Rev. David Wilson Rogers
When it comes to COVID-19, the church has failed. As Christians, we have failed to follow biblical mandates, failed to honor and respect others, and failed to authentically embody the love of Jesus Christ.
The root of the failure is idolatry. An idol in Scripture is anything that becomes the focus of worship, attention, and dedication which is not God. Although idolatry is nothing new in Christianity, the perverse distortions of the Christian faith that have permeated so much of our American culture are a huge part of the problem as to why Christianity has so miserably failed. Rather than trusting in Jesus Christ, far too many Christians have placed their ultimate trust in partisan politics. Worse yet, the reality of COVID-19 was quickly weaponized by both extremes of the partisan ideological divide. Rather than seeing the global pandemic as a public health crisis, it quickly was used to define partisan platforms, partisan belief systems, and fidelity to partisan ideals.
Once COVID-19 was a defining factor of bitterly divisive partisan politics, Christians failed to honor God by honoring and respecting others. Fearmongering about the dangers of the disease clashed with fearmongering about lost freedom. Rather than see the disease for what it is, far too many Christians aligned with their own partisan tribe and bitterly defended the absolute validity of their cause. Rather than addressing the genuine human suffering and deadly spread of the disease, Christians quickly resorted to disrespectful shaming, blaming, and bitter arguing over who was right and who was wrong.
As politicized anger and resentment over how the government was handling the pandemic (or not handling it as some would otherwise believe) Christians pushed the teachings about Christ aside in preference for doctrines, actions, and expressions that presumed to honor God, but actually only served to promote hate, anger, division, and sinful nationalism. No longer was the fight to protect humanity from the ravages of COVID-19, the fight turned into a bitterly angry tantrum over which political party was going to have the power, the control, and the ability to prove the other party to be wrong.