Saturday, 15 December 2012

Things that Will Not Be at the Bogwulf Baptist Carol Service

My Brothers (but not sisters, for what I am writing today concerns the government and regulation of church activities - an area where only men should be concerned) - what a great accommodation with the World have modern-day Baptists made!

Only the other day, I discovered that another nearby Baptist church was holding a "candle-light carol vigil". Candles? In a Baptist church? Spurgeon would have wept. The Baptists, as is well known, trace their heritage back to John the Baptist himself - and all down the long ages we have never used candles - even, at very early times, rejecting their Papist associations. This, together with a similar suspicion of oil lamps (much loved by Beaker Folk and other neo-heathens), led to the Baptist churches spending long centuries walking into walls, tripping over pews and being unable to read their hymn books at Evening Services. However the invention of electrical illumination blew away these centuries of darkness, and bathed us in the pallid-yellow light of Compact Fluorescence.

I should say that tomorrow evening we will be celebrating the Bogwulf Baptist Carol Service. I am aware of the temptations of my little flock towards such papist extremities as candles, doilies and rosaries - tempted as they are by the so-called "Archdruid" next door, who is ever on the lookout to lure innocent souls to Rome or the deepest groves of Aspley Heath. And so I will hereby list those things we will not be employing to celebrate the Nativity:

  • A robed choir (or, as Eileen would viciously spell it, "Quire");
  • Vestments of any kind. A smart suit and some value-priced aftershave will be quite sufficient;
  • Candles - of course. And likewise oil burners;
  • Magi. Heathen astrologers who, as they would probably put it themselves, "got lucky";
  • Christingles - which, looking as they do like childishly-made satellites, are clearly the folk memories of an ancient UFO cult. Also they hold candles;
  • Streamers;
  • Banners;
  • Father Christmas - a pagan/Christian mash-up if ever I saw one;
  • "A Virgin Most Pure" and any other hymns that mention Jesus's mother too much;
  • Party-poppers;
  • A Crib Scene - using a plastic doll as a representation of Our Saviour is idolatry. The "little donkey" was never in the Bible - or at least not in the King James Version. I shudder to think what strange animals might be in the New Revised Standard Version. Likewise we reject as unreliable Eileen's use at the Beaker Nativity last year of alligators, pigs, squid, Martians, the Little Drummer Boy and Postman Pat;
  • Mince pies;
  • Mistletoe - which encourages kissing. And kissing leads to cuddling. And where does that lead? Precisely. Unimaginable midnight fornications;
  • Wine - which leads to mistletoe. And pop songs that rhyme "wine" with "time" and "rhyme";
  • Sherry - obviously;
  • Godly Play.

We will, however, be expecting joy and wonder at the gift of a Saviour, sent to earth. No matter where I try to squeeze the colour out of religion, to force the church back to its basic message of fearful repentance, it always squeezes back in somehow.


  1. You forgot that pagan symbol the Christmas tree.

    1. But the Christmas Tree itself is attested in the Good Book. For does Isaiah not tell us - "The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary."

      And so the Christmas Tree is quite acceptable. But we will not be having one, of course. In case anyone gets over-excited.

  2. True but Jeremiah 10 :3-4 says,
    'The customs of the people are false: a tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe ...people deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it can not move.'

  3. I wonder what you call this season, Drayton? Surely not Christ-Mass?

  4. Christingles always make me shudder, ever since the vicar made them using poor little jelly babies, cruelly impaled on the cocktail sticks.

  5. Christingles always make me shudder, ever since the vicar made them using poor little jelly babies, cruelly impaled on the cocktail sticks.


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