Measuring the Plague? Fine. But Don’t Forget – Measure Your Words, Too.
Rev. Steve Schlissel - April 24, 2020
I noticed a book on one of my shelves, The Great Plague by Walter George Bell, about the devastation wrought upon London in 1665. It is, to say the least, instructive to learn of other epochal bouts with disease in Western history (and not limited to the famous flu pandemics of the last 100 years).
London, a truly huge city when compared to any other in England at the time, was estimated to have a population slightly under a half million. As the rat-flea plague began eating away the lives of Londoners, mainly the poor, those of means hightailed it out of town. Estimates hold that about 100,000 died that year, a number representing about one-third of those who remained in town. (Applied to NYC now, such proportions would have us looking at a loss of roughly 1,900,000 neighbors. Thought of that way, we’redoing pretty great. But, as we know, there are MANY factors.)
An impression that lingers when reading this sort of material is how, despite nearly immeasurable our progress in scores of fields, man is, after all, fallen, fallible and just full of foibles. I think especially of the cacophony of shrill voices so supremely confident that, if only everyone would listen to THEM now, well, then we’d be weathering all this just fine, thanks.
I can throw my hat into that ring, but with a difference: I’d be right. For my approach would be a national HUMBLING before God Almighty, all leaders offering explicit repentance for 50 years of massive provocation on our collective part, led by successive abominations concocted by the Supremes, from banning God from public school and life to the dismembering of scores of millions of babies, to the enshrinement of base perversion and sodomy–marked at every step down by tagging it as a newly discovered “right.” We rejoice in our having abandoned faith in Him. Measured against our sin, THIS plague is on the level of a candy-coated warning, way below even a tit-for-tat. Has God gotten our attention yet? Christian leaders: try focusing on that concerning which you cannot be wrong. Use your advantage in having His clear Word!
Our founding spoke of those rights a government is authorized to protect only as those coming to us FROM GOD. Life and liberty, sure. But He never said a word about a “a right” to make believe there is no Creator-Redeemer, or a right not to be offended by being reminded of His presence and righteousness, and so on.
But apart from that necessity, awareness of prior battles makes clearer that we ought to be patient and prayerful, especially for those in authority, that they’d enjoy guidance from the One who knows and is rich in mercy. Christians, especially, should show how well they can shut up and pray.
One observation from Allen’s book jumped off the page at me: “Trade within the city almost wholly ceased for nearly half the year…” Anyone who thinks any leader WANTS to destroy our economy is playing with half a deck. People HAVE blundered in similar circumstances, and doubtless we have racked up big time boo-boos. But there is a huge difference between being in error vs. being “illegitimate.” Hold your horses–and your tongue–and familiarize yourself with the range of disasters frightened man has put in motion, doubly so if he deludes himself regarding autonomy.
Nothing about our response to this threat, nothing about our flawed assessments of it, is pleasing to me. One thing that is, is this: It is NOT MY JOB. Thank the Lord for that. And may He superintend over all whose job IT IS, even to the overruling of what may be their best-but-wrong guesses, and well-intentioned policies which our Lord may KNOW to be folly. Amen.
Even a fool, if he keeps his mouth shut, may be thought wise.