Sunday, April 5, 2020

Everybody Plays The Fool

Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, said "There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true." Under our present fight against COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, there are a lot of people who are giving in to fear. This fear is based on information they are receiving from politicians and mainstream media. This, in turn, is reinforced as true by those same people who believe that the disseminators of the information are telling them the truth and have their best interests at heart. However, and albeit not hidden from their view, there is information available that contradicts the commonly held narrative. And, dare I say, more factual information. Although from my perspective, it doesn't appear that many of them have taken the time to validate the information they believe to be true, they will defend it vigorously; even to the point where they will argue against and attack their neighbor if they question the popular belief. For example, when it comes to the idea that many of the hospitals involved in fighting this virus are at, or over, capacity, many people don't know the existence of videos taken by "citizen reporters" showing that hospitals all over the country and world are nowhere near a state of emergency. Aside from medical personnel and law enforcement officials, these hospitals are all but empty. Therefore one can't help but ask, "What is going on here?" Furthermore, despite the fact that over 97% of people infected by the virus recover, we have nearly crashed the economy resulting in over 10 million people filing for unemployment benefits. This doesn't even touch on the new phenomenon known as "social distancing," staying six feet apart from each other, which has resulted in "Stay At Home" orders that prevent people from leaving their homes except for "essential" reasons. This has led to pastors being arrested for holding church services, at least one state has contemplated creating the means by which citizens can snitch on their neighbors who have violated any shelter in place orders and many other attacks on our God-given and constitutional freedoms. As a Christian, this has created a dilemma for me and other Christians as well.

In Romans 13:1-4, Paul writes, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer." Here we have Paul basically saying that we should obey the government because God has instituted the government. And to disobey the government is akin to disobeying God. However, in Acts 5, it is recorded of a time when the disciples were arrested for preaching the Gospel despite being told by the governing authorities not to do so. After being freed and going right back out and preaching the Gospel again, they were brought in front of the high priest. The high priest said, "We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us (Acts 5:28)." This led Peter and those with him to say, "We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)." They decided that it was time to take a stand for God and not listen to the government. The Bible, to my knowledge, doesn't indicate when the moment arises to obey God rather than men, if at all. And I am not here to say we have reached such a moment. Furthermore, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ is of greater importance than anything else. When a person decides to obey God rather than men is strictly between that person and the Lord. All I am asking is, "At what point do we as a people, and more importantly, the body of Christ, say that it is time to obey God rather than men?" We have been called to freedom, yet in a matter of days, we have seen how quickly people are willing to give up their freedoms to the government for the promise of "security." Yet, this is the same government that says women have the right to kill their unborn children, that marriage is no longer just between a man and a woman, and that fights tooth and nail against most anything deemed Christian or biblical. How much longer will we be fooled by believing lies and refusing to believe the truth? Regardless of the answer, may the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.