Updated: Dec 23, 2021
The most manipulated and preyed upon, ingrained feature of daily life during the pandemic has been fear. Fear of an invisible virus, fear of others who may infect us, fear of getting sick, fear of death.
Every day we are gaslighted with troubling images and news that has intensified this fear. Covid has dominated people's thoughts and subsequently, by design, now controls their everyday behaviour.
We are not meant to live in fear
The phrase “fear not” is used over 80 times in the Bible. It's clear this is something God wants to hit home with. Fear is a tactic the enemy uses to steal hope, limit our potential, paralyse and even enslave us.
Christians are definitely not called to fear. The only fear that the Bible teaches us to hold onto is 'fear of God' which leads to life.
Fear that becomes a lifestyle, a permanent state, used as it has been throughout the pandemic to elicit obedience from people is not godly.
Fear is oppressive and takes us prisoner
God doesn't make us prisoners. He sets us free. Through salvation, through truth, through love, through freedom from fear.
We are now being told by our governments that we may never be free of Covid. That we must permanently change our way of life and give up our freedoms for the greater good. That, even if not sick, we must act as though we are and treat others as if they may be infectious too.
We were told vaccines would set us free, now we are told there are variants and that - even if vaccinated - we must carry on submitting to the rules - and fear. I believe that despite there being scant evidence to support masks, they are so vigorously enforced because they fuel the fear. They are the 'optics' of the pandemic and because of this, vital.
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” - Romans 8:15
It's notable that slavery and fear are mentioned here in the same scripture. The root of the spirit of slavery and oppression is worldly fear. The 'new normal' is a 'yoke of oppression' which everyone, including Christians, is being encouraged to endorse and normalise. A permanent state of subjugation brought about by a clamour to safety amid state-fed fear.
The 'new normal' is a fraud, it is something completely abnormal. It is not for the world to dictate to us what normal should be. God is the one who defines it.
If fear is compelling us to put our trust in governments, we put their power above God’s. It is idolatry because we are placing our well-being and future in the hands of a small group of humans and not God. Our actions should be squarely based upon God’s Word and not based upon the implicit trust of politicians, the media and experts.
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." - Psalm 118:8-9
Fear and lies are partners in crime
Jesus is truth, he is inseparable from it, therefore Christians should strive to know what is true at all times rather than putting trust in man. This is a warning from Jesus himself, specifically within the context of end-times:
“Take heed that no one deceives you." - Matthew 24:4
We should therefore 'take heed' and test everything told us, either by 'princes' (government) or 'man' (the world), to see if it is true. Otherwise, we may fall for a lie, or worse partake in it. We must overcome our FEAR of ridicule, of breaking the consensus and not just sit on the fence for a quiet life.
Have we, as Christians, questioned the science, the media, the government, ourselves and strived for the truth of the matter - or have we taken their words based solely on trust? Should it not be of concern that there are many scientists who disagree with the course of action taken, or that the damage simply isn't worth the price we are paying?
The 'new normal' is not kind
We may think we are doing the right thing, that we are protecting others from harm - but are we? Lockdowns have a considerable human cost.
I believe the extreme measures taken by governments are inhumane, oppressive and unjustified. The cost will be great and it is the most vulnerable that will pay.
The response to the pandemic does not justify fear without end, it does not justify the stripping of our liberties, it does not justify the forced separation of loved ones and cruel isolation of the elderly. It does not justify the cost - the increase in suicides, domestic abuse, mental health problems, job losses, the rise in poverty, widening inequalities, damage to livelihoods and the legacy it will create.
The imposition of these rules, restrictions and other measures have already cost lives and may arguably cost more lives than they save.
We must ask ourselves, what are we participating in? Could our actions be aiding the enemy and oppressing others? I believe so.
Rise up Church, now is the time to make a stand!