Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Blokey Christianity

A friend has blogged on "Being a Bloke"and that set me thinking.  If I take his thesis that blokes (and I think here we are talking a different species to just men - there are other qualifications) don't like the "frilly bits" in life (except around the bottom of their cottas), then how as a church are we going to market ourselves to "blokes"?  (Irony intended)

There is a more serious issue, and another friend has blogged on it here, and there was an article in the Church Times a while back about it with a critique in the letters the following week.  Then there was the story of the Welsh vicar who resigned, apparently for swearing - I say apparently because if every vicar who swore got sacked I don't think there would be many left - certainly few of my acquaintance - and that would also apply to at least some of the bench of Bishops - I was told of one who used the f word twice in a confirmation sermon, though I wasn't told the context.  I was also present at a sermon when the now Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman preached that the f word wasn't used enough in church, although he went on to clarify that for him f was for "fun".

But I digress, the church does give the impression that it isn't for "blokes", for me the question is whether that is because "bloke" culture is incompatible with the church, or because we have fallen into bad ways.  If we want to help bring about the Kingdom (which I rather think is what Jesus wanted), then some of the blokey attributes might just help us with that.

As an afterthought...  Do we think Jesus would be more at home in church or with blokes?

I recently saw a great video parable (h/t Jonny Baker) - Wild Thing (and I love Elvis was good too) which might speak into this space.


  1. When I get called into the bishop's office to have my wrists slapped in connection with my blog it is always because of (what he calls) swearing on my site. His definition of swearing includes the f word, and words like "bugger," "arse" and "shit." My definition of swearing is limited to taking the Lord's name in vain, using the Lord's name to back up a promise and words that degrade a group of people such as the c word (although this is objective to a large extent). The bishop's list of swear words are just words to me. They are part of my cultural baggage as an ex-lorry driver from a council estate and as someone immersed in popular culture. Therefore, I regard the church hierarchy's policing of my language as a class issue. They are stating that their etiquette is correct and mine is not. That p***es me off, somewhat.

    However, unlike my bishop, I respect the culture's of other people and so I would never swear in church, or in front of a member of my congregation because that would be offensive to those members of the church who are from the class that would agree with the bishop. But when I am among "my own people" (including those who visit my blog) I need to be able to "swear" because the use of "swear words" is an important and integral part of our creativity and expression.

    And this is not a guys versus gals thing. In my bishop's circle swearing may be restricted to when the men are with other men only. But in my class women do swear in public, though not as much as men (unless they are from Glasgow, where the women are far more "foul-mouthed" than the men from my experience).

  2. Oh shit, I think I would be in trouble with your bishop (btw I would have thought swearing was compulsory in Newcastle - or is that prejudice?), luckily for me I think I have a very long way to go before offending my Bishop with my swearing.. At the moment the Bishop and I are side by side in swearing disgrace on the General Synod Blog http://gensyn.blogspot.com/:


    Current Blog Quote:
    The “Bloody Fool” school of history has answers to everything, but understands nothing.
    From Bishop Alan.

    Current Twitter Quote from RevdLesley:
    "In my sermon I said: I don't like it when I enter a room and get 'it's the Vicar, don't swear'; so at the door on the way out got: 'Bloody good sermon Vicar'!"

  3. I can't find it, but remember an article in the Church Times a few years ago - it was flippant in tone, but among things that upset clergy it included something like don't stop swearing in front of us, we have heard all the words and use most of them except in front of the churchwarden - not sure why the churchwarden got a mention and not the Bishop though.

  4. Hi, I have great PowerPoint Presentation about Conforming to Other Peoples Standards, I have been told that it uses Irony (a thing which I have had to learn). It takes a Rude Phase (2 Words Long - First Word Begins with the letter [F] and I made it into Initials. I would happily send it via Email to anyone who wants to see it. People at my place of Work like it very much.



Related Posts with Thumbnails