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And the Church Said Nothing…

Not a topic about apologetics this week. Something else got my attention.

Last week I was reading the news items concerning my home country, the Netherlands. One article triggered my attention. It was an interview with a doctor about all the measures the government took and is still taking to prevent people from getting Corona. This doctor is as far as I know not a Christian, but I might be wrong. She was pretty clear in her opinion. The measures take a bigger toll on people’s health and society in general than Corona does.

Many rights are taken away. People need to show a OR code to be able to go to restaurants and what not. The minister of health actually started to repeat the words uttered by other leaders by saying that this is now the pandemic of the un-vaccinated.

I wish I could recall where I read the article, but I can’t. Anyway, the doctor said that she was astonished with the fact that hardly any doctor spoke out against this policy. No doctors, no psychiatrists, no mainstream news outlet. And then she said it! “Even the church is quiet!” That last statement really hit hard.

Why would a secular doctor say something like that? Why didn’t she just stop at the normal secular authorities? I think I know why! It is because this doctor knows a thing or two about history. In the past—and I am not talking about the last 70 years, but rather hundreds of years—the church was always there when things got out of hand.

Last year, I already discussed the whole issue around the corona measures. In my first message I argued that the Church can’t permit being scared. Let me quote myself:i

… since when do we consider it normal to deny people social contact in the last phase of their lives? And when they die we still think it is normal denying visitors to come? Where, then, are the Christians who oppose this? Was it not the Lord Jesus Himself who touched the lepers, He who was called friend of sinners.

Later, I’ve made another video in which I openly discuss the credibility of the church and with that the message the churches ought to preach. Again, I will quote a little:ii

I believe we will do the same in ten years from now. Not much sooner, because next year the feelings and emotions about this epidemic are still too fresh. No, after about ten years we probably wonder what happened. Our answer might be one of surprise and bewilderedness. “But we’ve had lovely and professional live streams, and we encouraged each other with Zoom meetings. Yes, we actually drank tea and coffee with each other during these great Zoom meetings!”

Yes, but despite all this, the message is clear. We do not believe our own words when we preach that, in Christ there is no fear. In Christ, we stand tall. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Timothy 1:7).

I’ll put the link to these videos in the description below.

So, now we have arrived at that point in which people actually start to wonder why the Church is silent about all the developments around the discriminatory QR code. Last week we as a family, listened to a sermon given by David Pawson. Brother Pawson has already gone to heaven, but his message is still downloadable. He talked about the role of the Church in the second world-war. At one moment he said, and I will paraphrase him:

In the past century the Church spoke out when shouldn’t have, and we have seen the Church being silent when it had to speak.

Is this what’s happening right now? Is the Church silent while it should speak out against discrimination? Is that really the inheritance we want to leave for our children? A weak Gospel which is afraid of going against the ruling parties?

I remember when we still lived in Holland. This is years ago already. Sometimes I preached as well. A few things could not be discussed from the pulpit: Israel; Evolution/Creation; Abortion; the Occult and the Biblical view on raising children. It made the people in church feel uncomfortable. It caused to many discussions. No, rather not talk about these issues. These were things that we might discuss on the Monday evening during the Bible study. Except, we never discussed it there either. I have been in trouble several times for choosing these subjects. Well, maybe also because I wasn’t mild as well. I admit, I wasn’t paying much attention to feelings. But still, nobody else preached on these subjects. Can we now also add Corona and the QR society to the list?

And I know that there are churches who do speak out! They do no allow others to silence them. That’s wonderful! That’s what we read in the Bible. Jesus wasn’t silenced. But these churches are few, and they are frowned upon but other churches and individuals.

This is what Marcus Pittmaniii, the CEO of LOOR.tv said:

For the past 200 years, Christians have believed that things are going to get worse and worse. This faithlessness stunted the entrepreneurial spirit of American Christians. For centuries it was the faith of Christians that expected the world to last, and expected God’s blessings to be generational, that made this nation, and western civilization into the kind of place that would be able to afford to send missionaries to the rest of the world.

