Why does the Lord keep or make these gradations and differences in His way of dealing to His people? You would think it would be much better for God to give a large stock of faith, love, patience, etc., to all His people, and that this would be more for their comfort than when they are kept at such a great distance from Him, and with such a scanty measure of gifts and graces.
We may think so, but He is much wiser than we.
To Enhance the Fellowship of the Saints
The Lord has resolved to give out diverse administrations to the body of which He Himself is the Head. He wants His body to have different members, and He wants them to serve Him with different qualifications. In the body He wants eyes, hands, feet, etc. And yet they are only the one complete body! They are still just the one communion of saints. But this would not be possible if they were all alike. “You know more than I do,” says one, “and have greater understanding in the matters of God.” “Well,” says another, “but I love more than you do. You think you would do more for Christ than I would do, but it may be if there was something to do for the cause of Christ I would fight better than you would for all that.”
To Make Us Value Christ’s Intercession More
By this varied manner of His administration, the Lord keeps the ransom still in request, and the intercession of Christ in heaven still in request. For if we had it in our own hand, Christ would soon be out of work for all the employment we would give Him, and we would soon lose respect to the ransom. But now when infirmities appear from day to day it keeps the ransom still precious to the soul.
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By Dean Davis — 1 year ago
My message is divided into three parts. First, I discuss whether Christians should be vaccinated with one of the new genetic vaccines. Second, I discuss how I believe Christians should respond to vaccination mandates. And third, I offer of a list of resources on this subject that have helped me greatly. My goal is to give Christian leaders, Christian laity, and all concerned citizens the biblical wisdom and reliable information they need to decide well and remain safe.
The flock of God is in a quandary. New vaccines, using a new technology, are now freely available for protection against the COVID-19 virus. Many voices are raised, confidently asserting that these vaccines are safe and effective. Federal, state, and employer mandates are coming down the pike, requiring millions of Americans, including children, to be vaccinated or face exclusion and/or termination. Meanwhile, other voices, just as confident, assert that the vaccines are not safe and effective, and that the mandates violate God-given principles and constitutionally guaranteed rights.
So many voices. So much confusion. So much fear, pressure, and division. How should Christians respond?
I want to begin my reply by addressing pastors: You must teach your people. It will not be enough, or even especially appropriate, to preach a sermon on Romans 14, urge them to study the issues for themselves, make the best choices they can, and then live and let live. We are not dealing here with Christian liberty in non-essentials. We are dealing with an especially sharp and dangerous satanic attack. The ruler of this world is coming against your flock—lambs included—in order to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10; 14:30). Using a wide variety of human instruments seated in high places, he is trying to frighten, confuse, shame, cajole, and intimidate your people into making a medical decision that could cost them their lives and the lives of their children. They need a good shepherd: someone who will tell them the truth, thereby guiding them to still waters, where once again they can hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.
Brothers, the Good Shepherd is counting on you (John 10:1-18).
I am a retired pastor, putting myself in the shoes of active pastors, and writing this essay both for them and their flocks. I earnestly hope it helps.
My message is divided into three parts. First, I discuss whether Christians should be vaccinated with one of the new genetic vaccines. Second, I discuss how I believe Christians should respond to vaccination mandates. And third, I offer of a list of resources on this subject that have helped me greatly. My goal is to give Christian leaders, Christian laity, and all concerned citizens the biblical wisdom and reliable information they need to decide well and remain safe.
Parts 1 and 2 deal with “prudential judgments” concerning vaccines and vaccine mandates. A prudential judgment is a judgment that is not based on a direct biblical command, but on a relevant biblical principle. The Bible says nothing about vaccines and vaccine mandates. It does, however, give us relevant principles by which we can make biblically based decisions about them both. In the pages ahead I will try to identify the relevant biblical principles, supply trustworthy “facts of the matter,” and then apply the principles to the facts, so that God’s people can make prudential judgments that are wise, safe, and honoring to the Lord.PART 1
Should Christians Be Vaccinated with One of the New Genetic Vaccines?
The Principles Involved
To my mind, the primary biblical principle involved here is quite simple: God has given us a body, purchased it for himself through the redemption that is in Christ, and therefore requires us to steward it carefully for our good and his glory. A corollary of this principle is that if we are parents, God has also made us stewards of the bodies of our children, with a charge to promote and protect both their spiritual and physical well-being, until the day comes when they are old enough to make health decisions for themselves (John 9:23; 1 Thess. 2:4-12; 1 Tim. 5:8).
Many biblical texts, all of which reveal the sanctity of the human body, affirm this principle (Matt. 6:22; John 2:21; Rom. 1:4, 6:12; 1 Cor. 7:34; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 5:29; Phil. 1:20; James 3:6; Jude 1:9). Perhaps the most important is found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Addressing the issue of sexual purity, he writes:
Flee sexual immorality. “Every sin that a man commits is outside the body.” But the sexually immoral man is sinning against his own body. Or don’t you realize that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have received from God? Don’t you realize that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: Therefore, glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Paul’s message is clear: Redemption in Christ has ethical implications for how we manage our bodies. We are not our own. Christ has purchased us for God: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23). Our bodies belong to him. They are, and always must be, set apart for his holy purposes. Day by day we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, which is our spiritual service of worship (Rom. 12:1). Yes, for wise reasons he may permit them to get sick or be injured. But that does not give us a license to defile, damage, or imperil them. On the contrary, we must conscientiously steward them, for they are precious vessels that God desires for his eternal home, purposes, and glory–and our eternal joy. It follows, then, that as good stewards of a divinely created, redeemed, and sanctified body, we must never put any deadly thing into the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Facts of the Matter
Keeping these principles in mind, let us now consider some important and well-established facts about the new COVID-19 vaccines. I understand that some people who are considered experts will contest the truth or relevance of these facts. Such disagreements are part and parcel of the spiritual warfare I spoke about at the beginning of this essay. But they are also signs that God is testing our love of the truth. There is no escaping it: If we hope to make wise, safe, God-honoring decisions about these vaccines, each of us will have to examine the truth claims on all sides of the debate. Through prayer, personal research, and respectful dialog with others, we must discern the real facts of the matter for ourselves. Happily, we know that God will help us. He has told us that if any of us lacks wisdom, we need only ask, believe, and work hard to get at the truth. All who do so may rest assured that God will give them the grace they need to make the right choice (James 1:5-8).
