Pandemic as opportunity

Credit: Public Health Image Library.

Andrew Fabich thinks that the “coronavirus outbreak is possibly the greatest outreach opportunity for the church worldwide” (as quoted approvingly in the Answers in Genesis website). Dr. Fabich, a microbiologist at Truett McConnell University, advises that “[t]he church needs to respond to the current situation sensibly and centered around the gospel. Here are some things we should be doing during this time of worldwide panic.” He lists three specific items:

  1. Put together a medical mission team in your church for a local response …. The beauty of such a team is that infectious disease outbreaks happen regularly [italics mine]. Having something in place will mobilize the church moving forward.
  2. Purchase as many personal hygiene products that are currently in high demand. Churches should stock up on [toilet paper and hand sanitizers] for distribution to their local communities. Ideas for this include taking supplies to your community or putting together fliers indicating that your church is distributing free personal hygiene products.… It just makes sense to promote good personal hygiene because it is ultimately derived from a biblical worldview.
  3. Have someone creative and biblical write a tract for distribution to each person receiving the personal hygiene products. What a travesty to meet people’s physical needs and neglect to tell them about their most important spiritual need: a relationship with the Creator Redeemer Jesus Christ.…

I am left speechless, and I probably should stop here. But I want to point out a fairly sensible article in which Dr. Fabich gave good advice on how to keep yourself from catching the Covid-19 virus. The article was unfortunately marred when he downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic:

[A]re you as scared about getting the flu or are you more scared about getting COVID-19? When put in proper perspective, you can see that this COVID-19 is not as bad as the headlines are making it. I’m not aware of anyone who buys a surgical mask for the flu every year….

He further averred that “this COVID-19 outbreak [teaches us] that life is short and we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” but it is OK because we will all live forever.

Curious, I looked up Truett McConnell University and decided that we need to have a legal definition of “university.” To call an institution with 760 students, a 6-year graduation rate of 30 %, and 4 masters degrees (not counting 2 religious degrees) a university is very much like certain reports of Mark Twain’s death. Dr. Fabich is a real microbiologist, with degrees from Ohio State and Oklahoma. He has a longish list of publications, of which only two are labeled “Technical”; one of those actually appears to be about postmodernism. His biography shows that he has worked only at religious colleges since getting his PhD.