The Longest Way Round

I am going to venture on a guess as to how this section [of Mere Christianity] has affected any who have read it. My guess is that there are some Leftist people among them who are very angry that it has not gone further in that direction, and some people of an opposite sort who are angry because they think it has gone much too far. If so, that brings us right up against the real snag in all this drawing up of blueprints for a Christian society. Most of us are not really approaching the subject in order to find out what Christianity says: we are approaching it in the hope of finding support from Christianity for the views of our own party. We are looking for an ally where we are offered either a Master or a Judge.

I am just the same. There are bits in this section that I wanted to leave out. And that is why nothing whatever is going to come of such talks unless we go a much longer way round.

A Christian society is not going to arrive until most of us really want it: and we are not going to want it until we become fully Christian. I may repeat ‘Do as you would be done by’ till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him. And so, as I warned you, we are driven on to something more inward–drive on from social matters to religious matters. For the longest way round is the shortest way home.

~C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity); emphasis added.

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