By Stephen C. Perks
Were COVID-19 And The Lockdowns The Judgement of God Upon Our Civilisation?
In order to understand the answer to this question we need to understand what judgement is, and unfortunately there is confusion about this. Judgement is the consequence of man’s response to God’s law. Judgment therefore can be either positive or negative, good or bad. If mankind obeys God’s law the result will be blessing, a positive judgement. If mankind disobeys God’s law, the result will be a negative judgement. Unfortunately judgement is usually only thought of in this negative way, but even in a negative judgment there is hope, because it means the clearing away of what is bad for the coming of what is good, because God is at work in history building his kingdom, and in his providence the negative judgement is used to clear away what is bad. To use an analogy from the laws of physics, if I am determined to get to the bottom of a high building by jumping off the top without a parachute there will be an inevitable negative consequence. The physical laws of creation will come into play and I must inevitably suffer the consequences. If I decide to use the stairs, or the lift, there are positive consequence—I get to where I want to be in one piece.
But the Creation is a moral place as well as a physical place. Just as there are physical laws there are also moral laws that govern the created order. The Creation is the work of a personal God and his moral law also operates in the created order. Usually judgment is thought of as a supernatural event, and it can be such at times, but it need not necessarily be so. Indeed, judgement is usually not a supernatural event, but simply the working out of covenantal cause-and-effect relationships in a universe created by a personal and moral God. If men disobey God, there will be negative results, because this world is God’s creation and works according to the laws he has built into it, both physical and moral.
Covid-19 was almost certainly manufactured in a laboratory in Wuhan. It is a well- known fact that various governments, including Western governments, have been involved with the creation of biological weapons. So why were these experiments even being done? This seems to be a question that has been conveniently forgotten now. The consequence of this is that the virus somehow got out. However, the reaction of governments around the world to this has been the imposition of Draconian laws, tyranny totally unnecessitated by the virus itself and also a great deal of misinformation and lies about the danger of this virus, and on top of this the forbidding of treatments and medicines that are known to have been helpful and the imposition instead of so-called “vaccines” that clearly do not work, do not even fit the definition of a vaccine, and cause harm to many. These actions and reactions have been contrary to God’s law, which does not give such authority to the State, and they have produced results that have been very harmful to mankind.
Is this is a judgement of God? Yes, but this does not mean it is supernatural or that there is no cause-and-effect in all this. Often the judgement of God happens through cause-and-effect relationships and the fact is that judgement is happening all the time. It is inescapable. If a nation turns to God and seeks to order it’s life by the light of his word it will receive a positive judgement, in other words blessing from God because the consequences of its actions will lead to that result. If a nation turns away from God and seeks to disobey God’s law and refuses to live by the light of his word it will receive a negative judgement because this will be the consequence of its actions. This is what happened in our society with Covid-19 and the lockdown, and now we have the economic judgement of this tyranny to face, but it is not only with Covid-19 and the lockdowns. This kind of negative and positive feedback, judgement, happens all the time in many ways. It is not exclusively tied to viruses. You can see it in the breakdown of family lives, and in the way things work out economically and politically in society. It affects the whole of life. So this is judgement, and now we have the judgement of the economic crisis following the government’s massive spending and inflation of the money supply, which is another form of disobedience to God’s law, to help those harmed by its delinquent lockdown policy. This is judgement as well, the negative feedback from men’s evil actions in a morally ordered universe created by a personal God. But perhaps the worse judgement that men and nations can face is to be given up by God to their sin because of their apostasy, and this is the message of the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. This is a truly fearful judgement, and yet it seems quite likely that it is just such a judgement that Britain, and indeed the West generally, now faces.
But there is another and much more important side to this question that needs to be considered if we are to understand it correctly. The Bible teaches that men will be judged for their sin. But it also teaches that “judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17).
The reason our society is in the present state that it is in is because the church has abandoned her duty to proclaim the truth and to be a witness to that truth and to act as salt and light, as a preservative in our society. As a result the witness of the church to the truth and the kingdom of God has been absent from our society. And as a result of the absence of that guidance our society has now deteriorated morally. Our society is now behaving in the way that I would expect the world to behave when it does not have the light of God’s word to guide it and the reason it does not have that light is because the church no longer proclaims it. The church has become complicit with the secular humanism of the age and has soft-peddled the truth, and often simply denied it.
Judgement begins with the house of God and the church in the West is now under judgement, i.e. facing the inevitable consequences of her abandonment of the truth, and because of this society at large is left without spiritual and moral guidance from those who should provide that guidance. Of course if evil men, tyrants, seek to control society and the world for their own ends and take control of political power they will misuse it and the consequence will be the sort of misrule that we presently have. And so we shall have wars and men seeking to control others and dominate them, and because the Christian faith is no longer believed the constraint that would hold people back from this kind of evil activity is no longer there. As the Bible says “where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint” (Pr. 29:18). This is judgement, the inevitable consequences of the nation’s abandonment of the Christian faith.
It was Benito Mussolini who defined totalitarianism as “everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” What we have today is an increasingly totalitarian society in which the State controls the whole of life. Freedom is slowly but inevitably being stripped away from our lives. The State controls almost everything and in principle claims the right to control everything.This is the consequence of our national apostasy, and therefore judgement.
And so the State says that it has the right to say whether we should work, whether we should wear masks. It declares a state of emergency, a pandemic, which would never have fitted the definition of a pandemic that has been used in the past, and under the pretence of a state of emergency passes laws that give politicians more power and take away the freedom of the people. This is judgement on a nation because of its disobedience to God and its spiritual apostasy.
The church has adopted a dualistic worldview which has led to pietism, which is a privatisation of the faith that reduces the role of the faith to one’s personal life and has no public or social application. The reason we are experiencing these judgements is because society as a whole, and the State, has turned away from God. But this has happened because the church has turned away from God, because the church has turned away from her role of discipling the nation. Jesus told us to disciple the nations. He did not tell us to make disciples of all nations. He actually told us to make the nations his disciples. That is what the Great Commission says. It does not say what most modern translations say, which actually are mistranslations of what the original says. Jesus tells us to make Christian nations, to disciple the nations, not to make Christians of all nations. The church no longer believes this, no longer believes that the nations should become the disciples of Jesus Christ and therefore the faith has been privatised and has consequently become irrelevant to our society.
So what is the answer to all this? Just as the problem started with the apostasy of the church so the remedy must begin with the faithfulness of Christians, the faithfulness of the body of Christ to the word of God and to their calling to disciple the nation,—not merely make individual disciples, but disciple the nation. There can be no answer to this decline in our national life without our society repenting, asking for God’s forgiveness and turning to him for healing, and this cannot happen in the nation as a whole if it does not happen first with the body of Christ. Just as judgement begins with the household of God so also repentance must begin with the household of God and the church must repent of her idolatry and apostasy and lead the way for the nation.
An audio version of this article can be listened to here.