I like Gospels, but I couldn’t manage a whole one
I was previously aware of the term “Full Gospel” and the existence of “Full Gospel” churches, fellowships and conferences, but I was reminded of the term today and my mind started to wander in very strange directions. Part of me wants to stroke my beard and explore the implications for ecumenical relations, but mainly I think the idea’s ripe for a spot of mockery.
The obvious (and boring) meaning is that it’s the whole Gospel, wi’ nowt taken out, but that makes me wonder if nasty brown bread’s the right analogy. What if it’s more like most things we consume, such as coffee, and some of the things in the Gospel are bad for you? Then it would probably be more virtuous to order a skinny Gospel instead of the full one, but I’ve never heard of a Partial Gospel Church of Christ, and the Strained Gospel Church sounds quite unpleasant.
Because I like the coffee idea, I’m not going to drop it just yet. You could order your church frothed if you’re Charismatic or Pentecostal, single if you’re a Unitarian, or decaf if you’re an Anglican. Any church can be ordered with hazelnut syrup for extra nuttiness. Okay, I’m done now.
I also wondered if it was possible to order a half portion of Gospel. Children aren’t going to manage that all in one go, and there are days when I don’t think I could manage a whole one because I’ve spent the morning snacking on Christian apologetics. Yes, I know I shouldn’t, but the moment I’ve finished one, I feel empty again and want another.
Or it’s possible that the full bit is their dedication to the Gospel – these churches rarely seem to take half measures (or serve half portions). But it’s not much of an advert really, is it? Just giving 100%? Footballers regularly give 110%, sometimes as much as 120%, and they’re just kicking a ball around – yes, they get paid well, but it’s not like they’re playing for eternal life, is it?
I’d expect nothing less than 150% from any church that was really taking it seriously, with 200% for the really keen ones. The Double Gospel Church of Christ has quite a nice ring to it, I think. And don’t give me any defeatist chat about 100% being the maximum you can achieve. With God, all things are possible, right?
Image courtesy of Flavio Takemoto, used with permission