Naked for Christ? Christian Nudism
We get occasional questions about or from “Christian nudists.” We think the Bible is clear that nudity is to be limited to the marriage relationship, but since no single verse says this it’s not always easy to “prove” this point. The following was received from a gentleman who spent two years involved in “Christian naturism” several years ago. Having “been there” and “done that” the individual can speak to the issue more directly than we can, and he makes a strong case against nudism for Christians. The author, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he wanted to help others “so they don’t make the same foolish choice I did.”
Since this article was originally published, we have received a great deal of comments and criticism about it. Many have written to say that what the author of this article experienced was not the norm – the author freely admits that this may be the case, as his exposure to nudism (sorry, couldn’t resist) was limited to a small number of groups in one area. Frankly we see these things a straw men that have no bearing on the large issues the author raises.
Paul & Lori
I also agree with you that Christian nudism is not a good idea, but not for the reasons you give. Your reasons would be easily dismissed by someone involved with Christian nudism. The problem with addressing this topic is that the Bible really doesn’t condemn it. Christian naturists can argue that the problem is not with what they are doing, but with the way society reacts to it. This is true, but how do we wish to change society? Do we want to make them all nudists, or make them all Christians?
First off, it really is not about sex (for most). There are some men who get interested for the wrong reasons, but they are soon disappointed. Where single men are welcome they outnumber the women at least 3 to 1, often more (10 to 1). And the women there are part of a couple. Many places have quotas to maintain gender balance.
This leads to the first big, big problem with social nudism in general: It becomes a wedge that drives spouses apart. Almost universally it is the man who becomes interested in this, and almost universally the woman is opposed. They even have a name for this. It is called “the reluctant spouse syndrome.” Naturists are constantly trying to figure out how to get more women involved. The man may become obsessed with naturism and go without his spouse. This causes many family problems. Many of the women who do participate with their man do not really want to, but are dragged into it and realize they might get divorced if they don’t go along. I met many naturist men who were on wife number 2 or 3, all because the previous spouse refused to get involved. This is the reason they gave me, not my own opinion. And it is very important to have a female companion. Even though it is not about sex, you do not want to be the single male. You are then an outsider. You are excluded from many clubs and events. You are treated with suspicion when allowed to participate. When you do get to participate you are with the many, many other single men who are “off to the side.” Many of these men are homosexuals. Most of the couples are at the club that won’t let singles in, so all the single guys wind up together where they are welcomed. So the first real problem with Christian nudism is it harms marriages. Those involved are so “into” it that they will deny this point. I speak from experience. I have heard the many, many stories of family problems. Real life stories, not theory.
The second big problem is the effect on your Christian witness and ministry. There are two kinds of Christian naturists. Those who “keep the big secret,” and those who don’t. Let’s look at what happens to the secret naturists first.
They find they cannot trust the other members of their church. They have to make up excuses for where they were last weekend. They don’t invite Church friends to their home. Their real friends are their nudist friends. After I became good friends with several Christian nudist couples I learned they were using false names at the clubs and on the Internet. When they came to trust me they told me their real names. The secret keepers have to get the kids involved in keeping the secret also. They come to see Christian brothers and sisters as potential judges. They tend not to get involved with church activities, or to cease to be involved. Some quit practicing “organized religion” and just pray to God and read the Bible for themselves. They know those narrow minded folks at that church would not understand their freedom.
And they are correct. Those who are open about their nudism find they are judged at their church. I know of one couple who were very active in youth ministries. Nudism eventually led to their quitting that church (which had a very dim view of nudism) and moving to another where they were not involved with youth (and where they kept their secret). I know of another couple who were very involved with the music ministry at their church. When their nudist beliefs became known they were told they could not be involved with any church ministries until they repented. They quit, looked for a new church for a short time, and last time I spoke to them they are practicing their religion at home only. I know of another couple who told their pastor, he disapproved so they now attend a church that is farther away. They no longer fellowship with the Christians of their own local community, but drive to where their secret is not known.
Jesus prayed for unity in the body. I have seen nudism cause disunity in Christian fellowship and trouble in Christian marriages. Paul said to lay aside every weight or hindrance and run the race set before us. Nudism is such a hindrance. I have heard several Christians tell me how nudism ended their involvement in ministry. (Of course they didn’t see it as a problem with nudism, but as a problem with narrow minded people who just didn’t understand how wonderful nudism was.) I have seen nudism wreck a person’s witness. You are viewed as a crack pot and nothing you say about faith will be listened to.
I could tell you other stories also. I know a woman who was very upset that her young niece, of whom she was very fond, was no longer allowed to visit them at their home when extended family found out her husband had become a nudist. I know of another woman whose sister will not visit her after she and her husband became nudists. The breaking up of family ties is not good fruit.
Remember earlier when I said it is not about sex for most nudists? For many it is. About 40% of nudists are swingers. This is something Christian nudists just have to live with. You will get invited to swing if you are part of a couple and frequent different resorts. You just say no and they leave you alone. But you will be asked. Another 40% of nudists think the 40% that swing give the whole lifestyle a bad name. These two groups are at odds with each other over the direction that nudism in America should take, but since their overall numbers are so small they feel they need to get along with each other. But the idea of acceptance is just nice talk on web sites and in magazines. The swingers, gays, pagans (nudism is often part of their skyclad religion), and Christians don’t like each other, they just tolerate each other. (These numbers came from a reader survey in a Nudist publication I use to subscribe to.)
There is no Bible verse forbidding nudism. But the actual fruits of it tend to be contrary to Biblical teaching. This is why I left the life style. I am now happy, honest and open with my Christian friends at my local church, and involved in a teaching ministry. Nudism offered me “freedom” (bound to secrets), but I have found truth to be a better freedom.
Please do not use my name if you decide to use any of this writing. I have moved on and put this in the past. I only write in hopes of helping others who are being seduced by the Christian nudist web sites.
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