Having studied these matters for many months, I give you here, under seven headings, the fruit of my research. I believe this is trustworthy information. Using the resources supplied in Part 3, as well as resources of your own choosing, you will be able to evaluate it for yourselves.
The new genetic vaccines are experimental, insufficiently tested, and irresponsibly promoted.
The widely used Pfizer and Moderna vaccines employ a technology never before approved for use on human beings. Traditional vaccines usually consist of inert or weakened pathogens (i.e., bacteria or viruses) introduced into the body in order to awaken our stunningly complex immune system. If all goes well, it sends out a diverse army of specialized cells (i.e., antibodies) in order to find and destroy the pathogens, and also to log a cellular memory of the invasion for war against future invaders. Henceforth, the body is prepared to respond to a stronger version of the pathogen entering from “the wild.” In short, traditional vaccines intentionally introduce weak pathogens into the body in order to prepare it for an unintentional invasion by stronger ones.
The mRNA vaccines are different. They primarily (but not exclusively) consist of trillions of particles of synthetic messenger-RNA (mRNA). As the name implies, these tiny strands of man-made genetic material were designed to enter our cells and send them a message: “You are now ordered to produce trillions of spike proteins, just like the one found on the COVID-19 virus: the one that could attach itself to you, order you to manufacture more viruses, and thereby sicken and kill your whole body.” The goal, then, of these vaccines is to temporarily turn our cells into spike protein factories, so that our immune system will be trained to attack the business end of a COVID-19 virus: its spike protein.
The Johnson & Johnson and Astra-Zeneca vaccine use a somewhat different technology. These contain adenoviruses that have been genetically modified to produce spike proteins identical with those of the COVID-19 viruses. Once again, the goal is to awaken the immune system to go to war against the entering wedge of the COVID-19 virus: the spike protein.
Hindsight is 20/20. We now know that the spike proteins generated by our cells are very large and durable. We know that they do not remain in our bodily tissue, but eventually pass through our lymphatic system and into our bloodstream, where they can clog our capillaries and generate blood clots. We know that they are carried to, and accumulate in, various parts of our body, including in vital organs. In short, we know—or at least strongly suspect—that they are toxic.
Scientists hoped—and various elites led us to believe—that these vaccines would be effective and safe. As we shall see in a moment, they are neither.
It need not have happened. On average, it takes about seven years of development and testings in order to insure a vaccine’s long-term effectiveness and safety. But in this case, people panicked (or were made to panic), rulers acted in haste, and scientists abandoned longstanding protocols for vaccine development, testing, and rollout. Also, researchers knew very well that previous attempts at developing coronavirus vaccines have always ended in failure, and frequently resulted in injury and death when tested on animals. In effect, then, the pharmaceutical companies, which are immune to lawsuits, are experimenting on millions of people around the world. We are their guinea pigs. Said one FDA official, commenting on the mass vaccination of children, “We’re never going to learn how safe the vaccine is unless we start giving it, and that’s just the way it goes. That’s how we found out about complications of other vaccines.”
Alarmed by such irresponsibility, and fearing its long-term consequences, Dr. Raymond Obomsawin wrote:
It is vitally important to appreciate that . . . there is only limited, short-term safety data for these vaccines, and that it is impossible reasonably to infer long-term safety without first observing the impact on human health over the next few years. Specifically, the potential for late-onset effects such as the development of autoimmune diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, and infertility is highly relevant for young people who have a lifetime ahead of them. These potentialities need to be fully assessed and ruled out with certainty before it is possible to proceed with confidence.
Cells lines derived from the bodies of aborted babies were used in the production and/or testing of these vaccines.
Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson used cell lines derived from aborted babies in the testing, development, and production of their vaccines. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna used these kinds of cells in some of their testing, but not in development and production.
These facts are troubling to many Christians, who rightfully judge that abortion is the murder of an innocent human being, and who know that God condemns murder. They are confused, however, by Christian leaders who say we can (and should) condemn abortion, but are permitted to benefit from the cells lines of aborted babies, since God is a God who can trump evil by using it for good good. What biblical principles should guide them here?
There are at least two.
The first is found in Romans 1:32, where Paul castigates the Gentiles, not only for practicing evil, but also for approving of those who engage in it. It is clear, then, that a Christian should never say or do anything that would approve—or seem to approve—of evil, for that would make him complicit in the evil so approved. But if we receive a vaccine that is associated in any way with abortion, are we not giving tacit approval to those who test, develop, or produce it in this way? Are we not—in effect, if not intention—encouraging them to continue using cell lines from aborted babies? On the other hand, if we reject the vaccine, and freely tell folks why, are we not bearing witness to God’s truth, and hopefully awakening the consciences of many?
The second principle is found in Romans 3:8. In his dialog with an imaginary Jew, Paul asks, “Shall we do evil that good may come?” (Rom. 3:8). Obviously not. And that must be our own reply to all who say, “Yes, aborting the baby was evil, but now that she’s dead, shouldn’t we redeem the evil by using her cells for good?”
“What!” cry the disciples of St. Paul. “In order to save our own skins shall we encourage Big Pharma to keep striking hands with Planned Parenthood, or with any other abortuary that is trying to make extra profits from the murder of unborn babies? No indeed! Rather, we need to listen again the Word of God: ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and do not touch the unclean thing; and I will receive you’” (2 Cor. 6:17).
