The New Testament speaks of days when people will preach what will tickle men's ears and disdain sound doctrine. The London Telegraph On Line is reporting it live.
In a story written by Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent, the LT tells us about
The Rev Ian Gregory, a retired Congregationalist minister whose new project is "Christianity without religion". No, don't confuse this with those preachers who say Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship.
Mr Gregory is starting a laughter room, believing that laughter is as important as prayer. That is why Jesus had the Lord's laugh of the day right after the Lord's prayer. And why the New Testament is full of jokes. Remember the comedy routine on the Mount? I'm afraid it's Gregory that's laughable, at least until you consider the possible tragedy that someone will believe him and be lead astray.
Gregory also says "I now advise people who are bored with church not to go." I'm sure the Lord will take boredom as an excuse to forgo worship.
Instead of the worship service, however. Gregory will offer "coffee and laughter", including videos of classic comedy films. This will surely teach them they are lost and need salvation, and lead them to worship as God commanded.
Of course, there will be a session on self-image and confidence, because what is more important than the self? That is Gregory's basic problem. He has forgotten that Christianity is not about the self, it is about God, and the true worship of him as he desires.
My only comforting thought is that the project is almost certainly doomed to failure. People whose self image and happiness appear intact to themselves won't come. They don't need a boost of self image or cheesy comedy shows.
Those who really are looking for God won't find him there, and will move on under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit who won't be there either.