“Ex-lesbian” Rosaria Butterfield is calling on Christians to thank God for coronavirus.
Butterfield is the wife of First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Durham, North Carolina pastor Kent Butterfield, and she has written a biography about how she used to be “a tenured professor of English who identified as a lesbian and worked to advance the cause of LGBT equality” before she saw “the sinfulness of having any identity apart from Him” and got married to a man and had kids.
Now, in a column in the website Desiring God, Butterfield said that she’s grateful for the highly contagious and often fatal coronavirus that has killed over 100,000 people in the U.S. and 350,000 people worldwide.
“Giving thanks to God for everything, including COVID-19, humbles us — deeply,” she wrote. “It reminds us that God’s providence is perfect and our point of view flawed. Because God is good, just, and wise, all the time and in every circumstance, then COVID-19, for the Christian, must be for our good and for God’s glory.”
While the question of how a loving and all-powerful God could allow horrors like plagues to exist has been one that theologians have wrestled with for centuries, Butterfield found a simple answer for the coronavirus pandemic: it canceled Pride, which turns people gay.
“Giving thanks to God for COVID-19 also positions us to begin to see the world from his point of view,” she wrote. “If taking away our prosperity is how God will shake us up from our national and personal sins, are we all in?”
“Have you considered the ramifications that this June will be the first in decades without a public gay pride march? Why is this big news? First, sexual identity depends on an affirming audience who can sway others to its side, using an ideology of personal freedom and victimhood. A virtual platform draws only the faithful, denying them the oxygen that this particular fire needs.”
“Second, without an audience, sexual identity cannot be normalized. Here is the heart question for us. Are you praising God for this disruption? Or is it your preference to complain about gay pride (and other sins) from the air-conditioned comfort of your home, in the midst of an economy that benefits from all kinds of sin?”
The other bright side to the pandemic, according to Butterfield, is that her church has started participating in food delivery for people in the neighborhood who can’t go out, which means there are more people in her church.
Her church is located in a progressive neighborhood, and she said that they never quite felt welcome there. Now that they’re doing something useful for the neighborhood, though, more people are visiting them.
“One practical way that COVID-19 answered our prayers was that its devastation has provided a clear reason for our conservative and biblical church to be located in this progressive community,” she wrote. “God never gets the address wrong.”