Archive for September 14th, 2008

Conventioneers

Tonight I want to be anglican again. Not that i was ever properly anglican anyhow. And not that the anglican church i went to was ever particularly anglican either. Which i suppose was one of the nice things about being anglican – that they weren’t always that easily pigeonholed.

And now that i’m presbyterian – well sort of. The people I love happen to be part of a presbyterian church. I am more presbyterian by accident than choice. Anyhow, now that i am whatever i am (which is of course different from being “i am who i am), whatever that may be (goodness this has started badly) I realise more and more how the presbyterians seemed to get stuck with all the crappy old buildings (though i confess I quite like church house). I suppose it’s their own fault, in over-reacting to catholicism by being petrified of anything even remotely pretty in the church in case some one mistakes it for some kind of a idol and before we know it we’re selling indulgences to evil, rich English kings…

At least the anglicans have retained some of the sense of mysticsm and importance of aesthetics and location and architecture. Though I suppose us presbies think that they’re what my dad used to call “the thin green white and gold line between protestantism and catholicism” (my dad was anglican, again more by accident of birth than choice. His dad was probably more of a socialist).

I blame this on all the heretical, hairy lefty books i’ve been reading (tom wright and brian mclaren both have beards) which have no doubt left me with something of a reawakened appreciation of lots of the other traditions of the faith. This along with the fact that it turns out we don’t go to heaven when we die (a statement which requires some qualification which I’ll not go into right now, but it’s OK I’m not a heretic… honestly… ) which came as a bit of a surprise but is actually remarkably clear when you read the bible without the old plato/gnostic goggles on.

So anyway.

Tonight was the first night of the Portadown Christian Convention

[we do odd things, a convention to most people is a business or work thing. (On the one occasion i met zoomtard he said that he wasnt going to a New Horizon meeting cause if his dad found out he went to hear a christian preacher in a big blue tent that would be a step too far). When you think about it, we do a lot of odd things, like all meeting together in a big building on a sunday evening, singing a few random songs, listening to a guy talk about an old book and a “dead guy” and then doing this remarkably strange thing where we all close our eyes and “think stuff” – this whole religion thing really is most bizzare when you look at it from the perspective of those outside the church. That implies nothing about it’s value or truth, simply that it’s unusual.]

Anyhow it’s laudable, most of all for the fact that it’s one of the rare opportunities that the Church of GOD in this town manges to (mostly) get together without bickering and moaning quite so much as usual. There’s always so many people (most of the churches cancel their evening services) that they normally hold it in the big church of ireland in the centre of town.

And i suppose this is what makes me want to be Anglican. They got all the nice buildngs in protestantism. Huge arched ceiling, stained glass, a sense of awe and presence associated with, i suppose, the presence of GOD…

Makes me feel a part of this place, this community (perhaps my favorite word of the moment, along with resurrection), this group of people who love and struggle to follow JESUS. Reminds me I’m a part of the Kingdom and I have a role to build it, to help see GOD’s justice and mercy goodness begin to rule here in part, as it one day will in totality.

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