Friday, 21 February 2014


C S Lewis said, " ..when the modern world says to us aloud, "You may be religious when you are alone", it adds under its breath, "...and I will see to it that you are never alone".

How well he seems to have understood the times in which we are moving into. 

It occurs to me that in the not-to-distant future, the world will seek not so much to attack our freedom of worship so much as it will seek to target our freedom of association. Here I think is the real danger that we face as a worshiping people.

 The most important point of a freedom of association is surely that it brings with it an implied freedom of non-association. Indeed, it seems to me that what really counts is not so much the freedom to be with those who are like-minded, so much as the freedom to not be with all those who are not.

 The freedom to –say- play golf becomes meaningless if the proprietor of the golf course, in addition to welcoming its own members, is compelled to also open the facilities to the practitioners of every other sport as well. How can his course be maintained if  in addition to hosting those who wish to play golf, it must also entertain the rugby player who will churn up its beautiful putting surfaces with his studded boots? So it is that the rugby player is encouraged to join his own kind elsewhere.

 It means nothing to me as a believer if I am in the future allowed to meet with my fellow brethren on a Sunday morning only if, in addition to them, I am also compelled -by force of law- to entertain those whose lifestyle clearly marks them out as non-brethren.

 The world in such a scenario would not need to touch our freedom of worship. It knows that once it has ended our freedom of association, we will very soon not be able to worship at all.

                           "Do you not judge those who are inside?"   (1 Cor 5:12)