The Chinese Coronavirus – Keeping Joy Instead Of Fear: How should we live during this time of uncertainty? Can we stay faithful and productive when all around us is shaking? Can history help with our perspective? Tune in to hear an encouraging word today, as well as receive some practical tips!
Air Date:Â 03/24/2020
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, the culture, viruses, whatever happens to be in the news is what we’re going to be talking about. We’re going to be looking at it from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And man, do we need all three of those right now as we’re facing this challenge in our country.
We’re here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator. We appreciate you tuning in today. Be sure and visit our websites today for a couple of reasons, wallbuilderslive.com because you need to go back and listen to some of those Good News Fridays and get some pick me ups right now when everybody is trying to depress you.
And then secondly, go to wallbuilders.com because a lot of people are at home right now looking for something to do. A great time to be studying the foundations of America so that we come out of this stronger than we even went into it. We got to restore those foundational principles. So, there’s a lot of great tools you can get right there at wallbuilders.com.
Great Online Resources
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Alright, David, Tim, man, there is so much happening on a daily basis. Seems like the world changes every 24 hours right now. But you know, we often say, we talk about the importance of history and stepping back and looking in the context of the history of the world in order to get some perspective and not think that you know, we’re in such a novel time that nothing like this has ever happened before.
Well, there’s some good things start with. So, let’s start with Bible first. We’re told in the Bible, God has not given us a spirit of fear. So panic needs to go out the door, regardless of what happens, how close this comes to you, how much is around you going on, don’t give into a spirit of fear. He”s given us a spirit of love and power and a sound mind. We’re told in 1st John, that fear has torment. So, we need to not give in to all the hyperbole and panic. Yeah, this is something going on, but don’t give into a spirit of fear.
Power, Love, and a Sound Mind
And even with a verse reference from Timothy that God has given us a sound mind, well, certainly, people would go, well, wait a second. We”re trying to be wise, we’re trying to make good decisions. No, that’s great. We should be wise and make really good decisions. But if we use this situation to just now start washing our hands, you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life. Right? Like on some level, some of the concern is being blown so, I mean, I would argue out of proportion on some levels, because having a sound mind means making wise and good decisions. And for many Americans, maybe we haven’t been making great decisions on some level. Right? Maybe we haven’t been following some basic cleanliness or health standards. Maybe we haven’t had a savings account and now we’re going, oh, my gosh, what am I going to do? And I mean, there are some logical areas of concern. But I think the underlying principle is that we should not be so focused on the problem that we forget that there is a God who is bigger than the problems. Right? Where the gospel tells us is that things that are impossible for man are possible for God. And so, we’re not overcome by evil, we overcome evil with good.
There’s so many things we can point to from scripture to give us guidance. And it doesn’t mean that we don’t have hard times, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have difficult times, which is why you even see verses, like in James chapter one that you consider it pure joy when you go through trials, because you know, it develops your faith, right. it develops your perseverance and what you are going through.
These Moments Help Define Us
And so these moments can be moments that help define us, it help refine our character or that can overwhelm us and we want to be people, we always want to be the overcomers, not the overcomed. And that certainly, is the scriptural, biblical position, knowing that we serve a faithful God. That even that the Bible tells us in 1st Timothy 2:13, that even if we are faithless, he remains faithful; for he cannot deny or disown himself. So even if we are being overwhelmed by this, God is faithful and he is a faithful God. And maybe it will help us to get our perspective off some of this temporal world and realize, no, the eternal is much more significant than the temporary right here and we’re just passing through this life.
And I do think in the midst of all this going on with this corona stuff, that God is helping to reorder some people’s priorities, right, to help us get back, to spend more time with family, to spend more time in the word, to spend more time in prayer, talking to God in that quiet time, that there’s a lot of really positive things that can come out of this seemingly dramatic and for some people, terrifying ordeal.
