What Role Does Repentance in the American Church Have in the Covid-19 Crisis?
- 2 Tim. 1:7
This verse ought to convict and guide Christians in the current #Covid19 #Coronavirus situation. The current handling of this situation is neither in line with the Bible or Constitutional America.
Christian you and I are to walk in the Spirit not in the flesh. Meaning we should heed God's word and the wisdom therein. The law for quarantine is laid out in Lev. 13. While we are not under the law, a sound hermeneutical principle is to carry over the sound concepts from Old covenant to New when applicable. In short, by principle we do not quarantine people who show no symptoms of disease.
So keeping God's guidelines for quarantine in mind, let's address the three key words here to walk in wisdom by.
Fear. We are not to live in fear of man or disease. We fear God and obey Him. Love Him and our neighbors trusting His provision and wisdom to guide our lives. This C19 issue has driven far too many who name the name of Christ to fear. Most of it tied to fear of man, which scripture tells us clearly "is a snare", or a trap. Which of course is what it looks like to self quarantine.
Love. Love conquers fear and emboldens service to God and neighbor. Love moves us to care for people in ways best for them. That means variance between individual image bearers. Which leads us to the final word or two words.
Self control. Or as other translations put it, "sound mind". This means we are to be fearless and loving but remembering to be so with knowledge and wisdom. To not exercise zeal without knowledge. In this crisis it means understanding a bit about this virus and all viruses and infections. In means common sense guided by God and those He has enabled to guide rightly.
So what do we know about C19. Well we know it is a virus that is transmitted much like the flu or even the common cold. In fact the common cold is a Corona virus. This virus is known to more likely adversely effect the elderly and immuno compromised. This is not very uncommon with viruses. What is less common is that it has no specific adverse effects on healthy young children as a general rule, which is a good thing.
How is it transmitted? Our best knowledge says it is transmitted much the same as other viruses or a cold. Namely by body fluid entering another's blood stream or mucous membranes.
So how do we protect ourselves? What does common sense say? How does biblical wisdom guide? Basically as we would handle any like communicable virus/infection.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cover your open wounds. Avoid crowds and the elderly/immuno compromised, if you show symptoms of sickness. Keep your hands out of your face and open wounds. Keep hand sanitizer and/or wipes on hand if possible. Wash your hands regularly and well. In short, act as normal, especially in "flu season."
Notice I didn't mention "social distancing" or "masks". Why? Because those are superfluous precautions in MOST cases. Not all mind you. That's where the knowledge and wisdom comes in. But by and large those precautions are un necessary and breed more fear and distrust than contain virus spread.
Obviously immuno compromised and elderly folks might consider social distancing and even a mask(A good one that actually gives protection against viruses and not most of what people are wearing). Done so according to individual wisdom and common sense. Not civil govt. edict!
Here's something to contrast and compare. Just think of the HIV/AIDS, virus/syndrome. How much did and sometimes still do people labor over assuring people that you can't get HIV/AIDS through hugs or contact with toilet seats or commonly used items not contaminated with body fluids? What motivates these assurances? Much the same things that motivates today's dire warnings over a much less deadly virus,(though admittedly much easier to spread). Namely, fear of man. Fear of man in large part being used to drive a plethora of agendas of varying levels with dubious if not nefarious intent.
Here's an interesting statistic keeping that in mind. While again, HIV/AIDS is a much more difficult virus to spread. As of this writing HIV/AIDS deaths this year alone have surpassed 540,000. For comparison, that's over 330,000 more deaths than for Covid-19! Real viruses, whose treatment and even information distribution of is handled in far from sound principles of biblical wisdom and with Covid-19 even American Constitutional guidelines.
All that said, it is worth repeating that the measures levied against the world and the U.S. specifically or Covid-19 are beyond common sense and sound reason. There is little to no biblical wisdom guiding the actions levied against the populace by our representatives in civil government.
What's sadder still is the response en masse by the American Evangelical church. Which is the same response by and large of the whole nation. Fear and unquestioning submission to tyrannical, unbiblical, and even un Constitutional over reach.
Shame on us. We have failed to lead. We have failed to therefore love God and love our neighbors. We immediately took for granted that there was no need to seek the Bible's guidance here. To simply trust godless leaders some who are not just un Christian but actually fervently anti Christian.
Sadly friends, much of the fallout over this lays at the feet of The Church Visible. We have failed to stand firm on sound biblical wisdom and have taken the path of least resistance and fear of man. I say this to our shame.
As The Church Visible, en masse has turned largely a blind eye to the mass blood shed in our nation in the holocaust of abortion. We've neglected to evangelize an ever growing gospel less society. We've been silent against rampant sexual immorality both heterosexual and from the whole LGBTQ spectrum. We've abandoned widows, orphans, and the needy to civil govt. systems. We've greedily sought our own comfort and well being over others for far too long.
Our apathy and selfishness is easily seen to others even if we miss it. This is no screed against failed "social justice". This is a recognition of our shared lack of biblical love and obedience.
As scripture promises, judgment begins at the house of God. Yet, because of God's love for His people as scripture also declares, He disciplines us. It seems this current C19 crisis is kind discipline from our loving Father meant to drive us to repentance. If we fail in this we can only rightly expect heavier judgment.
Oh Lord stir your Church to lead in Spirit driven, Bible guided, love and good works for your glory and the good of Your people. May it be before Your strong right arm delivers sure and dearly earned judgment. Soli Deo Gloria!