For Those That Don't Read Comments…

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.

Jerry Falwell

I have yet to comment about Jerry Falwell’s death.  Though I mourned the passing of Bruce Metzger, since he did much more work in apologetics and textual criticism closer to my own passion for the Word of God, more than I did Dr. Falwell’s, it is still sad to see any man of God and brother in Christ leave this earth, even though I know it means that God is calling them home.

Dr. Falwell once told a graduating class from Liberty, of which my church’s youth pastor was a part of, that if Liberty ever stopped teaching the Scriptures properly that he wanted them to return under cover of darkness and burn the entire place down.

Of course, as our youth pastor points out, that only means that Dr. Falwell recognizes that the true legacy of Liberty isn’t the buildings but the teaching of a biblical theology from Scripture.  Though he may have said that in a rather run-around fashion, it was only one of many things that Dr. Falwell said that got people’s attention.

But the best attestation to Dr. Falwell was perhaps delivered by N.T. Wright (HT to Daniel from Anchor for the Soul):

Within the strange, large economy of God’s grace, which filters the truth of scripture through all of us imperfect interpreters, it may be that I make just as many mistakes as I think he did, but we are each called to be true to what we find in scripture and I have no reason to suppose he was not as obedient to that imperative as I struggle to be.  May he rest in peace and, with the rest of us, rise in glory where we shall look back on present disagreements like an adult looks back on childhood squabbles in the playground.

May God bless everyone who proclaims and defends His word.  Even those with whom I’m starting to disagree with on stylistic choices, such as J.P. Holding, Crystal (aka Little Pixie of Terror), “Mountain Man,” “Razorphreak,” and the others I’ve talked to in the course of this ministry.  God can use all of us imperfect humans, and that both humbles and amazes me.  It’s a stern reminder to “judge not, lest ye be judged.”