This is the fourth week in which I have been giving my personal reflections on the coronavirus situation. Today will be my concluding post on the topic.
19/Some few people have noted that the actions of the civil government, central, state, and local, represent a threat to our freedoms. I see the point of such comments. They could be right. But I am more cynical on the topic: in my opinion, that ship has sailed long ago. They draft us into the armed forces to fight their evil wars. They destroy the value of our money. They force us to pay for public education which is destructive of civilization. Our freedoms have been gone for a long time. Our job is to shut up, work, and be taxed to a frazzle. We are good at shutting up and being taxed to a frazzle, not so good at working. So they create money out of thin air, which drives prices higher. We don’t even notice, or if we notice, we don’t know why it is happening.
Even the over-the-top incidents which we read about, where authorities arrest some poor slob for exercising in the park with his daughter, or surfing by himself on the ocean, don’t surprise or upset me too much. It all is to be expected. We have been heading toward a soft totalitarianism for a very long time. Will the soft totalitarianism get worse? Will it turn hard when the enemies of civilization are in total control? I guess we’ll find out. Those who complain about the reduction and possible disappearance of our freedoms are definitely on the right track in raising the issue. I do see their point. I really am grateful for them. Maybe I am just channeling my inner Alfred E. Neuman: “What, me worry?”
20/As for Christians and the Christian churches, I think Nehemiah spoke for us a long time ago:
‘”Behold, we are slaves today,
And as to the land which Thou didst give to our fathers to eat of its fruit and its bounty,
Behold, we are slaves on it.
And its abundant produce is for the kings
Whom Thou has set over us because of our sins;
They also rule over our bodies
And over our cattle as they please,
So we are in complete distress.”‘ (Nehemiah 9:36-37)
God deals with every people covenantally. Nehemiah recognized that it was because of the sins of the people that God had set thieving rulers over the people, and had made slaves of them. We are “shocked, shocked” to see God dealing with us in the same way. The central fault is really not with the elite scumbags who run this country. They are evil, yes, but they rule over us really only because we are an antinomian, pietist bunch of Christians who have preferred pietist antinomianism to adult Christian responsibility.
I have said several times in recent months that I believe there are reserves of goodness in American Christians. I do believe that. I think our potential for good is enormous, because we really are inhabited by the Holy Spirit, who is quite willing to lead us into all the truth (John 16:13). But we are going to have to think and live in a more biblical manner, if we are to escape our slavery and become mature, adult believers–the kind of believers God wants us to be (Hebrews 5:12-14).
One fact that the coronavirus has impressed upon me is that Christians as a whole do not have a biblical vision of the future. Our major doctrines of the last things are unbiblical. Both dispensationalism and amillennialism discourage us from thinking that we can make a large difference for good in how the world proceeds. Together, dispensationalism and amillennialism are the two most numerous and powerful eschatologies of American Christians.
Here is the shocking truth: both doctrines are satanic. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that those Christians who believe dispensationalism or amillennialism are on the side of Satan. What I am saying is that I believe Satan is pleased when we accept d. or a., because both doctrines hamper our ability to think and act in ways that build the kingdom of God. I am also not saying that Christians believing d. or a. are thereby kept from helping extend the kingdom of God. Such Christians can of course serve God greatly. Many do. But I do say and believe that both dispensationalism and amillennialism weaken our ability to think and act in a manner pleasing to God. They are not solid foundations for biblical thinking.
God deals with us covenantally. When we obey from the heart, He finds a way to bless us. When we disobey, that also is from the heart, and it calls down chastisements from God upon us. There are always consequences for going our own way rather than God’s way. One example will suffice. I mentioned the tithe in the first post concerning the coronavirus–at number 6. We are giving 2.5% of our increase to the church, whereas God requires 10%. There are consequences. The consequences are bad. If we refuse to think and act biblically, we are going to get consequences that are bad.
I have been in some branch of the Christian church for well over 40 years. It has increasingly been impressed upon me that we usually prefer our way to God’s way. There are consequences. Now, as Nehemiah says, we are slaves on the land which God gave us. If we want to believe silly things, and act in silly ways, we are going to continue to be slaves. The coronavirus simply pointed up what weak and tame slaves we have become. For the church to put such enormous faith in the civil authorities–civil authorities who demonstrably are liars and bullies–is simply a symptom of our weakness. (For a 235-page paperback on how the church has let down not only our God and ourselves, but also our fellow citizens, please see my book The Christian Betrayal of the United States (2010). It is available for $18.00 plus $1.26 sales tax, shipping free, or for a pittance as an ebook at the usual outlets for such thing.)
God has been merciful. He has given us a wake-up call, in the coronavirus, which has been relatively gentle. We can learn from this, and begin to adjust. I don’t expect us to learn much from this, but we might. It seems that the only way we ever get inspired to change a losing game is if we are hit with vast disaster. This disaster has not been vast enough, I think. But maybe I am too pessimistic.
21/Finally, my own personal situation with regard to the coronavirus has been basically good. My routine has changed very little. I am able to work at my part-time job. I exercise and go to the grocery store. I watch DVDs and read books, which is basically how I spend my free time anyway. I have been restricted from going to fast food joints, since I don’t like drive-throughs, but I was able to go to the local pizza place. I tried to get a haircut and was surprised to find I had to put it off–thus earning a good laugh from one of my friends who knew I should have realized the shutdown would keep me out of the barber shop. I haven’t been able to go to the library, but I have plenty of books and DVDs stocked up; I could last for several hundred years without really needing to go to the library. Probably I am in the 1 percentile of people who have been least affected by the coronavirus. I have just learned that our county fair has been canceled for 2020, which I find vastly annoying, but it will give me more time to read. I have not been able to attend church, but that hasn’t really bothered me. It is a good excuse to stay home and loaf. (Don’t tell anyone I said that.) I know I need to be with people, and I do enjoy being with them to a certain important extent, but I am not a person who needs to be with people constantly. I have my sister and my Aged Parent living next door, and we interact without wearing face masks. I have been basically as happy as a clam on Valium.
Thus endeth my personal reflections on the coronavirus situation. Enjoy the gradual reopening of the country. Life is good, because the God of the Bible is good and gives us good things.