Question:

Is there anything wrong with the concept of naturism? It seems that naturism is a concept built on the need to be healthy, peaceful, to feel free and let others too, in coordination with nature. It gives freedom from a stressful life. Various governments have promoted it at beaches for various reasons. I like it as people are themselves free. Similar to public showers and gym places where nudity is hard to avoid. Here it is a feeling to be natural, the way you were born.


Answer:

Naturism is first, "the practice of wearing no clothes during leisure activities; nudism" and second, "the worship of nature or natural objects."

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (I John 2:15-17). Naturism is a pursuit of the lust of the eyes.

Peter warns about false teachers: "These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage" (II Peter 2:17-19). The word "lewdness" translates the Greek word aselgeia, which refers to someone who acts without a sense of shame, particularly in regards to sexual things. It is behavior that is involved in pure self-enjoyment or behavior characteristic of an animal.

One can enjoy a healthy, peaceful, free life without having to remove ones clothing in public. One can enjoy nature without walking around nude. A person's state of dress or undress is independent of the ideas being promoted; therefore, the ideas and terms being used are a distraction from the real motivation.

Paul discusses modest dress in I Timothy 2:9-10 and uses three words to describe proper attire. One of them is aidos in the Greek, which means with a sense of shame or with a sense of bashfulness. One of the problems men have with their sins is that they become calloused to them. They are no longer embarrassed by they sinful actions. That was the point Israel had reached. "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down," says the LORD" (Jeremiah 6:15). The goal of nudism and naturism is to remove the sense of shame. Advocates of naturism talk about how it takes time to get used to the idea of being naked in front of others when someone first starts.

"I confess to you, that like most nudists, I do not have much shame over my own nudity but that is quite unnatural…. when I was a teenager, I was just as ashamed as everyone else…. people wear clothes because it is totally NATURAL to be ashamed….. I had to first OVERCOME my natural tendency to shame in order to walk around nude in public places" [Stephen Mendes]

In other words, they are purposely setting out to remove their sense of shame. I found it ironic that one nudist complained about the voyeurs who took pictures of them without permission. Though they are trying to suppress their sense of shame, it is still present.

The sense of shame at being seen naked is nearly as old as men on this earth. When Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they immediately understood that they were naked and attempted to clothe themselves. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings" (Genesis 3:7). Even then they hid from God because they understood that the clothing they made wasn't adequate. "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself" (Genesis 3:10).

To be naked is considered shameful. Using that concept, Jesus used it to illustrate another point. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame" (Revelation 16:15). But the reason it is an illustration is because being naked is shameful. In the Old Testament God said He would expose Israel's sins to their shame and He draws the same parallel. "Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen" (Isaiah 47:3).

There is a difference between situations where nudity is hard to avoid and purposely setting out to be publicly nude. There is a difference between members of the same sex being temporarily nude because of need and nudity in front of mixed genders being sought out. From ancient days to modern days, bathing areas, even if public, were always separated by gender because there is a sense of shame built into people.

The real point is that the motivation behind naturism is lewdness. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).