I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here’s why 28 Mar, 2020 15:09 Get short URL I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here’s why A woman wea ring a protective face mask kisses a cross as she prays in her apartment in Turin, Italy, March 25, 2020 (c) Reuters / M assimo Pinca 95 Follow RT onRT By Will Maule, British journalist covering current affairs, religion and ethics. He has r ecently been published in The Spectator, The Federalist and Faithwire.com. Health experts are unanimous: by enacting soc ial isolation, we can stem the virus’s spread, prevent health services being overwhelmed and save lives. Religious gro ups can’t claim some God-given exemption from this edict. Unfortunately, many are continuing to disregard the guidance by gathering together and putting others at risk of infection. Perhaps the most stark example of this comes from a Loui siana megachurch pastor who is openly defying

I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here’s why

28 Mar, 2020 15:09
Get short URL

I'm a Christian, but I don't believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here's why
A woman wearing a protective face mask kisses a cross as she prays in her apartment in Turin, Italy, March 25, 2020 © Reuters / Massimo Pinca

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By Will Maule, British journalist covering current affairs, religion and ethics. He has recently been published in The Spectator, The Federalist and Faithwire.com.

Health experts are unanimous: by enacting social isolation, we can stem the virus’s spread, prevent health services being overwhelmed and save lives. Religious groups can’t claim some God-given exemption from this edict.

Unfortunately, many are continuing to disregard the guidance by gathering together and putting others at risk of infection. Perhaps the most stark example of this comes from a Louisiana megachurch pastor who is openly defying state orders and swinging wide the doors of his church for thousands of worshippers to come and gather together in close quarters.

Laying waste to the advice on social distancing, Pastor Tony Spell is insistent that God will protect his flock from coronavirus. Convinced of his special spiritual status and assured of the power he commands, this pentecostal minister has even provided a private shuttle bus service to ensure that Sunday services are packed to the rafters. More than 1,000 attended at the weekend, most of whom came without any sort of protective gear.

ALSO ON RT.COMOmens of the end? Covid-19 not the only thing you should be scared of this spring (or maybe we should just chill)

At the same time, Louisiana Governor John Edwards issued a grave warning: his state is currently battling the fastest Covid-19 infection rate on the planet, with cases jumping from 100 to 1,000 in just a week. “That’s a ten-time increase in seven days,” Edwards said. “In the last two weeks, our growth rate has been faster than any state or country in the world.”

Edwards had also issued a “stay at home” order and personally requested that church leaders temporarily shutter their operations.

None of this has impacted Pastor Spell, who believes that his ideological right to free assembly should trump any regard for public welfare.

Bizarrely, the minister insisted that instructions to stay at home during this pandemic amounted to a “persecution of the faith” and warned that the pandemic was “politically motivated” – presumably referring to the notion that doomsday media coverage is hurting Trump’s re-election chances. Only when every business in the city is closed, he said, will he even consider pulling the plug on his gatherings.

ALSO ON RT.COMIngratitude: Top Italian newspaper calls Russian Covid-19 aid ‘useless’, implies Putin using medical mission for military scouting

And if anyone from his church was to get sick? The pastor has a simple backup plan: he’ll rely on God’s supernatural protection and healing power. “I’m going to address that by laying hands on them and praying for them and depending on God to heal their body,” he told a local station.

As a Christian, I find Pastor Spell’s language extremely distressing. He appears to be more interested in propagating an image of personal spiritual prowess than he does actually protecting the people entrusted into his care.

Plus, the very notion of testing one’s faith – particularly amid a global pandemic – is also distinctly unbiblical.

When Jesus was tempted to test God in a similar way, he flatly refused. “If you are the Son of God,” the Devil said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus replied: “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

At that moment, Christ issued a clear mandate for all believers: we should never seek to flaunt the power of God, no matter how tempting it is. Why? Because God’s power and might is not about making us look good.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Disgrace we needed global pandemic’: UK govt requests ALL homeless people be housed by weekend

Still, another question remains: is it right for believers to rely on God to protect his church during this pandemic? This is a difficult one. Of course, on the one hand, most Christians would believe that God is ultimately sovereign over all. However, one thing is abundantly clear – he does not offer his people an escape from suffering or pain, nor does he promise to protect us from earthly illness. You can be a Christian and still be a firm believer in the power of viral infections!

So what does he promise those who trust in him? Simply put: peace in the midst of crisis. Indeed, it is the response to difficult circumstances that reveals the true nature of a believer’s spiritual life, as they trust in God’s ultimate plan for the future.

As such, I would contend that coronavirus presents the church not with a chance to put God to the test, but with a critical opportunity to make known the love and kindness of Jesus. With the world brought to its knees by a global pandemic and with panic and anxiety proliferating across the globe, there is a need for people of peace and wisdom who will commit to following the appropriate health advice for the sake of the other. This is no time for supernatural grandstanding. It is a time for realism, hope and care.

