I’ve had the disheartening task of trying to reason with two of my closest family members over the last few weeks. If it was something trivial I would have just let it go. Unfortunately, it is very important, perhaps even a life-or-death issue. You see, they are Covid-deniers.
What they believe is still not entirely clear to me, but it involved the coronavirus being created in a lab, Bill Gates patenting it, drug companies hiding a cure so they can make more money later on it, and 130,000 people not really dying of COVID-19 because hospitals make more money by wrongly coding the deaths. It seems like everyone is in on the conspiracy, including the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH.
I don’t think they think I’m in on the conspiracy because I was genuinely shocked. I kept asking, “You don’t really believe this, you are just joking with me, right?” No, they really believe it, and they sent me a ten minute YouTube video from a family physician in Texas to prove it. None of his COVID patients have died, you see, so he knows it is all exaggerated.
Growing up in a religious culture can cause us to become inoculated to the meaning of certain religious words, especially if the words are used more in a religious context than in non-religious ones. “Glorify” is one of those words. It’s easy to gloss over the word and miss the full significance of the word.
Dictionary.com defines “glorify” as:
to cause to be or treat as being more splendid, excellent, etc., than would normally be considered.
to honor with praise, admiration, or worship; extol.
to make glorious; invest with glory.
to praise the glory of (God), especially as an act of worship.
A few years ago a very talented teacher of the Bible named Rob Bell went off the reservation with his book, Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Bell’s book tapped into a trendy, but by no means new, theological view called Universalism. I have not read the book, but I have read enough about it to know what I need to know.
If Rob Bell is now a Universalist or some flavor thereof, I’m confident he didn’t arrive at that view from a rigorous study of the Bible. Universalists never do. They get there by elevating their own view of God over the God of the Bible.
“How could a loving God send people to Hell?,” they ask. It’s a serious question, but an incomplete one. One could as easily ask, “How could a just God not send people to Hell?”
I live downtown in one of the largest cities in America.
My wife and I have watched from our home some of the protests and arrests that have occurred following the killing of George Floyd.
I’ve also observed the initial sympathy expressed by my caucasian friends be replaced by anger when the looting and violence began. I’ve heard some pundits try to explain the looting and violence, and I’ve heard others even try to justify it.