Have we made COVID-19 an idol?
I posted the following question on my personal Facebook page.
“Have Christians given COVID 19 so much of our attention that we’ve made it an idol?”
Even as I was typing, I had to admit that I was just as guilty as the next person.
It seems strange to call something that so many are so afraid of an idol, but the followers Baal were afraid of him too.
We don’t need to love something to make it an idol. All we have to do is let it take the place of God in some way or another.
When it comes to COVID-19 we’ve let it take the place of God in a lot of ways. How?
We’ve acted as though it has all the power over life and death.
We’ve allowed it to control our behavior.
We’ve allowed it to dominate our thoughts and conversations.
We’ve allowed it to define us.
On COVID-19 do we meditate day and night. Everyone 24:7
It has become our newest dark fetish.
To a certain extent it’s understandable. Almost everything we do has been affected in some way by this virus. We can’t help but think about it as we log in to work form home, grocery shop with restrictions on what we buy, or try to help our kids with online lessons. Even homeschoolers feel it when they can’t take planned field trips, go for play dates, or even just eat lunch out for a change of pace.
The compulsion to check the latest coronavirus news is almost overwhelming.
But even when we’re trying to avoid thinking or hearing about COVID-19, it’s thrust in our faces.
When I go to you tube looking for videos for my astronomy students, COVID-19 updates fill my screen at you tube’s direction. (You do know they decide what you should watch, right?)
Every website I visit has a popup or banner telling me how the company in responding to COVID-19.
Pinterest makes sure I know to wash my hands.
Even when my boys log into Minecraft, they’re reminded to keep 6 feet apart.
And Christians, instead of taking this opportunity to preach the Gospel of peace to a frightened world, are preaching the gospel of social distancing.
It’s a false gospel though. What good does it do someone to survive the coronavirus only to end up in Hell because Christians were to afraid that person might make them sick?
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
I understand that we don’t want them to die from COVID-19 before they come to Christ either, but there are enough people telling them how to be saved from that. Trust me, they know.
According the cult of the virus, anyone who dares to dissent (no matter how reasonable the dissent) is branded a heretic, and probably an idiot. Only group think is acceptable.
Many are afraid to speak for fear of the mob. Just keep your head down, stay quiet, and wait for all this to be over.
Is that the culture we want to create? Isn’t that the culture we as Christians have been speaking out against in recent years?
“But, lives are at stake!” you say. Souls are at stake when when the Gospel is silenced.
I understand that there are people hurting, and dying because of this virus. I’m not discussing the merits of what we’ve done to try to protect people from it. I’m simply questioning whether our desire to stay informed has turned into an obsession. From obsession, it’s only a short hop to idolization.
Really, we could say that anything we’re obsessed with is an idol.
When the question first came to me I admit I was thinking about everyone else. All the people filling my newsfeed with nonstop COVID updates. But when I did an honest assessment of my own activities and thoughts, I realized that I’m just as guilty as everyone else.
I’ve spent more time than I care to admit researching, watching news reports, and arguing on Facebook.
If you happen to be one the 5 people that I’ve seen in person this past week and I assaulted you with a conspiracy theory, I’m sorry. (I love a good conspiracy theory, and I haven’t had an outlet in while.)
As I was thinking about how much real estate I’ve given to the rona, I began to see other things that I may have made idols. Some of the usual suspects where there, but there were some that I wouldn’t have suspected. Some that I would have told you were things I hate, but I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on.
If there is something that is all we think about, that thing might be an idol.
If there is something other than God that is defining us, it might be and idol.
If something is keeping us from God’s will, it might be an idol.
If there is something that we have more respect for than God, it is probably an idol.
God tells us in His Word where our focus should be, And it isn’t on COVID-19.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8
When God said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” He meant it. That we are facing something frightening that we’ve never faced before doesn’t change that.
If we’re anxious and can’t sleep at night because of the coronavirus, we have only ourselves to blame. God gave us the solution, if we would only believe Him when He says:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
We could save ourselves a lot of anxiety if we would trust and obey.