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      Cover of A Vicar Crucified   Simon Parke with his latest book, The Indecent Death of a Madam   Cover of One Minute Meditation

Christianity? This is what I'd like

Posted by Simon Parke, 13 February 2017, 6.07pm

Another Synod, another mad debate about sexuality.

Welcome to la-la land…but not the musical.

Mad Item No.1 in response to mad bishop’s report:

‘Who can and cannot put their willy where they wish to; and which holes can receive sexual pleasure, and how, and with whom?’

Sarcasm alert: I’m sure this is exactly what Jesus was talking about in the Sermon on the Mount.


He offered what were apparently some beautiful attitudes.

But obviously what he really meant – let the reader understand - were some very particular rules around sexual pleasure.

(The cock references were clearly lost in translation.)

Where to begin?

Deep breath.

I heard something about ‘the African churches’ on the radio this morning.

As if this was somehow relevant.

‘I know it’s mad, totally ridiculous – but you have to remember… the African churches.’


I remember being asked/told to collude with a very unpleasant aunt when young; and I’m feeling the same now.

The thing is, I don’t tend to encourage people to collude with unhealthy relationships in a therapeutic situation; and I won’t be starting now.

Collusion with ill-health is living death.

Do you know what I’d like?

I mean, it’s crazy…but, well, we all have to dream.

I’d like it if the Christianity offered the religion of Jesus rather than a religion about Jesus.

That I believe was the original idea.

So a religion of things like, oh, I don’t know, trust, awareness, rage, courage, compassion and prayer. That probably catches most of it.

Oh, and the validity of love.

Instead of some sad list of do’s and don’ts invented by inadequate men, a list of tick-box right and wrong doctrines…because it beats growing up.

I’d say, aim for the attitudes, create space in your struggling self for those attitudes, the work of a life time…and let the doctrines look after themselves.

But of course we won’t do that.

Hah! Some fucking hope.

Doctrines are easier, requiring no self-reflection. They baptise the power of small people, damaged people…they protect me from personal growth as I hide behind God’s utterly favourite pastime: doctrine!

(And disappointing, Simon - very disappointing, I’m not angry, just disappointed - that you used the word ‘fucking’...I’ll pray for you.’)

For fuck’s sake…for God’s sake.

The religion of Jesus, not a religion about Jesus.

I’d go to that church…I’d live their creed.

P.S. After this piece was written, the Bishops and Laity in Synod sided with the madness; but the Clergy, by a small margin, voted against it.

This meant that the madness was, on this occasion, defeated.

Cherish the moment.


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