You know, there’s something going here too, with a panic and that’s a fear of death. And we’re told in Hebrews that if there’s a fear of death, then that really is questionable, how strong our relationship with God is. Because if we got a strong relationship with God, we live here, we live hereafter.
Confidence in God
I mean, it’s just a transition to place. And that’s why we’re told, it’s appointed on the man wants to die in Hebrews. We’ve got an appointment God. Is it during this epidemic? Who knows? And if it is, so be it. But we don’t fear death.
So, if there’s a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Scripture tells us we’ve overcome the fear of death. So, if we”re running around with a fear of death, no, we”re letting the wrong fear got us. There needs to be not the fear of death, there needs to be the confidence of God. And a good thing for folks to do is just sit down with your family and read Psalm 91 every day if we’re going through this thing. It’s just a good faith builder. It’s a good reminder of God’s love and care and protection for us. And just because we’re Christians, doesn’t mean we get out of this unscathed. That’s just not the way it is. Because everyone does have an appointment to die at some point. And God knows when that is. But the other thing that’s kind of interesting perspective on this is the Bible tells us there is nothing new under the sun.
Alright, guys, quick break and just to”¦ I mean, you already gave us three great verses when we look at that biblical perspective. I mean, going to Timothy, it said, look, not a spirit of fear. I mean right there, we start with that. And then to James, count it all joy. I mean, even as we go through tribulations, to count on all joy. What a difference in attitude, not fearful, but joyful. And then what a great reminder out of Timothy as well that he is faithful: biblical perspective. So important. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
A Moment from American History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, numerous court decisions demonstrate that there’s often a conflict between the courts, the law and religion. Has this conflict always existed? Not according to James Wilson. James Wilson was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a law professor, as well as an original Justice on the US Supreme Court. James Wilson saw no conflict between religion and the law.
In fact, just the contrary, he declared, “Human law must rest its authority, ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends and mutual assistance. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. In the views of Founding Father, James Wilson, religion and good civil law were inseparable.
For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD.
A Biblical Perspective
Welcome back WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We’re talking about, first, the biblical perspective as we look at all this happening in the nation. We looked at three great verses in the first segment. And David as we were going to break, you were about to give us additional perspective from looking at the Bible on this.
Yeah, the Bible tells us there is nothing new under the sun. So, plagues and epidemics and pandemics or whatever you want to call this and we call everything a pandemic till we see how it works out. If you remember SARS and H1N1 and all these others that were pandemics that didn’t quite make the cut. But nonetheless you plan for it, you’re prudent and you look ahead and you say okay, it could be. So, what do we do? Okay, so if we look at where we are, and by the way, one of the things happening as a result of everybody being kind of homebound for a while and so, at WallBuilders, we”re really starting something to kind of address”¦
Videos on Social Media
Yes. So, one of the things that, I mean, Ricky pointed out wallbuilders.com, there’s a lot of great information there. We also are doing some videos on social media. We recognize that for many people, homeschooling is a new thing. Although our families, we have done this for many years. We figured out, Rick, you’re sending out updates. It seems like every day. I’m getting a new update on my email with a video you’re doing, giving a little constitutional perspective. We’re doing some additional things at WallBuilders in our social media. So, we have a YouTube page, we have Instagram, we’re putting videos out on Facebook as well.
And so, something that if you want some ways to help gain a little perspective, but also one of the things we’re doing is called One-Room Schoolhouse. Where we will sit in the library and we will pick a topic and maybe some artifacts and we’ll just teach a little history about something, hopefully, to help some parents at home going, okay, maybe I feel overwhelmed doing this homeschool thing. It’s new, it’s different. I’m not sure what to do. We want to be a help along the way. We want to be an asset that you can use. And so certainly, you can check out our YouTube page, check out our Instagram, our Facebook, see these videos. We’re going to try to do this One-Room Schoolhouse at least once a week, maybe a couple times a week to kind of give some history lessons in perspective.
