How to Handle Unexpected Nude Encounters


As a naturist, you love being nude. Being nude with others is even better, but not when the other person isn’t expecting it and might not appreciate it. As one tenet of naturism is respect, naturists generally try to avoid causing offense. But what happens when you’re not trying to be seen nude but someone walks in on you or otherwise encounters you nude. How do you react? How do you respond? Should you freak out? Should you scurry? Should you scramble for clothes? Should you worry that you’ve offended them or that they might just call the police?

Be Prepared in Advance

After going through this numerous times myself, I’ve learned what to do and what not to do to help the situation work out best for everyone. As a Christian, the Bible helped me know what to do. Several scriptures that helped were 1 Peter 3:15, 2 Timothy 4:2, and Matthew 10:16.

1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”

2 Timothy 4:2 says, “…be prepared in season and out of season…”

Jesus said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves,” Matthew 10:16.

So the first thing is, be prepared in advance. As a naturist in a clothed world, it’s likely someone will unintentionally see you nude eventually, so figure out beforehand how you will react and/or respond. I don’t mean you have to know exactly what you’ll say or do but instead establish a general mentality that will guide you.

Avoid Panicking

It is absolutely critical that you not panic. In fact, avoid reacting negatively at all. Instead, react and respond in ways that demonstrate your confidence and rightness. If you simply react as if you’re afraid of them seeing you nude or as if you’re doing something wrong, how can you expect them to feel? Are you doing anything wrong? Do you want them to think you are? If the answer is no, then what can you do to give them a better impression?

It’s Normal

It’s important that, instead of simply reacting in fear, you react and respond in a way that say, “Hey! This is normal!” It really is, isn’t? If it is, then act like it. If it is, then react like it. *Grin* When others see you’re not afraid and that you actually think its ok, they will feel compelled to question their own fear and wonder why you see it as no big deal. That’s exactly what needs to happen because, as the saying goes, “You can’t correct what you aren’t willing to confront.”


So my advice isn’t to try to figure out exactly what you will say or do but to consider the mentality you want to portray to those who encounter you nude. Our reactions speak loudly. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words,” so before someone encounters you nude, be prepared to react and respond in a way that demonstrates you’re not doing anything wrong but your nudity is just normal. Likely, I’d just say, “Oh hello. I wasn’t expecting you.” And then casually slip something on or casually leave the room. If the person was simply passing by the room I was in, like my bedroom, I would probably stay nude and just close the door some to demonstrate my desire not to offend but also my openness and how ok I am with my nudity.

All scriptures NIV unless otherwise stated.

© 2020 Gregory Cook

Benefits of Naturism


Why go nude? Why do you need to go nude? What’s the big deal? Why can’t you just be like everyone else? Questions like these are common, as a lot of people have never thought to consider it. In fact, clothes-compulsive people often lack a positive attitude concerning naturism because they *assume* wrong things about it. Some think it’s simply “weird!” Others think it’s harmful. Still others think you’re sinning and going to Hell if you don’t repent. Unfortunately, too many people have refused to move past their assumptions to actually learn what naturism is really all about, much less consider its benefits.

In my own search for truth, I was surprised to discover just how healthy social nudity is. That is, when you practice it correctly, and when you practice it with the right mindset. (I admit some don’t.) The truth is, the benefits are far too many to list here concisely, and so I have listed the ones common in naturism. Maybe you will agree to if you think it through.

When You Go Nude Socially…

  1. You eliminate class distinctions that we all automatically recognize through clothing. When someone is nude, you cannot tell whether they’re a doctor, nurse, policeman, in the military, a high paid executive, clergyman, or whatever. If they’re in a gang, there are no “gang colors” that say so (except maybe unless they have tattoos). Of course, that means you have to get into relationship with the person and get to know them better if you want to know more. That’s a good thing, right? We all want relationship.
  2. You experience more genuine and intimate relationships with others. When you go nude with others as a naturist does, you’re saying, “I am open and honest, and I trust you. Please accept me as I am flaws and all.” Consider the fact that even in clothes-compulsive society nudity is generally a time of intimacy, such as being born, bathing, having sex, or having a doctor examine you.
  3. You learn to separate nudity from sex, and thus you reduce your tendency to see others as “sex objects.” Naturists keep nudity and sex in their proper contexts.
  4. You learn to accept others based on their character, not their image or appearance. Your appearance is less of an issue among naturists. This includes the size or condition of your body as well as its various parts.
  5. You begin to focus more on the whole person and less on their various parts. You even start to see the body itself as a part of the whole person, and you accept each body regardless of its condition.
  6. You see the physical differences between the sexes easily, and realize that nature defines it. Instead of thinking that wearing a dress, something pink, or makeup makes you a female, you realize the real factors that define both the male and female. It becomes generally undeniable and better understood. In a naturist environment, children learn the differences quickly and easily without anyone having to tell them.
  7. You obtain greater awareness, acceptance and appreciation of your own maleness or femaleness, as well as that of others. Modern society is trying to blend and devalue the sexes but in my opinion, we should be celebrating them without degrading each other.
  8. You begin to see how incessant clothing actually contributes to porn and unhealthy fetishes. The moment you make something unavailable is the moment you create value. Rare things are more valuable than everyday things, so when the nude body becomes an everyday thing, it loses its lust value.
  9. You gain a healthier self-image and greater confidence. There’s no need to try to impress others with a certain appearance when others accept you just as you are.
  10. Your desire to improve or maintain your body becomes a matter of health and respect for your body, rather than an attempt to be or feel accepted.
  11. Your body functions as designed. Whether you believe in God or nature, our bodies function a certain way and do better under certain conditions. For instance, your skin is the largest organ of your body and when you cover it with clothes, it cannot “breathe” properly. It benefits from fresh air as well as moderate sunlight. Besides, you can plainly see what all of the other creatures on earth wear. Nothing! That is nature’s design.
  12. You begin to see just how comfortable, practical, and healthy going nude is. You start asking questions like… Do we really need bathing suits to go swimming? (Some rightly call them “costumes.”) After all, what purpose do they really serve? They don’t keep you dry, warm, or clean. In fact, tight fitting clothes are shown to harbor harmful bacteria. Do we really need pajamas to go to bed? Do they help or do they hurt? Studies show that sleeping nude is better for you. If you would simply go nude for a while, you would begin to ask your own questions.

