Christian naturists view the story of the Garden of Eden as a model for their beliefs. When Adam and Eve were created and placed in the garden as a couple by God, they were both naked and “felt no shame“. (Genesis 2:25) They see Adam and Eve being in the blameless state that God had intended them to be. God knew that they were naked, as this was how He had created them.
Even before Eve’s creation, God had warned Adam “…but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) Despite God’s warning, first Eve, then Adam, eat the forbidden fruit after being persuaded by the devil in the form of a serpent. (Genesis 3:1-6) Upon doing so, they immediately realize that they are naked, and sew fig leaves together as coverings.
Shortly thereafter, Adam and Eve hear God walking in the garden, which results with them hiding among the trees. God queries Adam, “Where are you?” In spite of the fig leaves, Adam replies that he is afraid because of his nakedness. God further asks Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” Only God, Adam, Eve, and the devil are a party to this matter, as there are no other humans on the planet at this time. Therefore, Christian naturists believe it was the devil who told Adam and Eve that they were naked. Their shame was not of God; nor would the fig leaves cover this shame, regardless of their genitals being covered. God was displeased not only by their disobedience of eating the forbidden fruit, but also with Adam and Eve’s subsequent attempt to cover up their bodies. This question was given priority by God who asked it first, before any discussion regarding the fruit. At no time were Adam and Eve commended for their self-discovery of being able to hide their nude bodies with fig leaves.
Christian naturists maintain the fig leaves were worn in an attempt to hide what the couple had done from God – not each other, noting they were married. The devil had chosen the sexual organs as the area of shame because, unlike God, he has no ability to create life. As the next chapter begins with Adam and Eve engaging in sexual relations, they conclude the couple would have seen each other naked subsequent to the fall of mankind. Having thus sinned, and no longer living nude by their own accord, God expels them from the Garden of Eden. He also made garments from animal skins to replace the fig leaves.
Christian naturists note there is no command in the Adam and Eve story, or elsewhere in the Bible, to wear clothing. The making of garments by God was an act of love to protect them from the harsher elements outside of the garden, to which they are being banished. As Genesis 2:25 shows, there was no reason why Adam and Eve should be ashamed of their bodies; only of their sin. The use of animal skins implied that sin requires a blood sacrifice. As Jesus Christ is the blood sacrifice of Christians under the New Testament, there is no need to wear clothes to cover sin. However, God does not forbid clothing, and it may be worn where needed.