COVID-19, conspiracy theories and Christian responses

I would like to start off with a meme (as I often do when I blog) but in this case to remind me NOT to be pompous and that all and sundry have a view on the crisis that dwarfs all others at this time.

I speak of course about the Corona virus outbreak, mindful I am no expert and have not earned the right to pontificate on what needs to be done in a paradigm that is anyway changing by the day and is profoundly exercising the minds of those who are expert. While I have lots of tales to tell about my own experience then so have many others. My experience of empty shelves and queues in supermarkets, meetings and appointments canceled and even the pressure to self-isolate (and a chance to read and write my book etc.) is petty in comparison with what many have to face at this time. Attitudes vary from fear and panic to disdain and dismissal. Frustrations faced include lack of communcation, despair and a sense we have lost the plot, bringing out both the best and worst in humanity.

Since I wrote my “The Coronavirus and the end is near” article LESS than I week ago, I am amazed how quickly things have changed in the meantime, with so much shutting down on activities not deemed strictly essential and with it a huge socio-economic impact. My initial instinct is people have over-reacted, but then what do I know? If asked, do I trust the government, who have made many of these decisions, the answer is no. But then I recognize if is as a result of taking expert advice, it may be better than my non expert opinion. Besides, I believe we should obey government, with one exception if it means we disobey God, and taking responsibility, as we must, may mean making difficult decisions. I also believe we should pray for government, that when faced with difficult decisions they act wisely and in the best interests of all the people.

Like many watching events taking place, I ponder how we got to where we are. A number of people who I respect have come up with opinions around the idea of the virus being part of a dastardly plot by an ungodly hidden hand that stands to benefit from chaos and disruption. One of many I have read that has some credibility is titled: “Timeline: The early days of China’s coronavirus outbreak and cover-up“. I don’t dismiss such notions, which some would see as conspiracy theories, nor that we are seeing a diabolical plot to subjegate humanity. But rather than wax on about what may or may not be happening, other than keeping a careful watch on what is happening, we should rather focus on staying safe and helping the vulnerable, and doing our bit to help and alleviate suffering. Now, this is the time to call upon the Lord to have mercy.It brings me to a Christian response, which I discussed in my earlier article. Since then I have been made aware of many fantastic responses down the centuries, the latest being: “How Early Christians Saved Lives and Spread the Gospel During Roman Plagues”. As churches also self-isolate (my own has cancelled meetings as have many) they should see it as an opportunity to help the vulnerable. Given the Lord invariably works in mysterious ways, I wonder if using the present crisis is His way to refine and ultimately bless the Church and through it to bless the wider community. Besides those known to me in my community, there is the matter of the homeless who have no homes where they can self-isolate and are naturally worried, who will likely face the biggest hit from activities shutting down. While I feel blessed to be ok, I know many who are facing hardship, including the impact this has upon businesses. The command to “love thy neighbor” has enormous implications and a multitude of outworkings. It should also be conceded that this is something many of my non-Christian friends take seriously too, which I find very touching, including a wide range of spontaneous help your neighbour initiatives.

Another Christian response is relating this to end time Bible prophecy. While I take this seriously, such as the warnings of Jesus, which include the things we are seeing now, we need to be balanced in our views. While I believe the New World Order, Babylon the Great which controls the world economic system, the one world rule of the Anti-Christ and Old Testament predictions about the Last Days are to be expected, I am loathe to equate current events with specific prophetic fulfillments and would point people to Him who promised His peace. Yet alarm bells need to be raised because the Corona scare may be the precursor to something far more sinister. As we cast our eyes over the global picture and wider response, already we are seeing beginnings of martial law, threats to human liberty, a globalist backlash and rise of authoritarian socialism I have been warning folk about. While health and social care may be the main concern as I write, longer term it will be economics, the affects of social distancing and the matter of who controls our lives.

repent

While we live in disturbing and momentous times, it is also one of enormous opportunity and when we can re-focus on what truly matters, to do with our common humanity.  As a community activist I would be remiss if I ignored the community; as a gospel preacher I would be remiss if I did not call upon people to repent of their sin and believe the gospel; as a watchman I must warn; and as one of the elderly, vulnerable remiss if I don’t take precautions.

Writing text showing Final Thoughts. Business concept for Conclusion Summary Text Written on sticky note paper, wooden background with marker folded yellow paper meaning thinking

Final thoughts – at least for now!

