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  • Christian naturists & those with whom they disagree

    quote:
    Originally posted by Nate Dekan:
    [qb]. . . . Christ came to save the would not condemn it, I felt several posts (on both sides) were rather mean spirited rather than Christ spirited. To paraphraise from a book I've been reading (A Way of Escape, Freedom from Sexual Strongholds) condemning people who are doing things we disaprove of is counterproductive. They don't need condemnation, condemnation and overbearing authoritarianism is what useually drove those people to those behaviours in the first place. What everyone needs is a new life in Christ, when people fall in love with Jesus and give their life to Him, HE is fully able to complete the good work HE begins in them. We are not called to dispel the darkness, WE are called to turn on the LIGHT and point people to a loving God who is more than able to meet all their needs! [/qb]
    [NOTE: Nate originally posted this comment in the discussion "Introduction to Communal Nudity."]

    Sexuality is such a pervasive human issue that nudists, including those who think of themselves as Christians, may find that a discussion of sexual issues quickly becomes an emotionally charged. Sometimes discussions of sexual preference degenerate into personal attacks on whole groups of people in the name of Christ. .

    That's what happened in the thread in which Nate's comments were originally posted, and that's what prompted his response.

    I've personally never understand how some Christians think that we can use mean-spirted words to assault those who disagree with us while hoping that they will gratefully embrace the Lord of Love. Nate is exactly right that condemnation is a poor starting point for producing change. It's a terrible starting point for encouraging Christian behavior.

    Jesus really made it simple for us. He provided a cluster of easy to understand teachings that make these points:

    A. Christians are to offer love their neighbor, however unlike us he or she may be.

    B. Christians are to offer love to other Christians.

    C. Christians are to offer love to their enemies.

    Taking those categories together, the number of people whom it is appropriate to beat over the head is really quite small. Somewhere between zero and none.

    Some posts elsewhere have indicated a view that only heterosexual people should be admitted to naturist venues. But sexualized behavior is prohibited where naturists gather; violate that rule and you get kicked out.

    So how is that some Christians feel that it is safe to be with heterosexuals who are not behaving sexually, but unsafe ? or unpleasant ? to be with homosexuals who are not behaving sexually? How would you know anyway in the absence of sexualized behavior?

    The naturist community is, as a whole, better at accepting people as they are without getting hung up the differences that can be seen. Why should naturist Christians, of all people, demean others for differences that cannot be seen?

  • #2
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nate Dekan:
    [qb]. . . . Christ came to save the would not condemn it, I felt several posts (on both sides) were rather mean spirited rather than Christ spirited. To paraphraise from a book I've been reading (A Way of Escape, Freedom from Sexual Strongholds) condemning people who are doing things we disaprove of is counterproductive. They don't need condemnation, condemnation and overbearing authoritarianism is what useually drove those people to those behaviours in the first place. What everyone needs is a new life in Christ, when people fall in love with Jesus and give their life to Him, HE is fully able to complete the good work HE begins in them. We are not called to dispel the darkness, WE are called to turn on the LIGHT and point people to a loving God who is more than able to meet all their needs! [/qb]
    [NOTE: Nate originally posted this comment in the discussion "Introduction to Communal Nudity."]

    Sexuality is such a pervasive human issue that nudists, including those who think of themselves as Christians, may find that a discussion of sexual issues quickly becomes an emotionally charged. Sometimes discussions of sexual preference degenerate into personal attacks on whole groups of people in the name of Christ. .

    That's what happened in the thread in which Nate's comments were originally posted, and that's what prompted his response.

    I've personally never understand how some Christians think that we can use mean-spirted words to assault those who disagree with us while hoping that they will gratefully embrace the Lord of Love. Nate is exactly right that condemnation is a poor starting point for producing change. It's a terrible starting point for encouraging Christian behavior.

    Jesus really made it simple for us. He provided a cluster of easy to understand teachings that make these points:

    A. Christians are to offer love their neighbor, however unlike us he or she may be.

    B. Christians are to offer love to other Christians.

    C. Christians are to offer love to their enemies.

    Taking those categories together, the number of people whom it is appropriate to beat over the head is really quite small. Somewhere between zero and none.

