Publication Date: September 10, 2021
Regardless of one’s eschatological view or thoughts about “the mark of the beast,” there’s something rather sinister behind mandating all men to become vaccinated against a disease with a 99% survival rate. Even more immoral is to link Covid-19 vaccines to a human being’s access to goods and services and to restrict their agency if they refuse it.
For the past couple of months, a worst case sampling of such woefulness has been mainly on display in Australia, where their citizens are enduring extended lockdowns, travel and relocation restrictions, and privacy violations – at least until they reach a vaccination rate of 70%. Once this goal is attained, the economy will reopen and things will return to “normal” – at least for the vaccinated. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews recently announced his state will move to a “vaccine economy” that will “lock out” the unvaccinated from most aspects of their society, including access to healthcare. New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian recently announced a similar plan as she admonished unvaccinated residents to not get “left behind” once NSW is back in full swing.
As I and others have pointed to Australia as a cautionary tale to our family and friends, it was easy for most to dismiss their experience as irrelevant to our way of life in America. Despite the lockdowns, church closures and mask mandates we’ve enjoyed here in the U.S., there have been those who believed what’s happening in Australia could and would never happen here.
Perhaps now they are thinking again, as President Joe Biden announced yesterday a broad-reaching vaccine mandate for federal workers, government contractors and private-sector employers with 100 or more employees. According to AP News, Biden’s mandate could cover as many as 100 million Americans. This, in addition to the 177 million Americans who have already received the jab, would effectively bring America to a vaccination rate of at least 80%.
As upsetting as they are, Biden’s actions can’t be that much of a surprise considering that as of last month, some American cities now require proof of vaccination to enter certain spaces and to participate in their local economy. Various public and private employers began announcing vaccine mandates or their employees must undergo regular Covid tests and/or pay financial penalties or face termination. There has also been a growing demand for commercial airlines to restrict air travel to the vaccinated only, and the man leading this charge, House Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY), recently introduced a bill in hopes such a demand becomes federal law. There was even a recent case where a Chicago-based judge revoked a mother’s custody of her son because she is unvaccinated. By the grace of God, the judge withdrew his decision three weeks later on a technicality, but his initial decision almost set a horrible precedent in our nation.
These are just a few examples of the overblown, unnecessary and audacious lengths to which even the powers that be in our nation are willing to go. Again, regardless of one’s view of “the last days”, whatever is behind these mandates, it is taking hold globally, and America is clearly not exempt.
For this reason, we sincerely need the bold, the principled and the righteous across the globe to stand. While this world will eventually be given over to the madness at work within it (Matthew 24:12), a standard must still be raised against it. Perhaps our efforts would gain us some reprieve, if only for a little while. This certainly worked for the citizens of Moscow, who rejected vaccine passports by refusing to patronize any business that required them. But even if our efforts would not change or slow the trajectory we are currently on, standing for even basic truths remains especially necessary for followers of Christ. Rejecting vaccine mandates mustn’t be merely because they are un-American or because they cause us inconvenience, but because they wholly undermine the universal tenets of human dignity as well as the nature, glory and commandments of God.
PRESENT YOUR BODIES HOLY & ACCEPTABLE TO CAESAR?
“There is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God,” therefore, Christians are commanded by God to submit to our governing authorities (Romans 13). Nevertheless, our governing authorities were not set up by God to disobey Him, either. Our submission to earthly authority isn’t to be done blindly or void of godly wisdom. Contrary to popular belief, our submission actually has its limits.
First, in all things, we ultimately obey God rather than man (Acts 5:27-29). Submitting to our earthly rulers is indeed appropriate when such submission still allows us to honor and obey God. Yet, when obedience to earthly authorities would cause us to dishonor or disobey God, we must obey God still (Exodus 1:15-21; Daniel 1:8-6; 3:8-25). Second, Jesus teaches us that there is actually a distinction to be made in our submission. After the Pharisee hoped to trap Him when they inquired whether His followers should pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus answered, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:15-22, emphasis mine).