These are just some of the reasons why social nudity is beneficial. All of the reasons boil down to one thing — health — a healthier mind, a heathier body, and a healthier soul/spirit. We all want to be healthier, and this is why naturists go nude.

The truth is, naturism started as a health movement, and for the most part it remains a health movement even though you may not hear many say it flatly. Each naturist has their list of reasons but whatever their reasons are it all inevitably boils down to health. The benefits are so great that many naturists adopt the philosophy, “clothed when practical and nude when possible.”

If you are interested in an extensive list of benefits, check out “205 Arguments and Observations In Support of Naturism.”

All scriptures NIV unless otherwise stated.

© 1997, 2020 Gregory Cook

Studies and Benefits

A friend sent me an article on the study of the benefits of sleeping nude. I already knew about about a number of studies because I started sleeping nude at 14 years old and later researched the subject to determine what was best.

Out of curiosity, I decided to Google the subject just to see how many articles I could find on this subject, and wow! There are a lot!

I decided to list some of them below for you to peruse if you like. I read most of them and skimmed through others, and they all seem to point to the same studies and draw the same conclusions.

In short, studies prove that sleeping nude is healthier for you because your body can regulate it’s temperature better and your genitals can “breathe” easier. By breathe easier, I mean they are less prone to moister and the problems that come with that.

Benefits of Sleeping Nude

A few on YouTube…

Other Benefits

I also decided to search for similar studies on the subject and as I expected, studies show that it’s also healthier to go barefoot, braless and Commando (not wear underwear).

Benefits of Going Barefoot

The following study shows how wearing shoes actually harm the feet and affects how we walk, especially affecting children who are learning to walk…

A few on YouTube…

Benefits of Going Braless

Books: Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras

It’s worth mentioning a couple books that discuss, in depth, the extensive studies done that show a link between wearing bras and cancer.

Benefits of Going “Commando” — Not Wearing Underwear

For men…

For women…

Benefits of Going Nude — Not Wearing Anything

In my research for articles on specifics, what surprised me most was to see a number of articles that showed up that explained the benefits of going nude — period. Nudism / naturism has claimed from its start that going nude is healthy but it surprised me to discover that studies from others prove it’s true.

I didn’t include every article I found and to do so would make this much longer, but the bottom line is, studies are proving numerous benefits of sleeping nude, going barefoot, going braless, going “Commando,” and even simply going nude altogether. This is coming from actual studies and from people who understand how the body works, and not merely from people who simply prefer these thing.

Responding to Nude Zealand 1999

Today, November 28,2018, the following video showed up on my recommended list YouTube.

“Nude Zealand 1999” on YouTube

After watching it, I felt compelled to write a response to a couple of the people interviewed.

Dan Dolejs is a board member of the Nelson Baptist church who wrote a letter to complain about nudism. He stated, “In any society where there is an absence of clearly defined moral guidelines, women will be the victims of moral decline, not the perpetrators.”

He’s incorrect about “clearly defined moral guidelines.” Those who started nudism had “clearly defined moral guidelines” that were so strict that modern day nudists and people living by today’s societal standards would laugh at them thinking, how absurd? Although nudism’s standards have changed, and it’s no longer just about healthy living, standards still exist and are still higher than most of today’s societal standards.

Additionally, nudists may be quicker to enforce them. For instance, let a man ogle a young lady or make lewd comments out in the clothed world and he will likely just get looked at rudely, but do that in a nudist club and he may be escorted from the premises, possibly even banned.

He was asked, “Why do think nudism is indicative of a moral decline?”

He paused, searching for an answer, and then responded, “I guess I really don’t know. But I think it is.”

I actually laughed at this reply. I mean, how can you hold a strict position and get all upset about opposing positions when you don’t even know why you feel the way you do? How can you expect others to believe what you believe if you don’t even know what you believe?

This really comes down to him believing that others should do what he expects them to do simply because he says so and not for any real logical or responsible reasons.

Graham Capill of Christian Heritage Party in NZ said, “I am concerned that what it does is break down norms of behavior. I am concerned that perhaps what it is doing is saying that anything goes, that there is no right or wrong, [that] if it feels good, you should just do it. That’s really the effect. It’s undermining society’s norms. It’s undermining standards.”

Like Dan Dolejs, he’s incorrect about the “norms of behavior.” Nudism doesn’t teach or promote “anything goes,” or “if it feels good, do it,” but instead that clothes are not as much a part of the equation as others try to lead us to believe. In fact, he seems to ignore the fact that this concept of anything goes and if it feels good, do it, comes from people like himself who believe they need clothes.

Later, he said, “Certainly, in Psychology Today magazine, it’s interesting that they’ve commented on that these people often have personality disorders and sexual inhibitions and that this is there way of trying to cope with those things. It’s also interesting that in the same Psychology Today magazine they commented on how it’s almost invariably the men that initiate the membership in those clubs and very rarely women. So I think it’s a bit of comment on themselves. Perhaps, clothing is a statement about yourself and when a woman, for instance, dresses modestly, it’s a statement about her husband and about her children and the respect that she has for the impact.”

I laughed at his quote from Psychology Today magazine because he’s obviously not considering the fact that he himself wears clothes because of his own “personality disorders and sexual inhibitions.” I mean, if he is like most, and I am certain he is, he himself will argue that he “needs” clothing to help him “cope” with his own body and sexual phobias. People like him will argue, and he did argue, that clothing is a must or else society falls apart. How can his argument have any weight when he’s judging nudists for something he himself likely does? He claims nudist are using nudity to “cope” while himself is obviously using clothing to “cope.”

When he mentions how men take the lead and how that’s “a bit of comment on themselves,” he’s ignoring a lot of other factors, like the fact that society in general teaches, and pushes it very, very hard, that females are sex objects and therefore should always be clothed. That’s not typically true for males. It’s easier for males to adopt nudism simply because they are not as objectified as females are and not pushed, sometimes even coerced and forced, into feeling compelled to be clothed all of the time the way females are.

