With Britain’s premier evangelist J.John
Asks how we are supposed to react under the rapidly spreading shadow of a deadly virus pandemic.
It’s a timely question when most, if not all of us, are finding our plans in disarray, when we listen to the grim statistics with mounting unease and when there’s that ominous sense that the Angel of Death is working overtime.
Industry talks about ‘stress testing’ a product: putting it under severe strain to see whether it works as it should. Suddenly, almost without warning, we are all facing a stress test. The unspoken question our non-Christian friends, colleagues and family are asking is whether our faith makes us different. Do we walk our talk?
In an attempt to answer, let me offer you three things that I think should characterise our lives at the moment.
First, I suggest that we should be those who display sanity
In such situations fear causes many problems and one of them is a loss of the ability to make wise decisions. So let’s avoid wacky websites, rumours from unreliable sources and any information that begins with ‘they don’t want you to know this, but . . .’
Instead, we need to listen to sensible advice from people who know what they are talking about – preferably, qualified medical experts. It’s also a time for theological sanity; after all, the Bible is full of references of the need to seek wisdom.
Let’s resist those who, in the name of God, offer us guaranteed protection or online virus exorcisms, or those who will confidently explain where exactly these events are to be placed on God’s End Time calendar of history. We need to remember that what we face at the moment is no worse – and probably a lot better – than what most previous generations took for granted in those epidemics of flu, cholera, plague and the like that arise in history.
It’s important to remember that ultimately, where it matters, Covid-19 has changed nothing. We have received our orders from Christ: we are to be his faithful followers, we are to love God and our neighbour and, in all we do, to show faith, hope and love. Let’s show sanity!
Second, I suggest we should display stability
We should be those who continue to do our duty. Whatever you are called to do, whether it be at home, work or church, continue to do it. Much has been made in recent years of the wartime slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ and much is being made at the moment of how, with fear-driven thefts of hand disinfectant and the panicked hoarding of toilet rolls, that spirit has gone.
What few observers have had the courage or insight to say is that the attitude of keeping calm in a crisis grew out of a culture that had been shaped for nearly five centuries by the truth of the Bible. There we read very little about staying calm but a lot about standing firm.
This article was taken from the Spring 2020 issue of iBelieve Magazine.
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