Some say COVID-19 vaccine is the ‘mark of the beast.’ Is there a connection to the Bible?
Even though the COVID-19 vaccination has been scientifically proven to be effective in saving lives, a more crucial issue – eternal salvation – is at risk for a small but vocal minority of religious believers. Because of concerns about long-term negative effects from the delta variation of the coronavirus and a lack of faith in the medical community, many Americans are refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as the virus spreads. Some vaccination opponents have been energized by the notion that the injection represents the “mark of the beast.” The “mark of the beast,” as described in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, signifies devotion to Satan or those who reject God’s memorial of creation as the source of all power.
“Religious and scientific conflicts are not about facts, but rather about values and morals,” Evans added.
What doesthe ‘mark of the beast’ scripture inRevelation say?
The apocalyptic biblical word originates from Revelation 13: 16-18. It is written in the New International Version Bible by the Apostle John that a pair of beasts will rule the Earth with cruelty. All those who engage in commercial activity will be required to bear the mark of the beast as a result of their evil reach – which can be interpreted as hidden manipulation. Despite the fact that the Apostle John did not specify what the mark looked like, some theologians have translated Scripture to associate the number “666” with it, which is incorrect.
- I’ve been told it is.’ Their query was an honest and passionate one, and plainly, they were tormented about it.
- Until the question came again.
- And again.
- … I’ve been sent numerous articles and videos.
- It’s just not reasonable or logical to presume such a wide conspiracy is even possible.
Why do people call COVID-19 vaccine the ‘mark of the beast?’
Evans asserted that a lack of confidence in the government and the medical community is a driving element behind the “mark of the beast” belief system. In an interview with USA TODAY, Evans stated that “(former President) Donald Trump tapped into American populism, and with that comes the incredulity of academics.” “There is a tiny group of people that believe in ‘the mark of the beast,’ and I believe that what is driving that thinking process is based on a variety of worries about obtaining the coronavirus vaccination that are not religious in nature.” Evans believes that the prevalence of the “mark of the beast” is a result of people’s attachment to a certain social or political identity.
A key Republican National Committee official in Florida, Peter Feaman, declared last month that vaccinations are “the mark of the beast” and equivalent to a “false religion.” Feaman is a member of the Republican National Committee.
Gretchen Whitmer’s support for immunizations in Michigan prompted Feaman to write on his blog about the governor: “Diabolical Michigan Governor Whiter wants her citizenry to obtain the Mark of the Beast in order to participate in society.” According to Evans’ research, the bulk of those who believe in the “mark of the beast” tend to be politically conservative and to come from Protestant Christian upbringings.
According to Evans, “those who have spiritual ideas that everything is impacted by religion are more inclined to believe the’mark of the beast,’ which is in every Christian’s Bible, but people will focus on certain sections in the Bible to support their belief system.”
What do religious leaders say?
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship claimed that while COVID-19 vaccinations are not “the mark of the beast,” many Christians may assume that they are because they believe the world is in what the Bible refers to as “the latter days.” “According to the Bible, there will be a figure known as the ‘Antichrist,’ and he will demand everyone to have a’mark,’ which they will obtain in order to purchase and trade,” Laurie explained in an email to USA TODAY.
- “The COVID-19 vaccination – or any vaccine for that matter – has absolutely nothing to do with any of this,” says the author.
- “We discover in Revelation 14 that people who get the mark are condemned,” he explained further.
- According to Laurie, misinterpretations of Revelation 13:16-18 might arise as a result of the proliferation of incorrect material on social media platforms such as Facebook.
- Many people do not grasp what the Bible truly says about these topics, so these assertions are packaged to appear like Bible prophecy, according to the author.
What do health care workers say? Do people actually cite this as a reason to avoid the shot?
Nurse Nicole Williams, who works as a traveling intensive care unit (ICU) nurse, says she has seen the phrase “mark of the beast” used as an excuse for not being vaccinated several times in her career. “I understand being cautious since it is new and we don’t know what the long-term consequences will be, but calling it the’mark of the beast’ is ridiculous,” Williams told USA TODAY in an interview. At her three years as a nurse, Williams has worked in hospitals in Texas, New York, California, and Hawaii, among other places.
She explained that vaccinations are not a “miracle injection” that would heal everyone, but rather one of many instruments in the fight against the infection.
