A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Covid-19 and the analogy of sin

Covid-19 has pulled people up short and made them think about death. We are born, we live, we die—but most people have avoided thinking about death, preferring to distract themselves with the delights of this world while they can. Covid-19 has pulled the human family up short and brought it face to face with the the reality of death. In addition, the global lockdown and economic collapse is causing anxiety, fear, mental overload, emotional roller-coasters, stresses on families and personal relationships, not to mention massive adjustments in most people’s lives.

Compared to other infectious diseases, Covid-19 has a long incubation period — they say it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear after a person has been infected. Many who are infected do not become seriously ill. But for those who die, the time from first symptoms to death can be quite long—several weeks it seems.

Sin—the sin nature—the bias towards sin— is a ‘virus’ we are all born with. We inherited the sin nature from Adam. The analogy would be catching the infection, contracting the disease. After we are born, we might live in this world for three score years and ten, or more, before our mortal bodies die. But for all that time until his mortal body dies, the natural man, by his sin nature, is dead spiritually—blinded and cut off from God.

We can’t avoid contracting the sin nature by practising social distancing and washing our hands. Nothing we do in our own efforts can cleanse the sin nature from us. Nothing we do in our own efforts can cure us from this ‘disease’.

I’d like to take this analogy further.

How are doctors treating patients who have Covid-19? This is a hot topic of debate among medicos and scientists at present. Here are some of the treatments which doctors have been using: give them extra oxygen; intubate them on ventilators to pump air and oxygen into their lungs; give them hydrochloroquine and azithromycin in the early stages of the disease; give them high dose Vitamin C intravenously. (I’ve listed the treatments I’ve heard of and read about; there may be other treatments which I have not heard of.)

If sin is like a virus, a virus we contract at birth, a virus which causes separation from God in this world and the next, a virus which leads to both physical death and eternal death, what is the treatment for the sin virus?  That, dear friends, is easy to answer. The treatment, the remedy, is repentance and faith in Jesus. Jesus died for the sins of all mankind. Jesus offers forgiveness and purification to all who repent and trust in him for salvation. The treatment is free, and instantanously effective.  But anyone who thinks he can receive salvation without humble and heart-true repentance is deceiving himself; he is choosing to live in darkness rather than light.

For God so loves the world, that he has given his only Son, so that none who believe in him should perish, but should have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world through him could be saved. Whoever believes on him shall not be condemned.

But whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he does not believe in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the condemnation: that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But whoever does truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be known, that they are wrought in God.

John 3:16-21 (NMB)

The Covid-19 crisis has brought all this closer to the surface.

Trying to ‘do the right thing’ in this world — whether it be social distancing, hand-washing, financially providing for your family, telling others your perspective on what has caused the Covid-19 crisis…all those types of activities are for this temporal world. They may or may not benefit others in this temporal world.

But what about the next world?

People panic about death from Covid-19, yet often those same people steadfastly resist thinking about sin and its consequence—eternal death. Hmm. What does that signify? What can we make of that? What can we do about that?

I don’t have answers to all those questions, but I encourage us all to ponder those questions and factor them in to the situations we each of us are dealing with in our daily lives.

On a personal note, I have been struggling to write a blog post since the Covid-19 panic hit. I have been reading and listening to many different points of view—from scientists, from Christians, from ‘whistle-blowers’, from ordinary folks who are out of a job or working from home or stressed by other elements of the lockdown. I’ve been through my own roller-coaster of tears, grief, anger, tears, irritability, sadness, despair, frustration, and guilt. Feeling like a leper. Trying to smile at and encourage others. When I’ve been unable to read Scripture I have been able to sing hymns; that has helped me a lot. I have been trying to get exercise daily and expose my skin to sunshine for Vitamin D.

May the Lord have mercy on us all.

Perhaps it may help to end this with a few verses about blessing and blessedness, from the New Testament.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you and thrust you out of their company, and rail, and abhor your name as an evil thing, for the Son of man’s sake.

I have shown you in every way how, by so labouring, you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy and the God of all comfort

Blessed are the dead who die hereafter in the Lord, as the Spirit affirms, that they may rest from their labours; but their works shall follow them.

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. For on such the second death shall have no power. For they shall be the priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Blessed are those who do his commandments, so that their power may be in the tree of life, and they may enter in through the gates into the city.

 

8 Comments

  1. Craig Hill

    Great post Barbara.

    Blessings

    Craig.

  2. Finding Answers

    From the original post “On a personal note……..”

    ^That.

    From the original post “…..since the Covid-19 panic hit. I have been reading and listening to many different points of view—from scientists, from Christians, from ‘whistle-blowers’, from ordinary folks who are out of a job or working from home or stressed by other elements…….”

    For me, the Holy Spirit led (and still leads) me through ^That, plus a massive quantity of research / reading / watching / listening / etc., etc., etc.. (No offence intended by any unintentional miscommunication / misunderstanding / etc. from less-than-clear phrasing.)

    From the original post “…..Feeling [in the emotional sense] like a leper. Trying to smile at and encourage others……”

    (The words in square brackets “in the emotional sense” added by me.)

    ^That. (Omitting details for my safety and protection.)

    From the original post “Perhaps it may help to end this with a few verses about blessing and blessedness, from the New Testament.”

    ^That.

    Paraphrasing the New Testament: The Battle Belongs to God

    ^That.

