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Barbadian Pandemic Response Doctor Makes Passionate Call for Prayer

Oct 3, 2021

Last Updated on October 4, 2021 5:38 am by Editor

Dr. Corey Forde’s call for national prayer with respect to the worsening covid-19 pandemic in this country is welcome but not unexpected.  “Bringing God into the picture” only when we are in a crisis is as Bajan as pudding ‘n’ souse or cou-cou and saltfish.

But it is also an indictment on the leadership of the Barbadian church. That a person acting in his professional capacity would have to lead the way by making this call confirms what many have been saying for a long time.  The ecclesia (the church) in Barbados is asleep. It has abandoned its leadership role.  We are speaking generally, of course.

I support that call for prayer but some of us who may be considered to be the “followship” rather than the leadership of the church have been wide awake and needed no invitation;  we have been on the job for quite some time.  And we are very determined to wrestle covid-19 to the ground although it will get a little worse before it gets better.

Every time we get into a crisis, whether it is a hurricane or some other disaster we “remember God”.   It would make a lot more sense if we either rejected God outright or embraced him wholeheartedly. That sounds harsh but it is God’s summary view, not mine.

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.  Luke 11:23 New International Version

The church is not exempted from this principle as Jesus’ letter to the church at Laodicea makes clear:

I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other!  So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!  Revelation 3: 16 Berean Study Bible

Faith and Politics

Somewhere in our darkened minds we have this notion that we can keep God out of the “public square” to use an expression by Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director, Martin Illes. We “bring back God” when and only when we “need” him.

However, God has never left the public square; neither can we remove him from it. That is what people have tried to do by secularizing society e.g. separating church and state, instituting no prayers in school and so on.

I am still trying to figure out how one can actually remove God from the world when He made everything in it including us. A little common sense says that God starts off with owners’ rights!

This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me? Or where will My place of repose be? Has not my hand made all these things? And so they came into being,” declares the LORD.  Isaiah: 66:1 – 2. BSB

If that is not clear enough:

For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. Ezekiel. 18:4 New International Version.

Therefore, those who think that they can “remove” God from society are actually being very funny! I mean “ha ha ha” funny!

All that we can do is make choices. Trying to remove Him from society is actually a futile choice, but a choice nonetheless. It is a terrible choice for which America is paying dearly even as we write. 

But the foregoing raises the 64-million question: “So where then is God in this pandemic? 

A Question of Sovereignty 

The answer lies in the concept of “sovereignty”. God is sovereign and in making man in His image, God has given man a measure of sovereignty.  That sovereignty is the ability to choose: what we believe or what course of action to follow.  Nothing more, nothing less.

But we DO NOT have sovereignty over the CONSEQUENCES of our choices!

In the metaphor of computer language, the above means that the consequences of our choices are “hard-wired” into the choices themselves.  This is a truism against which we constantly butt our heads; individually, collectively as a nation and as the human race.   Here is the biblical support for our assertion.  

In Deuteronomy 28 God made a comprehensive statement of how our sovereign choice will affect our results, both positive and negative. It is a chapter worth studying.  But an excerpt will do for now:

And all these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the voice of the LORD your God…If, however, you do not obey the LORD your God by carefully following all His commandments and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Deuteronomy 28: 2, 15 New International Version

What is also worth studying is how the principles in this chapter have played out again and again for the nation of Israel over thousands of years. But the principles apply equally to nations and individuals.

So rather than recognize that we bring consequences upon ourselves and those around us by our choices, we blame God. The funny thing is that since God gave us a sovereign will to choose, He is “blaming us”, and holding us accountable. But the cycle of blaming God goes on.

Praying for the Government 

To say we should not pray for this government because it is perceived to be corrupt (as some have expressed) makes human sense but certainly not scriptural sense.  The government of Barbados did not create the covid-19 pandemic.  Neither did any of us.

Evil people in China and the United States, in particular one Dr. Anthony Fauci in the latter country, facilitated the development and release of the virus from China that has caused this pandemic. That much is indisputable at this point.

Ministers of government, at least from God’s perspective, are “servants” whose sole purpose is to create an environment in which everyone, but Christians in particular, can prosper in every sense of the word: physically, spiritually, socially etc. That was the reasoning behind Paul’s advice to Timothy:

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for everyone— for kings and all those in authority— so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and  dignity.   1 Timothy 2: 1-3 BSB

Paul’s reasoning makes absolute sense. Everyone of us, Christian or non-Christian, can resonate with his “so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.

It is especially important that we have a government that provides an environment so that Christians – and indeed all religions – can practice their faith and an environment that does not hinder the preaching of the gospel.

The people in Paul’s day lived under the brutal, autocratic Roman Empire.  If there were ever a time they needed to pray for good government it was then!

We in Barbados, on the other hand, are blessed with a democratic system of government where we can actually choose whom we want as our ministers. It’s not a perfect system and never will be. But it is  what we have.

Those who believe that the biblical injunction to pray for a government means condoning its evil deeds are missing a point. 

Offering prayers for a government that allows us to “lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity” is also a prayer, by implication, to remove any government that does not allow us to do this!  God is a lot smarter than our simple minds allow!

This pandemic (covid-19) is not of God’s making; it certainly is not one of the “end time” plagues described in Revelation as I explained in an article here.

The people are victims; they need our prayers.  Especially because many are truly lost even though they can’t or won’t admit it. Many are afraid and are close to having their hearts “fail them because of fear” (suffer heart attacks because of fear ) as Jesus predicted would happen in these “last days”.

But the good news is that even though we (speaking of the human race collectively) have brought this pandemic on ourselves, the Sovereign God is also Lord and Master over the consequences by his unswerving compassion:

Then the LORD passed in front of Moses and called out: “The LORD, the LORD God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness…Exodus 34:6 BSB

For You, O Lord, are kind and forgiving, rich in loving devotion TO ALL WHO CALL ON YOU.  Psalm 86:5 BSB

Article by Dr. Aldon D. Tull

By Editor

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