Christians no longer build hospitals, we don’t pioneer technological innovations, we don’t build businesses that can be used to bless our great, great, great grandchildren. We look askance when Kanye West said, “This for my kid, kid, kid, for when my kid, kid, kids have kids.”

[…]

Christians built the printing press, but instead of furthering that technology, we used the internet to build online book stores for small Christian audiences while we allowed Bezos to build Amazon. Instead of trying to take over Hollywood and use its resources to serve our neighbors and propagate the Christian worldview, we made cheesy movies that warned people to keep their eyes on the skies because the end of the world will be happening at any moment. Instead of using capital to invest in business and industry, we buried our capital in the back yard and called it stewardship.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe that Jesus will return one day. All Christians do. But I do not believe He will return to a powerless church, hiding like Gideon in the winepresses. I believe He will return victorious, having defeated every enemy (Marxists included) from the right hand of God by the power of the gospel going forth in the power of the Spirit. I believe that when Christ returns, the gospel will have reached every corner of the earth, and so with it the blessings of the gospel that always follow on its train.

Pittman wondered why we invest millions of dollars into nations that are considered to be the poorest in the world. Why we spend so much money on mission somewhere else, but at the same time very few Christians actually decide to spend their money and time in building big companies. Most all monstrous companies are in the hands of secular power hungry people. The kind of people who give donations to poor black people who are starving and then use this to propagate their own agenda.

Don’t get me wrong! I work as missionary, and I depend on gifts for my whole income. So, keep on giving. But! There is nothing wrong with being influential. Nothing wrong with having a position in which you can actually push your ideals. The secular world is doing it and the Church is just quietly doing her thing! Not to loud because we might disturb our secular neighbour in his sleep. Not to loud because our church members might start to feel anxious.

I am making this video in both the English and Dutch language. I am not going to make it into a Bible study. No, I am not going to explain God’s word to you and how this fits in with a pro-active church. You do your homework! Question the pastor and elders in your church. Where are you standing in history? What is your church going to communicate to the world? Are the words of the doctor I started with applicable to you? Or are you speaking out against unjust, discriminatory rules. Are you and your church still credible and relevant to the world around you?

What I have seen in the last year isn’t very ensuring. But as I said! I have also seen some remarkable courage among Christians and churches. I am looking forward to Jesus’ return. Until then, I hope we can work together and really build His kingdom in a world that is rapidly running away from it. It’s time to remember we are not called to put our trust in governments and big industries. Governments and industries that all ran away from Christ and mostly serve themselves, and in doing so, creating a life-destroying world. No we need to remember that we serve a victorious King. A king who called us to be the light of the world.

We need a faith that believes that Christ saves you from sin and hell, but also believes that salvation inspires you to transform the world now.”iv


Footnotes:

i J. Hofmann, (30-07-2020), Christians Dealing with the Corona Crisis, [Online video] https://odysee.com/@apologeet:3/christians-dealing-with-the-corona:5 [accessed 02-11-2021].

ii J. Hofmann, (27-09-2020), Is the Church Losing Her Credibility? [Online video] https://odysee.com/@apologeet:3/christians-dealing-with-the-corona:5 [accessed 02-11-2021].

iii M. Pittman, (28-10-2021), An Eschatology of Victory, [internet] https://news.gab.com/2021/10/28/an-eschatology-of-victory/ [accessed 02-11-2021].

iv Ibid.

The two previous videos I’ve made about this topic:

Christians dealing with Corona (Video)

Christians dealing with Corona (Page)

Is the Church Losing Her credibility? (Video)

Is the Church Losing Her credibility? (Page)

Recommende playlist

https://odysee.com/@apologeet:3/About-Corona-%28includes-Dutch-content%29:c

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-RuM28NuH2EWmufrn4wgKw2sjyqu5Pyn

The Church of Surinam

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsjn109vK2A

Eight Reasons why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ

One question that keeps popping up is that of why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.So, what than are the reasons people don’t accept the Gospel? The reasons can be all sorts of things such as religious traditions, peer pressure within the family or within friendships, the work of Satan, or even doubting of God’s Word. These are all legitimate reasons, but I will not tackle these in particular. I came across an eighteenth-century Scottish Presbyterian church leader, theologian and philosopher, named Thomas Boston. Boston said in one of his sermons that people reject the gospel because of actual sinful vulnerabilities.

