AIG Reveals the Benefits of the Coronavirus

Each of the creationist outfits we follow has a different approach to the coronavirus problem. Today we’ll look at the reaction from Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry:of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

It’s titled COVID-19 and God, written by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, a creationist gynecologist. This is AIG’s bio page for her. She retired from gynecology in 1995 to devote her time to homeschooling her three children — and of course she writes for AIG. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Suffering often highlights the most important things. So also, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and subsequent government shutdown measures have helped us focus on more consequential matters: basic necessities, family, and even God. How should we think about COVID-19 and God? [We don’t know. Tell us, Elizabeth!] Should anything about the COVID-19 pandemic make us have doubts about God? [Gasp!] His existence? His goodness? His plans for humanity?

We need answers, and we’ve come to the right place. Elizabeth says:

While the wisdom of scientists and doctors must, of necessity, change as new information is discovered, God gave us his unchanging word in the Bible. [Unchanging!] There, we have the record of God’s creation of a perfectly good world in which there was neither disease nor death. All the microorganisms in that perfect world would have functioned in the ways God originally created them. Humans could have enjoyed the world that God said was good forever, but our first parents instead rebelled against the Creator, having been first warned that the price of rebellion was death.

Adam & Eve really messed things up. Elizabeth tells us:

In the roughly 6,000 years since that time [Hee hee!], death and suffering have plagued our world, often literally. One of the ways this has happened is through the effects of viral illnesses and other infectious diseases. Things have indeed gone horribly wrong. As we live out our lives in this sin-cursed world, we know that every one of us is already living under the sentence of death from the moment our lives begin. While we continue living and loving, caring for each other, discovering the secrets of science, creating things that improve the world, and enjoying the many blessings, activities, and relationships open to us, we all know that our days are limited.

Ooooooooooooh! What can be done about it? She continues:

Death entered the world because of mankind’s sin. God, in his perfect justice, could not just change the rules once man rebelled. [He couldn’t?] Yet God in his mercy did create hope beyond death (Romans 5:19). God, in his grace, did provide a way to restore the broken relationships between sinful man and holy God, a way to demonstrate his love for every person.

Elizabeth then gives us a tale from the bible:

How did Jesus deal with the problem of suffering in his day? During his earthly years, Jesus was once asked by his disciples why a particular man had been born blind. Jesus acknowledged that there are lots of reasons people suffer, avoiding his disciples’ simplistic suggestions. But then Jesus told them that this particular man’s affliction would end up bringing glory to God, and he miraculously healed him.

[…]

Think about the healed man. Suffering was the way to bring him back to God. He was born blind but came to see his trial as a way to bring God glory in his life. When he encountered Jesus and was healed by him, he believed in him as his Savior through his trial. The man’s pain and suffering turned into joy at his healing and salvation.

Then she explains the relevancy of that tale to what’s happening today:

In the same way, this COVID-19 trial can become a way that many may be healed spiritually through Jesus. This trial of a global pandemic, social distancing, empty grocery shelves, and economic hardship can highlight one of the most important things: our spiritual need. And strangely, that may be the thing that we need the most.

Wow — what you’re going through is what you need the most! She explains why:

Pain gets our attention, prompting us to ask where it came from an what we can do to protect those we love. Priorities come into sharp focus and scream to be reevaluated when the things we value most are threatened. Pandemic even terrifies many into considering what awaits when we leave this world. Let’s be ready with the answers people need.

Isn’t that wonderful? Pain and terror are good for you! The end of Elizabeth’s article tells you what to do:

In this time of crisis, let us each do our part to share the love of Jesus Christ by helping our neighbors when we can and cheerfully cooperating with whatever measures are necessary to stem the spread of the disease. Let us also remember to live fearlessly, freely sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the true hope for every person in this world and the next.

So there you are, dear reader. Now you know that the coronavirus is your friend. Go forth and spread the word.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “AIG Reveals the Benefits of the Coronavirus

  1. Christine Marie Janis

    ‘Go forth and spread the word.’

    From a distance of at least 6 feet.

  2. and be sure to spread all those wonderful viruses so people get to see their favorite god sooner.

