Saturday, August 12, 2006

The First Church of Laughter


Tired of all that preaching about sin and salvation? The Rev. Ian Gregory has the solution for you, according to the London Telegraph.

For those who are curious about Christianity but disillusioned by the institutional Church, there is a novel solution - drop the religion. The Rev Ian Gregory, a cleric well known to readers of The Daily Telegraph for launching the Campaign for Courtesy in an attempt to improve manners, has embarked on a new project which he calls "Christianity without religion". Out goes the "archaic mumbo-jumbo" of church services and the "silly arguments about things that don't and shouldn't matter"; in come chats about anything that makes you feel good and the world's first dedicated "laughter room" because "laughter is as important as prayer".

Glad to see they're dumping those silly arguments about sin, the cross, salvation and those other things that point us to Christ, in favor of things that will make you feel good! He should link up with Joel Osteen!

He says:

"I look back on the past 20 years and think, what the Dickens was I doing? I now advise people who are bored with church not to go....People are fed up with religion. The bar-room talk is that it causes too much trouble in the world. But people are intrigued by spirituality and by figures such as Jesus and Buddha."

Glad he checked out the local bars to see what people really need - excuse me - want.

The traditional Sunday morning service will be replaced by "coffee and laughter" - videos of classic comedy films during which people will be able to come and go or read the Sunday papers over tea and toast. Mr Gregory, a colourful figure who prefers bright ties and a trilby to clerical garb, will then be available to people for "one to one personal consultations" and "healing prayers."

Wonder who he'll be praying to - Jesus, Buddha, To Whomever It May Concern?

He will also launch a course devoted to people's self-image and confidence, with sessions entitled "Have you a right to be happy?" and "The art of conversation."

Must be reading Robert Schuller's books again! But fear not, he has taken pity on us poor, misguided unfortunates who miss the old days:

In a concession to more traditional religion, he will hold Christian worship on some Sunday afternoons, which will consist of a mixture of hymns, prayers, readings and discussions.

Good, I was worried there for a moment!

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