Strip down this post to its bare essentials, and here's the naked truth: Sometimes the Godbeat is more interesting than other news beats. Honest. Take, for example, the story by WWBT — an NBC affiliate in Richmond, Va. — that skinny-dipped all over social media this week.
Before you click that link, though, heed the warning from one Twitter user:
— Chris Bryant (@bryantcl) February 10, 2014
Yes, this is a story about a church that worships in the, um, original attire of Adam and Eve:
SOUTHAMPTON, VA (WWBT) - About an hour's drive south of Richmond, there's a small congregation that doesn't care about "material" things. They worship the same way we were all brought into this world, naked.
Even in February, when temperatures can average in the 20s, members show up in various forms: some fully clothed, others topless, many still completely nude.
Pastor Allen Parker says it's not about the clothes, or lack thereof. He says it's about baring his soul to Christ and leading his flock down that path of righteousness, no matter what they're wearing.
As Jim Davis, our newest GetReligionista, put it, "Gotta admit, they save a lot on vestments and Easter hats." (With comments like that, I'm afraid Jim is going to fit right in at GetReligion.)
Later in the WWBT report, we read:
If you think anyone here finds church attendance titillating, you'd be wrong. They're here to find inner peace and Pastor Parker believes that starts with accepting themselves.
OK, that's a nice start at peeling back the layers of this story, but it doesn't reveal enough.
For example, what's a worship assembly like? Do they sing traditional church hymns (such as "I Surrender All," "How Firm a Foundation" and "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus")?
Or maybe I'm the only one who believes this subject matter needs more coverage. Much more coverage ...