You...?


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"Who told you that you were naked?" That's what God asked Adam in Genesis 3.11. If you're a Bible-believing Christian who cares about the source of your beliefs, you would do well to ask yourself that very same question. Who told you what you currently believe about being naked?

Did you know that there are lots of Christians who are also social nudists? That might seem like a startling claim, but it's true. Christian nudists number in the thousands and are located all over North America and in many other parts of the world. If you belong to a large church congregation in the United States or Canada, there's a very good chance that you have nudists within it.

Just what is nudism, anyway? Nudism (also called naturism) is the practice of going without clothing in social settings (generally in mixed-gender groups of all ages) in the belief that doing so is beneficial. Governed by strict behavioral boundaries, a defining characteristic of genuine social nudism is that it's purposefully chaste.

Why would a Christian want to be a nudist? Nudism offers numerous benefits to physical, mental and spiritual health. For starters, it simply feels good! Being unclothed when the weather is warm is very comfortable, and once you've gone swimming or been in a hot tub without a swimsuit, you'll never want to wear one again! On a deeper level, social nudism offers a unique feeling of closeness and trust unavailable in usual settings. It helps participants overcome poor body image. It offers children and teens a way to avoid unnatural and often unhealthy curiosities about the body. It affirms and reinforces the fact that there's nothing shameful about the way God made us. It offers a tangible way for believers to embrace God's view of the human body. In fact, it gives us an opportunity to literally be God's image bearers! Last but certainly not least, it offers common ground for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with unbelieving nudists willing to receive it.

The Bible actually mentions nakedness quite often. If you carefully study the passages that talk about physical nakedness and pay close attention to the context in which they're found, you'll discover that it's never described as being inherently shameful or inherently sinful. After all, we were created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1.27), "naked" and "not ashamed" (Genesis 2.25). And God declared all this "very good" (Genesis 1.31). After Adam and Eve sinned, they made loincloths for themselves out of fig leaves (Genesis 3.7). That seems like an odd thing for a husband and wife to do, don't you think? In Genesis 3.11 God asked, "Who told you that you were naked?" Question: According to the Bible, who else had talked to Adam or Eve in the Garden besides God? Answer: the serpent, also called the devil or Satan (Genesis 3.1, Revelation 12.9). Just as Satan had lied to Adam and Eve about what would happen if they ate the forbidden fruit, he also lied to them about the goodness of their God-given nakedness. Adam and Eve believed Satan when he told them to hide the way God had made them, and to fear their nakedness (Genesis 3.7,10). They should never have listened to Satan's lies about their nakedness ... and neither should we!

Because Adam and Eve sinned, humanity fell under what's commonly known as "the curse." Among other things, Genesis 3 says it would bring "painful toil" and "thorns and thistles" to mankind's existence. Just before expelling them from the safety and ease of the Garden, "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them" (Genesis 3.21). The context of Genesis 3 makes it very clear that God mercifully clothed mankind out of physical necessity, not moral necessity. He most certainly didn't clothe mankind because He agreed with Satan's terrible lies about the nakedness God Himself had created! Note, too, that God never states here or anywhere else in the Bible that we must wear clothes all the time. He left when, where and how to dress (or undress) up to mankind for the most part, and thus it's been human culture rather than God's decree that has determined standards of dress and undress throughout history. And so it is today! Nudists are permitted to be lawfully unclothed in a multitude of areas designated for that purpose in numerous countries around the world.

"But what about lust?" you might ask. Lust is the same as coveting according to the Bible (Romans 7.7, KJV). Contrary to what you may have been taught, clothes do not prevent lust. The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife in Genesis 39.6-12 clearly establishes that fact. The Apostle Paul taught that external man-made rules have no power to "restrain sensual indulgence" (Colossians 2.20-23). Jesus taught that "nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'," and in principle that includes what enters through the eyes. He taught that it's "what comes out of...men's hearts" that cause things like evil thoughts and sexual immorality (Mark 7.18-23). The practice of chaste social nudism instills into the heart an attitude that actually helps to control lust and inappropriate thoughts.

Not convinced? That's understandable. Social nudism is unlike anything most people are familiar with in today's culture, and for that reason they can only guess at what it must be like to be unclothed amidst other men, women and children. Experienced Christian nudists will assure you quite honestly and sincerely that family-oriented nudism truly is a wholesome and beneficial way of living. Chaste social nudism, like a lot of other things in life, must be experienced to be fully understood and believed. You probably have lots of questions not answered by this small tract. You might like to get in touch with Fig Leaf Forum. They're an excellent source for additional information about Christian participation in social nudism.

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Printable versions of this tract are available:

For Christian nudists (PDF)
For Christian naturists (PDF)

Next article: Issue One

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