Chat about Gangster Films

Consider two conversations about Gangster films on the streets of Leeds.

Less Fruitful Conversation

“Hello, my name is Derek and I love watching gangster films. Is that ok if you are a Christian?

“I believe that it is wrong to watch gangster films when you could be studying the Bible.”

“Oh that sounds very off-putting.”

More Fruitful Conversation

“Hello, my name is Derek and I love watching gangster films. Is that ok if you are a Christian?

“My name is Rocky and I love gangster films. Did you see Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels?  He was Big Chris, the hard man.”

“Yes I saw that film. I loved Big Chris. Vinnie was brilliant in that film.”

“As you know, Vinnie Jones was one of the hardest men in football. In 1995 Vinnie became notorious when he bit a journalist’s nose.”

“Bit someone’s nose? That sounds like Vinnie.”

“It might surprise you to know that Vinnie is deeply religious. He is a pagan man who believes in fate. Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be. He is very superstitious about magpies. You upset the bird gods and you will be wasted.”

“Wasted! I love it. That’s exactly what Vinnie would say.”

“Here’s a great Vinnie story for you. He was playing for Wimbledon and he scored a goal against Manchester United. It was a bullet header! He prayed to his dead grandfather, Arthur, that this would be the only goal in the game. Vinnie was ‘over the moon’ when his prayer was answered. ‘Thanks, granddad’, he wrote in his autobiography.”

“That is very interesting. I thought Vinnie was just an uncouth yob who likes hitting people.”

“You can be surprised by all kinds of people, mate?

“Derek, what do you think about Vincent praying to his dead grandad, Arthur?”

“Not sure what I think to be honest, boss.”

“Well, let me give you four options. You tell me where you stand.”

“I’m up for that, Rocky.”

“My mate Dave would say that praying to anyone is a load of ‘superstitious rubbish’. Heather, my cousin would say: ‘whatever works for you’. The boy Vinnie would say it’s good to pray to Arthur because dead people can help you. The New Testament tells us that it is very foolish to pray to dead people because they are in their graves and they have no power to help you. Jesus, however, can help you because He rose from the dead, unlike Arthur. Jesus is now sitting in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. He is Lord and this means he can both hear and answer your prayers.”

“You’ve got me thinking. I used to go to Sunday School when I was a kid. I don’t believe in God now but I guess there is nothing wrong with praying to Arthur. If it floats your boat, do it.”

“But Arthur, Vinnie’s dead grandfather can’t help you. He was just an ordinary bloke like you and me. Jesus is not like that. He is Lord and God. Put your faith in Him and He will forgive your sins and answer your prayers if you seek Him.”

Mark Roques
Latest posts by Mark Roques (see all)
Categories: RealityBites

Mark Roques

Mark taught Philosophy and Religious Education at Prior Park College, Bath, for many years. As Director of RealityBites he has developed a rich range of resources for youth workers and teachers. He has spoken at conferences in the UK, Holland, South Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Mark is a lively storyteller and the author of four books, including The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith. His work is focused on storytelling and how this can help us to communicate the Christian faith. He has written many articles for the Baptist Times, RE Today, Youthscape, Direction magazine and the Christian Teachers Journal.


Duncan · December 17, 2021 at 1:25 pm

As a Leeds fan I loved Vinnie Jones – even got a Vinnie hair cut – who remembers those? However that’s about as far as I would follow his example. Glad we have someone who is alive and who has power to pray too. Not sure Uncle Arthur is that person but interesting to hear how so many people are reaching out for extra help ….

Andy Lenton · December 18, 2021 at 10:15 am

AVinnie also played for my team Sheffield United. You could always count on him to get a red card and see your team struggle on for another 89mins!
Praying to uncle Arthur gets a red card from me. Jesus is the only one with the ability to answer my prayers.
Although I think I will also need fasting in regards to my team:)

Ruth Mary Hanson · January 13, 2022 at 5:50 pm

Praise the Lord that Mark the Roques’ gift works, yes works in Burmantofts!
I cannot wait to ask him and his brilliant supporter Mark Yeadon if i might have my ‘Lives in Your Hands’ course for teenage lads run over there.

Comments are closed.