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Letters to the Editor: Regarding the Vaccination Controversy

Vaccination has nothing to do with our walk together to the Kingdom. It’s the walk we have in common.
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Dear Bro. Dave,

COVID-19 has been and remains an enormous challenge for the world. Aside from the actual disease component, the resulting economic, social and political strains, policy measures and increasingly divisive rhetoric have taken a huge toll. Discussions about vaccines, masks, social isolation etc., have taken on a life of their own.

Unfortunately, many “discussions” about these topics have degraded to arguments, lectures, rants and recriminations between the different sides of the issues—and has also spilled into our community. Real damage is being done between brothers and sisters.

This isn’t appropriate and is certainly not reflective of the principles set out in Philippians 2.

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves. (Phil 2:1-3 NASB).

Among believers, some feel very strongly about getting vaccinated and others feel just as strongly about not getting vaccinated. That’s fine. However, it would not be fine, for example, for me to insist that you accept my position and for me to assume that if you don’t, you’re not only wrong, but you’re sinning.

Those advocating for vaccines may characterize the unvaccinated as selfish, conspiracy theorists, ignoring science, etc. Those advocating not getting vaccinated may characterize the vaccinated as lemmings, falling for cherry-picked facts, being dupes, etc.

This kind of “discussion” is clearly out of sync with Paul’s message. But even on a practical plane, it could prove very regrettable and embarrassing as more information continues to surface. Most of us aren’t doctors or scientists, and even those who are can’t possibly keep up with the pace of new information surfacing throughout the world that could change everyone’s understanding significantly.

So even on a purely practical plane it seems the course of wisdom is to stand down from taking strong positions with other brothers and sisters, and rather, with humility consider one another as more important than ourselves. Here are some wise excerpts from the November 2020 issue of The Tidings article “Vaccination and Obedience to the Truth”:

“It is critically important to say that until vaccination becomes compulsory by governmental authorities, this is a matter of personal conscience.

‘Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind’ and act in accordance with his spiritually directed conscience. (Rom 14:5).

We must not judge others for taking a position that is different than ours.”

Vaccination has nothing to do with our walk together to the Kingdom. It’s the walk we have in common—not whether or not we’ve been vaccinated or based on whatever information we’ve accepted or not.

Doug Finlay,
Guelph Ecclesia, ON

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