Christianity and Covid: “freedom” shouldn’t be deadly

Christianity and Covid: “freedom” shouldn’t be deadly December 27, 2020

333,000 Americans have died of Covid – but I know some Christians who are loudly disputing that number. Some are implying that the death toll numbers have been deliberately inflated. Some have been accusing medical professionals of complicity in skewing the statistics.

Over 19,000,000 Americans have contracted Covid, and many millions of Americans don’t have enough to eat because the pandemic is dragging on and on – but I see Christians refusing to obey mask mandates, singing Christmas carols in public just so they can flout the regulations (looking at you, Kirk Cameron), demanding to go to church.

These Christians insist that they should be free to mask or not mask, free to worship and travel as they please. Many of them insist that wearing a mask and keeping a distance of six feet amount to (no pun intended) overkill.

None of the Christians advancing these theories have any actual proof. They’ve heard theories broadcast on their favorite channels – and the theorists too lack actual proof. (And Covid cases continue to climb.)

Complicity

Of course, you can find somebody to endorse literally any theory. That’s why we still have disciples of the flat-earth theory and the fake-moonwalk ideology. The difference is that flat-earthers and fake-moonwalk folks aren’t killing anybody with their beliefs.

Is it hyperbole to say that our collective choices are killing people? Think about it. We applauded the president because he didn’t “force” us to wear masks or avoid crowds. In fact, he actively encouraged large gatherings and even hosted them.

We went to those rallies, or supported the right of those who went by the thousands. When there were spikes in Covid cases afterwards (and even the death of a congressman), we had little to say.

We pretended we were standing up for the marginalized: “I mean honestly, some people can not breathe with a mask on. COPD is real, lung disease is real.” The real truth here is that we were using the marginalized for our agenda – to excuse our refusal to wear a mask.

We shamed the “sheeple” who believed the science and did what they were told: “What is the real issue? It’s not Covid. It’s all about power over the population. If we let them force a mask on us, then what is next?”

We applauded Trump’s recklessness: “The President thinks we’re smart enough to protect ourselves from getting sick. I appreciate the fact that he’s not pushing an agenda on me.”

We were silent as smear campaigns were launched (including by our president) against brilliant doctors like Anthony Fauci – because Fauci dared to disagree with the president and told us what to do.

Icing on the cake: we declared, “I believe that the Lord expects more from his church than for us to sit back on our hands and do nothing…I believe the church needs to rise up and speak out against the wrongs that are being pushed on us.”

What “wrongs” are being pushed on us? A requirement to wear a piece of cloth over our faces? Is that a wrong, or an inconvenience?

We say we are standing up for God’s church and religious freedom.

Freedom that makes us better

Paul talked about true religious freedom – the freedom we have in Christ – in Galatians 5.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

How to do that? Should believers obey the law that demands circumcision (v.2)? No, we are free from that.

Should believers obey the law that demands waiving circumcision? No, we are free from that. (Also, some of us are female.)

So what should we do, Paul? Tell us what to do! We need specifics.

Paul patiently explains:

In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Serve one another humbly in love…walk by the Spirit…if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Not as prescriptive as we’d like, is it? No, we have to think for ourselves. We have to be discerning.

We need to keep asking ourselves, “how do I express my faith through love?”

Sometimes Jesus straight-up broke laws – for example, he healed on the Sabbath (Mark 3) and touched lepers (Matthew 8). He loved by helping, without regard for the calendar.

Other times, Jesus expanded laws – for example, “thou shalt not kill” became “don’t even harbor anger”; “thou shalt not commit adultery” became “keep your thoughts under control” (Matthew 5). Love requires inner work.

Paul did give us some direction in Galatians 5, a partial answer to the question, “how do I express my faith through love?”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

So, instead of trafficking in rumors and gossip (“somebody is artificially inflating the Covid statistics,” or “masking is the government’s way of trying to control us”), let us put our energies into loving.

Love in a time of pandemic

Let us mourn the massive loss of life (even if the numbers may be inflated).

Let us comfort those who have lost loved ones (even if some deaths may have been wrongly attributed to the coronavirus).

Let us pray for the doctors and nurses who are on the front lines every day, and do something nice for them when we can.

 

Let us be the first to waive our personal preferences, freedoms, and comforts, and take whatever precautions we are asked to take (just in case the scientists are right).

And even if we’re skeptical about the efficacy of masks and distancing, we’ve been told they are in place for the good of the weak and vulnerable – isn’t it more loving to submit to authority (just in case they’re right)?

If the world was mocking us for our holiness and devotion to God, we could chalk it up to “persecution for the sake of the Gospel.” But that’s not what’s happening. The world is mocking Christians for our inability to see what’s right in front of us: we are killing each other.

By blessing the actions (or in many cases, inactions) of our president, we have become complicit in the deaths of many thousands of Americans. We are not expressing our faith through love – we’re expressing our pride through self-centeredness.

The longer we wait to bail out on Trump, the more contemptible we’ll be when it all falls apart. Why are you still waiting? You know it’s just a matter of time, and not much time at that. (Sign up for my newsletter here.)

covid social media
Some of many social media comments that I’ve collected – posted by Christians.

