Does Coronavirus help people contemplate God?

This is a broad topic but I will just give one small example. The thread is not solely regarding this example. Please feel free to comment in a broad sense with the title of the thread.

My Example.

I have an atheist friend who now thinks, because of the Corona virus, there is a God.

His reasoning to me seems strange and a little concerning.

He thinks that God is going to use virus’ like this to wipe out a lot of humanity and start again.

It seems of course that this is so far fetched and to be blunt, panicking.

I am interested in analyzing his thinking though. Why would he, after hearing the assertion and arguments of the idea of a Creator God giving the gift of life , being transcendent love and intelligence calling humanity to learn from it’s actions and pointing the way through an incarnated action of self sacrifice, hear that argument and reject it; only to start believing in a God who is using this present virus to kill large numbers of people.

Has anyone else encountered this mindset and where does such thinking come from?

I think when any major crisis happens whether it is our personal life or a national or international crisis we contemplate God.

I did hear someone say that God is purifying his people with this pandemic, but unless one opens up to being purified it won’t happen.

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Sometimes, the more intelligent a person is, the more he relies only upon his own ability to comprehend issues. If events are from so long ago that answers to questions about those eras are difficult for him to imagine, then he dismisses them as being ridiculous, nonsensical, and irrelevant—or whatever he uses as his reason(s) for repudiating belief in Christ.

All those miracles, plagues, and disasters from Old Testament days seem like fairy tales to too many people. This particular Coronavirus, though (with its worldwide reach and a previously unimaginable worldwide economic disaster), rings bells of fear right down to the bone. Maybe what’s happening now just might be echoing Old Testament days?

Sometimes, a very intelligent person is caught up short and needs to reconnoiter when he realizes that maybe—just maybe—he has missed part of the big picture.

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I think your friend is panicking.
The Weekend after 9/11, houses of worship were packed.
Then life got back to normal and the people drifted away.
When this epidemic passes, you’ll see if he pursues being a believer any farther.

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It’s the parable of the sower lived out in our presence. As our Lord said, those who persevere to the end will be saved.

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I never encountered what you have about coronavirus. Of course we have been keeping distance. Lol.
Seriously, your friends belief in God is convenient. To offer explanation for cruelty or vengeance or any of the many scary threads about God.
Your question is more easily answered. You offered description generally identifying God and love. I have to say that people have been exposed to, taught, and educated about God where love would not be what you come away with.
Much of this teaching can perhaps be explained as projection. One has dark worldviews, let’s face it, confirmation of dark can easily be found to corroborate in scripture and tradition. Your friends views might be a casualty of listening to wrong, in the wrong time and place. There are real explanations often for why people are broken. There was actually a good reason for the incarnation even we can see.
I am not sure how to rehabilitate ones understanding of the Christian God for broken people, but your friend seems to illustrate a common observable of what broken looks like. We might start there.

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What’s the saying “there are no atheists in fox holes?” ANY time something life altering happens or anything that changes the world all people seem to evaluate their lives, the world, their beliefs, etc. If this person only sees this pandemic as a way God will do away with Earth’s existence then they need to give it much deeper thought.

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The different viruses live in every human body.
If people say that viruses from the devil, then - what about dangerous waterfalls? Typhoons? Vulkanos? Deadly Sneakes and spiders?
The creatures like rats? Or dangerous sharks? wolves? - who kill mercilessly when hungry.
No, these forms/products of existence and nature are the God’s creatures (even if God created through evolution)
So, the things are not evil (in ontological sence)

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Thanks for the replies. I do think my friend is panicking and it seems the experience of not being in control has shifted his thinking and caused a re-evaluation of what he believes.

I also think that this ‘dark’ come to (Old Testament) God moment could be because of his past experiences and how they link to his thoughts of God. I don’t know exactly what that might be but I will be keeping my ears open.

It is interesting to meditate on what is truly evil and what is good and how they might interact with each other through different people’s life experiences and perceptions.

Also as someone said it will be interesting if his current contemplations have much affect when, God willing, this virus is more under control.

Thanks again and more replies are welcome.

Pray instead that it be a start… With an uncertain future!

Coming face to face with one’s own personal mortality when one has spent a lifetime making very sure one never faces it can be sobering and sometimes traumatic… Christians are well advised to keep their personal death ever before them, and some even do so… When one seriously embraces the quintessentially temporary nature of this life, then entering into Christ’s Death on the Cross in one’s Baptism into Christ-God becomes more real and less merely ideological, IF one decides to DO something about the transitory nature of this life we will lose…

OR… Of course…

We can open a beer and grab the remote and sit back down…
Or start a company and build the I-Phone…
And THEN die…

The Coronavirus can be very helpful to show people how much fear their noise-filled lives are designed to help them be shielded from… But persuasion from the earth and her viruses is merely persuasion - Atheists need to encounter God as God… And that takes more than most are willing to give…

geo

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I think you identify the Catholic idea of humility. We certainly experience humility when mortality is imminent. That’s a safe bet. The illusions and constructs of the ego evaporate.
This happens in times of sickness. Or worldly loss.
Some mystics say that only when the ego is shattered in this way, can the spirit enter. I had a very big health issue some years ago and I can say the mystics are right. You loose something and gain something else that you eventually recognise as more valuable.
It can’t be described and mean something. It has to be experienced.
So perhaps your friend had a small taste.

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I am amazed that something so small can be so powerful. And it can be inside all of us. Another step or two down takes us into the quantum realm. Steps deeper into the mystery of God inside all of us all the time. Can we feel God within us? I think we have to settle down and let ourselves contemplate that presence.

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Fr. Thomas Loya:

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As Ven. Archbishop Bishop Fulton J. Sheen observed, some people never look up to heaven until they’re flat on their back.

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It is interesting how this pandemic has been coinciding with Lent. Even the timing, it started spreading in force outside China after Ash Wednesday. Now with so many in lockdown or quarantine, even the etymology of that word is interesting (40 days), without our normal freedoms and pleasures available. Definitely a time for repentance, reflection, prayer, giving.

With the death toll starting to skyrocket, we should contemplate the upcoming readings (death and resurrection of Lazarus). See Martha and Mary, “If only you (Jesus) were here” this bad stuff wouldn’t be happening.

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With all the people who have flooded the coasts in the last week, it seems to me that a significant number not only were not contemplating God, but they were not even paying attention to the news for the last month or so.

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