Hall, Art -- Use this one

Publisher Art Hall

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My wife, Patricia, and I were chatting with some of our neighbors over the weekend, at a safe distance, of course, and they asked if we thought God was responsible for the coronavirus. They mentioned the plagues which God brought down on Egypt to induce them to release the Jews from bondage, and wondered if He foisted the COVID virus on the world for some reason. “I'm starting to see that question being asked occasionally on the editorial pages of national newspapers,” I responded.

When Al Campbell was the Herald’s managing editor, he would ask me from time to time, if I thought a given calamity which had just taken place somewhere in the world, were a show of God’s anger? I never knew how to answer him; my gut did not guide me. One thing that no doubt is angering God is what is taking place on America’s campuses these days. Most of America’s oldest universities were begun as Christian institutions, at least in part. Today, most universities are hostile to Christianity, including those oldest ones, and are doing their best to turn their students away from faith. 

Do you think He’s been taking account of that?  Given that He says that a bird doesn’t fall from the sky without His noticing, I say, yes, He is fully aware. That said, I think that He’s also patient with us, the way we are with our own children. We know they are learning, and accordingly, we give them space.  But there is a time when our patience runs out, and so does His; I did not make this up; He tells us that in some of the verses in the Bible.  And look at Hollywood, and look at society generally; are we becoming more or are we becoming less focused on spiritual things? To my observation, the answer is, clearly less.

I have another neighbor who is convinced there is no god. As he sees it, a real, good and all-powerful god would not allow all of this bad stuff to happen, especially to good people, and most especially to Christians. My attitude is that God is a genius. Only a genius could create very intelligent people, some of whom could look at a beautiful bird and think that it evolved from nothing and others who have a complete opposite point of view.

I would tell this other neighbor that the only way that He could look at the very same thing a believing person looks at, and not see God as its creator, is because God made him that way.  The only way he would believe is if he seeks God, and then he’ll see Him. But I can't  tell him, because it would only anger him.

Back to the topic, Did God create this plague? And further, if He did, for what reason, and what would cause Him to remove it? My answer: I don’t know if He created it, but whether or not He  did, He can take it away. Even if He does, another may follow. I think we’re going to get more and  more of this. Regardless, we will fare better if we give God His due regard.