Thomas H. Pine, an exemplar of Ethical Naturism, passed away on April 9, 2019. He was, among other things, a vocal member of the Christian Naturist Community and author of The Naked Truth Newdsletter. Over the years, his work helped many people to reconcile what they knew in their hearts to be true (that mere nakedness is not inherently sinful or immodest) with what society and institutional church dogma had taught them (that it is the opposite). It was a noble thing to do.
Naturist practice can enable people to better realize and accept their authentic selves, in body, mind and spirit, and to develop more considerate and harmonious attitudes to those around them and to Nature. For Christian Naturists, and Naturists of other faiths, this tuning to a truer self that is in relation with others and all creation has a divine quality. They can see their faith manifest in Naturism like a form of prayer. It is thus fitting for them to interweave aspects of their religion into their Naturism. An excerpt from one of Pine’s last newdsletters (Volume 20, #1, January 2019) captures this interweaving well and is presented below. One need not be a Christian to appreciate it.
“At no time, did my explorations remotely cause me to fall into sin, or to throw over my faith. In many ways, naturism has deepened my faith and enhanced my philosophical view of the world around me. Being naked in nature, swimming naked in the sea or a lake is often a spiritual experience for me and I often find myself thanking God for leading me into naturism.
So… if you’re a Christian on the cusp of exploring naturism, or a long-time Christian naturist who is experiencing push-back from family or church, take heart. There is nothing inherent in naturism that goes counter to your deeply held faith. Yes, people in naturism do wrong things, but so do people wearing clothing all around you. Your state of dress is not an issue. You are not being immodest when you are naked with others. I’ve often said, “Modesty is more a state of mind than a state of dress,” for I’ve seen naked people behaving modestly and clothed people behaving immodestly. Our bodies are what they are… our bodies, clothed or otherwise. It’s how we behave that’s of paramount importance.
Let me end with some of the best God-inspired advice in Scripture, Romans 12:1-2: 1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”