Christian Leaders Respond to the Ebola Crisis promoting their agendas or theologies. Others respond in humility with real help to those in need.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need,
yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17
This morning I ran across this tweet from Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church, and some interesting responses:
For more info on “Jesus Juking”, here ya go.
I think Matthew Paul Turner’s posted an appropriate response to DeYoung’s tweet:
Friends, these Ebola/sin/theology comparisons really need to stop. Coming from privileged American pastors who are tweeting on their smart phones from the safety of their homes, these poorly chosen and untimely words are highly insensitive to the very real threat that Ebola poses in numerous East African nations. It’s very easy to make broad theological statements about Jesus and puns about the CDC while living in a country where Ebola isn’t killing people every single day.
Let’s take a look at some recent examples of church leaders using Ebola to promote their teachings and agenda:
Ebola is Result of Same-Sex Marriages
Meanwhile, a North Carolina pastor, Ron Baity, is blaming saying Ebola is a result of same-sex marriages in the article, NC pastor comes unglued over coming gay weddings: ‘You think Ebola is bad now, just wait!’, and also refers to it as a sign of the End Times.
Baptist pastor is warning that God will escalate the Ebola crisis when North Carolina begins performing same-sex marriages.
“You think Ebola is bad now, just wait. If it’s not that, it’s going to be something else. My friends, I want you to understand, you can’t thumb your nose at God, and God turn his head away without God getting your attention.”
Ebola is God’s Punishment for “Dividing Jersusalem”
Popular Pastor John Hagee is another Christian leader using the Ebola crisis to promote his agenda. In this article, John Hagee: Ebola is God’s punishment for Obama ‘dividing Jerusalem’, we read of Obama being responsible for the problems in Jerusalem:
Citing the Book of Joel, the televangelist took to Tuesday’s broadcast of the “Hagee Hotline” to tell listeners that “our president is dead set on dividing Jerusalem. God is watching and he will bring America into judgment,” according to the left-leaning Right Wing Watch.
“There are grounds to say that judgment has already begun, because he, the president, has been fighting to divide Jerusalem for years now,” Hagee said in a YouTube video posted by Right Wing Watch.
The Ebola disease prompted John Piper to Write a Poem
What this poem really means, I do not know, but here it is:
Today a thousand dead. And more
To die. A common ache, like flu,
Then nausea, a fever-soar,
A hopeless clinic interview:
“There’s nothing we can do.”
The bleeding has no bias. These:
A child, a chief, a friend, a nurse,
Liberian, and Leonese,
From Guinea, Texas, taste the curse—
And kindness, from the Purse.
Samaritans, six thousand miles
From home and care, subdue their fears,
And wonder if a sneeze defiles,
Or if a healthy fluid clears
The curse. Perhaps their tears.
But now two treasured ones, struck down,
Contagious still with death—and love—
Fly back to us, our joy, our crown,
A touch of grace, a gentle dove,
Yet through a plastic glove.
While in our land we see today
Another virus spreading, dumped,
More deadly, in the soul. They say,
“Why bring them home?” Though you be stumped,
This grace will not be trumped.
John Piper (Source)
Revised: I forgot about this other gem from Piper:
R.C. Sproul, Jr. Compares Ebola with Personal Sin and It’s Consequences
In his podcast: More Deadly than Ebola, by R.C. Sproul, Jr., Sproul, Jr. discusses being more concerned about one’s own sin, rather than the potential harm from Ebola. Sproul discusses passing his disease of “sin” to his own children and he can see it spreading. “there is a Tsunami impact of my own sin that reaches beyond me and my family.”
The Gospel Coalition “Shoulds” on Us
The Gospel Coalition of course has added their $.02 to this crisis: What Christians Should Know about the Ebola Crisis.
This article gives some historical background of Ebola, how it’s transmitted, etc., but in the last paragraph, we get their theological response: “How should we react to the threat of Ebola?”
When we see the word “should,” the implication is that they are presuming their way to be the right way and if we are reacting another way, our way is not the right way. :::::sigh:::::
Who anointed them (The Gospel Coalition) o be King of Shoulds? Do they have a direct line with God that we don’t to make these statements?
Now, in this particular case, I don’t have a big theological issue with what was presented, but it’s important to note how pastors and church leaders “should” on us. The onus is on us to be sure that what pastors say and tell us we should be doing lines up with what God has told us through His word. So, please be careful with those who are “shoulding you” as you navigate the Ebola fury. Cling to sound teaching from God’s Word and check for yourself, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you – yes, the same Holy Spirit accessible to all of the Kings of Shoulds.
How to Help Liberia and Ebola Victims
We take a sharp turn in the next two articles.
In the article, Why Southern Baptists, Above All Others, Must Stand Ready to Aid Liberia, by Bart Barber, he explains why Southern Baptists, in particular, should be heeding the call to assist in the Ebola Crisis. Here are a few notable quotes from the article:
The nations of Sierra Leone and Liberia were founded by people who were trying to solve the conflict over slavery by repopulating slaves to Africa. Liberia was founded by the United States of America.
To the degree that such things can be true two centuries later, the Liberian mess is one of America’s making, with particular responsibility falling upon Southern Baptists.
So, when the epidemiological tides turn (we’re not at all qualified to combat viruses), I believe that Southern Baptists will be doing the honorable thing if we step up to the plate in a sacrificial and jaw-dropping, head-turning way to address the plight of Liberia’s survivors.
And finally, this church brings me back to what I view Christianity to be about: Help Ebola victims, Baptist pastor urges. Look at how this single church in Herndon, VA has made a difference:
Meanwhile Mount Pleasant, a multi-ethnic 2,800-member Southern Baptist congregation with immigrants from about 25 countries, has been responding to the crisis through long-standing ministry partners and the Virginia congregation’s church plants in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The church maintains active partnerships in several other African countries and has worked closely with the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board on numerous projects.
“We started helping [ministry partners] as soon as we were notified of the crisis,” Graham said. Working with pastors in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Mount Pleasant has sent money to purchase and distribute disinfectant kits there, and to disseminate information on avoiding and responding to the virus. Mount Pleasant is collecting nonperishable items to send to the countries in November.
“Those are the two places we’ve been focusing on and distributing primarily disinfectant kits, that is essentially Clorox, buckets and rubber gloves,” he said, “and then doing information sessions with the people there in churches concerning the necessity of exercising good hygienic practices — washing their hands, [and] sterilizing and cleaning their floors, eating utensils and that type of stuff.”
The church has a long-standing ministry to install water wells in developing countries, and will continue those efforts in the communities of Bo and Lungi, Sierra Leone.
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor,
doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.