Early Christian Nudists
There are a number of ministers and priests in the contemporary nudist movement. In fact, the modem nudist movement was largely organized by ordained religious leaders, as discussed more fully in Chapter 8. These religious leaders used as their justification the many parts of the Judaic-Christian Bible which speak of accepting the human body without shame (such as references to those apostles who were fishermen, naked at their work). Religious nudists use these quotations as an answer to the fundamentalist preachers who sermonize about God’s demand for clothing.
For example, the Rev. Martin Wadestone, author of “Nudism and Christianity,” writes: “Actually, in the light of the Bible, there is no sin in nudity itself but if a person uses the nudity for lustful or immoral purposes he has misused it, and this constitutes a sin. The Bible does not speak against nudity nor does it teach that the body is shameful. There is reference to shame in nudity, but this shame was produced in the mind of man, not by divine ordination.”28
This was also the belief of at least five groups in the history of Christianity: the Carpocrations, Adamites, Adamianis, Encratites, and Marcosians. Most of the historical information we have concerning the beliefs and practices of these early Christians comes to us, in fact, through the recorded criticisms and diatribes of Roman Catholic Church authorities, since these authorities have largely destroyed the writings of those they considered heretical?
Sun, Jul 1 – 10:00 PM