Category: bad ideas

Buildings and bad ideas

By , 3 July 2009 9:44 pm

A friend of mine from the United States who reads this blog sent me this web address . It’s basically about the problems of the Anglican Church in the UK and how some churches are considering putting advertising placards on their steeples in order to pay for the incredibly expensive upkeep of their buildings. I sympathise. What is quite interesting in Wales is that although there are a vast number of disused chapels, most of the new churches (and there are a few) are avoiding them and using schools or old cinemas for worship. The upkeep of historically important buildings is difficult enough but it is even worse when you have to abide by well meant legislation for the preservation of ancient buildings which prohibits you doing common sense things like ripping out pews or removing the organ.

As I was thinking about this I was reminded of a book idea that I almost certainly will never write called Ten Bad Ideas in the History of Christianity. Let me list some of these and you can use your intellect to guess the where and when of them.

  1. ‘ Say, I have this great idea, instead of meeting in homes, why don’t we make special buildings for our fellowship meetings? I do know, we could call them “churches”.’
  2. ‘My Lord Emperor, have you considered making Christianity the state religion? That way religion would support the state and the state would support the religion. A great idea: can’t fail. ’
  3. ‘Your Highness, we were wondering if as Pope, you have ever considered getting a lot of men together, giving them a few swords, blessing them and then having them sail over to the Holy Land and take it back from the infidel. You could call the whole thing well, a crusade.’
  4. ‘Your Highness, we are sure that, as supreme Pontiff of the church, you find the widespread presence of heresy and dissent distressing. One novel suggestion we have for ensuring the smooth running of the ecclesiastical world is to have a special body of people authorised to establish good practice throughout Christendom, by force if necessary. You could call it The Inquisition.’
  5. ‘Galileo? You need to sort him out: you don’t want these science people getting ahead of themselves. Make him recant.’
  6. ‘Witches? Bad news all round. Hard to deal with. I know! We could try burning them.’
  7. ‘Given that so many people don’t seem to want to believe in Christianity anymore perhaps we can try pushing the argument from design. After all you can’t reason your way out of that can you?’
  8. ‘Ah Bishop. There’s some chap speaking in favour of this thing called Evolution down in Oxford. I don’t suppose you’d like to go and oppose him would you? Make it plain who holds the intellectual high ground. A bit of ridicule – a spot of humiliation – that sort of thing.  That ought to sort that lot out. ’
  9. ‘ Archbishop, Number 10 here. The Prime Minister would be awfully grateful if you could call the present conflict a “holy war”. Wondered if you could point out how diabolic the enemy is and promise our boys that they are doing God’s will. You know the sort of thing.’
  10. I can’t think of a tenth but I’m sure you can.

Well, have a good week, and try to spot the bad ideas before you carry them out, not afterwards.

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