The most basic principle of Christianity and God’s eternal Kingdom is love for others. The core theological proposition of the faith of Jesus is to deny self and love others in such a manner that you would be willing to give your life for them.
As this situation unfolds, we need to consider our healthcare workers—the doctors and nurses on the front lines during this national emergency. We need to consider the most vulnerable among us—in our churches, in our communities, in our homes. Are we loving them as ourselves, as Christ commanded?
The Bible offers practical counsel regarding how we are to treat infectious disease. We learn in places like Leviticus 13 that social distancing and quarantine are not only biblical but necessary methods to halt the spread of deadly illnesses.
The Bible instructs us to follow the laws of man so long as they don’t contradict God’s laws. Worship can take place anywhere—the church is not a building—so we are not in a situation that requires us to disregard what is being asked of us now and bring undue disrepute on the cause of Christ.
Our focus should be on how we can minister to others, and the first way we can do that is by respecting people’s lives and well-being by adhering to public health prescriptions. The “medicine” being prescribed—the best we currently have—during this pandemic is to physically disconnect.
It is not faith when we act presumptuously and put others in harm’s way. When Satan tempted Jesus to test God with promises of protection, Jesus rebuked him. If we disregard the clear warnings and counsels of those leading the fight against this deadly virus we are acting in an irresponsible, if not arrogant manner. Our witness can be permanently damaged by such actions, as they make us appear selfish and unconcerned about the lives of the very people to whom we are called to demonstrate God’s love and concern.
While this situation presents some significant challenges, it also presents some great opportunities. Let’s make the most of those and learn what God would have us learn through all of this.