Sin is such fun

The Telegraph

I actually think this guy is perfectly suited to being a person to minister to other sinners, simply because he understands and is not a pious ponce looking down his nose:

Rev Canon Dr Paul Shackerley is under investigation after swearing on Facebook, mocking religious events and complaining about having to go to church on Sundays.

The Rev Canon Dr Paul Shackerley, who joked that “sin is such fun”, was accused of being unfit for office.

A complaint was made to senior clergy in a letter that claimed he had lost the confidence of parishioners.

His comments began a few days before he was due to take part in a service at St Mary Abbots in Kensington, west London, where David Cameron’s daughter Florence was christened last year.

Dr Shackerley, the vicar of Doncaster minster, wrote on a Saturday earlier in the year: “I think I will put my feet up. I’ve done f— all today other than jazz lesson and visit a friend. I hear the fizz of tonic in my gin beckoning.

“Alas, I have religion tomorrow. At least I’m not preaching this week. Preaching next week at St Mary Abbotts [sic] Kensington though. Best make that a good one eh?” He also uploaded a photograph of himself with a snowman, and wrote: “Forgive my sin of frivolity. Sin is such fun! But I haven’t been having an inappropriate relationship with Snowy, who can longer be called a ‘snowman’ in the name of political correctness.”

A comment to a friend read: “P— myself! H, you are so funny!!! It was good to share over lunch yesterday and at the URC Homelessness ‘event’. I say ‘event’. It was hardly worship, was it? I hope you managed to get home okay. It was late by the time the URC [United Reformed Church] and Methodists finished. Good job we are Anglicans eh?”


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  • Troy

    What a dude – so rare to find someone who isn’t a cardboard figure standing in front of a church preaching doom and gloom to the world and setting what we should or should not do.  Religion has always lacked humour which is why i don’t follow any religion – if it was zapped up a bit i might reconsider :)

  • la la land

    Probably because the only parishioners left are old farts with no sense of humour. God forbid – a Reverend acting like a normal human being…

  • Rodger T

    One of the greatest internet memes yet……….

  • Azza

    He’s an angel compared to some of the Army Padres…

    • LesleyNZ

      Yeah and the devil is an angel of light and can look very beautiful.

  • Gaz

    Jesus was the perfect person to minister to other sinners, and he was the complete opposite to this guy.


    Cam, how are you different to the ” pious ponce looking down his nose”

    You look down your nose at others not like you.

    • Rodger T


      • LesleyNZ

        One thing is for sure Rodger T – you don’t have to teach a diaper wearing baby to be bad. You do have to teach a diaper wearing to be good though.

    • Uhmm no I don’t. I don;t go about telling people to not do that which I am doing. In no way do I act pious.

      • Gaz

        But you do look down your nose at others. 

        Your standards of what would make a great minister to other sinners fall short of the Bible’s.

        “Cynicism” and “insincerity” were the first words that came to mind when I read this guy’s post.  Followed by “unbeliever”.

  • LesleyNZ

    I am not surprised – this Reverend doesn’t believe in the Christian message – the Gospel. No doubt sin can be fun – for a while. Well he doesn’t understand sin and how God views sin – does he?  Oh well if he believes sin is such fun and believes in God then when he does meet his maker he will no doubt tell his maker how much fun he finds sin.
    When I read this I thought of this Bible verse:
    Matthew 7:21-23New King James Version (NKJV)
    I Never Knew You21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    Mention of things ‘Christian” on your blog sure stirs up comment!

    • Rodger T

      Evidence L ,for your god ?  

      Maybe you should read the entire bible, not just the ones you like to cherrypick.

      • LesleyNZ

        Roger T – The Bible does describe sin and there are consequences for sin – which includes rape, incest, mutilation and genocide. Indeed any action which breaks the 10 Commandments. There is no scientific evidence for evolution. All that is proported to be, doesn’t bear scrutiny.

    • Rodger T

      Sheer utter nonsense Lesley, the scientific evidence for evolution is overwhelming, because you choose to ignore that fact in favour of your sky fairy myths,does not make it any less true,despite what your priest tells you.

      Educate yourself, while we are all allowed our own opinions we can`t really have our own facts.

    • Rodger T

      You do realise Lesley, that if the Roman Emperor Constantine had chosen Mithraism over Christianity you would be a Mithraist today and I would still be an Atheist? 
      Of course if you can provide evidence I would quite happily change my mind and concede you are correct.

      • LesleyNZ

        Rodger T – Absolutely and am thankful for God’s providence. (And thankful that God raised up a Churchill otherwise we might have lost WW2.) Rodger T – just look around you. Our wonderful world and all that is in it is not a prebiotic accident. Please don’t try and tell me that the latest Lexus evolved from a Morris Minor.  

    • Kimbo

       “I am not surprised – this Reverend doesn’t believe in the Christian message – the Gospel. No doubt sin can be fun – for a while”.

      I wouldn’t be so sure, LesleyNZ. Maybe he is using irony.

      The stuff he describes doesn’t count as sin as defined by the clearest way to recognise it: the 10 Commandments. Instead, he talking about dodging the attendance and adherence requirements of “Religion Inc” – you know, the same thing that put Jesus to death because he committed the “sin” of vandalism and blasphemy by overturning an animal selling stall (John 2: 13-25).

