The Importance of Good Theology During a Global Pandemic

Let’s just admit that we are living through a difficult season. The numbers just cannot be ignored. As of the writing of this column, over 140,000 Americans have contracted the Covid-19 virus. 2,490 people have lost their lives to the virus. Yesterday in his press conference, one of President Trump’s top medical advisors said that before this season passes 100,000 to 200,000 Americans will die and that is if we do a good job with the mitigation measures.


This is not the first global pandemic in history, but it is the first that we have encountered, therefore many people are panicking. People are forced, in times like these, to come to grips with their own fragility and mortality. These types of events awaken in people a part of themselves that they never knew. They begin to look outside of themselves for answers. They look for something eternal to hang onto and believe in.


Christians must make sure, during a global crisis such as we are in, that the god that they are representing is the true God of Scripture. Uncertain times have a way of exploiting any poor theology of believers. Like Aaron, in Exodus 32, believers accept whatever golden calf the mob makes in their own image. We have all read how that turns out.


Theology is nothing more than one’s thoughts about God. Good theology is built on God’s revelation of Himself both in the things He has made and on the Word He inspired. Poor theology is built on thoughts of other false gods made according to the speculations of mortal man. If there was ever a time to have and communicate a solid theology, it is now.


The first and most important characteristic of solid theology is the understanding that God doesn’t change (see Hebrews 13:8). Circumstances and situations change. God does not. The character of God is unassailable by Covid-19 or any other plague that ever existed. His unchanging nature is why He is a rock and a refuge that people can cling to in times of great trouble.


Second, God is not surprised. The world was caught completely off guard by this global disaster. God, however, exists outside the realm of time. He knows the beginning and the end and everything in between. God is not wringing his hands over the daily reports of new cases and deaths. He remains steadfast in His love and mercy.


Third, God has brought this upon us. This may be the toughest aspect of solid theology to accept, but believers must. Either God is sovereign and all-powerful or not. If he is sovereign and all-powerful then you have to accept that he either directed or allowed this plague to fall upon us. Either way, we are experiencing this plague by the hand of God (see Amos 3:6).


Fourth, the answer to the “why” questions are not for men to know. Sometimes, God may give us a glimpse of why He allows us to go through seasons like this, but we can never see the whole picture on this side of eternity. As long as we are firm on the unchanging character of God, we should be able to accept that God’s design for this disaster is in accord with His perfect love and justice. Believers walk by faith, and that means they are okay with not having answers to all of the “why” questions for now. When we leave this earth and enter the eternal realm, we will be able to know fully “just as we are fully known” (see 1 Cor 13:8-13).


Fifth, and finally, believers must believe that He makes everything good in its time. Ecclesiastes 3 teaches us that “there is a time and a season for every matter under heaven.” Both the times of living and the times of dying are a gift from God. All the circumstances that we face, good and bad, lead us to know Him more fully and worship Him more faithfully. You cannot go wrong if you have put your faith and trust in Him and committed to living every moment for His glory.