"Do Christians get Covid?"
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
“I heard a pastor say that Christians don’t get COVID,” Greg’s student interjected in the middle of Systematic Theology class. A tell-tale mischievous smile played at the corners of Greg’s mouth as he bellowed his reply to the group: “Well, I can tell you that everyone who has died of COVID-19 is a SINNER!” he proclaimed. As his students sat in stunned silence, began to murmur amongst themselves, and then started posing a few objections, he took a step back and re-oriented the group. “What do I always remind you about? What does scripture say about everyone?” He asked. “We’re all sinners” came the follow-up after a substantial amount of probing. “And every Christian in all of history up until this point has died.” Greg reminded them. “If you tell your church that Christians don’t die from COVID, but then someone from your church gets COVID and dies, what can you say to their family?” Greg worked with them as they processed some biases that those who stay sick lack faith, one of the basic issues of prosperity gospel that can cripple communities and believers. “And if you need an ultimate example that God doesn’t spare his children from hardship, what can you point to?...What or who is the ultimate example, the whole reason for our faith?” Greg asked. “Jesus?” came the tentative reply after a pause. True, Greg said. If God didn’t spare His own son, the perfect incarnation with whom He was well pleased, how could we expect to avoid all hardship on this earth just because we are adopted as heirs into God’s family? "We don't always have an easy answer for suffering, but we believe in a God who came down and has lived along side of us and has gone through suffering Himself, and is with us, supporting us, loving us even in the hardest of times." It’s not the first time Greg has had a discussion like this with his students, and it will be far from the last. But if these eight students grow into pastors who can shepherd their congregations through good times and bad, who can trust in God without demanding worldly returns for faith rendered, perhaps this region will be one step closer to wellness of soul and community.