“THE CORONAVIRUS – GOD’S PERSPECTIVE”
“War, said the preacher, was not to be viewed as the interruption of personal convenience and of the enjoyments of life. Something far more serious was involved. War is divine judgment upon the very lives which men pursue; it is permitted ‘in order that men may see through it, more clearly than they have ever done before, what sin really is’ and thus be led back to God. … The advent of war, he argued again, ought not to have been a surprise:”
“Under the blessing of peace since the last war, men and women, in constantly increasing numbers, have forsaken God and religion and have settled down to a life which is essentially materialistic and sinful. Thinking that the last war was indeed ‘the war to end war’, with a false sense of security, buttressed also by insurance schemes and various other provisions to safeguard themselves against the possible dangers that still remained, men and women in this and in every other country gave themselves to a life of pleasure-seeking, accompanied by spiritual and mental indolence. This became evident not only in the decline in religion, but still more markedly in the appalling decline in morals; and indeed, finally, even in a decline in a political and social sense. It led to the decadence on which the rulers of Germany banked, and on which they based their calculations. Then came a crisis in September, 1938. Men and women crowded to places of worship and prayed for peace. Afterwards they assembled to thank God for peace. But was it because they had decided to use peace for the one and only true purpose, namely, to 'live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty’? Was it in order that they might walk ‘in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost’? The facts speak for themselves. Thus I ask the questions: Had we a right to peace? Do we deserve peace? Were we justified in asking God to preserve peace and to grant peace? What if war has come because we were not fit for peace, because we did not deserve peace; because we by our disobedience and godlessness and sinfulness had so utterly abused the blessings of peace? Have we a right to expect God to preserve a state of peace merely to allow men and women to continue a life that is an insult to his holy Name?
“If faith is to help us; if it is to put its great strong arms under us; if we are to feel its sustaining power under such distressing circumstances, it must be a real living faith in God. . . . It is a good time for those of us who are Christians to examine ourselves to see exactly how it is with us, whether the foundation upon which we are building is a rock foundation—whether our faith is really resting upon Christ, the solid Rock, or not.”
Francis Grimké (1918)