I know that I very seldom read comments on people’s blog posts, so for the benefit of those who are like me and would have otherwise missed Nate’s insightful comment on my naked mass article, here it is:
A couple of thoughts: I agree that the reaction by Christians is unfortunate, as it often is. We need even-tempered, well thought out responses that respect others and ourselves. Secondly, I wholeheartedly agree that nakedness was the original intention as it is made evident in Genesis. And thirdly, I agree that naked worship can actually happen without a sexual element. But consider this:
God made Adam and Eve clothing (Gen. 3:21) once they realized their nakedness and were ashamed of it due to their fall. Thus, the purity of nakedness has been tainted for mankind in general, whether there is a small group that has no problem with it or not. Furthermore, we see that in Romans 14:19-21 is says,
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” (NIV)
Judging by the overwhelming majority of people in the world who almost certainly equate nakedness outside of changing your clothes or taking a shower (by yourself, of course) as sexual, I would say that nakedness is a potentially huge stumbling block for Christians and non-Christians alike.
I for one, given past and present struggles, could never attend a nudist church celebration and completely block the sexual. I also believe that a male body is designed to seek and appreciate female beauty and that this mechanism has also been tainted, causing men to struggle with objectifying women as objects of their own gratification. In our sex-driven society in this country as well as the rest of the world, I cannot imagine that naked church would bode well with any considerable number of people.
Just because it is possible and perhaps permissible, we are not to do things that will cause our brothers (and sisters) to stumble and thereby destroying the work of Christ on account of our freedom. Therefore, I think that pure nakedness with no sexual connection unfortunately is one of the many casualties of the fall of mankind and consequently, that naked worship sinful, only because it undoubtedly causes many people to stumble in their faith.
Even though I disagree with your stance, I very much appreciate your looking into the issue closer and examining scripture instead of simply rejecting ideas based on Church tradition and norms. It is important to do this in any situation. You are free to disagree with me.
Actually, I had come up with a similar line of reasoning at work this evening. It just goes to show two things: 1) I have too much time on my hands at work, and 2) even I miss the mark sometimes.