swine-fluSwine flu has claimed the lives of a number of people in multiple countries and seems to be spreading around the globe as of today.

As this is being written the World Health Organization has raised the threat level regarding Swine Flu to 4 out of a possible 5.  European Union Ministers are holding emergency talks… Vice President Biden warns to avoid planes, trains, and classrooms… at least 12 states have reported cases of the illness as have a number of countries… Mexico has closed the government and suggests businesses close.  In short… this may already be serious and we don’t know it yet.  Only time will tell.

Note: Click here as more information suggests this strain as relatively mild.

But Just For A Moment, Let’s Consider A Worse Case Scenario.  Swine flu spreads… thousands upon thousands become sick with many dying all across the globe.  Were that to happen, God forbid, what should Christians do?  What is the Christian response?

Fortunately we have a model where this very thing has taken place in the past.  Consider the following… 

   Examples abound of the early church caring for the sick as they traveled across the known world – both in miraculous healings and the more ‘mundane’ areas of care for the chronically ill and dying. For example, during the bubonic plague epidemic of AD 256 in Alexandria, while the rest of the city fled the Christians stayed behind to care for the sick and dying, many of them paying the cost for their compassion with their own lives. (Davey, T F {1985} Introduction to ‘Heralds of Health’, Edited by Stanley G Browne, pp 1 – 11. CMF/IVP ISBN 0-906747-17-1)

“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jesus Christ).

How was it Christians in Alexandria could stay and help those who dying… possibly to their own demise?  It was because they had been transformed by Jesus.  They didn’t fear death.  They put others before themselves.  They were willing to sacrifice themselves so that God would be glorified.  After all… it is now 1753 years later and we’re amazed people would do such a thing.

I do believe and affirm that Christians should take all precautions to prevent the spread of disease as our health professionals warn.  I’m not advocating foolish and rash actions that lack wisdom.  However, there is a higher principal in mind.

   Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 

Were YOUR child, spouse, family member of friend get swine flu… and be close to the point of death… would you abandon them?  Or would you comfort them as they are dying with all possible precautions taken?

Were a lost person you’ve been witnessing to for years to get swine flu and be close to the point of death… would you refuse to go to them and show them the love of Christ for fear of catching a disease that can only kill your body but not your soul… knowing their eternal soul is hanging in the balance?  Or would you don a mask & gloves & clothes to protect yourself as best you can, go to them, and share the love of Christ who DID die for them?

Dr. Al Mohler gives a cogent thoughtful response here.

Just thoughts to consider.  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love… power… and sound mind!