Eight Reasons why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Introduction I’ve been making 20 videos in which I tried to give simple answers on regular critical questions. I called this series the ‘silly Christian series’. Some, especially my kids, were wondering why I did that. One of them said that it is kind of offending to her. And she is quit right. I am […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 1 – ‘No Due Sense of Spiritual want.’ So here we go, this is part one of eight reasons why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The first reason: ‘No due sense of spiritual want.’ And I do apologize for the noise in the background it started to rain here and you […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 2 – ‘Men have no true sight and sense of their own sinfulness.’ Intro Okay! We’re on a roll here! This is the second reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve been pretty busy in the week after the introductory video about this series. I didn’t say much about […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 3 – They have no idea about ‘the clouds of wrath which are hanging over their heads’ Intro The third reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They have no idea about ‘the clouds of wrath which are hanging over their heads’. Boston said: Their eyes are veiled, so that they see not […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 4 – ‘They are strangers to their utter inability to help themselves’ Intro The fourth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They are strangers to their utter inability to help themselves Boston said: They are like Samson, in another case, who knew not that his strength was departed from him. We may […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 5 – They do not feel their need of Christ Intro The fifth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They do not feel their need of Christ Boston said: Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 6 – They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviour’s help Intro The sixth reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They see not their own unworthiness of a Saviours help Boston said: They come to the market of grace with their money in their hand. They look on themselves as worthy […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 7 – They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants Intro The seventh reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants Boston said: They have no anxiety for the supply of their soul-wants. They want grace and holiness, but they can be […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Reason 8 – They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making Intro The eight reason of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making Boston said: They are not content with Christ but on terms of their own making. […]

Eight Reasons Why People Won’t Accept The Gospel

Conclusion – They have proven Boston’s points Intro The conclusion of why people won’t accept the Gospel: They have proven Boston’s points Introductory video The first video was an introduction to this series. And yes! Right away I made a mistake. Not a huge one, but I did misrepresent Calvinism by stating that Calvinism says […]

Silly Christian, How about Obesity?

Oh boy, this video is going to cost me some followers….

How about obesity? Or in other words, how about living an unhealthy lifestyle? Do we, as Christians, have anything to say about that? And if so, are there consequences for those who are mistreating their bodies?

Nissan Patrol

Well, before I dive into this one, I would like to tell you about my car… Boy! I love my car. You see, we work and live on Madagascar, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Honest! We live in a small village, in a wooden house with no running water, and only electricity from a solar panel. We pay a man to get our water from a pump on the other side of the village and sometimes, when the pump isn’t working, he gets it from the rice fields… In that case our water comes with many extras like dead frogs and insects.

Anyway, to get to our village we need a strong car. The last stretch is about 18 km unpaved road. Well, I wouldn’t even want to give it the honour to call it a road. It is more like a path with some smooth spots here and there. So, there we live. Me, my wife and our five children. The nearest decent hospital is about 2hours drive and vegetables need to be bought outside the area as well. No shops, no good markets etc. Maybe, you start to understand why I am so happy with my car.

What do you think is my first priority when I come to the capitol city Antananarivo? Right, the garage! There my car can be checked and if needed, fixed. Just last week I bought brand new mud-tires. Mudstars. Not the most expensive ones, but they do their job well. Every time I’m planning a trip I check all the fluids, tire pressure and what not. Every time we come back I do the same. That way the car is ready when I need it. I clean it, I check the electrical system, whether the wires are still intact and I cover the dashboard with cardboard so that the heat will not melt anything inside.

