Naturism and Scripture

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Naturism and Scripture

Postby natman » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:11 pm

Howdy Nature (and family) and welcome to naturist-christians.org from Houston Texas/

nature wrote:I’m 40 years old and I've been married for 14 years. We have been blessed with two kids, boy aged 11 and girl aged 8. I live in South Africa and I’m trying to discover what the word says about lifestyle choices.


I suppose it all depends on what you refer to as "lifestyle choices". There certainly are plenty of "lifestyle choices" which Scripture frowns upon if not forbids. However, simple naturism or nudism does not appear to be one of them.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: Greetings from South Africa

Postby nature » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:52 pm

natman wrote:I suppose it all depends on what you refer to as "lifestyle choices". There certainly are plenty of "lifestyle choices" which Scripture frowns upon if not forbids. However, simple naturism or nudism does not appear to be one of them.


The intro said I was not allowed to mention naturism so I decided to go with a more general statement. But I am looking for what scriptures says about nudism both within the confines of family and socially. At this point of time I don't even know if we have a naturist group where I stay firstly, and secondly I'm still not sure if I want to be "social".

My wife does not mind if I am in the nude and in a few weeks time I want to chat to kids and see what they think of their nude Dad. I'll take some cues from the kids and see what happens. My wife however is not interested in baring all, all the time and she does not want the kids to be forced into anything. I fully respect that and will never force anyone into anything.

So I'm here to learn more about naturism.
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Re: Greetings from South Africa

Postby Ramblinman » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:27 pm

Kids are natural-born naturists.
They have to be carefully taught the "need" for clothing.
If there has been any forcing going on, it was in the other direction, albeit by the society we live in, not necessarily parents.

Without forcing kids to be nude, parents must still show leadership. No one would allow children to dress inappropriately in the morning as they head off to school. Mom and Dad get veto power over such things, but kids sense of style emerges and they do get some latitude.

Every family has to decide whether to be nude at bathtime only or nude the moment they get home from work and school. Depends on how social you are with the neighbors and kinfolk. Do they drop in unannounced? Would the family have a mad scramble to put on clothes or is it no big deal?

My dad didn't wear clothes after his evening bath and remained nude until he went to work the next day.
That worked best in our particular neighborhood with lots of spontaneous visitors during the day.

My biggest regret: I wish that we kids had had nudist friends. Mom did bathe us with our girl cousins when we were little ones, but that didn't last long and they didn't come around too often. I went through some years of being body-shy and regained my confidence in my mid-teens.

Some families might have a nude-only pool area with privacy fence but tend to remain clothed elsewhere.
My heritage is in part from Finland and sauna nudity among family and friends is no big deal in that culture (well not with some of the urban families these days). Still, it's an ancient tradition among our people. Unfortunately our immediate family was too Americanized for that.
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby jochanaan » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:12 pm

[Councillor's Note: I moved these posts from the Please Introduce Yourself forum. The topic was getting a little unwieldy for an introductory "strip."]
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby jasenj1 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:26 am

I suggest you read the excellent The Biblical Naturist blog. There is a wealth of information there about nudity and Scripture. Another good source is Rebuilding a Godly View of the Unclad Human Body. Together those should provide you hours of reading material endorsing a positive biblical view on nudity.

But I am looking for what scriptures says about nudism both within the confines of family and socially.

Explicitly, the Bible says nothing on the subject. Just as it says nothing about many things - driving cars, eating popcorn, watching TV. There are places where the Bible associates nudity and sexual sin - nudity is part of a sexual sin, or shame. There are also places where nudity is implicitly present, explicitly present, or alluded to but not condemned. (e.g. All the males getting circumcised, Peter fishing, references to running which was done nude.) Or nudity was known to be very present in the culture but no condemnation is found (public baths).

So if you have a prejudice against nudity it is not too hard to ignore or twist texts (Peter wasn't REALLY nude, he just took off his outer coat), and focus on those where nudity is associated with sin. Thus "proving" the fact that nudity is bad.

