The Holy Police…

BBC 2 has been celebrating their 50th anniversary, and concentrated on 50 years of comedy programming over the past week. As well as the usual talking heads and clip shows, this they have commissioned some special one off episodes of classic and cult series with the existing casts and characters. One of these is The Fast Show, something that I remember watching avidly when it was on…amazingly it only ran for three years from 1994 – 1997. It was (for me) essential viewing and its ensemble of characters and catchphrases could be heard in many offices and pubs across the land…I know that I was guilty of repeating them on many occasions…as I possibly still do…(I recommend the box set for repeated viewing).

The Holy Police was a fast show sketch featuring many of the cast, Arabella Weir has lost her dog, and so goes to the police station to report it. And is greeted by three of the nicest policeman you could ever hope to meet…

Now you may find this sketch slightly irreverent, and clearly they are taking a very tongue in cheek view of Christians. But at the same time, from the outside looking in, we can look like this to many people. As we strive to be relevant in an increasingly secular society, much of our church language and actions can seem just like this clip. How do you explain being overcome by the Holy Spirit? Why do we worship the way we do? What is the big deal about Jesus? The Fast Show crew observed this brilliantly (I am sure that some of them must have had a church background somewhere….)

Why I am I rambling on about this…

We used this clip as a part of a series titled Christianity on Trial, which did just that. We set up a courtroom, had defence and prosecution, and presented arguments for and against church and Christianity, letting the congregation decide on the outcome. It was a really well received series, giving some history and insight into Christianity while also answering some questions and raising some others. The feedback from those that were there was great, and it led to inspiration and ideas for lots of future series.

Although it’s been a long time since I’ve sung Kumbaya, I no longer own a twelve string guitar, and I’ve never possessed a rainbow guitar strap, I can still recognise some of me in this clip. At the end of the day, if we can’t laugh at ourselves a bit, then something is going wrong somewhere. And I have found (as you will, if you continue to follow this blog), that humour can be uniting, disarming, and broad, so I use it often in most of what I do at EBC.

Be honest! Have you ever been “Christian” like this?!

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