The vaccines are unnecessary.
If the COVID-19 virus were like the bubonic plague or the Spanish flu, threatening entire populations with death, there might be a case for fighting it with an experimental vaccine. But it is not:
The vast majority of people infected with COVID-19—over 99%–will survive; most will experience mild to moderate symptoms, some none at all.
Even among the most vulnerable demographic, ages 65 and over, there is a 95% survival rate.
It is true that those with two or three “co-morbidities” (i.e., conditions that weaken the immune system) are more vulnerable to serious disease and death from COVID-19. But as we shall see, common sense measures of prevention, together with early treatment with repurposed drugs, guarantee highly effective protection, protection that is far greater than that of the experimental vaccines.
There is an infinitesimal chance that a healthy child will die of COVID-19 (.0002%). Some children have an innate immunity to the virus, likely traceable to memory cells generated by common colds (which are caused by coronaviruses). Others pass through a COVID-19 infection—usually with mild symptoms, or none at all—and acquire a natural long-lasting immunity that, unlike the vaccines, will protect them from COVID-19 variants. But as we shall see in a moment, there is a significant chance that a child will be injured, permanently disabled, or killed by the vaccine, especially if he as already acquired a natural immunity. Thus, the (alleged) benefits of vaccination come nowhere near to outweighing the risks.
The official Infection Fatality Fate (IFR) for COVID-19 is inflated, and perhaps dramatically so. People who died with COVID-19, including suicides and accident victims, were counted as dying from the virus. One wonders: How many flu deaths were reckoned as COVID-19 deaths? The PCR test for COVID-19 is known to give many false positives. Governments gave hospitals strong financial incentives to report ordinary deaths as COVID-19 deaths. Pathology professor Timothy Allen wrote, “It seems clear that the correct IFR is just a little worse than the rate for the 2017-2018 flu.”
Once again, if COVID-19 vaccines are unnecessary for the vast majority of the general populace, then they are exceedingly unnecessary for all who have acquired natural immunity by passing through an infection. Moreover, it is now known that vaccinating people who have natural immunity causes more adverse reactions than vaccinating those without.
Throughout this pandemic, powerful elites, enabled by various media outlets, have consistently misinformed or underinformed us, thereby keeping the public in a state of ignorance and fear. The simple truth is that a COVID-19 infection is not especially dangerous, a healthy immune system is almost always able to fight it off, and we have safe, effective, and inexpensive medications to treat any who are in special need. The new experimental vaccines are unnecessary.
The vaccines are ineffective.
When the new vaccines were rolled out, Dr. Fauci told us that they were “virtually 100% efficacious.” This led people to believe that they would permanently protect us from infection, transmission, disease, hospitalization, and death. But in fact they do none of these things. Yes, in many cases they offer temporary protection from symptoms. But when the protection wears off (usually after 4-6 months), the vaccinated are again vulnerable to “breakthrough infections,” hospitalization, and death.
Hard data confirm this truth. In Israel, over 85% of the populace has been fully vaccinated. However, as of this writing public health officials now report over 16,000 cases. Moreover, they tell us that approximately 80% of those who died were vaccinated, and that this year’s deaths are 12 times higher than last year. The situation is much the same in other highly vaccinated locales, such as the U.K., Ireland, Wales, Australia, and Singapore. Meanwhile, here in the U.S. nearly 90% of the adults in Vermont have been vaccinated, yet cases are surging, and, according to Dr. Robert Redfield, 40% of the recent fatalities were fully vaccinated.
These developments tell us that the vaccines do not work. If fact, it now appears that they actually make things worse, since they promote the evolution of variants, and confuse and weaken our immune systems. Accordingly, many authorities now judge it far better to let a COVID-19 infection run its course, while treating the especially vulnerable with safe and effective repurposed drugs. This approach allows our immune systems to generate robust antibodies that will attack all parts of an invading COVID-19 virus (and not just the spike proteins), thereby protecting us from variants, and also nudging the entire populace towards herd immunity.
The vaccines are dangerous.
This is my single greatest concern. Something is wrong with these vaccines. They are sickening, disabling, and killing many people.
Again, some experts trace this problem to the trillions of large, durable, and toxic spike proteins generated by our vaccine-modified cells. Passing through our lymphatic system and into our bloodstream, these proteins clog the circulatory system, accumulate in vital organs, and cause severe problems.
Other experts spotlight additional chemicals used in the vaccines, some of which are “proprietary,” and therefore secret. Two well-known ingredients are polyethylene glycol and polysorbate, both of which can produce anaphylactic shock (sudden allergic reactions) in some individuals.
Whatever the causes may be, one thing is sure: The victims are many, and the adverse reactions are diverse and serious.
As of this writing, the CDC reports 17,000 COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths, 80,000 hospitalizations, 25,000 permanent disabilities, and 800,000 total adverse events. Eudravigilance, the European reporting system, now associates the vaccine with 26,000 deaths. Whistleblower data gathered from very reliable Medicare charts show that nearly 50,000 elderly Americans died within two weeks of vaccination. Since adverse events are underreported or misreported, these numbers are actually much higher. Steve Kirsch, using eight different parameters for calculation, concludes that the new vaccines have killed at least 150,000 Americans, and permanently disabled 300,000. As we have seen, in highly vaccinated countries like the U.K., Ireland, Holland, and Israel, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are surging.
Unveiling the variety, frequency, and seriousness of the adverse reactions, the official OpenVAERS website pointedly mentions blood clots, low platelets, strokes, anaphylaxis (allergic reactions), heart attacks, myocarditis (especially among youth), Bell’s Palsy, miscarriages, and menstrual irregularities. Heart-rending personal testimonies, available for viewing on websites designed to publicize the stories of vaccine victims, put flesh on these statistics, and reveal the dreadful human cost of our errors.
