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Sunday, October 06, 2013

These days the church

These days
The church
Does not own a person's soul,
Or invent his salvation,
Or control his passage
To heaven.

That fashion has passed.

These days
Do-it-yourself spirituality
Is the norm,
And persons are doing it
For themselves.

A modern,

Free-thinking
Christian

Might choose
A little bit of yoga here,
A little bit of organic vine tomato there,
A little bit of eucharist here,
A little bit of labyrinth there,
A little bit of meditation here,
A little bit of faerie lore there,
A little bit of prayer breakfast here,
A little bit of tree hugging there,
A little bit of affirmation here,
A little bit of church jumble sale there,
A little bit of Harry Potter here,
A little bit of colour breathing there,
A little bit of peace vigil here,
A little bit of dolphin music there,
A little bit of crop circle walking here,
A little bit of organ recital there,
A little bit of contemplation here,
A little bit of dreamwork there,
A little bit of Rhineland mystic here,
A little bit of Sufism there,
A little bit of flower-arranging here,
A little bit of anti-globalisation march there,
A little bit of benediction here,
A little bit of Help-Africa lunch there,
A little bit of holy water here,
A little bit of heritage there.

There is a rich smorgasbord
Of personal choice
And variegated
Spiritual preference
Available.

Something will suit
And no size fits all.

The church,
Among others,
Still has a walk-on part
To play,
Except that it isn't asked
To walk on much,
These days,
And certainly not on water.

The church,
Among others,
Has a new mission:
It has a walk-off part
To play.

When you're on the stage,
And the acoustic isn't working,
And there's nothing in the script
For you to say,
And there's no-one in the audience,
You walk off.

You walk off
And you hang up your costume
For the last time.

The pantomime is over.

These days
Everyone is a priest,
Or no-one is.

And there is no felt need
For stipended creeps
In fancy dress.

Although, in certain conditions,
An out-of-work actor
In priest-costume
Can be useful
At children's parties,
Trad-style weddings,
And trad-style funerals.

And chaplains of a sort
Are still required
By educational foundations
With awkward trust deeds,
Providing that the chaplains
In question
Wear jeans,
And are educated,
Broad-minded,
Syncretistically networked,
Pastorally-oriented,
Punk-looking
Wiccans or Methodists.

Popes don't like this
Type of stuff, of course.
It doesn't suit them.
Nor does Opus Dei.
It doesn't suit them, either.

But who cares
What the wrinklies think?

These days
The church
Is a thing
Of the past;
Yesterday's bad idea;
A transient historical phenomenon
Left behind
And lying lost
On the library shelves.

These days
The church
Is the forgotten fashion
Of a few;
The idle plaything
Of a diminishing chapter
Of tenured scholars
Mining antiquity
For erudite curiosities.

Which is not to say
That the church can't be
Jolly interesting sometimes,
If you like history
And you are prepared

To suspend your disbelief.



........................................


Why is church so serious?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous vera said...

But faith is real and vital.

9:41 pm  
Blogger Lumiere said...

Is faith real? You can have faith in something or someone, but you cannot touch it or bottle it or put it somehwere for safe keeping.

Is faith vital? Maybe.

Is God a man or a woman? Maybe.

Is only one group's faith vital to everyone else? Definitely not.

Jesus is Lord, and so is Krishna, Allah, and many more.

7:50 pm  

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