逃離疫情是否忠於信仰?馬丁路德對冠狀病毒的教導

這位德國改革宗牧師對於瘟疫的反思,可以指導如我壹樣的醫學生和在中國,及被冠狀病毒波及到的各個地區的基督徒。 以中國武漢為震源的冠狀病毒,已經引起了全球的恐懼,並阻斷了交通和經濟。光在中國,已有150余人喪生。全球20多個國家累計8000余人確診—這壹數字,已超過2003年的SARS疫情。武漢是中國壹大交通樞紐,與美國芝加哥地位類似。 如今武漢封城, 市民壹切活動暫停,包括春節的慶祝也壹並停止(1月25日)。中國的基督徒們,不論是武漢的還是其他城市的,都面臨著壹些抉擇,比如是否該回家探親,是否要逃離大陸,是否要聚集進行主日敬拜等。當病毒肆掠,疫情嚴重時,逃離疫情,遠離在痛苦中的感染者是否是忠於信仰的選擇呢? 16世紀的德國基督徒問了神學家馬丁路德同樣的問題。 1527年,路德所在的維騰堡及周邊城市遭受了黑死病的侵襲。距離上壹次黑死病肆虐歐洲,造成歐洲人口總數壹半以上死亡還不到兩百年。談及普通人在傳染病中所承擔的責任,改教家路德在他的信件《人是否應逃離致死的瘟疫》中提出了他的意見。在現今疫情爆發的狀況下,他的建議尤其有針對性。 首先,路德提出任何對其他人有服侍責任的個體都不應該逃離。對於全職侍奉的人,“必須至死謹守崗位。”被感染和走向生命盡頭的人需要有壹個好牧人來堅固他們,安慰他們,給他們施行聖禮—免得他們在離世前得不到這樣的機會。 市長,法官等官員,也需要盡忠職守保障社會秩序。其他公職人員,比如公立醫院的醫生和警務人員,也需要延續他們的專業職責。父母,監護人對於他們照看中的孩童也有這樣的職責。 路德認為,照顧生病者並不僅僅是醫護人員的職責。如今武漢面臨著醫院床位和看護人員的緊缺,他的建議更顯得中肯。武漢是中國人口密集的城市,有著約1100萬人口。城市也在迅速建造兩個醫院來收治日益增長的感染人群。其他社會人士,即使沒有任何的醫護培訓,也依然可以為患病人群提供照料。路德挑戰基督徒學習耶穌的榜樣(太25:41-46)尋求機會來照顧傷病者。對神的愛,引發我們對鄰舍的愛。 但路德並不鼓勵人們不顧死活,撲向危險。在他的信件中,他壹再提及壹枚銀幣的兩面:既要重視自己的生命,也要重視有需要之人的生命。路德提到,神給我們本能,讓我們知道保護自己,照顧好自己的身體(弗5:29; 林前12:21-26)。他也認為隔離等醫療措施是合理的,並鼓勵人們尋找藥物救助。事實上,他提出,不采取適當的醫療措施是無知莽撞之舉。正如神恩賜我們身體,神也恩賜我們各樣的藥物。 若是基督徒仍舊選擇逃離怎麽辦?路德認為,若是沒有造成緊急事件,他們也安排好“會在他們的職位照顧傷病者”的替代者,這或許也是那些基督徒順從神帶領的選擇。 值得壹提的是,路德提醒讀者,救恩並不是靠好行為得到的。 他最終留給基督徒壹個挑戰,讓他們通過禱告和默想聖經,決定自己瘟疫中是逃離還是留守,路德堅信,專心尋求的,神會帶領他作出信心的選擇。對傷患者的照顧應該是出於恩典,而不是被迫。 Continue reading… You may also be interested in… Leading From A Healthy Soul Resilient Church Leadership invites you to join us in rest and reflection. What do you need? My friend’s words hung Read more Let My People Meet: Capitol Hill … Read more 逃離疫情是否忠於信仰?馬丁路德對冠狀病毒的教導

A List of Things That Don’t Last Forever, But Should

Despite my intensely Catholic upbringing, I no longer consider myself religious. But at the risk of sounding cliché, I will admit to dabbling in Buddhism. And by “dabbling,” mostly I mean that I feel guilty about not meditating more, and have read a single Thich Nhat Hanh book, called How to Eat, which discouraged my … Read more A List of Things That Don’t Last Forever, But Should

Report: L’Arche Founder Jean Vanier Abused Multiple Women

Independent investigation found at least six victims were coerced into sex by the celebrated Catholic leader, who died last year. L’Arche founder Jean Vanier, who helped improve conditions for the developmentally disabled in multiple countries over half a century, sexually abused at least six women, a report produced for his French-based charity has found. According … Read more Report: L’Arche Founder Jean Vanier Abused Multiple Women

How the Forest Inspired Me to Stay in Church

Church failures uproot congregations. But we’re reminded by ecology that strength is found in community connection. “They were probably never real Christians anyway,” a friend remarked with despairing, cold comfort. We were discussing friends who had left Christianity after a messy church situation. Because of the church crisis, people became confused, scattered, and heartbroken. As … Read more How the Forest Inspired Me to Stay in Church

Why Everyone Is Horny for Frozen Yogurt, Even Still, and Even in the Winter

I’ll admit that I’ve conflated my self-worth with a number reflected on a scale exactly one time: upon my first visit to the 16 Handles in Greenwich Village. The year was 2011 and the burst of the frozen yogurt bubble that encased New York City was nigh. But I didn’t know that. All I knew … Read more Why Everyone Is Horny for Frozen Yogurt, Even Still, and Even in the Winter

How to Live the Bible — Set Apart for God’s Purposes

This is the ninety-third lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here. See Mel Lawrenz’s book, How … Read more How to Live the Bible — Set Apart for God’s Purposes

I Assumed Science Had All the Answers. Then I Started Asking Inconvenient Questions.

My journey from atheist dogma to Christian faith was paved with intellectual and spiritual surprises. I had an unusual childhood for an American. Members of my extended family were union organizers and left-wing radicals, and my parents had even been members of the American Communist Party. My indoctrination in the dogmas of communism and atheism … Read more I Assumed Science Had All the Answers. Then I Started Asking Inconvenient Questions.

Do You Know the Right Way to Sew a Button? Let’s Double Check

Sewing a button back onto an article of clothing—it seems simple enough, doesn’t it? My rational mind knows it’s a fairly easy task, knows that it would probably only take 10 minutes for me to complete, and yet my heart could spend an entire afternoon avoiding it. But, of course, once I actually sit down … Read more Do You Know the Right Way to Sew a Button? Let’s Double Check