Stephen Smith, an emergency department physician at Hennepin Healthcare, told USA TODAY that he hasn’t seen someone use the’mark of the beast’ as a justification for avoiding being vaccinated, but he has heard a few other ridiculous arguments.
When Smith inquired as to whether the mother had had a vaccination, she responded, “Oh no, it transforms you into a zombie,” according to Smith.
In Smith’s opinion, “social media plays a 100 percent part in the misunderstandings regarding the vaccination.” It’s because they get all their information from Facebook that they end up with this trash.” Those that advise against getting the vaccination are either lying to you or are complete morons, or a mixture of the two.” What we know about the mu version of COVID-19 and why Fauci is ‘keeping a very careful watch on it’ are discussed in detail in the next article.
What we know about the COVID-19 vaccines?
- According to a research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, peer-reviewed data has determined that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are safe and efficient against the virus. They also exhibited 94 percent to 95 percent efficiency against the virus. According to the same study, the JohnsonJohnsonssingle dosage injection gave protection against the virus and was successful in preventing hospitalization and death from occurring. Pfizer BioNTech revealed results on Sept. 20 indicating that their vaccination was safe for children aged 5 to 11 years. At the end of last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave the corporation its complete stamp of approval. Currently, Moderna is in the process of applying for a complete license, and JohnsonJohnson intends to submit an application this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 54.7 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the flu vaccine, with 63.9 percent having received two or more doses. According to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 56 percent of adults in the United States are anticipated to be completely vaccinated by the end of September, and 59 percent by January 1, 2022.
Stop using religion to fight COVID-19 vaccine. Taking it is the Christian thing to do.
According to a research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, peer-reviewed data has determined that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are safe and efficient against the virus, with 94 percent to 95 percent efficiency against the virus. According to the same study, the JohnsonJohnsonssingle dosage injection gave protection against the infection and was beneficial in preventing hospitalization and death in certain cases. Pfizer BioNTech revealed results on Sept. 20 indicating that their vaccination was safe for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
Currently, Moderna is in the process of applying for a complete license, and JohnsonJohnson intends to submit an application this year as well.
According to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 56 percent of adults in the United States are expected to be completely vaccinated by the end of September and 59 percent by January 1, 2022.
What would Jesus say about coronavirus?
Eddie White is a preacher at the Eastside Church of Christ, and he has the responsibility of transferring the example and teachings of a carpenter born in Bethlehem into the hearts of church members on Sundays. In White’s opinion, Jesus and his early disciples had a lot to say to the people of Colorado Springs in the year 2020. White’s convictions pushed him into dangerous preaching ground. Yes, he has been preaching about COVID-19 for quite some time. The feeling he has is that “people are digging in on sides on this and that people are politicizing it,” he says.
- You’re debating whether or not you prefer Donald Trump or Jared Polis, among other things.
- On Tuesdays, he sits at this desk from 9 a.m.
- to speak with church members while enjoying the fresh air and sunlight.
- He feels that his connection to his faith helps him to explore contentious issues.
- His connection provided him with the confidence to speak seven sermons on The Virus, with two more to go before he was through.
- When he started his research this summer, he looked into whether to wear a mask or not.
- “Experts” in COVID-19 have suddenly appeared, and they know little and probably nothing relevant about the virus, according to the author.
- ‘The narrative of Job is a beautiful one,’ says White, sitting under a tree in the shade.
- Job’s life was made even more miserable and confusing by the presence of those buddies.
- Polis to attend worship services in their homes.
- “God does not reside in man-made shrines,” the Apostle Paul declared to both believers and nonbelievers at Athens, Greece.
In White’s viewpoint, “If that is your notion of church, then you have a very restricted and unbiblical understanding of what church is.” Paul is standing amid all of these church structures in Acts 17 and he is declaring, “No, God does not reside in these buildings.'” His options are not limited to this.'” I’m not sure if, like in Athens, our structures and buildings haven’t become idols in their own right.
Whether all of our emotional outpouring in response to government limits on our gatherings is just the result of Gov.
COVID-19, which is responsible for more than 163,000 fatalities in the United States, elicits more heated debate than any other topic.