  3. Coronavirus because man’s sinfulness. This, surely, is the ultimate in blame-the-victim

  4. Desnes Diev

    @Paul Braterman: “Jesus can heal blindness but will do nothing for the covid-19 (and his death didn’t really clean the world from sin)” looks like an absolve-the-culprit.

  5. Michael Fugate

    Human sin is more powerful than an all powerful God? How does that work? Nothing God has ever done to rid the world of sin has panned out.

  6. Overall this sounds like a rather depressing religious article.

  7. “In the roughly 6,000 years since that time, death and suffering have plagued our world, often literally.” Does that mean sometimes figuratively? I’m confused.

  8. @Michael Fugate
    I am reading “Pardise Lost”, and something like yor thught occurred to me.
    It struck me that Milton’s Satan was not very clever. Satan surely knew that armed war with the goal of winning Heaven against God was doomed to failure. A really clever Satan would have created life on evolutinary principles on an exoplanet. But Satan would not have given orders to the intelligent life form. He’d just let them be. And then he would just sit back and be smug when he didn’t have to repeatedly intervene when they didn’t do things that he didn’t like.
    Fortunately, “Paradise Lost” is not the Bible.

  9. “God gave us his unchanging word in the Bible”
    Well, it would have been nice if Lizzy’s god had provided an unchanged remedy against the corona-virus. It would even had convinced me, staunch unbeliever. But alas, no dice. Apparently people dying from corona is part of the plan Lizzy’s god concocted.

    “How did Jesus deal with the problem of suffering in his day?”
    I’m pretty sure he wasn’t lying on the intensive care with a machine for artificial respiration.

    “Humans could have enjoyed the world that God said was good forever”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    Adam and Eve only started to procreate after they got kicked out of that world. Had they been obedient I would not have born in the first place to enjoy or suffer anything.

    “we know that every one of us is already living under the sentence of death from the moment our lives begin”
    Thanks for this good news, Lizzy. The real horror would have been to endure your stupidities for eternity.

    “God, in his perfect justice, could not just change the rules once man rebelled.”
    Great. So I can expect that Lizzy’s god, in his perfect justice, will grant me my wish when I die: ashes to ashes, dust to dust – my soul becoming non-existent again, just like before I was conceived. Because no, I don’t desire to restore said broken relationship nor I deserve eternal punishment. Such a relief and such a stimulus to remain an unbeliever.
    Oh? Lizzy says this won’t happen? Does she know better how her god will decide than this god himself?! Is she …. trying to limit his options??!!

    “empty grocery shelves”
    Ah, that particular crisis only lasted two days in The Netherlands. Because something materialist. It’s called logistics. You know, stocks, distribution centers, trucks delivering goods etc.

    “our spiritual need”
    See, that’s why I call myself incurable. When I’m hungry due to empty grocery shelves my spiritual need is the last thing I care about.

    “Pandemic even terrifies many into considering what awaits when we leave this world.”
    See above. I’m not terrified at all. The process of dying scares me though.

  10. @TomS: “he would just sit back”
    And now and then stirring up conflicts, just for fun.

  11. So children are dying or losing their parents now because Adam and Eve ate fruit 6,000 years ago? And Mitchell calls this “God’s perfect justice?” Sounds like perfect denial to me.

  12. We see again the picture creationists like to paint:
    “… the wisdom of scientists … must change …”, in contrast to the wisdom of creationists, which stands there rock-solid and unchanging.

  13. chris schilling

    “Yet God in his mercy did create hope beyond death (Romans 5:19).”

    As a tribute to Asterix the Gaul illustrator Albert Uderzo, who died on Tuesday, I tap my head and quote Obelix: “These Romans are crazy.”

  14. Dave Luckett

    Elizabeth hews to the standard Christian line. Our ultimate parents sinned, which transmits to us. We sin, too, anyway. We can only gain forgiveness for our sin by repentence; but repentence is not enough. Only the death of Jesus Christ – his suffering and sacrifice – can expiate our sin. Sin-stained as we all are, we are unacceptable to God without that sacrifice.

    It’s only when you ask why that is, that the entire narrative comes apart. God cannot forgive without a perfect blood sacrifice. Why is that? Who made that rule?