He said, “Perhaps, clothing is a statement about yourself.” Perhaps? No, not perhaps! This is a true statement but unfortunately, he misses the real point that nudists don’t need clothing to speak for them. He argues, “Clothing is a statement about yourself. Clothing makes the statement, ‘I am respectable.'” But is clothing really a factor? Could one be nude and be respectable? Yes! Could one be clothed and still be disrespectable? Yes! In both cases, it happens every day. The real question is, beside his false sense of respectability, what statement does he make about himself by his need for clothes?

Both of these people demonstrate their own misunderstanding, their limited understanding of something they’ve personally never experienced, and how they’ve obviously not explored the issues deeply enough to really understand it all, much less address it thoughtfully and logically. They both are unwittingly admitting that they have issues that they believe clothing helps them deal with.

© 2018 Gregory Cook

Responding to “What the Bible Says About Public Nudity”

Focus on the Family published an article entitled, “What the Bible Says About Public Nudity” and since I wasn’t able to respond directly to the article, I decided to post my response here.

The Article

First, read What the Bible Says About Public Nudity in order to get the context.

My Reply

Sigh! This article is the same old same old from misinformed people who haven’t taken the time to really study it in depth objectively, or even examine their own logic.

From the response, “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.”

What I heard is, we’re all messed up in our thinking about this and you shouldn’t try to see it correctly but continue to think messed up like us because that’s the norm now. What!? So we shouldn’t aim to see in healthier ways because everyone else now sees unhealthy ways? It’s like arguing that we’re all druggies and you shouldn’t try to escape that because that’s how we all are now. Of course, in this case, the “drugs” are clothes and wrong mindsets about the body and clothing.

Regardless what was meant, it’s unscriptural. First, Jesus taught us to see things as God intended, according to “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).

Which way of seeing the body fits this way of thinking better, seeing the body as sexual or seeing it as God sees it — as “the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) and “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19)?

Second, Jesus never taught us to follow the crowd but to follow him and always choose to do what is right and good. That was the whole point of the story of Adam and Eve. They chose wrongly and this article is telling us we should keep on choosing wrongly because that’s the norm now.

From the response, “Scripture teaches that man and woman were created innocent as well as naked.”

This is what gets me. People see this truth, that naked and not ashamed was God’s idea, but then they disqualify it. I mean if God created us naked and not ashamed how, doesn’t that mean that’s how God wanted us to be? And yet, people go on to disqualify it in order to justify their own faulty position. They actually want something contrary to what God wants.

From the response, “Unfortunately, they lost their innocence when they fell into sin.”

This is an argument that many use and is one of the biggest flaws in their theology, because the Bible I believe in says that Jesus restored our innocence on the cross. When they “fell into sin”, it brought many dire consequences, all of which we all try to escape today — from pain in childbirth to having to work hard for a living. In every case, man is trying to overcome those “curses,” and in every case, believers overcome those “curses” through Christ and by living in agreement with what he purchased for us. Aiming to return to that innocence should be no exception.

Believers who use this argument to prove their point don’t realize that, by saying these things, they are actually choosing to remain in Adam rather than Christ. They are literally preaching another Gospel (Galatians 1:8), that clothes, not Christ, help us deal with sin. The question is, do clothes really stop people from sinning? If so, why is there still so much sin in the world?

Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” It does not say, “Put some clothes on, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

From the response, “It’s a goal that cannot be attained as long as we live in these fallen bodies in this present fallen world.”

Two points here…

First, I guess the thousands of nudists who live out “the goal” counts for nothing. I guess it’s easy to disqualify that fact. Sadly, this point was likely never explored.

Second, would this same logic be applied to other issues that came because of the fall? Probably not! The goal to not have to pain in childbearing “cannot be attained as long as we live in these fallen bodies in this present fallen world.” The goal to not have to work hard for a living “cannot be attained as long as we live in these fallen bodies in this present fallen world.”

From the response, “…it’s crucial to remember that the clothes themselves were not devised by Satan but by God.”

Read again. It was man who actually devised clothes first to try to hide from God (Genesis 3:7). (Genesis 3:7 comes before Genesis 3:21). God made them “naked and not ashamed,” but they chose to cover themselves and disagree with God that what he created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

In a sense, clothes (in this situation) were Satan’s idea as he was the one who tempted them to do evil (Genesis 3:1). As I see it, the first sin was to disagree with God about the tree and eat, and the second sin was to disagree with God about his image and clothe it.

Is it possible that Satan never did stop saying, “Did God really say…?” Maybe he said, “Did God really say the image of God was very good?”

Maybe Satan continues to challenge man to answer that question today. Do you agree with God or with Satan?

From the response, “Indeed, the reasoning here seems to be that nakedness is inextricably connected with sexual activity.”

It’s unfortunate that the scriptures mentioned were not only taken out of context but also used without regard for other scriptures that counter the point. If “nakedness is inextricably connected with sexual activity”, then Isaiah was being sexual when he obeyed God to go nude for three years publicly (Isaiah 20:3), and Jesus was being sexual when he hung naked on the cross (Matthew 27:35).

Even more, since it’s supposedly “inextricably” connected, Adam and Eve were being sexual even before the fall just by being naked. I know it would be argued, no not before the fall, but only after the fall, but if that’s true, then it’s not “inextricably” connected — except in the minds of some who have failed to renew their minds to the truth.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

The world is the one who sees things wrongly, not the renewed mind that should reflect the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Does Christ look at a nude body sexually?

Ephesians 4:23 explicitly says, “Put off your former way of life, your old self…” This means we stop looking at things the wrong way — sexually.

As an aside, some people believe that Jesus was nude during many of the most important events in his life, from being born naked (is that sexual?) to being baptized naked (the norm during his time — research it) to being nude on the cross (not his choosing but if it’s “inextricably” sexual or a sin, then he sinned).

From the response, “If you’d like to discuss this subject at greater length, call us.”

I was hoping to see a Comments section to allow me to comment, but there wasn’t any, so I wrote my response here for others to consider. I would have preferred to respond directly to the article so that the reader and writer might see another view and consider it.

The article definitely wasn’t very compelling or convincing. As I said, it’s really the same old same old. How unfortunate. I really hope the person who wrote in explored others’ views and was able to think it through.

What baffles me about this whole thing is that these common arguments basically justify us continuing to see things sexually and otherwise wrong, and worse, it promotes something other than Christ.