Philadelphia in 1793
So, speaking of that, what was your first lesson about?
Well, the first lesson we did was on the yellow fever epidemic from Philadelphia back in 1793, where Founding Father, Benjamin Rush was a medical doctor who was one of the few who did not flee from Philadelphia. And this was a huge thing. They had roughly 50,000 people in Philadelphia. 20,000 people left, 5,000 people died. So”¦
A mortality rate of 10%…
Yeah, 10% of the population”¦
And right now, they”re projected mortality rate of this of 1.5%.
Richard Allen & Absalom Jones
So yeah, this was a really big deal. So anyway, so we thought this was a really significant and pertinent first one to start off with just giving some of that history. Some of the people involved: Richard Allen, Absalom Jones were two black ministers who joined up with Benjamin Rush, were some of the many people who stayed to fight it. The reason they didn’t mind staying and trying to help fight through this epidemic is because they knew who God was and they said, look, we were trusting in God. And if God wants to take us home, he’ll take us home. But when he takes us home, he’s going to find us having been faithful and productive. Is kind of the attitude and tone that you get from these guys. Which is a really good perspective, especially for us right now, with wondering what do we do? How do we handle this?
You know, dad, as you mentioned, starting to segment out that the Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes, there’s nothing new under the sun. And even in America, there have been times of significant pandemics, significant disease and outbreaks. Certainly, even the founding era, there was these kind of things.
The Swine Flu Epidemic
But even as you mentioned, things that we’ve dealt with of last couple years, it’s interesting if you go back just 2009 when you had the swine flu epidemic and right, you have estimates were that you had between 40 something million to 60 something million who got the swine flu and worldwide, over half a million people died from the swine flu.
Franklin Graham had a post recently where he was talking about, as much concern as there is about this, if you start to look at abortion or right, and other kind of diseases and heart conditions, that although it’s fine to be concerned about this, these numbers don’t even touch some of the other numbers. And if we’re going to be concerned about this, we probably should raise our concern with other issues. Among them, he included abortion. Which I think is really good perspective, that as much as we are concerned by some of these things, that this is not a new thing that we have something else that can be dangerous.
C.S. Lewis on the Atomic Bomb
In fact, we posted not too long ago, a quote from CS Lewis dealing with the atomic bomb. Where when the atomic bomb was a major concern, right, back in kind of the world war two era and he was saying, look, we shouldn’t be so concerned about science now finding something new that kills us. Right? Like, there’s already so many things out there that can kill us. This is just one more thing. We shouldn’t let it overly disrupt our lives.
And there’s a lot of similarities kind of where we are today dealing with this, that there’s so much fear, there’s so much panic. And probably, it’s more fear and panic than should be and I know some people are going to be critical, going, oh my gosh, you’re downplaying it. No, I’m not downplaying it. But this has not reached the scale of many other things in our world that are incredibly dangerous.
Â The Spanish Flu
Let me take the 1980s, the Spanish Flu in 1918 700,000 Americans died in 1918. We had a much smaller population at that point. 700,000 Americans died. Up to 50 million people died worldwide with that Spanish Flu in 1918. So as of right now, we have 600 corona deaths in the United States and 15,000 worldwide and somewhere around 60,000 deaths in America last year with flu. So, we’re still a long, long, long way from that. Hopefully, we won’t get anywhere close to that. Hopefully, all the steps you are taking now will make some kind of an impact on that. But again, don’t be run by the spirit of fear. Don’t get into hyperbole. Don’t get into the panic. This is nothing new under the sun. And we’ve gone through many things so far, much worse than this. Hopefully, we’ll get this cut off where it’s not going to be as bad as they’re predicting. But nonetheless, keep a sound mind on this.
Quick break, guys, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live where we’re going to have good perspective: historical, biblical, and constitutional perspectives through all the things we’re facing right now, in our country. Stay with us, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
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How to Respond to Chinese Coronavirus
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Here, back with David and Tim Barton. And Tim, and you’d mentioned the article about CS Lewis and you guys had sent out an email on that and so we thought we’d just share a couple of quick paragraphs out of this.
