Are There Christian Nudists?
John Steinbeck had Charlie. I have LouLou, a north Texas rescue that a vet in Weatherford, Texas, put down as a blue healer. She’s been my traveling companion for the last 3+ years. She really likes going to nudist places, because a lot of them have doggie parks where she can be off the leash, run, and do other doggie things, and because I seem to relax better nude.
North Texas Christian Naturists
Yes, nudists also gather for Christian fellowship, breaking bread, Bible study, devotion, and discussion. Some months ago, Pat and Mike founded the North Texas Christian Naturists, which for several months has been, I think, the newest club in AANR-SW (The American Association for Nude Recreation, Southwest Region). On a Friday near Thanksgiving, I spent the night with a nudist friend at Barehide Nudist Resort. The next day we drove to one of the north Dallas suburbs to Mike and Pat’s house for a gathering which included a Thanksgiving dinner—turkey provided by Pat and Mike and lots of the trimmings provided by the rest of us pot luck style.
There was a long discussion of a prison ministry some of the members are involved in. They cited the statistic that at the end of 60 days of release if a parolee has a job, he or she has a 90% chance of not being re-arrested, while of those not employed 90% do return to prison. Coincidentally, I heard the same statistics the weekend before while on a tour of the headquarters of Goodwill Industries of South Texas.
After dinner there was a devotional led by Pat. They had rented a blow-up hot tub which was the destination of many of the group after the devotional. As I had to start work at 7 a.m. the following day 300 miles away, I departed after the devotional.
Oaklake Trails Nudist Resort’s Worship Chapel
I know there are Christians who think you can’t be a Christian Nudist and I also know there are Nudists out there who think Nudists can’t be Christian. And there are probably people out there who are neither nudists nor Christians who have an opinion, but that group is beyond the scope of my intellectual analysis.
So, how are Christianity and nudism compatible? First of all, nudists are trying to come as close as possible to the Eden experience: “The man and the woman were both naked, but they were not ashamed (Genesis 2:25).” While we try, we can’t totally re-create the Eden experience, nor would we want to—for example, I suspect Wi-Fi reception was really lousy. We try to re-create the experience of being totally comfortable with our bodies and with the bodies of others, whatever the size, shape, color. We try to re-create the experience of trust.
Several years ago, in the newsletter of Orient Land Trust, which includes Valley View Hot Springs, the writer said that when people are clothed, they may imagine what’s under the clothes, namely the skin, but when people are naked, they imagine what’s under the skin, namely the persons themselves.
My first experience of public nudity was during the summer of 1970 or ’71, something like that. I was the interim pastor at the Presbyterian Church in Goleta, California, just up the beach from Santa Barbara. One of my parishioners told me that there was a clothing optional beach about 200 yards from her home. A few days later I checked it out, walking clothed along the beach where about half the people were nude. The next time I stripped and lay face down on the sand. The third time I felt free to lie on my back, walk around, and jog. I felt rather liberated writing sermons naked on the beach. I don’t know if it affected the quality of my preaching, but it sure made the writing much less of a chore.
How do you find a Christian naturist group if you’re interested? Just Google “Christian naturist” or “Christian nudist” and you’ll have a plethora of sites. There are Christian naturist groups across the country, at least one of which claims to be national. Some nudist resorts have chapels. Oaklake Trails Naturist Park between Oklahoma City and Tulsa has a chapel which can accommodate, I suppose, at least forty people.
Yes, some nudists really do get together for prayer, Bible study, devotions, breaking bread, and worship.