Let me take you back to a time when people argued about politics or religion from opposite views, and it wasn’t heated.
Oh, wait, that time never existed.
We humans are prone to strong opinions about lots of topics. The more controversial the issue, the more passionate we become and the uglier it often gets. I wrote about what I consider is a godly response to relating to others who disagree with us here.
Obviously, the current hot topics are about the Covid shot and the recent mask mandate.
My poor phone is exhausted from the high number of texts that go something like this:
- It will be a cold day in hell before I allow the government to force me to take the Covid shot!
- What is wrong with taking something that might save my life and will probably stop, if not hinder, the spread of Covid-19? Everyone must be vaccinated!
And the debate rages on.
In a nutshell, here’s what I’ve said from the beginning regarding Covid-19.
- Covid-19 is a serious and legitimate health issue. Especially for the elderly or health compromised. (I have a friend who right now is on a ventilator with Covid related pneumonia.)
- Covid-19 is here to stay (in some variant or another), much like the flu.
- We must not and should not ever live in a state of fear.
- I believe in adult-to-adult relationships. Meaning, you should decide what is best for you.
Believe me, I have heard or read the arguments for and against Covid shots and masks. Almost daily, somebody sends me something to read or listen to related to these topics. I have done my best to sort through the information with wisdom and without bias.
As expected, we Christians use Scriptures to support our beliefs and opinions. However, whether you want to admit this or not, there are many Scriptures a person can incorrectly use to validate their point of view.
The fact is, there are no Scriptures that directly address the issues of masks and shots.
None. Nada. Zip.
(Boy, did I just push a few buttons.)
Please take a breath and hear my heart, from the sanctity of life to religious freedom to loving your neighbor texts . . . (and the list goes on)—I know all the bible passages that people are using. I have been studying the Word for over forty years.
But here’s something else, I know I don’t know as much as I think I know. (And neither do you.)
That being said, Christians should never use the “sword of the word” to cut each other to pieces. I see way too much of that happening, and it breaks God’s heart and hurts our witness to a watching world.
Of course, there are non-negotiables and many clearly taught truths in God’s Word. For example, the Bible is specific about who Jesus is and what He came to do. Regarding selflessness and sacrifice—the Scriptures are unambiguous. When it comes to loving God and loving others—the Word is crystal clear.
So, to be clear about my position, I will repeat myself, there are no direct Scriptures that address masks and shots. You are free to interpret and apply certain general passages as you feel led to do so by the Holy Spirit. However, you must be careful not to “proof text” your position or use the Bible as ammo.
Yes, there are principles taught that can and should be applied in many situations not directly addressed in the Word. But please be humble enough to admit two things: a) you might be wrong in your understanding and application, b) you are not the Lord over anyone, ever.
So . . . drum roll please, here is my conclusion:
When it comes to the debatable, you need to hear from Jesus what He wants you to do.
Ah, but you say, “My position is not disputable! I am right, and I can show you where others are wrong from the Bible! We cannot compromise truth! There is no middle ground here! Bubna, you’re just being wishy-washy trying to keep people happy.”
Has it crossed your mind that I will get emails and comments from people on both sides of the vaccination issue who are not at all happy with me? I’m risking far more by not aligning myself with your group or their group.
Thankfully, however, I am not your Lord, I honestly do believe in the priesthood of all believers, and I value adult-to-adult relationships.
In fact, I think the Holy Spirit is quite capable of leading you.
So, regarding getting vaccinated or not, or wearing a mask or not, what does Jesus want you to do?
Then, please practice grace toward those who will do something different than you.
One last thing. Let’s say you still think I am wrong, and my faith is weak. Here’s a bible passage to consider.
"Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand." Romans 14:1-4 (NIV)
Maybe you should read the passage again and slowly. Yes, this text explicitly addresses the Jewish dietary laws among the believers in Rome. (By the way, in Paul's mind, the stricter one is the weaker one.)
However, the principle taught in Romans 14 applies to all of us. Right or wrong, stop quarreling over disputable matters because God has accepted you, and He is our only master.
I cannot place limits where God has given liberty. I cannot reject you because we happen to disagree about an issue.
We all have different beliefs, don’t we? We all have biases, filters, and beliefs developed over time that affect our current views.
Having an opinion is okay, but it is never an excuse to treat others harshly or to reject anyone.
If your relationship with me (or with Eastpoint if you attend our church) is based on 100% agreement with everything said, then our relationship is destined to fail.
If you require everyone else in your life to believe exactly the way you believe and to see things precisely the same way you see something, then you’re going to be disappointed.
We are to honor, esteem, and value one another.
We are to be kind, merciful, and gracious with one another.
We are to guard our unity in Christ, and unity is not uniformity.
And we are to value our relational connection in Jesus far above our particular theological views.
So, I beg you. Let’s do more accepting and loving and a lot less quarreling and rejecting. This is the way of those who follow Jesus.