© 2018 Gregory Cook

What’s Your Ism?

Recently, my co-worker, who is also a pastor, mentioned that she was ministering to a friend and had addressed her “all isms and schisms.” When she said that, I thought about nudISM and naturISM. I wondered what she would think if I told her I was involved in an ism. Could she handle knowing that I subject myself to this ism?

I began to reflect on the specifics and wonder, what IS an ism anyway? I mean, I understand it in general but what is it exactly? I decided I needed to look up the meaning.

Ism is defined as “a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement.”

In reflecting on this, an important point came to mind. Our “distinctive practice, system, or philosophy” concerning nudity classifies it as an ism, which I can accept, but people who insist on wearing clothes are doing so based “a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy” too and yet it is not classified as an ism. Instead, it’s considered normal — just how it is and even, to many, how it should be. Their “distinctive practice, system, or philosophy” really should be classified as an ism because that’s technically what it is. Or else, the term nudism/naturism shouldn’t exist and going nude should just be normal too, which it is for those who classify it as an ism.

In short, those trying to get us to give up our isms also have isms and someone who would try to convince me to give up my ism would really be asking me to take on their ism. Both sides are living by “a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy.”

The truth is, whatever ism we adhere to, we should never be so fanatical about it that we feel the need to force or coerce others to agree or that we can’t engage in other ways of being when it’s more practical, logical or healthy, or otherwise needed. Or in cases where God is commanding you (see Isaiah 20).

For instance, although I believe in nudism, if I need to put clothes on to keep warm, I will put clothes on. Likewise, although someone else believes in what we’ll call clothism or textilism, if they need take clothes off to cool off or because it’s simply a better choice, they should take the their clothes off. Even most textilists would think it ridiculous to try to bathe in your clothes — it’s just not practical, logical or healthy. Nudists recognize how that’s typically the case in a broader sense.

In this regard, I see those who believe in nudism as healthier and more rational than those who do not because those who do not will often wear clothes even when it’s impractical, illogical or unhealthy. They will insist that clothes must be worn at all times, except where nudity is absolutely required, like bathing. Their ism — their “distinctive practice, system, or philosophy” — requires them to be this way. They lack the freedom nudists have and are bound up by their ism. That’s when an ism becomes evil or at least impractical, illogical and unhealthy.

I thought this was good to reflect on because although I had noted that both sides are living by “a distinctive practice, system, or philosophy,” I didn’t really realize both ideals could be classified as an ism, that ism actually applies to both sides. I also didn’t really think about how we really simply trade one ism for another.

I keep going back to, which one gives me greater freedom and flexibility, and which one is more practical, logical and healthier? Additionally, which one honors God better? That’s another discussion in itself, but I believe nudism proves to be the better choice here too. After all, how is God honored by declaring that the body — the image of God — is evil, merely a sex object or shameful and saying it MUST be hidden? God didn’t declare that and God didn’t hide the body. The Bible explicitly says, “He made them naked and not ashamed,” meaning that was what He want (otherwise, He would have done something different, right?).

My nudist thought for the day. 🙂

© 2018 Gregory Cook

Conquer Lust God’s Way


Lust provoking situations bombarded us constantly, and whether in our lives or others, we see its damaging effects, too. Despite this, most do not consider what is really going on, and because of this, we often do not deal with lust or its damaging effects effectively.

The good thing is, God helps us. Through His Word, the Bible, we learn how to overcome lust properly. As you open the scriptures and look for answers, you begin to see that, although the devil uses lust as an effective weapon against mankind, even often as his first choice, the Lord gives us what we need to overcome it. For starters, God Himself bought and paid for our salvation and He continues to stick with us in the battle.

So, lets shed some light on the subject. When done, you will better understand what lust is, what causes it — or rather where it comes from — and how to best deal with it. In some cases, the answers are really quite simple. In other cases, the answers may not be so obvious.

As you read, please keep in mind that the only truly effective way to deal with sin — any sin — is through a committed relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Jesus Himself said, “You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:32, 36) and “I am the Way, and the Truth” (John 14:6). As you come to KNOW Him, He sets you free.

What is Lust?

According to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc., lust means, “to have an eager, passionate, and especially an inordinate or sinful desire, as for the gratification of the sexual appetite or of covetousness.” A commentary in an NIV Study Bible offers a more simplified definition…”to desire something with evil motivation.”

People generally relate lust to sex but when you think about, lust can apply to anything a person might desire. In fact, lust was the very first sin ever committed. Look at Genesis 2:17. God commanded, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Later, in Genesis 3:6, we read, “When the woman SAW that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, SHE TOOK SOME AND ATE it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (emphasis mine).

Some people speculate that the “fruit” and “eating” are merely symbolic, and that it actually refers to perverted sex and that this is why Adam and Eve covered their genitals in shame. That is quite an interesting idea and they might be right. That would certainly fit most people’s ideas about lust being related to sex. However, for now, let’s stick with what the scriptures actually say, and in that case, we know one thing for sure…the event did indeed involve lust of some kind. I emphasize that she “saw” and then “she took and ate” because that’s lust.

So, according to the Bible, Eve lusted after the fruit of the tree, and for power of discerning good and evil. Of course, 1 John 2:16 says, “The cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father [God].” In fact, God had already told them that eating this fruit was not His will. He warned them not to give into their desires and He required them to submit to His will.

Thankfully, the “second Adam” submitted to the Father’s will completely. Of course, the devil used the same tactic on Jesus that he used on Adam and Eve. Starting again with food, he tried to trick Jesus into sinning. Matthew 4:3-5 says that “after fasting forty days and forty nights, Jesus was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'” It is important to note that food is a legitimate need, especially after having not eaten for forty days. T. D. Jakes, in his book Naked and Not Ashamed, says this: “Satan makes his attack when you are hungry. Hunger is a legitimate need that Satan offers to satisfy in a perverted way. The extreme test of faith is to stand fast when you have a legitimate need you could satisfy in an illegitimate way.” Lust is often involved.