And he’s perfectly OK with it. “It’s critical that what is discussed in here,” he adds, referring to Eastside’s sanctuary, “is the same thing that we’re witnessing out there.” In the direction of the rest of Colorado Springs, he’s directing his finger.
Abcarian: What would Jesus do? He’d get vaccinated, that’s what
When my father was nearing the end of his life a year ago, I had to contact 911 three times in the weeks leading up to his death. In the aftermath of each tense first-responder visit, my house was overrun with a swarm of brawny, uniformed paramedics and firemen. We were only a few feet apart while the doctors took my father’s vital signs to ascertain why he had fallen or passed out, or whether he had suffered a devastating stroke, as was the case on our most recent visit. This is the type of vulnerable individual on whom our vaccine-resistant firemen are symbolically spitting when they refuse to accept any of the readily accessible, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccinations in the name of personal or religious freedom.
A group of Los Angeles Police Department employees has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, which has imposed a vaccine mandate on city employees.
More than 500 members of the city’s Fire Department have formed the Firefighters 4 Freedom Foundation, which is suing the city in state court, claiming they are “pawns in a political chess match.” These individuals are pawns in every sense of the word, influenced by disinformation, ignorance, and hostility against scientific competence propagated by social media.
- We’ve also learned that over a fifth of the Police Department’s employees has indicated that they intend to seek religious exemptions from the vaccination, which is an utterly ludicrous and cynical evasion of responsibility.
- The clause in the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act that states that companies must provide reasonable accommodations for employees who object to work obligations because of their “sincerely held” religious convictions is the source of this recent wave of religious awakenings.
- I believe that our vaccine-resistant first responders are imposing an unnecessary burden on the rest of us, and that they are doing so for reasons that have nothing to do with religious belief or practice.
- The religion noted for advocating prayer over medical assistance in the case of disease, Christian Science, urges its believers to obey public health norms, which include vaccine regulations.
In a meeting with me on Monday, he said that Christian Scientists are in favor of vaccinations because they believe in Christ’s deep teaching to “love thy neighbor as yourself,” which is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The vaccination campaign has been beset by “falsehoods of every type,” according to a recent New York Times opinion piece by Chang.
- Californians are well-versed in the vaccination debate, having lived through the vaccine panic that erupted in 2015 following a measles epidemic at Disneyland.
- Richard Pan to submit legislation that would eliminate the personal belief exemption for schools whose parents did not want them to get immunized.
- Jerry Brown, and he has continued to advocate for the subject.
- It is currently awaiting the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom.
- Gavin Newsom, mandating state health officials to evaluate each and every request for a medical exemption.
- Marin County was a prominent anti-vax bastion in 2015, according to the Associated Press.
- The ideological cast driving the vaccine resistance, Pan said to me, “actually speaks to the ideological cast that is driving the vaccine resistance.” “It is not founded on scientific or informational principles.
- Some claim that fetal cell lines acquired through abortion were employed in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, and that this was the case.
- In an appeal to their followers, Russell Moore and Walter Kim from the National Association of Evangelicals have asked them to capture the shots: According to them, “the immunizations are a cause for Christians to rejoice and offer praise to God,” as they stated in their letter.
According to Pope Francis, being vaccinated is “an act of love.” Following employee objections to the COVID-19 vaccination due to religious reasons, Pan told me of a company in Arkansas, Conway Regional Hospital, that established a list of common pharmaceuticals manufactured using fetal cell lines after many of its employees expressed their opposition to the vaccine.
A news article from Missouri, which Pan had seen, stated that patients were discreetly getting vaccines, or even showing up in disguise at pharmacies, in order to avoid being harassed or questioned by anti-vax relatives and family members.
For those of you who are wondering what Jesus would do, the answer should be rather evident by now: love your neighbor and take the shot. @AbcarianLAT
With science and scripture, a Baltimore pastor is fighting Covid-19 vaccine skepticism
Terris Liberty Grace Church of God, with its wood-paneled walls and scarlet pulpit, has welcomed King back after a long absence. This time, he’s speaking directly into a camera, with rows of empty pews in the background. As a pastor of a church in the Baltimore neighborhood that was severely impacted by Covid-19, King understands that his choice to keep services remote was the right one, despite the fact that it is unpopular with the congregation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, King, 60, has been fighting an uphill battle, weaving together science and scripture in the hopes that his approximately 300 congregants will adhere to public health guidelines, which include wearing masks, washing hands, and avoiding close contact with sick people.
- According to the pastor, Noah utilized “the science of the raven and the dove to determine when it was safe for him and his family to escape the ark,” according to an interview about his sermon, referring to Noah’s choice to send birds forth to search for dry land.
- “Jesus “distancing himself from his closest disciples” before his death on the cross.
- In the past, researchers have expressed worry about the amount of Americans who are suspicious about the vaccines now in development for Covid-19, and in particular about the number of Black Americans, who are significantly more likely to express skepticism.
- And he hopes to take those teachings to a wider audience across the country.
- It’s become something of a mantra for King, who says it over and again in a quiet, deliberate tone while discussing strategy for his vaccination messaging plan.
- His method will be implemented this autumn.
- of religion and health care is one that has not been investigated, used, and exhausted in the African American community,” says the president of the African American Religious Health Association.
Nurses had previously been called to Liberty Grace, where he has served as pastor for more than 25 years, to check for high blood pressure and HIV, according to the Baltimore native.
“We believe him to be the Word of God,” said Alfreda Brooks, a trustee of Liberty Grace.
Maybe it’s because we’re in a smaller church that we’re so close together.
He has a master’s degree in community health as well as a scientific doctorate in the field.
And it is to them, and to their lives, that he want to devote his time and energy.
The former racing executive, who “raced from pulpit to executive suite of CMS,” transformed into one who “said, ‘Wait a minute, my city is on fire, there’s considerably more that can and can be done to touch the community outside of our door,” according to the author.
Vaccine acceptance plan collaborator Laura Lee Hall said King “understands the science,” but she added that he “is living the work of translating it into health equity by staying in the community and trying to help in the community.” Hall is the president of the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity at the National Minority Quality Forum, and she is working with King on the plan.
- “You can’t just say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do to you,’ and expect people to take it.
- This highly paternalistic viewpoint has proven to be destructive over time, and it has compounded the animosity that exists between many of these communities and the institutions that have attempted to collaborate with them.
- Furthermore, they may confront socioeconomic obstacles to receiving the vaccination at a convenient time and in a pleasant environment.
- STAT’s Eric Kruszewski contributed to this report.
- Many African American communities hold a negative view of Tuskegee, not only because of the school’s historical significance, but also because of the ongoing unequal treatment that many African Americans continue to receive from the health care system, which is not perceived but actual.
- In such case, “I’m not sure I want to interact with the health care system if it is voluntary.” “That is a reality,” writes the author.
- The “scriptural underpinning for the employment of the scientific method,” he stated, is something he intends to convey to his congregation.
- As reported by the New York Times this year, a study undertaken by academics at different colleges indicated that just 52 percent of Black Americans polled are likely to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, as opposed to 67 percent of white Americans surveyed by the organization.
- The results of a previous study on institutional trust and flu vaccinations, conducted by Amelia Jamison, a research assistant at the University of Maryland, were consistent among those she questioned.
- It is in particular the case of rapid approval for experimental vaccinations that we are discussing.
If he’s instructing us to do anything, it’s because he has a good reason for doing so.” Alfreda Brooks, a trustee at Liberty GraceKing, plans to update his congregation on the development of the Covid-19 vaccine once a week throughout the fall, during both services and Bible studies, in order to familiarize them with the drug companies and medical terms associated with the vaccine, according to the church.
- Aside from that, he’ll exhort them to take advantage of the flu vaccination opportunity this year, both for their own health and in the hope that it will make them more comfortable with the upcoming Covid-19 vaccine.
- In the next months, he intends to share the lessons he has learned from his congregation with other pastors in the Baltimore area, as well as a list of resources for educating congregants to them.
- Because of concerns about contracting Covid-19, many of the traditional venues for disseminating public health information in communities, such as barbershops and community health centers, are being used less frequently.
- Her comments were followed by the statement that local media outlets, educational system officials, and Greek groups are all vital sources of knowledge in the Black community.
- Her plans for the remainder of the fall include collaboration with King on the development of a national strategy for vaccine acceptance in historically underserved communities, which will draw on resources made available by the forum.
