Nations of Cowards, Fearful Churches

There’s a reason why the cowardly will not be in the Kingdom of God (Rev 21:8).  When I was young, it always struck me as somewhat harsh, nor did it fully make sense that cowards should be lumped in with murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars simply for being afraid.  It just didn’t seem like a real sin.

Decades later with life experience, I have come to understand.  Cowards may be very nice on a good day in the best of times, but they will not stand up for what is true and right when to do so may mean sacrifice. They will not defend the oppressed, the abused or the weak. They will close their eyes to injustice and deceit.  They will not draw a line in the sand and say, “No further.”  They will not confront evil.   They will do whatever may be asked of them: give up their liberty, their religious beliefs, their families, their neighbors. Commit any evil, if it means the possibility of saving their own lives.

This is why God will not allow cowards into His kingdom.  He cannot work with them or trust them.  They stand for nothing and will even destroy what is good through lack of action or by actively aligning with the wicked.  We are seeing this very notably across the Western World, including within nations once called free and brave.

So do we know the boundaries we will not cross?  Or will we keep moving the boundary lines back because it’s too hard and too frightening to stand firm?  Will we trust in the Lord? Will we remember He will never leave us or forsake us. (Heb 13:4)? Will we stand up for what is right when called to do so?  Are we standing for righteousness and justice today?

Fear paralyzes

We are witnessing a world so filled with fear for a virus that is turning out to be less deadly than the seasonal flu for the majority of humanity that whole populations are willing to be imprisoned in their homes and treated like criminals for the sake of promised security.  Nor are many willing to look beyond sensationalized statistics and manipulated data to search for truth – out of fear.

Fear panics us and we lose the ability to think and use the wisdom, sense and faith God gives us. Fear paralyzes.

So very many individual Christians, churches and whole Christian denominations are being caught up in this worldwide fear right now.  Christians – yes, even those who call themselves “Churches of God” – are slamming those who won’t wear masks in public as “selfish” and vilifying those who question the veracity of official narratives, insisting any information and experience outside of those narratives are “conspiracy” to which we shouldn’t pay attention.

From nation to nation, far too many Christians are shouting for obedience to corrupt government officials that do not have our best interests at heart.  And they are bowing to city, state and national government bans on church gatherings and the singing of praises to the Almighty God of the Universe. They cite, “loving our neighbor” and the “government must know best because God put them there” as part of their reasoning.

Yet they are not criticizing too closely those who have been encouraging and engaging in the looting and destroying of property, nor do they slam abortion clinics and legislation so passionately.  They are not calling out corruption, blatant hypocrisy, lying words, manipulated data or the curtailing of religious freedom which is even opposed within the very constitutions and the Bill of Rights of at least a few of the governments they say must be obeyed.

Churches, Christians, those specifically called “Churches of God” are buying into the fear of a virus and a vaccine savior instead of looking to God as staunchly as they should.  They are forgetting Psalm 91.  Fear is destroying courage and the ability to stand for truth.

Courage and faith

Throughout the Bible there are examples of those who have had to act in contravention of the laws and rules of human governments in order to protect the vulnerable, promote justice and righteousness, worship the true God and preach the gospel.  From the Israelite midwifes who quietly refused to follow Pharaoh’s wicked edict to kill boy babies, to Daniel and his friends who would not bow to the mandatory idol worship of kings, to Esther and the prophets, to the original apostles and their disciples, their stories are all there to see.

So why aren’t we speaking out? Why aren’t we standing up?  Why are we so afraid of a virus that we will trust in the unlawful edicts of human governments instead of having faith in our God?

There have been a few centenarian survivors of the Coronavirus recorded across the world since March 2020 (which should alone make us think).  The words of one individual who has survived Covid-19 and the 1918 Spanish Flu struck me as very relevant to all of us.  When asked how she got through it, the 103 year-old matter-of-factly replied,  “Courage and faith.”

I have to ask: “Where is ours?!”

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

I Corinthians 16:13-14: “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.”

Leave a Reply