With each temptation, the devil had twisted the truth, hoping that Jesus would give in to His desires and thus relinquish His will to the devil. Naturally, if Jesus had been subject to lust, the outcome might have been different. However, Jesus, who always sought the Kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33, John 5:17), never sought his own good. He disciplined Himself for the good of all who might believe in Him. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Jesus] the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). As an aside, Paul had a similar declaration in 1 Corinthians 10:33.

Thank God that “we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet [He] was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

The Power of Wrong Thinking

While flipping through the TV channels one day, John Hagee, a well-known preacher, caught my attention. He tried to relate each part of Biblical history to each part of our lives, and at one point, he discussed the “innocent nakedness” of Adam and Eve. He explained how the time before the Fall was like our time of innocence as children.

At that point, he interjected a comment that just didn’t sit well with me. He said, “You know…a child running around naked, that is innocence…but a teenager running down the beach naked, that is only lust…Amen?” Hearing this, I wondered, “Is that true? Is merely being naked lust?” As I thought about his point, I wondered about the implications. I mean, if just being naked means lust, then what does that mean? Does it mean that God has, by default, subjected us to lust by merely being as He created us?

The truth is, his point was really a judgment, and his judgment demonstrated what he thought lust was and what he thought nudity meant. The question is, what was his judgment based on? It was based solely on outward appearance. He is basically saying, if you are naked (aside from when its expect — I assume) and not a child, then the reason must be lust. Is that really true? Or rather, as he implies, is that *always* true? Consider this… He may judge that way, but God does not. Galatians 2:6 says, “God does not judge by external appearance” (Galatians 2:6).

My point here is, he ignores context, and yet context is the most important factor. When you judge, context is everything! When you judge, you must understand the context. Again, this preacher’s example did not offer enough context to judge. For instance, he did not mention either person’s motives, or character, and he did not mention their environments or even the atmosphere of their environments. In my opinion, he assumed the best in one situation and the worst in the other, and all of that, based solely on the external appearance of the individuals, and on what he believed about that what he saw, as well as what he believed about lust and nudity.

Let’s apply some contexts to his statements and maybe we will see how context affects our judgment…

What if the naked child is involved in pornography? I myself have read of some children who, being brought up in a perverted environment, actually enjoy having sex with adults, or others. Then again, maybe their being force into it. Either way, we know that pornography promotes lust. Alternatively, maybe this naked child is being forced to go nude by some pervert individual who is lusting after that child. Whichever of these cases may be, that child’s nudity is no longer “innocent” as it is being used to promote lust.

As for the teenager, what if that teen is a member of an ancient tribe that lives naked? Such is quite plausible, and actually very likely with ancient tribes. Such nudity is not lustful, but rather the norm. For the record, I read somewhere that studies have shown that these naked tribes have less problems with sexual sins, such as rape, incest, and adultery. Doesn’t lust play a big part in sexual sins?

Since the preacher did not mention further context, maybe that teenager is all alone on the beach. If that is so, then how would that cause another to lust? Of course, that preacher would probably say that his statement, by its wording, presumes others are present. Even if that is the case, maybe the teenager is a nudist on a nudist beach, where lust and such — even among non-Christians — is typically unacceptable.

Someone may try to argue, “Lust may not be acceptable, but I am sure someone still does it.” Does that mean that nudity causes lust? Does it mean that lust does not occur when people are clothed? Use that same logic to think about it this way… If I am sitting in a restaurant and enjoying a good meal, am I provoking someone to gluttony? And even if I am, can I never enjoy another meal in a restaurant? How about money? Does money cause greed? And if so, does that mean I can never use money again? Again, context is everything and so each situation dictates the judgment.

What is unfortunate is, that preacher’s statement seems to reflect a common belief today, that nudity equals sex and that it somehow automatically produces lust in others. Even more unfortunate is the fact that such thinking may actually lead to lust, because as Romans 14:14 says, “If anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.” That is, if you have come to equate mere nudity with lust or sex, then you have likely set yourself up to sin. That is, in that case, the mere nude form will trigger you to think in terms of sex, too. Still worse, such thinking not only leads its followers to lust, but also to sin in other ways. For instance, by judging or condemning others who are innocent, or even by judging and condemning the human body, which God Himself says is the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and the temple of His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

The Power of Lust

People who have a problem nudity seem to miss or ignore lust’s power. I mean, lust happens regardless of one’s state of dress. In fact, the truth is, if you struggle with lust at the sight of mere nudity, then you likely struggle with lust at the mere sight of clothed people, too. In the Men’s NIV Devotional Bible, Chuck Swindoll says, “Lust is persistent. If it’s knocked on your door once, it’ll knock again, and again.” Notice he does not mention state of dress.

So, let’s apply other contexts to our scenario from above to see that helps…

Let’s say this nude teenager on the beach is a girl and she IS clothed with a bathing suit. Would her bathing suit necessarily stop someone from lusting? As part of the context, consider the fact that swimsuit designers are known for designing “sexy” outfits. That means, they are meant to be sexually appealing and even lust provoking. All clothing designers know what sell — sex — and so they use that to their advantage.

Let’s go one step further… Maybe that teenage girl is a Middle Easterner who is required to cover her entire body. Would her being covered from head to toe necessarily stop someone from lusting? Maybe, but maybe not. The men who came up with those laws and traditions think so, but again, knowing the power of lust, I doubt that even that stops lust.

Why people are so quick to say that nudity causes lust, as if that’s the issue, when clothing not only doesn’t stop lust but is often actually designed to incite lust? In a newspaper article entitled, “Is it Time to Strip Santa Barbara County’s Nudity Law?” Cathy Murillo says, “Tom Geist, a Top Freedom organizer who frequents Bates Beach, raises another inconsistency in American thought. We are all appalled at Muslim customs, such as in Afghanistan, that force women to wear black veils, he said, and yet our over-your-breasts law is based on the same premise: Certain parts of a woman are too sexually tantalizing and must be hidden from men who can’t control themselves.”

It does seem that many of same people who find it appalling, and ludicrous that Middle-Eastern women must be covered up so much, are the same people who easily accept similar laws and traditions for themselves based on the same exact reasoning. The problem with these laws and traditions is that they do not take care of the problem, and they may actually intensify it while creating still other problems.

