Lockdown and Churches in Scotland

The Bible makes it clear that Christians are to be law-abiding citizens.  But as Christians, we are supposed to obey the Bible as well.

We also believe that there are realms where the civic authority is appropriately using its power, and areas where the government should not intrude.  For Christians, as Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon continue their coronavirus lock-downs, this is becoming more and more problematic.

As we have now apparently entered “Phase One” of the Scottish government’s plan, here are some of the questions that really should be answered, if the government wishes to retain the respect of Christians.


I.a) Is it legal to sunbathe or have a picnic in the town park and maintain social distancing?

I.b) Is it then legal to have a picnic on church grounds and maintain SD?

I.c) Is it then legal for multiple families to have picnics on church grounds and maintain SD?

I.d) Would legal picnics become illegal if someone sang a hymn, or read Scripture, or prayed, or preached?

I.e) Does the government think sunbathing is more important than worship?


II.a) If it is safe to drive to a takeaway, why is it unsafe to drive to a church building?

II.b) Is it safer to take food prepared by someone else through your car window, or to take a sermon through it?

II.c) Are not drive-in services where all stay in their car safer than many things now permitted?

II.d) Does the government think fish suppers are more important than worship?


III.a) Is it safer to go inside a garden centre to pay, or to attend an outdoor (or drive-in) church service?

III.b) Flowers are good, but does the government think flowers are more important than worship?


IV.a) Is public transport safer than an outdoor or drive-in church service?

IV.b) Are people allowed to decide whether or not the risks of public transport are more important than the benefits?

IV.c) Why are people not allowed to decide whether the risks of an outdoor worship service are more important than the benefits?


V. What gives the government any moral right to make those value judgments for everyone as to what is more important?


VI. Is there anyone for whom worship is important included among the scientists or politicians advising the government?


VII. a) Does the ECHR guarantee freedom of religion?

VII. b) Is there any evidence that it is “necessary for public health” to prohibit outdoor or drive-in services?

VII. c) How many people around the world have caught Covid-19 at an outdoor or drive-in church service?

VII. d) Does the Scottish government really have sufficient evidence to blow away ECHR Article 9?


VIII. Does it at all bother anyone in government that Russia currently has more religious freedom than Scotland?


I. If it will be safe to enter betting shops with social distancing, why no church services with SD?


II. If pubs can reopen with outdoor seating, can churches have outdoor services?


III. If professional sport (some involving close physical contact) can resume, why not church services with distancing?


IV.a) Does the government think gambling, alcohol, and professional sport are more important than worship?

IV. What gives the government any moral right to make those value judgments for everyone?


I.a) What if we never get to Phase Three and the virus is never “suppressed”?  Will the worship ban be permanent?

I.b) Can the government guarantee a vaccine or an effective cure is coming?

I.c) If there is no guarantee of virus suppression, why are freedoms (religious and otherwise) being taken away until it arrives?


II.a) Does the “test and protect” program mean anyone identified as a “contact” by a new Covid-19 victim must self-isolate?

II.b) How can churches guard against malicious attacks by falsely identifying ministers as “contacts”?

II.c) Does the government really believe no one would falsely name ministers of religion as “contacts”?

II.d) Will church ministers have the right to know who has named them so they can confirm or deny contact?


III.a) If we never get to Phase Four (virus no longer “a significant issue”), how intrusive do you intend to be in church life?

III.b) Is smoking “a significant issue” for health in Scotland?  Alcohol and drug abuse?  Obesity?

III.c) Why remove religious freedom over Covid-19 when government takes no drastic action over other “significant issues”?


I.a) If we do get to this point, will Phase Four ever end?

I.b) Is the government asserting a permanent right to dictate church practices?

I. c) How is any restriction at all, in Phase Four, consistent with ECHR Article 9?

About Jon Gleason

Former Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
This entry was posted in The Christian and Culture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lockdown and Churches in Scotland

  1. M says:

    Shame , the desease is a hoax, not many people have died ,ect , the one world government is here , why are Christians asleep , can you not see what is going on , they are not hiding any more , the test will give you the real desease, you cannot catch a desease, the anti christ is almost here , prepare for what is coming, do not take the vaccination it will kill you , look at what Bill Gates is saying , and look at event 201 , my people die through lack of knowledge, palm 21,

    • Jon Gleason says:

      You have no Biblical evidence for much of what you say and I know much of it to be mistaken.

      1. The disease is real and many people have died or survived with long term effects. It spread so badly in part because of a Chinese cover-up (perhaps because they were just embarrassed to have handled it badly, or perhaps because it was actually a biological weapon that they accidentally allowed to escape, or perhaps for some other reason — we may never know why). The WHO was complicit in the cover-up and is now, probably, trying to magnify the crisis both to distract attention from their failings and to make themselves more important.

      2. The one world government is not here but the mystery of iniquity is already working and trying to accomplish that, and many are working to that end. I would include in that many international organisations and many national governments, and most main media.

      3. Most governments (and the press) are trying to use the crisis to accomplish their own agendas. If it suits them to make it look worse than it is, they will do so.

      4. The test will not give you the real disease. Many people who have had the test have not become ill and many people have become very ill and also died without ever taking the test.

      5. You can catch a disease. Epaphroditus, one of Paul’s closest co-workers, almost died of a disease. I know of many Christians who have caught diseases, I have myself, and I know of Christians who have caught this disease and become very ill with it.

      6. There is no vaccination so to say it will kill you when it doesn’t even exist and we don’t know whether it will ever exist, is absurd.

      7. You have misused the passage from Hosea that talks of God’s people being destroyed through lack of knowledge. It is not lack of knowledge about diseases or governments, but a lack of knowledge of God and His Word. You can’t separate Hosea 4:6 from 4:1.

      Please try to refrain from completely unsubstantiated comments here, and from misusing Scripture.

  2. Ruth Gleason says:

    I hope you get some comments from other pastors. I just read about one governor who has completely backed down on all mandates and just reminded churches to follow the recommendations of cleansing, separation, and possibly masks (that is uncertain). But it took a lawsuit and several court meetings to get him to see that he couldn’t issue mandates that he hadn’t imposed on others. Thankful for our US Constitution which up until now still carries great weight in decision making! Especially the first amendment!

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Yes, we don’t have the first amendment here!

      Unfortunately, I don’t think the government is listening or cares at all. I believe God will hold them accountable for this.

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