Thursday, November 24, 2005

Interviewer: Why do you think they are so upset about moving the font?

Father James: Because that's where it's been. That's where it's supposed to be. Somebody put it there, whenever that was. You put a chair in a church and 30 years later, if you try to move the chair, you're going to have the church split over it.


  1. "Church Lite" ... Well, it could be a good idea. It all depends on what you mean by "lite". If it means "all the content taken out so that we're left with a 'Christianity' that just means 'being nice'" then it's a waste of everyone's time. (Apart from anything else, no-one will convert to such a vacuous religion). But if "lite" means "all the presentation changed, and the content the same as before" then it seems eminently sensible. Is there any rational reason why a message which claims to be eternally relevant should be tied to a style that is alien to most people?

  2. [Argh, forgot to say in my last post ...]

    The problem is that with a documentary series like this, it's inevitably going to focus on the presentation rather than the substance; so there's no way to tell from what's broadcast which of my two "lite" interpretations the church is following. That's frustrating.

    Still. At the very least, what Father Thingy is doing does seem to be attracting two or three times as many people as were attending before. Much to the previous incumbent's chagrin.

  3. Nope. Don't get the joke.

    Exqueeze me?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. The "Church wardens" really got to me. With their oh no no no we can't CHANGE things our heads might explode or something and this fabric makes the place look like a harem/boudoir rubbish. Do they know what a harem/boudoir even looks like? Well neither do I, but their knowledge of that seems suspicious.

    All I heard was the church this and the church that. Please correct me if I'm wrong but did they even mention Jesus at all? You know the man who was God but walked the Earth as a working class man?

    I agree with Kevin (not about the crack unfortunately). Lets stop thinking about churches as buildings and start thinking about communities and their needs.

    Why not have church in peoples homes? And would it kill the clergy to go in plain clothes sometimes?

    I don't know just some suggestions/rants I had to get off my chest. Some may see me as some charismatic nutter just cos I go to a nondenominational/ charismatic/evangelical church which has some people dancing in the aisles for joy and plain clothes "Elders". Oh well.

    btw. I found this blog from Good site.

  6. Everyone agrees that you shouldn't treat matters of taste as if they were substantive doctrinal issues. One person may prefer choruses with guitars; another person may prefer organ music; a third may wish there was more room for silent conemplation; but so far as I known, no-one has ever said that God has a preference for organs, guitars, or silence.

    But its equally wrong to treat substantive doctrinal issues as if they were matters of taste. I think that"Just what are churches for, anyway?" is a substantive doctrinal question.

    Someone may shout at me for poor theology, but I can think of at least three obviously different views of what the chuch is for:

    1: Jesus founded a movement or an organisation, and left his disciples in charge of it. And his disciples chose successors, and the successors chose successors, and so on down to the present day. To be a Christian means to be a member of the organisation which Jesus started; which means "your local church".

    2: Just as Christ was once incarnate in the body of a man; so today He is incarnate in his mystical body. Your local Church is the visible manifestation of this mystical body.
    You become part of the Body of Christ by being baptised, and you remain part of it by taking Holy Communion, which are supernatural (magical, even) acts which only the Church can perform.

    3: Being a Christian is a personal matter between you and God: the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to convict you of Sin and moves you to repent and be born again, at which point you know for certain you are going to heaven. Once this has happened, and following on from it, it's really, really important to find a group of Christians with whom to pray, worship and read the Bible. We call those groups "churches".

    Roughly speaking, Liberal, Catholic and Evangelical views of the church. There's not much point in telling a high-church anglo-catholic (which is what I take people who address each other as "Father" to be) that he should stop worrying about church and liturgy and preach in the word in people's houses instead: for him, a Church without a liturgy isn't a Church.

    As subsidiary point: the institution called "Church" -- as opposed to "The Church" -- has been part of English communities for an awfully long time; and a lot of people think its presence has been mostly benign. It provides a focus for community; it performs rites of passage; it often does social work; even the sales of work and coffee mornings can be a important part of village life. You might think that this insitution was a Good Thing and that it was worth while keeping it going. You might think this regardless of your theological beliefs about the Church With a Capital C. You might think this even if you were not actually a Christian.

    I went to a non-denominational Church while I was a student. I think it had started out with a few groups of people meeting in private houses; but the groups had at some point decided to buy a hall and come together on Sundays. Pretty soon, they had too many people to fit in the hall. So they bought another hall and had another Sunday service in another part of town. Before very long, they had halls over the county, and had appointed a leader (called, I think, the Apostle) with various Elders and Deacons under him to oversee what was by now a very big and very substantial organisation. But not, in any sense, a denomination.

  7. Nope. Don't get the joke.

    It's the word "Father" isn't it? He thinks that "Father James" sounds like a character from Father Ted

    So, I pointed to the ecclesiastical seminary and said "What's that building over there" and she said "Sure and begorah, that's where men go if they want to become fathers."

    Groucho was approached by a young man in a clerical collar who asked him for his autograph. "It's not for me, you understand, it's for my mother." "Say" replied Groucho "I didn't know you guys were allowed to have mothers."

    A Priest is a man who everyone calls "Father", except for his children, who call him "Uncle."

  8. "There's not much point in telling a high-church anglo-catholic (which is what I take people who address each other as "Father" to be) that he should stop worrying about church and liturgy and preach in the word in people's houses instead: for him, a Church without a liturgy isn't a Church."

    My apologies, I wasn't trying to imply that he should. I appreciate that such a thing would be kind of mind blowing and maybe heretical to said person. I also appreciate that there need to be different styles of service for different people. No what I meant was if the "Father" and the marketing gurus are going to such extremes of "Church Lite" or "I can't believe its Church" or whatever, maybe it they could stretch themselves further to accommodate the ideas I mentioned. Guess I was wrong.

    I've never been really involved with church community until now when I'm at Uni. Oh I've seen the ads for Sunday school and tea and coffee morning but I never went.

    Last time I stepped into my local Parish church my mother broke down into copious tears because that where my uncle had his funeral. I also got the whole vibe of "oh look indians how quaint". Perhaps I was being paranoid. I really need to get that checked. One day I might give it another chance and be on time since they bolt the doors shut after 10.30am ( like a MIB lockdown, no one getting in - no one getting out).

    I will not be shouting at you for bad theology Andrew.

    jat8d - I'm not sure about your view about change in the church being generally bad but then again I'm not the one on the decision -making committee.

    Am I right in guessing most people who post there are older than 21?


Comments from "SK" are automatically deleted without being read, so please don't waste your time.