Does Nudity Equal Lust?

People from around the world helped make this video. It features voices from the USA.
when does nudity equal lust? does it ever?

Objection 8:

Seeing a nude person directly activates lust.

…Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:28

It has been extracted from this verse that nakedness (full or partial) is the direct cause of grave sins. Our question, then, is this: when does nudity equal lust?

Following this idea, Christians have sought to keep women under wraps, lest others fall helplessly into the pit.

Whole industries have grown up around “lust prevention” techniques. Books have been written. Sermons have been preached. Software has been coded.

And, yet…

Does what one chooses to wear or not wear cause another to lust or covet?

Using this same logic, we would be forced to conceal cupcakes to prevent gluttony and abolish money to thwart greed.  

But this is absurd. We cannot reasonably ban nudity simply because an individual might be tempted to lust. There must be another way!

Admiration of the beauty of a member of the other sex, nude or otherwise, cannot be automatically equated with lust.

Only if wrongful desire is added does appreciation become lust, and therefore sin. Even then, it is the one who lusts – not the object of lust – who has sinned. 

There are circumstances in which nakedness is not immodest. If someone takes advantage of such an occasion to treat the person as an object . . . it is only he who is guilty of shamelessness . . . not the other.

Pope John Paul II, Theology of the Body

And James 1: 14 says “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

Lust, then, like all sin, originates in the heart. 

Yet, we are not without hope! Since the beginning, when God specially crafted human beauty and strength, we were always intended to be seen. 

Just as we admire the canyons, waterfalls and sunsets created by the Master’s Hand, our natural human bodies — the pinnacle of His Creation — deserve that same renewed view!

James 1:17 concludes: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights….”


Lust is born in the heart. It is a choice, not an automatic response.

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