The ninth commandment and COVID-19
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice;
nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
The Westminster Catechism says, “The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, . . . ; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever; . . . discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth; . . . studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.”
We have a duty to care for one another. This means being just and truthful to each other, especially to the poor. The effects of COVID 19 on our health, relationships and economy are now being felt here in Australia. Those with fewer resources are most vulnerable to its effects. While we should not risk our own health, as that would be counter-productive, it is important for us to engage with others and not be fearful. There is plenty of good information available on how to look after ourselves. But we are also called to look after each other. When people are fearful there is a strong temptation to lay blame and behave poorly. Perfect love casts out all fear. (1John 4:18)