Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby jasenj1 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:47 am

I, of course, will be praying for your situation. When a pastor learned about my naturist activities in a past church I was given the ultimatum to repent or leave. I left. Since then I have been very in the closet around church people.

As jochanaan mentioned, you are entering into territory where study, reasoning, and logic may not apply. You may present all sorts of "ammunition" and be given the "you can prove anything with the Bible if you twist it hard enough" or "Satan has clouded your mind" responses. Some people enjoy or are open to studying & reading lots of material to get educated on the subtleties of a serious subject. But not as many as you'd like.

If you have not seen them before, here are some links to some excellent articles on the subject of social nudity.
Good Nudity - An excellent article that starts with an experience involving breast cancer, then caring for aging parents which stirs thoughts about nudity. Jeff is a pastor - if that holds any weight, lots of people can claim the label "pastor". Jeff's site has several other articles on the subject.

My View on Nakedness - Written by a man who is a registered nurse and a pastor. He was a lactation and delivery nurse and had to be very intimate with women's bodies in his work. He also has several other excellent articles.

Both of the above take the approach of having experiences with nudity in their own lives that led them to question the traditional, conservative point of view that nude=lewd. After much study, prayer, etc. they came down on the side that the "conservative" view is warped and perverse.

The Biblical Naturist - for a very long and extensive study of biblical texts and historical context (close to 100 articles!) I don't think you can beat "The Biblical Naturist".

Remember, too, this is Important to you. It may not be to your pastor. He has a LOT of other things going on. One renegade member caught up in some weird sexual fetish may not warrant much of his attention. You are fortunate that you already have a "friend" relationship. That should give the pastor a little more incentive to take some time to understand what you're talking about.

God bless.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby jochanaan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:23 pm

Ramblinman wrote:A fair-minded, but poorly educated pastor might Google "nudist" and we could hardly blame him for believing the "Fake News" about us.
Some horrifying lewd photos will fill his computer screen...
I would hope that a fair-minded pastor (or any fair-minded believer in Jesus, for that matter) would go to the Bible first! :shock:
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby prairieboy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:23 pm

jasenj1 wrote:I, of course, will be praying for your situation. When a pastor learned about my naturist activities in a past church I was given the ultimatum to repent or leave. I left. Since then I have been very in the closet around church people.


Nytro has not been that "in the closet" about it; I, on the other hand, have been. I believe that if the church decides to stir things up, I will become more open, not less. I am not judging you for your decision, we are different people, in different places, and God has prepared us individually for the works that he has prepared for us to do. I believe that this will be part of mine. Part of, not all of. Even typing this strengthens that belief. The pastors and the elders all know me quite well, they know my character, including my lllooonnnggg and (mostly) patient battle to see my marriage restored. I don't expect anyone to like it, but I do expect to be heard, and to have very serious consideration given to the topic before a decision is made.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby Ramblinman » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:17 am

jasenj1 wrote:I, of course, will be praying for your situation. When a pastor learned about my naturist activities in a past church I was given the ultimatum to repent or leave. I left. Since then I have been very in the closet around church people.


But what repentance is required?
You cannot repent of an action, only of a belief.
Was Jasen being asked to repent of something he did not believe?

I have a friend who does not believe that mixed nudity is in itself a sin; rather he believes that it is unwise behavior that unnecessarily puts one in a position where sexual sin is easy to commit.

He is a textile and thinking back on a situation in his teen years where he went skinny dipping in a lake after dark with a couple of girls.
I think he was blaming nudity as the primary risk factor when I think his juvenile sense of judgement and being unchaperoned with equally immature girls put him more at risk than anything else.

Nudity is tangentially a temptation to sin for a textile accustomed to our porn-infested media.
But the solution is not to demonize nudity, but to find the real cause of sin and deal with that instead.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby jasenj1 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:14 pm

Ramblinman wrote:But what repentance is required?
You cannot repent of an action, only of a belief.
Was Jasen being asked to repent of something he did not believe?


I guess we have slightly different understandings of the word "repent".

"Repent" has always been presented to me as "to turn around" or "turn away". So one can "repent" of an action by choosing not to do the action any more. One repents of stealing by not stealing any more. One repents of adultery by not having sex with people other than one's spouse.

Then there is "repent" in the sense of changing your mind, your opinion on a matter. I may believe that homosexuality is perfectly fine, but then be shown in the Bible that, no, really God does not approve of it, and "repent" of that belief.