So, you tell me. Am I doing the right thing by maintaining my car? Isn’t that the responsible thing to do in our situation? I know, some would say that I should never had gone to that village in the first place. But that is besides the point. I am there, together with my family, and the car is our main transport in and out of the area. So keeping it top fit is the way to go.

Festivals

So let’s get back to the topic. Are Christians not allowed to enjoy life? Well, that statement is nonsense of course. When we look at the One we are following, we see that He was enjoying life quit often. Jesus went to weddings, He got invited for diner and so on. If you look at the Jewish history you’ll find out that Jews are very keen on good parties. God actually gave them all sorts of festivals to celebrate. It is like He is telling them to have a good time remembering Him and by celebrating the great deeds of God they honoured Him.

Over-indulgence

But now things seem to have changed for many believers, especially in the richer countries. Again, I am going to give a little example.

You might have heard about the Corona crisis? Well, we were in the middle of it during our furlough in Holland. Almost everybody was panicking. I was totally blown away by this response of our government but also from people within the church.

Somewhere in the beginning of March 2020, a man came up to me and said with big eyes: “You must be terrified for all your friends on Madagascar!”. Not understanding his question I asked why I should be. He said that they would all die because of Corona. His idea was that because they are all poor they are all weak, and they would definitely die. I told him that this was not going to happen. I explained to him that most Malagasy don’t have heart problems, diabetics or obesity. I told him that if a poor Malagasy would have a condition like this they would probably die soon because of a lack of all the wonderful medicine and other healthcare we have in the west. This was not the answer the gentleman expected. He concluded by telling me that I was wrong, the Malagasy were going to die, and I was just not knowledgeable enough.

Now, 10 months later. Madagascar’s official count is about 270 deaths, and most of them already had health issues… 270… Madagascar has a population of 22 million… Just saying.

What happened in Holland? In the first season we counted about 6.500 deaths. Most deaths were 70+ and among younger people mostly those with obesity, asthma, heart conditions and other known welfare deceases. Still, 6.500 is not even that high. In the flu season of 2017/2018 Holland counted 9.500 deaths, also mostly among the elderly and the unhealthy.

It is a painful conclusion that people who live an unhealthy lifestyle are the ones who will suffer more during outbreaks of the flu or a virus like Covid-19. In truth, people who are obese or those who drink too much alcohol and all the others who neglect their body, aren’t healthy at all. It is more accurate to say that they are sick al ready.

How to treat your body?

Until now, I didn’t even mention the Bible, did I? Your body is your vehicle on this earth and like my car you better maintain it or else.

Do you think it is strange that our Creator is concerned with our lifestyle? When the Bible teaches us to live in a sober way, it doesn’t say it is forbidden to enjoy!

The Bible does teach us however that we need to honour God in everything we do.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Your body is more than a car, your body is way more than just the vehicle you use here on earth. When you become a Christian the Holy Spirit wants to live within you, making your body a temple. How do you take care of a holy temple? Are you just going to fill it up with trash? Are you going to ruin the walls with mayonnaise and ketchup? Of course not! You’ll try to keep the temple clean and beautiful. You are going to maintain the temple. The other way around goes the same. The temple is beautiful and you are not going to strip away all the beauty. You are not going to throw away the nice paintings or golden chandeliers. Stripping the temple naked is just as wrong as filling it up with trash.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Warning

Yes I actually believe that Christians should do their best to live healthy. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat a hamburger so now and then. But I’ve seen that many Christians seem to think that ‘so now and then’ means something like daily. They like to eat it now and then in about two hours again.

We might consider someone who is fleshy as being healthy but in reality that is just not true. Skin over bone is the other extreme, so that would not be necessary. And although we are pretty lucky with the good medicine and healthcare in the west, that doesn’t mean that someone with obesity lives a longer healthy life. Yes sure, we all know people in their 80s who are way too heavy, but just ask them how much it takes to go for a walk. Or ask them about the medicine they need to use. On the other hand I also know about 80 years old who are not using any medicine. And whattah you know! They are mostly not to heavy or to light. They always worked and because of that had enough exercise. The ones I know are still working. Maybe not as hard as when they were younger, but they keep busy and make sure they get their exercise.