Another pastor who believes that nudity is a problem has said, “Bathsheba was naked, but she was not naked for sexual purposes. What she did was not done to entice anyone. She was merely bathing, yet the sight of her naked body led to lust and a tragic series of terrible sins by David.” His whole argument, as he stated later, was that “her naked body led to [his] lust,” thereby blaming her for being nude within David’s sight. Was it really her fault? Did she really do something wrong by simply being seen? As the pastor said, “she was merely bathing,” and her intentions were not “to entice anyone.”

Bathsheba’s nudity was not the problem, but rather it was with the one who lusted after her. He is responsible for how he reacted to her. Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing [not even a good thing] is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.” According to the Bible, the “corrupted” mind lusts even in clothed situations. Keeping the David and Bathsheba event in context, we must remember that she was not doing anything out of the ordinary. Bathing out in the open was a common practice for all people of that time. He could have looked at any number of people bathing from where he was. Are all of them to blame for someone else lusting, if they did?

Looking back at the story of Eve’s temptation, was the fruit of the tree or the tree itself evil? No! “The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). “God saw ALL that He had made, and [ALL OF] IT WAS VERY GOOD” (Genesis 1:31).

Furthermore, God knew Adam and Eve would lust after the fruit of the forbidden tree (“He knows everything,” 2 Samuel 14:20, 1 John 3:20), which is why He warned them not to. More importantly, remember this… The Lord did not do what others generally suggest we should to deal with lust. Despite their protentional to list, He did not cover the tree, hide the tree or take tree away. In fact, quite the opposite. Genesis 2:9 says, ” In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Note, “in the middle.” God put the tree right in the middle of the garden where they could not miss it. He basically forced them to confront the possibility of sinning. In fact, not only did He put it in the middle, but He also showed them where the tree was, told them all about it, and even what to do about. Then He let them to decide. The point being, we cannot escape opportunities to lust but we must know what to do about it and make the right choice.

The Real Cause of Lust

So, if people can lust at any time, whether clothed or not, what causes them to lust? Is it nudity? Is it clothing? Is it something in between? Is it some other context? What is it?

Jesus Himself says, “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside [including what he sees] can make him ‘unclean’? … For FROM WITHIN, out of men’s hearts, come EVIL THOUGHTS [like lust], sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils COME FROM INSIDE and make a man ‘unclean'” (Mark 7:18, 21-24).

According to James 1:14-15, “Each [person] is tempted when, BY HIS OWN EVIL DESIRE, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” And what is “evil desire”? Doesn’t that define lust?

My whole argument is, we can be nude around each other and yet not lust because nudity is not the problem. Furthermore, clothing is a weak deterrent against lust because the problem is within the heart of the person who lusts.

After all, consider this… God sees every person continually as bare and naked before Him, physically and in every other way, and yet He does not sin. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Listen to what Jesus says in Revelation 3:17. “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.'” He clearly tells us right here that although we are rich, well clothed, well fed, and more, it is simply not enough, that clothing is useless in dealing with sin. The truth is, if you are relying on clothing to combat sin you only nullifying Christ, the one who dealt with sin on the cross. I mean if clothing is sufficient, then Christ died for nothing, for we could simply put some clothes on and never worry about lust again.

Conquering Lust

Now that we understand what lust is and is not, we must move on to figure out how to combat it effectively. How should you deal with lust? According to the preacher and the pastor mentioned above, and to many of their proponents, the answer is to simply avoid the sight of nudity, and don’t lead others into lust by allowing yourself to be seen nude. Is that really the answer? Is that even possible? I have already explained how God dealt with it, and that was not His way. And I have already explained that using clothing as a means of dealing with sin is ineffective.

In “What Did Jesus Say About Sex?” John Ortberg, former senior pastor of a church in Los Angeles, says:

“In verses 29 and 30 [of Matthew 5], Jesus makes these very strong statements. ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away…And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.’ Jesus is not recommending self-mutilation as a form of sin management. He is showing the absurdity of the way the scribes and Pharisees understood righteousness.

The Pharisees did have righteousness. But they were very non-righteous from Jesus’ perspective. Their idea was, as long as you haven’t sinned, you’re righteous. Therefore, if looking at a woman might cause you to sin, just don’t look at a woman.

Jesus is saying, with some humor, ‘Well, if the way to be righteous is not to look at a woman, why not go all the way? If your eyes are the problem, just gouge them out.’ But, of course, your eyes are not the problem. The problem lies in your heart, your innermost being–your thoughts, desires and intentions.

Righteousness, as Jesus defines it, is not simply the avoidance of sin. The ultimate goal is to become the kind of person who, when you look at someone of the opposite sex, sees what Jesus sees. And when you extend a hand, you’ll touch and embrace as Jesus would touch and embrace. That’s what righteousness is.”

What a profound way of looking at it. Trying to avoid seeing nudity, or being seen nude, especially by wearing clothes, does not help us because the problem is our minds, which have been corrupted. Here is what the Bible says about people who teach us to avoid sin by obeying certain rules:

“They [false teachers] PROMISE freedom, while they themselves are slaves to depravity – for a man is a slave to WHATEVER has mastered him.” 2 Peter 2:19-20

“Do not let anyone take you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which DEPENDS ON HUMAN TRADITION AND THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THIS WORLD rather than ON CHRIST.” Colossians 2:8

“Such regulations indeed have the appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they LACK ANY VALUE in restraining sensual indulgence.” Colossians 2:23

The legalist’s false doctrine does not keep anyone from “sensual indulgence,” much less lust. Again, in the Men’s NIV Devotional Bible, Chuck Swindoll says, “Lust is persistent. If it’s knocked on your door once, it’ll knock again, and again. You are safe just so long as you draw upon your Savior’s strength. Try to handle it yourself and you’ll lose — every time.” He does not suggest clothing, but Christ. Isaiah 64:6, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” and that means “our righteous acts,” like clothing ourselves, are useless.

Scripture teaches, “the battle belongs to the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:47). It teaches that He already won the battle through His sacrifice on the cross. It says, “We are more than conquerors THROUGH Christ who loves us” (Romans 8:37). It’s through Christ, not through clothes.

As far as combating lust (or any sin) is concerned, you cannot combat it with physical weapons. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not of THE WEAPONS OF THE WORLD” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) because “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). Clothing is hardly a spiritual weapon, and neither is always trying to avoid lustful situations.

