Sunday, 20 May 2012

Another 'Dear Vicar . . '

I have this weekend received a really nice communication asking me why this blog is not 'more distinctly Christian'? The points raised are interesting and challenging and I will seek to address them as best I can from the limited resources before me.

1. "So much of your blog relates to incidents and material taken from outside the church setting and rarely are your response or observations Christian in terms of quoting the Bible or promoting what I understand to be a Christian viewpoint."

2. "You appear to be a minister in a challenging setting and yet rarely speak of the ways in which the Gospel has brought sinners to a place of faith and repentance. Is this because you don't see them or are there other reasons?"

3. "Do you think your Christmas cards, images and caption contests are something that should appear on a blog which claims to be Christian? I know they would not be well received in my fellowship but then again neither would many of your views."

The writer does take pains to point out that fact that they find the daily readings and some of the material on this blog to be helpful and commends the blog overall, it is just the problems they have with the lack of Bible quotes, promotion of things Christian and some of the images and the like.

I will attempt to answer in the order given (a real challenge for me):

I have to say that I hope (and would like to think) that everything in this blog is Christian and although I don't continually write chapter and verse or post (or quote from) some of the great minds out there who excel in Christian (or theology) speak, the Bible is present (as are Christian viewpoints and lifestyles).

I don't do the great 'I led them to the Lord' stories because I often find them to be more about the person who led them than the Lord who called them and the Christ who died for them. There are many who will regale you tales of their great evangelistic zeal and successes (although oddly many are in small churches and fellowships so where do they store them?) if you search the internet. Others will ask you for donations and will invite you to buy CDs, books and the like (so you can read, hear and watch them too). The encounters I have, when spoken of are the encounters of a minister amongst a people who know little of Christ and want even less to do with His Church! The engagements are of an apologetic nature and seek to bless what God is doing and find ways to introduce the reality that, even when they don't know it, God is acting in their lives.

Question three is a bit of a silly question because the fact that the images and stuff you speak of are there indicates that I obviously do think they are fitting for a Christian site! That the church or fellowship you attend would not welcome them is perhaps as much their problem as the posting of them is mine. Mind you I soon learned that as a Pentecostal (for instance) the 'F' word was much in use but travelled under the cover of 'Jolly' (i.e. Where's that jolly spanner; the man's a jolly nuisance!).

I might be a little more gritty but then again as a wonderful old Welsh preacher one said, "You may sometimes look like the world to the church but to those in the world you look like Jesus!" So I guess that means that those who are offended or discomforted by my words will be so, and this isn't my intention, but there are many in a variety of settings and roles who enjoy the madness that is this blog and so I suppose those who want to come will and those who don't won't. The economics of a market culture (and as they don't pay neither side loses).

That said, if I do cross the line (and that's a real possibility knowing the schoolboy and rag-mag writing child who resides behind these eyes) I know that there are many who love and care for me who would restore me gently (most of the time).

Thank you for your question. I hope I have done them justice.



Anonymous said...

I wonder what I will face if and when I finally get around to starting to write on my blog. If there is one thing that is said about me more than anything else it is "You are not like a normal vicar are you?" I take it as the greatest compliment as St Peter was a fisherman not a priest of the Temple.

Keep praying and carry on.

Louise said...

You did do them justice :o)