To be counted as truth, facts should be tentative when new information is forthcoming. He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him (Proverbs 18:13). A lot of information is coming out. Don’t tout as final what may be contradicted tomorrow. Medical findings and statistics, particularly, should be held only with the kind of certainty that belongs to very early data.
It is crucial for Christians to understand that underlying what seem like objective facts, there are some competing worldviews. Covid-19 has particularly revealed these competing worldviews. Let me sketch two opposing ones for you in broad detail.
One worldview is agnostic about whether there is a God, and so does not consider His hand in Covid’s existence, its prevention or its cure. It does not believe in Christ, nor in salvation, nor in the afterlife. Therefore, it believes that biological life must be preserved at all costs. For that reason, it is willing to give up, suspend, or prohibit the human aspects of life: worship, social interaction, eating together, and so forth. Put simply, its counsel is: wear a mask, stay home, don’t touch anyone, and wait till this crisis is over. On top of that, it believes that it can control this virus if everyone submits to a central authority. If everyone listens and does what they’re told, we can have the world we want. Driving this is a false view of man and sin. We can all have a utopian post-Covid world if we all toe the line. We must trust the interpretations of medical experts and politicians, because they will get us back to a normal society. This is not very far from the ideas of the utopian leftists. They believe we can have a utopia on earth if everyone submits to a centralised power who will tell everyone what to do.
The second worldview believes there is a God, believes He is in control of this disease and has allowed it. It believes in Christ we are safe from Hell and can live life joyfully in the face of death. It believes life is always worth preserving, but not at all costs. Specifically, it believes worship and gathering is required, so is human friendship, relationship, and interaction. It believes that self-protectiveness can cross the line into sinfulness. It believes the human freedoms of movement, assembling and dignity of person can only be suspended for very temporary periods, when the threat to life is severe, such as in wartime, or an extremely deadly pandemic. It believes that the human heart is sinful, and that it is not unlikely that evil people can exploit a crisis for purposes other than the improvement of the health of the population. It also keeps a special eye on what can become tyrannical abuses of power.
What is important to understand is that both worldviews will hear the same facts, but will very likely arrive at different interpretations, and different responses. That is also what creates animosity between people who are hearing the same ‘facts’. People with different worldviews assume that different responses to Covid are the wrong responses.
What then does it mean to live by truth, and not by unfiltered facts? Make sure you have a Christian worldview to filter the facts and the recommendations of medical experts. Do you believe that God is the Lord of life? Do you believe that death has lost its sting, that to live is Christ, and to die is gain? Do you believe that the body is to be protected, but not at all costs? Do you believe that sickness and health are in God’s hands? Do you believe God calls us to face risks for His name?