The five questions posed by the church of Christ preacher at the end of his Second Affirmative are good ones. May I give my answers?
1. How can nudists be sure they won't lust at a nudist camp? They can't. How can any Christian anywhere of any persuasion be sure they won't lust at a Christian camp, at church, at the mall, at school, at work, at home watching TV, or ANYWHERE?
2. How can nudists be sure they are not causing someone to lust after them? They can't. How can any Christian anywhere be sure they are not causing someone to lust? Joseph (a handsome man according to Genesis 39.6) was sold into slavery and despite being appropriately dressed (Genesis 39.12), Potiphar's wife lusted after him. No one will ever know how many pastor's wives (or pastors themselves in their three-piece suits) are the objects of lust even though they are modestly dressed. No offense intended, but Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White would probably be an object of lust even dressed in a Salvation Army uniform or as an ordinary housewife.
3. How can nudists be an influence for Christ when so many believe their behavior is immoral or wrong? Nudists who are truly born again, who have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1.7). They walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit because they know that there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8.1).
As I write this letter [June, 2000] the Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Orlando FL. They have voted by an over-whelming majority to reword their Statement of Beliefs to exclude women in the role of pastor, believing that only men are so called. What do you think the secular world's reaction to that is going to be? It won't be positive or affirming or uplifting in their minds. Therefore, how can Southern Baptists "be an influence for Christ when so many believe their behavior is immoral or wrong?" True believers, those who truly belong to Jesus Christ because they have been washed by the regeneration (Titus 3.4-7), have a sworn enemy (Ephesians 6.10-18) whose sole purpose is to cause problems for and wreak havoc among the saints of God. It's my guess that our enemy doesn't care one bit whether a Christian is dressed or nude.
4. What passage would suggest that nudism is desirable or helps one serve God? There is to my knowledge no such passage. Conversely, there is to my knowledge no such passage absolutely and plainly forbidding nudism. Romans 14 is not an absolute forbiddance of nudism, nor of eating meat, drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, having church on Sunday or a whole lot of other things. It is an exhortation for the strong to be loving and considerate towards the weak while in their presence. Ephesians 6.10 is an exhortation for all believers to be strong in the Lord.
5. What can you get from being naked around others that you cannot receive from being naked privately in your own home? Look at Hebrews 10.25: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching." What do you get from being a Christian around others that you cannot receive by being a Christian privately in your own home?
I'm a Southern Baptist church member. I am also a nudist, as are my wife, two sons and daughter. All Christians are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16.15). There's no clause exempting nudists and nudist camps.
Editor's Note: After the debate about social nudism was published in Issue 55/56 of Fig Leaf Forum and placed on the newsletter's Web site, many readers took the time to write with their comments. The letter above is representative of several that took up various challenges posed by the church of Christ preacher. It is from Issue 57 and has been slightly edited for space and clarity.
Next article: A Letter To The Pastor
:: Debate Introduction
:: First Debate Affirmative
:: First Debate Negative
:: Second Debate Affirmative
:: Second Debate Negative
:: Final Debate Affirmative
:: Final Debate Negative
:: Does God Approve Of My Sin?
:: Letter To A Texas church Of Christ
:: A Rejoinder
:: Rejoinder Response
:: A Debate 'Post-Mortem'
:: A Letter To The Editor
:: A Letter To The Preacher
:: Reflections On Lust
:: On Lust
:: The Problem With Lust
:: What A Beautiful Tree! Is That Lust?
The Good News
:: The Gospel Of Jesus Christ