COVID-19: Faith, Fear, and False Dichotomies

For the most part, the way Christians have responded to COVID-19 has been amazing. The attitude for many has revolved around what they can do to love their neighbor through this time of difficulty.

On the other hand, there are those that have made this issue one of faith over fear, and while I'm sure there are Christians afraid of what may happen, this does not mean that all those who remain home from worship/class are guilty of faithlessness. Not only is dangerous to call our fellow brothers and sisters “faithless” during a time of crisis, it is also a false dichotomy as this isn’t so much about faith versus fear, but faith alongside wisdom while navigating a gray area.

For some Christians the idea of closing the doors of the church during this time is a move that makes God small. Closing the doors tells our communities that, when push comes to shove, the worries of the world will cause us to run too. From that vantage point I understand the hesitation to shut down our churches and I empathize with your internal struggle to close.

I kindly ask those who think this way to consider the following point of view. The “other side”, those that are advocating for closing the doors, are struggling internally as well. For most of them this is not an issue of fear, but one of love and concern for their fellow Christians and their community. It’s about navigating a difficult time with wisdom instead of responding out of fear.

If I may suggest, what we need right now is not infighting between Christians about church closures or openings, but a strong showing of our unity and faith during global concern. Here are a few ways to show that faith and unity in this time:

  • Keep in contact with your fellow Christians during this time of social distancing.

  • Continue to share videos and livestreams of worship services taking place.

  • Reach out to your neighbors by letting them know you are there to pick up groceries for them or pray with them.

  • Talk openly about your faith and the comfort that it brings in this hectic time.

  • Be grace-filled towards the Christians who may see this issue differently. Church leaderships are faced with many tough decisions right now. Pray for them and support them.

  • Refuse to further create division by bringing politics into the COVID-19 discussion. Believe what you will, but post what edifies not what divides.

When the world is in crisis, Christians are always to be carriers of peace (Eph. 6:15) regardless of whether we are in our buildings or not. Christians let’s not give in to fear, but emanate faithfulness, wisdom, and peace to those around us.

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