Methodist Church has its Moses moment 11th Commandment winners announced

The Methodist Church today announces the winners to its11th commandment competition.


The winning entries are:


Thou shalt not worship false pop idols

Thou shalt not kill in the name of any god

Thou shalt not confuse text with love

Thou shalt not consume thine own body weight in fudge

Thou shalt not be negative


After promoting the competition on drinks mats and postcardsdistributed to hundreds of pubs, cafes, cinemas and student unionsaround the country, 2000 text message entrants vied to create the11th commandment.


Simon Jenkins, editor of co-organisers shipoffools.com, said: Wewere thrilled to receive so many 11th commandments frompeople having Moses moments


He continued: The serious commandments that stood out were anti-organised religion, debt and war, but pro- tolerance andconservation of the earth. In the humorous ones you could almosthear the clink of glasses between the lines. Religion and laughter,Methodism and pubs, the 11th commandment competition has shown thatthey can live together


Revd Jonathan Kerry, Co-ordinating Secretary for Worship andLearning at the Methodist Church, was equally delighted: Theresponse to this competition, including the media interest fromright round the world, shows that people are definitely interestedin talking about values and spiritual issues, even on a nightout.  The challenge to the Church is to join the conversationwhere people are, not waiting for them to come to us.  We needto recover a sense of fun, and be more ready to listen than tojudge.


The competition has provoked some criticism centred on theinnovative and provocative designs used on the promotionalpostcards and drinks mats. Revd Kerry comments: We certainly didnot set out to upset anybody, but these reactions demonstratesomething of the communications gulf that exists between so much ofthe Church s message and the culture of most people in Britaintoday.  I hope that the Methodist Church can learn how toensure that the reality of church life becomes as engaging as thiscompetition has proved


On of the winners, Andrew Shaw, 21, a student from Essex thoughtthat the competition was brilliant , and felt that it was a goodidea to take the discussion into pubs . His commandment, Thou shaltnot worship false pop idols , is particularly topical. Andrewhimself explained: Celebrities are the golden calves of today. Theydo not serve any purpose other than to be idolised .


The criteria for the winning commandments was simple: they hadto represent a cross-section of society, and be succinct, amusingand thought provoking. Revd Kerry again: They show thepreoccupations of the time in which we live: people want to live inpeace, avoid being drawn in by celebrity, and also by thetemptations of life - such as fudge; honesty in a relationship isimportant too."


The 11th Commandment initiative was designed by TheMethodist Church s 20s and 30s Group , and seeks to reach out tothe missing generation of under-40s to discover what matters tothem and what they think about God.


The competition has started a dialogue between the Church andadults in their 20s and 30s, and the Methodist Church is lookingforward to sharing what people say by publishing a book with thebest competition entries later in the year.



Some runners up:


Thou shalt not &


& dump your lover by text & dance like your dad &marry unless truly in love & change allegiance if your footballteam is relegated & hold loud conversations on thy mobile in apublic place & condemn thy neighbour for having differentbeliefs & use faith to hide from reality & use plastic tomultiply your possessions & shrink-wrap cucumbers& pretendto have no change when asked to donate to charity


Thou shalt &


& commit random acts of kindness& respect the earth&indicate at roundabouts& smile at the person opposite