As a Christian naturist, I’ve felt naturism brings me closer to God (Yahuwah) and I have felt strongly that naturism is not something my creator frowns upon. While I am not going to attempt to speak for God, I will share a few reasons why I think He does not condemn nudity.
Our creator is proud of what He made; He made it beautiful. When Satan told humans they were naked, God didn’t say “well now you know what I was hiding from you”, rather He exclaimed, “who told you this?!” because He would never have told Adam and Eve that their bodies were shameful, sexual, or something to hide. It was their deception and sin that brought shame upon them. In the absence of a sinful act however, there should be no implication that our bodies are permanently sinful or shameful. In fact, I think we are giving glory to what God created when we do not allow ourselves to adopt an attitude of shame towards our bodies and instead we celebrate our bodies in their natural state when we are in an environment that permits it, and with others who share in this understanding.
For me, practicing naturism feels like a little slice of purity while I reside in this sinful world. It is a symbolic gesture similar to baptism in which I am saying “here I am, as beautiful as you made me, and trying my best to be pure and to respect and cherish what you have given me, Lord.”
Now don’t get me wrong, we can do sexual things with our bodies, and there is certainly a time and a place for that, but nothing about our bodies simply being unclothed is sexual in the absence of a sexual act. Unfortunately, Satan would prefer we feel shame for the beautiful things that God made because he is jealous of it. Satan has successfully tainted this world to believe we are shameful, ugly, and filthy by creating greed within industries that thrive on our belief that we should be covered, altered, and enhanced, and by creating a thriving pornography industry that reinforces the concept that our naked bodies are purely sexual. This is not a Godly concept.
Obviously if we want to find answers, we are going to check scripture because this is the playbook we were given.
Genesis 1:27 says the human body (not saying anything about clothing) was created by God in His own image. And since we know that He is the most pure, and can create no evil, our bodies were obviously created entirely pure and good.
In Genesis 1:31, God saw that everything, including unclothed Adam and Eve, was good. He was happy with everything He created, just the way He created it.
182. Genesis 3:7-11 is when Adam and Eve realize their nakedness and feel shame and fear. Many scholars believe that Adam and Eve’s sense of shame came not from their nakedness, which God had created and called good, but from their knowledge of having disobeyed God. There seems to be no indication that shame related to nakedness is a God-given sense, as can be demonstrated by the existence of indigenous societies that do not clothe themselves unless practical. Children are also a great example of how inherently normal it feels to be unclothed, as they tend to prefer nudity until adults teach them to feel body shame by telling them that their bodies should be hidden from others.
Nakedness is not the factor that came between humans and God, it was disobedience. God seemed to have no issue with their nakedness, but He had a major issue with their disobedience, which they tried to hide from Him.
In Genesis 3:21 we see that God made garments of skins for Adam and Eve, but we do not see any mention of the nakedness being condemned. Remember that this is our playbook, and if something was frowned upon, it would be made clear. Rather what we see here is God’s love for Adam and Eve even after they sinned. Knowing they were heading out into the harsh world where they would not be protected as they had in the Garden of Eden, God provided coverings to protect them from the weather, thorns, etc.
Later in Genesis 9:22-24 I believe we see an example of how our unclothed bodies are not an issue, but rather what we or others do with that nudity. In Ham and Noah’s case, it was twofold.
- In these verses we see that Noah was drunk and naked, but it was Ham who was cursed after he dishonoured his father by gossiping about his father’s nudity, which could destroy his reputation.
- There was shame upon Noah as well, but it was not due simply to his being without clothing, it was because of his shameful drunken state.
It is my understanding that every biblical reference to nakedness and shame is related to a specific sin having been committed rather than pointing out the nudity as the source of shame.
In fact, Jewish prophets were commonly naked in public without any issue. God even commanded Isaiah to do this so that he went naked for three years (Isaiah 20:2-3), so it’s hard to imagine God has any issue with naked humans, or to expect that He has any concerns when we go without clothing.
One cannot hide from God behind literal or figurative clothing. All stand naked before God.
If I haven’t made it clear yet, I don’t think it makes any sense to link nudity with sexual sin. I heard someone once say that making this connection is about as logical as suggesting that fire can only be linked with the destruction of property and life and therefore it’s immoral. Sin does not come from nakedness, but from how that state of nakedness is carried out. As the scholar Ian Barbour wrote: “No aspect of man is evil in itself, but only in its misuse. The inherent goodness of the material order, in which man’s being fully participates, is, as we shall see, a corollary of the doctrine of creation.”
I suspect that naturists reading this will have no difficulty making the connection between naturism and the ‘purity of heart’ that the Bible calls for. It may be difficult however, for someone who has not experienced naturism to make this connection due to the societal brainwashing that has convinced us that we are sexual when nude. I struggled to break free of this concept when I was first introduced to naturism, but I now feel that being unclothed without sexual intention is the closest to a pure state I can get to while still walking on this.
I think it would be difficult to argue that God isn’t proud of His human creation. Clothing hides the natural beauty of the human body, as created by God.
In the words of Michelangelo: “What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot grasp the fact that the human foot is more noble than the shoe and human skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?”