Friday, 4 December 2009

Christmas carols - a fictional fantasy?

The Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon, has branded Christmas carols as being nonsense - saying that adults should be embarrassed to sing them.

He also blasts nativity plays as "fictional fantasy" and claims that songs like Away In A Manger give children a "misleading" image of Jesus.

He says: "I find it bizarre when I see parents singing Away In A Manger as if it related to reality. I can understand little children being taken with the sort of baby of whom it can be said 'no crying he makes'. But how can adults sing this without embarrassment? If we sing nonsense, is it any surprise that children grow into adults and throw out the tearless baby Jesus with Father Christmas and other fantasy figures?"

Has he not heard of symbolism - something that is vital to the whole Christmas faith? I think he's treading on thin ice here. The Church needs its own to support it, not slate one of its most popular festivals which draws people in like at no other time in the year.

He also slates Once In Royal David's City for saying that children should be "mild" and "obedient", saying that "This sounds suspiciously like Victorian behaviour control." Well he would do, he's from Croydon.

His rant appears in his new book called Why Wish You a Merry Christmas? and you can pick up a copy here, if you'd like to read more.

No comments: