Frank Skinner responding to church decline

by Richard on March 5, 2010

I’m not a fan of Frank Skinner, but there’s no denying he hits a few nails on their head in today’s Times.

To many British people, Christianity seems like a weird but unexciting theme park. Personally, I like our ever-dwindling status. I even like our ever-dwindling numbers. There was a time when social pressure made people go to church. If anything the reverse is now true. Most adults you see in church nowadays are there because they want to be there. That’s not decline, it’s progress. The wheat has been separated from the chaff. We get quality, not quantity, in the churches and the chaff can enjoy a nice lie-in. That’s just as well, because there’ll be little opportunity for slumber when they’ve got a demon’s pitchfork up their arse.

Christians have always worked best as an unpopular minority. We were surely at our most dynamic when we knelt, eyes to Heaven, hands clasped in prayer, with a Colosseum lion bounding towards us.

That’s why I think Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is wrong to get his cassock in a twist about changing attitudes to Christianity in this country. He speaks of a “strident and bullying campaign” to marginalise Christianity. But that’s great news. “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”

That’s not exactly as I would have put it myself, but the general thrust is worth taking notice of.

Thanks to John Cooper on Twitter

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Dale Tedder 03.05.10 at 4:02 pm

It’s a tough balancing act, though, isn’t it? The razor’s edge between wanting to go into all the world and share the gospel with as many folks as possible, and yet not becoming “too socially acceptable.” Thanks for sharing.

2

Kim 03.05.10 at 4:54 pm

“The numerical is the conspiracy. Just as in civil life, when crowds of people collect in the street, the police respond immediately, regardless of whether or not a crime has been committed - for the massing together of lots of people is suspect - so also, and with a completely different kind of right, the higher police immediately and directly attack wherever a hoard of Christians show up. The greater the number, the more certain the lie, the more certain that there is falsification. Let this be regarded as a counter-proposition to what has delighted the clergy for a long time now - the spread of Christianity.”

“We humans believe numbers mean something. For God, it is precisely numbers that mean nothing, nothing at all.”

- Kierkegaard

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