Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fun times in email

It has been a while since I received a few emails encouraging me to eternal damnation, long stays in limbo, or perdition. I have almost grown accustomed to the peace and quiet of a lonely mailbox filled with ways to increase my libido, enlarge my boobs, or some new fad in dating. But lately, thanks to some new advertising of my latest book out in e-book form, I have the joy of reading through a few questions and you have the honor of sitting through my rants as I find new and better ways to irritate the textile masses.

The latest asked the simple question "why?". Why would I want to start churches in nudist communities? The logic was mostly flawless. It sounded good. It even had a ring of truth to it. We could simply meet at an already established church and help increase their numbers as opposed to building a block and separation between the two groups of people.

I must admit he had me thinking. It did separate the two groups, that is, the textiles were certainly not coming to the new church. The nudists would likely choose the church where they would not have to dress and leave the park. It seems that I was encouraging separation in the church body.

But, then I realized that the separation was already there. The textile churches were not going into the resorts and parks to visit or to involve themselves in the communities. They had already separated themselves from the church members at the resorts.

There is a small but distinct line between cutting out the herd and rounding up strays. Anyone who has seen any cowboy movies have seen cowboys riding and working with cows on screen and sometimes it is difficult to tell if they are separating them or rounding them up.

The best way to tell the difference is which one brings the cattle home and which one sends them to be slaughtered. Herding them into the pasture is a sure sign of bringing them home. Culling out a few and loading them in the truck might mean a one way trip for the cow.

Argument two goes a long way to hit me in the... well lower than my belt. "Don't we already have enough division in our midst?"

I have to agree. Christians are divided three ways to Sunday. Adding a different splinter group is taking us further away from the "become one" we often hear when we speak of the Christian body, the bride of Christ. The difference is that we are not really dividing here at all. We are establishing a beach head so that the Christians can minister to the nudist community in their midst. I am certain if the textiles want to come to the church, they would be welcome. AND probably more so than if a nudist, dressed properly, showed up at a textile church.

Funny how things have a way of rolling around. What are your thoughts?

Till we meet again.


Unknown said...

I would love to hear what they have to say if they were asked why do they go to the church they are currently going to instead of the already established church down the street.

They need to keep in mind that the reason there are nudist resorts is not because the nudists want to be separate from the masses, but the masses forced them into these "colonies".

So a church is formed. They should shout "Halleluah! Christians are reaching the nudists!!"


bn2benude said...

Interesting question and thoughts.

Most of the time, I'd agree with your inquisitor. Maybe, however, calling it a "church" is the wrong thing... Why? Because people are used to going to church.

A mission or ministry, however may be a better term. With a mission or ministry, we are more used to thinking about going to someone "un-churched".

Altogetherjohn said...

If starting a new church is a bad idea because it further divides the body of Christ, then there should only have ever been one church, the one in Jerusalem. Peter was wrong to follow God's leading to Cornelius's house and Paul was completely out of order going on, not one, but three missionary journeys.

We need to go to where the people are. In this case, we are going to the nudist community -- a community that has all but been abandoned by the "church." Half of our ministry within the nudist community is ministering to Christians who have been herded out of the "church" by well meaning "Christians."

It is God's work, but we need to be responsive to His leading and do the work He has called us to do. We are not dividing the body of Christ; we are filling the rolls of Heaven.

Pastor Steve said...

i would have to say that you are not dividing the church. you are ministering where ministry needs to happen. where there are people willing to listen to the Gospel and a preacher to preach the Word -- there is a church. textile preachers aren't going to do it -- therefore you are in place, by God, to preach where you are preaching.