COVID-19: What Does Faith Got To Do With It?
"If we are people of faith, why are we closing our physical church buildings?"
I was asked this question just a couple of hours after Mountain Christian Church's leadership determined we would move to exclusively online services for the foreseeable future. This decision was made prior to the executive order given from the governor, which perplexed the inquirer even more.
"Elaborate on your question", I said. "Well, we trust God to take care of us. So why would we close our doors in fear that we will be over taken by this virus?"
My friend's question was certainly innocent but behind it was an unspoken belief that many Christians hold. The belief that faith trumps science. It's the idea that faith and science are in competition and only one can be named the winner!
Let me say right off the bat that I believe in miracles! I believe that sometimes God intervenes in ways that leaves doctors scratching their heads. A doctor says there's nothing more that can be done, and then a loved one wakes up! Treatments stop working and then a scan comes back clear! No heartbeat is heard in the womb and a week later it's strong and powerful! These miracles give us a beautiful little taste of heaven!
What these miracles don't do is discredit science! Science, including modern medicine, is a beautiful gift from God and is not meant to be an adversary of faith. Part of being created in God's image means having the ability to think! We have the privilege of exploring, studying, and learning all there is to know about our world and the living beings that inhabit it.
I am so thankful for scientists! When I get a headache, I can take medicine to relieve it. When bacteria invades, antibiotics can kill it. Insulin saves countless lives everyday. Premature babies are given a fighting chance in the NICU. Pacemakers regulate and restart hearts. Machines can keep people alive while their bodies heal. The list could go on and on.
So when scientists say, "Hey, there is a nasty virus going around that's super contagious and the best way to keep it from spreading is to stay away from each other", why do we pull the faith card? I admit, my first response was to blame the media for making something out of nothing. They are good at doing that! But the more I read, with a level head, the more I understand that we should heed the advice of the experts.
Does this mean I don't have enough faith in God? OF COURSE NOT! It's precisely because of my faith that I am not in complete panic! I have some angst for sure, but I'm not freaking out! I believe that God is still on the throne! I believe that this is an opportunity for God's people to rise up! We get to point people to Jesus in order to explain the hope and peace we have in the midst of uncertainty! 1 Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." It's not everyday that a pandemic strikes, leaving the world desperate for peace of mind! If you are a Christ follower, speak up about the peace you have because you know the One in charge!
And, if you are a Christ follower and are struggling to find peace right now, lean into God! Read your Bible, blast your worship music, get on your knees and pray, tune in to church services online every weekend for encouragement, stop watching the news every second of the day, and get off social media! And in faith, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ! (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Friends, let's allow scientists to learn about COVID-19, be wise and follow their recommendations with a calm spirit, and then be bold in sharing your hope in Jesus! Because we know how the story ends!
"Rejoice in hope. Be patient in tribulation. Be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12
I'm just sayin...
(For a more thorough discussion about Christianity and Science listen here: https://media.mountaincc.org/0/0/24603)