There has been no other time in our modern history where the world has been shaken the way that it is right now. The uniqueness of this shaking is that not only are the moors of our global society being rocked but this shaking has rippled its way into every one of our lives. Nobody has been immune from the impact that the virus is having on our planet.
Even in the most horrific of pandemics in previous history, such as the pandemic of 1918, it is easy to speculate that there were people that were left untouched in the process of the world being transformed. Information was not as readily available, economies were not so intertwined, and travel internationally was not as prevalent.
It is quite possible due to the nature of how the world used to operate that there were people that may not have even known during previous pandemics that there was anything going on.
I was intrigued by this thought this week as I was on a walk to just get outside. There was a goose walking across a nearby street and I just stopped to watch. He was not in a hurry and neither was I. I had nowhere to go but back home.
The difference between myself and the goose though was that the goose had no idea what was going on. His life was still normal. Mine had been flipped upside down. In that moment I desired ignorance and isolation from our current environment just like the goose.
In days gone by that might have been possible. Not today with COVID-19. It has impacted every single one of us regardless of nation, tribe, tongue, gender, age, status, or any other category you would like to interject.
One area that has been shaken for many people is their worldview. How do I view this virus and my role in relation to how I view the world? Especially now with our global perspective.
I have thought about that before but never on this scale. There is a real possibility that leaving my house could cause harm to someone local as well as across the globe. It blows my mind. Yet how do I process that with the way that I view my place in this world?
There are predominantly two major macro worldviews that help define that for us. The first worldview is evolution. The premise of this view is that this world came about through a process that began with a bang and over millions of years there have been major and minor events that have determined who I, as an individual, have become today.
The second worldview is the idea that there is Intelligent Design. This belief says the world we live in was not determined by the events that have taken place since the world’s inception, rather those events have been determined by a Creator that has put us purposefully where they want us and I am right where I am supposed to be at this very moment.
Regardless of which worldview you may align with this is shaking both. Let’s start with the evolutionary worldview which according to recent statistics is the dominant worldview in our culture.1
How do you as an individual deal with this situation with that perspective?
Evolution teaches us that situations like the one we are in as a human race are what have made us who we are today. Evolution does not discriminate. It tells us that those that are fit survive and that the hardships we encounter in our environment will ultimately make us a superior human race. This virus seems to fit that process well.
Does our established belief system argue then that this virus is part of the natural selection of life? Is nature taking its course so we will continue to evolve? What role then do I play in governing or restricting this natural event? Do I act at all and if so, what do I do?
Our current response to the Coronavirus seems to be governing and restricting the natural selection process. It feels like we are limiting the evolutionary process by implementing this shelter in place procedure to prevent the spread of the virus. Who are we to decide? Shouldn’t this get lived out naturally? Is evolution truly the law of the land?
By preventing this virus, it seems we are being hypocritical to what we teach in the public square and in our schools. By keeping children home from school, we are violating the very principals that we have taught them.
Instead I would argue that we should acknowledge the reality of what evolution means and accept this as part of natural selection. In fact, evolution teaches us this will make us better. We will become a superior race, and this will rid us of all the excess that is holding us back.
This virus has shown us that we are still weak. A microorganism that cannot be seen with the naked eye has caused us to pull into our shells so deep that we fear stepping outside or interacting with other human beings. We should not be ok with this virus potentially taking everything from us and ruining our way of life while we stay locked in our homes.
Instead of cowering in our homes let’s reclaim our position as the superior life form, embrace what nature is handing us and get back to life as we know it. We will then deal with the consequences as they come because this is all part of our experience as humans that are evolving.
From an evolutionary perspective we should actually embrace the benefits this virus will bring to our society because in the end this will make us better! Life should go back to our new normal as soon as possible.
Yet as you read what I just wrote, I hope that you struggled with it internally. We must evaluate our worldview and wrestle with where it leads us. This virus is helping us do that like never before. Am I willing to live out what I say I believe?
We must also ask the same question then from an Intelligent Design worldview. Believing there is a God that created this world and has a plan for it, how do I wrestle through my response to this virus?
For the sake of this conversation I will focus on Christianity as the Intelligent design argument.
This perspective begins with a little bit of a different lens. Instead of believing that this virus is a part of the natural process of evolving me into a greater species I believe that this virus is part of a broken world that needs to be fixed. This virus is a product of a world gone wrong and not a part of world that is making me stronger. It is ravaging the lives of precious human beings made in the image of God and something must be done.
This perspective acknowledges that there is a Creator God and all life is precious. (Genesis 1:31) Life is a gift that has been given to each one of us and we must care for it. We must choose life in all situations because there is a God that created us and each one of us is special.
Believing that life is precious and must be protected, I would argue that we must band together to defeat this virus. To what extent though am I willing to do that?
What I am currently experiencing is that this virus is touching my livelihood, my lifestyle, my comfort and everything that I have worked so hard to build. I do not want that to go away. I want to keep what is mine for myself. I must protect myself. Or should I?
A major part of a Christian worldview is that my life is not my own and never has been. I am so valuable that I have been bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 6:20) Jesus came to a broken world to care for us and gave up his position, (Philippians 2:7) as he sacrificed and died for us, (Hebrews 10:10) because he loved us so much. (Romans 5:6-8) Jesus then said that the greatest love that one person can show to another is to lay down their life for them. (John 15:13)
With that perspective I must be willing to sacrifice my wellbeing for the benefit of others so that they may live. Even if that means I must sacrifice my comfort and my position for another and give up everything I have. Just like Jesus did for us!
As you read what I just wrote, I hope that you struggled with it internally. We must evaluate our worldview and wrestle with where it leads us. This virus is helping us do that like never before. Am I willing to live out what I say I believe?
How then do I respond to this virus in the context of my worldview? I would say that our current response to the Coronavirus seems to follow a Christian worldview very well even if I don’t like it.
With a worldview that there is a God, we need band together as One Nation Under God Indivisible and care for each other as we defeat this virus together no matter what the cost.
In doing so I believe that we will be like Christ, and my hope is that people will see self-sacrificing love, while being pointed to Jesus through all of this and find the only thing that will truly save!