March 28, 2020

A Christian Response to COVID-19

At the time of this writing, we are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Many people are scared, others are skeptical. Some are self-quarantined, many are practicing social distancing, and some few are brazenly defiant of any such restrictions.

And then there’s the shortage of toilet paper due to hoarding. To be honest, I’m still scratching my bald head over that one. Even under quarantine for 6 weeks, would you really need an entire case of toilet paper? I mean, my family of three goes through a 12-roll pack about once a month, but that’s probably TMI…

Food hoarding? At least I understand that one, even though it still creates serious problems for people who are unable to get necessities while others take way more than they really need.

It seems to me that there has been quite a bit of panic. For the moment, that seems to be subsiding, and I truly hope cooler heads will prevail. Panic is never productive and almost always leads to greater harm.

All of this leads me to my next point. I’m sure I will catch some flack from those who read my next paragraph and nothing more, but bear with me and read the rest of the article before becoming a troll, if you would.

For me, life has not changed at all. I’m apparently “essential” to the economy and society’s continuance, which is a designation I’m not accustomed to carrying. I don’t know anyone who has contracted the virus, therefore I haven’t lost anyone to it. I understand that the new coronavirus is deadly, but I am also one of those people who wonders why so much attention is being given to this particular virus while the flu kills many more people on a recurring, yearly basis.

OK trolls, read the rest before you blow up the comments with hate mail.

I am aware that part of the concern is for the elderly and people with health conditions that make them more susceptible to the virus. My own wife falls into the second category, so I’m not ignorant of the danger the virus poses. My confusion is more about why other diseases seem to be of much less concern than this one, even while racking up far more significant body counts.

BUT… and this is the part the trolls need to read before crucifying me…

I have enough sense to know that I’m not an authority on infectious diseases. In spite of the questions that I have (doubts, even…), I choose to follow the advice of those who are supposed to know more about this kind of thing than I do.

The appropriate Christian response to this virus is not to ignore it or defy it in some kind of grandiose display of what some might call “faith.” Last night, I saw an article which said a pastor who had decried the virus as a hoax has died because he contracted that same virus. Every life lost to this virus is a tragedy. Let’s not increase the death toll by ignoring the guidance coming from health professionals.

The Bible gives us some very precise guidance for situations such as this…


The Bible tells us repeatedly that we should not act out of fear. Let’s not fall into fear-driven behaviors like panic buying and hoarding. Those actions reek of greed, covetousness, and gluttony.


The Bible tells us that all power to govern is established by God. With this in mind, let us follow the guidance coming from those who have greater knowledge of this virus and its effects than we do. It’s also a very good idea to learn as much about the virus, the disease it causes, and how it is spread as you can for yourself. After all, the Bible does tell us that all knowledge is from God. And by the way, the best advice comes directly from health professionals, not politicians.


The Bible gives us a great deal of guidance concerning knowledge and wisdom, as well as how to practice them. It is not wise to defy good advice and tempt God by putting yourself into harm’s way. Many criticisms have been directed at elderly people who have continued to be out and about during the current pandemic. I have little doubt that most of the older folks doing this trust that God will prevail, and that if they should die, then they will be going to meet with God and all will be well. To my elder Christian brethren, I respectfully submit that you would do well to temper your displays of faith with a bit of Godly wisdom. God does indeed protect and heal, but if you intentionally place your hand on a hot stove, you’re probably going to have a nasty burn that will hurt for a long time. Exercise a bit of caution and common sense regarding this virus; doing so won’t negate your faith at all, and it could save your life - or someone else’s.


Love should be the guiding force behind a Christian’s every action, word, and thought. Even if you do not fear for your own safety from the coronavirus, be aware that you could well transmit it to someone who might be more at risk. Out of love for others, temper your own actions to help prevent the spread of this disease. Also practice the ageless wisdom which my grandmother taught me: if you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all. Don’t criticize those who are acting with an abundance of caution, even if they seem (in your mind) to be going a bit overboard.


If you see a Christian who is acting in any kind of ungodly manner, you should correct them with the spirit of love. Regarding the current pandemic, this means following the first four topics listed above, as well as many more things which I am sure could be said or done to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.


This is a lesson which we would all do well to learn and apply every day, but especially so in the current climate of fear surrounding the new coronavirus. It does no good to engage in angry disputes with others, whether they are believers or not. Regarding the offering of correction, remember that the Bible’s instruction is for believers to correct other believers, not those who are outside the church. Be careful in your interactions with nonbelievers that you do not tarnish the name of Christ and cause them to move further away from the grace and salvation of God.

Please, in this time of anxiety for many who are afraid of what the future might bring, I would ask you to engage in the best practices regarding hygiene and prevention of the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are never exposed to this particular virus, good hygiene is an excellent way to prevent the spread of a host of other diseases. As Christians, we should always endeavor to spread the hope of the gospel, and nothing else.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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