From The Associate Pastor’s Desk: COVID-19 & When Should We Reopen The Economy?

A couple nights ago, we had our first virtual youth group meeting over Zoom. Since it was a new concept to me and my students, I opened the floor to any questions. Now, I really meant for them to ask some Bible or theology questions since that is where my education and studies reside. Instead, I got the question, “Why don’t we open the economy?”

Well, that seems to be the question on everyone’s mind, right? Now I try to educate myself, to a certain degree, in a wide array of topics, but how was I qualified to answer this question? I imagine many people reading this have strong opinions one way or another, but I would like to discuss this for a little bit…

Since I am certainly no public health or economy expert, I will not be able to resolve this issue fully, nor would anyone listen even if I could. But let me reframe this issue and give you some thoughts…In reframing the issue, let’s ask, “What should we be considering, as Christians, when we ponder and discuss the idea of reopening the country?”

Let us first consider why the economy was closed in the first place. We were told by the politicians, health experts, and media that we needed to “flatten the curve.” Basically, the idea is that if too many people get COVID-19 at one time then the health care system would be overwhelmed and many people would die. Staying home was thought to help slow the spread of the disease to allow our hospitals to keep up. A secondary benefit is that health researchers could have more time to develop treatments and vaccines to help the infected, and allow hospitals time to ramp up supplies of life saving equipment. The cost of all these stay at home orders is that the economy has taken an unprecedented hit and tens of millions of people have lost their jobs.

So, that’s where we are now. We have two problems…One, a global pandemic that threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. And two, an economic catastrophe that could leave many jobless, homeless, and hopeless. To top it all off, there seems to be an extreme divide in how to proceed. Should we send everyone back to work and risk the rapid spread of the virus, or keep people home and risk the loss of human flourishing that will come from a sunk economy? This dilemma has led to some very uncivil discourse on the topic, as I’m sure you have all seen to one degree or another. So, I ask again, how can we, as Christians, approach this discussion?

To put it simply, just like anything else we do, we need to react in love. So, what does that look like in this context? It looks like us demonstrating to people that we value both life and human flourishing. More than that though, we value the souls of people. Let me ask you this, those of you who are pushing for the economy to be immediately reopened, is it obvious in your discourse that you recognize the consequences of the actions you are advocating? Is it obvious that you do want to protect human life? Or how about you who would say we need to keep everyone quarantined and “you are selfish and don’t care about others” if you think its OK to open the economy and go back to work, do you make it clear that you understand the consequences of the people trapped at home and without work?

So, what am I calling for right now? Just this, educate yourself to the best of your ability. That is your responsibility as a citizen of this great country. Then, have a civil discussion and count the cost of your actions, or the collective action, because, to be sure, there will be a cost. And lastly, value people’s eternal destiny more than anything else. As Christians, we are called to nothing less than to show the love of Christ in anything we do or say. So, have your educated opinion. Speak respectfully. And most of all, show the love of Christ in anything you do or say.

An Overview on the Book of Psalms


We’re currently in a special COVID-19 mini-series entitled, “Timeless Truths In Turbulent Times.” This series is taking us through select psalms in the book of Psalms. So far we have examined three psalms in this series (Psalm 102, 77, and 23). This Sunday, we’ll be diving into a fourth psalm – Psalm 90! But let’s not mistake the trees for the forest…Below is a video that gives to us a 30,000 Foot Overview on the book of Psalms and helps us to see the whole forest in all of its’ magnificent glory…Enjoy!

Prairie Flower to Publish Good Friday Message Online!

Good Friday

In the midst of all the COVID-19 turbulence, Prairie Flower Baptist Church seeks to publish quality and timely biblical content. To that end, Prairie Flower will be publishing a Good Friday message on Friday, April 10. In this message, Pastor Dave will dissect the phrase “Christ Died For Us” from Romans Chapter 5. He will challenge all of us to reflect deeply on the ramifications of Christ’s death for us; and then motivate us to rejoice well over this life-changing Gospel fact. This message will graphically articulate the crucifixion of Jesus and will also include a special reading from Prairie Flower’s Associate Pastor, Tim O’Tool, as he recites (from memory) Isaiah 53. Please plan now to tune into this message via our app, website, YouTube channel, or on Facebook. And be sure to share it with your family and friends!

