I think this all started back in 2007 when I spent a year questioning my faith and everything that went with it. One thing that I began to look at was the discrepancy between what Christians say they believe and what they actually do. One of the things that Christians say that they possess is a desire to preach the gospel to every person but I have noted that there are actually some notable exceptions. Notably anyone who thinks, believes and acts considerably different from ourselves. We also have a tendency, despite Christ’s teaching against this, to bless those who bless us and call down curses against those who do us wrong or don’t agree with our stance on things.
Before 2007, the seeds of my relooking at this particular issue were planted in my mind by science fiction author Robert Heinlein, In a large amount of his later works his nudism was clearly seen but it was not until I understood that his argument that I realized that from a philosophical point of view his argument about culture and poor theology being the basis against nudism and naturism was true. I also began to realize that unless a Biblical case could be made against these things there was little reason to believe that nudity was evil or sinful in and of itself.
There were other factors that played in 1) My involvement in fitness and bodybuilding became something more than a hobby and I realized that I was spending a lot of time looking at mostly naked people and 2) my friend asked we a question about his girl going topless on a vacation and 3) my own struggles about nudity and lust.
These issue become the basis of two Series Nudity, Modesty and Culture and The Bible and Nakedness and once I realized that I and many others have been taught things about nudity that are largely religious and cultural and not Biblical I began to realize that nudity was something far different than what I had been taught. It affected me in a lot of ways but one thing it truly opened up to me is that nudity actually can have a positive side as well and in particular their may be a positive effect to spiritual life.
Ultimately, I began to realize that I could couple the ideas of nudity with my new understanding in the area of spiritual disciplines. What I did not expect was discover on this journey in this series was that nudity could be considered a spiritual discipline in and of itself. There is something simply spiritual in standing naked before your God and just being who you are. The negative does not come from nudity itself but our perception of it which often has little to do with reality but a cultural, philosophical and theological conceptions that have very little to do with truth or reality. Most views on this subject are long on feelings and short on thought and of course society goes with their heart instead of their head. Despite this I decided to press on by directly engaging the topic and this series Naked Before God began and has now been completed.
On the one hand I am experienced with some the aspects of nudity and spiritual disciplines. I have meditated, prayed, studied, worshiped and done other spiritual activities while being nude. No one has seen me do this other than God and I think that part is actually part of the growth in my spirit on the subject in that it has been me and God and just air between us. Other than that there are only a few brief experiences with others that were not necessarily spiritual in nature, but they did get me thinking. Based on my beliefs, my times of naked intimacy with my wife I would consider spiritual but that is pretty much the extent of it. I can see the benefits of nudity in spiritual life for myself and I will freely admit I would love to take the next step into corporate nudity but that may never happen. For me, like Christ, there are bigger issues for me than nudism and naturism being in my life. I have a wife who would disapprove and live in a local culture that is unaccepting of the idea that nudity and sexuality are separate concepts. Therefore, I will not engage in that half of this study for the purpose of personal experience.
On the other hand, I am no longer going to judge people who use nudity as part of their life or spiritually as sinners. In fact I now realize what I was doing before 2007 was objectifying nudists and naturists as a people group and for that I owe them an apology. You are all human beings and like the rest of us and deserve respect for it. There is now one area where I am truly envious of you and that is the spiritual side of what you do. Well that and I would absolutely love to walk naked arm and arm with my wife on a beach somewhere.
I have loved this series and it has opened my understanding. There has been some call for a book on all this at least maybe a e-book 99 cent version at least. I will think and pray on it, who knows maybe this is the subject that I can elaborate on and get published.