Thoughts on Coronavirus

What are we to make of this virus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I first heard about this virus a few months ago listening to the radio and how it was mainly in China. Then we heard words about it being leaked out through places like cruise ships. I still had no major concerns about it. Then I heard about it being in Georgia with a confirmed case. Again, I wasn’t concerned.

Yet immediately it seemed all the world around me had gone mad.

I don’t even know for sure when it happened, but it was like one day I woke up and there was panic everywhere. Naturally, the Babylon Bee had some good articles with some Christians celebrating because greeting times at churches were canceled. (Hey. There’s some good at least!) Also, nerds woke up to a utopia where sports were canceled, social interaction limited, and everyone was being told to stay inside. Hey. We’ve been training our whole lives for this.

Now I’m not about to speak as a medical specialist here. For me, I’ve been doing much of the same things I always do. Do I tend to wash my hands? Yes. Do we always keep hand sanitizer around here? Yes. Do I prefer to not go out if I don’t have to? Yes. Other than that, I haven’t much changed my program.

There are apparently two major sides to this debate. One of them is that this virus is absolutely nothing and we need to treat it as such. The other side is the side that we’re all going to die and this is practically the apocalypse. If anything, it looks like the latter side is the one that has the most representation.

Now as you can imagine, I lean more towards the former. We’ve seen several virus scares in my time. We’ve seen Swine Flu, of which I actually knew someone personally who came down with that and was in a coma and yet I did not have hysteria over it. We’ve seen Ebola, Zika, MRSA, and others. We have survived all of them. Humanity is tough stuff and whether you are an evolutionary creationist or not, we all know that humans adapt and survive.

I have also seen numerous cases of people getting this and getting past it. We are even told some people might not even know they have it and it’s like a mild cold for them. Do some people die? Yes. I am not discounting that, but people also die of the regular flu every year and we don’t have this kind of panic over it.

Before you talk about the vaccine being different, I have got the vaccine every year and some years I still got the flu. My wife and I both had it one year and this one was so bad that I tell people I had two fears with it. The first was that I was so sick I was scared I was going to die. The second was that I was so sick I was scared I wasn’t going to die.

There is a proper fear to have that is the exercise of caution. It might not be wise to go down a dark alleyway at night by yourself if you’re unarmed and unprepared to defend yourself. You might not want to invest in that get-rich-quick plan your co-worker is talking about. Not all fear like this is wrong.

When fear becomes controlling and dominating though, we have a problem. My concern is not so much with the virus. It is more concern with how we are responding to this virus.

A few days ago we were running out of bread. I went to the store to get some. The first day, nothing. It was like being in Tennessee when a blizzard came or rather was reported to be coming. Many of us have been surprised to see toilet paper being gone from the stores as well.

This has unfortunately led to hoarding, and for the huge majority of us, this is very wrong. Some people are taking more than they will ever use and depriving those who are not as capable of getting basic staples. If you are a family of three or four, odds are you do not need six loaves of bread and 5 packages of toilet paper.

There was even a story of a man in Tennessee who was buying out hand sanitizer and selling it at exorbitant prices back. Thankfully, he was found and is donating those to charity. This is the kind of behavior that we are sadly seeing being done in our society.

Not only that, but I am concerned with the measures we will take particularly with government. Will we be sacrificing our personal freedom for the idea that the government can protect us from this virus? Right now, our national enemies can tell that if they want to send us into hysteria and shut down our economy, then just manufacture a virus and send it our way. The more we sacrifice freedom for the illusion of safety, the closer we get to losing our freedom altogether.

Odds are, you are not going to die from this virus. Unfortunately, the media has a great history of making things worse than they are. One such subject I have written about is the idea that violent video games lead to violence. For instance, when a new Grand Theft Auto game came out, which I don’t care for, the media told us there would be a surge in crime. Well, there was a change in crime when the game came out. It went down. Unfortunately, to this day, many people treat the idea that violent video games leads to violence as common knowledge.

We had the same thing with the Joker movie, yet I heard of no violence that took place in movie theaters because of the movie. I did hear about a violent event happening in connection with Frozen 2, but no one said anything about that one really. We know in our culture that in media, sex sells, but also fear sells. Fear keeps people glued to their TV screens watching the news wanting to know what they need to do next.

