It was only a year ago that Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was destroyed by a fire which, to date, is still of unknown origin. Having stood in the midst of that city since the Twelfth Century, it is regarded by many to rank second only to the Vatican as a symbol of European Christendom. This year, with the world in the throes of the pandemic/panic stemming from the Wuhan Flu, it is highly likely that fewer Christians will gather together on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior than have done so since the time of Constantine.
Clearly, the expansive lockdowns and “social distancing” that are occurring throughout Western Civilization have made things extremely difficult for the Church (God’s People) to fulfill its rightful purpose. But does it necessarily follow that the Church had actually been doing that, prior to the onslaught of the disease?
In so many ways, the vast majority of those individuals and cultures that deemed themselves to be “Christian” had already dropped the ball, long before any widespread threat to their physical health existed. The retreat has been ensuing for decades. For some, it was a matter of severe social pressure, up to and including threats against their lives, that succeeded in silencing them, or at least convincing them to water down their message of salvation through recognition of the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ, and personally committing to Him as Lord and Savior.
For others, and particularly in America, it wasn’t a threat to lives, but to “livelihoods” that put the Christian lamp under a blanket, as 1950s tax laws threatened to reduce incomes by government confiscation among those who dared to deal in issues of right and wrong which crossed the boundary into “politics.” Since that time, even some who teach from American pulpits have insisted that Christians have “no place in politics,” as if any Scriptural edict on the topic can be found. Combining that with another pernicious precept, namely that contrasting political views are irrelevant to morality or spirituality, and every form of evil suddenly can find a home within the Church, simply by cloaking it as a “political viewpoint.”
So it is that with too few exceptions, the “Church” has needlessly and appallingly retreated on one moral front after another, the moment any insinuation is leveled against it of being “too political.” America has become a grotesque caricature of the “Christian Nation” we once professed in overwhelming numbers to be. Unfathomable evil flourishes in our midst, from the hideous and mindless slaughter of unborn children (and now, even those who have been born but whose lives have been deemed “non-essential”), to the imposition of every form of sexual perversion on young children in government schools, public libraries, and the nation’s major amusement parks.
Yet the Church has been mostly content to retreat within the walls of a building, engaging in “programs” of one form or another as “outreach,” while studiously avoiding those thorny issues that “might offend” someone, on the grounds that we don’t want to drive them away. But is the world, as it observes the Church, more offended and repulsed by a compelling moral stance, or by a cowardly concession to flagrant immorality? And in any case, is that the ultimate measure by which a proper stance on right and wrong should be evaluated?
Those programs and social gatherings, which have so completely defined the Church in recent years, cannot continue as long as government health edicts are in effect that restrict the numbers and closeness of individuals in any public setting. Instead, the “official” function of Churches has been limited to once or twice weekly teachings, presented online through modern technology. Hopefully, given the heightened focus on possible loss of life from an impending disease, those teachings are perhaps more focused on the eternal matters of Salvation and repentance, than on the previously popular (but now flagrantly irrelevant) topics of “feel good acceptance” and making people “comfortable” as they come together in the pews.
It does little to ease one’s mind, that his real failings in life are going to be willingly ignored, when the nightly news continually reinvigorates the prospect of an eventual visit of the Wuhan Flu “angel of death” to one’s door, in the seemingly random manner that it has done across nations and continents. Now is the time to contemplate if one is indeed “right with God,” and of equal importance, what that really means. And now, more than ever, the Church should recognize that such is its primary role in this anxious and chaotic world.
Moreover, as those who know their eternal destiny, Christians should be all the more ready to “seize the moment” in order to exhibit truly Christ-like compassion to the fearful ones around them. The day’s panic, deliberately fanned by those on the political left who have an agenda, has been the sole cause of enormous suffering in regions where no actual victims of the disease can yet be found. To date, the “shortages” of basic commodities on store shelves have resulted only from that panic. A proper response from God’s people, that puts the well-being of others ahead of the urge to stockpile for one’s own sake, will do far more in the long run to bring others to the truth.
At the moment, the “know all” prognosticators of the countercultural left are glorying in their hopes that so much of modern society will be irrevocably changed in the wake of the virus, into a collectivist form that is more to their liking. This is the sick dream to which they have tenaciously clung, with total indifference to the historical disaster that such a fundamental transformation would actually portend. However, it is possible that some really great and positive changes can occur instead.
The fearsome might of the Roman Empire was not sufficient to keep Jesus in the grave. And it thoroughly failed to contain His message of love, hope, and salvation that changed the world thereafter. On Sunday, April 12, as we celebrate His resurrection, we should remember this as our encouragement to reflect His light into the darkness.
Christopher G. Adamo is a lifelong conservative from the American Heartland. He has been involved in grassroots and state-level politics for years. His recently released book “Rules for Defeating Radicals,” subtitled “Countering the Alinsky Strategy in Politics and Culture,“ is the “Go To” guide to effectively overcoming the dirty tricks of the political left. It is available at Amazon.