On plagues, judgement, and the Book of Revelation

Mar 30, 2020 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

Is God using the Covid-19 virus and the ensuing crisis to punish people and bring them to repentance? Two voices I have read recently are quite clear that the answer is ‘Yes’.

The first comes from Adam Young, writing on the Church Society blog. He begins with an event cited to prove that God does not exercise meticulous control over disastrous events:

Earlier this year the house of American politician Tony Perkins was destroyed in a flood. This would be hardly worthy of hitting the news, were it not for the fact that he had previously said that natural disasters were God’s judgement on America for supporting same sex marriage. Newspapers love a good bit of irony. It does rather beg the question though—was he right? As Anglicans how should we view the sovereignty of God in relation to weather, famine, disease, or plagues?

Young then reviews some of the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer, petitioning God in time of disaster, and notes the way that these prayers, reflecting on biblical episodes, link the disasters with sin, judgment and punishment.

Nearly every one of these ten prayers links the natural disaster in view to sin and rightly-deserved judgement. These natural disasters are something that “we for our iniquities have worthily deserved” and that “we do most justly suffer for our iniquity.” They are instruments of a God of “wrath” through which we are “for our sins punished” and “justly humbled.”

Young moves quite quickly on to summarise a position known as ‘meticulous providence’ in which the world is understood to be under the complete control and sovereignty of God.

Read here


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