Thursday, 4 October 2012

Logical Church-hopping Guide

It's one of the modern leisure activities, is church-hopping.

It was a great sign of the Early Church, of course. If the experts are to be believed, that is. A member of a church that read only Mark's Gospel might decide they needed to know what happened in the end. So they'd up sticks and join the "Emmaus" fellowship up the road, where they read Luke. Still a member of a Jewish group, but smarting after reading Galatians? You might decide that it was time to try out a Matthean group, to remind yourself that Jesus came out of that tradition. If life were getting too Gnostic for you, maybe nip down to the local Johannines to think about "truth" and "light" in a more solidly monotheistic environment.

Then in the Middle Ages, this all dropped off. Up to Luther, church-hopping was a bit pointless. I suppose if you lived in a big town you could nip up the road to where you got a better Mass. But out in the sticks that wasn't much of an option. If you were rich, of course, you could always build your own church. But that's rarely something the rest of us can aspire to.

But now, thanks to Luther and his successors, we are able to worship God in a variety of heterodoxies of our choice. And if we disagree with the current place we worship, we can just go somewhere else. And if we don't like it there, we can just move again.

But you don't want to go in for illogical church-hopping. I mean, just going straight from Eastern Orthodox to Oneness Pentecostal could cause some real culture-shock. Like a chess game, you should always proceed in  a series of sensible moves. And that's where our Logical Church-hopping Guide comes in. As long as you progress logically from one square to another, connected square, you will move calmly around the ecclesiastical ecosystem without disturbing your internal equilibrium.



17 comments :

  1. I like the theology of consumer Christianity. It reminds me Heinz Baked Beans. They boast of 57 varieties, although I can only recall one type and taste.

    Which is appropriate for Christianity, because no matter how many varieties, we only have one type the one brand. Jesus Christ. And we eat his flesh and drink his blood regularly, certainly more regularly than I consume baked beans.

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    1. Erm... Heinz's 57 varieties were of all products. If you ever find yourself thinking "These baked beans taste of chicken soup", you'll realise.

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  2. And they made up the number 57 to sound like they had lots of stuff too...

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  3. interesting to see that what separates Methodists from the rest of Christendom is a cupboard full of Beryl crockery!

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    1. My experience of Beryl crockery is (to quote Fr Jack) "that would be an ecumenical matter".

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    2. Angela, other varieties of Woodsware are also available! (Beryl's not - she's been delisted).

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  4. As far as I can see, we are evolving into a situation where we will all be Union Baptists or Pentecostals.

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    1. Eddie, your keen forensic instinct does you credit. I've removed the ecclesiastical cul-de-sac.

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  5. Missing arrow between AngloCatholic & Liberal "actually women aren't the work of the devil..."

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    1. Ouch! Take care - the wrath of Anglo-Catholic women who've been slighted can be an awesome thing (and I dont mean awesome in the pebble-and-tealight sense)...

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  6. If you could only redesign the diagram as a labyrinth...

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  7. We done some hopping at the Brethren that night when Brusher Mills did mislay his ole viper but we be back to the quivering since the Lord above sent down a quire of harmonical accordions.

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    1. And one o' they tootin' clarionets?

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  8. We celebrated Harvest with an African supper and a djembe drum circle last night. Now that's what a call a hoppening church.

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  9. OK. URC it is. How do I find any........?

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  10. OK. URC it is. How do I find any......?

    It would be fun to see this done for the Churches attitudes to women priests, bishops and homosexuality.

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