In the Men’s NIV Devotional Bible, Steve Farrar comments on Job 31:1-12. He says, “Let’s observe what Job is saying here. He isn’t making a commitment to never NOTICE an attractive female. That would not only be ludicrous, but would require total blindness [like when you gouge out your eyes…as Jesus suggested?]. Good-looking girls and women are everywhere. You can’t help but see them… There is a difference, however, between seeing a beautiful woman and lusting after her. Job’s point is simply this: There is a difference between a look and a LUSTFUL look…”

Jesus says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). He did not direct these words to anyone who merely LOOKS at a woman, but rather to anyone who LOOKS at a woman LUSTFULLY. Additionally, He did not address state of dress…that is, it applies to any woman (or man) in any state of dress.

Can a man notice a woman’s beauty, and yet not sin? God does! “God saw all that He had made, and IT WAS VERY GOOD” (Genesis 1:31). “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account…yet [He] was without sin” (Hebrews 4.13,15). Furthermore, His Word warns us, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5.20). With Him we may look and say, “I praise You because I am [we are] fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139.14).

The point is this… “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and they now “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The mind of Christ does not lust regardless the state of dress.

We are told, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) We must “renew” our minds to the truth declared in God’s Word that we do not have to sin. “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:18).

Even if someone tries to provoke you to lust, if your mind is renewed to the truth, you will not sin because you simply do not look at things that way. In fact, we know the devil will come to tempt us, but you must “SUBMIT yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “RESIST him, STANDING FIRM in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9) because “the shield of faith…can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).

As we look yet again at the temptation of Eve, we see that, instead of believing God and agreeing with Him (submitting to Him), she agreed with the devil. On the other hand, when Jesus was tempted, He said, “The Lord says,… the Lord says,… the Lord says,… Now get away from me Satan, for you do not have in mind the will of God.” (Matthew 4:1-11)

Interestingly, instead of avoiding temptation, “Jesus was LED BY THE SPIRIT into the desert TO BE TEMPTED by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). He did this because “those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5). And the Holy Spirit desires that each person “should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (1 Thessalonians 4:4).

Though “God does not tempt anyone” (James 1:3), He allowed Jesus to be tempted in order that “a way of escape may be made for us who believe” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In this way, “He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

The help Jesus gives us is through His Holy Word (Christ is the Living Word) and His Holy Spirit. “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”‘” (Matthew 4:4) And the Psalmist wrote, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11) Jesus said, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

Jesus was able to overcome the devil because He knew the truth and agreed with what God said. Now we must do the same.

Though “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), God says “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live” (Ezekiel 37:14). The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Truth” (John 15:26) who “will guide you” (John 16:13). “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you WILL NOT gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16).

What About an “Unbeliever”?

We have already talked about how the Christian has complete and total victory over lust, and all sin, but John Kundert, editor of Fig Leaf Forum (a non-profit Christian nudist organization), raises a good question. How is it that many unbelievers are also able to overcome it?

As I wrote this article, John asked me to consider the following: “It is true that Christians who ‘live by the Spirit…will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature’ (Galatians 5.16), but what of the tens of thousands of non-Christian nudists? I have met and interacted with hundreds of them over the years, and in almost all cases have never detected anything lustful in their language or behavior, nor did I usually detect any problems in their lives that could be attributed to lust. Why?”

While the non-Christian does not have the Holy Spirit to help them resist lust, or the Savior to help them when they fall, they do have SOME power to overcome sin. I say “some” because the scriptures says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) because “God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all” (Romans 11:32).

In the scriptures we hear God commanding Eve, “You MUST NOT eat…” (Genesis 2:17). He told Cain, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but YOU MUST master it” (Genesis 4:7). Jesus later commanded the adulterous woman, “Go now and LEAVE your life of sin!” (John 8:11). Can God command us to obey if we are incapable of doing so?

These people did not have the Holy Spirit as we New Testament believers do, yet God still commanded them to obey. Referring to His commandments in Deuteronomy 30:19, the Lord God says, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now CHOOSE life…” God gives us the right to choose. Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man [any man] reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

So, what about the unbeliever who does not know what is right? How can they obey something they have never heard? The thing is, though it may not be obvious to them, they have heard it. According to Romans 1:19-20, God designed creation in such a way that man is able to clearly see his truths: “What may be known about God IS PLAIN to them [everyone], because HE HAS MADE IT PLAIN to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been CLEARLY SEEN, so that men are without excuse.” In Romans 2:15 we read, “They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness.”

What I am getting at is, we have built-in or “self-evident” truths, and the Lord God constantly speaks to everyone regarding them. Jesus said, “My Father is always at work…” (John 5:17) and His work, according to John 16:8-12, is to reveal, teach and remind everyone — even unbelievers — of the all kinds of truths, especially with regard to sin and righteousness.

God’s ultimate goal is to bring people to the conclusion that they need Christ, a Savior, but along the way, those who are receptive benefit from the other truths they learn. For the non-Christian nudist, they learn the truth that you can separate nudity and sex. They may also learn that the body — every part of it — is wonderful, awesome and good, as the Word declares (see Genesis 1:31, Psalm 139:14-15).

The believer and the unbeliever are both able to overcome sin in the same way, through knowing and believing the truth, and by resisting all efforts of others who want to pervert it. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). “RESIST the devil [the father of lies], and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). These promises work for all people, even if when the person do not realize they are taking advantage of such promises.

While we know that unbelievers cannot obtain the full measure of true righteousness — because that comes only through knowing Jesus Christ (see Romans 3:22-23) — they may be able to obtain a measure of righteousness, and walk in it. An example can be found in Matthew 19:16: “A man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?'” Jesus responded by basically saying, “Do what is right.” The man responded that he had always done everything right since his youth, yet he somehow knew there must be something else he needed to do in order to be saved. “Jesus answered, ‘IF YOU WANT TO BE PERFECT, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and THEN you will have treasure in Heaven. THEN come, follow Me'” (Matthew 19:21).

The unbeliever will be successful in overcoming sin to the degree that he understands truth, believes it, and walks in it. When he sees the truth of Jesus and believes Him, then he the obtains total victory found in Him.

