Socially Distancing from Everyone but God
April 02, 2020
If God is trying to get people's attention, a new Pew poll says He's succeeding. Turns out, the coronavirus hasn't just impacted people's lives, it's led to a growing outbreak of faith.
Almost everyone agrees that the pandemic is significantly changing how they act. They don't feel comfortable in crowds, they avoid parties, and they're trying to stay away from places like restaurants. But it's what Americans are doing that's getting a lot of attention. More than half -- 55 percent -- say they've prayed for the virus to end. Now, that shouldn't surprise us in the faith community, but this new focus on the spiritual is broader than that. People who seldom or never pray (15 percent) are looking to God for answers.
Of course, the president's coronavirus taskforce made this one of their first priorities -- bowing their heads in a public photo that led to a media shellacking. Liberal fanatics like Bernie Sanders and others bashed the administration for trying to "pray the virus away." But guess what? The majority of Americans agree, especially in times like this, we need to turn to the one true source of help -- the Creator himself.
"I'm encouraged by it," FRC's David Closson said on "Washington Watch," "but I'm also not surprised by it. Because what's true on a national level is also true on a personal level. In our personal lives, when we go through a crisis -- whether it's the death of a loved one, an unexpected diagnosis, sudden loss of a job, whatever it is -- it really causes us to reevaluate what matters in life. And I think that's what a lot of Americans are doing right now. They have all this time on their hands that they didn't expect to have as... they're working from home and quarantining. And I think they have time now to wrestle with some of these big worldview questions that you and I talk about a lot, [like] who is God? What does it mean to have a relationship with him? What's my purpose in life? What's going to happen to me when I die? And my hope is that they'll use this opportunity to read their Bibles like they have never done before [and] pray..."
Maybe, for more and more people, this social distancing is creating the extra time and space people need to draw closer to God. Including, as I shared with Fox News's Shannon Bream, the church. So many congregations are taking this opportunity to think creatively and strategically about how they can spread the Good News -- without spreading the virus along with it! Hear how in our conversation Wednesday night.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.