Tag Archives: evangelism

All Revved Up And No Church To Go…

Over the weekend I’ve been discovering some episodes of ‘Rev’, possibly my favourite sitcom of all time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588221/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

I had to resort to Youtube, alas, since they are not available on Netflix or iplayer and I don’t have the money to buy the DVD’s.  I watched the last series, at the end of which the threatened worst came to pass: dogged on all sides by Pharisaical prejudice, Adam resigns, the church is closed and the building sold off.  It looks like the end of everything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-bxjh5rutM

However, there’s always a way back  -and this week I’ve been imagining what that might look like.

Now, I realise that minds much more situationally comedic than mine may be pondering this even as we speak; but nevertheless here are my ideas:

As the fourth series opens, Adam and his wife Alex are returning from some time out travelling abroad.  Back in London, Alex goes back to work while Adam searches for a role.  He tries out being a hospital chaplain but that doesn’t fulfill him; then he organises a house church but that goes wrong too (I haven’t envisaged the specifics here yet).   Then the St Saviour’s building, now deconsecrated and on the point of being turned into offices, is struck by lightning for the third time in three months.  Reports that the building is cursed abound.  The Archdeacon, now promoted to Suffragan Flying Bishop (with responsibility for going round parishes reassuring them that the sky won’t fall in if the church supports gay marriage) crops up to make sarcastic comments about ‘acts of god’; meanwhile the company about to lease the building pulls out of the contract leaving it without a viable future.  Enter Adam.  Unable to face what happened he has avoided the place but at Alex’s insistence, he forces himself to visit and, as it were, exorcise the ghost.  Seeing the lightning damage for himself he realises it’s not irreparable; if part of the building is sealed off the rest could be a smaller, much more viable church.  And hey, presto, a plan is put together and by the end of the first episode he finds himself, Reggie Perrin-like, back in the vicarage and running his old church again.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073990/

Of course all the old characters are back: just as Reggie Perrin can’t escape the cast who peopled his former life, so Adam finds himself back in the company of Colin, Adoha and all his old congregation.  (There’s a short back-story involving each of the congregants: Adoha attends a black evangelical church for a while but falls out with them; she then goes to the nearest C of E church which is reassuringly traditional.  Sliding into a pew she says as much to her neighbour.  ‘Yes, says the neighbour.  ‘And you’re in luck – the new vicar is starting today.’  Adoha goes off into a swoon, imagining someone like Adam; only to be rudely awoken by a woman’s voice emanating from the front.  Yes, the new priest is a woman.  Exit Adoha.  Colin, on the other hand, while no longer homeless, has not found another church.)

Nigel does not feature in this series, however, since his actions in the last one put him beyond the pale.  His replacement is a woman who seems fine at first.  She asks what happened to Nigel and is told ‘we don’t talk about him’.

I think it could work.  Perhaps I should send this post to the BBC?

Kirk out

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No God, Please – We’re British

The original title for this post was ‘Why I don’t tell people I’m a C******n.’  Well , why don’t I?

Here’s why: as soon as you mention the C-word, someone out there is bound to react strongly.  Most people react in one of two ways: the most common way, until recently that is, has been fear and embarrassment: the fear that I might suddenly grab their hand, look lovingly into their eyes and say, ‘God bless you’ with one of those nauseatingly beatific smiles; the embarrassment that would ensue.  I know it happens, but believe me, I ain’t gonna go there cos I’ve had it done to me, and it’s not pretty.  So that’s one reaction and probably the most common.  We are British, after all.  No God here, thank you!  But then more recently, now that atheists, led by their prophet Richard Dawkins, have become more vociferous, it is more common for people to react in a hostile way – as though I might be about to shove my dogma down their throat in some kind of oral rape act.  So that as soon as you mention the C-word you immediately have to issue a series of disclaimers.  I feel like carrying a little list round with me: No, I’m not homophobic.  No, I’m not against other religions *.  No, I’m not anti-abortion.  Anti-yoga?  Hell, no – I used to teach yoga.  And so on – and on…  Frankly, I’d rather just not go there.  So I just don’t mention it.

Now I wouldn’t mind so much if, in person, I were some kind of evangelical pain in the arse; if I went on and on about my faith – if looked into people’s eyes with a beatific smile or evangelised at the drop of a biretta – but I don’t, because I know exactly how annoying that is.  It’s just that sometimes the mildest suggestion of some kind of faith can provoke the same reaction as an evangelistic rant; as though the merest suspicion of proselytising is suspect and must be immediately stamped on.  There’s a lot of hostility out there, and some people seem to think it’s but a step and a hop from vaguely religious sentiment to full-blown intolerant dogma.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand where it’s coming from – and to some extent historically the churches have only themselves to blame for it.  Even nowadays it’s going on – every time I hear yet another insane comment from the Westboro Baptist Church:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100195000/the-hideous-westboro-baptist-church-are-picketing-the-newtown-funerals-their-perverse-logic-is-beyond-satire/

or some intransigent policy statement from the Catholic establishment, I blench.  And I groan.  Because that’s not me.  But I’d rather not have to keep saying so: I’d rather not have to keep issuing disclaimers.  And that is why I don’t tell people that I’m a C******n.

Feel free to post embarrassed or hostile comments.  LOL.  And check out this vid from Mark in which he claims that Jesus is on the side of the atheists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsiLV8SBiEE

Today I shall be mostly… going for a walk and not having coffee with Helen.

Kirk out

*in fact I think they are all paths to God

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