Daily Archives: October 9, 2008

Dutch Christians Attend a Naked Mass

My church has a very relaxed dress code. It would be unusual to see our pastor in anything more fancy than a button-down shirt and khaki pants. Most people in the congregation wear jeans. You can always spot the newcomers to our church by the suits and skirts that they wear. As relaxed as our dress code is, at least one church has taken it a step further.

In the Netherlands, a group of naked (yes, you read that right: naked) celebrants held a church service in a nudist park. They had to cancel the second planned service and temporarily take down their website after threatening phone calls and other unfortunate backlash from other Christians.

I’m used to relaxed dress codes, but this… well, is this as ridiculous as some people make it out to be? I’m not so sure.

I don’t see anything wrong with this. It surely isn’t for me–I know I would never attend a nude service–but for nudists, this is the perfect way to meet. The Bible exhorts us to worship God in everything that we do. So, if people like to go around naked, why not turn that into an act of worship as well?

People get all bent out of shape over the silliest things. If you don’t like it, don’t go. It’s as simple as that.

It turns out that that is very biblical advice:

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. (Rom 14:1-9)

If someone considers nudity a sacred act of worship, who are we to condemn that person? For if he is naked, he is naked to the Lord, if he is dressed, he is dressed to the Lord. None of us lives or dies for our own selves, we live and die to the Lord. Again, if you don’t think that a nude church service is for you (I know it isn’t for me), then don’t go. It’s as simple as that.

My prayers are with the nudists; I pray that they can worship in peace without other Christians passing judgment.

That brings up another point. As a group, Christians are awfully judgmental. We all serve God, whether we realize it or not (take heed, atheists: even you serve the Lord). And the Bible clearly teaches that we are not to judge another master’s servant. So why then do Christians get so darn judgmental over silly things like this?

That, I suppose, is the subject for another post.