A GOOD BOY

Be a good boy, son. Don’t go to a church!

PETER GRAYSTONE develops pioneer mission projects for the Church Army, and writes for the Church Times. This week he writes of a (well known) “Christian newspaper” whose editor is said to have defended publication of an article that described a “Gaystapo” of “gay-rights stormtroopers” who “have achieved legal equality for homosexuals”.

He writes too of a phone call from one of his friends – “typical of her generation – unchurched, liberal, and committed to causes that oppose homophobia and promote human rights”. She was worried because her young son wanted to join a club run by her local church. What would the sub-text be for this boy she was bringing up to be moral and compassionate? She didn’t want him to (her words)  “fall in with a bad crowd.” Here’s how Peter Graystone finishes his piece:

I am ashamed that I was forced to begin a conversation with a child’s mother by saying: “The Church is not such bad news as it might at first appear”.

Thank God for Peter Graystone. But we’d do well to publish this assertion on freely distributed fridge magnets – “The Church is not such bad news as it might at first appear …” – to encourage all who love God, creation, and especially the church, to ask themselves daily: “… is it?”

And some days the answer is profoundly shocking. “Be a good boy, son. Don’t go to a church!” – God help us!

Maybe the boy’s stable and sensible-sounding mother could be a bishop?