The Church Gone Grey
Around the year 1900 a ferry company called The Black and White Steamship Company was formed. It had smart black and white funnels, painted by the Company’s master painter, a Scottish man with a wonderfully steady hand, and who could paint white on black almost perfectly. These fine little ships ferried passengers very happily and safely from port to port, and even rival companies could not help admiring them.
In the course of time, the master painter retired and his son took over the job. Though a fine painter, he unfortunately had an occasional shake in his right hand. Consequently he found it impossible to paint the funnels to the same crisp standard as his father. To get over this problem he arranged with the company’s directors that he should be permitted to introduce a broad band of grey paint between the contrasting black and white bands of paint on the funnels.
Eventually, he too retired and his son took over the same job. Good painter though he was, the son unfortunately inherited the shaky right hand of his father. Indeed, his shake was such that he had to request permission to increase the width of the grey band between the back and white paint of the ship’s funnels. As time went on, however, the painter’s hand shake became progressively worse, and he was forced to seek permission to paint the entire funnel grey. To conform with shipping regulations, the company, now using only grey funnels, was obliged to change their name to The Grey-line Ferry Company. The new livery was very popular with passengers.
However, an unexpected problem arose in that the grey funnelled ships were virtually invisible to one another in foggy or stormy weather. Sadly, several accidents at sea occurred involving fatalities to both passengers and crew. Enquiries afterwards blamed the new Grey-line policy, but the directors of the company rejected this finding. The grey funnels were persisted with, but business collapsed and the firm went into receivership. After many years of trading the ferry company and its affairs were finally terminated. Unsurprisingly, her rivals were only too happy to see her ships put up for sale.
The moral of this story is simple: fuzzy greyness is destroying the Church. We need to return to a clear demarcation between right and wrong, and between the Church and the world. In short, we need Black and White not Grey-line Christianity!