‘God Is For Life, Not Just for Christmas’, Says Vicar

A rector has criticised people who only attend church during the festive season accusing them of treating God like an unwanted elderly relative.

The Telegraph reports:

A vicar has criticised people who only attend Church over the festive season   telling them: “God is for life – not just for Christmas”.

The Reverend Steve Goodbody accused Christmas-only churchgoers of treating God    “like an elderly relative of whom they are not very fond.”

Writing in his parish magazine Today, he said: “I confess that I do sometimes   wonder about what goes through the minds of those who attend church services   on such an irregular basis. 

“After all, if we believe that the Christmas message is true – that God really   did send his only Son into the world to save us from our sins – then   attending church just once or twice a year seems a rather feeble response to   God’s amazing generosity. 

“Some people even seem to treat God a bit like an elderly relative of whom   they are not very fond. 

“They go and visit him for an hour or two at Christmas and perhaps at Easter,   but they feel at liberty to ignore him for the rest of the year (unless they   want something from him of course).

“An elderly relative would not be very impressed by this level of devotion and   nor is God, He surely deserves better than this.”

The rector of Exe Valley in Devon labelled festive revellers heading for the   odd Christmas service as hypocrites. 

He continued: “On the other hand, if we think that the message of Christmas is   untrue – that it is just a myth or a fairy story – then why do we bother   going to church at all? It is a bit of a sham to go through the motions if   deep down we think that it is a load of nonsense. 

“We may enjoy the sentimental feeling that the carol service generates but if   it is all based on a falsehood or a delusion, then we are simply indulging a   fantasy.” 

John Burton, of Washfield, Devon, was angry with the rector’s message. 

He said: “While regular church attendance is very important to some of us,   such hostile messages from the clergy are unlikely to increase   congregations.” 

The Rev Ian Johnson, a retired team rector from Southampton, who now lives in   Tiverton, said some clergy might privately share Rev Goodbody’s views but   would not express them publicly. 

He said: “For 40 years I had a full church at Christmas and Easter and the   rest of the year our churches were half empty.”

 

One thought on “‘God Is For Life, Not Just for Christmas’, Says Vicar

  1. what if, just what if…these poor lapsed or lost Souls came to Church on Christmas morning – or Easter – looking for Jesus?! And did the good Vicar ask himself if they would find HIM there? And where would the “Good Shepherd” find himself then? Would he not leave the 99 (not really abandoning them) – to find even one lost sheep? And then too like Jesus, placing them, oh so tenderly, on His shoulders to carry them Home? Wouldn’t there be “more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than ninety-nine who have no need of repentance”?!
    It seems all too smug and comfy to sit at places of honor at banquet tables, but…what would Jesus do?! HE supped with tax collectors and sinners; a prostitute washed HIS Feet with her tears and dried Them with her hair! She was delivered of many demons, then went on to become a ‘great Saint’ – all because she went looking for Jesus – and found HIM!
    Jesus Himself said: “you can feel the wind when it blows, but you do not know from where it comes or where to it goes; so it is with the Spirit of God”.

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