Christians have responded in different ways to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some have made their response an issue of faith, as if Christians full of faith have never died from an illness.
Others have simply adopted the current political opinion of their preferred political part, contending on one side the pandemic is a crises overblown by the media to attack President Trump, or on the other that it is a disaster brought on by President Trump’s incompetence.
None of these response are helpful, and none are particularly Christian.
A Christian response should be rooted in Truth, not opinion, and justified in the context of the Kingdom, not politics. In this instance, I believe it is helpful to start with the big picture.
As I’ve written in another post here, when man rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, four separations occurred: (1) man’s separation form God; (2) man’s separation from himself; (3) man’s separation from others; and (4) man’s separation from nature. The first separation is spiritual, the second personal, the third relational, and the fourth natural.
The fourth separation, man’s separation from nature, explains natural disasters, famine, disease, and the COVID-19 virus. Whether the existence of viruses or the human body’s inability to always effectively to respond them, or both, is the result of the fall of man, I do not know, but I think its safe to say that had man not rebelled against God in the beginning, man would not be getting sick or, worse, dying from the flu an other viruses.
We are in the midst of a very serious pandemic. It is not unprecedented, but it is very, very, serious. It is not the end of the world, but pandemics in the past have changed the course of societies and ruined economies. The current pandemic has the ability to do the same, and neither the United States nor any other country is immune, figuratively or literally.
On a micro level, people are losing their jobs and living in fear of contracting a potentially lethal virus. If they are young and not concerned about themselves, they are, or should be, concerned about contracting the virus and causing someone’s else’s death. People have every reason to be concerned and every reason to be scared. It’s easy to wonder how a sovereign God can work all this suffering, and fear, and loss, to an ultimate good.
Having now given the proper context, in the next post I will explain how a pandemic can be a catalyst to advance the purposes of the kingdom of God. GS.