Reaction and over-reaction, causes and consequences, who are the good guys, what is the big picture, are some of the conundrums we face, whch future history will have a view when thinking about the Coronavirus, and while we may pontificate on these matters (as I have) it may be wisest and of most benefit to our fellow citizens to get on with life and do what we can to help, praying (if that is what we do) “God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”. I have been blessed or to put it in popular parlance other than having to self isolate have got away lightly with things (unlike many) yet mindful that “everyone to whom much was given, of him/her much will be required”. Whether one believes God is in control, or not, will depend on what you believe about God (that is assuming God exists). But here is my take, based on what I see and discern: there have been countless evils in the world down the ages, while the Sovereign, Holy God sits on His Throne and the ways of the Almighty are imponderable. Just as He allowed to happen what we are now witnessing regarding COVID-19, He can just as easily stop it if He chooses, as has happened in many cases of pestilence down the ages, including in the Bible. Sometimes good can come out of bad. Maybe this is the time to rediscover what truly matters and what doesn’t, show kindness to the vulnerable who may never know or be able to repay, find new and better ways to do things, heal relationships that have been broken, recognising we have more in common than which divides us, see God work in wonderful and mysterious ways, whether it be in righteous judgment or loving mercy, and recognize that it is now the time to seek the Lord.

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One thought on “COVID-19, conspiracy theories and Christian responses

  1. John Hymus says:

    Good, sober and carefully balanced view, John. I concur completely.
    However, there is a hook and outcry in my spirit which shouts out: ‘No way, José’. I think the politicians are doing the only thing they as politicians can do. I too do not trust many of them. I suspect some of them are lackeys of the NWO. Society and propaganda would not allow them to do otherwise. And for the moment I am on one level going along with them and ‘self isolating’. But I add as a postscript that I come from a tradition which says: I do not accept the status quo. I believe God can change it. I believe in the God of the impossible. It began with my working in India and facing violent Arya Samaj, Jana Sang and other mobs screaming at us, stoning us out of town, trying to set fire to our trucks and near lynching is as we preached the gospel on the streets and in the bazaars. That tradition continued into smuggling scriptures for 20 years into the Iron Curtain countries and mass distributing Christian leaflets in ČSSR, USSR, Kosovo and Balkans even into ‘fortress and paranoid’Albania shortly after the Prague Spring and until Communism fell in 1989. It continued with praying for 10 years with many others that the OM Ships would come into being and they did and have run since 1970 which is 50 years with every day being a miracle of provision. It goes into my own experience of having to root Freemasonry out of my own church in 1980 to seeing impossible things happen in my own personal and family life all my Christian life. So it runs deep and my position is, for example, the NWO exists and has great power and worldwide influence BUT I DO NOT AND WILL NOT ACCEPT IT just lying down. I will come against it in Jesus’ Name and I’d prefer to go down fighting rather than acquiesce to evil. When you examine what is behind FM, it is out and out B-A-L worship and the hackles rise up within me screaming ‘who is this uncircumcised Philistine’ or ‘godless system’ that dares taunt and cow the armies of the Living God’ and I come against it in Jesus’ Name. Similarly, who is T May and her cartel who sought to torpedo Brexit – I come against them in Jesus’ Name. And now if it is the ‘CCP virus’ of President Xi and if the CCP has plans to bankrupt the whole world so that they will end up owning a lot of it, I for one will say: ‘I will never accept this. Whether it be a ‘conspiracy theory or not’ I stand against it in Jesus’ Name. I do not want my children or my compatriots or my Christian friends to live under such a system. I might be proven wrong but I have made my choice: I will fight it to the bitter end in Jesus’ Name. A strong delusion is, I believe, descending on the earth like a clammy cloud of fear and slavery and it is a joy robber – a humanity-hostile delusion. Now excuse my vulgarity and don’t ask me to justify my position theologically but my inner hackles dictate this to me as a necessity for me: I WONT ACCEPT IT. I WILL BLOODY-WELL STAND AGAINST IT, And if I am wrong then I will go down fighting it to the last breath and last blow of my being. It is a spiritual battle and must be contended in the heavenlies in Jesus’ Name. Is this now the time to take authority and loose Truth and bind lying Evil in Jesus’ Name. i am doing it at my altar daily. Supposing the truth were that on 29 March 2020 the verse in 2 Kings 7:1 and Elisha’s words were to become a reality: “Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: ‘About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’”

    My tradition is to believe that God does the absolutely Impossible.

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