Tuesday, 12 June 2012
It's all about Me, Me, Me!
The needy person in the pub or at the dinner party whose insecurities mean that they have to be at the centre of every conversation. No matter what the subject, they always find a way of bring the conversation back to themselves. “It’s all about Me!” is their mantra – even when it clearly isn’t.
Well I am sorry to say that the Church of England is becoming exactly that.
Whenever the Government tries to introduce some new legislation to ensure more equal access to some aspect of public life, the CofE has got into the most annoying of habits of turning the conversation round to itself rather than the people who are being excluded.
Whether it is employment legislation, or access to services, or Civil Partnerships, membership of the House of Lords – or now same-sex Marriage – the Church is getting very adept at making itself the centre of conversation and crying out “It’s all about Me!”
The latest example of this came late last night in its response to Government proposals on Marriage.
“It’s all about Me!” we cry. It’s not really about the gay people who would benefit from being able to get married – it is about what the consequences would be for the Church. If you do this you will destroy our place in the nation – if you let gay people get married you will dis-establish the church – if you do this, you will undermine the monopoly we thought we had on saying what is and is not acceptable in marriage. You can’t introduce marriage for gay couples because it’s not really about them – it’s about Me!
No wonder the nation is tiring of the pompous neediness of the Church. No wonder people are being turned off from the message we preach. No wonder people don’t want to come anymore, because at the end of the day, the needy person in the corner of the room is not attractive and certainly not the one that people want to spend their time with.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great must be the servant of all.” The servant puts the needs of others before their own needs. The servant listens rather than pontificates. God does not call the church to be a slave to society – but neither does God call us to make ourselves the centre of attention by twisting every conversation back to ourselves.
Until we rediscover this fundamental truth, I fear that we will continue to be a Church that is all about Me, rather than the Church that is all about Him – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.