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Christian Naturism
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Christian naturists are Christians from different denominations and faiths who practice naturism or nudism, and thus are part of the clothes-free movement. Many have studied the Bible extensively and find no conflict between its teachings and naturism. However, most have various disagreements with New Age philosophy which is common among other naturists and wish to be separated from it. They see being nude as a wholesome way of life and acceptable state of dress which was never condemned by God in the Bible.

Christian naturists may view being ashamed of the unclothed human body as being ashamed of the Creator as well. Likewise, they believe non-naturist children lose their innocence when parents tell them they're too old to be seen nude in public. This often occurs as a child approaches the age of accountability (though it can vary by denomination and culture). Conversely, non-naturists (whether Christian or not) may believe that if children were to see others and been seen nude that would cost them their innocence. Thus, there is a severe and irreconcilable conflict between these two views.

In Genesis 3:11, as Adam and Eve first wore fig leaves to cover their nakedness, God asks them (perhaps rhetorically), "Who told you that you are naked?" The implication, as Christian naturists see it, is that the devil (in the form of a serpent) told them so. Furthermore, not only is God displeased that the forbidden fruit was eaten and sin had occurred, but also that they were now attempting to cover it up with clothing. No longer nude by their own accord, God made them garments from animal skins, possibly implying that sin requires a sacrifice.

Other Bible passages include the story of King David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. Although David was rebuked by God for his lust of Bathsheba (a married woman), nothing was said about her nude bathing. Further examples of passages which include references of public or semipublic nudity that are either not condemned by God, or are facilitated and commanded by him are Genesis 2:25, 1 Samuel 19:23-24, and Isaiah 20.

Many Christian groups and denominations are not supportive of naturism and nudism. Among other things, they feel the temptation of lust may be too difficult. However, as Christian naturists point out, lust can occur even though the subject is fully dressed, and that modern decency laws are more relevant to the Victorian era than the Biblical era. Other critics, while not opposing naturism per se, are concerned that it will hinder witnessing, divide spouses, promote secrecy to prevent embarrassment, excommunication, etc. As a result, some Christian naturists are isolated from other Christians and their churches. In their effort to find fellowship, many have formed local fellowships, while others are still accepted by their own church groups even though they are known as naturists.

Several Web sites have been formed to facilitate communication and fellowship among naturist Christians throughout the world. Among these are Boyd Allenís Christian Naturism, the Fig Leaf Forum and the Naturist-Christians forum. Other sites, such as Happy Nature, have active Christian or religious sections.

There is also an effort to open one or more clothing optional facilities, which are hospitable and friendly to Christians who practice this way of life.  Some Christian naturists prefer recreation sites which prohibit alcohol, smoking, gambling, and other adult lifestyles such as swinging.

The Christian naturism movement in the USA began in the late 1920's at nearly the same time as the start of the Great Depression. This was under the leadership of Baptist minister Ilsley Boone along with his wife, two daughters, and a son. He headed the (now defunct) American League for Physical Culture (ALPC).

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Last Updated: 06/12/2012

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