Ken Ham: Why would God allow coronavirus pandemic?

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A recent headline in a major newspaper posed the question: “Is the coronavirus an act of God?”

Under that headline-grabber were attempted answers from representatives of different religions. But the article skimmed over a question we at Answers in Genesis are hearing much more often: If there is in an all-powerful, loving God, why do we see disease, suffering, and death in the world, especially now during the coronavirus crisis?

Some people will respond to tragedies by blaming God for them, as did Charles Darwin after the death of his young daughter Annie. But a correct view of history, beginning in Genesis, provides the answer to the suffering/death question and shifts any blame away from God.

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In Genesis, we learn that we live in a cursed, fallen world. It’s not the world God originally created, which was called “very good.” To have been very good, God’s creation must have been without disease, suffering, or death. There was no survival of the fittest. So what happened to change creation, where disease and death now surround us? In a word, sin.

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Genesis 3 teaches that with the sinful rebellion of one man, Adam, death entered God’s creation. The world was no longer perfect but cursed. Ever since, disease, suffering, and death have marred our once-perfect creation. God will use suffering, such as the collapse of the Tower of Siloam that killed eighteen people (Luke 13), as a reminder that sin has consequences in our fallen world.

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Evolution, on the other hand, says that death has always been a part of nature. This view, found nowhere in the Bible, was actually embraced in a recent article by the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today. His belief in evolution led him to declare that it is a biological reality that “bacteria and viruses are not bitter fruits of the fall, but among the first fruits of good creation itself.” But this idea makes God the author of bad things.

Even in a fallen world, God remains omnipotent and perfectly capable of sustaining and protecting His fallen creation. But when Adam sinned, the world was cursed. Suffering and death entered into His creation. The whole universe now suffers from the effects of sin.

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In the biblical worldview, viruses had an originally good purpose in creation. In fact, many viruses today are being investigated for their positive benefits, including possible symbiotic relationships and the regulating of populations of bacteria in our gut. Viruses are also used for gene therapy. Such modern-day research offers us a glimpse into the original created purpose for viruses.

Even though we, through Adam, rebelled against God and brought the punishment of suffering and death on ourselves, our Creator has provided a way of escape: Jesus Christ. Thankfully, death, the last enemy, will one day be destroyed (I Corinthians 15:26) and those who have received His salvation will enjoy a time when the Curse will be removed and the world will return to its perfect state, with a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21, 22).

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