Our tax dollars, which are temporal and perishing (like our earthly government), are indeed due Caesar. However, our mortal bodies – which we are commanded to present to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him – belong to God (Romans 12:1). God has not only redeemed our hearts or our spiritual selves, even our flesh has been sanctified for Him.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Because our bodies belong to God, it is not a sin to refuse to render it to the mandates of men. Our governing authorities are not in place to do as they wish. They are in place to maintain godly order and mete out godly justice against evil doers. Refusing vaccination is not an act of evil. To the contrary, it is a form of worship! Despite warped accusations of being “selfish” or “unloving”, refusing vaccines is simply another means of being a faithful steward over our bodies. It is simply a way we dedicate our bodies as holy and acceptable to God.
FOR VACCINES ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE?
Our government and secular “experts” may see themselves as gods, but we are God’s. We are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9), even as we might become second-class citizens for refusing a man-concocted substance derived through problematic, if not wholly immoral, means.
Not only does the development of each Covid vaccine have links to fetal cell lines derived from old, aborted tissue, other ingredients in the vaccines have caused health- and life-threatening side effects. The CDC claims the benefits of Covid vaccines outweigh their risks, though these risks have not yet been fully assessed across the usual standard of at least 10-15 years. This is perhaps why, despite approving Pfizer’s vaccine for use in individuals ages 16 and older, the FDA has yet to approve it for use in children. It also requires the ongoing monitoring of the vaccine for “adverse events”. Beyond the moral and safety concerns surrounding Covid vaccines, even the “experts” have had to walk back claims regarding its efficacy. What was once advertised as a means to prevent infection – the literal purpose of vaccines – has now become a symptom suppressant that may stave off Covid-related hospitalization or death…but only for up to eight months. As such, to avoid these risks a little while longer, Covid vaccines now require a third or even fourth booster shot, and it’s been suggested that annual boosters may become the norm. It’s also been found that the vaccinated can catch and transmit Covid at the same rate as the unvaccinated, and it turns out those rare, “breakthrough” cases aren’t as rare after all. They’ve just not been tracked as they ought.
In all, there is much we don’t know or understand concerning either vaccine’s long-term effects or efficacy, especially when the Pfizer offering was developed in only a few hours in a single day. Admittedly, there is still more to learn about Covid as well. But what we do know is that our bodies were built to fight off naturally-occurring pathogens, and the science has confirmed most of the world’s population is capable of beating Covid without the aid of vaccines. We know that one who recovers from Covid has natural immunity, which several studies have found provides the same or greater immunity from Covid reinfection as vaccines. We know a functioning immune system would sooner adapt to fight off new strands of the virus than the “experts” could concoct a corresponding vaccine. Finally, we know that if one does suffer an adverse effect from Covid vaccines now or in the future, they have no legal recourse against the vaccine manufacturers or the government entities underscoring their mandates. This alone sounds like too great a risk than simply trusting in our God-given immune systems, especially if we are under the age of 65 and relatively healthy. Indeed, to “trust the science” includes having faith in what God designed our bodies to do. Yet propaganda, not science, forcefully urges all to ignore fundamental truths and look to vaccines as our only and best hope.
LET EACH MAN BE CONVINCED BY PENALTY OR FORCE?
Since the dawn of human government, men have implemented laws and edicts to cause us to bow the knee to their will. Again, we are commanded to submit to our governing authorities. Yet, we are also commanded to obey our conscience. To discern which to obey in a given scenario, we must consider which most honors God and human dignity.
Even the unbeliever, though he rejects God through his rejection of Christ, was still created by Him and made in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). The imago dei is the basis from which universal values like bodily autonomy, self-direction, and human agency stem. This means even those who are not Christians retain the God-given right to decide what they will or will not accept into their own bodies.
The imago dei also establishes our inherent human value, granting us the inalienable right to liberty, and to be treated fairly and with respect. When coercive tactics like vaccine mandates are utilized to gain compliance, these principles are audaciously violated. Even the Lord Himself desires we do all things cheerfully and with sincerity rather than from necessity or out of compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7; Exodus 25:2; Deuteronomy 15:10 Romans 12:8). Even if getting vaccinated was truly “the right thing to do” (as our leaders have conveniently phrased it), God would want us to do it with a sincere and willing heart.
Yet, like President Biden, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is among those who believe compliance by force is the literal key. In fact, while promoting the city’s “Key to NYC” Pass, de Blasio boasted that mandates were necessary to ensure the unvaccinated would finally get on board. “It is time for people to see vaccinations as literally necessary to living a good, full and healthy life,” he shared. “If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things.”
