For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 2:7
If you did not see our post last week, on “Christian churches and Covid lockdowns, the jab, and vaccination certificates”, see here. We reported what appear to be the majority and minority positions among Christians on a number of Covid-related issues.
Our overarching concern, though, was to encourage Christian people to avoid ungodly division and rancour over these matters, and instead to relate with respect and graciousness to those we may disagree with. As fellow believers in Christ, we must carefully guard our unity in Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6).
We also noted the biblical mandate to obey the governing authorities (e.g. Romans 13:1), even though we all know that this and every other human government sometimes gets things wrong.
Insights from various sources
In the last week or so we have become aware of many Christians writing on these matters. Here’s some of it (and we don’t necessarily endorse all of it). See, for instance, this piece by Tim Palmer, surveying a wide range of Christian perspectives on vaccination. Or this article from the Baptists, as well as these from the Syndey Morning Herald, The Gospel Coalition TGA U.S. Edition, and especially this piece from TGA Canadian Edition.
And finally, here’s an interesting secular article from The Spinoff on the wide range of people who are not happy with taking the vaccination.
Determine your position and then communicate your position with as much love, humility and patience as you can muster. And then huddle together, pray and endure.
This too shall pass.
Don’t let a momentary agony rob you of an eternal glory. Don’t sacrifice your ministry, your fellowship or your soul in support of either side of this passing controversy. Make reasonable policies, communicate kindly with affected parties, suffer losses and transfers with quiet dignity and pray for wisdom, insight and blessing upon our elected officials. We are in a crisis and many people outside the church are making extraordinarily difficult decisions on our behalf.
Lord have mercy!
TGA Canadian Edition
We have been asked what NZCN’s view is on lockdown protests, and whether Christians should participate in them. Our view is that in a free society public protest is a valued right, and we make no judgement on whatever concerns and values may lie behind any current protests.
In the context of a pandemic, however, our rights of assembly are temporarily restricted by emergency laws, and our personal liberties are necessarily constrained for the sake of others. All Christians must act within the law, and must not do anything which would risk further prolonging the current public health crisis.
We are aware that some protests are planned to take place around the country. If you are planning to go, please keep safe and protect others by following the practices of social distancing, wearing masks, and turning on Bluetooth tracing in your Covid app.
Whatever government is in office, we are urged to pray for them (1 Timothy 2:2).
May the Lord bless and keep us all.