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Letter To A Texas church of Christ

Does God approve of my sin? Unquestionably, no. Does God approve of Christians calling sin what He does not call sin in His Word? I'm inclined to believe the answer to that question is also no.

Hello. My name is John Kundert. I recently discovered that I figure prominently in a 1996 article posted on your Web site that offers the author's opinions about Christian nudism and those who practice it. I'm not certain why only my name appears there (after all, the article offers comments based on a newspaper report that mentioned several other people by name). Perhaps this was intended by the Holy Spirit to draw my attention to your article, thereby prompting this response. Only God knows!

Nothing I read in "Does God Approve Of My Sin?" indicated to me that the author possessed any factual knowledge about what constitutes Christian nudism, about what beliefs Christian nudists hold, or about what standards of conduct Christian nudists obey. This did not stop him from publicly offering his comments, however, which is truly unfortunate. I found myself reminded of a wise Proverb: "He who answers before listening that is his folly and his shame" (Proverbs 18.13, NIV throughout).

I noticed that the word "apparently" was used once in your article. It really should have been used many more times, in my opinion. "Apparently" is a fitting word to introduce conclusions based primarily upon appearances, and drawn in the absence of facts. This "appears" to be so, therefore [insert desired conclusion]. That's not the way God does things, of course. 1 Samuel 16.7 says, "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Now, I would not expect the author to fully know my heart or the heart of any other Christian nudist like God knows them. However, one would have hoped no, expected that a caring Christian would require much more evidence than what could be found in a brief and incomplete secular newspaper article before accusing brothers and sisters in Christ of willful sinning!

Galatians 6.1 says, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently." It should not surprise you to learn that as editor of Fig Leaf Forum, a newsletter for Bible-believing Christian nudists, I occasionally hear from believers who are quite critical of my views, and who accuse me of sin. Their letters to me (often anonymous) have mostly been expressions of personal opinion, strongly rooted in things traditional and cultural, and usually with little Scriptural support offered in favor of their views or against mine. Given the counter-cultural nature of what I'm involved in, I suppose there's nothing unusual about it generating a little criticism. What has surprised me, though (and saddened me too, I might add), is that despite my sincere invitations for further dialogue, none of these Christian critics not one has ever cared enough about me or my readers to move beyond criticism or condemnation to serious attempts at correction and restoration (something they must surely believe we require). They have all cast their stones, and then run away.

By publishing "Does God Approve Of My Sin?", you too have cast your stones, your accusations of sin. I'm now offering you a chance to do more than that, just as I've done with my other critics. Will you "run away" as well?

In the very first issue of Fig Leaf Forum, I sincerely pledged that if someone could conclusively prove to my wife and I from Scripture that social nudism was sinful, we would end our involvement with it immediately. That was 46 issues and almost five years ago, and in all that time, not one "concerned" Christian has seriously undertaken to refute my Biblical position on nakedness and how it relates to modesty, shame and sin.

Fig Leaf Forum is now sent to over 460 households. This number is substantially higher than when your article was first published. Do you still believe that "No amount of wishful thinking can justify a 'Christian nudist'?" If so, does your church's concern for me and all our brothers and sisters in Christ on my mailing list extend beyond mere criticism? If you think that we've been "caught in a sin," are "you who are spiritual" prepared to take it upon yourselves to "restore [us] gently"? My pledge still stands. If someone from your church can conclusively prove to me from Scripture passage by passage, verse by verse, line by line that social nudism as Christian nudists practice it is sinful, I will end my involvement in the lifestyle, terminate the publication of Fig Leaf Forum, and publicly explain to my many readers why.

"'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD" (Isaiah 1.18)!

The Editor, Fig Leaf Forum

Editor's Note: For the record, the preacher from this Texas church of Christ responded promptly to this letter. The extensive debate posted elsewhere on this site resulted from this initial contact.

It should also be noted that Fig Leaf Forum's circulation grew significantly after this letter was written in June of 1999.

Next article: A Rejoinder

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