Is this how believers are called to act during a pandemic?

Observing evangelical Christians’ responses to covid has been dismaying at the very least. And leadership has been present, but silent as the messages antithetical to Christianity get louder and louder. What is going on?

First, we are called to value others as in, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” And as one of the earliest stories in the Bible teaches us, we are our brothers “keeper.” In other words, we are to care for and look out for each other. Wearing masks, getting vaccines, and social distancing during disease outbreaks is exactly that.

Second, we are called to be obedient to our authorities (duly elected in our case). “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” does not just refer to taxes. Christians recognize that government authority is not just man-made, but God-given as well. The only time we are to defy this authority is if government tries to force us to renounce our faith, the only time! Wearing a mask and getting a vaccine does not equal renouncing our faith.

Finally, are we to believe as Christians that masks and vaccines are evil and therefore must be shunned? Why can we not see that the masks and vaccines are gifts, and we, as a supposedly upright nation, are priviledged to have them as part of God’s care for us?

We are called to “watch and pray.” My grandfather used to say that when we drove a car, we needed to “watch and pray, …in that order, not pray and watch lest we end up in the ditch.” Well, we are in the ditch now!

The whole notion that “No one is going to tell me what to do!” with regard to masks and vaccines is both arrogant and selfish, flying under the disguise of “patriotic freedom” and hiding behind Christianity. So as the hordes of believers continue leaving “The Church,” and those who remain go “Tsk, tsk, tsk” in self-righteous oblivion, our society will continue its downward spiral mired in opinion instead of facts and knowledge, arrogance instead of compassion and defiance instead of obedience. See that building over there? It used to be a church.

Ron Friesen


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