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Minister says nudism appeals to the lowest moral fiber of society

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  • Minister says nudism appeals to the lowest moral fiber of society

    I am not Protestant, but attended a Methodist service this past Sunday with a friend. The minister's sermon discussed about how our society has deteriorated in terms of morality, ways to lift ourselves up and not fall victim to temptation.

    Perhaps taking a cue from the Joel Osteen playbook, he indicated that many things present in our society today leads us down the wrong path, especially our entertainment including television and movies. He claimed that so much of this reflects dysfunctional families, glorifying crime and killing, drugs and other illegal activities, far too much sex, and so much more. These things are not uplifting and positive.

    To my TOTAL surprise, perhaps in response to the many nudist resorts in nearby Tampa and one here in Orlando, he said that nudism appeals to the lowest moral fiber. He indicated nudism leads to sin, using Adam and Eve and the apple as an example! I could not help wondering to myself.. does he even know what social nudism is all about?

    I wanted to challenge him after the service but was encouraged not to by my friend. I do respect his opinion but felt as if I had missed an opportunity to discuss this further. I do not consider myself to be an advocate for nudism per se but felt empty that I had to leave it alone.


  • #2
    I know two things because my dad was a minister. First, he always welcomed comments on his sermons. It is not too late to go have a chat with the minister. Secondly, the minister was theologically wrong about nudity "leading to sin." It is a New Testament thing and too long to go into detail, but relates to causation, redemption-salvation, free will, purity of spirit, deliverance from the bondage of sin, etc. He may be less wrong about the nefarious impacts of the entertainment industry.

    (After-thought: Perhaps he might consider a visit to a nearby naturist venue to research a sermon on soteriology in light of Matthew18:3 and 1Corinthians14:20 ...?).
    Last edited by Agde; 10-27-2015, 04:52 PM.

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    • #3
      My personal experience with ministers like that is it's not worth your time. Their mind is made up. They are trained and know their stuff. You are not and do not (regardless of whether you are or do).

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      • #4
        Religion can be a fine thing. Just don't let it control your life.

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        • #5
          Hmmm maybe he should meet the ministers that go to the nudist park I attend....

          I have to say - that we attend services at our park in-season (this year was difficult) but I have never experienced the outpouring of support - when someone has a crisis, everyone jumps in and provides a degree of emotional and spiritual support.

          Nudism is more than taking your clothes off. You make friends there over the years - and I've found those friends support you through personal and family difficulties.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Agde View Post
            I know two things because my dad was a minister. First, he always welcomed comments on his sermons. It is not too late to go have a chat with the minister. Secondly, the minister was theologically wrong about nudity "leading to sin." It is a New Testament thing and too long to go into detail, but relates to causation, redemption-salvation, free will, purity of spirit, deliverance from the bondage of sin, etc. He may be less wrong about the nefarious impacts of the entertainment industry.

            (After-thought: Perhaps he might consider a visit to a nearby naturist venue to research a sermon on soteriology in light of Matthew18:3 and 1Corinthians14:20 ...?).


            Interesting thought Agde. If you could convince a minister,pastor or reverend to visit a nudist venue, that would almost be astonishing in itself. Like jasenj said above, their minds are made up for the most part. Just like they believe that Halloween is purely evil. It's almost a losing proposition. This is not meant to discourage your idea, but I can almost guarantee what you would be in for. A true uphill battle! I would wish you the very best of luck! As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts tonight, I grew up in a religious and christian household. So I know the ideologies,theories and principles of religion and know for sure that their minds are made up like feet stuck in cement. In other words, they are set in their ways!

            Ken Palmer

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            • #7
              A fundamentalist minister will be impervious to other viewpoints or even facts - even critical thinking is to be avoided (a requirement for people who believe in Biblical inerrancy). But that is unlikely to be true of a Methodist minister (we have a few fundys and evangelicals, but they tend to find the open-mindedness of our theological schools to be bothersome). I think most good pastors would be willing to listen - you could give him a call and see if he is willing to have a discussion or read an email (keep in mind that pastors are generally very busy people). Acknowledge that he is probably right about what the public sees as nudism - the pornographers and swingers who hide behind the term - but that real nudism is something else entirely. Also that in the story of Adam and Eve their sin was revealed by their abandoning nudity, not caused by it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ken Palmer View Post

                Interesting thought Agde. If you could convince a minister,pastor or reverend to visit a nudist venue, that would almost be astonishing in itself. Like jasenj said above, their minds are made up for the most part.
                I have known several ministers who are nudists, and am good friends with one today. The owners of the park I belong to do not play it up to any great extent, but proclaim to be fundamentalist Christians, and I accept their proclamation. I don't use the term "Fundy" because it is just as objectionable as other epithets applied to those of other faiths. Yes, it makes people feel better, but it's still inappropriate IMHO. There are other terms applied to Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, and so forth that we would likely not use. So I won't use the "Fundy" term.

