What If, Then What

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What If, Then What

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 am

Ok this has aspects of Christianity and Ethics, but it also has Nudity So I guess it is ok to put in this forum.

WHAT IF
A. You are a practicing Christian Naturist.
B. No one in your congregation knows about this.
C. You believe the general reaction will be a bad one if they find out.

THEN What is (are) your plan(s) when they find out?

Of course, those of you who have been through this trauma, please feel free to advise those of us who have not had the sky fall on us in this matter. Of course "What not to do" is likely just as important as "What to do".

I ask this question because A, B, and C apply to me. That situation is not one that I planned to create, it just sort of happened. I have tried to create situations in which I can test the waters without throwing open the whole can of worms but nothing has born fruit so far. I am also aware that should the information get out that there are members who are so close (clothes ?) minded that should they find out that their shock and indignation will exceed their powers to hear a matter before they judge it. My concern in their case might be that they would create a stampede. Some of them are pastors of related congregations who would probably write letters to our pastor & congregation modelled on 1st Corinthians 5 and really believe that it is a sin of the same magnitude, (sincere servants but not always the sharpest knife in the drawer). Or if a controversy should develop these sort may lack sufficient scriptural acumen that they create a movement to split the congregation should there be any faction that find naturism to not be a problem. Splitting a congregation could be more damaging to those swept up than being thrown out my ear would be.

I suppose it might be fruitless to try to have a plan for every possible scenario but maybe a plan or two for likely scenarios would be a good idea. And then of course there is my wife to consider as she is a tolerant and supportive but reluctant (for herself) spouse.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby ihaveel » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:24 pm

Bare Truth ...

Excellent question. I await further dialog on this.

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Re: What If, Then What

Postby jochanaan » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:31 pm

Several years ago I applied to be on the worship team at a local church. Because I didn't want them to find out "by the grapevine" and accuse me of deception, I told the worship leader. He said he would have to talk to the senior pastor. -- After more than a year of waiting, he finally asked to meet me and told me it would be better if I were not to be on the team; if I were "in leadership" even by being a team member, and the congregation found out I was a naturist (so he said), it would look like the church was condoning it.

I continued to go there for a while, until I found a small congregation whose pastor accepted me as a naturist--or so I thought! After a meeting with the Denver-area "board of elders," he asked me to step down as worship leader despite my experience and skills and (I dare to say) the Spirit's anointing on my leading.

In neither case did the congregation know.

So far I have managed to avoid the need to stand up and say "Hi, I'm jochanaan, and I'm a naturist." :?
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Jon-Marc » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:37 pm

In a Michigan Baptist church I visited, one of the members knew I lived in a nudist resort. I was interested in his church mainly because it was the only Baptist church near me. I was sure that the man would tell the pastor that I lived in a nudist resort, and I preferred that he hear it from me. Our talk didn't go well. He said that he was sure that it had nothing to do with lust for me, but if I wanted to come there I would have to tell his ten deacons that I lived in a nudist resort; I was sure that wouldn't go well either. He also said, "You can come here, but you can't participate in anything.

At another Baptist church (in a different state) I visited, the pastor was speaking about all the wickedness in that county and included (in his words) "all the nudist colonies." I nearly corrected him on the "colonies" but didn't; I also didn't return since I was living in a nudist resort that he considered to be wicked.

At a third church, I didn't give the church my home address (nudist resort), and the pastor looked me up online. He sent me an e-mail saying, "We can't have a nudist representing our church, and God wouldn't be pleased with it anyway." It must be so nice to know the mind of God that well.

At the only Baptist church in less than 50 miles away in a third state, I found that the pastor delivers propane to the nudist resort where I live. He said that "We don't judge people here." His wife, though, always looked at me with suspicion in her eyes. The people seemed accepting of me, and a few of them even picked me up at the resort for church or brought me home. However, it wasn't long before I was told that they weren't as comfortable coming into the resort as they led me to believe. I was told that I would have to walk out to the gate (about half a mile or more away--this is a BIG resort) and be dropped off there.

That was when I quit going there. It gets very cold in the winter here in the high desert and very hot in the summer. Walking that distance would be very uncomfortable--especially in the 90 + temperatures and fully dressed.

