Back of the Dog’s Ear

It’s been a while since I’ve addressed ‘Rona here…or anything here. Lately, I write for the same reason a dog scratches the back of his ear: there’s an itch. So, bear with me while I scratch a bit. Here are some of my current observations about this whole ‘Rona situation.

One: ‘Rona is still not the biggest threat we’re facing. Now, of course, I’m speaking to churches here. The biggest threat for the church is that a spirit of divisiveness and grumbling would mark us when it should be rejoicing, gratitude, truth and grace.

Two: It’s become manifestly apparent that we can’t control this thing. We keep trying but we can’t. One sentiment I’ve heard again and again is that we all just need to get along and cooperate so that we can “fix this”. One problem. ‘Rona defies our attempts to manage it. It’s like trying to fold a fitted sheet, the thing just won’t cooperate. Mask mandates haven’t fixed it. Lock-downs haven’t fixed it. And, vaccines, when they come, won’t totally eradicate it. While I respect our Governor she is not on the side of logic when she touts the success of South Dakotans in “slowing the spread”. It might be possible to prove that our efforts slowed it down. You just can’t use logic to prove it. Allow me to borrow a “parable” from Peter Hitchens. Let us say a man goes to his doctor with a severe case of chicken pox. His doctor says, “I know just how to cure this. I need to cut off your leg.” The patient, being a reasonable man, asks, “How do you know that will work?” The doctor replies, “Because, that’s how I’ve treated everyone who has come to me with chicken pox and none of them have chicken pox anymore.” So, the doctor amputates the man’s leg and, behold, not many days later, the man’s chicken pox are cured.

You all see the problem. If he’d left the man’s leg alone the chicken pox would have run their course just as they did after his leg was cut off. Logically, the resolved case does not prove the treatment worked. So it is with all our attempts thus far. We can’t logically prove that this virus would not have spread just as it has if we’d done nothing. So, what’s going on here? Why have our efforts felt so futile? It’s so that we would repent and recognize how little we control. The creation is subjected to futility so that we’d hope for a new heaven and earth (Romans 8:20). We suffer so that we would put our hope in God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9).

Three: Pastors and church leaders really are doing what they think is right according to Scripture. There are exceptions to this, of course, but generally, when churches mandate masks (or don’t) they’re doing so because they want to obey God. Again, there are exceptions – like the church leaders that do what they do because they fear men. But, generally, your pastors and elders are asking how they should respond to all these things based on actual bible verses. One thing that’s been pretty well established at this point is that churches are chock-full of people that think the leaders should be more assertive AND less assertive on ‘Rona matters. Not only that, when they try to find ways to satisfy everyone, they draw criticism from both sides. My own church has made this relatively easy on me. The blessings far outweigh the burdens. But, it’s good to be aware that when you disagree with how various churches are handling this, it’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt, mind your own business, and think about how to encourage and help your leaders.

Four: Now (or yesterday) would be a good time for Christians to brush up on when civil disobedience is appropriate. As Christians we CAN disagree on when it’s appropriate and still be family in Christ. But we all need to know why we believe what we believe and have deep Scriptural foundations for it. For example: God commands his people to gather and sing. So, what do you do when the civil government tells you that you can’t? This is the challenge that our brothers and sisters in California, Washington and many other states are facing right now. Now would be a good time to make sure you know what God’s word says about the Christian’s relationship to civil government. If you’re interested, you could start HERE.

Finally: If you want some encouraging, Christ-centered, and professional medical insight on ‘Rona then I highly encourage you to listen to Dr. Story on the Canon Calls Podcast. I trust this guy because he never justifies every one of my opinions and seems to even-handedly educate his listeners. Check it out HERE.

PS: If you have time do follow all the links provided. They are there for your edification and entertainment.

Published by Cory Kitch

Pastor at Discovery Church, Yankton, SD.

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