Those of de Blasio’s ilk have shown us that the “many things” aren’t merely recreational activities like bars and clubs – activities that one can take or leave. As shared earlier, vaccine mandates are now being tied to one’s very livelihood, family life and ability to move about freely. Even “church leadership” at some “houses of worship” are taking a page from secular society and creating vaccinated-only sections or altogether banning the unvaccinated from service. Woe to them!
Nevertheless, if an authority would mandate an act that violates our conscience – even if that authority is in our own church homes, we are commanded to obey our conscience. For many Christians, understanding that vaccines are developed and even some manufactured with cell lines stemming from aborted fetal tissue is abhorrent! It ranks at or above the offense of eating meat sacrificed to idols (1 Corinthians 10:28). Even if one Believer does not see the issue, it also isn’t their place to convince the one who abstains from vaccines that their decision is sin, error or evidence that they lack faith in Christ (Romans 14:4). We must be convinced in our own minds, and whatever convictions we hold are between us and the Lord. As such, whatever we cannot do from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Yet, we are witnessing our government, enterprise and even some “church” leaders forcing us into positions that would cause us to stumble and violate our conscience.
If one feels compelled to “roll up their sleeves” to “do their part” and “save lives” – even as Covid vaccines do not prevent one’s ability to catch or transmit the virus and the “experts” admit that vaccination is intended for your protection, not that of others, that is truly that individual’s choice. But for the man who is unwilling and unconvinced in his own mind, even if he does succumb to the pressure to get vaccinated, for him it is sin.
I SAID ALL OF THIS TO SAY…
Based on my own eschatological view, I am thoroughly convinced Covid vaccine mandates are setting the stage for prophetic events to come. While I don’t believe the current vaccines are “the mark of the beast”, I am sensitive to how vaccine mandates are conditioning the masses to endure coercive tactics and receive something into their bodies that they be allowed buy and sell.
There’s much more prophecy that must manifest before the mark would be implemented, of course. The Antichrist has to be revealed and demand global worship (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and whatever the mark will be, it must be received in/on their right hand or forehead – it won’t be an injection in the shoulder (Revelation 13:16). Yet, current events suggest these things are surely falling into place, and hearts are already being tried and prepared. From a willingness to forsake the assembly out of fear of catching Covid to a fear of losing one’s livelihood if they don’t bend the knee to ungodly mandates, it’s a bit alarming to consider how many among us might actually bow down to the Antichrist. If one would bend now, when the threat for most is two weeks of cold-like symptoms or the loss of a job the Lord can replace, consider what will occur when their very lives are truly are on the line. The Antichrist will have those who refuse to worship him murdered (Revelation 13:15)! The survival rate for such will be 0%. What would those who cower now do then?
It’s time ALL Believers were more vigilant and considered how current events are confirming the many things Jesus told us are to come. Therefore we should continue to watch and pray (Matthew 26:41); trim our lamps with oil (Matthew 25:7); and prepare to endure (Matthew 24:13). If there are naysayers of prophecy who refuse to discern a thing for fear of looking “crazy” to the world, they should consider that the Gospel in which we place our eternal hope is “foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18). We already look “crazy”! Moreover, they might recall that even Jesus, Paul and John warned that many antichrists are already in the world and the mystery of iniquity is already at work (1 John 2:18-22, 4:3; 2 John 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). Clearly, “crazy” things are happening right now, so the “crazy” things to come shouldn’t be too far-fetched to consider!
In only a month’s time, vaccine mandates have been coming in like a flood across the world, including the United States, and this global connection doesn’t seem to be purely political, practical or merely for the good of public health. For this reason, we must lift up a standard against what we’re seeing. Yet, our stand must be for something greater than merely protecting our Constitutional rights, as those will be creatively stripped away. Instead, no matter their threats, despite the risks, and regardless of the costs, our standard must be that we fear, trust and obey God rather than men. For what can man do to us? They can’t take away anything the Lord can’t replace, and they can’t give us anything the Lord can’t provide. This life is but a blip on the timeline of eternity, and this world and its lusts are passing away. So if the Lord would command that we not fear “those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…” (Matthew 10:28), it is nothing to be fearless when faced with threats to our livelihoods and earthly comforts.
Be the standard.