In church this morning, a friend gave me the web address of the church she went to when she lived in Glasgow. I had a browse a moment ago, and that led me on a search for the websites of all the churches in Glasgow that people have been good enough to recommend to me over the past few weeks. They include both traditional and lively Churches of Scotland, an independent baptist church, a Pentecostal church, and an Episcopal church.
My googling led me to stumble on the homepage of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, an extremist denomination consisting of two and a half grumpy Lewismen who oppose everything, including and especially Fun. In a stroke of inadvertant comedy genius their website is closed on Sundays. I remember reading a few years ago of the internal debate within the Free Ps about whether to actually establish a website or not – opponents of the idea claimed that any site on the internet was “only five clicks away from pornography”. Quite how they knew this, I have no idea.
I can’t quite see why even the most traditional of doctrine should dictate that a website about the Christian faith should be closed on a Sunday – perhaps they think that web-surfing is just a step away from dancing, and of course we all know that dancing is just a step away from sex. However, what with giving women only second-class status and compulsory hat orders; refusing to do anything except constantly repent for the crushing sinfulness of mankind and offer brutal judgementalism to the rest of us infidels; their oppressive Sabbatarianism; and adhering to the letter of the Old Testament to an extreme degree that would put the Amish to shame, I reckon closing their website on a Sunday is not really all that surprising. With guys like the FPs around, there’s really no need for satire – I wouldn’t swap them for anything!
Anyway, back to all these different churches I’ve been recommended – they all seem lively and appealing in their own ways, and I think it might be worth broadening my horizons beyond my own blinkered centre ground. Me going to a baptist, charismatic or Episcopal church? Stranger things have happened. I can’t think of any, but I am sure they have…
With so many places to try out when I move south, I think I could have a lot of fun “mystery shopping” them all.