The short answer is “No.” The most holy person on the planet is just as vulnerable as the most unholy person on the planet if exposed to the coronavirus. Viruses (like all other diseases and ailments) are no respecter of persons. I heard that one preacher in an attempt to assure his flock of their well-being within the walls of his church said, “You’ll be safe from the coronavirus in church, the devil don’t come in here.” Trust me, I’ve pastored churches for 30 years, the devil has reeked plenty of havoc in churches long before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. Holiness does not prevent, slow or in any way effect the physical complications of coronavirus.
Sadly, physical symptoms and negative test results are not the only outcome of the disease. Like a magnifying glass, our global pandemic has exposed the ugliness and prevalence of sin too. The perfect storm of the disease, legitimate and illegitimate fears of sickness and uncertain futures, the negative effects of stay-at-home orders and isolation, the endless 24-hour lopsided news channels, a presidential election year coupled with the politicization of practically everything, the hatred and racist ugliness that is all too prevalent in our society, and the vileness of social media has led to a sinful angst that would rival any period in U.S. history. With the average shopper carrying not only a credit card but also a video camera in their phone, we are given an endless array of nutcases’ angry rants and vicious attacks in Costco, Target, Wal-Mart and Trader Joe’s. The anger is not limited to public places. Police, pastors, teachers and anyone in authority across the country are getting eaten up and spit out on-line by an angry, fearful populace. Spewing hate while hiding behind a computer or angry outbursts in public have sadly become the norm. We have a problem in America and its not simply the rising number of Covid-19 cases. We have a massive sin problem.
Holiness is what our world needs. “Be holy as I am holy” was God’s demand for the wilderness wandering children of Israel, and it is what is needed today. Paul’s urging to not be “conformed to the pattern of this world” in Romans 12 is more needed now than ever. Holiness as expressed in the Fruit of the Spirit must be our standard.
Every Christian should put their attitudes and actions through a “Fruit of the Spirit colander.” It’s asking oneself, “Are my actions, attitudes, words and on-line posts loving, joyful, peace producing, display patience, exhibit kindness and goodness, faithful, gentle, and do they show a whole lot of self-control (Oxymoron alert: Facebook and Self-Control can not be used in the same sentence)? If our words, actions, and on-line posts don’t display the Fruit of the Spirit then they are not of God. (Re-read that last sentence. Memorize it. It’s important and true).
Can holiness cure Covid-19? No. But if more Christians expressed and lived out a Christ-like, Fruit of the Spirit displaying brand of holiness, the world would see the attractiveness of Jesus. When Christians display the same anger, hatred and fears (when Christians are conformed to the pattern of this world, in other words), there is no reason for the unbelieving world to notice. My fellow believers, our world needs holiness more now than ever. It’s up to us to live holy lives. Paul’s words to the church at Colossae are still needed and true: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12).