Now I'm not going anywhere; there's nowhere to go, and I don't drive any more due to failing health and eyesight. Maintaining a car is just too expensive for me. If only all Christians (and especially pastors) would learn that God is not offended by the human body that He created, and neither should we be. Improper sexual behavior is what offends God and not simple non-sexual nudity. The problem is that too many have bought into the lies that (1) All nudity is sexual. (2) All nudity is obscene and sinful. (3) God is offended by nude bodies.
The Righteousness of Christ--the ONLY clothing I need.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby prairieboy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:11 am

I became a practicing naturist six years ago. Although my spiritual life was on life support at the time I studied it carefully to ensure that I was not acquiring a new sinful habit. I had drifted because my Christianity had mostly been dissatisfying, and although I felt there had to be something more, I had mostly given up. Four years ago I felt a desire to renew my relationship with God, and to search for that something more. A part of what happened was a change to a different church. Zion has been a huge blessing to me from day one. Not very long after I began attending there I began to wonder about naturism, maybe I had been mislead. I asked God about it, and I felt that I should leave the issue until summertime, I was dealing with enough things at that time. Summertime came and I headed to the beach. I asked God about it several times, and although I did not sense a real response, I did not sense anything negative either. I decided that as God was perfectly capable of letting others know, either by a word of knowledge, or a dream, or by letting me be discovered, I would leave it up to Him.

As I grew and moved into leadership roles, the issue took on a greater magnitude. At the same time my belief came to be that, not only was naturism good, but it would be wrong to oppose it. My pastor is a good man, and I love him and the board members. If my naturism were to become known, they would do a careful study of the case that I presented and then they would have to make a decision. If they chose to censure me, they would be in the wrong. If they supported me, they would be criticized by some inside the church, and by many outside of the church. I did not really care about myself, but I did not wish to be responsible for placing them in either position. I also could not just deny naturism, and so I asked God to release me from naturism. Instead, He said, "Don't give away the freedoms that I have purchased for you."

And so here I am. One of these weekends I will once again head for the beach. Eventually the truth will become known. And then?? I realize that this verse in context refers to preaching the gospel, but freedom is a major part of the gospel.
Luke 12:11
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
So I can just live my life, and let God deal with it.

I have an alternative option. I have considered approaching the former senior pastor of the church and asking for his advice. He still functions closely with the church, but he would be in a position to carefully consider the evidence without being rushed into a decision. Also, he would not actually have to make a decision, but could advise me, and when necessary, advise the church. I ask myself, is this just me trying to control my future?

I love my church and have been greatly blessed there. If they insisted I give up naturism, I would prayerfully consider doing that. I would make it clear that I was giving up the practice, temporarily, and NOT repenting of it. If that resulted in a reduced role in the church, then I would have to start looking elsewhere.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Ramblinman » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:33 pm

Some well-meaning Christians try to tell us that good nudity (back yard sunning, skinny dipping, social nudity) is a gray area, a slippery slope that leads to bad nudity (lewdness, indecent exposure, sexual sin).

If these truisms were indeed true, I would say, "Okay, I will drop it" to avoid the semblance of impropriety and avoid stepping over the line by my own sinful inclinations.

However, social nudity and my own private nude sunning and bathing are moving me away from bad nudity, not toward it. I have a new appreciation of God as the creator of my body, of my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and of the bodies of others as other pillars of that holy temple rather than objects of perverse fascination.

I have an obligation to teach biblical truth. I do not seek controversy, but I will not lie to maintain harmony.
I am not everyone's teacher. Teachable moments come as the Lord leads.

If the "worst" happened and I were drummed out of church for being a naturist or merely believing that naturist life is consistent with good Christian practice, then I would pray that it become an opportunity for one last chance to sow good seed, much neglected truth, praying that the Lord bring those who need to hear it within earshot. I am not seeking public humiliation, but God's glory is far more important than my standing in the community.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby chnokie » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:38 pm

Concerning the recent dialog on this issue, I have long ago decided that I have too much to lose for any thought of experiencing public nudity. I am also very careful about even going around the house, or in our private back yard. First of all, I do not want to cause my wife any discomfort by my being nude in the house. Nor would I want anyone of the neighbors to see me in the back yard, which might be a possibility since there are tiny open spaces between the slatted "privacy" fence.

Hence, I regard this much the same as I regard Timothy's circumcision. It was not necessary especially by the Apostle Paul's standards, but in view of the ministry he and Timothy would have together, he did not want to put any cause for unjust criticism from the Jewish community should Timothy be discovered to be uncircumcised. Similarly, in view of my own ministry both in the U.S. and overseas, I am willing to "limit my freedom in order not to offend the tastes of those whom God has called me to serve." This quote is the definition of "deference" as defined by Bill Gothard many years ago. Some of you may have heard of him. He had a nation-wide teaching ministry and has had a powerful influence on the raising of children in homes in our U.S.

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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Losgatos » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:01 pm

Responding to your question; I'd sort out in some detail my reasons in support of nudism preparatory to entering into a discussion should there be occasion for one. I would review pertinent passages in the Bible KJV, and spend some time with http://www.figleafforum.com and http://www.AANR.com. If those who raised the question were to spend some time with these three resources, they might be able to answer their own questions making it unnecessary for you to explain and clarify for them.