Why is Pastor Spell so misguided? Because God is not some sort of magic genie that grants immunity from all the world’s problems. And he may not prevent you from catching Covid-19.

However, as a Christian, I am inclined to believe that Jesus would be more interested in seeing us embody his call to love our neighbors than he would be concerned about the preservation of our church services. And how do we express that love right now? By heeding the expert advice, by respecting the civil authorities, and by staying home.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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  • CitizenfitzLeader

    3h

    The writer’s a Christian, eh. So what? The freedom of assembly guaranteed in the US Constitution doesn’t turn off when people get sick.

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    • Richard BurdenLeader

      57m

      Citizenfitz

      No one has the right to assemble at the expense of anyone’s inalienable right to life. To defend that inalienable right to life, all reasonable measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to save the lives of those who are infected and suffering severe symptoms must be implemented and complied with.

      Reply
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  • r1deforeverLeader

    3h

    Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

    Reply
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    5 Likes

    • JackLeader

      Now

      r1deforever

      But ask yourself if faith has saved anyone so far.

      Reply
      Share

  • HomeOp-ed

    I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here’s why

    28 Mar, 2020 15:09
    Get short URL

    I'm a Christian, but I don't believe God has promised to protect me from Covid-19. Here's why
    A woman wearing a protective face mask kisses a cross as she prays in her apartment in Turin, Italy, March 25, 2020 © Reuters / Massimo Pinca

    • 95

    Follow RT onRT

    By Will Maule, British journalist covering current affairs, religion and ethics. He has recently been published in The Spectator, The Federalist and Faithwire.com.

    Health experts are unanimous: by enacting social isolation, we can stem the virus’s spread, prevent health services being overwhelmed and save lives. Religious groups can’t claim some God-given exemption from this edict.
    Unfortunately, many are continuing to disregard the guidance by gathering together and putting others at risk of infection. Perhaps the most stark example of this comes from a Louisiana megachurch pastor who is openly defying state orders and swinging wide the doors of his church for thousands of worshippers to come and gather together in close quarters.

    Laying waste to the advice on social distancing, Pastor Tony Spell is insistent that God will protect his flock from coronavirus. Convinced of his special spiritual status and assured of the power he commands, this pentecostal minister has even provided a private shuttle bus service to ensure that Sunday services are packed to the rafters. More than 1,000 attended at the weekend, most of whom came without any sort of protective gear.

    ALSO ON RT.COMOmens of the end? Covid-19 not the only thing you should be scared of this spring (or maybe we should just chill)At the same time, Louisiana Governor John Edwards issued a grave warning: his state is currently battling the fastest Covid-19 infection rate on the planet, with cases jumping from 100 to 1,000 in just a week. “That’s a ten-time increase in seven days,” Edwards said. “In the last two weeks, our growth rate has been faster than any state or country in the world.”

    Edwards had also issued a “stay at home” order and personally requested that church leaders temporarily shutter their operations.

    None of this has impacted Pastor Spell, who believes that his ideological right to free assembly should trump any regard for public welfare.

    Bizarrely, the minister insisted that instructions to stay at home during this pandemic amounted to a “persecution of the faith” and warned that the pandemic was “politically motivated” – presumably referring to the notion that doomsday media coverage is hurting Trump’s re-election chances. Only when every business in the city is closed, he said, will he even consider pulling the plug on his gatherings.

    ALSO ON RT.COMIngratitude: Top Italian newspaper calls Russian Covid-19 aid ‘useless’, implies Putin using medical mission for military scoutingAnd if anyone from his church was to get sick? The pastor has a simple backup plan: he’ll rely on God’s supernatural protection and healing power. “I’m going to address that by laying hands on them and praying for them and depending on God to heal their body,” he told a local station.

    As a Christian, I find Pastor Spell’s language extremely distressing. He appears to be more interested in propagating an image of personal spiritual prowess than he does actually protecting the people entrusted into his care.

    Plus, the very notion of testing one’s faith – particularly amid a global pandemic – is also distinctly unbiblical.

    When Jesus was tempted to test God in a similar way, he flatly refused. “If you are the Son of God,” the Devil said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus replied: “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

    At that moment, Christ issued a clear mandate for all believers: we should never seek to flaunt the power of God, no matter how tempting it is. Why? Because God’s power and might is not about making us look good.

    ALSO ON RT.COM‘Disgrace we needed global pandemic’: UK govt requests ALL homeless people be housed by weekendStill, another question remains: is it right for believers to rely on God to protect his church during this pandemic? This is a difficult one. Of course, on the one hand, most Christians would believe that God is ultimately sovereign over all. However, one thing is abundantly clear – he does not offer his people an escape from suffering or pain, nor does he promise to protect us from earthly illness. You can be a Christian and still be a firm believer in the power of viral infections!

