Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Smug Christians

Talked to one of those smug, self-satisfied, 'I'm in a proper church where we don't baptise babies and keep to the way the early church used to do it (in the fifties?)' types.

This person was full of how they ignored the initiation rites of the truly early church (first century) and only baptised 'believers'. They then told me about a couple who attended their church who had been 'put out' because of their infidelity. Not the best advert for their instance of 'real church' and doesn't say much for true believers either!

The conversation moved on to 'worship' (which has a space in their service, as opposed to our services which are all worship and nothing else). Seems that 'proper' churches fit what we do in a ninety minute service into twenty minutes and the rest of their service is sermon, prayer and notices - what a church, wish I was in one like that. They knew the names of people I'd never heard of and places I'd didn't know existed (IHOP - International House Of Pancakes?). Not only that, they were having a preacher who'd been on 'God Channel' and they'd attracted lots of new members from the churches around them (isn't that sheep stealing).

By the time they'd done I realised how grateful I was to be in an Anglican (CofE) church with proper worship snd liturgy and people who come (not from other churches but from no church to us) and love God, not the buzz and hype that apparently makes 'proper church'.

Sorry but that's 'pauper church' as I see it!



UKViewer said...

I've for my sins, met one or two like that. I am wont to reassure them that their proper church is of the world and not of the Kingdom.

Which throws them as their concept of the Kingdom of God is somewhere in the sky that they will go once they pop their clogs.

My concept of the Kingdom is here and now. It started to be built when Christ rose from the dead and is a work in progress.

Or am I mistaken? I hope not, because it feels like that.

Tenon_Saw said...

I had a narrow escape from one such church.

margaretkiaora said...

I stumbled across your blog thro a Revlesley link in her Wednesday round-up.My comment is not about Smug Christians ,really although I think we are all in danger of being one of those .
My comment is about following the link on to the ST Francis Website.
It is FANTASTIC-one of the best Church sites I have seen . Well done Tamworth!

slink said...

Here in the southern part of the USA churches which fit the 'proper church' model are, unfortunately, the norm. Amazingly enough I have been to an Anglican church (AMiA) which runs quite close to this model. Much of its growth came from attracting members from other churches. Enough of those members are uncomfortable with infant baptism that the church's website used to advertise "baby dedications". You could get an actual baptism done if you asked for it.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the attitude demonstrated in this article is as smug as the attitude of those whom he is condemning. People are seeking for truth and need sound doctrine to grow. Let's pray that believers are grounded in the truths of the Gospel and not mired in less vital issues.

RevTrev said...


Less vital?

Poor Vicar, points out something valid and gets taken to task for it,

Sorry Anon, I think you're wrong in what you assume and what you say.


Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Not meant to be smug, more despairing actually and the issue is vital in that we seek to overturn whatChurch did and make our 'new' practiced the norm to the point that we ignore what Church is, and should be, and was before we hot clever.

This is not about being 'smug' in return but about being and building Church (and not by sheep stealing!

Anonymous said...

'This is not about being 'smug' in return but about being and building Church (and not by sheep stealing!'

ROFLMAO! "Sheep stealing". That really DOES show what it's all about. How can people be in such denial...

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

One of the big problems in many areas is that there is a little flock of believers who move from fellowship to fellowship. They tend to go where the buzz is and this means that for some, church growth is not about disciples but about numbers and that's a dangerous thing.

As someone important in my early years of training once told me, one man's 'sheep stealing' is merely another's 'transfer growth'.

Glad it made you laugh though (had to look the acronym upo :))