I am especially concerned about the vaccination of children and youth. On the one hand, we have seen that this demographic is essentially impervious to serious illness and death from COVID-19. On the other, there is grave danger that many of our children will be injured, permanently disabled, or killed by a new COVID-19 vaccine. Based on reports to the CDC, Steve Kirsch calculates that some 570 American youth, aged 12-17, have already died from vaccination. In the highly vaccinated UK, teen deaths are up 125%. Anecdotal evidence keeps pouring in, giving us stories of teens who die in their sleep, in front of their computers, or on the playing field, just days after their vaccination. Maddie de Garay, a 12-year-old girl, was part of a test group of about 1,100 youth. She nearly died from the vaccine, and now appears to be permanently disabled. Many outspoken medical authorities, decrying the great push to vaccinate children and youth, use words like insane, heartbreaking, and criminal. I could not agree more.
No vaccine in history has generated this range of adverse reactions; and the official indifference to this fact is stunning, as is the failure of our media outlets to report them. Normally, 25-50 deaths that are even remotely associated with an experimental vaccine would bring testing and distribution to an immediate halt. In 1976, 32 deaths shut down human testing of the swine flu vaccine. Yet here and in much of Europe the march towards universal vaccination goes on, leaving multitudes injured and dead in its wake.
Who will tell the people the truth? Who will be for them a watchman on the walls?
The way out of the pandemic is not through mass vaccination, but through common sense methods of prevention, and through early treatment with cheap, safe, and effective repurposed drugs.
This point cannot be overemphasized. Currently, the powers that be in Europe and America are fixated on a one-size-fits-all strategy: vaccination. But for well over a year respected scientists and doctors around the world have been exploring other strategies, not only to prevent infection, but also to treat one when it occurs.
And they have found them. We now know that fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and a daily regimen of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc offer significant common-sense protection against infection. In some countries, governments encourage protection by distributing hyrdoxychloroquine or ivermectin for regular use. Very importantly, we also know that in the event of an actual infection, early treatment with hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies, and other safe, repurposed drugs, including humble aspirin, will mitigate symptoms and prevent hospitalization and death for multitudes. The Fareed-Tyson protocol, relying upon such medications, has saved the lives of over 7,000 COVID-19 patients; it has resulted in a 99.76% risk reduction, with no deaths or disabilities.
Further support for this strategy comes from India. The state of Kerala, which banned the use of ivermectin, presently has about 186,000 cases of COVID-19. This is 65% of all cases in India. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh, which aggressively promotes the use of Ivermectin, has only 193 active cases, despite boasting over 200 million more citizens than Kerala! Yes, inexpensive repurposed drugs offer high levels of protection against COVID-19. But more than that, they allow our immune systems to develop special antibodies that will attack the entire virus (and not just a particular spike protein), thereby supplying robust protection against future variants. The end result, for folks who are willing to walk this path, is strong protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death, as well as peace of mind, durable acquired immunity to COVID-19 variants, and a major contribution to herd immunity.
The vaccination path confers none of these benefits; indeed, it appears to work against them. Which path, then, is it most reasonable to take?
People are now becoming aware of these facts, rejecting the vaccines, and pushing back against vaccine mandates.
Just as you cannot keep a good man down, so you cannot keep the truth from getting out, especially in the age of the Internet! (2 Cor. 13:8). And thanks to the conscientious, courageous, and costly labors of a growing cadre of medical professionals, the truth is getting out, despite a flood of opposition from various powerful elites.
The truth-tellers are manifold. They include scientists, doctors, nurses, and public health officials. Space does not permit me to share their extensive credentials, but I am well pleased to lift up the names of just a few: doctors Peter McCullough, Robert Malone, Pierre Kory, Simone Gold, Joseph Mercola, Ryan Cole, Charles Hoff, Lev Zelenko, Harvey Risch, Scott Atlas, Peter Breggin, and many more. While differing among themselves on minor points of science and policy, all of these professionals challenge the safety of the new vaccines, oppose vaccine mandates, eagerly promote early treatment as our best weapon against the pandemic, and vociferously denounce authorities who would keep us from supplying that treatment to the needy.
Very importantly, their leadership has caused thousands of other professionals to join with them. As a result, over 10,000 doctors and scientists from around the world have signed the Rome Declaration, a public statement that articulates the principles mentioned above.
Happily, the people themselves are also speaking up. We now have websites where the vaccine-injured tell their stories, and where the relatives and friends of the vaccine-killed can do the same, hoping to alert a slumbering public. Similarly, victims now meet and exchange information on social media. Meanwhile, concerned citizens collaborate in Facebook groups, demonstrate in county squares, write letters to their local newspapers, and contact government leaders and public health officials. In short, truth is going out and minds are being changed.
The result is major push back against the powers that be. We especially see this in the growing opposition to vaccine mandates coming from doctors, nurses, soldiers, teachers, police officers, border patrol agents, firemen, pilots, air traffic controllers, and more. This opposition is quite revealing. If the new vaccines were properly vetted, shown to be effective, and known to be safe, most folks would receive them gladly. But they are not. Accordingly, more and more people are rejecting vaccination, even as influential leaders lie to them, bribe them, shame them, threaten them, fire them, and otherwise trey to force them to take the jab.
The people’s response to all this pressure is visceral, and in full accord with nature and nature’s God: “Life is good. I need a healthy body to enjoy it. Nothing you can say or do will induce me to destroy it.”
The Principles Applied
I have argued that the biblical principles involved in the vaccination quandary are simple and clear. First, we must conscientiously steward the health of our bodies and the bodies of our children. We must never do anything that might injure or destroy these precious temples of the Holy Spirit. And second, we must never approve, or seem to approve, of an evil; nor are we to encourage an evil in any way, even if it might seem that through the evil some measure of good may come.
Speaking personally, after applying these principles to the relevant facts of the matter I have concluded that I must not be vaccinated with one of the new genetic vaccines. The risks far outweigh any of the supposed (and largely disproven) advantages. To do so would be to jeopardize my life, health, capacities, and future fruitfulness in ministry; and to do so in the case of my children would be unthinkable. And again, these particular vaccines are morally tainted through their association with abortion and abortion profiteering. I cannot be a party to that. However, I can tell folks the reasons for my decision, and so become a voice for the unborn and the sanctity of human life.
Pastors, I urge you to share these principles and facts with your people. I also encourage you to direct them to any other resources that will help them educate themselves and stay abreast of developments in this highly consequential public debate. Having done that, you can safely leave the final decisions with them, knowing that you have done your duty, and that you are “innocent of the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26; Rom. 14:1-23).
How Should Christians Respond to Vaccine Mandates?
The Principles Involved
Once again, the central principle involved here is quite simple: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). However, in order to understand and apply it correctly, we need to think for a moment about the idea of authority.
What is authority? A basic definition, fully harmonious with biblical teaching, would be: Authority is the right to exercise power in order to enforce conformity to one’s will, or to discipline or punish those who refuse to conform.
In the Bible we meet the supreme authority in the universe: God Most High, the creator, sustainer, providential ruler, and moral governor of all men and nations. For our good and his glory, he has instituted laws by which he would have us live. If we obey them, he will commend and bless us. If not, he will discipline or punish us. In all of this, his motives are good: The High King of Heaven uses his supreme authority to maintain order, enforce justice, secure the well-being of his creatures, and preserve his proper honor and glory (Ex. 20; Deut. 28; Mal. 1:6, 14; Matt. 28:18; John 17:2, Eph. 1:18-23; Rom. 13:1-7).
The Bible also reveals that God delegates some of his supreme authority to men and angels. Focusing our attention on men, we learn, first of all, that God delegates his authority (and therefore assigns responsibility) to individuals. That is, he gives each of us the right, the power, and the prerogative to govern ourselves according to his will. Of all delegated authorities, this is the most fundamental. It is the only one over which we have complete control, and the only one for which we must give an account to God (2 Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:5). In the face of every spiritual test, including the test of vaccine mandates, we must take care to exercise it well.
There are several other kinds of delegated authority. For example, God, for particular purposes and within fixed limits, delegates authority to husbands to govern their wives (Eph. 5:22). He delegates authority to parents to govern their children (Eph. 6:1). He delegates authority to elders, to govern their flocks (1 Tim. 3:4; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:5). And finally, he delegates authority to magistrates, to govern the citizens under their jurisdiction (Rom. 13:1-8; 1 Pet. 2:13-16).
But again, God has placed certain limits on those to whom he delegates authority, and this in two main ways.
First, leaders in every sphere must use their authority in obedience to the will of God. They are not at liberty to act on their own, but only as his ministers, as his representatives upon the earth (Rom. 13:6). As a general rule, this means that they will always use their authority to protect and promote the physical and spiritual well-being of those under their care. This is true even of magistrates when they are called to use their authority to punish evildoers, since the administration of divine justice secures the overall peace of a given community. If a leader uses his authority well, God will honor him and reward him (Rom. 13:7; 1 Tim. 3:13). But if he uses it selfishly, in order to promote his own interests and/or harm those under his charge, he has lost the mandate of heaven, fallen under the judgment of God, and forfeits the obedience of his subjects. Indeed, he rightly elicits their principled opposition. More on this in a moment.
Secondly, leaders are authorized to use their authority only over those within their jurisdiction, and for the purposes proper to that jurisdiction. For example, a husband and a father has God-given authority over his wife and children so that he may effectively protect them and provide for them, spiritually and physically. But if he tries to exercise this kind of authority over another man’s wife and children, he has stepped outside of his jurisdiction, violated God’s creation order, and stirred up a hornet’s nest.
Again, a church leader has authority from God to govern the affairs of his church and administer church discipline. But if he tries to use his ecclesiastical authority to control the decisions of individuals, husbands, parents, or magistrates, he has stepped outside of his jurisdiction and violated God’s order. And this too will bring on the hornets.
Much the same is true in regard to magistrates. They have God-given authority over the citizens in their community, but only for the purpose of praising those who do what is right, administering civil justice to all equally, and imposing discipline and punishments on those who do what is wrong (Rom. 13:1-8). If any citizen—a single person, a husband, a wife, a child, a church leader, or a temporal ruler—has committed a crime, the magistrate has a God-given authority to judge, acquit, or punish them. But beyond that, he has no authority, right, or responsibility to touch a hair on any of their heads.
Summing up, God is the supreme authority. He delegates some of his authority to different kinds of leaders. He authorizes them to govern over those within their jurisdiction, for the purposes proper to that jurisdiction, and for the good of those under their care. However, when a leader oversteps any of these boundaries, his reach becomes overreach, his commands become null and void, and his subjects need not comply. Indeed, his subjects now have a positive duty to resist him (with respect), for he has lost the mandate of heaven, so that God—the supreme authority—is now against him.
Taming the Tension
Living as we do in a fallen world, we see this kind of thing all the time. Sin infects the hearts and lives of all people, including leaders. Therefore, whether in the home, the Church, or the State, leaders will frequently abuse their God-given authority.
Turning back to the subject at hand, let’s consider some examples from the sphere of government. In Communist China magistrates dictate to parents how many children they may have; and in the recent past, they have forced abortion upon women whom they thought were having too many. In Germany, homeschooling is now illegal. In effect, German children are the property of State, which pretends to have greater authority over a child’s spiritual and intellectual formation than his father and mother. Here in the United States, magistrates, citing an alleged public health emergency, recently closed schools and businesses, shuttered churches, barred private gatherings, forbade hospital visitations, enforced mask mandates, and are now trying to mandate universal vaccination.
Who is sufficient for these things? Who has the wisdom to discern the justice of such mandates, and to make the correct response to them? Answer: those who have learned, from Scripture, the nature, purpose, and limits of delegated authority. Through the wisdom of God, such persons will make wise, just, and safe decisions about any mandate coming down from “the powers that be.”
But the decisions will not be easy. Again, we live in a fallen world, a world in which we Christians often experience a distressing ethical tension. For on the one hand, we take seriously all the biblical texts that tell us to submit to temporal rulers. We understand that honorable rulers are ministers of God and administrators of his justice. We recognize the power of sin, the works of the devil, and the horrors of anarchy. Therefore, our default position is to eagerly support good government, and to work hard to achieve, maintain, and improve it.
On the other hand, we also know—both from Scripture and painful historical experience—that Satan can attack, and sin can infect, any human institution, including government. When it does, the result is that wicked magistrates reach beyond their jurisdiction, promote evil instead of good, hurt those under their care, disobey the law of God, and forfeit the moral authority they had from him. Under these painful circumstances, when justice has become injustice, it falls to the Christian to declare, “I must obey God rather then men” (Acts 5:29).
Jesus Christ and his apostles all experienced this tension. When they did, they responded biblically and memorably, giving us the wisdom, courage, and the pattern we need to do the same (Rev. 11:8). Though our Lord had received orders from his Father to go to an unjust death like a lamb to the slaughter, he did not hesitate to point out the lawlessness of his trial; nor, throughout his lifetime, did he fail to challenge, reprove, and shrewdly evade the hostile powers that were arrayed against him (Matt. 23:13-26, 26:47-68; John 8:59; 18:28-32). Similarly, when the Jewish authorities commanded the apostles to no longer teach or preach in Jesus’ name, Peter and John boldly replied, saying, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in the sight of God for us to listen to you instead of him. As for us, we cannot help but speak about the things we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20).
Down through the centuries, multitudes of discerning Christians have followed their example, and some have paid the ultimate price in order to stay safely on the side of God and his will. Today, in the midst of various encroaching tyrannies, many brave Christians are doing the same. I reckon Archbishop Carlo Vigano to be among them. With governmental responses to the current pandemic very much in mind, he said, “Submission to legitimate state authority is the soul’s link to divine justice; but submission to illegitimate authority turns submission into subservience and renders the soul complicit with evil.” For earnest Christians, either one of these failures would be calamitous. We must obey God rather than men.
The Facts of the Matter
Our subject here in Part 2 is vaccine mandates. If they haven’t reached you yet, they will. Though numerous legal challenges are working their way through the courts, President Biden has ordered the vaccination of all federal workers, including military personnel. Also, he has directed OSHA to compel businesses with more than 100 workers to mandate their vaccination. Though OSHA has yet to act, and though the legality of such a dictate is in dispute, many businesses, including hospitals and universities, are already complying voluntarily. While some governors and state legislators are opposed to COVID-19 mandates, others are not. Here in California, for example, Governor Newsom has expressed his determination to mandate the vaccination of all students age five and over, in both public and private schools. The mandates will not likely stop there. Christian leaders, employers, and employees must prepare themselves.
The Principles Applied
Based on my reading of the biblical principles involved, and applying those principles to the facts of the matter, I judge that all such mandates are unlawful, destructive, and unconscionable.
Basically, my reasons are two-fold.
First, by mandating any medical procedure, temporal rulers are operating outside of their proper jurisdiction. God has given them authority only to administer civil justice for the good of the community. In the promotion of the latter, it is indeed conceivable that rulers might lawfully mandate a temporary quarantine of the sick and the contagious; biblical precedent for such a rule is found in the OT laws pertaining to leprosy (Lev. 13).
There is, however, is no biblical precept or precedent that could ever justify the State forcing a particular medical procedure upon any of its citizens, Christian or otherwise. Such a mandate would violate the sanctity of the God-ordained relationship between the citizen, his own body, and his creator. God has not granted the State stewardship over the bodies of its citizens; he has granted it to individual citizens, and to them alone. Intuitively, we all know this, especially those who cherish freedom and individual human rights. Bible-believing Christians are among them, and for very special reasons: They know that God has redeemed their body; and they know that he has given them a stewardship to take care of it (1 Cor. 9:17). My body is under my jurisdiction, and I am under God’s. My body is not under the jurisdiction of the State.
Secondly, by mandating this particular medical procedure (i.e., the injection of an unnecessary and demonstrably dangerous vaccine), rulers and/or employers are forcing me to expose the temple of the Holy Spirit—whether mine or my child’s—to injury, disease, and possible death. Moreover, they also are forcing me to receive a product that is morally tainted by association with abortion and abortion profiteering, with the result that I am indirectly encouraging pharmaceutical companies to continue their evil practices.
In short, this particular mandate pressures me to violate my conscience. But this I can never do, for Scripture instructs me to live in all good conscience (Acts 23:1), to keep my conscience void of offense towards God (Acts 24:16), and to hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience (Acts 24:16). It is a great evil—and a great folly—for the State to coerce the conscience of any of God’s children. Nevertheless, in order to test his children and to convict the world, God will permit this evil from time to time (Dan. 3). Knowing these things, the committed Christian will not cave in. His conscience is not captive to the State; it is captive to the Word and Person of God.
Pastors, some of your people have already faced vaccine mandates, and it is certain that more will. They will feel great pressure to “take the jab” in order hold their jobs, feed their families, protect their careers, keep their kids in school, maintain amicable relations with their employer, and honor God by submitting to “powers that be.” This test of their wisdom and courage is a raging river; you must help them to cross it.
Teach them the powerful biblical principles involved in this matter. Give them all the information they need to make wise, safe, and godly decisions. Help them understand that God’s command to submit to magistrates is not absolute; that there are times when it is not only permissible, but even imperative, to disobey. They must do so respectfully and, if at all possible, non-violently; but they must do so, firmly and steadfastly. Remind them that when push comes to shove, they must obey God rather than men.
Some Healthy Reminders
Along the way, you might also remind them that the supreme law of our land is the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution, with its glorious Bill of Rights; that these documents embody many biblical principles; and that these principles trump all unconstitutional mandates, federal laws, state laws, bureaucratic rulings, or court decisions.
Does God tell Christian Americans to obey “the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1)? Well, those would be the Declaration and the Constitution. Accordingly, in God’s sight the highest civil duty of American Christians is to obey the principles and precepts contained in these two documents, and therefore to challenge any president, congressman, Supreme Court justice, or lesser magistrate who departs from them. We are under orders to speak prophetically to the powers that be, insisting that rulers follow our lead by obeying the law of the land, rather than breaking it themselves (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:15).
Finally, you might remind them of the Nuremberg Protocols, a set of procedures developed in response to the gross malfeasance of the medical establishment of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. These protocols, now ensconced in our own federal statutes, specifically address medical research, but apply to all forms of medical treatment. They reflect timeless principles that are well supported by common sense, natural law, and biblical precept. Here are four of them, all especially relevant to our discussion: (1) Medical treatment must never be coerced, but always follow after the patient’s voluntary consent; (2) doctors must inform their patients of all known or possible dangers prior to any treatment; (3) the benefits of a treatment must be known to outweigh the risks; and (4) treatment must be immediately stopped if harm ensues.
Are American Christians now being required to submit to federal, state, or employer mandates that violate the Word of God, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Nuremberg Protocols? Pastor, your flock needs you to help them answer these important questions.
Let me close this section—and this essay—with a few practical words addressed to all God’s people.
As a retired pastor, the vaccines mandates have not (yet) affected me directly. However, I have read widely on the subject, and thought hard about what I would do if they did.
My counsel to you is that you carefully study the biblical principles and facts of the matter on vaccine safety and vaccination mandates, asking the Lord to help you reach full conviction on both of these issues.
If your conscience will not permit you to receive this kind of vaccine, and if you face a vaccination mandate, you can seek a religious exemption. Though anything is possible these days, it is hard to imagine that in the end the U.S. Supreme Court will not uphold them. (See the links in Part 3.)
Do not quit your job; instead, force your employer to fire you. In the midst of your test, this will put him to the test. Hopefully, it will also insure that you receive unemployment compensation, and possibly even reparations in due season.
Be bold in discussing your convictions with your fellow employees; if push comes to shove, ask likeminded folks to join with you in stepping away from your employer. All of you are more powerful than any one of you.
You may consider joining with others in a class action lawsuit challenging the legality and/or constitutionality of the mandate that led (or may lead) to your dismissal. The legal resources cited below should be of help.
Are you a Christian parent, concerned about the health and safety of a child who is attending public school? Perhaps now is the time to consider a Christian school or home schooling. Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch thinks so: “If it were my child, I would home school them. Honestly, I would organize with other parents to take them out of the school and create homeschooling environments. There’s no choice. Your child’s life is on the line.”
Yes, it is hard to find a new job or a new school; but it is impossible to find a new body. At all costs you must protect it, except at the cost of spiritual compromise. Furthermore, radical action out of loyalty to the faith will inevitably call attention to that faith. Perhaps God has prepared you for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). Perhaps he desires that your Christian witness will win souls to your Savior.
So then, let us be willing to pay the price: certainly for the health of our families, but especially for the honor and glory of our God. And take comfort: The Lord himself told us that this kind of thing would happen (John 16:33; Acts 14:22). But he also told us that we are not alone: Others have experienced it before, and many are experiencing it today (1 Pet. 5:9). As we join with them in holy obedience, we become faithful witnesses who are purchasing gold tried in the fire, and who acquire true and lasting wealth (Rev. 1:5, 3:18).
But above all, remember Immanuel, the God who is with us in the midst of every tests and trial. And remember that he has promised to richly supply all our spiritual and physical needs, so that we can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:6; cf. Phil. 4:19).
The resources listed below will help pastors, Christian laymen, and all concerned citizens to educate themselves about the COVID-19 pandemic, the mRNA vaccines, and vaccine mandates. Hopefully, the materials will enable you to reach conviction on these matters, make wise personal choices for yourselves and your family, and serve in your communities as a well-informed and responsible citizens. I have sought to include only the most essential links (they will carry you to many others), and to categorize them in a way that will give you easy access to the information you seek. Occasionally you will need to search for a resource: Just place the key words supplied in the title of the resource in the search field of the website involved. Also, please consult this page from time to time, since I plan to add further resources in days ahead.
May God richly bless you all with his wisdom and courage in these challenging last days.
Dean Davis is the Director of Come Let Us Reason. This article is used with permission.
