CHANGE AND DECAY

In the church in Scotland there is an objection sure to be repeated whenever change of any kind is mooted, ‘But we’ve always done it that way’. In this we are probably no different from churches elsewhere. The sad truth is that it was ever thus, in fact ‘We’ve always done it this way’.

****

The Venerable Myopia Motionless, minister of St Rheumatics on the Knee, laid down his quill. Pushing back the scroll he shook his hoary old head and sighed, ‘Ochone and ochone’. As he ponsdered the state of the church he was forced to recall a line from a beloved hymn in his treasured hymnal Hymns Ancient & Ever So Slightly Less Decrepit, ‘Change and decay in all around I see’.

He could see no end to it all. Young ministers refusing to have a proper tonsure at the front and going in for those new fangled tonsures at the back of the skull. Well, God would have the last laugh, He didn’t create male pattern baldness for nothing.

Myopia had even heard rumours of people wanting to translate the Bible into everyday English. Preposterous, how could the church survive if people actually understood what was going on? If this continued you would end up with people in the pews actually thinking that they could understand the mysteries of the faith themselves.

Why, if that happened and all the obscurity and mystery went the officiating ministers would lose all status and esteem. The common folk in the pews might even want to start thinking for themselves and not bowing the knee to the experts, ministers like himself.

Myopia knew in his bones that once ministers stopped dressing up in cod mediaeval costume they would lose all respect. Folk would think they were just ordinary people when the magic went. What these young whippersnappers forgot is that it’s the clothes that make the man, that’s what earns respect, not the person or the message. A favourite saying of his bishop’s was ‘A dog collar covers a multitude of sins’. Just think of what a cassock and robes could cover up. Well, it worked for him.

He smiled quietly to himself as he recalled the golden age when he was a lad. The old ways were the best. Didn’t these impudent children realise that trying to change things for the better was self-defeating, how can you improve something that is perfect?

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About Campbell

Now retired but once upon a time a parish minister in Glasgow, before that the South West and initially the Black Isle. Been a prison chaplain and lecturer. Still am constantly bemused by the weird world around me.
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4 Responses to CHANGE AND DECAY

  1. Moth says:

    For myself, I had enough of traditional unchanging church ages ago (about the time I became a christian) My admiration goes to those who stay in and attempt to change from within.

  2. Robert Cook says:

    “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever–“I am the way ,the Truth and the Life :no one comes to the Father but by me.” You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.”
    “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly”.In this World you will have trouble–but fear not I have conquered the World.”
    All this I have found to be true —not because I worked it out, but because the Holy Spirit worked it in after I was reborn, not by my endeavour , but because of the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.I did not seek Him –He sought and caught me.
    I have peace which passes all understanding, I know joy in all circumstances springing from deep wells, and I deserve nothing but death. Why is it then that our “National Church” does not strive to let our nation and the World know that nothing is of any importance except Christ and Him crucified? From Him all things flow and without Him we are nothing?
    Dear Lord I am yours where else can I go? Here I stand, I can do no other. Amen.

  3. alan rogerson says:

    Cambell- this ones the best yet!

  4. CAPTAIN JOHN S. COLMAN. says:

    Centuries ago Jonathan Edwards, a very young minister godly and perceptive , died young but left a salutary message for the Church universally.
    “The godly duty of every believer is to discern where the Eternal Redeemer is leading and to follow in His direction.”!
    Such is today’s challenge for committed believers.

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