                Many nudist parks have regularly scheduled church services on their grounds during normal seasons of operation. Some of those services led by ordained clergy, others by lay ministry.

                I have had the pleasure of sharing nudist experiences with people of most faiths, including Fundamentalist Christians, and have entertained some in my home.

                They ARE in nudism, but you might have to go out of your way to meet them.

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                • #9
                  Postscript to prior post. I decided to email the minister, not to challenge his beliefs but to simply share my understanding of nudism with and address his statement that it appeals to the lowest moral fiber.

                  I provided some insight into the concept, a viable subculture, not based on sexuality, but rather body acceptance, freedom of expression, socialization and recreation and more!. I shared that I had met hundreds of nudists over my 30+ years, including people from all parts of society, all pretty much with the same goals and ideals. I admitted, as with all religions and part of society there are those who take the concept to extremes.

                  I shared (on a personal note) that I do not see that my morals have been corrupted, rather heightened with a better understanding and respect for others, a far healthier relationship with my wife, and a greater desire to give back to society in terms of volunteering and generosity to positive causes. I went on to say, that with the exception of swingers, I have never known nudists to lust over members of the opposite (or same) sex. Nudists seem to have a high regard and respect for our fellow man. If THIS represents the lowest moral fiber, then guilty as charged!

                  To my surprise, I received a return email this morning. The minister thanked me for addressing this part of his message and for my thoughts regarding nudism as a whole. Good start! He went on to say that he admittedly was not familiar with "social" nudism and its core values. In his statement, although not defined in Church, he was referring to those who use their bodies for immoral purposes. Stating that our bodies are a gift from God. Also stating that we are created in the image of God. Nudity is mentioned in New and Old Testaments but referencing shame and lust. In particular he mentioned how Adam and Eve felt shame once they realized they were naked. References are made to clothe the naked and so forth.. on and on. All negative.

                  I felt, as a result of my comments, he came to the realization that there is a difference between nudity and nudism. He agreed that if nudism is wholesome, not bridging moral standards, not creating or encouraging sexual misconduct, did not break any societal laws, that he did not see any issue here.

                  Would I suspect that he might look into this issue further and... maybe even visit a nudist venue, absolutely not. I do feel he now has a better understanding of what nudism is all about.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Garbo, liked your response.

                    I consider myself a Christian (not a fundamentalist, but one who practices Christian beliefs) -- and nudism has brought me back to appreciate things, and it has brought me into church on many a Sunday morning.

                    Most of all - nudism has brought my wife and I closer to each other. I guess we are a lucky couple where there is no non-participating partner. So we do attend a non-denominational service in-season, we have Christian fellowship, and use the lessons we learn to guide our lives. Yes, my parents instilled these values in me, but our participation in nudism reinforces them.

                    I am not an expert on Scripture so I will not quote it - nor will I use it to defend my activity, because you can commit nearly any act and then find a justification in the Bible (and possibly the Talmud and Qur'ran as well). People have used Scripture to defend racism, slavery, segregation, child abuse, perhaps even genocide,

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                    • #11
                      Color me surprised. I'm very glad you received a positive response. If you wish to provide him some more information, I can provide you with a number of links to naturist Christian sites.
                      A really good one to start with would be http://mychainsaregone.org/

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                      • #12
                        Very much admire and applaud your initiative, Garbo. It is a great example of how we all can gently and positively respond and explain our values in various contexts.

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                        • #13
                          Like most here, I am not a minister nor do I make any claim to being the most moral person. However, I have read the Old Testament throughout as well as much of the New Testament. I have also read several of pope John Paul's writing on the subject of nudity. From all my readings, being nude is not only considered healthy but often necessary for a better life and fuller relationships. In the BCE, before Christian Era, clothing was not owned by everyone; many laborer so were nude or barely clothed as a matter or circumstance which was completely acceptable.

