The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the surface a deep-seated national dread. It can be stated in three simple words: “’Til It’s Safe.” The lockdowns will continue, constitutional freedoms will be stepped on “ ‘til it’s safe” to get back to living life.
Forget the fact that millions are out of work and businesses are closing down at a record rate, the lockdowns will continue until there is a cure for the coronavirus, vaccines are readily available, and we can be guaranteed by the medical community that our good health will be uninterrupted.
The mad pursuit of this impossibility in a fallen world is canceling out every other consideration. We are not balancing a reasonable concern for good health with dozens of other valid considerations. It now has become the only consideration.
Clearly, the coronavirus is not the only hazard we face. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are at epidemic levels. Some 50 million Americans are feeling the effects of panic attacks, phobias and other anxiety disorders. Billions are being spent on antidepressants, and millions more are being spooned off because of decreased productivity. The workforce is freaking out. A dark cloud of doom is settling over the nation.
There have been quarantines and lockdowns—perhaps a good idea at first, but now not everyone in the medical profession agrees. There are growing dissenting voices. It doesn’t matter. Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti says the lockdowns will continue until the coronavirus is cured.
If you don’t go along with the stay-alive hysteria, you’ll be sorry. One single mother in Dallas, Texas, opened her beauty salon so that she and her eighteen employees could provide for their families. She was fined $7,000 and was also threatened with seven days incarceration in a facility from which sex offenders and convicted criminals were being released for fear that they might be exposed to the coronavirus! Another lady in Oregon opened her salon and has been fined $14,000!
Bill Maher, on his show “Real Time With Bill Maher” perceived the insanity in all of this and quipped, “We can’t sanitize the universe. We’ve all read the articles—your sink contains 500,000 bacteria per square inch … your toothbrush has feces on it, E. coli has been found in makeup. Carpets, bedding, the remote, cutting boards … the average pillow has 350,000 bacteria colonies … your cell phone has ten times the bacteria as your toilet, which your dog drinks out of and then licks you. …”
Conservative commentator, Dennis Prager shows how impossible it is to live by this new dream.
I have never led my life on the basis of “until it’s safe.” I do not take ridiculous risks. I wear a seatbelt whenever I’m in a car because the chances are overwhelming that in a bad accident, a seatbelt can save my life. But I get into the car which is not 100 percent safe. You are not on earth to be safe. You are on earth to lead a full life. I don’t want my epitaph to be “He led a safe life.” It’s like another epitaph I don’t want: “He experienced as little pain as possible” (Fireside Chat).
Christians Are Also Caught Up in the Madness
Colossians 3:2–3 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” In case we miss the message, Jesus made it very clear: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28). Tertullian, the second century church father, said: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” But if we live by this new “save-your-skin” credo there will be no martyrs and no dynamic church.
The question for every Christian must be, Do we really believe Scripture? Or, are we betraying our testimony before a watching world by being dominated by fear like everyone else?
I can well understand why the world would live by the “until-it’s-safe” philosophy. If you are wedded to this earth and find materialism to be the only philosophy worth living by, then shudder, scream, and tremble. Some Christian leaders need to re-read and reapply Matthew 6:19–21. Their only treasure is on earth. But Jesus clearly warns us and says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. …”
Do we really believe this, or are we dangerously self-deceived and just playing church?
Those who want to play it safe will never follow Christ in the face of danger. “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 10:38–39). The play-it-safe crowd will go down in history as trembling apostates.
Matt Walsh has written a new book titled Church of Cowards (Regnery 2020). He talks about imagining “a heathen horde” who shows up ready to butcher some Christians. Looking about, they expect to find ample evidence of Christianity but they can’t find much evidence at all. They have heard of “Christian America,” and thought they would find the bold Christianity of the New Testament, and of the early days of bold Christian expansion. “Instead they find silly, shallow, oversexed, nihilistic zombies who live vicariously through their phones which they have stocked with photographs of their own faces. They find that modesty is mocked, discipline is scorned, and obedience is rejected on principle … they find a church of cowards.”
Revelation 21:8 informs us of the character traits of those who will be kept out of the Holy City. Note carefully, the first characteristic: “But the fearful … shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” “Fearful” does not mean those who have a fear of snakes and spiders, but rather “the cowardly,” those who want to wait “until it’s safe.”
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear,” we read in 1 Timothy 2:7. Once again, this is not talking about those who have a fear of snakes and spiders, but rather “the cowardly.” We certainly are not to take unnecessary risks, but being a faithful Christian does involve risks. All you have to do is read the New Testament and the accounts of the martyrs. Our greatest danger is not the coronavirus, or any other earthly threat. Isn’t it time for our nation to press on, and for the church to exhibit the courage that God clearly expects?
Walsh relates a story of Egyptian Christians who were in buses headed to a monastery in the desert. Islamist militants boarded the buses and pulled the passengers out and asked them to abandon Christ and convert to Islam, or else they would be summarily executed.
The picture was gruesome. The Christians were told to kneel in the hot sand with a gun barrel against their heads. Two questions were asked with methodical certainty. The first question: “Are you Christian?” Safety is but a two-letter word away: “No.” You would be set free. One simple syllable, just audible enough for the interrogator to hear, would be sufficient. You know deep in your heart it’s wrong. It’s offensive to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s cowardice. It’s a denial of Christ. He had a warning for those who would deny Him. He would deny them before the Father (Matt. 10:33). But your immediate need is to keep your brains inside your head. You think of your wife, your kids. Another one is on the way. But as you think of Christ dying on the cross for you, a stream of courage wells up in your heart. You speak one word, clearly, firmly, resolutely: “Yes.”
Then comes the next question: “Will you deny Christ and convert to Islam?” Now you have another chance to save yourself from certain death. The thought flits across your mind: “Jesus loves me. He knows self-preservation is natural, inborn. He understands. He will have compassion on me.” Your family needs you. You can tell others about Jesus. Such thoughts sound so reasonable, so compelling. Yet you know they are wrong. Jesus didn’t avoid the cross. He didn’t call upon 72,000 angels. You close your eyes and say, “No …”
Walsh asks, “How many of us have faith like that? The Egyptian martyrs were willing to give up everything for Christ. How many of us are willing to give up anything—let alone everything?”
Is it not strange that while we in America live in relative safety and are looking for a guarantee of total safety, that revival is breaking out in many parts of the world where safety is not even a concern?
If you and I want to see revival and have power in prayer, we cannot delay obeying the Lord Jesus Christ “’Til it’s safe to do so.”