Pastor's Blog 04-10-2020 - Taken in Context
I have always told you that it is a great privilege to be able to verify what a preacher (myself included) is telling you by looking in God’s word ourselves. It is also a tremendous responsibility. We should always remain vigilant to safe-guard the theology and faith that we are taught by His word.
To some extent, the same should be true regarding the news that we are being fed on a daily basis through our media. Honestly, almost all news today is told with a specific bias behind it. Whether it is media outlets attempting to pick their favorite politician, push an immoral agenda, scare us into behaving in a certain manner, or influence society in some way.
I am beginning to think that a lot of the statistics from experts that we were given in the beginning of this crisis were erroneous as well. While I wouldn’t label them ‘fake news,’ I would say that they were likely designed to influence us to make extreme changes in the way we live our lives. It seems it was done with good intentions, so I don’t think it is something that we should get all riled up about, but I do think that, while we are making changes to the way we live each day, we should also guard ourselves against feeling overly fearful or faithless.
The news published horrendous statistics about the amount of lives we could expect this virus to take before it is completed. We were told between 100,000 and 200,000 people in America would succumb to COVID-19. That statistic has now been downgraded to 60,000. So far, just under 18,000 people in the US have been lost to this terrible sickness. Every life that we have lost was someone’s sibling, spouse, child, or friend and that is very sad.
However, we should put it in perspective. 80,000 people in the US died from the flu last winter. During the same two months that we been facing this coronavirus crisis, 80,000 people have died from tobacco-related illnesses (it is speculated that some of those that perished from the virus would not have died if they didn’t have pre-existing conditions from tobacco products). And the government has NEVER considered outlawing cigarettes.
Why would that be? It’s quite simple. It’s economics. The US makes a lot of money from tobacco sales. Though smoking has decreased here, that is mostly not the case in other countries, where we export our tobacco products.
28% of all traffic deaths are caused by alcohol-impaired drivers and 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes. And rather than making alcohol more difficult to abuse, we continue to make $90 billion each year on their sales (alcohol consumption and sales have sky-rocketed during this crisis).
I am not attempting to lessen the horror of people dying from this current pandemic, but we need to understand that we should not allow ourselves to fall into depression about it, but should put it into statistical context.
Let’s continue to act safely and obey all governmental restrictions including staying at home, social distancing, and wearing face masks. But let’s keep our faith in God. Let’s keep a positive attitude. Let’s continue to thank God for all that He has done, is doing, and is going to do. Bless His Holy Name and may His blessing abound on you and yours.