Sam Caldwell, May 2020
1) I acknowledge that all news sources are biased
Conservative and liberal news sources both alike function on a mixture of common grace and sinful distortion.
2) On the whole, basic facts about reality can be discerned by comparing various and differing news sources
Events that are similarly reported by various and differing news sources can be assumed to be basically true. For example, read the same story reported by 3 liberal and 3 conservative news sources, and you should be able to come to some reasonable conclusion about the facts – through comparing and contrasting. (Note that this is a similar method the Bereans used in Acts 17 to discern truth.)
From this sort of method for discerning what is happening in the world, I understand COVID-19 to be a reality, and not a hoax or a conspiracy.
3) I believe that COVID-19 is a real pandemic, not a hoax or a conspiracy
I know no way of proving this other than #1 and #2 above. If asked to prove more, I resort to Psalm 131:1 – “I do not concern myself with things that are too high for me.”
I have not encountered anyone who has convincingly proven that this is a hoax or a conspiracy, whereas the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the fact that this is a pandemic. One would need more than a few random statistics and a hunch to prove that this is a hoax.
4) COVID-19 should be seen both as an unprecedented tragic event AND as an event that can in certain instances be blown out of proportion
The best approaches are those in which people are weighing BOTH the tragedies of mass human death AND the economic repercussions of shutting down much of the world’s business.
It is un-Christian to make little of the death and suffering.
It is also un-Christian to make little of the economic devastation that could ensue.
5) Christians should not spend time thinking about conspiracy theories
Read Isaiah 8:12–13 and meditate on it: “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.”
If you are spending time thinking about mass conspiracies, please consider if you are using your time wisely. Since such theories are usually not based in Scriptural truth but in speculation, please consider that you may be scorning the wisdom God has given you by preferring conspiracy theories.
God has given us insight into the spiritual forces at play in the eternal cosmos! And yet we prefer to dabble with conspiracy theories?
Please also consider if such actions exhibit a hatred for the glories of God’s revelation. We scoff at the sufficiency of Scripture when we prefer human speculation to God’s truth – for God’s truth is all we need to cut to the heart, to pierce through evil, and to separate truth from falsehood.
Do we prefer human theories to God’s facts? Do we prefer material speculation to spiritual knowledge?
To put things a bit more starkly: we can do literally nothing with our conspiracy theories. But we can move mountains with our faith.
Which will you choose?