If the matter cannot be resolved better to go with God's rules not man's rules. Remember what Jesus said; But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:9.
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Ramblinman » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:06 am

chnokie wrote:Concerning the recent dialog on this issue, I have long ago decided that I have too much to lose for any thought of experiencing public nudity. I am also very careful about even going around the house, or in our private back yard. First of all, I do not want to cause my wife any discomfort by my being nude in the house. Nor would I want anyone of the neighbors to see me in the back yard, which might be a possibility since there are tiny open spaces between the slatted "privacy" fence.

Hence, I regard this much the same as I regard Timothy's circumcision. It was not necessary especially by the Apostle Paul's standards, but in view of the ministry he and Timothy would have together, he did not want to put any cause for unjust criticism from the Jewish community should Timothy be discovered to be uncircumcised. Similarly, in view of my own ministry both in the U.S. and overseas, I am willing to "limit my freedom in order not to offend the tastes of those whom God has called me to serve." This quote is the definition of "deference" as defined by Bill Gothard many years ago. Some of you may have heard of him. He had a nation-wide teaching ministry and has had a powerful influence on the raising of children in homes in our U.S.

chnokie


But in his writings, the apostle Paul was anything but silent.
In fact, he was careful to teach the truth about the lack of mandate of circumcision and preached firmly against the Judaizer movement. Timothy was of Jewish heritage apparently with special calling to the Jewish people and Paul was clearly not setting a precedent for universal circumcision nor universal "deference" as you call it. Far from it!

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal. 5:6

Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! Gal. 5:11-12

So while you may wisely avoid being seen doing the unexplained by those who have not heard the truth.
That does not give you an excuse to avoid teaching the truth.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Larryk1052 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:41 pm

I am a practicing naturist in that I go nude in my home and on my land when I am alone or with my wife. I have gone hiking on public nature trails and have gone to a couple of naturist resorts. My wife isnt a naturists and isn't comfortable going just nude. She has no problem with marital nudity. She like most has the same reservations about simple nudity so I keep my nudity private.
I am assuming most members and pastors in my church would not be accepting of my nudism. The only way to know for certain would be make known that I am a naturist. A risk I am not willing to make because my wife isn't on board with it.

If it became known I would do my best to present the truth about nudity and hope they would see the truth. I am not very optimistic.
Larry in Kentucky

"Nude" just means barefoot all over.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Ramblinman » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:37 pm

Larryk1052 wrote:I am a practicing naturist in that I go nude in my home and on my land when I am alone or with my wife. I have gone hiking on public nature trails and have gone to a couple of naturist resorts. My wife isnt a naturists and isn't comfortable going just nude. She has no problem with marital nudity. She like most has the same reservations about simple nudity so I keep my nudity private.


Larry, I am sorry that many women are given good reason for not wanting to enjoy social nudity. I am sorry that many women are not raised to feel confident in their body, as God's creation.
We here on this forum don't like the way things are, but a lot has to change first.
I am not deaf to their worries and the false notions they were raised with.

Maybe I am a little unusual, but in my life prior to naturism, I met a series of women, all Christian, who encouraged me to go skinny dipping and some of them encouraged me to try naturism. I was the reluctant one for several years.
I am not disagreeing with you, though. A lot of church folks don't understand. They've got it all figured out and you would be shoved out many a church door wondering what happened before you had a chance to say, "Hey! It ain't what you think!"

But maybe you don't need to try to get your friends to go to a nudist resort. Maybe the place to start with Christians is the ideas that used to be taught in the church that have fallen by the way side. Not every room is your classroom, not every friend, family member or church member is your pupil.

But I can't believe that God wants most of us to live out our entire lives without saying something, even if it just the beginning lessons to a select few that he puts in our charge.
I would feel sad if no one in our circle of family and church ever came to know what you and I both know.

If they never make it to a nudist resort, then that's not the biggest tragedy in the world. There's not even one in the entire state of Kentucky they could go to anyway.

But I've seen too many boys struggle with the world's ideas about nudity, making something beautiful and good into some evil forbidden fruit they obsess over.

I've seen too many women hate their own bodies, ashamed of them, fearful, never knowing a safe place to go natural, feeling too guilty and sinful about the innocent pleasure of skin kissed by sunshine, rain, gentle breezes and cool refreshing water.

As for your last remarks, I would like to offer a word of encouragement.
Larryk1052 wrote:If it became known I would do my best to present the truth about nudity and hope they would see the truth. I am not very optimistic.


Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Bare_Truth » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:03 pm

I guess that the stakes for the question/scenario I posed when I started this strip have just ratcheted up a few notches.
Bare_Truth wrote:WHAT IF
A. You are a practicing Christian Naturist.
B. No one in your congregation knows about this.
C. You believe the general reaction will be a bad one if they find out.

