[pic: Michelle Coram]
see greenbelt 7On reflection, having sat through beer and hymns a second time, with those theologically disastrous lyrics of a patriarchal age, and witnessed drunk and not so drunk people raising beers - to what? God? the songs? themselves? the beer and hymns experience? - and having had numerous conversations with greenbelters, i begin to wonder, is that really church? I don't suggest that beer should necessarily be absent from worship, or that we shouldn't sing together to God, in or out of pubs. Rather, that hundreds of people singing outdated songs with poor theology they probably do not subscribe to can hardly constitute worship, or really, an experience I would choose to participate in again. To celebrate those hymns, those views about God is not to celebrate the God I encounter personally, is not to connect in an authentic way with the Spirit, is not, I don't believe, to honour Christ. It was fun for a moment, once, I will admit, but hashing over it a lot post greenbelt, even sitting through it a second time, brings out of the shadows the reality that can be suppressed once but not twice - that's not church, not worship, not for me.