This was something CS Lewis wrote all the way back in 1948. And it was dealing with you know, as you guys have talked about in the program, the spirit of fear at that time because of the atomic bomb. And so, I’m going to read what he wrote back then and we’re going to replace atomic bomb with the Chinese coronavirus. Okay, so here we go. Here’s what he said.
“In one way, we think a great deal too much of the Chinese coronavirus. How are we to live in an atomic age? I am tempted to reply to that. Why as you would have lived in the 16th century when the plague visited London almost every year or as you would have lived in a Viking Age when Raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat in the night? Or indeed as you already are living in an age of cancer and age of syphilis and age of paralysis and age of air raids and age of railway accidents in age of motor accidents? In other words, do not let us begin exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir, madam, you and all whom you love, we’re already sentenced to death before the Chinese coronavirus was invented. And quite a high percentage of us were going to die and unpleasant ways.
Let Us Be Doing Sensible Things
We had indeed one very great advantage over our ancestors, anesthetics, but we have them still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with us chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the first point to be made and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by a Chinese coronavirus, let that virus, when it comes find us doing sensible and human things. Praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts, not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about viruses. They may break our bodies, but they need not dominate our minds.” That was CS Lewis in 1948 on living in an atomic age, obviously replacing atomic bomb with Chinese coronavirus.
Guys, that’s great advice for us right now in the middle of all this.
Hey, truth works across whatever time, whatever geographic location, whatever generation, whatever technology, truth is truth and he really nailed it. I mean, one thing is certain for all of us, we’re not going to get out of this world alive. And so, whether it’s coronavirus or anything else, we keep that perspective. Right? And he had a really good perspective of not living in fear.
And that’s not to make light of the situation or say there’s not going to be people hurting, both physically and financially. A lot of financial hurt headed our way because of what we’re doing right now. It’s not to make light of that. But it’s just, again, to have perspective and to say those things are not new. There have been really, really tough times of sickness and really, really tough times of financial collapse and other things. And we’ve gotten through those things and God’s word is still true. And like you said, those truths, they go beyond time and space and they work in every single moment in history, including what’s happening right now.
You know, this is really a time of character check as much as anything, because it’s not that hard times come. You know, the scripture says, “In this world, you shall have tribulations”, that”s what Jesus said. The question is, how are you going to respond to it when it comes? And this is really character check time, now that finances are getting tight, getting hard jobs are going away at a rate we have not seen since the depression. Just so much happening. Fear, wars and rumors of wars, as Jesus said, except at this time is rumors of pandemics. I mean, it’s all around us. So now, the question is how do you respond?
This Is No Surprise to God
And this is a really good introspection time for every one of us. This is no surprise to God. Nothing catches him by surprise. So how are we going to respond because he knew this was going to happen? So, what do we do now?
Alright, quick break, guys. And by the way, we’ll have a link today to that article that was written about the CS Lewis quote as well. So, check out wallbuilderslive.com today. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today. Alright, guys, final segment of the day and we’ve already given out some great biblical perspective on not having fear, you know, counting joy when we face these things, remembering that God is faithful even through the toughest times.
Yeah, let me add one more verse too, guys as we know we’re navigating through this hard time. This is something that although as Americans, we’ve lived very insulated lives, we’ve been very well cushioned, you know. For much of the world, their life has been much more chaotic already even before this. And so, Americans now, we are just kind of experiencing some of the instability that has not been precedent in America, but is been normal for much of the world.
But even as we think about this, I was reminded of a verse from Genesis chapter eight when Noah is just gone through the flood, right, God has done this hard restart on earth, right where he’s eliminated all of humanity, only Noah and his family remains. But one of the things that God tells Noah, he says in verse 22 of chapter 8, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” Meaning that as long as the earth is here, this is always going to happen.