What Jesus wants is for us to sell out to Him, and follow Him. Then and only then, will we have total victory over all sin.

Overcome Your Enemy

We know that lust is a powerful weapon of the devil used against mankind in many ways to draw men away from God and capture them to do his will. Lust is usually at the heart of sin, and something we should not play with, or take lightly. Though we may think clothing, or hiding is an effective way of dealing with it, we find that such things can serve to intensify lust’s strength. From the Bible, and Jesus Himself (who is the Living Word), we find that by knowing the truth, renewing our minds to the truth and constantly living out that truth is the only way to effectively deal with lust, or sin of any kind. Again, as the Word says:

“Live by the Spirit [and the Spirit is Truth], and you *will not* gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16).

“Put on the full armor of God [which is Christ] so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).

“For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans [unbelievers] choose to do — living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3).

“SUBMIT YOURSELVES, then, to God. RESIST the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

And “you will be free indeed” (John 8:36) because “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).


Special thanks to John Kundert for publishing this article in Fig Leaf Forum, Issue 76.

All scriptures NIV unless otherwise stated.

© 1997 Gregory Cook

Why Be Offended?

Society often teaches us to wear clothes so that we do not offend others, but have you ever really thought about what that actually implies? I mean, think about it… This idea implies that we are to be offended at the mere sight of a naked human body — something every human being possesses, something you yourself possess, and something that the Bible teaches is part of being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

Should you be offended by the mere sight of another naked human or even your own naked body? If you are one who believes what the Bible teaches, that the man is made in the image of God as His divine handiwork, the answer to that question shows what you really believe. After all, the question then becomes, should you be offended by the image of God?

How We Got There

It’s no wonder people are offended at the unclad body because the same society that teaches us to be offended also teaches us to sexualize the body or use it in hedonistic ways or that there is something wrong with it. Think about it…

If you or everyone around you, even your culture, continually associates nudity with sex or perversity, then naturally the mere sight of nudity might provoke you to think of sex or perversity and thus be offended.

Likewise, if your culture continually promotes the idea of “the perfect body” — something our modern culture does — this idea that we must be fit and flawless, then naturally the nude body becomes offensive. After all, consider the many people, literally millions of them, that are so unhappy with, so offended by, their own appearance that they spend thousands of dollars to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery just to look good and feel better about themselves. Many people suffer from bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders because they are trying to look good and want to feel better about themselves.

If people are so uncomfortable with their appearance that they would spend money to “fix” their appearance, have surgery, or starve themselves, it seems certain those same people would not feel comfortable with their own nudity, and might just be offended by others’ nudity.

How We Get Back

We need to see nudity for what it is — simply a state of being and our natural, normal state — and stop believing the lies — that nudity means sex or that we must look some certain way to be accepted. And we must stop comparing ourselves with some perceived standard of perfection.

If you believe Jesus Christ is Lord, consider 1 Corinthians 6:13: ” The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Your body is not meant to be seen as a sex object but as holy and pure, a home for the Lord.

When you learn to accept others and yourself, despite appearances, you will think better of others and yourself, and you will feel better. I personally believe that if our culture could embrace acceptance, things such as bulimia, anorexia and other such disorders would be eliminated or at least lessened, and it would lessen peoples’ “need” for face lifts, boob jobs, tummy tucks, and the many other “fixes.”

Who’s Offending Who?

When you are offended by something, you actually show what’s in your own heart. For instance, if you saw someone mowing their lawn nude, swimming nude or watching TV nude and you were offended, what might that say about you? They are simply engaging in normal everyday activities nude but you are seeing something more than that.

Why should this offend you? Why not rather accept it and allow them that freedom? As it is, when a nude body offends someone, that person is, in affect, judging God’s creation as offensive, unacceptable, and possibly perverted or at least only sexual. For the believer, does this honor the Lord? It dishonors Him! For everyone, does any of this honor your body, or the bodies of others? No, it does not! It dishonors them!

When you look at it this way, who should be offended, you or the person you are judging and rejecting? More importantly, do you think this attitude might just offend the Lord? (See Isaiah 5:20, Matthew 6:25-30, Luke 12:22-28.)

As an aside, this attitude does in deed offend real nudists. Why? Because it judges them and puts them in the same category as the pervert. Even more, although this attitude it likely the attitude of the minority, those in power force the majority to agreed with them, forcing others to wear clothes unnecessarily. Now, instead of clothing yourself for the right reasons, such as when you are cold or need protection, people our culture clothe themselves for all the wrong reasons like fear, shame, sexualizing of the body and yes, even simply because they feel offended by the mere sight of a nude body.


Excuse the language here — I mean no offense — but I hope you get the point.

Going a Step Further

One way to help you exercise accepting others and being accepted is to allow others to go nude around you and to go nude around others. As you do this, you begin to realize more and more just how normal and acceptable the naked human body is. You begin to accept others the way God Himself does (1 Samuel 16:7) based more on character than appearance. Worth noting: God sees every person naked (Hebrews 4:13) and yet He is not offended. Why would He be since He created us?

But as you engage social nudity, you quickly realize the human body comes in many different shapes, sizes, colors and conditions. You realize that no one is exactly like another; you realize each person’s uniqueness and individuality. You realize how diverse, interesting and fun life is. You realize all the lies for what they are — lies. You no longer see mere nudity as sexual. The irony of social nudity is, by seeing the whole body, genitals and all, you eventually pay less attention to “parts” and begin to see the person as a whole person. Along with this, you may even loose the desire to “fix” your perceived flaws.

Acceptance, rather than offense, is the key to health. In Genesis 1:31 it says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Can you say that? Can you see all that God made and declare it is very good? If not, why not?


Instead of being offended by the nude bodies of others, begin to accept them for what they are, the real person and not some ideal that clothing projects in order to please you and make themselves acceptable to you. Instead of being offended by your own nude body, begin to accept it and go nude, even around others.

Learn to accept others and yourself. Then you can say as God says, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31) and realize this truth, “Everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving…” (1 Timothy 4:4).

At the very least, the next time you find yourself being offended by something, ask yourself why. Why does this offend me? Then ask, should it? And if it has to do with someone else, ask, would my attitude offend them or God?

All scriptures NIV.

© 1997 Gregory Cook