Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage


This article was written on 30 Jul 2014, and is filled under Uncategorized.


Right now, church is in two places. One is at a URC church near me and another is at a combined Methodist and URC church about a mile away. Depending on who is ministering, I choose my venue like the big old theological tart that I am. Extra points if a minster called KO is there and also if I can get communion.

Neither church is especially dynamic. There are no video screens, mixing desks or fancy lights. There’s an organ, hymns, an order of service and occasionally, when KO is at the front, a sermon that slides its hand into yours, goes on a gentle walk and then clubs you over the head with its immense power and solid theology.

In short, it’s what looks to be pretty conservative. However. There are some big differences and things that make me think more about how I see the world. And for this, full credit to the other people, none of whom talk about themselves, but all of whom I’ve found out about secondhand.

There’s the person who did the early work on the Higgs-Boson. There’s one of the country’s first female aerodynamicists, or the person who is one of the foremost plant scientists in the country. There’s the woman who had two children who were profoundly disabled and can teach me more about grace and humility than I thought there was to know.

And there’s more. We don’t pray for the Queen and the Royal Family as they seem pretty well covered. There isn’t a Union Jack in the church because Christ wasn’t big on countries and nobody cares about what gender you are or how you identify sexually. And people are fine with gay marriage. They’d be happy you were happy and that debate ends there.

I’m encouraged to think about what I hear and to have a critical perspective on it. In fact, thinking is actively encouraged and argument is just fine. Stay for tea after and you’ll hear plenty of good-natured bickering and nobody is trying to be trendy or pretend that they’re your best friend. It’s church, in the truest and most basic sense of the word.

And whatever it looks like, conservative or not, it thinks with a radical, non-conformist heart. That’s why it has my love and my loyalty.

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