    But God demands that we forgive one another. He demands it with no conditions. We must forgive over and over – seventy times seven, said Jesus.

    If it is good for us to forgive without conditions, why is it not good for God to do it? What is it about an agonised and terrible death that allows God to forgive? What does it say about God that He requires that? What does it say about you, if you accept that story?

    And if you don’t accept it? Why, then, no forgiveness. And here’s the thing: for humans to refuse to forgive often has consequences only for the refuser. It generates in them a sort of curdled resentment that can only harm them. But for God not to forgive means infinite torment in Hell forever for the unforgiven. Again, what does this story say about this God you worship? What does believing this story and worshiping this God say about you?

    The thing is, Elizabeth is repeating the standard doctrines of mainstream Christianity here. She’s some kind of evangelical Come-Lord-Jesus holy roller freak, literal Genesis, home-schooled kids and all. But every Protestant, every Catholic, every Orthodox Christian, the whole shooting match, is supposed to believe that same thing: Jesus dead on the Cross, or it’s hell for everyone. It’s hell for most anyway.

    I said “supposed to believe”, because a lot of them don’t actually believe it. Not really. The blatant dissonance is too much. The various Churches not on the fundamentalist fringe have been soft-pedalling it for centuries now, for just that reason: make too much of it, push it into people’s faces, and they leave, and take their offerings with them. Because they can’t believe it.

    So, if it comes right down to it, I suppose that Elizabeth is doing us atheists, agnostics, humanists and the generally irreligious a favour. It’s conceivable that even in AiG’s audience there might be someone who reads her words and thinks, “Hey, just a moment here…”

    Good enough for me. Well, it would have to be good enough, anyhow. But it really is. If we’re to have a marketplace of ideas, let’s make sure the goods are right out there on display, eh?

    Oh, and one more thing about Elizabeth. She’s a qualified gynecologist, we’re told, but she made the decision to leave her profession to home-school her children. That is, she thinks full-time religious indoctrination of her children is more important than healing the sick.

    Don’t talk to me about morality, lady. I might puke.

  15. @Dave Luckett
    By that explanation of gods’ actions, how do we account for our knowledge?
    There is a Theist Argument Against Supernaturalism.

  16. Elizabeth has moronavirus.

  17. Dave Luckett

    @TomS: Do you mean, how did we come to know that God’s actions are to be explained in that way? Good question. The only answer seems to be divine revelation, sometime after the life of Jesus. The apostles apparently gradually converged on a sense that Jesus had bought us with His death, just as slaves were bought. That sense appears in a number of places in the various epistles and even in Revelation, describing the elect. Who did Jesus buy us from? The obvious answer was given by Origen: we are the playthings of Satan. Jesus paid the Devil for us, with His life. The theological maunderings only get stranger from then on out. For example, why did Jesus, who is God, have to make a bargain with Satan? A bargain, yet?

    No, no, that can’t be right, said later theologians. The sense of purchase – for that’s what the Greek literally means – must be figurative. Sure. Only what exactly does the figure mean?

    As I said, most Christians don’t bother their heads with trying to explain the central doctrine of their faith. Anyway, as with other issues, when pressed, the Church can and does simply retreat into calling it a mystery.

    Obviously there is a theist argument against supernaturalism, arising from omnipotence. If God can do anything, then He can cause natural events to conform to His will. Given that, why would He have need of miracles?

  18. @Dave Luckett
    Of course, in answer to any “why” question, a theist can always respond that “we don’t know the ways of the Lord.”
    But when the theist is arguing that X is a proof of divine action, it is fair to point out the “why” gap in the argument.

  19. Eddie Janssen

    This looks like a severe case of Stockholm syndrome to me.

  20. Clarification: I am not arguing against any theology, including, in general, reasons for belief. What I am talking about is when theology serves as an argument against well-established scientific reality; pointing out when and if the theological argument is flawed.

  21. Jeff Holm:
    ‘“In the roughly 6,000 years since that time, death and suffering have plagued our world, often literally.” Does that mean sometimes figuratively? I’m confused.’

    To be fair to her, she simply means that some of the death and suffering comes from literal plagues, like the Black Death.