5/03/2009

H1N1 and the Church

Ligonier Ministries has a wonderful entry by Greg Bailey on John Calvin’s response to the plague.

Here’s a quote referenced in the post:


During Calvin's ministry, Geneva was terrorized by the plague on five occasions. During the first outbreak, in 1542, Calvin personally led visitations into
plague-infected homes. Knowing that this effort likely carried a death sentence,
the city fathers intervened to stop him because of their conviction that his
leadership was indispensable. The pastors continued this heroic effort under Calvin's guidance, and they recounted the joy of multiple conversions. Many pastors lost their lives in this cause. Unknown to many, Calvin privately continued his own pastoral care in Geneva and other cities where the plague raged. Calvin's pastoral heart, already evidenced by the provision of hospitals for both citizens and immigrants, was further revealed as he collected the necessary resources to establish a separate hospital for plague victims. When believers died, he preached poignant funeral homilies with passion and personal concern. (John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Discipleship, ed. Burk Parsons [Lake Mary, Fla.: Reformation Trust, 2008], 65)


We will wait and see what the virus has in store for us, but we may have the chance to practice some of the same principles in view of the recent H1N1 outbreak. Let’s hope not.

Prayer for healing for those suffering is in order as well.

[For any of the atheists who monitor this blog, this is not antithetical to Christian Faith. In fact, the battle against disease using scientific methods can arguably be attributed to Christians. See here, here and here for a start.]

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