THEN What is (are) your plan(s) when they find out?

I ask this question because A, B, and C apply to me.
It seems that I was in a conversation with the local congregation pastor, (and a few others), in a rambling discussion about how he feels it is proper to deal with individuals who engage in activity that is not specifically or explicitly forbidden in the scripture.

He spontaniously selected the example of young women who came to services immodestly attired. He described how he spoke to one such teen about her attire (one-on-one where they were out of earshot of others at the event). He asked if she were trying to attract guys, with her manner of attire (such a question is of course accusatory while still being technically a question). He then expounded to us on how that fit with the the topic of our conversation. But he clearly put the blame for the lustful thoughts of others on how the "misguided individual" attired themself. I did not pursue how he would see the matter if he were confronted with "immodest" clothing on a male. But it is pretty clear to me that he has a hang up about nudity that is about as solid as a brick wall.

It has been most of a week now and I have sent him some of Matthew Neal's stuff on "you can't do that without any links to Mat's blog, and asked him to critique it on the basis that Matthew's stuff uses just such an example as he did. I want to see if I can get any more insights. However, I expect that on the matter of nudity that he is going to be just as knee jerk as most of textile Christendom. Which is a shame because otherwise I have never seen anything like this in any of his other pastoral work.

So, at the moment, if my secret ever comes out, my association with the congregation will become tenuous at best and possibly non-existent Which is a shame because otherwise, he is one of the best and most serving pastor's I have known.
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby jochanaan » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:47 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:...Which is a shame because otherwise I have never seen anything like this in any of his other pastoral work...
It's strange, isn't it? On so many other subjects many people can be open-minded and compassionate--but here there is automatic condemnation even from those who are otherwise fair and evenhanded. I can think of no other explanation than fear of "loss of face." :? :oops:
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Petros » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:14 am

Of course there is - though nor I would expect the pastor, whether he be young and in theory flexible, or aged and in theory broader of mind, tosee it - the fact that immodest [and a la mode] dress and naturism are two different things.

situation A - immodest [un]dress NOT a la mode - which is intended to shock and offend. Bothers me.

situation B - dress a la mode which the unmodish may see as immodest - this has been with us probably since clothing was invented. The fuddy duddy - myself included, I fear, as I was by the two young female cyclists I saw the other day with short skirts worn, at least while on the bike seats, about halfway down the human sitting apparatus - is hat ok, autocensor? - the fuddy duddy, I say, will be bothered, but the wearer will feel very much properly dressed and might in fact feel painfully conspicuous in other garb.

situation C - straight nudfity or other degrees of undress or unmodish dress, practiced when stituationally appropriate, with the intent to avoiid shocking.

But most, other than the occasional flexible and broadminded, will not pause to see the differences. Though who knows, the pasto when he gets home may loosen his tie or even change to an old and comfortable costume. Which I suspect would have offended myh father at one point, or at least masde him feel superior.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: What If, Then What

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:46 am

jochanaan wrote:It's strange, isn't it? On so many other subjects many people can be open-minded and compassionate--but here there is automatic condemnation even from those who are otherwise fair and evenhanded. I can think of no other explanation than fear of "loss of face."
In this case I would chalk it up to indoctrination. His religious history includes an upbringing in a church/family setting that would never have even questioned the mandate of clothing to ensure modesty. His later experience inclined him to question all manner of culturally-customary practice and see it as non-Bibllical or extra-Biblical, and I suppose that while he spent a lot of time "proving things, that this got missed in the concept of "prove ALL things".

The culture we live in can be so pervasive that we simply never think to question some parts of it, and then when we do , it is a struggle to it without a bias. After all, why question a thing that "everyone knows because it is so obvious"? Surely no man can see a woman without clothing without suffering a massive surge of lust! Everyone knows that, don't they ? It is just natural isn't it ?

Of course, this ought to give us pause, How many of us have taken the time to objectively question every doctrine that we were taught from our youth to see if it really aligns with the bible. For instance, have we been open minded in reviewing all the scriptures on what happens to us after we die. The Bible has a lot to say about the last day and there has been a lot said by many about the concept of being unconscious until being resurrected on the last day (of man's rule on the earth). Even here on this board I have seen questions raised about the ultimate fate of the wicked or those who choose not to accept Christ as Savior but nevertheless live decent and caring lives. Does everyone from Gandi to Hitler and Genghis Kahn really spend eternity writhing in a burning lake of molten sulphur?

So I guess I should consider that perhaps this pastor just has a blank spot in his understanding just as I probably have one or two, (surely mine are minor and I couldn't possibly have more than that, could I? :wink: ).
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