Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Kate was listening to one of her birthday presents the other day, The Proclaimers The Best Of... One of the tracks is called I want to be a Christian, written by Sullivan Pugh. Craig, one of the Scottish balladeers, comments in the track notes:proclaimers
We always loved it… My dad was Church of Scotland when he  was a kid and we had turned against it and when I said ‘I don’t want to go’ he said ‘Just don’t go’. It wasn’t a non-believing house but he was deeply cynical about the church and that’s how we grew up… but the idea of seeking to discover spiritual truth would certainly always be part of what I’ve done. The song says ‘I want to be a Christian’ – it doesn’t say ‘I can totally believe in it’, it says ‘I would like to totally believe in it’.
My young son listened to the song and when he heard the brothers singing ‘Lord I want to be a Christian’ for about the fifth time, he shouted out in frustration ‘Then become one!’. I think he’s on to something. Plenty of people say they want to be a Christian or wish they had the faith to believe, but in the end the only way to discover faith is by beginning to live in the story. As the psalmist says: Taste and see that God is good. Psalm 34:8.

I couldn’t find The Proclaimer’s version of the song on Youtube, which doesn’t really surprise me. However, you can find it on Spotify. Failing that you’ll just have to go out and buy the album, it’s worth it.


Jonathan Evens said...

Similar sentiments on 'The Light' as well. Very common position, though, isn't it? Christianity or Jesus is great, it's just Christians or the Church I can't stand. Can't always blame people for feeling that way. Interesting to see Ian Hislop arguing in the opposite direction on BBC2 last night, i.e. Evangelical Victorians may have been po-faced and serious but, by God, didn't they do an awful lot of good.

Tim Goodbody said...

listen to the title track of "Sunshine on Leith" and tell me that its not an expression of faith

Philip Ritchie said...

Tim, I know Sunshine on Leith and it's beautiful but I was commenting on what Craig says about their faith in the sleeve notes.

Jonathan, thanks for the heads up on Hislop's series, I'll try and catch up on it.