A pastor apologized after realizing the mistake over his "ridiculous ultimatum" on women to only wear one-piece bathing suit during camp, subjecting them to the "frustration" of finding the garment in stores and carrying the responsibility on purity.
Bryce Brewer, a youth pastor in Washington, expressed his apology on social media for imposing the swimsuit requirement. He also revealed about the experience that led him to grasp the difficulty of searching such attire when he went with his fiancé and her daughter to shop for it themselves, the Christian Headlines reported.
"So I need to issue an apology... I have been a youth pastor on and off for over 20 years, and I have issued the ridiculous ultimatum to my female students at summer camp 'ONE PIECE SWIMSUITS ONLY.' First of all I am sorry," he began.
He then enumerated five reasons for being "sorry."
First, for not teaching men to control themselves.
Second, for placing the weight of purity on girls over their swimsuit rather than on boys "to not be gross."
Third, for subjecting women to the difficulty of searching for the one-piece attire so they could be deemed "appropriate."
Fourth, for thinking that the girls' bodies "need to be covered" but "ok" for boys to show theirs.
Finally, for letting the issue an "item of discussion" during youth leader meetings, which are usually led by men, making female attendees of such meetings felt "awful."
"Why are women meant to feel they are responsible for men's actual sin of lust?" he asked.
He went on to apologize for men's actions of making women "felt sexualized" by telling them to cover their bodies. He also felt sorry for not teaching boys "to be men" and placing the "responsibility" on women instead.
The pastor closed the post by stating some reminders.
He said that girls should wear swimsuits that let them "have fun" while boys should "stop being disgusting" and must control themselves. Further, he also stated that male youth pastors should "stop being chauvinist[s]" and that Christians should "live like Jesus."
In an interview with TODAY, he shared how an experience of buying the swimsuit changed his perspective about imposing it on women.
"I wandered with them through several department stores and through Target trying to find a cute-but-appropriate one-piece bathing suit and they're very very difficult to find. I watched a frustration build with both of them, almost a dejection," he said.
"I wondered, how many young ladies did I subject to this event over 20 years of ministry? Times when, because of me, they were desperately searching for a one-piece bathing suit and couldn't find one?" the pastor added.
He also noted that women come in different shapes and that allowing men to dictate them with what they should wear is "ridiculous."
He was also hoping that other church leaders would learn from his mistake.
"I truly am sorry, and my intention was to say that and to say that while my heart may have been in the right place, I missed the boat in this area," the pastor concluded.