What the Bible Says About Public Nudity

Truth to tell, we have some serious problems with most of the assertions you've made. Our objections to nudism are biblical and theological as well as practical. It's easy to say that "nudism isn't a sexual thing" and that "healthy" participation in nudist practices helps people break the association between nudity and sex. That doesn't change the fact that, for most of us, that association is ingrained and natural. This is just one of several reasons we'd advise you to discontinue your association with the nudist group you mentioned.

Proponents of the kind of nudism you're describing – sponsors of nude beaches or nudist camps – like to talk as if it's always surrounded by an aura of platonic non-sensuality. This doesn't match up with what the Bible has to say. Scripture teaches that man and woman were created innocent as well as naked. Unfortunately, they lost their innocence when they fell into sin. This means that the motive behind nudism as you've represented it – that is, to get back to nature – is simply naïve. It's a goal that cannot be attained as long as we live in these fallen bodies in this present fallen world.

It's also overly simplistic to say that "it wasn't until Satan came along that man started wearing clothes." There's a sense in which this is absolutely true. But it's crucial to remember that the clothes themselves were not devised by Satan but by God. They were designed to serve as an expression of His love and a sign of His protection and grace: "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them " (Genesis 3:21).

We find this image of clothing as a symbol of God's mercy and redemption throughout the Old and New Testaments. See, for example, Psalm 45:13, 14 and Revelation 19:8. On the other hand, from Genesis 3 onward Scripture seems to make it clear that, except in the case of sexual activity, it's a shameful thing to "uncover one's nakedness" (Genesis 9:20-27; Leviticus 18:6-18). Indeed, the reasoning here seems to be that nakedness is inextricably connected with sexual activity. This is exactly how the Jewish people have viewed public nudity throughout their long history.

If you'd like to discuss this subject at greater length, call us. Focus on the Family has a staff of pastoral counselors who would love to speak with you over the phone.

 

Resources
If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

Mere Christianity

Basic Christianity

What Every Christian Ought to Know Day by Day: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith

What the Bible Teaches: The Truths of the Bible Made Plain, Simple, and Understandable

The Bible Answer Book

Referrals
Christian Research Institute

Insight for Living

LeeStrobel.com

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