Tony Jordan is the writer who penned a four-part drama for BBC based on the Nativity - cleverly enough titled The Nativity. (Hey, don't mess around with the classics, right?) He told The Telegraph that the writing process was something of a conversion for him.
I have a distaste for organised religions, because they tamper with stories, add a bit here, take a bit off there, and then start killing each other because the other one doesn't agree.
The only thing I know for sure is that the words I read as coming from Jesus Christ are the most truthful thing I have ever heard. As a blueprint for mankind, it is so smart that it couldn't even have come from a clever philosopher. Who would have been smart enough to say 'He who is without sin cast the first stone'? Wow! That's pretty cool.
Does that make him a potential church-goer? No way.
I have a distaste for people who say to me if you come through these doors, walk down this aisle, sit on that wooden bench, and sing these hymns in this order, I have got God in a little bottle under my pulpit and I'll let you have a look... I don't think [that] was God's intention.
Perhaps Mr. Jordan misunderstands the purpose of the gathered community of Christ - we haven't got our stuff together, and I don't see it happening anytime soon. Still, his words are a clear encapsulation of one prevailing viewpoint about why the church is generally in decline. He doesn't like the idea that structure alone holds all the answer's to life's questions (or has anything to do with transcendence or transformation).
Here's one response, and from one of the ordained:
I share Jordan’s distaste, even whilst I hate to admit that the kind of people he describes actually exist. They do, of course. WE do, of course. And we all hate to admit it. So I’m glad of the jolt from Tony Jordan. Glad of a chance to ask myself the question: “is that how the Church really comes across to some people?”. Let me not be too quick to jump to the defensive. And let me thank God for a really big “offering” from the BBC. “It’s about Joseph finding faith”, Jordan says. And I’d add that it’s about faith being a gift made available “to you and all mankind” – God-in-Baby. Not God in bottle. Anybody’s bottle.