Privor-Dumm, director of policy advocacy and communications at the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins University, explained that “what somebody like Terris does is he’s able to convene people, he’s able to understand how to leverage the resources that are already there.” “He’s a linker, as you may have guessed.” I see him as someone who will hold everyone accountable — and when I say everyone, I mean everyone, from our political leaders to the people who provide services to the community themselves, because the community itself has an obligation to speak out, to voice their concerns, but also to listen and to make sure they are properly informed.” His group, like many others in the United States, has “frequently been taken advantage of and abandoned and left without help” by institutions in the past, and King recognizes that vaccination acceptance will be a difficulty in his community.
- Terris King II, King’s son, has grown up listening to his father preach for most of his life and believes that his father’s approach to Covid-19 has been successful thus far.
- People are opting to stay at home.
- Then he’ll say, ‘They don’t know who you are and I’ve been loving on you through my deeds,’ and he’ll speak out against Trump and against the system.
- “Faith is placed in me, and I place trust in them,” the elder King stated.
- The feeling that his congregants have about him is, “This person knows more than we do,” he said, commenting on how his followers see him.
“I know he’s been inside those establishments. He has been the leader of those organizations, so he understands what to look for. And we have faith in him since he has never done anything to harm us.”
Bible verses about coronavirus: What does the Bible say about COVID-19?
As of September 2, the SARS Coronavirus (CoV-2) has infected more than 218.2 million individuals and killed more than 4.52 million, according to the World Health Organization. Despite the fact that entire countries were placed on lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading, scientists believe that thousands of individuals will still become sick in the following weeks and months. The Christian scriptures have become a source of solace and solutions for many people during these difficult times.
“Jesus cares about you!” “Many are aware that time is of the essence.” stated another.
Never be afraid, but instead continue to abide in Christ.” More information may be found at: End of the world: What the Bible says must take place before Jesus arrives.
What does the Bible say about coronavirus and COVID-19?
Despite the fact that the coronavirus is not specifically referenced in the Bible, some Christians have asserted on the internet that there are prophetic passages and messages that can be related to the epidemic and its effects. Matthew 24 is a scripture that is frequently quoted. For “for nation shall rise against country, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places,” according to the Bible. The beginnings of grief may be found in all of these things.
Luke 21 has an account of Jesus’ teaching that is comparable to this one.
Nevertheless, before all of this, they will put their hands on you and persecute you, handing you over to synagogues and jails, and hauling you before kings and rulers for the sake of my name.” The Bible says that if “I shut up heaven so that there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people,” “If my people, who are called by my name,” “humility and prayer, and seeking My face,” and “turning from their wicked ways,” “then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” according to 2 Chronicles 7.
MAKE SURE NOT TO MISS OUT.
The end of the world is near: Keep an eye out for THESE indications of the Antichrist’s coming.
Several people who have studied the Bible also feel that the coronavirus might be a biblical portent of doom, as has been suggested.
Coronavirus “The Bible will provide you with further information on this subject.” In the words of another Twitter user, the “Four Horsemen of Apocalypse,” who are described in the Bible in Revelation 6:2-8, “represent the four horsemen of apocalypse: war, famine, pestilence, and death,” are “most likely” responsible for the spread of the coronavirus around the world.
It was written by John the Apostle, and it contains specifics of his prophetic visions of the end of the world.
COVID-19, on the other hand, according to Ed Jarrett of Christianity.com, has just a little amount of evidence to support the assertion that it is scriptural.
“Plague, conflict, and natural calamities that kill vast numbers of people have occurred repeatedly throughout history,” he stated. Nevertheless, none of these has been a portent of the end.”
Cherry-picking the Bible and using verses out of context isn’t a practice confined to those opposed to vaccines – it has been done for centuries
Earlier last week, a devoted evangelical Christian friend of mine wrote me to explain why he was refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. According to him, “Jesus walked around mending lepers and touching them without concern of contracting leprosy.” This narrative, which St. Luke narrates in his gospel (17:11-19), is not the only Bible passage that I have seen and heard evangelical Christians cite to explain their anti-vaccine beliefs, and it is not the only one that I have seen and heard them use.
As a historian of the Bible in American culture, I can confirm that such superficial reading in the service of political and cultural goals has long been a feature of evangelical Christianity, particularly in the South.