    So what does he promise those who trust in him? Simply put: peace in the midst of crisis. Indeed, it is the response to difficult circumstances that reveals the true nature of a believer’s spiritual life, as they trust in God’s ultimate plan for the future.

    As such, I would contend that coronavirus presents the church not with a chance to put God to the test, but with a critical opportunity to make known the love and kindness of Jesus. With the world brought to its knees by a global pandemic and with panic and anxiety proliferating across the globe, there is a need for people of peace and wisdom who will commit to following the appropriate health advice for the sake of the other. This is no time for supernatural grandstanding. It is a time for realism, hope and care.

    Why is Pastor Spell so misguided? Because God is not some sort of magic genie that grants immunity from all the world’s problems. And he may not prevent you from catching Covid-19.

    However, as a Christian, I am inclined to believe that Jesus would be more interested in seeing us embody his call to love our neighbors than he would be concerned about the preservation of our church services. And how do we express that love right now? By heeding the expert advice, by respecting the civil authorities, and by staying home.

    If you like this story, share it with a friend!

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

    OPED

    • 95

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    Trends:Covid-19 coronavirus news

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    • CitizenfitzLeader

      3h

      The writer’s a Christian, eh. So what? The freedom of assembly guaranteed in the US Constitution doesn’t turn off when people get sick.

      Reply
      Share

      5 Likes

      • Richard BurdenLeader

        57m

        Citizenfitz

        No one has the right to assemble at the expense of anyone’s inalienable right to life. To defend that inalienable right to life, all reasonable measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to save the lives of those who are infected and suffering severe symptoms must be implemented and complied with.

        Reply
        Share

        1 Like

        Show 1 more replies

    • r1deforeverLeader

      3h

      Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

      Reply
      Share

      5 Likes

      • JackLeader

        Now

        r1deforever

        But ask yourself if faith has saved anyone so far.

        Reply
        Share

      • This message was deleted.

    • Petar_Great

      5h

      Religion institutions and leaders are in the best business that human kind has ever seen. They charge you for an invisible product. The product has no warranty. If it works, the seller gets the glory, but if it does not, the buyer takes the blame. God works in mysterious ways.

      Reply
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      5 Likes

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      • IainDouglasLeader

        2h

        Petar_Great

        I think that God dislikes many of these religious institutions and their leaders.

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        4 Likes

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      • CitizenfitzLeader

        2h

        Petar_Great

        I’m not getting charged even a penny. The rest of your post is rather foolish too.

        Reply
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        2 Likes

    • Silence_DogoodLeader

      4h

      if you are a TRUE christian (not a cherry pick type) then you know that ALL things are created by God.

      Reply
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      4 Likes

      Show 1 previous replies

      • Fernando PerezLeader

        1h

        Silence_Dogood

        please just change “know” for “believe”.

        Reply
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      • Rafter64

        3h

        Silence_Dogood

        Ever heard of Satan, the source of all evil?

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    • Richard McCarthyLeader

      6h

      Many, Many possibilities…make things as good as you can for yourself and others. Understand what you can and trust & obey for the rest.

      Reply
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      2 Likes

    • BeforeHeavenLeader

      20m

      God gave us a brain, an intellect and love to use. This is his true gift to us. But some of us thirsty for power and idle in relation to work, self-proclaimed themselves envoys and spokesmen for the heavens. From that day they deceived us that in order to have access to god, we needed to register with their religious companies. And then they blamed the failures on the poor devil.love this world

      Reply
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    • krrrapLeader

      1h

      He is pentecostal and runs a mega church, Money is his god. He wants more dollars in the bank, he probably took a hint when the market tanked and just wants the donations to keep coming in.

      Reply
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    • William MallinsonLeader

      4h

      Through His Son, God gave us freedom, as well as love. In any catastrophe, natural or man-made, it is for God’s creation, Mankind, to help…..

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      1 Like

    • ZkaLeader

      4h

      orthodox christian nations are hit the least by this virus hmmm while the most catholic and muslim nations and other are hit hard… makes you think what’s the true religion, my guess orthodox christian…

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      • MihailovicLeader

        26m

        Zka

        I would love if this is true but in serbia many people consider orthodox to be a nationality and not a religion. Adultery is more popular than in the west.

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      • CitizenfitzLeader

        2h

        Zka

        What are you going to say when the Orthodox countries start getting hit?

        Reply
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    • Peter ElliLeader

      4h

      Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 21,,, ” TEST ALL THINGS ”’ Its a clear as sunshine,, take nothing for granted: TEST ALL THINGS!! What’s wrong with testing the socalled scientists? Have they not lied to us for centuries?

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