MADISON, NJ – Negotiations between a church council and its Pastor have ground to a halt over an unusual dispute regarding the Sabbath.
Pastor Colin Hudson of Trinity Church, Madison recently watched a late night re-run of ‘Chariots of Fire’, during which he claims he was convicted by God for his years of disobedience of working on the Sabbath. He turned up to church the next morning and announced to his shocked congregation that he would no longer be able to preach his usual 20 minute sermon due to a newly found ‘Christian’ conviction that prevented him from doing any work on the Sabbath.
The slightly stunned congregation sang some extra hymns and read several of the longer Psalms to fill in the time, and only later found out it was because the Pastor had stayed up late the night before watching the movie.
In the weeks since the announcement, a professional church meditator has been brought in to try and facilitate a resolution to the situation. They have suggested holding the Sunday service on a Saturday or having someone else read out the Pastor’s sermons, but a workable solution has not yet been found.
Pastor Hudson is standing firm, and has been quoted in documents obtained from the negotiations “we can’t just ignore it when the Bible says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. Further, “People often told me as a joke that it must be nice to only work one day a week, but in all seriousness, I am now fully convinced that this is the one day of the week that I cannot work”. He claims that while he may not be under the same national sporting pressure that Eric Liddell found himself in the early 20th century, he quoted Hebrews chapter 12, saying that we must be willing to run with endurance the race that is set before us, and that he must follow his own conscience on this issue.
Sadly the negotiations have highlighted some underlying bitterness from the congregation, some of whom believe it is just an excuse gone wrong because the Pastor, in staying up late watching tv, had simply run out of time to prepare his sermon.
It is not the first time that Pastor Hudson has come under fire for unusual behaviour, having previously been investigated for preaching an entire sermon using helium gas, and on another occasion organised a secret walk out on an older congregation member who had fallen asleep in the middle of one his sermons, only to be awoken by a loud trumpet call through the church sound system.
Despite the ongoing national media attention, neither party have spoken publicly about the dispute.