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Perspective: Christianity And COVID

COVID church
Gabriella Clare Marino

To know me is to know I’m a Christian. I don’t wear my beliefs or faith on my sleeve nor do I press my faith on others. Given my complex life journey, I still can’t believe I pastor the church I grew up in. My faith is the guiding light in my life and I hope people see something different in me simply by my engagement with people without ever disclosing my religion. There’s a plethora of “Christian” engagements based on biblical interpretation, doctrine, and theology. Some are so far removed from the origin of the Gospel, it’s extremely concerning.

Through this pandemic, I’m been embarrassed by some who profess the same faith as I. Many have embraced conspiracy theories, bad information, unfounded freedom infringement theories, and outright rejected the wearing or effectiveness of masks. We know masks aren’t a cure, they’re uncomfortable, yet have an efficacy rate that makes them worth using. Seatbelts are not a cure for mortality in car accidents, but they greatly reduce the probability, so we wear them.

The Bible is the sacred text of Christianity. Given it was written thousands of years ago, righteous and relevant interpretation is required. There’s a passage in the hallowed writ that’s extremely clear. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all heart and with your soul and with all your mind.” And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Wear a mask out of love for your neighbor... especially in a time when love is so scarce.

I’m Joe Mitchell and this is my perspective.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., George Joseph “Joe” Mitchell was raised in DeKalb, where he is the bi-vocational co-pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.