Covid: God's gentle discipline

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:


There have been many blessings in disguise because to Covid and related restrictions. I got to spend more time with my family. We met neighbors on our street during our daily walks we would not have met otherwise. God is kind. His discipline is kind.


I don’t fully understand your correction on the matter of a believer’s honoring authority in relation to covid restrictions which I have seen in a number of your posts. I comply with the mask requirements, but I am not on board with its effectiveness or authority. But can I think these things to myself while complying? Am I allowed to see tyranny? Or should I put these questions aside for something else? It isn’t as if I am a cheerleader for my position, you won’t find it on Facebook, but if engaged in a conversation on the topic, these would be my positions. Your discipline is very welcome.

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Belligerating and railing are much different from argument and criticism. When something changes the world radically in terms of how we interface with each other as Covid has, and the governing authorities have had the nasty job of protecting the public health during this time, there’s no way to avoid strife and criticism, critique, and argument. It’s the respect and honor we owe God’s authority in them that must be guarded. Belligerating and railing do not honor those over us, and are sin. Does that help?


I, for one, have appreciated your writings throughout this COVID season. I’ve told our body that this season has been an “unveiling”. By that I mean that it has revealed much about our view of gathering for corporate worship, our valuing of each other (exhibited by a desire to reach out to and love those who can’t/won’t gather), and exactly where that line of distrust of governing officials falls. We all have that line, it just falls in different places…some in healthy places, some in places that are just an opportunity to manifest the remaining rebellion in our hearts.

The challenge of the season, from a shepherding perspective, has been to get the two disparate edges of the perception of all of this (with each thinking the other is the weaker brother) to walk as one. To walk the fine line of proper “argument and criticism” (as you well put it), which is necessary to be a discerning people, without vilifying those who don’t share the same view and/or zeal.

I always come back to two questions in our discussions. First, has God allowed this? Second, if He has, what is He trying to teach His children through it, knowing that the lesson will accord perfectly with His Word?


Well said, dear brother; particularly the “to walk as one” part. Love,

Actually, dare I mention it, this positive:

At the start of the pandemic there was a church in Pittsburgh, I think, which wanted to record a song called, “The Blessing” (based on Num 6:24-26). They couldn’t meet together, so they recorded their parts separately, and a very clever editor was able to able to bring it all together. There are now dozens and dozens of versions of this song; and for many Christians, in this season, it has become an anthem expressing God’s heart for us, in the midst of everything - His discipline included. Here’s a link through to how one CRC treated the song:

The Blessing | Georgetown Church - YouTube


Lamentations 3:22-23 is apposite in this discussion as well, especially in its context.


Dear Brother,
I fear that it is more and more apparent that America, patriotism and rights are the religion of American Evangelicals. This sickness has been sent to reveal sickness and that it has done. If we continue to make our rights and Conservatism our hope and stay we are going to provoke God to more extreme measures in dealing with us as His people. I recently became the first case of Covid in our church. While I did not need to go to the hospital, it was getting close to that. I had every confidence that I was in God’s hands still, it was quite humbling to be reminded just how frail and weak I am. It has been good for me as it is always good for God to show us the truth about Himself as He shows us the truth about ourselves.


So thankful to God you have recovered, dear brother. Love,