Romans 5:6-8

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


From the Desk of the Associate: Hope in a Time of Fear

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How do you think people will talk about the year 2020 in 50 years? How about 100 or a 1000 years? What about in 2750 years? Isaiah the prophet wrote about an event that took place that long ago. The event he talked about was a time of great doubt and fear, you could even say panic. The kingdom of Judah and its king, Ahaz, were facing a very serious threat to their very existence. Their neighbors all around them had decided to declare war on them. Not only that but in the early battles of the war, Judah had experienced defeat on a massive scale. They had basically been pushed back all the way to their capital and had lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers and many more civilians as slaves. It is hard for us to understand something like this in our day. It’s as if our greatest enemies had invaded the U.S. and conquered almost all our people and territory. Isaiah describes the hearts of the people of Judah like trees shaking in the forest on a windy day.

Can you imagine how you would feel when faced with such an existential threat? While the threat of the COVID-19 virus is serious, I think we can be thankful that at least, at the time of this writing, it is not as serious as the threat that faced the nation of Judah. That said, there are lessons I think we can take from that time period and apply them to our current situation.

It’s easy in times like these for Christians to immediately assume this is a judgement from God on sinful humanity. That might be the case here, but it would be arrogant and irresponsible to jump to that conclusion. But with that said, let us assume for a minute, for sake of argument, that this is a judgment from God. Can we think of any reasons why God would be judging our world? For Christians the answer is easily yes. From abortion, to sexual deviancy, perverted justice, and the oppression of the poor and afflicted. Every country is guilty of these things to one degree or another so there is ample reason for God to be judging our world. The same could be said of the nation of Judah and its king, Ahaz. You see, Ahaz had led the nation away from serving their rightful God, Yahweh, to serve the gods of their neighbors. Ahaz had set up altars and images to Baal and not only worshiped this false god but also lead the nation to serve this false god as well. An essential worship rite of this religion involved infanticide. That’s right, offering your own children to the fires of these demon gods.

We know that it was because of this practice that God allowed Judah to be defeated. You can read of this in 2 Chronicles 28:9-11. Returning to Isaiah, we can see in chapter 7 that God was still wanting to be merciful. In fact, he sent Isaiah the prophet to Ahaz almost offering him the chance to repent and turn to God. Ahaz refused this opportunity to receive Yahweh’s mercy. God told Ahaz to ask for any sign he wanted that the Lord would be on the side of Judah and offer them mercy. Now at this point in the story, I want to pull my hair out and just tell Ahaz to humble himself and return to the Lord. If I had the chance to ask anything of the Lord, I would ask for an amazing miracle that would completely alter the situation. Instead, Ahaz would rather trust in his own wisdom and in the strength of the foreign superpower Assyria to fight his battle. This would not come without a cost because, though Assyria helped Judah defeat her enemies, they would later come and dominate and oppress the land of Judah. Worse than this, the alliance lead Ahaz further into idolatry.

Even though Ahaz had again spit in the face of Yahweh, the God of Israel, God would still be merciful to the nation. This mercy revealed itself in the fulfillment of this prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” That’s right! The ultimate hope in this dark situation that the nation found themselves in was that God would come and live among them. He would fight for them and deliver them from their enemies. What an awesome hope that is. And the best part for us today is that though the nation of Judah would have to wait 700 years for the fulfillment of that hope, we get to look back and see that God did indeed come to live among us. He also defeated our ultimate enemies, sin and death, in His body on the cross and the resurrection from the dead. And best part of all of this is that He still lives with us today and will live with us forever.

So, as the world reacts to the current situation with fear and doubt, with hearts shaking as trees in a forest on a windy day, we can instead react with confidence that God is on the throne. Our Lord will be merciful and indeed He already has been merciful. Let us point others to the hope found in our great God who will not let His anger burn forever nor will He leave us or forsake us. And as we celebrate the Resurrection this year, more than any other, let us remember the words from 1 Corinthians 15:19-20, “If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more that anyone. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Brothers and sisters, our hope does not rest in finding a cure for this disease (though we pray for one), nor is it in the strength of our economy (though we pray for that too). No, our hope rests in the fact that Jesus achieved the cure to the disease of sin, and that we are heirs of the wealth of the King.