Response to KZNCC Pastoral letter
25th January 2021
Until we acknowledge the power that brought everything that we see into existence and engage theological issues in the light of the doer of the works of God – the Holy Spirit, our Theology remains dry and ineffective and will never cause changes in the world. To think that catastrophes and calamities in this world are always by God, is to deny that God by His grace in Jesus Christ has consummated the salvation of humankind, and that His grace prevails over and against circumstances threatening the human race in the world. Christians should not overlook the fact that the adversary, the devil, is roaring like a lion seeking whom to devour. Whether we want to believe or not , the spirit of antichrist is here, the scriptures say so, deceiving and destroying human life in every way possible even by way of COVID-19, and this spirit of antichrist works in the children of disobedience namely, those who in unbelief objects to and oppose the gospel of Jesus Christ. What is called the “new normal’ is a branded operation of the perpetrators of wickedness propagating evil intentions amongst the nations of the world. It requires the intervention of the Holy Spirit to read the signs of times according to prophetic texts in the scriptures and appropriate the message therein to this pandemic period.
We are in Phase 2 of the pandemic. The report by the South African Team of Scientists gave the awareness of the existence of a Variant which is more dangerous and faster than the former corona virus. It is capable of hiding to escape the diagnosis. This renders the possibility of a vaccine that was made on the basis of the nature of the first virus inaccurate, unsafe and ineffective in as far as its measure to prevent infection is concerned because of the virus/variant’s potential of re-infecting after 90 days of receiving treatment. More so, there is a decline in the infection rate now. The team pointed out their intention to continue research concerning the variant. From America, President Joe Biden has indicated that ‘the worst is still to come’. This statement is not positive to give hope that the vaccine is the answer in an attempt to restore the world’s good standard of health. The question is: ‘Is not rolling the vaccine a gamble with the life’s of people of the earth? Even if we choose to overlook the president’s statement, it is a warning. He has said it because he knows what is going on behind the scene. Watch.
In the context of Lockdown wherein churches are closed, a pastoral letter is expected to exhort the faith community to:
- Pray without ceasing in their house as a family.
- Share the word of God as a family and
- Have the Holy Communion as a family.
- Do their own research….in scriptures and in science.
Vaccines have a history of faults and dangers to the human body. They are unreliable. They can harm the body and/prevent the disease. No guarantee whatsoever. Science is the calculation of the human mind, an intellectual exercise and with whatever tools of expertise, based on experimentation and tests. But it still remains fallible because it is the effort of human beings.
Taking into consideration the second paragraph above, it is in the light of faith in Christ, premature at this stage to encourage people to comply with the call for vaccination. For example, who has so far come with the explanation for the decline of infection to show the urgency of vaccines and how indispensable they are now? If we are made to think that God causes calamities and so is the pandemic, is there anything we can do to outdo what he does except like he said: “if people who are called by my name come to me and humble themselves, I will heal their land”?
Speaking of eschatology, the book of revelation was written by John in detention in he Island of Patmos long ago in the tens AD and we are now in the thousands AD. With all possibility, this period is the future of the message of the book of revelation. If some parts of the message from Revelation is used in paragraph 02 of the Pastoral letter to give hope during this period of the pandemic, how does it become a theological misunderstanding to appropriate Rev 13 to this era since Biblically the spirit of antichrist is here? The antichrist may not be here in person, but manifestations of his spirit are evident to see. It is a lying spirit that instills fear in the hearts of many people through the evil works of perpetrators of wickedness such as Covid 19. You think God is behind Covid 19, with the closure of churches? No, that’s a lie. A wicked man/men is/are behind this pandemic. To think of other people’s findings that reveal truths that expose the dynamics that go with Covid 19 as conspiracies, is also to believe in a lie from the spirit of antichrist. Let our theology contextually draw out meaning from texts and not put meaning into texts to suit what we want to convey to our readers. Every book in the Bible has a message central to it and should not be distorted. A sound doctrine will grace people to make right choices for themselves without a dictator who instills fear in their hearts to force them to accomplish his goal. Human beings have the divine/ God given right to choose, including the right to choose vaccine or No vaccine.
My edition of part of the Pastoral letter.
I have chosen to edit paragraphs 02, 03 and 04 only.
The last sentence: ‘We thank God…’ renders a reading that can create a sense/feeling of guilt with a question: ‘what have we done to deserve this?’ for God’s grace not to protect us like others. I think it is sufficient to give them condolences and so delete that last statement.
I have rephrased the whole paragraph:
Plagues were unleashed as a sign of God’s power when he liberated the children of Israel from the Egyptian bondage. In the book of Matthew 24 there are prophetic signs concerning the end time/last days which can be seen in our days. The book of Daniel and Revelation contain sayings that point to the end time and these sayings help us locate our time within the eschatological world view. The Bible also points out clearly that the spirit of antichrist is here, working in the children of disobedience. Notable enough is the massive persecution of the church in the East, running alongside the pandemic. We may not have entered the great tribulation yet, but as Christians we should have the awareness that this time, being the church era, we are advancing the end time.
Have rephrased the whole paragraph:
The book of Revelation was written more than a thousand years ago. We have definitely begun to live in the future of what its message points to. To question the relevance of the message in revelation 13 is to deny the importance of value God has attached to mankind that he revealed to us the things to come through John. The number 666, the beast from the sea, the beast from the earth, the false prophet are important characters in Revelation 13 and should be seriously taken into consideration because of the role they play regarding the end time. Our perception of Covid 19 pandemic should therefore be in the light of the prophetic scriptures – the eschatological view.