Points of Application Regarding Coronavirus

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Chad Hutson

Puritan Board Freshman
I wonder what points of application or comparison we can make concerning the Coronavirus pandemic and response? I initially propose two:

1. The comparison between a raging, contagious, devastating virus and sin. How sin easily spreads and wreaks havoc within communities. Those who seek to warn others are often derided and shouted down. Most seem oblivious to it until it injures them, and then only some will seek a remedy.

2. The razor-thin line between legalism and antinomianism. For some (legalists), its gloom and doom and what MUST be done. They are keen to keep pointing at what others are not doing and comparing to what they personally are doing.
For the antinomians, it is laissez-faire. It doesn't matter how we behave or how our actions affect others. It's all good! We'll do what and how we please.
But also, how we interpret one another's motives reveals much about ourselves!
 

Joshua

Administrator
Staff member
It is a good use of circumstances to steer them toward godly meditation, so kudos there. I need a little clarification on your second point with regard to a good definition of legalism. Perhaps that will better help me understand the "what MUST be done" statement.
 

Chad Hutson

Puritan Board Freshman
I need a little clarification on your second point with regard to a good definition of legalism. Perhaps that will better help me understand the "what MUST be done" statement.
Legalism as in trusting and depending exclusively on what one must do for God's grace, favor, fellowship. Taking the responsibility from God and placing it upon our own activity. As Ferguson reminds us in The Whole Christ, legalism and antinomianism are the "non-identical twins of the same womb." BOTH approaches stem from a divorcing of God's nature from his word/law. The legalists neglect that God is good and merciful, thus they ruthlessly pursue law-keeping to avert his wrath. The antinomians embrace the truth that God is good and merciful, but fail to apply these attributes to his word/law (considering the law as bad). A good God only gives a good law!
In our troubled times, there seem to be many who are consumed with only what man must do to prevent the spread of the virus (legalism) and others who seem to think any effort of man is a lack of faith.
Of course, as is the case with any analogy, if taken far enough it will eventually break down. I am just trying to get our attention on some positives from the crisis at hand.
 

joep

Puritan Board Freshman
David Robertson said something on his podcast that I thought was quite good:
You know, 3.4% of people who get coronavirus -- mainly the elderly, mainly those with pre[-existing] conditions -- will die. 100% of us are born with a disease, are born with sin, which means that we all die. And then after that to face judgment. It's funny we panic about coronavirus [but] we don't consider our eternal destiny.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Wouldn’t the most clear application regard God’s judgments of plague or pestilence? Thus the need to repent and return to the Lord and be faithful instead of remaining in unfaithfulness?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
From looking on Facebook and reading the content of some pastors, there is going to be a lot of stupid stuff said this Sunday in relation to Coronovirus. In centuries past these times of plague have brought people into the church due to Christian compassion and prayer, etc, but now I think many might decide to avoid church when exposed to some of the stupidity out there.
 

joep

Puritan Board Freshman
Wouldn’t the most clear application regard God’s judgments of plague or pestilence? Thus the need to repent and return to the Lord and be faithful instead of remaining in unfaithfulness?
I must respectfully disagree. We don't have any revelation regarding what the divine reasons behind the coronavirus are. We know that we all deserve nothing but death (Luke 12:1-5), but we also don't know whether this is God's judgment akin to the plagues of Egypt or if this is more like in John 9:
Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."
I can't find the extract online, but I know it is either from J C Ryle's Autobiography or the new biography of J C Ryle by Iain Murray. It talks about a disaster and how Ryle responded with his first tract.

This quote summarises it well enough.
"His first tract had a tragic origin and was literally 'a tract for the times'. On 9 May 1845 a large crowd had gathered for the official opening of a new suspension bridge in Great Yarmouth. The bridge suddenly collapsed during the ceremony and over a hundred people were thrown into the water and drowned. The disaster shocked the whole country and Ryle took the opportunity to write a pamphlet on the theme of life's uncertainties and God's sure provision of salvation in Christ. Thousands of copies were sold." Source

I think we can show how God is just in the face of such calamity since we are sinnners, and the need for our being found in Christ. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you and that's what you meant anyway!
 

TomVols

Puritan Board Freshman
Exalt our wonderful Savior and the Sovereign control of a good, just, merciful God who calls His people to rest in Him and to be His people regardless of pestilence or sword, persecution or blessing, mountaintop or valley.
 
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