 


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9 responses to “Christianity and Covid: “freedom” shouldn’t be deadly”

  1. Regarding the matter of circumcision, a careful reading of the New Testament will tell you that PHYSICAL circumcision was abrogated (done away with, eliminated) and instead SPIRITUAL circumcision of the heart took its place. The Apostle Paul even called it mutilation and those who pushed it DOGS and EVILDOERs (Philippians 3:2).

    I wrote an entire book (Bible commentary) on ALL the Bible says about circumcision, if anyone is interested. https://www.amazon.com/CIRCUMCISION-Ancient-Sacrifice-Gerald-Boor-ebook/dp/B08MWTW72T/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=circumcision+ancient+blood&qid=1609181725&sr=8-1

  2. YOU HAD ME ALL THE WAY UNTIL YOU TURNED IT INTO A TIRADE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT. I agree that we need to do everything in love, but you said you should act that way, but failed to show any love for him.

  3. I notice almost everyone I encounter everyday wearing a mask whether they like it or not. Most every businesses and office building require them to enter. I also notice that the number of cases grows as more people are getting tested; deaths are not growing in proportion. This is contrary to what we have been told and causes skepticism.

    Supposed dens of plague like churches and gyms and bars and restaurants are either shuttered or operating at half capacity. I see the same people at the restaurants I frequent and wonder why most of these people are not already dead or in the hospital?

    Our news paper heralds gloom, death and destruction everyday in every way constantly criticizing our Governor for not locking down our entire state and closing our borders. The daily hospital capacity report shows we are at 91% occupancy and implies that we are all doomed without mentioning that Covid cases are only half the patients; the other half are normal hospital fare and most could be told to wait unless their malady was life threatening.

    The government and the media have done their best to scare us into submission and they have succeeded. People are afraid whether they are susceptible or not; whether they are in a high risk position or not and it’s no wonder. I am surprised that mobs are not descending upon vaccine sources and shooting up.

    There is an option besides fear; it’s called Prayer. Take your vitamins D3, zinc and magnesium, get a vaccine when available and Pray for protection. If you are in a high risk group take all precautions and Pray more and for all of us. Then take what you read and use your common sense. Since everyone is New York City is not dead by now neither will you likely be no matter what you are told.

    Bob Shiloh

  4. What would love look like toward the president? Not mentioning what he’s done? Not holding him accountable? How would you characterize his actions since the pandemic began, and he suggested lethal remedies, refused to take responsibility for governing, and played rounds of golf while our country burned?

  5. I would have to disagree with your characterization that we’re all full of fear. Some are fearful of dying, and that’s not unreasonable. We’ve all heard stories of healthy, robust people succumbing to Covid.

    Also, and more importantly perhaps, why do so many people refuse to understand that we wear a mask, not for our protection, but for others’ protection? If you are at high risk, you want those around you to wear a mask for your safety.

    Not everyone in NYC is dead, you are right. But over 25,000 are dead. Sorry Bob, prayer won’t keep you healthy unless you and those around you also do the right things. Please wear a mask.

  6. Keep in mind that people who die in hospitals are not autopsied. The “attending physician” decides the cause of death and fills out a form. Isn’t that like a police officer who “attended to” a suspect who dies deciding why the suspect died?

  7. I urge you to understand the controlled demolition of the US Economy with the media event that is COVID-19. I urge you to dig deeper and use your critical thinking to see through this big deception. Out of Christian charity, please be concerned for the suffering due to poverty, hunger, unemployment and homelessness that this hoax is causing to our fellow citizens and people everywhere.

  8. The twisted logic that defines “freedom” as refusing to wear a simple mask is the actual hoax. It deflects attention from a failing econ system destroying communities and environments while turning our political system into its subsidiary. Truth is representation and freedom depend on how much you can buy.
    The ultimate twist in the argument above is assigning to the health crisis blame for the trickle-up econ devastation that has been building for 40 years. As if “poverty, hunger, unemployment, and homelessness” didn’t exist prior to 2020.
    Logic like insisting climate change is a hoax. That it’s just about US scientists getting grants. As if the big money weren’t in corporate profits such as Big Pharma. And as if the entire rest of the world, despite all the political and cultural differences, were united in a total conspiracy on climate change. Or now on COVID-19.
    Conspiracy believers have a very narrow reality tunnel. It is a defense against fear, offering the comfort of certainty. Since they consider consensus science to be an enemy, subjects like epidemiology and the statistics of logarithmic spread don’t pass through the tunnel’s constrictions. Nor does the testimony of medical personnel who deal with COVID-19 daily. Fine; the believers are free to insist personal preferences mean as much as some sort of informed expertise. But the horror is they cannot tell the difference–and that translates into opposition to the common good of public health.
    Sometimes prayers are answered by human actions. If passive prayer were the only thing necessary, why have physicians, nurses, or hospitals at all? And how is someone’s personal religious beliefs the only answer for everyone else?

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