Commitment-Phobe: Prosecco preaching
Earlier this year, I found myself at the joint birthday party of a couple of old friends of mine. They are friends from a time before I caught religion and when I didn’t have children. We have memories of many a night turning into early morning. Since becoming a mum, I barely see them in person, but once or twice a year we meet up for a birthday party and I act like it’s my last chance ever to go out – or at least my last chance for six months, which it is. At this last event, I arrived at 6pm and was dismayed to find there was a bar, music and no kitchen to serve food. Things got messy pretty quickly.
Some of my new Christian friends don’t seem to be drinking a great deal of alcohol. I had assumed that this was to avoid doing anything licentious and giving non-Christians the opportunity to sit in judgement, which of course does happen, as the newspapers testify. But I now think that the real danger is that you may find yourself, full of both the joys of the grape and the spirit, starting to tell people about how great it is to be a Christian. When that happens there will be someone around to tell you just how wrong you are and you may find yourself getting into arguments that you don’t know how to get out of. This is what happened to me recently. I was not in any way impressive.
I have no idea if I started the conversation or if he did, which may in part be due to the prosecco. What I do know is that I found myself being questioned by him: When did you become a Christian? Did you do an Alpha course? Have you read all the Bible? Have you read it in the original Hebrew or Greek? Have you read any of the books of other religions? How can you choose to be a Christian if you haven’t studied the whole thing?..
This is an extract from the November 2015 edition of Reform.