I was being asked/told to repent in both senses. To repent of naturist activities - stop being socially nude. And to repent of the belief that social mixed-sex nudity is an acceptable activity, that the nude human body is not inherently sexual, and all the other things that go with "naturism". While I could have done the former for the sake of maintaining unity in the church, I could not repent in the latter sense.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby Petros » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:09 am

It is hardly maintaining unity if one eats this which makes him sick and avoids that which settles his srudy just because the majority like that food and hate that drink. It is simulating unity.

Of course there is the fake it till you make it argument.
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: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:24 am

Petros wrote:It is hardly maintaining unity if one eats this which makes him sick and avoids that which settles his srudy just because the majority like that food and hate that drink. It is simulating unity.

Of course there is the fake it till you make it argument.

Thank you, Brother Petros! You make my point with greater precision than I managed, "once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary..." :)

Repentance from behavior divorced from repentance of heart fails the test of repentance.

At the risk of saying something controversial...
If pastor, deacons, elders, and other power brokers at our local congregation dig in their heels and refuse to listen to reason..
If the church is promoting a doctrine that wounds the spirits of our youth and curses God as a pornographer...
Why, pray tell, are we supporting this destructive dogma with our dollars and daily devotion?

From my earliest youth I heard the mantra, "America right or wrong" (implying a certain willingness to agree to disagree).
How much more should we attempt to conform to the traditions of our denomination whenever possible?
I take issue with infant baptism, with the use of leavened bread in the Eucharist, but I will not die on those hills.
But can we be willing party to teaching our children to despise and feel shame over their own bodies?
And the child within me is not yet dead, I must do no harm within, as well.

No one should take divorce lightly, but surely our choice is not limited to serving God with half-corrupted doctrine or turning to open rebellion?
Indeed the two are the same. Half service and half truth are fully poisonous.

If Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, America is the land of 10 million churches.
Is there not somewhere else to bow our knees to God that does no injustice to the scriptures nor the tradition of the early church fathers?
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby jochanaan » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:36 pm

There was a phrase I often heard, decades ago when I was a young Christian in churches that were preaching the Gospel: "Majoring in the minors." It seems to me that many churches and church leaders are guilty of exactly that when it comes to our human bodies. They fall into fear of what sins will result if we see our fellow humans uncovered, yet we have discovered that this fear is indeed a minor thing compared to the love, joy and peace we find in being naked and unashamed (not "shameless" as many have it). There are only two commands on which "hang all the law and the prophets", and "Thou shalt in any case cover thyself" is not one of them.

So why should we be the ones who are forced to repent and recant?
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby jasenj1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:33 pm

A wise person once said, "If you find the perfect church don't join it; you'll ruin it."

I did choose to leave the church because I was unwilling to conform/compromise on the issue.

I did not mean to derail this strip from offering advice and support to Nytro. Can we get back to that?
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:44 pm

jasenj1 wrote:A wise person once said, "If you find the perfect church don't join it; you'll ruin it."

I did choose to leave the church because I was unwilling to conform/compromise on the issue.

I did not mean to derail this strip from offering advice and support to Nytro. Can we get back to that?

I think that everything said could help inform his future decisions regarding his participation in a church that is working to undo everything we stand for when it comes to naturism.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby nytro » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:08 am

I guys, again I haven't been in much since my first post in this thread.

I ended up with a very bad cold/flu, and just haven't felt like doing much, other than sitting and resting, over the last few days. However I am feeling better today, and back in my office. I got an email notification about updates on this thread, so I thought that I better check in. Again, since I'm at my office, I don't have much time to reply. I will say thinks for your input, thoughts and prayers! I still don't have a second meeting set up, but I do meet with this same pastor every Wednesday evening, when we record the video announcements for the coming Sunday service. Nothing much has been brought up since our first meeting back in December. Since then we had Christmas (just plain busy schedules for everyone), my mother in law died shortly after the beginning of the new year, and then we've (he, myself and two others) have been fighting with some technical issues with both audio and video (projection) issues at church. I'm sure that once those issues settle down, he'll want to meet again.

As for repenting, I will say this, I have repented on one sin that this has shown me, and that is just how much pressure I have put on my lovely wife, to join me in my interest of social nudity. I didn't realize at the time just how much pressure I was putting on her. I didn't think I was pressuring her at all, but looking back on it, I was. I asked her forgiveness, and she has forgiven me! I also repented before the Lord about this, and according to His word, he has forgiven me.

At this time, going through the list of verses he has given me, I still do not see where simple, social nudity is not a sin, AS LONG AS OUR/MY HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE IN GOD'S EYES! My wife however isn't in that same place in her heart, so for her to take part, goes against her heart, and that makes it a gray area for her, and a sin for me to push her into doing something that goes against her heart. Now I can try to educate her, but there is a fine line between educating and pushing, and I was clearly pushing, in looking back on it now.

I really do need to get back to my drawings (I'm an architectural/construction draftsman and also the IT system manager/admin), so I'm finishing this update.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers during this time!
Rob
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby jochanaan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:21 pm

Life happens, as we all know. Don't sweat getting back to us, nytro. :)

Women's objections are often different than men's, and respond less to logic than to simply being comfortable with the concept. I trust, nytro, that you let your lady know regularly that you love her no matter what. -- Are there active women now in CNV who could reassure Mrs. Nytro?

Perhaps, now that this is out in the open, you could hint around among church folks whose openness to "our way" you suspect...
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby Ramblinman » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:54 am

There have been times when I sat down to the computer and been completely unable to put together a coherent sentence, so I simply read the ideas others shared and shut down the workstation for the night, sometimes several nights. A cold affects more than the nose and throat, we fight it from head to toe! Rest some more if you need to brother Nytro.

Sometimes we think that naturism is something fun we do, perhaps some place we go, but there may be more to it than that.

Naturism as an idea marks, for many, an escape from poor self-image.
I have met women who have been helped by this new way of thinking.
Sure it is often accompanied by social nudity or instigated by chaste social nudity, but what we are advocating is mostly a change of heart.

For some men, naturism is a way of thinking that helps them regard women with less of an eye on the physical and more on the heart.
Many of us are familiar with the name of Jim C. Cunningham, a Catholic layman with theological training and a practitioner of naturism.
Brother Jim is totally blind. No one can accuse him of being naturist in order to see naked women and lust after them.
Likewise, I met a blind woman at nudist camp one summer.
I am sure she enjoyed the comfort of nudity on a hot humid day, but she certainly wasn't lusting after my unseen body.
And frankly, while she was a nice-looking lady, I was not thinking "I must have her!"
I suppose people outside our camp would not understand this, but perhaps some artists would.
Even for those of us who can still see, appreciation of beauty is not inherently lusting after beauty.

As for our friends...
While everyone can unwittingly put pressure on friends and loved ones and scarcely be aware of it, the alternative is not mere silence;
instead, a spirit of quiet openness is best, and that is decidedly different from the other kind of silence.
We remain in a state of prayer and when we see the opportunity to show love in other ways we act; the door remains open while we wait for a move of the Holy Spirit in both hearts.
Praying for Nytro and Mrs. Nytro.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby New_Adventurer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:59 pm

When I applied for membership at The Sequoians club they wanted three personal references. I picked a co-worker, a former pastor, and my current pastor; they signed the form without any hesitation. Then six years later the new pastor was aghast and horrified that I would "run around naked and just let it all hang out." He did not understand how it could feel great to do so. I subsequently parted ways with that church for unrelated reasons.

I think it is mostly a matter of how you present yourself and how do not act self conscious or embarrassed by your choices. If God can command the king to be naked I have the confidence in myself that I can be naked too. I did not feel embarrassed, but rather calm, happy, and highly empowered by my choices and first experience at Laguna Del Sol.
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Re: Assistant pastor discovered I'm a nudist

Postby Ramblinman » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:50 am

New_Adventurer wrote:When I applied for membership at The Sequoians club they wanted three personal references. I picked a co-worker, a former pastor, and my current pastor; they signed the form without any hesitation. Then six years later the new pastor was aghast and horrified that I would "run around naked and just let it all hang out." He did not understand how it could feel great to do so. I subsequently parted ways with that church for unrelated reasons.

I think it is mostly a matter of how you present yourself and how do not act self conscious or embarrassed by your choices. If God can command the king to be naked I have the confidence in myself that I can be naked too. I did not feel embarrassed, but rather calm, happy, and highly empowered by my choices and first experience at Laguna Del Sol.


Sometimes we have to gain self-confidence before others will have confidence in us.
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