God in the club scene?

By Simon Barrow
April 26, 2007

John Ruffle was rather, er, ruffled that his comment on our news story about the C of E and the BBC got removed.

We're sorry John (and we forgive you for questioning our Christian identity and propriety - about which see here and here.)

The deletion happened as a result of a bit of a mix-up at our end regarding an experiment with comments on news stories. We're in two minds about it, and are 'holding' in the meantime. Drop us a note if you have any views.

So, for the record, here's Mr Ruffles' reponse to Ekklesia's comments:

I agree that the sacred-secular divide is a residue from the Enlightenment, but is it really that easy to "...find God in a night-club..." unless the Christian faithful are intentionally planting seeds of hope and dialogue, along with an element of challenging young people to think through life's issues?

No one disputes that it is possible for a person to find God in a night club. The question is, will they? The primarily intention of the average clubber in west London where I live, is almost certainly to simply "have a good time". I question how many out there on a Saturday night are on an immediate and desperate quest for God. An apostle of the ‘pre-modern’ Church of the first century indicates why this might be: “...the god of this present age has blinded their unbelieving minds so as to shut out the sunshine of the Good News of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor 4:4, Weymouth). I therefore suggest that a contextualised, intentional dialogue is therefore needed. For instance, a local community pastor and I run a film night periodically in our community. We do not push Christian "message" movies - but we do endeavour to provide a safe non-church space whereby life issues may be thought about in the context of society rather than the church, and where questions can be raised.

So while I agree with Jordan Tchilingirian that there is an over-arching sense of the spiritual that goes beyond church walls, there also needs to be an intentional engagement for Christian spirituality to have meaning and engagement in everyday life. As Robert E. Webber says in 'Ancient-Future Faith', "In the post-modern world evangelisation will take place within the various cultures of the world" (p 146). I endorse the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, in that as a part of our own media culture herein Britain, (paid for by public licence fees), Radio 1 has no right to be excluded from intentional dialogue when it comes to Christian spirituality.

Keywords:nightclub | God music | dj | bbc
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