Proverbs 23:20-21 ESV
“Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”

This proverb might not be relevant for us today? Think again. Poverty is not only the lack of money. During the whole Corona outbreak, countries went into lock-downs. Why? Because we were to protect our fellow countryman and woman. Don’t take me wrong! I don’t have a dead wish for other people, far from that. However, who are the people in that danger group? Yep, old people and people with all sorts of welfare related health issues. Now, the fear of the Corona virus has been and still is unwarranted. It is a good thing to know it is no more lethal than a severe flu. Of all the 70+ only 0,23% of the infected people die and for those below 70 it is only 0,04%. Still, wouldn’t you just love to walk around without having to fear a virus like this? I guess it most be pretty scary to know you are suffering from health issues and then hearing about a virus that seems to target people like you. In that sense you might acknowledge that you live in poverty because of your unhealthy lifestyle.

Balanced

It is possible to become so absorbed with our physical well-being that we let it take over our lives. When that happens, life can lose its joy, and we end up ignoring things that are just as important or maybe even more important.

1 Timothy 4:8 (AMP)
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.”

Again, it is good and Christ-like to live a healthy life. Eat good food and don’t eat too much! Or at the other spectrum, don’t exhaust you body to the limit through an extreme diet. Live a balanced life. But as always, put Jesus Christ at the centre of your life. Then strengthen your life spiritually every day. Concentrate on a spiritual healthy diet. You’ll find that ‘diet’ easily. God has already provided it for us. It is His word, the Bible together with prayer, and fellowship with other believers.

Christianity is against freedom of speech… Right?

This accusation is a wide spread, and often celebrated argument against Christians. True enough, we have seen examples in the past where people were not allowed to believe or to say what they wanted. Blasphemy, criticism and disagreement within the ruling church was a perilous undertaking. However, before I continue I would like to quote mister David Chilton:

“Freedom cannot be exported to a nation that has no marketplace for the Gospel.“i

That is a bold statement! Mister Chilton argues that the freedom we know so well in the West, is rooted in the Christian world-view. When we talk about Christian world-view, we must acknowledge that this world-view is rooted in the teachings of Christ. Christ was the One who taught His followers to be humble, honest and lovers of people. So, to get the argument of a tyrannical church out of the way. We can safely say that, when the church or the clergy acted in fascistii and tyrannical ways, they absolutely did not hold to the teachings of Jesus. And, unless someone comes up with a teaching of Jesus in which we can undeniably read that He promoted such thinking, I leave the whole ‘suppressing church’ thing behind me now.

So why did mister Chilton said such a bold thing?

Chilton understands the impact of the Christian world-view! As Christians, we believe that our faith in Christ frees us from the chains of slavery to sin in a wicked, corrupt, and fallen world.

2 Corinthians 3:17 states: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

   Also read my article: Why Mission Matters.iii

Christians have always been involved in defending liberties. It was not only freedom of speech but also other forms of liberties. You might also think in terms of slavery, religious freedom, and the freedom to have your own property. Throughout history, Christians always defended these rights. A Christian has the duty, no, I would like to call it holy duty, to disagree with matters that are evil. We are not only talking about personal sin but ‘evil’ in a broader sense like wickedness, and tyrannical behaviour from leaders, fanatics, politicians, kings and even from within the church itself.

When I say ‘holy duty’ I say this not only based on one text in the Bible. The Bible is literally peppered with commands of being defenders of freedom. What to think about Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (KJV), or in a more understandable translation: “The Lord God has told us what is right and what he demands: “See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.” (CEV)

When we look at the history of Protestantism, we see a lot of disagreement. Yes, you’ve got it! That’s why it is called Protestantism… Protestants are those who protested against tyranny. The Protestants wanted to live a life according to God’s word. Needless to say that this wouldn’t be possible without freedom of speech and freedom of religion. You can only be a Protestant when you are allowed to disagree and disagreement is only possible when there is freedom of speech. Just look around you and see what happens when countries start to show contempt and disrespect for those who do not agree. Many of us right away think about North Korea and the Communist Chinese Party, where they treat Christian dissenters with contempt and scorn.

