We hear this phrase daily from the media, CDC, on the radio, in ads and articles. But what does it really mean? The last several articles looked events around the Coronavirus in relation to the end times. We can use those same events to learn about our responsibility for stewardship and duty. We’ll focus on the relationship aspect first as that is more relevant. Stewardship over things will come later.
Today’s Events in Context
First, we need to set recent events into their larger context. Within the last two months we’ve seen;
· America’s economy, the world’s largest, has shut-down some large segments.
· Virtually every country has the virus and its society brought to a stand-still.
· In response to the virus, many of America’s governors issuing shelter in place orders and closing many businesses.
A number of governors, including Virginia’s, acted out of fear. To be sure, they stated their actions were for our safety. But they acted like the world’s great men in the book of Revelation, “they hid themselves in caves and among the rocks of the mountain.” Our leaders ordered us to hide. They took away our personal liberty to determine how best to act in the current situation. Advice and guidelines became commands.
The first set of Revelation judgments concern God’s judgment of man, reasserting His authority and calling man to repent. This requires us to pause, reflect, and communicate. President Trump’s election was only a reprieve, and the virus provides an opportunity to change direction. Are we making the most of this grace?
God is calling us to pause, reflect, and return to Him. To do the morally right thing. The two Biblical spheres of power given to man were those of the church and governance. Both are to serve man. So why is the earth being shaken now? A couple of current events come to mind.
· Virginia’s legislature recently passing a large slate of legislation dramatically increasing spending, reducing abortion restrictions, infringing on our right to defend our lives, devaluing human gender, and undermining family values. Those supporting these changes still want more. Their corruption knows no limit. It will never be enough. They are like Babylon drunk on their own corruption.
· Many of our churches have lost their savor—what makes them salt. Government and society are pressuring them to conform with the progressive agenda by accepting abortion, same sex marriage, and forgetting what it means to be human.
The world has seduced both spheres of power. They have forgotten God’s word. God is returning to take back His church and restore His governance—in short, to judge man’s performance. Those who say this is God’s punishment are wrong. It is God’s judgment, but man has chosen his own punishment through his choices and actions. Protestant or Catholic, it is very much alike. We see corruption in many of our churches and government structures. Certainly not everyone fits this description, but way too many do.
We are to love God and our fellow man. Man has been granted dominion, and therefore stewardship, over relationships in at least three areas; family, being a people, and governance. Man is to exercise love, caring, and sharing with others. These encompass our natural rights to procreate, assemble, communicate, and provide justice. We’ll look at the first two rights in this article.
As a society we’ve chosen the death of the innocent through abortion instead of life. Why should we expect life when we’ve chosen death? With the call to procreate comes the duty to protect all life and provide for those in our care. The latter includes our children, family members, neighbors, and communities. We have a responsibility for our neighbor.
When we reject a right we lose its benefit. We reject good and accept evil because God’s morality forms the basis for our natural rights. By choosing death we are losing our ability to provide. Many today have lost their jobs, and others are underemployed. But providing is more than money. It also includes things like the education we are called to provide our children. We’ve turned over our children’s education to a system corrupted by the same government influence that supported the recent legislation. Should we expect good things to come from such actions? These loses carry more weight on the poor and innocent, just as told in Revelation.
But when we follow God, we are told not to worry—not to fear. “So don’t be anxious, asking, ‘What will we eat?,’ ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘How will we be clothed?’ For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-3) Our hearts are to be set on God. This pause is a chance to do just that. When we set are heart on God, the rest will follow. This doesn’t mean things will always be easy, but He will take care of us. We are His children; He’s chosen us.
The Right to Assemble
Many of our governor’s, including Virginia’s, have tried to take this right away. In the name of safety of course, unless you want an abortion. The rules they’ve created are largely arbitrary and are doing much damage. In time we’ll see if the cure was really worse than the disease, but that is often man’s way. Virus cases appear to be dramatically undercounted, while deaths are likely overcounted. The underlying cause is our government has turned from its call to serve to a desire to rule. A product of often putting bad people into positions of power. Just look at the party platforms. They do not try to hide what they believe. Why are we willing to accept it, except that as a people we too have become lost?
God’s governance requires first a virtuous people, and second they choose virtuous individuals to administer justice—government’s primary purpose. And the church is largely complicit, the result of the liberation theology corruption many denominations have accepted. We shouldn’t expect good when choosing what is evil, when we choose to follow man instead of God.
Our right to assemble comes with the duty to use it in ways to educate, encourage others through our actions, and serve one another. These all come directly from the Bible. Thankfully, many have refused to be discouraged. We see many acts of kindness and true charity to our neighbors during the outbreak. A reminder of the way things should be.
A New Normal
We must understand we are entering a different time. God is not likely to act in the same way He has in the past. God will still forgive us when we stray, as long as we return. However, the time is growing short. This message will offend some in the church, but God is calling us to His word, not man’s. We must remember who called us. Either way we will embrace the results of our choice—either life or death.
And there is reason to hope. The acts of charity just mentioned is one. We also still have the opportunity to get it right by choosing to serve rather than rule. Choosing self-sacrifice over self-interest (remember the hoarding). Our personal choices matter, even in an immoral society. We have the choice of a new normal, one based on fear or one on hope. If we continue to elect and follow morally bankrupt leaders, we will receive the former. By choosing Go and following His will for us, we will again reach the latter. God uses imperfect people to accomplish His will, and we are all imperfect. What matters is to whom have we committed ourselves. What we receive depends on our choice, and we must choose one or the other—Satan owns the fence. I choose hope.
 Wolf, Dan, p. 94, A Handbook of Natural Rights, Living Rightly Publications, 2018.