Thoughts Spurred by the Coronavirus Plague      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. In this view, the protein particles E, S, and M, also located on the outer surface of the particle, have all been labeled as well. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Thoughts stimulated by the coronavirus plague...

1. The coronavirus plague is a bad thing. It makes people sick. It kills some of them. It scares a lot of people. It stops people from getting together to do the things they want to do. It messes up the stock market, wiping out life's savings and opportunities. It'll probably cause job losses. [This was written early; now we're seeing the massive job losses.] It's bad!

Does God want bad things to happen? No. (See The True Christian Religion 43.)

3. Did God create a universe in which bad things can happen? Yes. Apparently. (If you accept that there is a God, etc.) -- which will have to be another thread...)

4. What do you think is God's will in all this? Here's a piece of an answer. A good outcome of this plague could be for all of us to see and experience people helping each other, and nations helping each other. It's patchy, of course, but... as an example, efforts to develop an effective vaccine have been helped by a fairly early publication of the composition of the virus. There is an exchange of epidemiological data. There's communication. There's compassion. We see health care workers courageously caring for sick and contagious people. There are groups in my hometown that have been shipping surplus medical supplies from here to China this very week.

As human beings, we have the opportunity to respond well or badly to this crisis. I believe it is God's will that we respond well. We certainly can, and should, argue about how that would look. But if our primary motive is to love our neighbor as ourselves, some good things will happen.

There is also something that relates to this in the philosophy of stoicism, that is, that you cannot control all the things that will happen to you, but you can control how you respond.

(References: True Christian Religion 43)


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