What is the "correct" Christian answer to a pandemic

Hi everyone, given the current world situation with the spread of COVID-19.
What would you consider to be the “correct” Christian answer and the adequate message from the church?

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@jonasbun Not sure about what the perfect response is, but here was a local Church’s response I appreciated. Also some resources from Christianity today.

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Thank you Sean, it is a good, uplifting message.
I’ll also make sure to check out the link and resources that you’ve shared.
I appreciate it.

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@jonasbun Indeed - the Lord bless you and keep you :slight_smile:

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@jonasbun this is a very timely question. I am currently taking the RZIM Academy Why Suffering module. Two weeks ago we heard from @Sharon_Dirckx on the subjects of natural disasters and sickness. I would like to share some of the lecture notes from her lecture as I feel they will help us all as we grapple with the current situation. Please note that there will also be a live stream Friday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. EDT, with @Abdu_Murray @Vince_Vitale & Jo Vitale covering COVID-19. It would be well worth watching.

Nature is broken

We see this in Genesis 3, with the fall. Ever since this point human death entered the world and we have been suffering the consequences. This, I believe is the reason that people die from natural disasters and viruses that can kill us. Disease and sickness exist because there is something wrong. There is a brokenness at the level of our physical bodies that can be traced back to the actions of our ancestors, Adam and Eve.

Romans 8:20-22
“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

Jesus’ response to two instances of large-scale suffering

Luke 13:1-5
“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

In both instances, Jesus is clear that suffering of this kind is not God’s judgment, but is a reminder to onlookers of the brevity of life and the urgency of the need to turn to Christ because the alternative is that we perish.

The Christian Response

  • I believe our first response in the face of suffering should be to pray. We learn in Ephesians 6 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of the present age. There may be a spiritual dimension to the suffering and I believe we should pray against that.

  • After that, I believe we should help those who are suffering. In this particular instance, we are seeing a lot of fear. I believe we should try to help those who are fearful as we were not given a spirit of fear but a Spirit of power love and a sound mind. This help could come in many forms. I have a friend who started his quarantine today. I called him this morning and he wept on the phone. I think we should reach out to anybody we know who is isolated as many people will be suffering mentally due to isolation and fear. Just calling can make a big difference.

  • If asked if God is judging us by sending COVID-19, I believe our answer should be no. Disease and sickness affect us all as a general consequence of living in a world in which our very bodies are not as they should be, because of the disconnect between God and people. e.g. Sarai and Abram’s infertility & The man born blind.

I hope this is helpful and I give my extreme thanks to the RZIM Academy and in particular @Sharon_Dirckx for her extremely helpful lecture :fist_right:

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Thank you Brian,
This is a very thoughtful and positive answer. I appreciate it.
Would you mind if I share it with others?

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Of couses you may @jonasbun. I am very fortunate to be taking the Why Suffering module at such a time as this and am delighted that some of what I am learning is helping :handshake: