COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
We live in difficult and unprecedented times. Christians today are facing moral decisions that no Christian has ever faced before. These decisions are coming to us rapidly in the areas of sexual ethics, technology, and medical ethics. God’s word is sufficient and church history has events that are similar for the sake of comparison, but at the end of the day, we’re in uncharted waters.
Wisdom is the application of biblical truth to particular situations. We are urged to pray and ask God for wisdom. In these days, we should all be praying for wisdom.
Our congregation is being hit hard this week by the presidential executive order which mandates the federal workforce be vaccinated for COVID-19. It’s the general position of the elder board that choosing to be vaccinated for COVID-19, or not be vaccinated for COVID-19, is a personal medical decision. It’s a decision that has many factors that relate to people as individuals. The personal nature of this decision has been complicated by the president mandating a vaccine for federal workers. This executive mandate has bled over to the government contract workforce as well. Many people that have chosen to not receive this vaccine now find their careers in government service threatened.
Faithful Christians are going to make different decisions here as to what is best for them. People are falling into four general categories:
- Those that already took one of the vaccines weeks or months ago as a choice to protect their personal health.
- Those that chose not to be vaccinated for personal medical reasons but do not believe those reasons outweigh openly opposing the executive order and possibly being fired.
- Those that chose not to be vaccinated and are now claiming a religious foundation for being exempted from the vaccine.
- Those that choose not to be vaccinated and for personal medical reasons and/or freedom of conscience reasons are willing to quit their jobs to not take any form of the vaccine.
I have Christian friends in all four categories. Members of our church fall into all four categories.
A few thoughts here that I think are important. First, we need to make room for fellow Christians to reach different personal choices concerning this vaccine. Intelligent, informed Christians are convinced of different things concerning the science of these vaccines. We must allow people to make their own medical choices and not divide from them over a significant, but not gospel oriented, choice.
Second, I believe this executive order is a serious overreach of government authority but complying with it is not a matter of worship. When Daniel and his friends refused to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s idol and when early Christians refused to declare that Caesar was Lord – these were issues of worship.
We face plenty of serious moral decisions in our day, decisions that clearly relate to moral right and moral wrong. Clear moral decisions that we can point to biblical chapter and verse to prove out the right or wrong of the decision. This is not one of those decisions. As a church we can, and will, make different individual decisions related to this vaccine mandate, yet we can still come together in Christ to love and support each other.
I firmly believe there will, soon enough, come a time where our religious liberties will be directly threatened. A time when rules will be put in place that attempt to bring the church under the coercive authority of government. When that day comes, and truly our allegiance to Christ Jesus as Lord is tested, we must stand together. May personal matters not divide us in these days. Let us strive to bear with each other in brotherly love.
Give us wisdom oh Lord,