Wallace B. Henley on Pandemics, Pandemonium, and Governments in Crisis

The more crisis intensifies the more reactionary governing regimes become. The present pandemic-pandemonium crisis proves it. The greater the official panic the more governments lay aside principle to get things under control.

The pandemic has caused skittish politicians to become so reactionary that they have put churches in lockdown. Other magistrates have reacted to the pandemonium surrounding George Floyd’s horrid and unjust killing by serious consideration of defunding municipal police departments.

That strategy might work if we can transform human nature.

Oh, wait, that’s the business of the churches deemed by some officials to be “nonessential” during the pandemic.

Wallace Henley, Senior Associate Pastor of 2nd Baptist Church in Houston, Texas | Photo: Wallace Henley

However, in some places the pandemonium made people forget the restrictions imposed during the pandemic as they gathered in city streets, squares, and, yes, churches, to pray. These were the most hopeful of “protests” because there was the recognition of the need for forgiveness. No properties were burned, no bricks hurled through windows, no theft.

These sometimes-impromptu outbreaks of public prayer forgot about social distancing and other pandemic protocols. Those folks just knew that our country needs healing and that Jesus is still the Great Physician.

Politicians did not organize or lead most of these gatherings, and could only nuzzle in, hoping for face time. Perhaps now there will be a different attitude about how “essential” churches and their people are.

Christopher Dawson would have been encouraged by those clusters of praying men and women. He described the breakdown of civilization in his lifetime and said that “this instability was due to no other cause than to that very separation and dislocation of the inner and outer worlds of human experience.”

But how can the two “worlds” be reconciled — especially when it comes to separation of church and state? Clearly in the current troubled moment cooperation is needed between the “inner and outer.”

But how?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace B. Henley