My personal thinking is that in a couple of months if not a few weeks, this whole thing will blow over. My concern is that people will say “It is because we took these precautions that we were all saved and we must do so next time.” In the meantime, much more damage is being done to our society. While big corporations are getting bailouts, what happens to the local Mom and Pop business in your area? The government doesn’t know about them and they’re not going to get the help.

In the meantime, please try not to panic. This is not the end of the world. If you are a Christian also, you should realize God is still watching over this world. It’s His world. We’re just living in it. Pray for the well-being of your neighbor and if you can, do something to help them out. If you have an elderly neighbor who can’t get out, go to the store and get them the staples they need. If you have been hoarding, go and give that to someone who really needs it.

For what I am sure is the overwhelming majority of you, you will be fine a year from now and if you die, most likely, it will not be from this virus. The world is not coming to an end because of this. (Despite what the prophecy experts will tell you.) We will make it. We will survive. Panic does us no favors whatsoever.

Take proper and healthy precautions all you want, but panicking about this will not help you. It will pass. We will survive.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Christian Hysteria And The Real Battle

Are we zealous in the wrong areas? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about what was going on on a well-known apologist’s page and how it was the same thing from a year ago with a meme that was entirely false. This was about Halloween. Sadly, too many Christians posting ignored multiple people asking hard questions about the authenticity of the claim and went on with either bad-mouthing the person in the meme as if he really said the claim or jumped straight into panic mode. More often, it was panic mode.

Of course, no one is going to deny that parents want to protect their children and should do so, but could the real threats be being ignored for the fake ones? In fact, for those wanting to avoid the snare of the devil, I would think that someone like the devil could certainly create a false threat in order to hide a real one, a sort of diversionary tactic. Halloween is just such an example.

Sadly, I saw people posting speaking about how this is how the antichrist is going to take over by making this stuff fun and innocent. I’m surprised I didn’t see anything this time about the Illuminati and the New World Order. Of course, we also saw more and more people saying that this is pagan and that Christmas and Easter are also pagan.

I honestly wonder what such people are going to do when they tell their children this and then they or their children see something like the claims of Zeitgeist where Christianity is said to be copied from pagan gods. If we apply the same methodology, why not?

I do want it to be known that I surely realize the occult is out there. I also realize many Christians buy into a sort of occult thinking without realizing it. My wife and I like to sometimes watch these videos where people talk about the rapture coming and such. We don’t believe in it, but it can be amusing. It’s amazing how many of these begin with “I had a dream and” or “I had an experience and”. Too many Christians read signs into everything that happens to them as if the universe is all about them, kind of mirroring the way pagans read the entrails of animals and the flights of birds and other such things.

So while acknowledging that the occult is out there and yes, children need to be ready to deal with it, I can assure you that I see no reason to think that having your child put on a costume and go door to door asking for candy means they’re being caught up in the occult. Dare I say it, but perhaps not opening your children up to imagination and wonder is getting them closer to atheism. Chesterton was the great advocate of the importance of fairyland after all.

Furthermore, I am wondering how many of you who are like this are preparing for other challenges? For instance, are you equipping your child to know how they can show that God exists, the Bible is reliable, and that Jesus rose from the dead, beyond their personal testimony? If so, is your child ready to engage with the atheism they will find on a college campus?

What about materialistic greed? Is your child thinking that they need to have every new IPhone and computer and toy out there? Is your child wanting everything they can get and not appreciating the good gifts that they have? I’m not saying never get your child gifts like this, but make sure their love for you and their happiness is not conditional on such things.

Or dare I say it, what about sexual temptation? This is something they will live with all their lives. Do your kids have more than a few verses from Paul? Do they have a whole foundation of sexual ethics that tells them what sex is and why it matters and why it should be saved for marriage? Your kid could run into someone who will want to lead them into the occult to be sure, but they are far more likely to run into someone who will want to lead them into a sexual relationship outside of marriage and without a proper foundation, they will want to be led!

If you think that sounds a bit over the top, then just do this. Go to your average man who is married or not and is a devout Christian and ask him if he wrestles with sexual temptation. It’s a real battle. Even those of us, like myself, who love our wives deeply have to face a daily battle with the flesh. Are your kids ready?

