Christians, we’ve collectively missed the point. As the Covid-19 pandemic rolls on, everyone seems to be cementing their stances and digging in for a fight. Christians everywhere are becoming alternative health experts. They are forgoing their masks while proclaiming freedom.
And the left is clinging to their faith in the government and their fear of deaths. I can hear them shouting at everyone to take this pandemic business seriously. Well then, who’s right? Should we mask up or bear our naked face? Get the kill shot or ride it out? Gather and worship or hide in our closet? I’ll tell you—it doesn’t matter, those battles are inconsequential as it relates to our purpose and mission as Christians.
So then, you must be wondering, what is our purpose and mission as Christians? I believe Matthew 28:19 sums it up very well: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Now think about it. The world is in crisis. Everyone is worried about their health and the health of their friends and neighbors. People are worried they will die. Now to us Christians to die is gain, so why should we be afraid of some bug—mask be damned. Great, wonderful, don’t be afraid. But think about how our actions have limited what could have been a great harvest.
Remember those scared, worried people? They are looking for answers and we have them. But are they going to listen to us? Are they going to flock to the church like after 9/11? Not now. Not after what we’ve done. Why would they seek Jesus at our churches when all they see are Christians doing the exact opposite of what the experts are telling people to do. Limit large gatherings? Nope, if we’re not all together in a building called a church, we’re not good Christians. Because that’s what it’s all about, right?
How can we fix this? What can we do now that the worst of the damage has already been done? All we can do is humbly ask for forgiveness for our pride and selfishness and try to create a safe place. It doesn’t matter what we believe about this pandemic because there is only one belief that matters—faith in Jesus Christ can save anyone. How can people get the answers they need when they don’t feel safe interacting with the ones who have them?
This article has been posted by Christian Leader staff. The Christian Leader is the magazine of U.S. Mennonite Brethren.
You’re right, it does matter for visitors when we’re willing to deal with some minor inconvenience in order to reassure them that we care.
This goes double in some communities (Native American Black, Hispanic), where the death rate from COVID can be double the average. Some families have been hit especially hard, with multiple COVID deaths, so what are we communicating to them if we treat the pandemic as if it’s not real, or worse, a joke?
As Paul wrote, our freedom is not for our own benefit:
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”