Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Monday 11th October, 2021
POV. I’m wondering whether the issue around vaccine mandates and vaccine certificates (passports) may become more contentious than the efficacy of the vaccine itself if it isn’t already? Last week I dived into this issue. Below, I have shared a small sample of what I think is some helpful background reading. You may have seen some or all of these already.
I am very motivated that as Christians we work hard to get to a Christian Ethic on this issue. A Christian Worldview if you like. And how good it would be if we could agree on it.
There is no doubt this is a very challenging issue. As I think about this I have these words from Paul in Galatians 5:13-14 ringing in my ear.
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (NKJV)
“It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom”. (MSG)
David French in his article puts it this way when making a point about the tension between liberty and responsibility. “I also fear that the relentless right-wing political focus on religious liberty has obscured two realities—that our liberties have limits when they collide with the rights of others, and that the exercise of our liberty carries with it profound moral responsibility”.
As I write this is a very fluid situation and probably will be for many months going forward. As Christian Leaders we are by no means the only ones wrestling with this issue. As you can read in the Stuff article industry groups including the education and health sectors are all thinking through the ‘knock on’ effect of a vaccine passport for domestic activities and travel. We are joined by many others who are also concerned about issues of public health, Government mandates and individual freedoms.
For us as Christian leaders, I think the fundamental question/issue is this:- The church biblically speaking welcomes everyone irrespective of background, ethnicity, status, wealth and yes health. It’s a new community for all those who choose to be part of it. Is there any justification at all (biblical rationale) therefore, that in the midst of a global pandemic to insist that only the vaccinated are welcome here?
I would love to hear your thoughts? email@example.com
- A solid article covering a number of different sectors. Great insights.
- The Conversation is a truly independent somewhat scholarly journal. I hold it in high regard.
- David French is a Christian Lawyer. He is Editor-in-Chief of a very popular blog and podcast resource.
- I’m sure most of you know about the Gospel Coalition. TGC is a fabulous resource.
- Five stories from pastors in the US again from TGC. Some great ideas here.
Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.