The BBC Bus and who "Owns" the Church

A final, wise word on the whole BBC/Brand/Ross affair came last night during Marcus Brigstock's weekly rant in the newly returned Now Show on Radio 4, quoting my friend Mitch Benn who said:

"The BBC is not a taxi, it's a bus, and paying your license fee and deciding that entitles you to dictate the output of the BBC is like buying a bus ticket and saying 'Right I've got this ticket therefore this is now my bus and it must drive me home and park outside my house and wait there until the morning when I need it again."

Now of course in saying this we're not suggesting that the BBC licence is a warrant to do anything they want... Were the Beeb to be an out of control bus, then we would have cause to wrestle the wheel out of the driver's hands... And where the service doesn't come up to standard we still have the right to complain... But the direction of the organisation should not be dictated by the loudest voices... What was it my Mum used to say about empty vessels making most noise?

The thing is, what is true of the BBC is probably even more true of the church, although I doubt that Mitch would appreciate the analogy. Sometimes it seems as if people think that the church should be run like "Celebrity Strictly Come Prancing" or whatever it is called... But what is right is not always determined by what is popular or dictated by the loudest voices... It is not a democracy (sorry to break that to those denominations who think that it is) it is part of the Kingdom of God... which is not a constitutional monarchy where the ruler is happy to sit on the sidelines and have words put in their mouth by the government of the day...

The question is not whether the bus is going our way, but whether we are prepared to get on the bus wherever it is going...


Alan in Belfast said…
That's so going to have to become a Thought For the Day!
A comment left on face book by my mate Spike in response to this post:
"Most people get a choice whether to get on a bus or not. Few buses directly insist that you pay for their expensive drivers to go where they want and you are obliged to join them whether you like it or not.

At least the church gives us an option to stop paying and get off when we like. Their main mistake is assuming that only the people still on the bus know where everybody else is going and hang out of the windows bawling at them when they decide to go in different directions."

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