Now, first of all, I love the fact, this is a side note. But I love the fact he says that cold and heat, winter and summer are always going to be here. So, for some of the global warming, pandemic, freak out people out there, right, you can settle down, because God said there’s always going to be cold, there’s always going to be heat, winter and summer, those things will always be here. But even perspective, one of the things we know from winter and summer.
Winter is a time as, when you look at seasons, when you look at farming, and right, would have been very relevant for Noah was winters always going to come, winter is when there reset comes, And then so summer is when you’re able to have more of the joy and more of the comfort and more of the ease. And so, what we know from scripture, right, even from this season, seasons are going to come. There’s going to be seasons of good and then there’s going to be seasons of not so good. There’s going to be seasons of plenty and then seasons where there’s not very much.
How Do We Navigate This?
And so, as we’re even navigating, how do we make it through this coronavirus? This is something that a lot of people are now realizing, oh my gosh, I should have done a better job having a savings account. Well, yeah, it’s a hard time to realize that now, probably for many people. But this is one of the things the Bible even says in Proverbs 6, “Go to the ant, consider her ways and be wise: having no ruler overseer, she stores up provisions for the winter.” Because winter is a season that will always come and we want to make sure that we are always ready when that season comes. And so, this was something that even though we’re looking at coronavirus right now, there is much panic, there’s much concern. and this is not to downplay it, because this is a hard time to go through. This is a tough season and for many of us, our lives are forever being changed. Our financial situation is being absolutely changed. For many people, it’s being ravaged. And we don’t know how in the world, we’re going to come through this.
And I don’t know either. For some of this, I don’t have the answers. But what I know is that things, the Bible says that there’s a season, there’s a time for things and then that season is over. And then it’s a new season. And so, as we navigate through this season, we just want to learn and be wise from the season and go, okay, so as we go through, we might need to change some of our short-term and long-term plans going forward. For how do we navigate? Because as long as the earth remains, the Bible says, there will be seasons, there will be winter and there will be summer. And we want to make sure that we are prepared going forward for these different seasons that come.
And Rick, as Tim pointed out, winter is a time of reset. And it’s kind of like we’re now in an economic winter. We’re kind of in a winner this imposed on us. And tomorrow we’re going to look at some of the things that will reset as a result of this. Winters, when to kill off a lot of the bugs in nature and you come back with healthier stuff in the spring and summer. So, tomorrow we’re going to specifically look at the resets that will be happening as a result of what’s already happened in recent weeks and months.
And then Thursday, of course, our Foundations of Freedom Thursday program, we’re going to devote to questions about, you know, government’s role in all this, you know, the constitutionality of quarantines, the bailouts, all those different things, we’ll hit some of those constitutional issues on Thursday and even some of the due process that comes out of all this.
But even between now and then, some great tools for you online. The One-Room Schoolhouse kicks off this week. So, go online right now. You can watch it on Facebook or wallbuilders.com and learn more from that. What a great opportunity. I mean, families all over the country have a chance to study at home right now. And wow, I tell you the respect for homeschool moms is going through the roof right now as other parents are going, how do you do this every day all year long? Well, there’s a lot of folks that have been doing this for a long time. You can do it as well. So, use these tools at home, One-Room Schoolhouse, check it out at wallbuilders.com.
The Chinese Coronavirus – Keeping Joy Instead Of Fear
And then become one of our Constitution coaches and host a class right now. We’re doing it for free. Go to constitutioncoach.com and sign up for free. It’s not going to cost you anything and yet, you can study the constitution and get your friends and family doing that as well. So, let’s look for some positive things to do.
And another great thing to do, read through the Bible, get your Founders” Bible and read through the whole Bible. However long this season lasts, get as much of that done as you can as well. There”s a lot of great things you can be doing at home. Hey, don’t miss tomorrow on Thursday. We’re going to pick up this topic tomorrow. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.