Christians Strip to Build a New Eden

Posted by Chris Parker
Dec 27 2005

Genesis 3

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

Revelation 16:15 (King James Version)

15Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.


IN THE beginning was the word of God and God never said anything about brassieres or boxer shorts. Thus was born Natura, America’s first Christian nudist camp.

After two years of biblical debate over Adam and Eve and their fig leaves and whether or not nudity is sinful, a 67-year-old Quaker grandfather is preparing to open a modern-day Garden of Eden 40 miles north of Tampa, Florida.

Bill Martin’s ambitious plan for a 200-acre Christian- oriented Family Naturist Village has survived legal challenges, doctrinal disputes and a plague of internet prudes. Land is now being cleared for the opening next year of what may become the world’s only Christian community to feature nude volleyball.

Despite howls of complaint from fundamentalists who have likened Martin to the Antichrist — and described his nudist plans as “graphic evidence of America’s moral collapse” — Natura intends to build 50 houses around a non-denominational church where clothing for services will be optional. He has fought with his neighbours over property rights, fallen out with other nudists over his promotional material and sparked a vigorous internet debate over whether the true path to godliness really involves getting naked.

Yet Martin remains confident that Christians will flock to Natura to experience the spiritual benefits of a lifestyle “free from body shame”. He is spending more than $2m on a nudist recreational complex that will also feature a hotel, campsites and a children’s water park.

“As evidenced by Adam and Eve, we believe that when God’s children are in the right relationship to Him, they will be naked and unashamed,” explains one of Natura’s brochures. American Christians have long been intrigued by the biblical implications of nudity and Ilsley Boone, a Baptist pastor, was the founder in 1931 of the American Sunbathing Association, an early naturist group.

Martin and his supporters argue that nudism is unhealthy, especially for children, unless it occurs in a proper Christian context. He has criticised non- religious nudist camps for encouraging alcohol and sensuality. “We are going after a totally different group, a group that doesn’t want a sexual atmosphere,” he said. “There is absolutely no relationship between nudity and sex.”

Much of his group’s philosophy appears in a book, Nakedness and the Bible, self- published on the internet by Paul Bowman, a Canadian author. The book cites several biblical references suggesting that God does not disapprove of nudity and that Jesus may have been naked at several key moments of his life — notably when he washed the feet of his disciples.

Martin’s supporters also claim that nude worship is much more in keeping with modest Christian values than are the ostentatious displays of wealth on show at the suburban “megachurches”, where women attend services in “designer clothes and $90 haircuts”, says one internet posting. None of which has stopped Martin’s critics from battling against his project. Texe Marrs, who operates a website called, has pointed to Martin’s project as evidence that Satan is subverting Christianity.

Daniel Bellows, chief executive of the new development, said that he regularly receives e-mails from Christians appalled by the idea of nude worship and warning him that he faces eternal damnation.
Although Martin’s land has been used by naturists before — the area has the largest concentration of nudist camps in America — he has alienated local residents with proposed property improvements that have spawned half a dozen lawsuits.

He has also upset America’s largest naturist association with his “holier-than-thou” approach. Earlier this year Natura was expelled by the American Association for Nude Recreation, representing 270 member organisations, on the grounds that his website was publishing “sexually exploitative material”.

Martin, who made his money building nursing and retirement homes in Washington, dismissed the allegations as professional jealousy and defended the photographs as harmless. “Christ has forewarned us that we would be persecuted for his sake,” he told supporters in an e-mail. But he later removed all photographs from his site.

Martin also became embroiled in a bizarre dispute about an article that appeared on his website discussing male erections — a perennial concern for novice nudists. Martin told the St Petersburg Times that the article was meant to help young men worried about an embarrassing reaction when first confronting naked women.

“If you can’t speak about human nature, I don’t know what you can speak about,” he said. “Erections have got to be addressed. It’s a major concern of teen males.”

Martin’s critics depict him as a religious fanatic whose criticisms of rival resorts are damaging the naturist industry. “We are not concerned about him taking our members,” said Elf Anderson, who conducts nude marriage ceremonies at other resorts. “But we are concerned about the impression he gives to the public about us.

“We are all for wholesome family nudism — but he’s just way off the scale.”

2 Responses

  1. Terrie says:

    Phl 3:19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

    In Scripture, nakedness is not the shame, but the dead, vain, humiliated body that is not now a “son of God” and glorified, as the first Adam was, is the shame; so those who glory in their shame, thinking the nakedness is not ‘bad’, are parading their shame, their absence of the glory that we were created to be crowned with and died to the day of the fall, in Adam.

    It is what Jesus came to bring us back to, as sons of God, adopted in His New Man image, cleansed by the blood of sprinkling (on His own ‘Mercy Sea’t body while it hung on the cross), in our being, and adopted in spirit, regenerated in flesh, and glorified in the regenerated body of the resurrection.
    So shame on those who parade their death and vanity of existence! -we were made for a much higher purpose, in the beginning, when the glory of God crowned our first father.
    They are parading their shame and glorying in it!

    God clothes Himself with light, as a garment, Scripture says, and His glorious Presence departed from our being, in Adam, at the fall, and the shame of our naked bodies is the absence of that Life, that glory, as the crown.

    The final end of all adopted in Christ is seen in the bride, the New Jerusalem, which I believe is the representing of the true Holy of Holies that the first human being named Adam was intended to be, when we would have been multiplied in him and the earth was filled with sons of God for His habitation (Malachi 2:15).

    Jesus is the New Creation Man who is the Chief cornerstone of the house for ‘YHWH’ that He is building, (His Church), of all who are adopted in His image by the new birth from above, and when we are regenerated we shall be those glofied sons of God that He intended in our creation -but till the body is changed, it is still humiliated in its purpose with the absence of the glory that crowned the first human son of God.

  2. Administrator says:

    Very nicely done.

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