THE issue of the lockdown constituting a disproportionate response to the coronavirus and an irrevocable wrecking of the economy I am leaving to others far better qualified than myself to speak upon.
However, as a Christian minister at Eastertime I must draw attention to the deep spiritual malaise in Britain which the advent of Covid-19 has highlighted. The general approach is ‘if we come together with a united resolve we will defeat this virus’. This appeal to human solidarity, however, is where the problem lies. It is not human togetherness which will remove the pandemic; only the sovereign power of the risen Christ can accomplish that.
The appeal to people coming together and sharing a common resolve excludes from the whole equation the issue of the providence of God. Even viruses occur within His providence, and that is precisely what our secularised society does not understand. Yes, we use all the appropriate medical means available to us, but it is to the Lord that the nation must turn at a time like this, humbly seeking His aid and deliverance.
We read in Leviticus 26, ‘If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments . . . ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely’ (Leviticus 26:3, 5). That this promise includes protection from plague and disease is seen further on in the same passage, in verse 16, which speaks of various medical afflictions which occur in God’s providence and which can be removed in His providence.
Just as man shall not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4), so he shall not live by medical precautions alone. Yes, the precautions are very important, but above all else the nation must humble itself before the Trinitarian God, who has the ultimate power over all disease.
In her recent address to the nation, the Queen said that ‘many people of all faiths and none are discovering that (the pandemic) presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation’. Here Her Majesty, despite the distinct place of Biblical Christianity within our constitution, puts non-Christian meditation techniques, prayer to other gods, and atheistic reflections on suffering on a par with prayer to the one true God.
We respect and honour our Queen, and yes, she is monarch over many in society who adhere to other religions, who practise meditation, or who are atheists, but it is the Christian’s duty of love to his neighbour to declare that the ultimate solution to the current difficulties can only be a resort to the God who manifests Himself in Jesus Christ, He who proved by His earthly ministry that He has control over all sickness.
It goes without saying that as Christians we love our neighbours, whatever their faith or absence of faith might be, but we must also reject the notion that Britain, in the interests of multiculturalism and liberal secularism, must abandon its public and national adherence to the faith of Christ, which historically has been the source of all its national blessings, and resort instead to the false religion of human solidarity.
On D-Day on June 6, 1944, the Queen’s father addressed our country saying: ‘I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our shortcomings, past and present. We shall not ask that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God; and we dare to believe that God has used our nation and empire as an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose.’
The King proceeded to quote from Psalm 29: ‘The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace’ (Psalm 29:11).
The promises of this psalm still stand. We are praying much at the present time for the front-line medical staff, and we thank God for them, but our trust as a nation must not ultimately be in the NHS, but in the the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who requires that we humble ourselves and come in repentance and faith before Him.