But hold on a minute!! What about our own countries? I am in my own country, the Netherlands, at the moment. I am appalled when I see how much censorship there is in my own country. I grew up in this beautiful small country. A country in which freedom of speech was basically the number one pillar of our democracy. Sure, I wasn’t always happy with the things other people said. But I always say that when someone is allowed to dance half naked on a boat in Amsterdam while he is kissing his friend, I also, am allowed to preach the Gospel on the boat that is floating behind him. That is freedom and with freedom comes the risk of being insulted. But now that freedom is under attack. We even have the army to check on us. True! Recently the news headlines in Holland stated that the army used their abilities to follow certain websites and persons who were labelled as being critical or in disagreement with the governmental Covid-19 policy. A reporter received a phone call from the local police because they were informed about the fact that he interviewed people who disagreed with many things concerning the governmental decisions. The officer said that they were worried about the fact that he gave a platform for conspiracy thinkers. These are just two examples from the Netherlands, but I am sure you can think of some in your country as well.

Let me cite Chilton again:

When the Puritans left England, they did not wander over the earth; God brought them into a land and made them rulers, and though the foundation they built has greatly eroded, it is still very much with us after 300 years. What will people 300 years from now say of the accomplishments of today’s shallow, retreatist evangelicalism?”iv

Looking back on the recent history of freedom we see people like Martin Luther and other reformers in Europe, the Puritans who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices. We also see William Wilberforce, who was an evangelical Christian and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. And of course the Founding Fathers who are well known in the US. They all had one thing in common, they were Bible-believing Christians who defended the freedom we sometimes take for granted.

A real Christian should realise that his or her spiritual battle is not much different from that of our forefathers. Sure, our forefathers didn’t have social media that could potentially discredit them… No, they ‘only’ had to get their message across by the written word and by actually going somewhere and talk in public. They faced kings, corrupt politicians and powerful clergy. Still, they never abandoned their holy duty to protect the freedom of speech.

Torba wrote an article about the big tech companies who misuse their position to silence disagreeable voices. He said:

“Christians must once again become Dissenters in today’s world, but in order to do so they must stop being wimps and rise up to the battle God is calling them to fight.”v

Christians shouldn’t back down when it comes to defend justice while preaching the Gospel of the Risen King. Keith Green sang “Oh, can’t you see it’s such sin? The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight ’cause it’s asleep in the light.”vi Christians shouldn’t accept weak and compromised preaching. We have the truth in the Lord Jesus. Whenever this message gets compromised we end up with churches full of powerless individuals, who call themselves Christians but are in reality nothing more than the man who build his house on the sand. When the waves of political correctness come. Or when the wind of ‘tolerance’ begins to blow, their houses will crumble and collapse.

Again, Chilton explained this in his book:

“All heathen cultures have been statist and tyrannical, for a people who reject God will surrender themselves and their property to a dictator.”vii

Chilton uses 1 Samual 8 to expound. God gives a warning to the people. A people who rather have a human king. Not long after, they forgot about God and slowly but surely they found themselves under the rule of ‘freedom suppressing’ leaders who were not willing to accept any critical sound in their kingdom.

Practice what you preach and live it. Lead by example. Do what you can and expect to be persecuted like your Master (John 15:20). Don’t accept a watered down Gospel from a preacher who basically wants to propagate ‘tolerance’, ‘diversity’ and ‘acceptance’. Continue to speak the truth and support those who do the same in the public arena, be bold and not ashamed of the gospel of Christ “because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16 NIV).



i   Chilton, D., Paradise Restored: a biblical theology of dominion. Dominion Pr, 1985, Page 49.

ii   Contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a community, in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation. Internet: [https://www.britannica.com/topic/fascism], accessed 24-11-2020).

