Pandemic Fear or Prolific Faith

After more than a month of quarantine, social distancing and ongoing political and international narrative over the COVID-19 virus, with churches closed, businesses struggling, a major airline collapse amidst a general air of uncertainty, we’ve seen the remarkable response of church communities coming together in the digital universe for livestreaming of weekly church services, Bible studies, devotionals and online fellowship.

When we began livestreaming Sabbath worship services in Mundaring, WA, some 15 months ago in order to cater for our family in Christ living in remote areas, little did we realise that livestreaming would soon become an essential service. Now with three cameras, lights, microphones and other streaming equipment, the back part of our home has been turned into a mini television studio. Take a look!

And so, every Sabbath at 11:00am we “go live”, ministering in the lives of our faith community, not only throughout Australia, but overseas as well. Last week was our most successful and riveting online service, benefiting from the contributions of many more people. This week via Zoom we started a Tuesday night Bible study. And this next Sabbath’s behind-the-scenes work is again almost complete.

We’re grateful to Hannah and Emma, who significantly contribute to our team’s work. Hannah arrived here just before the coronavirus lock-down, and then being unable to return to Sydney, has been an invaluable help in our work here. Emma adeptly manages the livestreaming console. And Rebecca, as vocalist with keyboard as well as facilitating children’s church completes the onsite team.

When Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it,” I think he was also thinking about the difficult times we’re now entering. For when the church is under pressure, it is then that she is at her best! Pandemic fear gives way to prolific faith.

John Klassek
By John Klassek

Pandora’s Box of Biological Warfare

“There’s something puzzling about the Chinese COVID-19 virus,” chuffed Peter as he sipped the last of his tea. This old timer had thought he’d seen it all. He went on to explain what he thought about the coronavirus pandemic.

He explained that nothing like the serious travel restrictions has ever occurred before in his memory. He went on the say that the gene complexity of this deadly pathogen defies the possibility of randomly generated mutations. The ongoing media and scientific narrative from a variety of sources don’t seem to collectively make sense. Did a smelly wet animal market in a Chinese province really spawn this kind worldwide pandemic? Or, are there more sinister players involved? Did a deadly lab-generated pathogen specifically designed for biological warfare accidentally escape? What about the Chinese cover-up?

Those lab men in white coats studying the COVID-19 virus around the world are not entirely satisfied that the DNA signatures completely match known animal sources. Were human genes spliced into this now deadly pathogen? Is this virus designed to be targeted at particular groups of people? What other important information is the public being shielded from, as increasingly strict quarantine measures are being put into place? These are some of the unanswered questions Peter wrestled with.

I was surprised by Peter’s conclusions. Of course, conspiracy theories abound at a time like this. Large social media concerns and political pundits are working hard to quash what they term “fake news” and misleading viral messages. President Trump said, “This is war!” What did he mean? Iran accused the US for manufacturing a strain of the virus to attack them. A Chinese leader blamed a US serviceman for bringing the coronavirus to China. And, so the misinformation continues.

Peter conceded that if this virus is indeed a biologically engineered tool of war, then the calamity emerging from Pandora’s Box is the hellish nightmare that will forever alter, if not destroy, the world as we know it.

I asked Peter whether he’d like another cup of tea. He paused, before mumbling, “No thanks. A cup of tea just isn’t the same anymore with all this mayhem happening.”

Corona Virus Insurance

Travel the world they said. Seek adventure, the billboard said. If it feels good, do it, they chorused.

However, the natural law of consequence and risk was never mentioned.

Consider, for a monent, that the risk of being infected with the coronavirus over the next few months is generally assessed at the moment as being very high, given its virulence and the little we know about it. So let’s ask: would a comprehensive insurance policy mitigate against all possible outcomes? Of course, not. What about other risks? The mystery of the missing Malaysian aircraft MH370, lost without trace under inexplicable circumstances? What were the chances of survival for those passengers, insured or not?

The dangers and risks associated with everyday life are enormous. One microscopic virus can trigger our entire immune system to fail. One small asteroid, they say, could destroy life on earth. One split-second traffic accident, and too many victims spend the rest of their lives wheel-chair bound.

Is there anything then that might mitigate this sense of foreboding risk – granted that for most of the time we put it out of mind?

This video recounts a recent mid-air emergency, and so explores these questions, directing our certainty not at insurance, or time and chance, or even our best laid plans. Instead, we highlight a certainty and transcendent promise of enormous value.

Let us know what you think in the YouTube comments. And subscribe anyway, whether you agree or take an entirely different view.

By John Klassek