    • la la land

      Don’t have much of a sense of humour do you Lesley….

      • LesleyNZ

        I do but when it comes to things eternal – it gets serious. We are on this earth for such a short time. Eternity is forever…………..and I believe it is not in La La Land!

  • dyannt

    Just in case anyone missed it – the last three and a half years of life as we know it as mentioned in Revelation starts this Sunday. 27th May 2012

  • Jimmie

    The difficulty I think is that so many ‘Christian’ leaders have obtained their positions as a result of wanting a nice religious career. (no where near the real world)

    They also want to appear acceptable to society in general – so they preach a message to do with inclusiveness & social action – pc words which substitute what Christians were originally called to  do.

    I heard Paul Holmes interview some new Anglican bishop last weekend on the radio, and Holmes asked him what he would say to the great unwashed.

    The guy ummed for a little while and said something like, oh um let us know what we can do for you, how we can help you feel included blah blah blah.

    It was quite embarrassing. These folk have no real faith in God, they just do it for a career, and rightly get mocked as religious do-gooders & their church attendance has fallen drasticly over the years.

    The gospel is quite different: 
    1 It is a personal faith in God rather than a general religious belief.
    2 It involves a person being accountable to God for their own short comings (ie sin) not for other people’s short comings.
    3 The really offensive part of the gospel which is hard to accept is this:
    The price of sin in a person’s life is death (eternal damnation if you like) You cannot wipe out your sin by doing good deeds (charity work, helping old ladies across the street, feeding the poor etc.)
    Even if you do these things you still won’t cut the mustard as the standard to get to heaven is that you must be have lived a perfect life from birth to death.

    The only way God found for people to heaven was the need for someone who was perfect to pay the price for our sin. This was his Son Jesus. He came to earth, lived a perfect life, was unjustly put to death, rose again from the dead 3 days later.
    If you put your faith in him, to cover your sins, heaven becomes your final destination.

    This message is not pretty, it is very personal, it involves God interacting in the personal lives of people, and is very contrary to the notions of secularism and comparatively few folk will chose to follow it as there is a high cost to pay. 

    It is not called a narrow road for nothing – but it is real, and good things that Christian folk are meant to do for those who are hard up is meant to flow from their faith, not be a substitute for it.

    • Kimbo

       Don’t disagree with your general sentiments. Jimmie, but I’d suggest your focus is exclusively focused on the individual. Is an easy thing for modern Westerners to do, as it is a philosophy and perspective that surrounds us – like water in which fish swim. You take it so much for granted, after a while you don’t notice it.

      The salvation spoken of in the gospel also includes a social dimension. Doesn’t have to be the leaden bureaucratic socialist version that gets peddled as a heretical alternative to Christian social actvism – but it most certainly has to be there. Some will argue you’ve got to stress the need for faith first, others social action. Is probably a pointless argument as either way, you need both. Faith is a corportate thing, as well as personal.

      • dyannt

         I can’t quote the actual verses but isn’t there something about “whited sepulchres”, and “commiting adultery with your eyes”. So yes, the focus would have to be totally on the individual’s relationship with their god.  Their actions should come from the truth of their beliefs, not doing things to create a facade of what looks good in other’s eyes.
         Jesus’s words showed that he recognised that just because someone looks good doesn’t make them “good”.

      • Kimbo

        @ dyannt

        You’re quoting Jesus’ temple sermon from Matthew 23:27, which is aimed against religious hypocrisy. But just because seemingly good outward action can hypocrtically cover a sinful heart is not an admonition against good actions!

        Jesus had a bit to say about that – including affirming the second great commandment, given through Moses, that you should “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22: 39, quoting Leviticus 19:18).

        That most certainly involves social action! I think you are making the mistake beloved of many mystics and pietists of assuming that biblical spirituality and salvation is an escape from physical corporate existence, rather than a renewal of it.

      • Kimbo

         @ dyannt

        and based on the post before last that you made, I’d also assume your Dispensationalism theology – “let’s rub our hands together with glee when bad things happen in the world because it means Jesus’ return is coming soon – and don’t try any practical action to make the world a better place because it is simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” – is skewing your assessment of the value of Christian social action.

        I suggest you widen your reading and look at the amillenial and postmillenial interpretive alternatives. Scripture may indeed be the Word of God, but those who insist they have the infallible interpretation, especially on calendars of the end of the world, are usually on the looney fringe, or are spiritual parasites like the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      • LesleyNZ

        It doesn’t matter if you are “post” “pre” or “A” millenial. Preach the Gospel and help the needy goes hand in glove. If a person is starving you don’t preach the Gospel to him and say “You listen to this before I feed you” – You feed him – before anything else. The measure of a Christian is the fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23: 
        Love,  joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.

  • dyannt

     “Love,  joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.”

    Yep, have all those – and I don’t identify as a Christian.

    • Phronesis

      Funny, I have none of those and I do identify as a Christian.

      • dyannt

         That is sad, Phronesis.  Truly

      • Phronesis

        Not really dyannt.

        You will have heard the expression:

        “True knowledge is knowing how little you actually know.”

        To take love as an example. The love of God is inescapable but the closer I get to Him the more I understand how sin comes between us and that the love I experience now is but a shadow of what Love can be. So I look forward to my salvation through Christ.