Hysteria will not convince your kids. If anything, it will lead to your worldview being mocked and ostracized. If your child is talking about candy, there’s no need to bring up the plot of the antichrist. It saddens me that we who are supposed to live the most without fear are often the most fearful of all. You would think that Jesus had not won the battle against the forces of evil. You would think that Jesus is not Lord of all, conquering daily.

By the way, if you want my opinion on Halloween, go and have fun. It’s a day for kids to relax and enjoy themselves and pretend. If you don’t have kids, don’t close your door on Halloween. Here you say you are a Christian and you shut the door on children coming to your house. Is that the Christianity you want to present? Be there, put a smile on the faces of the kids, and give out the best candy that you have.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Anybody Catch That Last Apocalypse?

How was the latest global event for you? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So another blood moon has come and gone and how is the world radically different? Well, not too much. Of course, don’t leave it to people like John Hagee to be deterred by this. As he says on the Facebook page of his ministry:

Thank you Joe Pags for participating in our “Four Blood Moons” projects, and for helping us to share this great message that something is about to change! God is sending a message that (even though no man knows the day nor the hour) we need to prepare for Jesus’ return. We need to live a righteous life as unto the Lord.

One would think the Almighty would have planned these kinds of events better and would have also thought that an event like the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. or the Holocaust would be worth something, but alas, apparently not. We can be confident that two people will not be bothered by nothing happening with the blood moons. The first will be John Hagee himself. The second will be his followers. Even today if you go to the page, you can see plenty of them. The fact that this caused so much excitement in the Christian church really shows that we have a great case of Biblical illiteracy going on.

While I certainly agree with Hagee that we need to be living righteous lives, part of that righteousness would be owning up to the mistakes that you make and especially so if you have a loudspeaker to what you say and proclaim yourself to speak what you think Scripture says. Events like this only give further credibility to the idea that Christians are gullible and will believe anything that comes along and if we give that kind of impression to people, why on Earth should we think that they will treat the Gospel of Christ seriously? Of course you believe that story! You also believed in blood moons because someone on TV said it.

So here’s my bizarre pipe dream.

I have this hope that Christians will really drop their end times madness. I get tired of hearing constantly that we all know we’re living in the last days and that the end of the world is coming and we are that generation. Every other generation has been wrong, but we are the exception! The good thing is these end times people can be disproven pretty quickly as they don’t usually make predictions about events hundreds of years from now, but rather events due to happen soon. The bad part is that when they are disproven, no one calls them to repentance and they keep going. I have said before it must be nice to be a prophecy expert. You can write whatever you want and just say it’s in the Bible by whatever bizarre hermeneutic you want, you can be taken as a serious authority, sell books all around the world and be a bestseller, be absolutely wrong in all you say, and yet you still qualify as an expert.

Second, I have a dream of Christians being experts in other areas. I meet so many Christians who say they want to study end times prophecy and know all about that. How rarely do I meet Christians who want to say “I want to learn all I can about the Trinity.” One reason is end times prophecy is often about us and we love ourselves. We love thinking that we are so special as a chosen generation. The Trinity is not about ourselves. Oh it has implications for us of course, but it is largely about God. Of course, if one wants to study end times prophecy, go ahead, but please make sure it does not take the place of more important doctrines. If you know all about end times prophecy and have your charts and graphs of Revelation and Daniel all filled out, but you have no clue how to argue Jesus rose from the dead, there’s a problem.

Third, let’s hold our leaders accountable. We would want them to be held accountable if they spent money we donated in tithes in a wrong way. We would want them to be accountable if they were caught in sexual misconduct. Yet people spread untruths about Scripture on a serious level that produces embarrassment for the church as a whole and we don’t want to do anything? Hagee’s book has the subtitle of “Something’s About To Change.” What that something should include is the fact that he is still broadcast on television and that he still has a leadership position in the body of Christ.

As many of us predicted, nothing happened with the latest fit of end times madness, except for the usual. Christians ended up looking foolish to the rest of the world. Let’s start holding up our speakers and leaders as accountable and even making sure we’re careful about who we choose to have those positions. The credibility of the Gospel is at stake.

In Christ,
Nick Peters