America’s Frontline DoctorsNational Vaccine Information CenterTruth for Health FoundationChildren’s Health DefenseDaniel Horowitz / The BlazeAssociation of American Physicians and SurgeonsVaccine Safety Research FoundationEugyppius
CHD: The DefenderJoseph MercolaJeff ChildressAlex Berenson
Helpful Articles, Videos, and PDF’s
AFLDS White Paper on COVID-19 Vaccines (SearchDr. Charles Hoffe on mRNA VaccinesDr. Ryan Cole on mRNA VaccinesVaccine SecretsGuide to Home-Based COVID-19 Treatment (Search)Dr. Thomas Siler: The Unvaccinated are Looking Smarter Every DayDr. Robert Malone on Vaccine MandatesDr. Peter McCullough on Vaccines and Vaccine Mandates
Expert Forums and Declarations
Global COVID-19 SummitPhysicians DeclarationThe Great Barrington Declaration
Vaccine Injuries and Deaths
OpenVAERS1000 COVID-19 StoriesCOVID-19 Vaccine VictimsThe Expose (UK)Vaccine Safety Research Foundation
The Abortion Connection
Desmond Allen: Moral Objections to Current VaccinesClifford Grobien: Exemptions Are Needed
Early Treatment: Options and Outlets
Steve Kirsch: Vaccine Research and ResourcesFront Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC)America’s Front Line Doctors (ALFDS)Seven CellsSpeak With an MDPush HealthHorowitz: Fauci’s Criminal Disregard for Early Treatment Options
The Next ProhibitionWest Point Vaccine Mandate an Unlawful Order
Parallel Economies, Legal ResourcesThe Healthy AmericanThe Liberty CounselThe Thomas More Society
Keeping our Kids Safe
Why Are We Vaccinating Children Against COVID-19? (Research Article)Paul Alexander on Vaccinating ChildrenCHD: The DefenderDr. Thomas Siler: What Questions Must We Ask Before Vaccinating Our Children?13 Reasons Why You Should Not Let Your Child Take the Covid-19 Vaccine (Expose, UK)Dr. Peter McCullough: Why Kids Must Avoid the nMRNA ShotDr. Harvey Risch on Vaccine Mandates for ChildrenWhy Kid’s Immune Systems Can Handle COVID-19
By Chris Castaldo — 11 months ago
Despair and Hope
After seventeen years of pastoral ministry, I have observed a common thread in the various desires of men and women. It’s not the accumulation of wealth, the pleasure of passion, or accolades from achievement that ultimately satisfies. It goes much deeper. People need hope in something that is solid and lasting, and they despair when they have no hope.
Despair and False Hope
The great English journalist and satirist Malcolm Muggeridge reflected on human desire, noting certain forms of despair in the twentieth century, particularly among supporters of Stalin in Russia and Western nihilists devoted to materialism. From his analysis, Muggeridge concluded that modern man has a “suicidal impulse”—a type of self-hatred. This impulse has spawned a bewildering number of proposals to cure, or at least curb, man’s despair of himself. Unfortunately, varied and complex as they are, these remedies have a common thread: their ingenuity and power are limited to merely human resources.
One merely human remedy for overcoming despair is an emotive positive outlook excavated from the depths of one’s soul. This thinking is reflected in well-known phrase “hoping against hope.” It often comes in the midst of calamity and disappointment. In spite of misfortune, we “hope” things will go well. The actor Josh Hartnett captured this notion when he said: “Hope is the most exciting thing in life, and if you honestly believe that love is out there, it will come. And even if it doesn’t come straightaway, there is still that chance all through your life that it will.”
Well-meaning as this attempt is, it is a long distance from the biblical vision of hope. It is not a matter of delivering ourselves or “hoping for the best.” Nor is it wishful thinking or blind optimism. Biblical hope, rather, is a divine gift that God offers to the world through His Son, Jesus. This, however, raises the question of how one recognizes and receives such a gift.
By D. Blair Smith — 9 months ago
The longing a lover feels for his beloved is what the psalmist feels in Psalm 84. His language is love language: “How lovely is your dwelling place. . . . My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord” (emphasis added).
This psalmist knows God and has been, one could say, wounded by His presence, so that the only balm is to return to that presence. He longs for it. He yearns for it.
The great church father Gregory of Nazianzus described this feeling in his poem De rebus suis as knowing in his inmost being “the sharp stab of desire for the King.” C.S. Lewis gave fine expression to this desire in his Reflections on the Psalms: “I have rather—though the expression may seem harsh to some—called this the ‘appetite for God’ than ‘the love of God.’ The ‘love of God’ too easily suggests the world ‘spiritual’ in all those negative or restrictive senses which it has unhappily acquired . . . [the appetite for God] has all the cheerful spontaneity of a natural, even a physical, desire. It is [happy] and jocund.”
The psalmist knows that his true happiness—blessedness—is found there, in the presence of the King. Scripture is incredibly clear on where true, profound, enduring happiness is found, and this is because the Bible addresses our deepest longings and desires.
Augustine said in his Confessions that “all men want to be happy” and do what they do in order to be happy. But not all are happy, because they do not seek happiness in the place where it can be found. The Bible tells us where it can be found. Psalm 84 tells us where it can be found. The source of happiness is in God’s presence and its receptor in man’s heart. The context of Psalm 84 is pilgrimage, something required of the faithful Israelite, yes, but also something greatly desired because of what it means for the lover of God—he is celebrating pilgrimage to worship God in His temple.
The Hope of the Psalmist
In the first four verses of Psalm 84, the immediate reference for the psalmist’s hope is the temple, seen in imagery: dwelling place, altars, courts, house. Why? Because God’s presence is concentrated there. He is homesick to return.
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
The psalmist is comforted that he will find rest and shelter in the temple by the tender reality that even birds find a home there. He is most likely recalling the literal temple with its stone facades and eaves where birds find shelter in crevices, just as might be seen today in grand stone building facades in the great cities of the West.
If a bird can find rest and shelter there, certainly a humble follower of God made in His image can.
The Experience of the Psalmist
The experience of the psalmist confirms his hope for God’s presence. God’s presence is something he knows, allowing him to exclaim, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you” (Ps. 84:5). His experience is the flip side of the first beatitude—“Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3). Indeed, it goes from strength to strength (Ps. 84:7).
There is a dynamism, a growth, a freshness that comes from frequency in God’s presence.