Grace Communion International

…and another thing  by John Stettaford


This world does not improve. The latest horror to be reported is a plague of biblical proportions in Australia of mice. So many that they are everywhere, in farms and stores, in houses and cars. It’s all a combination of the benevolent weather last winter and spring. A single pair of mice can have over 500 offspring in a single year, hence the apparent suddenness of all this. One house fire and human fatality has been reported, thanks to mice chewing through an electric cable in the loft space.

And mice are not good news for human beings in other ways. Their wee, if you’ll pardon the subject, is laden with pathogens, bacteria and viruses which can bring on serious illness among our young and old. Wiles disease is usually associated with rats, but mice can also spread this most debilitating disease.

And mice were unknown in Australia until infested ships docked and released their cargo, including rats and mice. So we might conclude that this plague and its consequence illnesses are man-made, or at least man-introduced.

And that seems so often to be the case. According to some, our present distress with Covid-19 might well be the result of man interfering with a natural, but until recently, relatively benign virus. If that laboratory in Wuhan is shown to have been tampering with it for use as a possible weapon, then such will have been the case.

Covid-19 and its recent variants seem once again on the rise. This time, those affected seem mainly to be younger human beings, perhaps because most elderly and vulnerable have been vaccinated and have a level of immunity. But the number of cases is rising sharply, despite overtures by some urging that any lock-down should cease immediately.

I haven’t had a holiday (at home or abroad) for over 20 years, and have no desire to start one now, especially when it seems that mass gatherings on beaches or elsewhere seem to cause or permit the free spread of the virus. The Biblical principle is to quarantine which by its very definition means 40 days of isolation. And even then the enforced lock-down didn’t keep at bay the Black Death in its many visitations from the 14th century onwards.

I have at this point in the best Parliamentary practice, to declare an interest. When I visited Brazil on business many years ago now, because we were going to visit inland, I was given the pestis-pestis vaccine. I’m told that I will have some protection even now. But I think I’d still isolate if the Black Death ever breaks out again in this country.

And whatever you look at, at illness, human behaviour, government and societal trends, the closer mankind sticks to the practices outlined in the Bible the better off at dealing with them he seems. Even churches which have loosened their ideals regarding behaviour, to reflect society or current trends, often suffer un-looked-for consequences. Often there is a kick-back from those of its membership who will not countenance change. Women as bishops and senior elders, for example, in the Church of England. Or back in 1965 when the Catholic church introduced languages for the mass other than Latin. Since then there has been a serious back-lash by some which has caused divisions and upset.

We need the wisdom imparted by the Holy Spirit to be able to make changes but to remain loyal, faithful and committed in our membership of this fellowship.

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