                          Once human culture shifted from hunter-gatherer to a community based norm, there was a shift toward clothing as a form of modesty as opposed to a protective measure against the elements. Once this happened, people searched for ways to gain control over others as a source of status which eventually evolved into the current civilization we find our selves in now. So aside from the fact that modern civilization has led to many inventive ways to make life better, it has an equally damaging effect against the rights of individuals...captained in large part to overzealous religious enterprises.

                          I guess what I am trying to say is that religious history isn't the real problem as mush as ignorant, over zealot religious leaders. Remember, churches, above all else, are businesses that depend on a continued income stream from parishioners. As such, they have to try and capture and present topics that meet the widest possible burst radius for every sermon....and the populace is more ignorant about the purer ideals of naturism. As such, a topic that might reach a wide, ignorant audience will usually confuse or offend someone more enlightened on the subject.

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                          • #14
                            [Congratulations to you Garbo! I am real happy to hear of the interaction that you and the minister had on this matter and subject. I too attend church and know many ministers and other clergy members. I am sure you know that over the years that most clergy and devout christians in general have a negative concept about nudism and nudists. But as you said, it is because they do not understand it along with the philosophy. But you may want to understand one thing though. A lot of older diehard clergy members and christians have their minds made up about the subject and are very difficult,if not impossible, to change their opinions. Even though I myself am a nudist, I grew up in a very strict christian home and during my younger years had a negative attitude towards nudism. I tended to go by what other people and also people that I went to church with said about it naturally. I obviously didn't know any better since I had never officially done any research about it. But I chose to visit a nudist resort in 1990 to find out for myself about the lifestyle. It really changed my mind rather quickly! So I made a decision to join both the A.A.N.R. and a local nudist resort in 1992 and have been practicing it since. But I still do go to church and still respect the opinions and feelings of my fellow christians regarding how they feel about nudism. I also dare not disclose to them that I am a nudist because I would be shamed and would never hear the end of it.With my entire family being the exact same way, I will never tell them about my nudism either. My employer,supervisors and co-workers will also never know about it since it could destroy my reputation. It's unfortunate that's how I have to function in regards to both worlds,meaning the nudist and non-nudist lifestyles. But that's just how it is with me and I have come to accept that. But like I said, I am glad you did made some progress with the minister. Kudos to you!

                            Ken Palmer


                            QUOTE=garbo;n547479]Postscript to prior post. I decided to email the minister, not to challenge his beliefs but to simply share my understanding of nudism with and address his statement that it appeals to the lowest moral fiber.

                            I provided some insight into the concept, a viable subculture, not based on sexuality, but rather body acceptance, freedom of expression, socialization and recreation and more!. I shared that I had met hundreds of nudists over my 30+ years, including people from all parts of society, all pretty much with the same goals and ideals. I admitted, as with all religions and part of society there are those who take the concept to extremes.

                            I shared (on a personal note) that I do not see that my morals have been corrupted, rather heightened with a better understanding and respect for others, a far healthier relationship with my wife, and a greater desire to give back to society in terms of volunteering and generosity to positive causes. I went on to say, that with the exception of swingers, I have never known nudists to lust over members of the opposite (or same) sex. Nudists seem to have a high regard and respect for our fellow man. If THIS represents the lowest moral fiber, then guilty as charged!

                            To my surprise, I received a return email this morning. The minister thanked me for addressing this part of his message and for my thoughts regarding nudism as a whole. Good start! He went on to say that he admittedly was not familiar with "social" nudism and its core values. In his statement, although not defined in Church, he was referring to those who use their bodies for immoral purposes. Stating that our bodies are a gift from God. Also stating that we are created in the image of God. Nudity is mentioned in New and Old Testaments but referencing shame and lust. In particular he mentioned how Adam and Eve felt shame once they realized they were naked. References are made to clothe the naked and so forth.. on and on. All negative.

                            I felt, as a result of my comments, he came to the realization that there is a difference between nudity and nudism. He agreed that if nudism is wholesome, not bridging moral standards, not creating or encouraging sexual misconduct, did not break any societal laws, that he did not see any issue here.

                            Would I suspect that he might look into this issue further and... maybe even visit a nudist venue, absolutely not. I do feel he now has a better understanding of what nudism is all about.[/QUOTE]

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