The genesis of G.O.E.By Pam, GOE Founder.
Do Christianity and naturism/nudism go hand in hand? For many of us, the answer is a resounding ABSOLUTLEY! Many students of the Bible realize that nudity simply was not an issue in Biblical times.
It is easy for a believer to feel out of place in many churches, wondering if they'd be accepted if people knew their lifestyle. How can we have an authentic spiritual life if it doesn't encompass all of who we are?
For eight years I sought and prayed for Christian fellowship, often finding people interested in and pursuing a variety of spiritual paths, but seldom those who knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Then, in July of 2010, a group called the Christian Nudist Convocation (see CNA) held a retreat at Lake Como Resort. I set aside as much of the weekend as possible to check them out, get to know them, enjoy the fellowship, and have a personal Christian nudist retreat in the comfort of the Lake Como Community! Feeling that God was indeed very great and marvelous to send me such a tremendous blessing. I eagerly lapped up the joy of being with like-minded naturist/nudist Christians. How good God was to answer my prayers!
So I started to send out feelers. Would anyone like to get together for a Bible study? One person saying yes was all it took to get started. Since she lived and worked north of here most of the week, Sunday was a good time for us to get together.
Our first meeting was Oct. 16, 2010. Others started to join our weekly meetings. We began reading the book of John, and now we're studying Acts. This summer, CNC came for another retreat. What a blessed and inspiring time we had gathering together again in the joy of worship and fellowship.
The Bible study became a church when we decided it was based on "Where two or three are gathered", and we knew the Spirit of God was among us. Each person brings their own unique gifts to the group. Elements for communion, prayer, programs, coffee, all have come together to create our weekly meetings where we support and encourage one another in our faith.
Garden of Eden Church is founded by and for Christian naturists. Christian naturists are found in most branches and denominations of Christianity, and are Christians who practice naturism or nudism. We find no conflict between the teachings of the Bible and living our lives and worshiping God without any clothing. Thus, the common notion that nudity and sexuality go hand-in-hand is seen as a worldly point of view. The Christian definition of the human body should be separate, distinct, and non-materialistic. If clothing truly controlled lust and immoral sexual activity, then these would not be occurring to any great extent.
Many Christian naturists have very little disagreement with the core beliefs of long-established churches, and may even be a member. We feel the error of mandatory dress is cultural, rather than anything related to salvation. Nor is such an error unprecedented. For example, in the 20th century, churches largely abandoned any teaching which promoted racial separation and segregation. Likewise, Christian naturists perceive a gap between scripture and Victorian era modesty (which to some extent is still observed today).
Formal Code of Doctrine and discipline.
1. We believe in salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2. We believe the Scriptures are inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind.
3. We believe there is only One True God–revealed in three persons...Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity).
4. We believe in the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God's son Jesus was both human and divine.
5. We believe that, though originally good, man willingly fell to sin–ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world.
6. We believe that every person can have restored fellowship with God through salvation (accepting Christ's offer of forgiveness for sin).
7. We believe and practice two ordinances—
a. Water baptism by immersion after repenting of one's sins and receiving Christ's gift of salvation, and
b. Holy Communion (the Lord's Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ's suffering and death for our salvation.
8. We believe sanctification initially occurs at salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christlike.
9. We believe the Church has a mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin.
10. We believe 'the Church' is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God's offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
11. We believe that a divinely called and scripturally ordained leadership ministry serves the Church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, and to build up or edify the body of believers - the Church.
If you're not a member of Lake Como Resort and would like to attend church only, please email your name by Friday so Pam can put your name on the church guest list.
"So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
(Jesus, Matthew 6:28-29.)