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Because the Bible does not prohibit or mandate a vaccine, our posture must be purposeful freedom. Meaning, each person has to choose based on criteria that are unique to them. It does not have to be a sin to get the vaccine, and it does not have to be wrong to refrain from it. To his own master, a person will stand or fall; you choose your master and stand or fall accordingly.
Disclosure: I have chosen not to get vaccinated because I tend to be more protective about what I put into my body. I also have less trust in faceless entities who do not know me, do not have my best interest in view, and care more about their agendas or personal successes than my life. Other-centeredness means something to me, especially when the consequences for the mandates are the highest.
I do not sense the need to compete or begrudge an individual’s ambitions or life goals, but when their objectives require my adherence to help them reach their life goals, I tend to slow down from full submission to their talking points. When public servants lose their call to serve, I distance myself from their practices and policies, using other criteria for determining if I want to follow their warnings or consequences.
Without being a cynic, my discernment guides me from “going all in” with folks who promote themselves to being on the right side of things when there are many other policymakers and good people that are against what is rousing my suspicions. For example, many of those who want me to get a vaccine reject my God. If they are wrong about God, could they be wrong in their utopian view of life? I’m not suggesting every unbeliever is wrong about everything or that every believer is always right.
There are many unbelievers I love to read, listen to, and learn from, and there is a growing list of believers that I do not trust. Should it be this way? Of course! To expect no wolves with the sheep or no weeds among the flowers is a naive way to live one’s life. I’m reasonably comfortable with weeds and wolves, but everyone named Red Riding Hood is not my friend.
I recognize that many believers believe in the vaccine, and they would suggest that I’m wrong on this matter. I can accept their view as long as they don’t make their preference my mandate. Once dogmatism becomes the order over Christian charity (among believers), I have to question the sincerity of the dogma and the dogmatist. If we cannot agree to disagree over secondary issues, then those who won’t permit Christian charity create a red flag that is hard for me to navigate.
I was listening to a lady with a daughter who was adversely affected by the vaccine. She stated that she was pro-science, which sounded (sort of) like an apology. I doubt she intended how it sounded on the video, but she suggested that she was “pro-science,” but [this] happened. I’ve heard this apologetic before; when some folks talk science, it sounds like if you don’t believe the “current scientific narrative,” you’re anti-science.
It begs the question: you can be pro-science and not take the vaccine. Can’t you? Again, when a “scientific position” has only one option with no dissent, I struggle with the scientific position. I’ve lived long enough to “follow the science,” only realizing later that it’s unwise to follow “that science” any longer.
If any person followed the science over the past two years, you’d see how the science has jumped repeatedly from one antithesis to another. When politicians and pundits refuse to be honest about these vacillations, they do not instill confidence among the masses. You can be pro-science and have a “wait and see” posture to let the science prove itself. As such, the back and forth with the science does not create confidence but undercuts the points the authorities want to mandate.
One of the odder components of this controversy is not allowing the science to stand on its merit. For example, if the vaccines work, then any person who gets a vaccine should be fine—if the science is true, and it would not matter what choices others make. Each person must choose how risk-averse they want to be, and if someone is not risk-averse to forego the vaccine, they have the right to become vaccinated. Let me illustrate:
The vaccine—apparently—is a Trojan Horse to a more complex issue, as more data comes from China. We know that part of the Chinese government’s philosophy for world dominance is to plant a thousand flowers to see which ones will grow. (Perhaps Kudzu would be a better analogy.) China has not been secretive about its aspiration for world dominance, and one of its more successful initiatives has been its gain-of-function research and implementation of a global pandemic.
What Is Gain of Function? Illustration—A person takes a rock and adds a function to it to make it a brick. Now, it’s more potent than a rock. Then he adds another function to make it a cement block; it has “gained a function.” Later, he adds another component to make it a boulder; it continues to gain more functionality. Lastly, he adds one more function until it’s an avalanche. If you keep adding new functions to a virus, eventually, you can have a super-virus that brings the world to its knees.
There are also those in America who are doing the bidding of those who hate our country. Some of these folks are co-conspirators or, perhaps, ignorant accomplices. Their greed has created myopia that blinds them to our country’s autoimmune disease that is eating away at the constitutional core of our country. Disney, LeBron James, and Apple Corporation are three of these conspirators.
We must not divorce ourselves from this metanarrative (grand narrative) while we make daily decisions about “to vax or not to vax.” It’s the “lesser decisions” to stand for personal freedom that will bring the fight to those who want to roll their agenda over you. Too many of us discount our lives and micro-decisions as though our tiny drops of water in the ocean do not affect the sea. Perhaps that is correct with one droplet, but when millions of folks make the same non-combative, non-resistant decision, it becomes collective guilt and blame.
Most Christians continue to kick the can of conflict and confrontation down the road. They don’t want to make the hard decisions. They procrastinate while silently cheering those in the public eye who hold their views. This posture is no longer tenable. Glomming personal cowardice on the courage of others is anti-Christian. The person who knows the right thing to do and chooses not to do it is a sin for that procrastinating individual (James 4:17).
The proven path to least resistance leads to a cross, not some other ideal. The person who avoids the cross will find their souls bleeding out in a Potter’s Field. There is a way that seems right to the carnal mind, but it will prove—over and over again—to be the path to an inglorious death that adds no value to God’s fame or the salvation of souls. It has now become atrocious to spend our days on Facebook, sharing our favorite quote from our favorite hero, hoping it will be enough to turn the tide. Wormwood could not be more pleased.
Without being mean toward others, we cannot self-censor any longer. We can be full of grace and truth, but it must be more than that. There are other costs to count, the first of which will be our courage—or the lack thereof. Teddy Roosevelt got it right in this over-used but most relevant quote.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I do not know if you should get a vaccine. I would not impose my view on you because the Bible does not specifically tell us what to do about this matter, which brings us back to purposeful freedom. But what I do know is that you cannot take the role of a spectator. You must activate your faith, which is the only kind of faith there is. You must make many decisions and then reacquaint yourself with them each day, adjusting what you must and marching forth as an ambassador of Christ, courageous regardless of the cost.
The cost will be more than taking or refusing the vaccine. You may have to leave your church, break away from relatives, move from your community, find another job, or suffer incarceration. I’m not an alarmist, though what I’m suggesting may sound alarming to those who have never given up much for the cause of Christ. Most Christians have a standard of living, and it’s that standard that means more to them than whatever insidiousness that is eating away at their freedoms.
The silent cancer is not silent any longer. If you don’t see these things, ask the Lord to provide you with eyes to see them. If you’re unwilling to look, ask the Lord to grant you repentance so you can unbury your head from the malaise. The community of Christ must come together in a spirit of love and boldness that penetrates our dark world for the fame of God, the cause of Christ, and the redemption of many hopeless souls.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).