By Lane Noble
In my last post, I discussed three benefits of the Coronavirus-2019 pandemic that we would do well to take note of. However, there were so many that I wanted to highlight, that I am splitting this up into a three part series highlighting and drawing out the many benefits of this historical event.
As I said the last time, the Coronavirus has caused great harm and suffering in this world, and I don’t in anyway wish to downplay or make light of that. The suffering and/or trauma that has come from it should be noticed and handled with care. However, I do think, as with so many tragedies, much good has come out of it as well, and I think we should take note of said good and be thankful for it.
With that said, here are three more benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. The Advancement of Science
As Christians we can and should affirm the gift of modern science. We should be grateful for just how many amazing achievements we’ve made using the tools of scientific inquiry. For example, because of science, when my car broke down on the side of the interstate on my way across town a couple of years ago, I was able to use my mobile device to call for help instead of trying to flag someone down for help or walk to the nearest convenience store to use the phone. I was able to hitch a ride home and have my vehicle toed in no time.
Then of course we have even more amazing achievements such as cancer treatments and vaccinations. We can actually make ourselves almost invincible to deadly pathogens that for thousands of years were essentially death sentences to humans past. We can even protect our pets from rabies using vaccinations. Thanks to medical science, Polio is no longer the health threat that it once was, and Meningitis doesn’t scare us the way it used to.
Not only that but we can actually fling ourselves to the other side of the planet in a giant piece of metal in less than twenty-four hours. All thanks to science.
When we consider this, and more, we realize that God has truly give science to us as a gift. Many lives have been saved and made easier with it, and now, with the help of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been able to advance it further.
The coronavirus vaccine is a historic achievement that we shouldn’t ignore. While it is true that the amount of testing it has gone through is probably not ideal, the fact of the matter is that to develop this vaccine as quickly as the developers did is nothing short of a scientific miracle. While most vaccines take years to make, this one took less than one year.
Yet when this virus first became an international crisis there was so much that we didn’t know about it. This virus has actually taught us a lot about epidemiology that we didn’t already know. This virus allowed us to better understand viruses in general.
Not only that, but this pandemic allowed psychologists and sociologists to enter understand human behavior and mental health. The better we understand this, the better we can make mental health care for all people.
2. The Ugly Revelation of Immorality
Christians operating out of a biblical worldview understand that, contrary to popular belief, suffering doesn’t make people immoral. Suffering reveals the immorality already present within us. Most commonly, we can see examples of this in somone who is experiencing high levels of stress. Often these people will shout at others for no good reason, or they wil say things that they would never say otherwise under the pressure that they’re under.
Suffering doesn’t make anyone evil. It pulls back the curtains to reveal evil. Christians who have been paying attention to U.S. culture know that, probably more than ever in the history of this country1, immorality and a commitment to the subversion of the truth revealed in God’s Word has risen.
However, if I’m being honest, I’m very shocked by the commitment of the secular left2 to the evil institutions that they support during the pandemic. That is, their willingness to put people’s lives at risk during the pandemic just to preserve and advance them.
There is probably no better example of this than the example of abortion. In my own home state, Planned Parenthood was using up so much medical and financial energy that should have been used in other, more essential places to help fight against the Coronavirus. I have trouble believing that any morally sane person could truly believe that stopping someone from having a baby, unless the birth was going to be life-threatening to the mother, could ever be considered worth risking people’s lives during an international health crisis. Then again, life never seems to be a priority for abortion clinics.
We’ve seen that even in the midst of an international pandemic, the secular left is unashamedly committed to the termination of innocent life.
I could go on citing more examples, such as the willingness of the secular left to turn a blind eye to rioting in the streets even at the risk of people’s lives, or the unwillingness of both the right and the left to set aside their political differences to work for the public good is very revealing. Christians, we’ve seen what this society has become. The way to reform is by revival. It’s happened before. It can happen again. That’s the benefit for Christians is that we have our fingers on the pulse of our society. It’s good for Christians who haven’t been following this to notice it now, and be mobilized to evangelize to the rest of the culture.
3. The Value of Servanthood
I think that this benefit in particular might be the most overlooked of all of them. When the pandemic first began, we had to readjust our lives quite a bit. Events that would have normally been in person were now virtual. Those who lived alone were more isolated than they probably ever have been. Grocery trips were no longer indoors (maybe that’s a blessing). On and on the list goes. The pandemic make things very difficult, and, while we did see the worst of humanity, we also saw the best of it. I think all of us, to some extent, learned the value of living in a community dedicated to serving one another. While it did take place during an international crisis, perhaps our communities were being served for the better. By being given an incentive to cultivate servanthood, our communities have been dramatically improved. That’s a blessing that we should never take for granted.
- Notice how I didn’t say that the world has never been as immoral as it is now. There are some that would argue this. Others, however, while recognizing the unique challenges that we face, believe that the world has always been this immoral, barring the possible exception of Genesis 6:5, that talks about how evil humanity was in the days of Noah. Some even believe that Genesis 6:5 is not referring to how evil humanity was, but just to express that they were very evil and that God was not pleased with man. I personally believe that the world’s “levels” of disobedience haven’t risen, I would say that we are living in a unique time period where the very central understandings and institutions of the universe are being redefined by secularists, such as the definition of marriage, gender, sexuality, the family, what it means to be human, etc. That said, I do believe the challenges the United States are facing are definitely unprecedented to its history because the founding of the United States was so highly influenced by evangelicalism and the Christian worldview, and the Constitution was written with the understanding that human beings have “natural rights” given to them by God, whether or not the founders of the Constitution believed in the Christian God or the Deistic God.
2. I want to make sure that I clarify the term “secular left.” I recognize that there are many wise and godly Christians who might say that they lean to the left of the political spectrum. However, it must be noted that there is a section of the left that is very much committed to secularism. This is an indisputable fact. This is not to say that there aren’t left-leaning policies Christians can vote for in good conscience. I do mean to acknowledge, however, the fact that there is a very large and influential group on the left that is committed to a very secular, unbiblical worldview.