Student Culture, Trends & Issues

The Post Which Must Not Be Named

This past November I delivered a discussion series at Northwestern College which I have shared many other times before, but this time was different. This would be the last time I would feel comfortable promoting this discussion online by name. I now refer to it online as “The Discourse Which Must Not Be Named.” The actual title is “The Nud1st C0l0ny Discourse” and it consists of three sessions:

What’s with the 1’s and 0’s? That’s just it. I fear that if I list the talk online again they’ll come after me again.

Who are they? The uber conservative Christians? No. I’ve not had any problems with them (yet) and frankly I’ve been surprised as I share talks like “The Elephant in the G-String” and “Bigger and Better Than Sex.” After all, everyone knows it’s those flaming fundies (with not a funny bone in their sanctified bodies) you got to watch out for.

No. It was a group of real life nud1st c0l0nists I offended. That’s right. Thanks to a Google Alert for the words “Nud1ist C0l0ny” (spelled correctly) they found the posts about my talks and they came after me – well after my FMU Facebook page. (If they would have actually come after me I wouldn’t have been so taken by surprise since I would have seen them coming a mile away.)

“Attack of the Nud1ist C0l0nists” might be a fun title for a B-movie, but I assure you it wasn’t very fun at the time. I spent a good portion of a weekend quickly deleting comments along the lines of “the Nud1ist C0l0ny lifestyle is one of beauty and respect.” (Great! That’s just the sort of post an 18-year-old college male needs to see on my Facebook page so they can click and see for themselves just how much beauty they can respect.

Of course as you might have guessed, I wasn’t even addressing real life nud1ists. I was using the “nud1ist c0l0ny” as a metaphor for the loose sexual mores of our culture as reflected in programming like “Jersey Shore” and “Sex and the city.” Well, to my sheer amazement they took great offense that I would even associate their fine communities with the likes of “Jersey Shore” or pornography. (Really?!?! Yes really. They couldn’t understand the connection.)

In fact, they claimed to be against the same over-sexualization of our culture that I was protesting. (Who knew that nud1sts held so much in common with James Dobson?!) More than one nud1st claimed to be a believer, as if that defended their beliefs. (Many racists in my Southern town claim to be believers too. And some may be, but racists are as wrong about skin color as nud1sts are about skin exposure.)

Why do I share all of this with you? Because what I found out after the attack of the nud1ist c0l0nists scared me more than the initial assault.

Turns out their invasion of my world wasn’t an isolated event. Just as we are seeking to reach college students, nud1ists are actively seeking to recruit them as well. They want to convince your students that they will find wholeness and healing by accepting their body and removing their clothes. Though I support a healthy body image, I want to convince students that they will only find their wholeness and healing by accepting Christ’s love and repenting of their sin.

You may never feel threatened by a nud1ist c0l0nist, but I think it’s symbolic of how far our culture has deteriorated. Indeed, all nud1ist c0l0nist have to do to validate their lifestyle is convince the world that they were born that way. (Of course, as my 15-year-old son pointed out, “Dad, nud1ist c0l0nists were born that way!”)

In that case, I’m a nud1st too!

Unfortunately that’s the least of my problems. I was also born a self-righteous, sexually-perverted, pet-sin-justifying, judgmental, prideful son-of-a-Baptist. However, through Christ’s perfect, infinite and unchanging love I’m not who I was. I haven’t been called to reach nud1ist c0l0nists, and likely you haven’t either, but we have been called to preach this good news of true wholeness and healing to our students. And we need to do so with as much savvy and wit as grace and wisdom, believing that in the end TRUTH will win out!

Don’t grow weary or be intimidated by those who want to equate your disapproval with hate speech or equate your warning with intolerance. Be encouraged by this passage:

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:12-17 (ESV)