Bible in the hands of ordinary people
When Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers translated the Bible from an already existing Greek translation into the languages of common people in the 16th century, they were considered pioneers. The Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Old and New Testaments that could only be read by educated men – largely Catholic priests – had been the primary source of Bible exposure for most men and women in Europe until the Reformation. In the course of the Protestant Reformation, the Bible was placed in the hands of common people.
Protestant denominations arose as a result of such readings of the Bible.
The English Calvinists who founded the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay constructed whole civilizations around their reading of the Bible, resulting in New England being one of the most literate nations on the planet.
The interpretation of the Bible grew increasingly free-wheeling and individualized in the early nineteenth century in the United States. Small differences in how to interpret the Bible frequently resulted in the formation of new sects, such as the Latter-day Saints, the Restorationists (Disciples of Christ and Churches of Christ), Adventists, and various evangelical offshoots of more long-established denominations, such as Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and Quakers, among other religious movements.
- What the French traveler and statesman Alexis de Tocqueville identified as “individualism” had a major impact on biblical interpretation and on the way laypeople read the sacred book, and it continues to do so today.
- The way that these evangelicals used to studying the Bible, on the other hand, was never established in a vacuum.
- These preachers gathered a following based on their creative interpretations of the Scriptures.
- At the time, enormous numbers of Irish and German immigrants were arriving on American shores, and evangelicals used long-standing anti-Catholic stereotypes to demonize them in the middle decades of the nineteenth century.
- While the most of the time, this dread of Catholics was purely verbal, there were a few instances of physical violence.
” Bible riots ” revealed the deep divisions that existed between the individualistic and common-sense approach to biblical interpretation that was common among Protestants and a Catholic view of reading the Bible that was always filtered through the historical teachings of the Church and its priests.
Protestants argued that the former method was more in keeping with the spirit of American liberty than the latter approach was.
Vaccine opposition and the Bible
Evangelical Christians seeking religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine regulations are putting this American method to reading and interpreting the Bible front and center in their arguments today. Evangelicals use scriptures from the Bible to justify their religious objections to health officials, employers, and school administrators. These verses are sometimes taken out of context and referenced on exemptions forms by the authorities. Evangelicals who refuse to get vaccinated today, as they did in the nineteenth century, are more likely to follow the spiritual leaders who have built followings by baptizing political or cultural propaganda in a sea of Bible verses, as they did then.
They all appear to cite the same sources when I ask them how they came to their conclusions: Fox News, or a slew of fringe media personalities that they follow on cable television or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Through their anti-vaccine rants on social media, these evangelical conspiracy theorists are able to gain a significant amount of influence.
When the Bible is left in the hands of the people, without the guidance of any form of authoritative religious group to lead them in their appropriate comprehension of the book, the people have the ability to make it say whatever they want it to say about anything.
Franklin Graham believes Jesus would support COVID vaccine. He’s still catching grief.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misquoted Franklin Graham’s belief on whether Jesus would have taken the COVID VACCINE. The corrected version appears below. THE VACCINE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY FOR JESUS, PER GRAHAM’S FACEBOOK POSTING, BECAUSE ‘HE IS GOD.’ Franklin Graham is still receiving negative feedback from some of his Facebook fans, even weeks after claiming that Jesus would have backed anyone who received the COVID-19 vaccination. Graham stated that he came to the conclusion that Jesus would have supported receiving all sorts of immunizations based on the story of the Good Samaritan.
- “Of course not,” says the author.
- Some people “spent weeks on a ventilator and months in the hospital as a result,” according to Graham.
- “Both my wife and I have had the vaccination, and at 68 years old, I want to squeeze as many kilometres as possible out of these old bones!” Some of his supporters, on the other hand, are still enraged about his suggestion for the COVID vaccination.
- “STOP,” yelled another person only a few days ago.
- “God knew when I was conceived, when I was to die, and how I was to die,” says the author.
- “My God is a good God.” Graham received support from others.
The following statement was made to anti-vaxxers, perhaps angrily: “I hope you drink well and get lots of rest the natural manner if you acquire COVID and do not jam up our hospital systems.” The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is located in Charlotte, established a 24-hour COVID-19 prayer line last year.
