How should Christians respond to the coronavirus pandemic?

(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)

First, as Christ-followers, we need to remember that our God is a “refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble” (Ps. 46:1). God has not given us a spirit of fear. We should not panic. Our Heavenly Father is still the all-knowing, ever-present, omnipotent God.

Second, we need to pray for all those who have been infected, those who will be, and for their families. We need to pray for God to deliver the world from this menace to human health and well-being. We need to pray for wisdom, guidance, and protection for our national, state and local leaders as they seek to fulfill their oaths of office in protecting the citizenry.

Third, we need to take necessary precautions. Listen to the medical experts. Be informed, sensitive, and wise in the way we approach this pandemic. In fact, not to do so would be to commit the sin of presumption (assuming the Holy Spirit will protect you when you disregard prudence and think since you are doing the Lord’s work, you can be exempt from sound medical advice). For example, if the authorities recommend no meetings of more than a hundred people, is it presumption for churches to go ahead and have their services in person rather than streaming? I hope not.

Fourth, don’t do anything knowingly that would put anyone else at risk. Seek to help those who need help coping with the aftermath of having the virus or having been exposed to it. And during this whole process, as Christ-followers, we must always remember and have in our consciousness the Lord Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) and “to do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).  Let’s all pray that when we look back on this crisis, our fellow Americans will see this episode of our history as one that reflects credit on the Lord we serve as they see His work in us as we serve them.

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is part of an advisory group for President Donald Trump

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