Copyright © Larry Johnson July 2020
From the outset it is necessary to state that the focus of this essay is directed primarily to Christians. However, having affirmed as much, I believe there is something for those of all faiths and the non-believing; the latter I will consider presently. I believe the event of Co-VID 19 is a cautioning for Christians and the world in general. This rationale will become evident as we progress; and whether the reader believes my thoughts to be far-fetched, or tenuous, is a matter for him or her. However, it is my belief that the years ahead, whether it be the next five, ten, fifteen years or more, will see these views vindicated. It is unlikely that the world in general will heed the warning; indeed, the evidence avowing as much is already apparent. There appears to be no change of course in worldly views. In fact, it is highly likely the secular world has not even been struck with the possibility of the pandemic being some kind of minor chastisement. Unfortunately, as a result, it is my conviction that worse difficulties will arise that will make Co-Vid 19 appear fairly minor. Indeed, I do not stand alone in these opinions; they are shared in other reputable quarters.
So why Co-Vid 19? The trend of the world over the last fifty to sixty years has been one of ever descending moral degradation. The acceleration of abortion, euthanasia, and acceptance of same-sex marriage appeared to always indicate that our God would lose patience. It has often been the case that when the human race goes astray, God will allow some event to correct the trend. There can be no argument that the evils previously mentioned are contrary to His will. Anyone who takes their Christian faith seriously cannot possibly dispute such comment. In fact, it is the core of the problem that so many Christians being in accord with such practices has resulted in the need for serious correction.
Christian history is strewn with examples of society’s rectification by God: Adam and Eve, the Hebrew nation of antiquity on more than one occasion are examples. The Hebrews episodically strayed into immoral practices and the worship of false gods. The result of this waywardness was invasions by the Assyrian, Babylonian and other empires with consequent exile and devastation of their land. Throughout history, disasters and plagues have periodically ravaged the world. However, the circumstances appear different now than in the past. It is one thing for the human race to stray into waywardness and immoral practices, but it is another to accept them as normal – or even good, and for the participation in such conduct to escalate to the level it has. Abortion has always been practiced to some degree; and as well sexual relations between those of the same sex. But the practices were at the very least generally frowned upon by the broader population. Such behaviours were considered outside of the norm.
As stated earlier, the secular contribution to woes of the modern world is evident and plentiful. Secular society has wrested much influence from Christianity: to the point where it is attempting with all energy to see it obliterated, or at least reduced to a voiceless entity. Here we find the arrogant false gods of the profane who would have matters as they see fit and seek to crush those who resist. Here we also find weak Christianity that cedes to their views, and, often willingly, without adequate knowledge and wisdom of their faith, gladly participate in the recalcitrance. As stated earlier it is unlikely that these people will see Co-Vid 19 as anything other than an unfortunate event to be overcome as quickly as possible. However, I feel sure that the pandemic is not the end of the matter. Something fiercer, more tragic, and more devastating is required to convey the realization of the world’s waywardness. This will be the time that the reason for God’s wrath cannot be mistaken or misjudged.
In the last half century we have seen an offensive by the recalcitrant to prosecute the good as evil and the raise evil to good. We are told now, after some thousands of years, that what was worthy in the past is now vile, and that the previously immoral is now praiseworthy. Now, it is a fact that every human being is precious in the eyes of God notwithstanding their behaviour. But the truth is that God wishes the human being to conduct himself or herself in the way of His precepts. God defined the rules and they have been the standard for thousands of years, but all of a sudden we humans want to make our own moral decree. We have made ourselves God; or at least attempted the task. The very idea can only be viewed as the height of arrogance and pride. Somehow, in the past, the vast majority who committed wrongful deeds by and large knew they were pushing against the grain. In the modern day there is an obduracy as to which way the grain should run.
And so it is my assertion that in an enormity, rarely, if ever, witnessed before, the modern human is perhaps more full of arrogance and pride than our predecessors. This being the case, our Lord in Heaven, has I believe decided to permit the ‘lowering of the boom’. I consider that God is in fact allowing us to teach ourselves a lesson. He may say, ‘if you think you are Gods then let us see the fruits of this course you have taken’. It will endure a while, and in the end the disaster will speak for itself. Consider if you will the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon. I am of view that God has no further patience in bearing with modern attitudes.
And what of Christianity? What has been its role in all of this? Since the Reformation, Christianity has proliferated into a milieu of denominations. I heard some years ago that there were around twenty five thousand Christian denominations around the world; and I dare say some are barely Christian anymore. It is a reality that Christ said to Peter, ‘And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church’[i]. We notice that Christ stated the singular not the plural: one church, not thousands. The splintering of Christianity has significantly weakened the capacity to evangelise, which in turn has led to the degradation of morality within society. It is my view that 1) Christianity can no longer maintain these divisions, and 2) Christianity needs to return to Gospel values and not be compromised by worldly values. Christianity cannot be a popularity driven entity; that is, it should not change and adapt its ways and doctrine to make it more inviting for the purpose of acquiring more followers. The Church, as Christ founded it, needs to stand as it was instituted. We are called to evangelize the world, not the world evangelizing us to its fashions and whims. It is not a numbers game. God has spoken and His Word was Christ, and it is for us to either accept or reject Him.
One of the saddest parts about the whole matter is the number of Christian denominations that have supported policies such as same-sex marriage, ‘de-sacramentalised’ weddings, and even tolerated abortion. Many Christians have interpreted Christianity the way that suits them. All Christian denominations would claim that they are following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, Third Person of the Holy Trinity. But why so many denominations? Are there many Holy Spirits? There is only one surely. Would the Holy Spirit inspire one denomination to believe that same-sex marriage is all right but another denomination not? Such contradiction is contrary to God Himself. We know that God cannot lie, so some have obviously fallen away from the narrow path. It feels good to proclaim Christianity for oneself doesn’t it? We want to do what pleases but also want that feeling that we are saved, that we are ‘good’ people. Christ said there would be many who cry ‘Lord, Lord’ but yet would not reach Heaven. It is manifestly obvious that the approach Christianity has embarked on would eventually incur the anger of God.
[i] Matthew Ch. 16 – v 18. New Revised Standard Version Caholic Anglicized Edition ©1999, 1995, 1989. Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.