EVANS MILLS — I felt a need to respond to Jerry Moore’s column from May 31st titled “Wielding executive authority: Does Cuomo or God have more sway?”
The focal point of this column was in reference to something Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Easter Monday during a novel coronavirus update. He indicated that the flattening of the coronavirus was solely due to the hard work and efforts of human beings, and this caused quite a stir within Christian circles.
I initially struggled with how best to respond to this event and then a particular Bible verse came to mind: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Some may say, but isn’t the governor Roman Catholic and certainly a believer? Please know, there are hundreds of Christian denominational labels, but a label does not make one a believer.
Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that the governor’s comment reflects a mindset prevalent in our society today. Look at what our society has achieved; our medical and other technology is amazing. We have sent people to the moon; the American lifestyle has no equal. We are so full of ourselves and our capabilities.
We also are a society that has become more and more ungodly. Our pursuit of pleasure and doing what we feel like becomes one’s goal in life.
Our world is guilty of calling good things evil and evil things good. We use rightful demonstrations as an excuse to inflict damage and demonstrate violence. The lust of the eyes and things of the world have become our god.
Who needs God? Not us! Yes, the god of this age is very busy indeed and continues to blind us.
The truths of the Bible and the gospels of Jesus Christ are labeled as archaic and outdated, good only for bedtime stories to put our children to sleep. Christian traditions have lost their spiritual roots in our world.
The Bible has been demythologized to make it more relevant to the modern, liberal mindset. The concept of sin is discarded because it interferes with living life.
However, allow me to testify that the God of the Bible, who has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ, is not just a noun but also a verb. He is a God who not only exists but takes action, most often in and through people.
He is a God unlike any other gods. He is without equal!
Personally, I have seen prayer answered in the lives of people, as well as my own, through my years of ministry. Allow me to say, prayer is more than a “charitable sentiment”!
Additionally, there are rich biographies of Christian men and women, both past and present, who give uncompromising testimony to the supernatural power of God at work in their lives. Are they delusional? I think not!
Were the gospel writers delusional? I think not!
Was Jesus Christ delusional? The truth and testimony of the scriptures indicate otherwise.
Having said that, I thank God for all the health care providers and other essential workers who have been given amazing endurance and courage to do what it takes to help others survive and live with hope during this time of pandemic. Those workers who are of the Christian faith know the source of their strength and inspiration. They are God’s instruments of grace and mercy at work!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea … Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:1-2, 10-11)
The Rev. Steve Nagler of Evans Mills is a chaplain at Cape Vincent Correctional Facility. An ordained minister with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, he previously served as a chaplain in U.S. Army from 1985 to 2005.