Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have met a wonderful, sweet, caring man who says he loves me. He's honest, pulls no punches, is a hard worker and has many other good qualities. We are both divorced adults and we get along beautifully. I think he would make a great husband, but there's a problem: He is a nudist.

He spends one to two Sundays a month at his nudist club. He has invited me to accompany him, but he knows I'm very uncomfortable with this and will not go. He expects me to believe that he just enjoys the sun and is not going to look at other women. When I believe this, I'll show him my oceanfront property in Arizona!

Since we both work, it is difficult for us to see each other during the week. As far as I'm concerned, he's made it clear that he values his Sundays at the nudist club more than he values time with me. I love him, but I can't handle this nudist business, and I'm about ready to call it quits. -- DISGUSTED IN FLORIDA

DEAR DISGUSTED: Contrary to what you believe, most nudists do not go to their clubs to stare at others. Nudist clubs have rules against gawking and other inappropriate behavior. Nevertheless, the lifestyle is not for everyone. If you are not comfortable joining your boyfriend on his Sunday visits to the nudist camp and are unhappy about his going without you, it is doubtful that you are headed for a happy relationship, no matter what wonderful qualities the man may possess.

DEAR ABBY: You printed a letter from Hugo Borreson who said that the civil rights movement in the 1960s "reminds us of how violent white Christians really are." He also includes some 5,000 lynchings that have taken place in history as a supportive example of white Christians' brutality.

It is true that there have been atrocities committed over the centuries by those who call themselves Christians. It is also true that Christianity teaches nonviolence and love toward your neighbor (and your enemy, for that matter). But it is absolutely not true that simply calling yourself a Christian means that you are one.

The Bible says that we will know a Christian by his actions. The traits listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) are demonstrated in the Christian. Do you think that the so-called "Christians" responsible for the 5,000 lynchings in history fit this description?

Those who call themselves Christians but do not live like it are often called hypocrites, and rightly so. However, the presence of hypocrites does not discredit the Christian faith. Rather, it brings shame to those who stoop so low as to say one thing and do another. -- VANESSA HARIKUL, 16, MOORPARK, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: In a recent response, you asked -- perhaps quixotically -- "How do you say 'Your solution was better than mine' in Latin?"

Try: "Explicatio tua est melior quam mea." -- LETHA COTE, PALM SPRINGS (FORMER LATIN TEACHER)

To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600