With some trepidation we would set forth some of the good, bad and ugly things that are being revealed in the current social calamity that has befallen many people throughout the world today in reference to the pandemic. As we survey through these blessings and cursings, we must never forget that there is nothing new under heaven. Whether as individuals, or as a society of individuals, history is filled with all that might transpire in the present and future. As the people of God endured the past, so they will do the same today as we transition at different places in the world into new paradigms.
• Revelation of demigods: Remember the following statement when King Jesus said to John at the beginning of His revelation of traumatic social chaos that was about to come upon the Jews, “Do not fear. I am the first and the last” (Rv 1:17). We must never forget this. And then again Jesus said to those in Smyrna, “Do not fear those things that you will suffer” (Rv 2:10).
We are sure that Jesus did not give a command that could not be obeyed by His disciples. We must not think, therefore, that He asked those disciples to do something that they could not do, that is, proceed fearlessly into the future. Our assurance that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords should calm our spirits, no matter what social chaos that might prevail at any one time in history. Paul reassured his readers, “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Ph 4:7). Therefore, “Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say, rejoice!” (Ph 4:4).
Those who are fearful are easily subjected to those who would reign over them. Demigod rulers seize the opportunity when the people of a society are brought into a state of fear. Fear can be produced by the authorities of the state, or brought on by some natural calamity. Regardless of the origin, fear within a society is fertile soil for those who would seek to rule by mandates that they would bind on the people. In these times the world has been brought under fear by those who worship the god of science. And since the world is in fear, then the kings and lords of this world often take the opportunity to subjugate the people to their control. Demigods always feel good when people are under their control. Control gives them a sense of power.
We see such in some of the present rulers of the nations that have issued some lockdown measures because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some governors in America are behaving as demigods over the people of the states of which they were democratically elected. Without the permission of the people, and sometimes the votes of their own state legislators, they have issued mandates to the public that often do more harm to the social economics of the society than the virus of pandemic.
We have also witnessed that these lords would become self-righteous judges of other nations that cannot enforce lockdown measures. We must keep in mind that “lockdown” is a Western concept, which thing cannot be implement in most developing world environments where people live in mass in shanty villages and towns. And besides this, we have also witnessed that those lords who are quick to bring restrictions on others in their own cities often feel that they themselves are free from adherence to such restrictions. It is always the inability of a lord to live consistently in reference to those things that he or she would bind on others.
The worldwide pandemic has often been the opportunity of some to reveal their thirst to reign over people. There is lordship leadership in every potential lord. Sometimes the fear within a society becomes the opportunity for those with a hidden desire to reign to have the opportunity to lord over others. Nevertheless, Christians must never be subjected to fear, either by governments or natural calamities. Those who are brought into fear are brought into bondage. It is truly the fearless who live in freedom. And since Jesus sought to set us free, our freedom is not only from sin, but from any calamity that this world would deliver.
In reference to America, who would ever have thought that there would be governors of certain states who would ignore the first amendment of the US Constitution? Those who fled religious persecution in Europe and immigrated to America, did so in order to find freedom in the New World. Those forefathers could never have conceived that when they wrote the Bill of Rights that there would arise over two hundred years later their descendants who would not honor the constitutional amendment that there would be a separation between church and state. They would never have dreamed of the day when in the “land of the free,” they would hear from the state, “Your rights to assemble as Christians have been suspended.” Liquor stores and abortion clinics may remain open, but church assemblies will be shut down.
In the lockdown times in America church assemblies were closed down because of fear. Some church members were fined even when they sought to stay in their vehicles and drive to an open-air assembly where the preacher stood outside and preached to everyone who remained in their vehicles. Civil liberties were being ignored for the purpose of “keeping the people safe from the virus.” This does not mean, however, that the people should ignore safe behavior. However, it is the right of the people to make this choice. The choice should not be made by a lord of the state, and then imposed on the people. The people should be educated concerning behavior that is safe for the people, and then, the people should be able to implement such safety measures without the fear of the state.
We must always remember that when we are in fear, we often lose our sense of rationality, and sometimes our freedom for which many died in conflict to preserve. Sometimes we lose sight of the very foundation upon which a nation was built. Therefore, we must not forget that fearful people are easily brought into the bondage of those who thirst to be demigods. We do not move into the future, therefore, under a shroud of fear, but caution. Since Christians are not to fear, then they move forward with caution.
The last thing that should bring fear in our hearts is fear of anything in our environment. So we go forward with the following words of the Holy Spirit clearly in our minds: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rm 8:31,32). The Spirit continued, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril [as pandemics], or sword?” (Rm 8:35).
[Next in series: Sept. 28]