Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Good Morning and welcome back to my weekly Monday morning blog, Gospel and Culture. Here I raise 2 -3 ‘hot’ issues that are going on in contemporary NZ society (and from time to time globally), refer you to an article or resource worth reading/listening/watching, share with you my point of view (POV) and raise a few questions to hopefully help us think through or re-think a particular issue through a biblical (Christian) lens and in the light of new information.
I want to start the year with this controversial issue of the Covid-19 vaccines. It doesn’t take too long when in conversation with everyday folks to realise that there are essentially four ways of thinking or four responses to the new Covid-19 vaccines now being rolled out around the world and soon in NZ.
- People who are essentially in favour of the vaccine and happy to have it the minute it is available. This is by far and away the majority of people as we are already seeing.
- The ‘not now’ or hesitant group. These are the folks who haven’t to date had a problem with vaccines but have worries about the Covid-19 vaccines (all of them) mainly because of the speed of its development. Their concerns are around ‘safety and efficacy’. They are wanting to sit on the fence for a while.
- Then there is the much smaller group of folks who have become known as anti-vaxxers. These folks are not medical non-interventionists as such but do have major concerns about all vaccines for different reasons and therefore will not have themselves or their children vaccinated. Apparently there maybe as many as 15% worldwide in this category.
- The ‘slip the chip’ group. This is a very very small group who believe the ‘conspiratorial’ notion that the big tech companies have added in an invisible ‘chip’ into the vaccine and this being the start of the end times ‘Mark of the beast’ of the book of Revelation.
Christians are in all these groups. It’s quite conceivable that Christians may be over represented in Groups 3 and 4 above.
I would like to offer you just two resources on this subject today because I will come back to this issue in the near future as things become clearer in NZ.
The first is an excellent article by Dr Albert Mohler entitled, The Christian Tradition and the Question of Vaccines: Seven Principles for Christian Thinking . Mohler does a great job discussing with the ethical issues surrounding the covid-19 vaccine.
The second is an article you can find here entitled ‘Vaccines – safety, ethics and the bigger picture’
POV. I am in the first group. That said I am entirely sympathetic to those who hold a different view. We live in a fallen world and we only see dimly at times, and this particular issue is very challenging for sure. As I am not a medical expert nor close to being a scientist I choose to lean into the advice and viewpoints of my Christian doctor friends, immunologists I believe are trustworthy and main stream medicine generally as I have no convincing reason not to. In fact main stream medicine (or conventional medicine) has kept me, some of my family and many of my friends alive and/or given us all a much better quality of life.
That said, I am at this stage of this new development a strong advocate for ‘freedom of conscience’. In other words if the Government does NOT mandate Covid-19 vaccinations then let this issue fall into the category of’ freedom of conscience’ as taught in passages like Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians chapters 8-10. If however the Government mandates vaccinations then I think we have a new and somewhat different conversation on our hands.
Finally, as this is such a big and significant issue I would like to think every church would convene a conversation about this issue and ideally have a medical doctor or two add in his or her perspective.
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