This item was originally published on April 17, 2021 at 3:57 p.m.
local time in New York. Joe Marusak has worked as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989, covering the people, municipalities, and big news events in the region. He formerly worked as the paper’s news bureau editor in Charlotte. He is actively covering breaking news stories.
Ecclesiastes has some things to say about COVID-19
As a biblical scholar, whenever I’ve been asked in recent days what scripture has to say about our current state of crisis, I’ve tended to point people to the Psalms, those cries of agony, sadness, and wrath that have been written down through the ages. The book of Amos, that vengeful prophet of doom, comes to mind as another example of a work that may have been penned only a few days ago. However, there is another book that is particularly relevant to our current situation, in which we are confronted with the interrelated problems of global pandemic, economic imbalance, and racial injustice.
- Ecclesiastes is a book that is rarely read in church these days, however the poetry contained in chapters 3–8 is well-known, thanks in part to “Turn!
- Turn!” by Pete Seeger, which was covered by the Byrds and became a popular song.
- Whatever the merits of the poetic feeling, most biblical scholars believe that the primary point is made after the poem; some even believe that the poem is something Qoheleth cited (or made up) specifically to contradict the main thesis.
- Although there may be “a season for everything and a time for every matter under the sun,” humans do not and cannot know when those seasons or periods are.
- They just happen—and they happen to us.
- And that, according to Qoheleth, is precisely as God wants it (see 3:11, 14).
- His persistent behavior has prompted one of the world’s foremost experts on Ecclesiastical literature to comment in a pithy manner, “Qohelet is crabby.” So, what would old Qoheleth have to say about COVID-19 if he were still alive?
The first is that Qoheleth was a prophet.
I reread C.
Lewis’s Space Trilogy, the first volume of which, Out of the Silent Planet, was released in 1938, throughout the summer of this past year.
Lewis, on the other hand, was ahead of his time in that he demonstrated how detrimental it is for people to blindly strive to transcend their own limitations.
Everything is, at the end of the day, finite, frail, and ephemeral—all potential translations of the Hebrew wordhevel, which is commonly translated as “vanity,” and which Qoheleth is particularly fond of, to name a few.
In a nutshell, he does not like it.
Whatever his abilities, there’s no assurance that his children and grandchildren will not be a bunch of morons who waste all that they have worked so hard and patiently to achieve (2:18–21) for them.
“How is it that I have been so extremely wise?” he wonders (2:14–17).
In a nutshell, he does not like it.
To come to his own conclusion, Qoheleth believes that the entire situation is terrible, meaningless (hevelagain), and represents a tremendous evil.
Then he turns around and surrenders his heart to despair (2:17–20).
Finitude, on the other hand, is greater than death, and as a result, Qoheleth battles not only with death but also with all kinds of limits—those of knowledge, morality, labour, joy, and so on.
(12:1–7) Qoheleth speaks of the end of everything, including individual human lives and all life of any kind, full stop.
All is pointless!” says Qoheleth as his final parting words after this somewhat gloomy anticlimax.
All is worthless!” Qoheleth, it would appear, is a grumpy old man until the very end.
Although his lecture is unquestionably a sobering reflection of human frailty, it seems prudent for us to give it another hearing, particularly in light of the current circumstances.
In our current day, when we read Ecclesiastes, we are reminded that the human enterprise is, at the end of the day, quite insignificant.
We are all aware of this, despite the fact that we choose to live in denial.
Institutions, and even even forests, have the ability to reason, and they can and have come to an end.
Do they all come to an end?
The newest COVID-19 data had me picturing Qoheleth examining them and repeating what he stated years ago: “Time and chance come to everyone.” The race is not always won by the fast, nor is the fight always won by the strong, nor is food always won by the wise, nor are riches always won by the knowledgeable.
- It is as if calamity had struck without warning” (9:11–12).
- To put it in a more colloquial context, I envision Qoheleth saying to us, “Well, what were you expecting?” That your economy would continue to develop indefinitely?
- That your country would remain at the top indefinitely?
- That you would be able to oppress other people indefinitely?” He’d probably add, “Give me a break,” expressing his displeasure with our folly.
- There is something else, something more, that Qoheleth wants us to understand about this finitude.
- In this passage, Qoheleth expresses his thoughts on the current state of affairs for the second time.
