In the avalanche of articles about the Coronavirus, from time to time, an article surfaces regarding the sacrifices of younger people for older more vulnerable people. The economic fallout from the virus is likely to affect the employment opportunities and earning capacity of working adults for years. Meanwhile, older people will continue to live off pensions and superannuation, which may decrease in value but is likely to continue to support them. Our prime minister was asked about this at one of his many press conferences. I was encouraged to hear him reply that he governs for all Australians regardless of their age, health or status. All Australians are worth making sacrifices for. All are worth protecting.
Christianity holds the view that all people are created in the image of God and therefore have worth and value, even if they are never able to contribute to society or are no longer able to do so. However, the media tells us that we live in a post-Christian society, that God is irrelevant and science holds all the answers to the origins of life. Children are taught evolution theory in our schools which holds to the principle of the “Survival of the Fittest.” The scientific evidence indicates it’s the strongest of the species that survives and the weakest perish. This is the logical outcome of evolution. Therefore, it is a valid question to ask why are we protecting the vulnerable?
Protecting the vulnerable
Authorities are closing businesses, upgrading hospital equipment and fining dissenters. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are putting their own health and safety at risk, and not only their own but also the health and safety of their families. If we’re only the chance result of an evolutionary process, one wonders why they would do this.
Atheists seem to get offended when we ask why they are doing good to the weakest of society. Why they are sacrificing their comfort and conveniences to help those who evolution has chosen to eliminate? It’s not that Christians think that atheists are incapable of doing good, but rather we wonder how it logically fits into their worldview.
I know atheists argue that these ethical principles come naturally to them so it must be an outworking of evolution, but scientifically it’s a difficult position to uphold.
A better explanation
Christianity provides a better explanation. Paul writes, “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right” Romans chapter 2 verses 14 and 15.
Christianity believes in a Creator who is outside his creation and therefore able to cause its origin and design. This Creator God has also chosen to give us free will, an enormous privilege that many use to deny his existence, but it’s a true demonstration of his love for us. God wants us to freely choose to reciprocate his love, without our free will this wouldn’t be possible.
During this current crisis, instinctively those in authority, Christian, those of other faiths and atheists, are making decisions to protect the vulnerable and I’m glad. God’s law is written in their hearts and their conscience tells them it’s the right thing to do.
Susan Barnes has been involved in pastoral ministry for over twenty years with her husband, Ross. They are now semi-retired and enjoy supporting a number of churches in north-east Victoria. You can find more of Susan’s articles at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/susan-barnes.html