I’ve frequently been asked about the Coronavirus (Covid-19), but I’ve been hesitant to render much of an opinion simply because I didn’t know enough about it to speak intelligently. And, to be honest, I’m still no more an expert on the topic than the average person. Like most everybody else, what I know about it comes from the local and national news, articles on the internet, or everyday conversations with people. I’m not a doctor or a health official, and I certainly haven’t been with God atop Mount Sinai getting special insight about the virus.
With that said, though, I do feel led of the Lord to use this post to share my current thoughts about the topic. If you find these thoughts helpful, that will be great, but my feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t. If you agree with what I say, that will be a nice bonus, but we’ll still be friends if you don’t. Again, what you are about to read is all just one man’s opinion.
First, in my opinion, the Coronavirus has generated a sizable degree of media overhype. Fear sells, and the people who work in the media know this. Reporting on all the deaths the virus has produced is reliable news, but reporting on all the deaths the virus might produce is something else. We might call that fearmongering. I’ve also found it interesting that about the time some states started talking about easing restrictions, the media started pushing stories about a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall. Sure, the last thing we all need right now is a little bit of optimism. Why choose to promote that when you can keep everybody living under a rock?
Second, in my opinion, the Coronavirus actually is worse than the flu. I’ve lived through a lot of flu seasons in my life, but I’ve never seen people die from the flu in a matter of just a few days or funeral homes become overwhelmed with corpses. Even in regards to a big city like New York, I haven’t seen body bags stacked up like cordwood. That’s new territory for this fifty-three-year-old. Someone says, “But the mortality rate for the Covid-19 virus isn’t any greater than the mortality rate for the flu.” Okay, let’s just pretend for a moment that I agree with that assessment. Since Covid-19 is by virtually every account more contagious than the flu, doesn’t that automatically mean that it kills more people than the flu (even if the death rate between the two really are the same)?
Third, in my opinion, the people — many of them Christians — who think the Coronavirus is little more than an orchestrated event to bring down President Donald Trump and sweep him out of office this November must think the entire world has a vested interest in American politics. I say that because the entire world has been adversely affected by this virus and over 170,000 people would still be dead worldwide if the virus had never reached American shores. Think about that. That’s 170,000 people dead who couldn’t have cared less whether the President of the United States was Donald Trump, Joe Biden, or John Doe. That sure is a lot of “cover story” just to get one guy out of office.
Fourth, in my opinion, our churches have been right to switch to either online services, “drive in” services, or both in the wake of the Coronavirus. Believe me, I’ve heard the other side of this debate. In particular, one conservative website of which I am a faithful reader has laid waste to us pastors for daring to kowtow to the wishes of our local governments, state governments, and national government in regards to public assemblies. All I can say is that I have prayed, faithfully and fervently, for God’s direction and guidance during this pandemic, and He has consistently guided me to forego my church’s in-the-building services. We began by streaming our Sunday morning and Wednesday night services live on You Tube, and then a few weeks later we added the “drive in” option — featuring a short-distance radio transmitter that sends the signal to the cars in the parking lot — for anyone who either doesn’t have the internet or prefers to literally show up for church. Am I in sin for doing all that instead of having in-the-building services? If I am, then God needs to let me know it because I haven’t felt one ounce of conviction over it. Much to the contrary, I’ve had a great peace about it all.
Fifth, in my opinion, the Coronavirus isn’t the means by which the “powers that be” are trying to bring down Christianity. If the closures had only targeted churches, obviously that case could be made. But that isn’t what’s happened. The NCAA basketball tournament was cancelled, and the NBA playoffs are in danger of being cancelled. The college baseball season was cancelled, and the MLB season has been put on hold. The Masters golf tournament was postponed, the French Open tennis tournament was postponed, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament was cancelled outright. Oh, and by the way, let’s not forget about all the MONEY that has been lost because of these cancellations. Frankly, most of our churches are continuing to collect offerings through online giving, mail-in giving, etc. Financially speaking, that puts them in a lot better shape than all the sporting events that got cancelled.
Sixth, in my opinion, the Coronavirus has nothing to do with the persecution of the church. Here again, I’ve heard the other side of this debate. Try using Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13 — both of which instruct Christians to submit to their governments — as scriptural evidence for why you aren’t holding typical church services, and see what you get. It won’t be long before someone is coming back at you with Acts 5:29: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” My response to the Acts 5:29 application is that during this pandemic no new laws have been passed that forbid preachers from preaching against abortion, homosexuality, or any other politically incorrect topic. That indicates to me that the issue at hand is public safety, not religious persecution.
Seventh and last, in my opinion, there actually is a vast, global conspiracy to devalue Christianity, deemphasize each nation’s autonomy, and usher in a one-world government. As a matter of fact, I even know who is behind this conspiracy. His name is Satan. Yes, the devil really is getting this world ready to one day bow down to his human masterpiece: the coming Antichrist. Still, though, this doesn’t mean that every politician that you didn’t vote for and every media outlet that you don’t like is secretly in league with Satan. Instead, it’s more correct to think of Satan as being the behind-the-scenes puppet-master who knows how to use the world’s happenings to bring about his grand plan. And, of course, he can’t even do that without God’s permission.
So, in closing, you can consider these thoughts to be my current take on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Am I saying they are all 100% correct in their conclusions? Nope. Am I saying that I won’t revise them accordingly if I come across some purer truth? Nope. What I will say is that the Bible teaches that God the Father is still on His throne, God the Son is still seated at His right hand, and global events are still not causing any panic in heaven. Putting all that another way, even though we don’t know what the next few days, weeks, and months will hold, we do know who holds them. This fact alone can be enough to bring us comfort during this uncomfortable time if we will let it. But if we won’t, then I guess we’ll just have to live at the mercy of the next news broadcast. And, as we’ve all now had a chance to experience firsthand, that’s just no way to live.