Nudity is not shameful

2016-01-07 06:00

REVEREND Mike Effanga wonders why mainline churches do not support him in his crusade against the nudist use of Mpenjati beach (“No to nudists on Mpenjati Beach”). I am a devout and involved member of a mainline church in my home city. I do not speak for the church, but would like to suggest a few reasons why the mainline churches are not anti-nudity.

The Christian faith is an incarnational faith, meaning it is about the body. We believe God took on a human body and came naked from his mother’s womb (just like every one of us) and that he died naked on a cross for everyone of us. We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus and that each Christian will have a bodily resurrection.

The mainline liturgical churches celebrate the gift of salvation by eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ weekly. When we pray and worship in church we pray with our whole bodies, not just our tongues. We bow before the altar, we make the sign of the cross over our bodies, we kneel to pray, we stand to sing, we turn our bodies to face the reader of the Gospel, and we turn our bodies to face east when we say the Nicene Creed. We use our bodies to reflect on the holy and sacred.

If Effanga were to visit the great cathedrals of the world he would see they are beautifully decorated often with naked bodies. Ancient artworks show Jesus being baptised naked in the River Jordan, the early church followed Jesus’ example - naked baptism was common.

Pope John Paul II wrote in his book Love and Responsibility: “The human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve intact its splendour and its beauty … Nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness … The human body is not in itself shameful.”

Karen Gorham, a bishop elect in the Church of England wrote a book in 2000, Naturism and Christianity: Are They Compatible? Her answer was “yes.”

John Donne, poet and Anglican priest (1572-1631) wrote: Full nakedness! All joyes are due to thee,

As souls unbodied, bodies uncloth’d must be.


“Is not the body more important than clothing?” - Jesus in Matt 6.25

“Naked came I into this world, and naked shall I leave it” - Job 1:21

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Gen 2.25

Wayne Jayes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior PHP Developer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R480 000 - R720 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.