Guest sermon: Methadonist Minister Paul Flowers preaches forgiveness


Is it better to forgive, or to forget?

Hello! It’s lovely of you to let me write a sermon for your long-standing and respected institution, let’s hope I don’t end up ruining it completely! I don’t have a lot of experience of not completely destroying everything I touch, but practice makes one even more perfect.

What I want to talk to you about today is something very dear to my heart: forgiveness. Forgiveness is a cornerstone of my faith, and not forgiving someone is nearly the same as doing the thing you haven’t forgiven me for yourself.

For instance, say a fine, upstanding member of the banking community were to accidentally take lots of drugs. Should you forgive them? My faith instinctively tells me ‘yes.’ Because not saying ‘that’s fine Paul, no real harm done, let’s forget it and move on’ means that you have effectively bought Crystal Meth off a rent boy yourself.

And that would be a shame. Because if you were to figuratively snort cocaine out of the cleft of a male prostitute, I’m not sure I could find it in myself to overlook such a sickening act. But if instead you thought ‘well, we’ve all been there, let he without sin be the first to throw rocks of crack around the place’ then we’re both forgiven, and we should celebrate and put the party on my expenses.

You see, forgiveness is a powerful part of any religion. Forgiveness means you can pretty much do what you like, as many times as you want. Because we all know that at the end of the day, I would forgive you too. That’s the true spirit of running a  co-operative.

But what if you can’t bring yourself to forgive? What if your faith is weak and you find yourself saying stupid, unchristian things such as ‘that was wrong’, ‘we need an enquiry’ or ‘Paul, you’re a f***ing disgrace’? Well, I pity you, but I offer a solution.

Kneel before me, close your eyes and get ready to accept my holy communion. The body of Christ is represented by a line of white powder, and his blood by a flute of fizzy, pink champagne. Once you feel his love coursing through you, all thoughts of forgiveness will fly straight out of your mind, and be replaced with an equally convenient state of ‘I’ve forgotten’.

So there we have it. Once you’ve forgiven me you’ll see why I was so perfect for the banking sector: I’m preachy, incompetent and I can get my hands on hard drugs … allegedly.

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