The value of biblical wisdom

Letters to the Editor

The value of biblical wisdom

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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Dear Editor,

COVID-19 has disrupted the regular flow of life and it is most definitely not business as usual. With the recent announcement of social distancing measures, which are meant to curb the spread of the disease, some people are still fast asleep.

Several weeks ago the Government announced that churches can be reopened; however, church leaders should follow the necessary safety measures. I would have liked to think that this was good news, but there were many churchgoers and Christians who questioned the rationale for this.

My fears deepened when I heard about a spike in the number of positive cases and, to my dismay, a church was at the centre of this spike. It is evident that there are many members of the church community who do not take this pandemic seriously. In light of this, I wish to share a few principles from the biblical text which will help us as we seek to keep our churches open for worship.

Christian believers ought to take the health principles chronicled in the Levitical law codes, in particular Leviticus 11, 13, 14, 15, as well as Deuteronomy 14, seriously. The councils which are written here are not outdated and are very much relevant. In these codes we learn about the following public health measures which were given to the Israelite community as they travelled through the wilderness:

1) Avoid contact with body fluids which may be vehicles for disease transmission (Leviticus 15);

2) Destroy anything which may be contaminated by disease (Leviticus 14);

3) Isolate anyone who is sick (Leviticus 15); and

4) Wash hands and clothes if you come in contact with anyone who is sick (Leviticus 15).

Although these principles are in the Bible, there are many individuals who have failed to understand the Christian's role in promoting behaviours which will help to limit the spread of this virus. They have failed to understand the Government's request and church reopening policies. Some may have seen this request as a lack of faith or a sign that they have broken their covenant with God, but that is not the case as we seek to move forward. No Christian should be numbered among those who have become so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. Instead, we must work with the State to preserve the quality of life we want to enjoy. In order to do this, we must:

1) Wear a mask to church, which will help us to avoid contact with body fluids.

2) Ensure that the sanctuary is properly sanitised.

3) If you are sick, stay home; watch the service online.

4) Provide water or sanitary material for cleansing of hands.

I would like to draw from the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16 — “Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

As we prepare to keep our church buildings open for service we must understand that quarantine and other public health practices which are advised by the Government are effective and suitable ways to control the spread of COVID-19.

Nicordo E Wilson


School of Religion and Theology

Northern Caribbean University

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