Tuesday, October 21, 2008


On Sunday morning, the bible reading was the passage where Jesus told his interrogators to "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." The children's address consisted of the story of Eric Liddell, who opted out of the 100 metres race at the Paris Olympics in 1924 because the heats were to take place on a Sunday morning. He went on to win the 400 metres - an inspiring story. But (but, but, but) would anybody (ministers of the Church of Scotland included) expect or support such behaviour to-day?

The moral of the story, as spelt out by the minister, was that if any of the children happened to be, say, in the school football team, and there was to be a practice session on a Sunday morning, they should say - sorry, I can't take part - on Sunday morning I go to church. What a burden to lay on young shoulders!

OK, but let's be consistent. I knew of an elder who was building his own house at week-ends. So he took a holiday from church - nobody batted an eyelid. What if a parishioner announced that he or she was going to run the Edinburgh Marathon? What if half the congregation goes straight from church to the supermarket, or the garden centre, or the diy store?

At a crisis point in my life, my parents had arranged for me to see a psychiatrist. The only time he had available was on a Sunday morning. Should I go and see this man, who is unlikely to support a religious view of life, or should I trust God, and attend church? If it is obvious to you that I should see the psychiatrist, then why do you support Eric Liddell's decision to put God before country?

And finally, another Christian sportsman, Bernhard Langer won a major tournament, which happened to finish on Easter Sunday. He played (of course), and won, and announced how proud he was to win this competition on the day that we remember Jesus Christ rising from the dead ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Consistency: worth pondering indeed.

And I do tend to take the view I think you do.