My husband wrote this letter to our congregation this week to address these concerns â€“ specifically the vaccine mandates â€“ with some powerful admonitions from Scripture.
Governing authorities have their place, but they also have their boundaries. He reminds us of the levels of authority spoken of in the Word and how our personal conviction carries weight in the spirit. A conscience fed by the Word of God is a powerful witness and one that must be protected. Even when we disagree on the details, this is something we should all be willing to take a stand for. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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In a quick scan through the Bible, you will discover that there are different ways you can stand. You can stand up, stand against, stand for, stand on, stand before, stand in, stand over, stand by, stand out, stand firm, stand as, stand at, stand praying, stand your ground, stand among, stand outside, or stand in faith. All of these come from verses stated in the Bible!
One of the Bible stories that illustrates the need to take a stand is in the book of Esther. Esther was unable to stand until she had accurate information. In fact, before she had the truth regarding the annihilation of the Jews, she wanted to downplay the urgency of Mordecai's message:
"When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry...When Esther's young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was." (Esther 4:1, 4-5)
Once she gathered the whole truth, she realized the necessity of taking a stand, even if it was her death sentence. So, she took a risk to stand. Incidentally, it was death now â€“ or later. If the king didn't hold out his scepter to welcome her, she would die right then. But, if she didn't get the law changed, she would eventually die with her people. Either way was a great risk. So, Esther decided to take a stand right then.
What, When and Why?
In the current societal climate, all of us are faced with taking a stand regarding something. The questions we must settle are what, when, and why?
One example would be the government's requirement for mandatory vaccinations of companies with over 100 employees. People are beginning to stand up against this forced injection. As I was pondering why, I realized that in the levels of authority given by God, the government has asserted itself above the individual's conscience (see Acts 24:16, 1 Corinthians 8:12 and 1 Timothy 3:9). (Photo via Wanda and Bobby Alger)
Normally, the chain of authority begins with God, then His Word, our conscience, and lastly, delegated authority. Government is a delegated authority. But it has decided to override our conscience in the matter of mandated vaccines â€“ all in the name of safety. As a result of this overreach, people are now standing up, refusing to participate.
This example is not a judgment on the those who choose to get vaccinated. It simply explains why people are standing up against something that is presented as beneficial. Their conscience is being violated.
How Are We to Respond as the Church?
What should the response of the Church be in this personal and moral issue? First, research the truth as much as you can. Second, place your faith in God over and above your research. (Unfortunately, a majority of the western Church has bought into the idea that science and safety measures will save us.) Third, once you have done your research and settled that your ultimate faith is in God, then take a stand!
There are certain muscles in our bodies that don't get used until we exercise them. It's the same with faith. Pressured moments in life allow us to exercise any dormant faith muscles. If you are feeling pressured, start working those faith muscles and TAKE A STAND.
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Crossroads Community Church
As the lead elder of Crossroads, Pastor Bobby serves as the primary vision carrier through teaching, equipping, and mentoring other leaders.
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