Should Christians Go To The Beach?
“Is it a sin to go to the beach?” some people ask. Of course not! However, the truth is that a good answer should be: “It depends!” Of course many would ask if there is a connection between going to the beach and morality. To understand why “IT DEPENDS” is better answer, we need to analyze this issue a bit further. From a Christian perspective it is good to phrase all the questions in a different manner, we should be asking ourselves if the destination, the places we choose to go and what we will do there will both glorify God and strengthen us and those around us spiritually.
Going to the beach and its health benefits
Nobody can deny the benefits of sunlight exposure and vitamin D (which is vital for the absorption of calcium, healthy bones and a strong immune system), but for this you don’t need to necessarily go to the beach . A 10-15 minutes walk in the sun daily is enough to get the amount of vitamin D needed. Going to the beach may be more necessary when we suffer from respiratory diseases (rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, asthma etc). For problems like these it is recommended to walk along the seashore, because breathing salt air seems to be very beneficial for the lungs (a similar effect is in a salt cave). Walks are recommended before 8am and after 6pm.
Going to the beach and Christians
When we want to enjoy the sea and the sand it is wise to find more secluded places, ideally a bit far from the crowded tourist resorts. The family circle is enough. If the group is big, it is good for the girls/women to go to a different place than the men. To fully understand why such a recommendation is given, a reading of the following paragraphs may be useful.
Going to the beach: Naked and shameless
The most ardent defenders of going to the beach, in the midst of the [almost] naked crowds, say that Adam and Eve were also naked in the beginning and they were not ashamed because of this. When the Bible says that they were naked, it means that before their fall into sin they didn’t wear clothes like we do. Adam and Eve were covered with light. After their first sin, that light which covered them disappeared. Then they remained really naked and they were ashamed. The light departed from their souls and the exterior light (a reflection of the light inside) disappeared as well. The nakedness of the soul was reflected now in the nakedness of the body. Their first reaction was to manufacture some aprons themselves to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7) Their shame was a proof that the Holy Spirit was working on their conscience. They tried to help themselves, to save themselves (righteousness by works) but God didn’t accept this first attempt of man-made religion. He didn’t consider their aprons good enough and He made for them proper clothes to cover them adequately (Genesis 3:21). God didn’t leave this issue of covering in the man’s hands, though the human beings were then just recently affected by the sin.
“The robe of light which had enshrouded them, now disappeared, and to supply its place they endeavored to fashion for themselves a covering; for they could not, while unclothed, meet the eye of God and holy angels.” PP 57
We live in a more and more naked generation, naked in terms of spirituality, and naked on the exterior. There is no surprise that our Lord Jesus compared the end time with the times when Noah and Lot lived. Like today, in those times the people were obsessed with sensual pleasures, there was no shame, and the soul nakedness was manifested surely in the bodily nakedness. The picture we find in the biblical book of Revelation 3:17 where the Laodiceans are described as being naked, is a precise and inspired portray of our generation: “Poor, blind and naked”.
Going to the beach: Holiday both for the believers and for demons?
Some people are trying to make a big distinction between the religious life and other daily activities. And to a certain extent we can make a separation when we affirm that to be spiritual you don’t have to sit in a church your whole life. In the same time all our daily activities have to be permeated, impregnated by our spiritual connection with God and by our desire to please Him. There was an interesting the experience of a woman who was making her first steps in her walk with God and her confession about the conflicting feelings she had who when went to the beach and tried to read some prayers from a book of prayer. She couldn’t make peace between what she was reading and the “landscape” around her: people were more naked than dressed, as usual when you go to the beach. It is interesting to see this sensitivity (some may call it hyper sensitivity) and it was equally interesting to see how other people tried to advice her not to mingle the spiritual life with day to day activities. This included going to the beach, as if when we go there, the demons would be far away, in a holiday themselves, thus not affecting us with their temptations. For a true Christian there is no “holiday”, meaning that there is no time when you don’t need to pray and watch, to be in close communion with God, or when you can’t be tempted (demons have no holiday – 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9,12,17) Even during the time called holiday, vacation, the true Christian is aware of the invisible fight fought for his soul, fight in which he also has to play an active part.
Going to the beach and seeing the nakedness of other people
“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Job 31:1
“”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell”. Mt. 5:27-29
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Tim. 2:22
Some people might say that when you go to the beach and everybody there is [almost] naked (including you), you are not so much tempted to think about bad things. If we make a survey among those who go to the beach, the results wouldn’t encourage such a conclusion. It is more an attempt to silence our conscience with these arguments (knowing that in the Bible we have no support for it). Even if a Christian would be successful in refraining his imagination when he is in the midst of naked people (though stepping on those grounds is presumption), what makes us think that the people around us will have pure thoughts about our nakedness? It is true that you can have evil thoughts even when people are properly dressed but the thoughts of others are encouraged in the right direction if those around are dressed decently (and even better if they are dressed according to the Scripture). If every week you see at church people dressed decently and after that you see the person almost naked at the beach, how do you delete those images from your memory? Will you see that person with the same eyes? Few people realize how many families are destroyed because of this type of association and exposure of their nakedness in public spaces like beaches, swimming pools etc
Going to the beach and the involution of the swimming suits (or where do we stop with getting undressed?)
Looking at the pictures below you may be surprised to see how were the people dressed one hundred years ago when they were going to the beach. In our days, going to the beach almost naked is considered normality even among those who call themselves Christians.
There is no need to show you images with the next steps of the involution of the swimming suits. You can guess it from the last image (chronologically speaking). In the period 1930-1940 the swimming suits were already very similar to the ones worn today.
Though the immorality in our generation has already reached a peak, there are more and more people, from different backgrounds and religions, who dare to return to more modest swimming suits, as it can be seen in the following images:
You can watch also in the next video a group of orthodox Jews swimming in the Sea of Galilee:
While many people will try always to find different excuses for their choices, those who want to be faithful to God in every aspect of their life, they will find the reason to do what is pleasant in God’s eyes, they will have the satisfaction to serve Him and they will find the right ways to enjoy the blessings left by God in the nature.
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Daniel 12:10 “Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.”