Coronavirus — ICR Looks on the Bright Side

Does our title intrigue you? Then you’ll want to look at the latest from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their title is Three Positives from COVID-19.

It was written by one of ICR’s creation scientists with the splendidly biblical name of Sarah St. John. We think this is her first post for ICR. At the end of her article we’re told: “Sarah St. John is Accounts Receivable at the Institute for Creation Research.” Most impressive! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is no surprise to God. God knew about this pandemic before the dawn of His creation. [What?] Some people may question why God allows such suffering, but let’s not forget that pandemics are just another symptom of a greater disease: sin.

Sin was foreseen before creation began? Think about that, dear reader. Anyway, Sarah says:

Pandemics such as these are ultimately a result of living in a sin-cursed world after the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. [It was inevitable!] While many of us may be distressed and frightened during this season, what if we refocused instead on the positives that we might otherwise overlook?

Great idea! Sarah tells us about the positives:

First, as the virus spreads, the gospel is also spreading. [That’s wonderful!] Many, if not all, churches have had to close their doors due to shelter-in-place orders. But, as the saying goes: When God closes a door, He opens a window. In this instance, a browser window. Many churches are turning to services online, including my own church. I have enjoyed watching my Facebook feed fill with my friends’ various online church services each Sunday. In addition, these online services are also filling the Facebook feeds of non-Christians. These services are being broadcasted around the globe. [Wow!] Yes, the coronavirus is spreading. But, as a result, so is the gospel, and during a season when some might be more receptive to the gospel than ever.

That’s only the first benefit from the coronavirus. There are still two more! Sarah continues:

Second, individuals are spending more time with their families than they might have in years. Many schools are closed, and many parents are working from home, while others are homeschooling their children. This extra family time is allowing for more face-to-face conversations, contributing to creativity to combat cabin fever, and encouraging us to enjoy creation as we spend more time outdoors together.

That’s terrific! And there’s still one more to go. Here it is:

Which leads me to my final point. Third, for the first time in a long time, instead of more screen time, children are becoming bored with being cooped up inside and are playing outside more than customary. Adults and children alike are going for walks and exercising outdoors. More people are spending time in God’s creation, and perhaps seeing it with undistracted eyes, and therefore appreciating it now more than ever.

Amazing, isn’t it? The virus is punishment for sin, but ICR can still find good in it. What great folks they are! Sarah finishes with this:

While a pandemic is never a good situation, we’ve seen it happen time and time again that God has a way of creating good out of bad. [Scripture quote.] In the midst of suffering, let’s remember the God who entered into suffering Himself, and can bring good out of any evil.

Very inspirational. Now, dear reader, get out there and embrace the situation — because it’s good!

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

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26 responses to “Coronavirus — ICR Looks on the Bright Side

  1. siluriantrilobite

    Sarah’s essay certainly made me say “oh, god!”.

    >

  2. I suppose Sarah thinks that when SARS-Cov-2 kills a Christian, the virus particles want to send them to meet her favorite god (blessed be his/her/its name) in her imaginary heaven.

  3. Michael Fugate

    “It’s all fun and games until somebody dies.”
    Tom Hobbs

  4. See
    Supralapsarianism

  5. They’re amateurs compared with the Reverend MacColl, Free Presbyterian
    minister for Dingwall and Beauly, in Ross Shire, who said: ‘Sooner or later, and by one means or another, the Lord will pour out His anger on nations that have despised and rejected His salvation. At the time of writing, there is deepening concern about the new coronavirus, which may develop into a worldwide pandemic and which may prove fatal to very large numbers of those who contract it. Whether this particular disease will be used by the Lord to bring nations low or not, the eventual outpouring of His judgements upon the wicked is not in doubt.

    “Its probable origin in the transfer of microscopic germs from an animal to a human, combined with its hidden, relentless progress in spite of all the advances in modern medicine, should make us pause to see the higher hand of the Lord ordering this solemn providence for His own purposes.

    “It would be wonderful if, in the midst of such deserved judgement, many would be turned to righteousness at this time.”

    If that’s righteousness, I won’t be turning to it any time soon

  6. From TheGuardian.com
    Churchgoers all over world ignore physical distancing advice
    Services from Moscow to Rio go ahead as clerics disregard coronavirus risk

  7. Michael Fugate

    Jesus spent 40 days by himself.
    There is a long tradition in many religions including Christianity – the idea that everyone must attend daily or weekly services is not an absolute requirement. What’s wrong with prayer?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermit

  8. Just remember that the Fall of Man was part of the Devine Plan (design).
    What if God had prevented Satan from taking the form of the talking serpent and tempting Eve? Would Eve have eventually taken a bite, anyway?

  9. Michael Fugate

    And why is God powerless against human sin? Is it God’s Kryptonite? God’s Achilles’ heel?

  10. @Michael Fugate
    I just finished reading Paradise Lost, and it looks like Satan made a successful move against God. Satan couldn’t win by force, but he did get God to respond in a major way – the Son of God had to become a sacrifice.
    But I still think that Satan, as an intelligent designer, could have designed a competing form of intelligent life, but without any order to obey their maker. That creature would not sin, and their innocence would be a victory for Satan.
    But that is an answer to Paradise Lost, not the Bible.

  11. “Paradise Lost, not the Bible”; @TomS, my friend the rev Michael Roberts complains that a lot of people confuse the two

  12. docbill1351

    “Will no one rid me of this turbulent death cult?”

  13. Richard Staller

    With gods like this who needs enemies?

  14. Michael Fugate

    Maybe Sarah was channeling “The Life of Brian”
    [Intro]
    But Brian, you know what they say?

    Some things in life are bad

    They can really make you mad

    Other things just make you swear and curse
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle

    Don’t grumble, give a whistle

    And this’ll help things turn out for the best
    And…

    [Chorus]
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle)
    Always look on the light side of life
    (Whistle)

    [Verse 1]
    If life seems jolly rotten

    There’s something you’ve forgotten

    And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
    When you’re feeling in the dumps

    Don’t be silly, chumps

    Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing
    And…

    [Chorus]
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle) (Come on!)
    Always look on the right side of life
    (Whistle)

    [Verse 2]
    For life is quite absurd

    And death’s the final word
    You must always face the curtain with a bow

    Forget about your sin

    Give the audience a grin

    Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow

    [Chorus]
    So always look on the bright side of death
    (Whistle)
    A-Just before you draw your terminal breath
    (Whistle)

    [Verse 3]
    Life’s a piece of sh*t (Oooh)

    When you look at it
    Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true (Oooh)
    You’ll see it’s all a show (Oooh)

    Keep ’em laughin’ as you go
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you (Oooh)
    And…

    [Chorus]
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle)
    Always look on the right side of life
    (Whistle) (C’mon Brian, cheer up!)

    [Outro]
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle)
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle)
    (Worse things happen at sea, you know?)
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle) (What have you got to lose?
    You know, you come from nothing
    You’re going back to nothing
    What have you lost? Nothing!)
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Whistle)
    (Nothing will come from nothing
    You know what they say?)
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Cheer up, ya old bugger
    C’mon, give us a grin!
    
There ya’ll, see?) (Whistle)
    (It’s the end of the film

    Incidentally, this record is available in the foyer)
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (Some of us got to live as well, you know?) (Whistle)
    (Who do you think plays all this rubbish?)
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (They’ll never make that money back, you know?
I told them, I said to ’em, said they’ll never make that money back) (Whistle)
    Always look on the bright side of life

  15. Our Curmudgeon says Sarah St Johns name is splendidly biblical, a wonderful description indeed. I was wondering about this particular revelation Sarah made.”Pandemics such as these are ultimately a result of living in a sin-cursed world after the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden”. Up till now, I thought the pandemic is caused by the spread of the novel Corona Virus 19.
    Does this mean ICR is anti vaccine ? And if so, is it just a covid 19 vaccine ?
    Or are we rolling out all types of vaccinations ? Just wondering ..

  16. OMG Paul. My family is from Beauty,

  17. spell checked twice !…sigh

  18. @Michael Fugate
    I remember a local radio station had a daily item to cheer you up. They introduced it by playing that chorus:
    Always look on the bright side of life
    (whistle)
    Someone must have pointed out to them the irony.

  19. Michael Fugate

    I like how the Free Presbyterian doesn’t want me to use the internet on Sunday – what a load fun the boys are.
    https://www.fpchurch.org.uk/we-are-closed-for-the-sabbath/

  20. Dave Luckett

    Paul Braterman: Free Presbyterian, eh? Means “somewhat to the right of John Calvin”. Well, what’s his theology? Pretty much what you’d think: horrible, but if he’s bothered about coronavirus, not horrible enough.

    “The wages of sin is death”. We all sin; we must all die. SInce death is invariable, a pandemic or two is neither here nor there. It’s no more than a means, unexceptional and unremarkable. Therefore, the correct position on coronavirus is “So what?” For the Rev to be calling attention to a mere plague is to imply that there is something out of the ordinary about God’s justice in this case. No such thing. We’re all going to die. News at eleven.

    The only question that should concern us is our Judgement before God, whether we are quick or dead when it comes. And the great benefit of predestination is that even that concern is bootless. There’s nothing you can do, no prayer you can pray, no charity you can practice, no worship, no sacrifice, no good you can do, nothing. If you’re not among the Elect, it’s hellfire for you. God is sovereign, and timeless. Put them together and your destination was decided at the beginning of the Universe. That’s it. Period.

    Now, if you believe that guff, I suppose the same argument applies to it as applies to some aspects of the theory of evolution. We might deplore the necessary death and apparently mindless cruelty of it; we might find repugnant the ideas behind it. Nevertheless, this is the way things are, and we just have to suck it up.

    But the day I learned that some loon at the end of the Middle Ages actually came up with that idea and that some people actually believe it to this day, was the day I decided I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with anyone who could possibly think such a thing, nor with any assembly that could give houseroom to them, or it.

  21. Surely I am not the first person to think about the consequences of theodicy when it is applied to the reliability of the Bible. If it’s ok for God to kill, steal, torture, why not be an unreliable witness?
    After all, most people think that it’s ok to lie to someone who is seeking their
    Next murder victim. And we poor descendants of Adam being worse than murderers, what right to we have to expect the truth, only the truth, and all the truth?

  22. @TomS: “What if God had prevented Satan from …..”
    @MichaelF: “And why is God powerless against human sin?”

    Free will.
    Is apparently the greater good that more than compensates for this evil.
    Yup, suddenly the christian god has become a utilitarian.

  23. Dave Luckett

    The other possible line is to wonder what effects it might have on God, to create other entities in the Universe who also have free will. Setting aside the argument that “free will” is an illusion, could it be that it produces a Universe in which every interaction of every particle is not subject to a single timeless Will, and is hence not preordained from the very beginning?

    Well, even I can see that a Universe that lacks any agent that can change anything, would be infinitely tedious. Perhaps that provides a counterargument to predestination: God created the Universe and human free will so that it was possible to change, and the change can include even our own destiny. But I don’t think it’s worth bothering with. That’s far too far out on a very breezy theological limb. It’s enough for me that I recognise predestination as a monstrosity.

  24. @DaveL: “That’s far too far out on a very breezy theological limb.”
    Yes. I merely wanted to point out another popular bit of incoherence.

  25. Michael Fugate:
    The London police have lately been broadcasting that song over loudspeakers.
    Typically British!

  26. It is delightful, is it not, that Sarah the ICR Accountant can argue creationism as well as any ICR “scientist.” She deserves a pay raise!