I don’t even mean to pick on Graham Nicholls, the director of the UK-based ministry Affinity, but what he writes in a recent piece is the same tripe I’ve seen on other Christian websites this week.
Nicholls describes the panic people are feeling over COVID-19, then, as if by habit, transitions into his stump speech about Jesus:
The temptation to fear coronavirus is real. God know this. This is why he says “do not fear” hundreds of times in the Bible.
This is an opportunity to exercise our faith — to show that our feet are planted on something as solid as rock. If being a Christian doesn’t mean something to us in the face of a deadly disease, then it doesn’t really mean anything.
The confidence of our secular culture is all smoke and mirrors. The self-aware, casual irony of a culture that has never had its centre tested by anything is disappearing faster than loo rolls at the supermarket.
So we do not put our trust in the precautions we adopt or the projected low mortality rates. We trust our sovereign and gracious God. We need not fear but look to the Lord to provide, protect and teach us through these testing times.
I can’t believe I need to say this, but belief in the divinity of Jesus does not make you immune to disease. Christians die just like everyone else.
Even the headline for that piece is unbelievable: “There’s a sickness far worse than coronavirus and Christians have the antidote.” In other words, atheism is worse than a deadly disease, and accepting Jesus makes everything better.
It’s not just casual slander, it’s dangerous rhetoric, suggesting that sensible precautions are unnecessary if you’re a True Believer™.
It’s idiotic. We’re all in this together, religious differences aside, and yet these people want Christians to believe there’s nothing to fear. Waving your hands and shouting Bible verses at the problem won’t make anything better. This is irresponsible and more Christians need to call it out.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Renee for the link)