    Some posts elsewhere have indicated a view that only heterosexual people should be admitted to naturist venues. But sexualized behavior is prohibited where naturists gather; violate that rule and you get kicked out.

    So how is that some Christians feel that it is safe to be with heterosexuals who are not behaving sexually, but unsafe ? or unpleasant ? to be with homosexuals who are not behaving sexually? How would you know anyway in the absence of sexualized behavior?

    The naturist community is, as a whole, better at accepting people as they are without getting hung up the differences that can be seen. Why should naturist Christians, of all people, demean others for differences that cannot be seen?

    Comment


    • #3
      I have to say a hearty amen to what you have said, luvnaturism! Christ came among sinners to redeem them--not to condemn them--He moved among the "sinners", showing God's great love--and we should "copy" that. :-)

      Take care, brother!

      Tom
      Modesto, CA

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree 100% that as Christians we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. I also agree that we are to love our enemies (here comes the BUT...).

        BUT, I do not see where disagreeing with someone's "opinion" or "lifestyle" is equal to condemnation.

        If I disagree with someone I am not condemning them, I just have a different belief. If you can show me that my beliefs are not biblical (speaking as a Christian), then I will consider changing them. But first and foremost, I must believe what the Word of God says, no matter what the subject is.

        I do not advocate hatred or violence. I have never participated in a "public demonstration" or "protest". I have never tried to "force my beliefs down someone's throat". But if given the opportunity (such as in these forums) I will gladly voice my opinions. If they do not line up with someone elses...oh well. There are plenty of people around who do not agree with my "lifestyle", yet I do not feel that they are attacking me.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by gamblefish:
          [qb]BUT, I do not see where disagreeing with someone's "opinion" or "lifestyle" is equal to condemnation.

          If I disagree with someone I am not condemning them, I just have a different belief. If you can show me that my beliefs are not biblical (speaking as a Christian), then I will consider changing them. But first and foremost, I must believe what the Word of God says, no matter what the subject is.
          [/qb]
          I just wanted to say that I agree with this. However, I would go one step further and say that if someone is doing something that you know is wrong, you have an obligation (Matt 18:15-17) to at least point it out to them.

          Please note that I am talking about correction, however and NOT 'judgement'. The difference is that in one you condemn the person for what they are doing (judgement) and the other you simply remind them that they shouldn't be doing it.

          This is one of the truest forms of love in that it seeks to bring the other person closer to God.

          Comment


          • #6
            quote:


            This is one of the truest forms of love in that it seeks to bring the other person closer to God.[/QB]
            Amen to that, people say what religion Am I. I tell them I'm not religist I just fallow Jesus teaching to do God's will and let him know that he is a creator off all thing and a father to all things.

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:
              Originally posted by JohnDreamwhistle:
              [/qb]
              I would go one step further and say that if someone is doing something that you know is wrong, you have an obligation (Matt 18:15-17) to at least point it out to them.

              Please note that I am talking about correction [/QB][/QUOTE]

              It seems to me that you would be alienating people if you go around "CORRECTING" them. If you feel a real necessity, maybe you could just tactfully voice your humble opinion and views, avoiding the perception of arrogance.

              If you want to follow the instructions in the passage you mentioned, Acts 18:15-17, as written, then if the person you are trying to correct will not listen, even after presenting two or three witnesses, then you tell it to the church and if he refuses to listen even to the church, you treat him as you would a "pagan or a tax collector". There seems to be no "love" in this statement! This ancient writer's advice is not admirable but contrary to true Christian teaching and ethically untenable, in my opinion.

              Comment


              • #8
                From what I read in Matt. 18:15-17, it says nothing about pointing out to someone his sin unless that sin is against YOU. If he does something to you personally, you are supposed to talk to him about it. If he won't listen then you go to him again with two or three witnesses. If he still won't do anything about his sin against you, you take him before the church. This is, of course, speaking of two believers.

                This scripture does not say that we are to go up to anyone we know is doing wrong and tell them that it's wrong. That's God's responsibility and not ours. I am only told to go to him if he has sinned against me personally. Let's leave the conviction of sin up to the One Who is qualified to do it because we're not.

                If someone has wronged me, I am supposed to try to settle it between us as the scripture above says. Failing that only then am I supposed to bring other believers into it.

                Of course, there are times when we should intervene when wrong IS being done, but it's not our responsibility to go up to everyone and start pointing out the wrong in their lives. Besides, is there one among us who is without sin? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually, there are other sources in scripture as well that speak of the need for correction (James 5:19, 2 Timothy 3:16 for example - and some place in the Old Testament that I can't find now...)

                  And again, you have to distinguish correction from judgement. We are all sinners and not fit to judge any one else. However, the heart of evangelism is love in that it seeks to bring others closer to the source of love in God. And it is out of that love for God and neighbor that you correct someone, not out of pride or some misguided desire to prove that you are better than they are.

                  Over and over again in scripture faith is expressed in obedience to God's word. It is nearly impossible to love God and not want to be obedient to Him. I used the scripture from Matthew as my example because it makes the point that you are supposed to offer correction and show them that they are going against the church (the believers) and if they will not accept that correction, then let them go.

                  I think anyone who, with the church, loves God, will eagerly accept that correction because they want to follow God's will. So it is not perceived as 'judgement', so much as trying to help them find their way...

                  Of course, most people are more interested in following their own will than God's will and perceive any reminder about what scripture actually teaches as 'judgement' because it is contrary to their desires.

                  And, in my opinion, most people nowadays already know what they are doing is wrong and don't want to be reminded of it...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We need a little clarity here.

                    A church denomination can and should have some guidelines for what is expected of their members.
                    I don't many organizations, religious or otherwise that don't have some conditions for membership.

                    This forum, by contrast is merely an open board where anyone can express any opinion within the limits imposed by the forum administrators.

                    Some of these posts seem to imply that a private religious organization has no more right to set membership policies than a public Web forum!
                    I disagree.

                    With those caveats out of the way, I do think that forums such as this have served as a way of educating Christians that nudity is not only not a sin, but nudity is healthier, more comfortable (in fair weather), more esthetically pleasing, and even more honoring to God than wearing clothes. (with the understanding that exceptions should be made to avoid offending those who do not yet understand).

                    I have heard a lot of opinions on this forum that do not square with orthodox Christianity. I do think it is possible and necessary to lead people to a better understanding of Biblical truth about these non-nudist issues, but the forum administrators have insisted that all religious debate be limited to nudity-related issues.
                    I will abide by that policy.

                    I do think it is important to note that nudity is not just for Christians who are "liberal" or interpret the Bible in exclusively figurative terms.

                    Christians who take a literal approach to the Bible should also embrace a lifestyle of frequent social nudity. If they will simply use a little logic and read the verses that apply, they will see that the Bible makes a strong case for nonsexual nudity as part of the Christian life.

                    Conservative Christians have been taught the "priesthood of the believer" and that the Holy Spirit needs no intercessor to interpret or filter the Bible's teaching for the individual believer. All too often they ignore this teaching when it comes to nudity, repeating the misbegotten mantra that "nude is lewd". The Bible teaches otherwise!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by luvnaturism:
                      [qb]
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Nate Dekan:
                      [qb]. . . . Christ came to save the would not condemn it, I felt several posts (on both sides) were rather mean spirited rather than Christ spirited. To paraphraise from a book I've been reading (A Way of Escape, Freedom from Sexual Strongholds) condemning people who are doing things we disaprove of is counterproductive. They don't need condemnation, condemnation and overbearing authoritarianism is what useually drove those people to those behaviours in the first place. What everyone needs is a new life in Christ, when people fall in love with Jesus and give their life to Him, HE is fully able to complete the good work HE begins in them. We are not called to dispel the darkness, WE are called to turn on the LIGHT and point people to a loving God who is more than able to meet all their needs! [/qb]
                      [NOTE: Nate originally posted this comment in the discussion "Introduction to Communal Nudity."]

                      Sexuality is such a pervasive human issue that nudists, including those who think of themselves as Christians, may find that a discussion of sexual issues quickly becomes an emotionally charged. Sometimes discussions of sexual preference degenerate into personal attacks on whole groups of people in the name of Christ. .

