Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Don’t Promote Naturism

Does that come as a surprise?

I call myself “The Biblical Naturist” but I don’t promote Naturism

…perhaps I should explain!

The Back Story

Like Most Christians, I was taught all my life that Naturism (the practice of social nudity) is sinful and forbidden by God. In point of fact, it was never really discussed because the nudity taboo was so completely assumed as true that there was no need to discuss the ethics of social nudity (See The Unchallenged Belief).

But when I was first exposed to Christians who claimed to be “Naturist,” and offered a biblical “justification” of their practice, I was pretty surprised. And I was quite sure they were abusing the Scriptures to defend their “sin.”

To my surprise, however, my initial examination of their claims revealed that I could not immediately refute their arguments if I was truly honest about what the Scriptures do and do not say. In the end, I had to admit that the nudity-taboo had no basis in the Bible, and I was compelled to reject it in my own belief system. And since I rejected the taboo, I also had to live contrary to it. That’s why I became a Naturist By Biblical Conviction.

But I Still Don’t Promote Naturism!

Instead…

I promote Biblical TRUTH.

And I oppose Biblical ERROR.

I write to prove that the Bible—where it speaks on the human body and human nudity—does not mean what we have been told that it means. I write to show how all of the passages that have been put forward with the claim that “God forbids nudity” fail to make that case. And I also write to demonstrate how there are a number of passages that have been ignored—or even mistranslated—because (I believe) they actually speak positively of human nudity in a public setting.

So, I think you can say that I defend naturism; I defend it from false condemnation based upon false interpretations of Scripture.

Primarily, I defend naturism so that Christians who are exploring the morality of social nudity can consider an honest and accurate treatment of the Scriptures that have been used to condemn it, and examine an interpretation that is hermeneutically sound and which demonstrates that the condemnation of naturism is Scripturally unfounded.

I Cannot Convince Anyone!

It has been over 7 years since I originally studied the Scriptures regarding nudity and reached the conclusions that compelled me to embrace Naturism. In all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever convinced anyone of the things I have come to believe.

To be sure, my discussions and my writings have influenced people who have been seeking the truth, but if God has not been working in their hearts before they read my work, there has been no change in their beliefs.

I’m thankful that my writings have made a difference for those whom God has called to explore Naturism while committed to remaining faithful to God’s revealed truth. I trust that my words have given them assurance that embracing naturism is not a rejection of God’s ways. And I hope that they can pass my work along to others in their lives where they see that God is also working.

But First of All, Pray!

If you find my writings helpful to you, that’s great… but please don’t depend upon them to convince anyone; they won’t work for you any better than they have for me.

Instead, pray that God will begin the same work in their hearts as he has already been doing in yours.

A Battle Rages…

There is a battle for truth in our world today as it pertains to the meaning of the human body. I believe that Satan has successfully placed his distorted view of the human body into the fabric of our society. That of course is to be expected; he is the “ruler of this world,” the Bible tells us (John 12:31).

But the tragic reality is that Satan has also infiltrated Christian theology with his distortion… to such a degree that when someone openly rejects it within the church, they are presumed to have rejected righteousness itself. This demonic stronghold will not be broken by rhetoric alone… whether written or spoken. It will only be broken by men and women of God whose lives are submitted to God and aligned with the truth… who pray until God begins to break that stronghold.

And when that stronghold is truly broken, we won’t even NEED “Naturism” any more!

So, no, I’m not about promoting “Naturism”… I’m promoting something much more world-changing… Truth!

It’s a new year… Who’s with me?

— Matthew Neal

3 comments:

jochanaan said...

Of course I'm with you! I have known for years now that for most people, intellectual arguments won't win them over. Their minds are so convinced of something "that just ain't so!" (Mark Twain) that it takes a more subtle approach to open them up to hearing our actual arguments. But, like you, I can't claim to have "convinced" anyone who wasn't already interested in naturism.

Most Christian naturists that I know are well able to defend our views from the Bible--if we are allowed to speak. I can only pray that more and more Christians, including leaders, will at least let us defend ourselves from charges of heresy and sexual deviance.

Jasen said...

I'm with you Matthew. Thank you very much for the excellent work you've done.

Joseph Skywalker said...

Greetings and Happy happy new year to you all. By the grace of our living God, i am standing for the truth and i can only be grateful for what the Lord has done already in my life, I have faced challenges, especially memories of my past misdeeds but the Lord has been merciful to me. I give Him praise. Shalom