Back to Lewis, following the loss of his beloved wife, Joy Davidman, he came to the conclusion that “the anguish I experience now is the happiness I felt previously.” “That’s the way it is.” However, it turns out that these two opposing emotions are linked together by an inextricable feedback loop: happiness can have sharp edges because it must come to an end; knowing that happiness must come to an end makes happiness that much sweeter.
Ecclesiastes encourages us to achieve happiness despite the limitations of our current position.
Some biblical scholars have gone so far as to refer to him as a “preacher of joy,” which means “preacher of joy.” That is maybe taking things a little too far, but it is nonetheless noteworthy that, as irritated as Qoheleth is over the passing of time, he too takes time to smell the roses.
Wheeler Robinson observed that Ecclesiastes “has the smell of the tomb about it,” William Brown noted that Qoheleth’s recognition of the all-encompassing nature of death was reflected in Qoheleth’s recognition that Ecclesiastes “bears the unmistakable scent of fried chicken,” which is typically served at southern funerals.
This component of Qoheleth’s philosophy is referred to as “the grandeur of the ordinary” by Brown, but it may just as easily be referred to as “the glory of the finite”; it is the polar opposite of finitude in all of its finality.
It occurred to me as I fretted about the future, often becoming catatonic in the face of work decisions that needed to be made that for the first time in many years, I had all three of my children at home, gathered around the dinner table and then in front of the television, looking for a binge-worthy distraction that could provide some measure of entertainment.
On the other hand, it is anything but.
To be clear, I constantly wished for the past, which appeared better than the present, and I desired a break from the 24-hour in-my-grill familial closeness that had become a part of my life.
Leave what has happened and is now irrecoverable in the hands of God, who is in charge of such things (see 3:15).
If we are unable to control the passage of time and it simply occurs without our consent, our input, or our ability to comprehend, then all we can do is accept the seasons and, when possible, enjoy the gifts God has provided: food, companionship, and even work (though Qoheleth frequently refers to the latter as gloomy “toil”).
- This component of Qoheleth’s reasoning, on the other hand, is certainly open to question.
- What if our focus on our own set of magnificent “ordinary” things becomes myopic, causing us to become oblivious to people who don’t even have that much to begin with?
- In the first two chapters, Qoheleth is depicted as the ancient equivalent of the hard-working individualist who has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and made it to the top.
- However, after this point in the book, Qoheleth appears to become increasingly aware of the importance of others in his life.
- Despite this, Qoheleth appears to be resigned to much of what he perceives to be wrong with the world—perhaps even too resigned.
- Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on Qoheleth—or any single book of the Bible, for that matter—to carry the majority of the load.
- If we need a call to action to modify our attitudes toward the poor, the needy, and those who are denied justice, we might turn to the prophet Amos.
- If Qoheleth is not very optimistic about the future of society, it is possible that this is due to callousness or elitism.
- Moreover, according to Qoheleth, it is not just the downtrodden who are without “someone to comfort them,” but also the strong oppressors (4:1).
- Attention to prosaic presents that are both beautiful and precious does not have to prevent caring for others and the heinous, systemic problems that are affecting our planet in ways that are not viral.
- What Have I Ever Lost by Dying?
“Warning to the Reader,” a poem by poet Robert Bly, describes “panicky blackbirds” trapped in a farm granary in his “Warning to the Reader.” In “the bands of light” shining between the wall boards, the birds perceive freedom and so take flight, only to be trapped and starved when they reach the top of the wall.
According to him, “the way out” is located near “the place where the rats enter and leave; however, the rat’s hole is low to the floor.” Bly’s literary warning is intended for readers who “enjoy poetry of light” a little too much and end up “as a heap of feathers and a skull on the open boardwood floor,” as described in the poem.
The only way out of finitude is not to reject or to run away from it.
No, it isn’t a barn burning, in which everything is destroyed, nor a new barn rising, in which everything is built from the ground up.
It can, however, serve as a means of surviving, and perhaps even a means of thriving, during Qoheleth’s (and our) more joyous moments.
The rat’s hole, the kitchen table, the dog, the family’s binge-watching sessions—these are all little steps in the right direction.
No, they are not everything, but there are times when modest steps are all we can manage. They are also sufficient at times—not all of the time, but on occasion. There is a print copy of this article with the title “Qoheleth meets COVID-19,” which includes a version of this article.