10,000 Instant Christians

27 Oct

Greetings True Believers and Faithful Readers, on the verge of coming into Lisburns Bible Conference Week (meetings are on Truths of the Reformation, starting at 8pm!), my thoughts have been wondering a lot.

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The Very Best of Max Boyce Album

As our speaker Rev. Peter Naylor is currently minister of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Cardiff, I have been thinking about all things Welsh. And the main thing is a great memory in my mind. One Christmas, Dad decided to blow the dust of the record player and bring out his LP collection from the glory days, that night, I was introduced to a great entertainer and my favourite to this day, Max Boyce.

Max rose to fame in the mid-70’s with a combined music and comedy act focusing on the great Welsh Rugby Union teams of that time and his mining background. The man shows a clear love of his heritage and country but i’m left confused about him. Many of his songs are of a relgious nature and yet have no idea about his faith. However, more to the point, one of his songs has always stuck in my head, entitled, “10,000 Instant Christians”.

His introduction goes a little like this,

Anyone who goes to the Rugby internationals in Cardiff, cannot fail but be impressed by the great hymn singing Welsh crowd. But i’m not so sure if they’d be impressed if they just went around the corner from the Arms Park and they saw the little chappel there with the windows smashed and the doors locked and shuttered and a sign that says ‘for sale’. When I saw this one Sunday morning after an International, I wrote this song entitled, Ten Thousand Instant Christians.

And the song goes on like this:

When He sees the Hope and Anchor
Where we sang before the game
Where ‘Cwm Rhondda’ and ‘Delilah’
First sounded both the same
The bar was filled with singing
Hymns came on a tray
Saturday was Sunday
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

When He sees the North Enclosure
With it’s belly full of ale
And sees that male voice flagon
Sing to the twisted barrier rail
‘Cwm Rhondda’ and ‘Penmachno’
Hymns of yesterday
Only half remembered
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

When He sees that touch-line tenor
With his copy made of sand
Ten Thousand Instant Christians
And the Glynneath Silver Band
‘C’mon man, ref, for Ch***’s sake
That ball was still in play’
Ten Thousand Instant Christians
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

When He sees that empty chapel
With it’s locked and shuttered door
And sees that dusty Bible
Cobweb covered floor
The numbers slowly dwindling
Much fewer now each day
Calfaria now a bingo hall
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

I wonder.

It is met by rapturous applause from the crowd but I wonder how much uncertainty they felt after hearing it with the knowledge that one day we’ll be answerable to a great and mighty God.

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2 Responses to “10,000 Instant Christians”

  1. James October 27, 2008 at 8:08 pm #

    I suppose a similar parallel could be drawn with the singing of God Save the Queen at Windsor Park. Thanks for the article Ali.

  2. Daniel Ritchie October 27, 2008 at 10:43 pm #

    Of course, as non-Erastians and Covenanters we should not sing “God save the Queen”.

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