                      That's what happened in the thread in which Nate's comments were originally posted, and that's what prompted his response.

                      I've personally never understand how some Christians think that we can use mean-spirted words to assault those who disagree with us while hoping that they will gratefully embrace the Lord of Love. Nate is exactly right that condemnation is a poor starting point for producing change. It's a terrible starting point for encouraging Christian behavior.

                      Jesus really made it simple for us. He provided a cluster of easy to understand teachings that make these points:

                      A. Christians are to offer love their neighbor, however unlike us he or she may be.

                      B. Christians are to offer love to other Christians.

                      C. Christians are to offer love to their enemies.

                      Taking those categories together, the number of people whom it is appropriate to beat over the head is really quite small. Somewhere between zero and none.

                      Some posts elsewhere have indicated a view that only heterosexual people should be admitted to naturist venues. But sexualized behavior is prohibited where naturists gather; violate that rule and you get kicked out.

                      So how is that some Christians feel that it is safe to be with heterosexuals who are not behaving sexually, but unsafe — or unpleasant — to be with homosexuals who are not behaving sexually? How would you know anyway in the absence of sexualized behavior?

                      The naturist community is, as a whole, better at accepting people as they are without getting hung up the differences that can be seen. Why should naturist Christians, of all people, demean others for differences that cannot be seen?[/qb]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I belive that we all could go nude if the people didn't grab their sex organs be lewd or obsene.I think that if the department of defense can say that being a witch is a religion that being a nudist should also be a religion. I don't think that being a nudist is wrong.It is what we think and do wrong that hurts us all.
                        thanks
                        2nude [img] icon21 [/img]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          As a Christian who doesn't attend church anymore, I think that the Bible teaches us to be open-minded to new things, but also not to tolerate things that it states are intolerable.

                          The problem with much of the Christian religion is that it is very much based on patriarchal authorities in which the subjugation of women and also child sexual abuse had occurred for years without anyone speaking out.

                          Now, we are living in an age where we must 'adapt or die'. The feminist movement having come full circle, together with the churches reaching out to gay and lesbian people and the growing interest in the supernatural with young adults shows that we could be heading for a one-world-religion in the not too distant future.

                          This should be of much interest to us all on here.

                          Do you think that naturism will cause it to come about?

                          Dario Western
                          (Brisbane, Australia)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by 2nude:
                            [qb]I belive that we all could go nude if the people didn't grab their sex organs be lewd or obsene.I think that if the department of defense can say that being a witch is a religion that being a nudist should also be a religion. I don't think that being a nudist is wrong.It is what we think and do wrong that hurts us all.
                            thanks
                            2nude [img] icon21 [/img][/qb]
                            A religion needs a belief in one or more deities. Witches would qualify.... nudists would not.

                            What did you mean by the dept of defense says being a witch is a religion? How did they get involved in it?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi, While there are many good points made in this forum topic I have one thing that may not have crossed some peoples minds...yet. The christian views discussed here may only be relevant to those putting their point forward and other christians. When people say that homosexuality is a 'sin'- it is only a sin in the eyes of those people. If they are quoting the bible do they stop and think the person/issue they are targeting may not even find the bible relevant? There are many different religions and spiritual beliefs and to believe that everyone must be judged by the religion you choose is naive. It is arrogant and naive to believe that gay people need to be 'redeemed', gay/lesbian people are living according to gods plan -living in the body and mind that was given to them by god,accepting what nature/god has provided for them and hopefully living the best way they can.

                              It amazes me that it is an issue even today that two adult people will be scrutinized because they may fall in love and consumate that with someone of the same gender. And I don't mean lewd behaviour in public, I mean making love as people who have romantic feelings for each other do. Why not use your christian vision and energy into things like preventing theft in neighbourhoods, anti-drug campaigns, preventing child abuse of all kinds and voilence in the family home and protesting against war!(which has literally killed millions of people all over the planet!!!) Where is the perspective here???

                              For god's sake....love and let love!

                              Take care and peace to all....
                              Daz

                              Comment

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