One of the stranger phenomena of the last two years has been how politicized the virus has become. It has led to something called ‘Covid Shame.’ “Mental health experts say feelings of guilt and shame are perpetuated by societal stigma related to a COVID-19 diagnosis.”
Hillary Ammon, PsyD, an assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, says, “First, it is important to understand the difference between these two feelings. Guilt is believing that you did something wrong. Shame is experienced when you are concerned others are judging or rejecting you due to your actions.” The question is, why are we treating people with the virus this way?
We need to look to scripture to figure out why behavior like this occurs. It seems that being exclusive is something that is engrained within us. We naturally set aside certain spaces for ourselves and exclude others from those spaces. Look at how we arrange our homes. We have an entrance where people are greeted, then we have the living room where people congregate, and onto the bedroom which is the most private in the home. This is the way that churches are configured. We have the vestibule where people enter, the chapel where the congregation sits, and the altar where only the saved partake from. The problem that we have now is that the church has abdicated her role as a sacred space. God gave the Israelites the tabernacle and the temple but not for His sake. He cannot be held to a place (I Kings 8:27-30). It was for Israels sake. They could commune with Him and exclude all others. The church is now God’s temple (II Cor. 6:16-18). We have an altar that even those of the Old Testament have no right to eat at (Heb. 13:10). The church is the sacred space set aside for us to be exclusive. The lost have no right to the body and blood of Christ (I Cor. 10:14-18). Yet, Paul gives us instructions on how to behave out in the world with the lost (I Cor. 10:24-30). Unlike Israel we are not deemed unclean because we eat with lost people. So God has given us a way to regulate our exclusive impulses and to tell us in what manner we should be exclusive. In rejecting our calling the church has failed the nation which has led the state to declare itself the arbiter of what space is sacred. In rejecting hierarchies of space all things are now sacred. The vaccinated are ‘clean’ and the unvaccinated are ‘unclean’ and every place is designated sacred.
Pfizer and Moderna have become Rome and Constantinople. The other companies are like the scattered Protestant churches. The state is offering us the sacrament of the vaccine and those who reject it are lost. Those who take it are saved. There is a spiritual need and zealous religiosity within all of us and it must manifest itself one way or the other. We have decided to reject a hierarchy of sacred spaces and that has led to the state making all places sacred. Even doctrinal differences about being ‘fully clean’ have emerged from this situation. Are you double jabbed? Or have your booster? Do you have one or two boosters? Very similarly the church argues whether or not one is saved by asking, have you spoken in tongues? Are you baptized? Were you baptized as an infant? etc. All of these behaviors are manifesting themselves in the world through this vaccine issue. I believe that judgment begins at the house of God (I Pet. 4:17). The church has not provided a sacred space for the congregation to hear the fullness of the truth. She must be a place where the correct perspective is taught, participation is encouraged, procedures are followed, and propositional truths are proclaimed. Without this space the nation will continue to destroy itself.