Those of us on the other side of the issue take a more literal interpretation of the passages and point to extra-biblical sources showing nudity was common and socially accepted. The conversation tends to devolve into "but it's wrong!", "think of the children", "you'll cause others to stumble" other emotional arguments.
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Petros » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:00 am

The public baths very early got condemned. A Roman habit and it is alleged some of the bath actvities were not what they might have been - or WERE what they might have been. Despite the Jewish ritual bath heritage, in much of Christendom never bathingb showed what a saint you were.

Hence the "odor of sanctity"?
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:55 am

Petros wrote:The public baths very early got condemned. A Roman habit and it is alleged some of the bath actvities were not what they might have been - or WERE what they might have been. Despite the Jewish ritual bath heritage, in much of Christendom never bathingb showed what a saint you were.

Hence the "odor of sanctity"?

Petros, your comments lack context and perhaps mine needed more context.
There was indeed asceticism in the Dark Ages :
“To those that are well, and especially to the young,” Saint Benedict in the sixth century commanded, “bathing shall seldom be permitted.”
Saint Francis of Assisi (Died: October 3, 1226) considered an unwashed body a stinking badge of piety.
But even then attitudes varied: in 590 AD, Pope Gregory recommended Sunday bathing.

This degree of asceticism did not characterize the Early Church.
It is true that the Emperor Hadrian (reign AD 117-38) imposed segregation of the sexes at baths, but that implies widespread mixed bathing prior to this edict and it does not imply the degree of enforcement throughout the empire, nor the duration of this edict. Indeed theologian Clement of Alexandria (150 – c. 215) freely acknowledging the mixed nude bathing (apparently resumed or never entirely stopped), simply advises new converts to bathe for cleanliness rather than to gratify sensual desires.

Acceptance of nudity varied across cultural lines. In the Greek part of the Roman empire, women were eventually allowed to attend the Olympic games where men competed nude. Sparta was particularly affirmative about nudity.

Mandatory nude baptism alone is evidence of a degree of comfort with nudity that does not exist today.

Back to the discussion on Christians at Roman baths, I offer an excerpt from The Harvard Theological Review:
In 177 CE Christians in Lugdunum and Vienna in Gaul were persecuted, and some were martyred. The survivors sent a letter by Irenaeus to the churches in Asia and Phrygia describing what happened. Among other things, they complained that they were excluded from the baths (βαλανεια). Later in his Adversus haereses (ca. 190 CE) Irenaeus referred to a story he claimed stemmed from Polycarp of Smyrna, who died ca. 156 CE, about John the disciple going to the public baths (βαλανειον) in Ephesus where he saw Cerinthus. Tertullian of Carthage in his Apologeticum (197 CE) claimed that the Christians were no different from other people: they went to the forum, the food market and the baths (balneia)...
Source: The Harvard Theological Review Vol. 85, No. 2, Apr., 1992 Women in Roman Baths by Roy Bowne Ward, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:14 am

Mosaic of Naked Grape Harvest workers discovered in Rome:

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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:15 am

And mixed nudity for harvest workers from Tunisia:
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:26 am

Bikinis of a sort for fashionable women to exercise in:
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:27 am

Nude lion hunting? Not for the faint of heart!


Naked deer hunting? Safer, but you can still get gored.

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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:31 am

Naked football (soccer in American English)? Sure!
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:34 am

Ladies out for a day at the local spa, (From the Cherchell Museum):
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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:48 am

Fishing of a sort the apostle Peter engaged in:




fifth century AD Harbiye:


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Re: Naturism and Scripture

Postby Mikeytosh » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:12 pm

I do agree that the term "life style" is relative, depends what one means. Certainly any behaviour or action clearly immoral is not christian and must be avoided. Simple non sexual genuine naturism I don't believe nor see any scriptural evidence against it.
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