Value Lives as well as Souls: A Christian Response to COVID-19
We are living in a historic time. Future generations around the world will look back and remember the 2020 era of COVID-19. The coronavirus death toll is unimaginable in the U.S. and indescribable worldwide. Citizens in the United States are scared, psychologically unprepared, and financially uncomfortable. Regardless of what political affiliation, religion, or anything else that normally divides us, all people living in the U.S. hope our current leaders can lead us safely through this 21st-century plague.
President Trump envisioned Easter to be the time period to relax the stay-at-home orders but privileged citizens continued to disregard health and safety recommendations. As the death toll and new cases rise, many pastors throughout the U.S. are still leading church services with hundreds if not thousands in their pews, ignoring stay-at-home orders issued by their respective governors. Meanwhile, some churches are abiding by the stay-at-home orders to protect their community members by having church through various social media platforms. Despite this good example, many people who are atheist, agnostic, or of other faiths may not understand why some pastors and churches continue to defy the safety regulations in this perilous time. Christians believe that all are saved if they repent and accept Jesus Christ as their savior. Every Christian memorizes to heart John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
While I understand why some Christians are passionate about worshipping with fellow Christians in a physical structure, we have to remember that we have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is our chance to show our unity and common sense. Romans 13:1-2 says: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
The Bible in many other places instructs us to respect governing authorities. While we must stand up when governing authorities promote unjust laws, we still have to respect and obey the government under which we live. Fellow Christians, we have specialists who are speaking to enlighten us during this global pandemic, and we need to listen to their words. As Christians, we pride ourselves in wanting the salvation of our neighbors so that they can go to heaven. I ask this genuine question as a husband, humanitarian, and friend. How does it aid us in fulfilling the Great Commission if we are aiding in the process of death by promoting the spread of this disease?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the first case of COVID-19 was first reported on January 21, 2020 and there is currently no cure. The symptoms are fever, fatigue, cough, and shortness of breath. The most serious complications from the virus are pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure, and as we all know death.
I encourage you to be creative in your fulfillment of the Great Commission and in your worship. In this day and age we have more resources than ever before. Do home Bible studies with your family. Worship from your balconies and backyards, so that your neighbors can see that your faith and joy remain placed in God during this time. Send messages of encouragement and use social media and Skype or Zoom to host worship services, bible studies, and social calls. Create care packages carefully and cleanly to deliver to your friends, family, and those who you know live alone.
Practicing social distancing does not mean that we cannot worship in spirit and in truth, or that we cannot continue serving God in all we do. In fact, it is more important now more than ever. I hope this comes to you as heartfelt. COVID-19 is a global enemy with no political opinions or religious affiliation. COVID-19 is as free as a wildfire, but we can end this virus’s destruction. This historical moment will be known as a time when Americans came together to beat an enemy we cannot see.