  3. Sister

    “On a personal note, I have been struggling to write a blog post since the Covid-19 panic hit. I have been reading and listening to many different points of view—from scientists, from Christians, from ‘whistle-blowers’, from ordinary folks who are out of a job or working from or stressed by other elements of the lockdown. I’ve been through my own roller-coaster of tears, grief, anger, tears, irritability, sadness, despair, frustration, and guilt. Feeling like a leper. Trying to smile and encourage others.”

    Barbara,

    Thank you for not only being encouraging, but also being transparent with your struggles. It’s okay to not be okay. We appreciate your authenticity and it gives those of us that you encourage/minister to an opportunity to reciprocate.

    I, too, have been and continue to be stressed with the thought of catching COVID-19 and with thoughts of the future wondering when and how it will end. I daily check some stats on it, but try not to get overwhelmed. After investigating a little now and then during the day, I turn away and try to look for and appreciate the silver linings for instance:

    Maybe the “flu” I assumed I had at the end of February, fever / dry cough was COVID-19, and I am already immune…

    I have not seen the current sense of community since 9/11. Worldwide there really is a sense of “We’re in this together,” that I find comforting. I saw an image on Facebook of an elderly woman hunched over peering at an empty grocery shelf. I don’t remember the preachy caption, but I remember it angered me. Not because of the allegedly forlorn woman, but because I believe it was a completely staged photo and not indicative of what I am seeing. Many grocery stores are offering early morning shopping for seniors and / or at risk people.

    I’m seeing a level of friendliness and community albeit 6 feet apart that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen before perhaps even more than after 9/11. I think of the man, a complete stranger to me, who excitedly told me that he had opened a carton he saw on a shelf near us and discovered packages of tissue boxes with Aloe. He was letting me know to share his secret / to let me get some, too. I think of a woman in the parking lot coming in a store I was leaving. She smiled broadly as she saw me carrying a large package of toilet tissue acknowledged my good fortune at finding it and asked where it was and if I thought there still was some left. I directed her and think she probably was able to get some as well.

    Today, I was shocked when I pulled up to the drive thru food window of a restaurant and discovered the car ahead of me had paid for my food. The clerk said the customer had been doing that all day.

    I hope you and the rest of the ACFJ readers are experiencing some silver linings as well.

    This week the grade school faculty in my neighborhood drove through the neighborhood in a parade of cars to see and wave at their students. Neighbors wrote chalks messages to them in their driveways. (I know that has happened in other communities as well.)

    Across the U.S. and perhaps the world, people are putting hearts and / or teddy bears in their windows and posting / talking about it on Facebook. They are doing that so children on walks can look for them like a Scavenger Hunt to give them some fun and take their minds off of things.

    I am grateful that I am still able to work even though it’s teleworking, which I thought I would absolutely hate. It turns out I don’t hate it, although I still prefer face to face. I am less often late for work. 🙂

    I am not at all trying to minimize the real stress of the virus, the lockdown, the uncertainty, the unemployment, and the financial fears. I’m just trying to not get overwhelmed by the darkness by letting myself appreciate the silver linings.

    I will conclude with 3 links that make me smile. In order of length, the first is a short clip of a dog and dog owner making music together. The 2nd is of a virtual cell phone choir of professional background singers singing “It Is Well With My Soul”. And the last one is of a Mom and Dad in Scotland providing their children, who wanted to go out to eat, a unique restaurant experience at home.

    I hope you all will enjoy them as much as I do.

    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5446316/coronavirus-scotland-glasgow-parents-restuarant/

    • Hi Sister, I have not been stressed with the thought of catching Covid-19. This is not to say I’m superior to anyone who has been stressed with that thought!

      Here in Australia we are calling it ‘lock-down’ rather than ‘shelter-in-place’. In the early days of the lock-down I was reeling from so many things to get used to: the reduction of traffic on the streets and footpaths, the closing of many stores including cafes, etc, the bombardment of Covid-19 stuff in the mainstream media. The changes have exacerbated my already existing sense of loneliness. I am a gregarious person and I like to interact with people face to face, in the flesh, eye to eye, soul to soul. Chatting with the staff in cafes and shops and with strangers on the street, has been a significant way I have (in the past) mitigated my loneliness.

      In adjusting to the lock-down there have been times where I felt such despair that I actually wished I would contract the Covid-19 virus and die. Now, mind you, I am not immuno-compromised and my lifestyle is pretty healthy, so I doubt I would die if I got infected with Covid-19. I made a vow many years ago to not commit suicide —– so I have to wait for the Lord to determine the time for me to shuffle off this mortal coil. In those intervals recently where I was feeling despair and was mentally and emotionally reeling from all the changes, I did sometimes wish the Lord would allow me to die from complications from Covid-19.

      Ah well… I am no longer feeling that way. 🙂 And I’m taking steps to boost my immune system because if I’m to remain here I want to be able to continue ministering in whatever way I can. I would rather not become so ill that my ability to minister to others is impaired.

      • raggedtyanne

        Dear Barbara, I did not know you were going through this. I will pray for you.

    • raggedtyanne

      Sister, I loved that version of It is well with my soul, one of my all time favourite hymns.

  4. Sister

    Barbara-Thank you for sharing your heart. I am not sure what to offer at this moment in time but please know I am grateful for you and I care!

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: