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  1.  Theological reflection on fear in a pandemic time    


    Discuss the  Theological reflection on fear in a pandemic time    


Subject Religion Pages 7 Style APA




                Christians should no longer fear death since they put their trust in Christ. Although people believe that fear can keep them safe amidst a pandemic, fear is not advisable since it keeps one secluded and controlling. The year 2020 has been one of the pandemic times which have exposed Christians to environment of temptations and fear due to the high rate of the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease. The fear of contracting the virus and even death from it has kept people from trying new things (Martin, 2020). This has also created irrational fears as a result of the terrifying experience experienced by those who have tested positive for the virus. The focus of this chapter is to provide a theological reflection on fear in a pandemic time with a primary focus being on the Coronavirus pandemic time.

Theological Reflection

                The books of Psalms has played an effective role in guiding Christians on how to overcome fears experienced during difficult times such as during the pandemic times (Masenya (ngwan’a Mphahlele) and Mtshiselwa, 2016). According to Psalms chapter 34 verse 4, it is evident that the Lord delivers Christians from fear. This is reflected in the statement “sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:4). From this verse, it is evident that Christians should always seek the counsel of the Lord when facing fears such as during the pandemic times. When Christians put their trust in the Lord, it is less likely that they will allow fear to control them (Morris-Chapman, 2019).

                Other than showing fear during the time of the Coronavirus pandemic, Christians are advised to show their unwavering faith in Christ and his ability to liberate his people. According to the Anglican Alliance (2020), every section of the communion is currently responding to some level of the Coronavirus pandemic. Some of the regions across the globe have been dealing with the situation longer than the others which suggests that other should learn from their actions and efforts associated with how they build hope and their sense of community. Other than having fear, Christians are guided to recognise themselves as the Body of Christ. The primary focus is to support each other and reflect on God’s concern for all especially those considered the most vulnerable.

                The government in different parts of the globe has issued directives focused on curbing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic which has also encouraged more fear among the people. Other than showing fear amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, The Church of England has responded to the government’s advice by putting on hold the public worship to ensure that social distancing is maintained to prevent the spread of the virus (Anglican Alliance, 2020). Such efforts by the government continued to inflict fear among the people who turned to the church for hope amidst the pandemic. However, different church leaders undertook the initiative to communicate a message of hope to the people. For instance, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York indicated that “Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day” (Anglican Alliance, 2020, para. 2). In this statement, the archbishop further encouraged the members of the church to derive their hope from praise and prayers as well as by their love for Christ and hope for the gospel. In this case, the Christians will have unwavering faith that they will be able to overcome the isolation and fear which is spread across the world during the times of the Coronavirus outbreak.

                The church leaders have also undertaken the initiative of reminding the people that they church and the community has faced different times in the past. However, the church and the people have always been effective in overcoming the associated challenges associated with the difficult moments. Similarly, Christians are advised to face the current pandemic time with hope other than fear. Moreover, the people are focused to encourage each other and learn from those from the risky communities about how to overcome fear and focus on the positive outlook. Evidently, the Bible guides that God never forsakes his people during the difficult times. This statement in reflected in the book of Romans Chapter 8 verse 39 where it is stated, “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

                The church has an effective role to play in assisting people to overcome the fear associated with the Coronavirus pandemic time. The Anglican Alliance (2020) shows that the church has three basic roles, which it can consider in providing people with, hope while promoting resilience and preparedness. For instance, the church, through its leaders can provide hope to the people by reminding them about the importance of praise and prayer as an effective means of combating fear. Moreover, the church has a duty of offering people with an encouragement based on the experiences of the people in the bible (August and Müller, 2011). Additionally, the church has the responsibility of assisting the people in overcoming their fear by ensuring that they keep worshiping with the wider community through other techniques such as social media platforms and messaging. In addition, it is the duty of the church to show the compassion of God in caring for the affected communities and those living in fear to ensure that they embrace hope that the situation is not permanent but one that they can easily overcome (Boucher, 2020)

                The book of Psalms shows that people have overcome different types of fears in the people. Drawing from Psalms Chapter 31 Verse 13, it is evident that terror was a common occurrence originating from different sides. Amidst crisis times, Christians find it easy to relate with the psalmist. The novel Coronavirus situation has recreated the scenario evident in Psalms 31: 13 as terror about the spread of the disease is experienced from both sides. The high infection rates associated with the virus has created an environment of fear as people dread interacting even with their closest friends. However, the book of Psalms guides that people can easily overcome the fear of the disease by trusting in the Lord who has the ability of delivering people from all the tranquilities and challenges of the world (Schilling, Gamble and Gamble, 2020).

                The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic forced people to change their way of living as most communities showed their fear of contracting the virus. Evidently, the virus is considered as the enemy which forced people from different geographic locations to combine their efforts and resources with an aim of fighting the virus. Evidently, having knowledge of the enemy is an important step that one should consider towards fighting it and emerging as victorious. According to Schilling, Gamble and Gamble (2020), having knowledge of the enemy and one’s stand as a Christian exposes an individual to an environment where he/she can respond appropriately and intelligently to the difficulties and challenges associated with the pandemic, including fear.

                Martin (2020) guides that Christians have the responsibility of overcoming the fear associated with the pandemic. Evidently, this can be achieved by having unwavering faith in Christ and his ability to deliver people in times of difficulty. The coronavirus crisis raises serious ethical, medical and logistical questions. Moreover, the situation also raises further question for the people of faith. However, to overcome the fear, Christians should consider several guidance. For instance, it is their duty to resist panic despite the fact that the situation directly causes fear among the people. Resisting panic is recommended as the Bible guides that fear and panic is not from God (Proverbs 12:25). On the contrary, Christians should embrace hope and calm as these features are from the Lord. By resisting panic, the people of faith can easily respond to the crisis in a deliberate and serious manner while ensuring that their inner sense of hope and calm is observed (Martin, 2020). Moreover, Philippians 4: 6-7 guides Christians that “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). In this case, Christians are discouraged from showing their fear of the uncertainty posed by the Coronavirus pandemic and instead required to turn to Christ through prayer and petition to overcome the difficult times.

                Considering the sentiments of the Jesuits’ founder, St. Ignatius Loyola, two forces drives the lives of Christians. The forces include one that draws people away from God (also considered as evil spirit) and those which bring people closer to God. The evil spirit is known to cause anxiety and fear thus setting up obstacles for the people. In this way, the evil spirit unsettles the people by providing them with false reasoning which further inhibits their progress (Moore, 2020). Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic times, different people have established theories focused on increasing fear among the people by creating rumours that contradict what medical experts tell the people hence creating fear. Christians are discouraged from telling lies with an aim of causing fear among the members of the community (Martin, 2020). Arguably, panic is considered as a form of evil spirit created with an aim of frightening and confusing the people. The outcome includes the fact that the situation pulls people away from God.

                Even as people fear contracting the virus, they are encouraged to avoid demonizing others or the disease. Notably, most of the people who have recovered from the disease face stigmatization as they go back to the community after recovering. Christians are guided to resist the temptation of demonizing the condition as this increases the stress and the fear exhibited by the people during the pandemic period. Covid-19 should not be considered as a foreign or the Chinese disease and neither is it anyone’s fault. Moreover, the people who are infected by the virus should not be blamed. Evidently, when Jesus was asked about the blind man and his sins, Jesus responded that no one sinned (John 9:2). Therefore, the coronavirus illness should not be considered as a punishment. Therefore, Christians should not hate or demonize it as it only creates a situation whereby the affected persons live in fear of ridicule and judgement (Mligo, 2014).

                The coronavirus pandemic has resulted to the cancellation of various activities such as international travel. However, Christians should be aware of the fact that love is one of the factors which has not been cancelled during the pandemic time. Therefore, Christians should undertake the initiative of encouraging others to overcome the fear associated with the coronavirus pandemic. One of the ways of achieving this functionality is by leading through example. Caring for the sick is one of the practical activities which the Christians can consider to encourage others to overcome the fear of the disease. Evidently, taking part in activities which involves helping the affected persons such as the isolated, the elderly and the poor is one of the effective measures which can be undertaken by the Christians (Tabb, 2020). However, it is advisable that the Christians should take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting the illness or spreading it to others in the community. Arguably, it is the fundamental duty of the Christians to help others and to guide them in overcoming their fear to move closer to God. Jesus encourages this action through the Bible when he stated, “I was sick, and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25).




Anglican Alliance, 2020, “Faith in a time of COVID-19 (Coronavirus),”Available at https://anglicanalliance.org/faith-in-a-time-of-covid-19-coronavirus/

August, K. and Müller, J., C. 2011, “HIV and/or AIDS, migrant labour and the experience of God: A practical theological postfoundationalist approach”, Hervormde Teologiese Studies, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. B1-B6.

Boucher, G. 2020, “Revolutionary Hope in Dark Times: Zizek on Faith in the Future”, Religions, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 243.

Martin, J. 2020, “Faith in the time of Coronavirus, “America Magazine, Available at https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/13/faith-time-coronavirus

Masenya (ngwan’a Mphahlele), M. & Mtshiselwa, V.N. 2016, “Dangling between death and hope: An HIV and AIDS gender-sensitive re-reading of Psalm 6”, Verbum et Ecclesia, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 1-8.

Mligo, E.S. 2014, “Jesus Christ, a compassionate companion: Christological reflections in the time of the HIV/AIDS pandemic”, Acta Theologica, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 60-76.

Moore, S.D. 2020, “Beastly Boasts and Apocalyptic Affects: Reading Revelation in a Time of Trump and a Time of Plague”, Religions, vol. 11, no. 7, pp. 346.

Morris-Chapman, D. 2019, “An Ambazonian theology? A theological approach to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon”, Hervormde Teologiese Studies, vol. 75, no. 4.

Schilling, M., Gamble, J. and Gamble, N. 2020, “Fear not, sneer not: A healthy Christian response to COVID-19,” ABC Net, Available at https://www.abc.net.au/religion/coronavirus-a-healthy-christian-response-to-covid-19/12063556

Tabb, B. 2020, “Theological Reflections on the Pandemic,” The Gospel Coalition, Available at https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/theological-reflections-pandemic/


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