iii   Hofmann, J., Why Mission Matters, Internet: [https://www.apologeet.nl/en/faq/010_why-mission/] accessed on 17-11-2020.

iv   Chilton, D., Paradise Restored: a biblical theology of dominion. Dominion Pr, 1985, Page 51.

v   Torba, A., The Christian Crusade To Save Free Speech, Again. Internet: [https://news.gab.com/2020/11/17/the-christian-crusade-to-save-free-speech-again/] accessed on 17-11-2020.

vi   Green, K. G., Asleep in the light, 1987 the Sparrow Corporation.

vii   Chilton, D., Paradise Restored: a biblical theology of dominion. Dominion Pr, 1985, Page 50.

Christians are Anti-Vaxxers!

I have heard this accusation on the internet and it kind of intrigued me. This video is going to be a little longer than normal because I want to be a bit more precise in my explanation.

Am I Anti-Vaxx?

Am I an Anti-Vaxxer? Are Christians per definition Anti-Vaxx? For me personally I can answer this with a ‘no’. As Evangelical missionary I would say that I belong to the more conservative groups within Christianity.

My Approach

Still, when we as a family moved abroad, we did take some vaccinations. We had some good talks with the Dutch health services about what they thought what was needed for our specific country. They were very helpful in providing a list. We went through all the recommendations and determined that we didn’t need some of them. On example was typhoid fever, not to be confused with Typhus. We found that, if you’re in good health, this infection can be overcome rather easily. Even, when the infection lingers on, we can treat it with a good antibiotic. The vaccination for typhoid gives some protection with an efficacy of about 55–72%. We decided to get a natural resistance by slowly introducing us to local eating and drinking habits. Most locals in our area don’t even realise that this decease is around. After a while working and living among them we had a blood test. Antibodies were found in two of our family member’s samples. The human body is amazing!

Biblical Stance on Health

So, why did I go through all the hassle of reading about vaccines? Surely, I had better things to do with my time, right? That’s were you’re wrong! God has given us our bodies as a precious gift. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says the following: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your bodies.” This means that we are to take care of our body ourselves. Despite the growing opinion in the West, that we are responsible for the health of others, many Christians firmly believe that they are first and foremost responsible for their own health. Yes, I agree that we need to try to help others if they want to, but only if they want to. So, as soon as someone gives me some advice about my health, I have the task to check whether I really believe this advice to be valuable.

God also gave us our minds. I would even want to go a step further. I believe that Christians should excel when it comes to rational decision-making. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This means that we should always examine the pros and cons. It is no secret that a good deal of medicine, certain treatments or vaccines, all have their downsides. The question than is whether the pros are outweighing the cons. When I for example, examine the pros of being vaccinated against hepatitis B, I might come to the conclusion that the pros outweigh the cons. And while I am saying this, I know others would want to shout to me not to take it! Which is perfectly fine, but in the end it is my own responsibility. In the same way I would like to tell someone not to eat that big fatty hamburger with too much mayonnaise. That’s all I can do. I can not grab that person, and force him or her to throw away this delicious hamburger (which it is… I mean I love hamburgers with too much of everything. I just don’t eat them that often).

Non-Religious Anti-Vaxxers

Now, let’s go back to the main topic. Are Christians Anti-Vaxx? Well, it might be true that religious groups use to be more anti than non-religious groups. However, over to past years we’ve seen a big change when it comes to which groups are critical about vaccinations. A few months ago I met an old friend. He is a convinced atheist and a very zealous Anti-Vaxxer. I was surprised about all his arguments. Obviously, he did not use the typical Christian arguments but mostly scientific and moral objections. My old friend is not alone in his ideas. Some would like you to believe that the group of Anti-Vaxxers is biggest in the USA, and despite public shaming of Anti-Vaxxers, the anti-vaccine movement remains fairly strong in America. Yet, it has nothing on the Anti-Vaxxers in France, a country where over 40 percent of its citizens believe vaccines are unsafe i France was followed by Bosnia & Herzegovina (36%), Russia (28%), and Mongolia (27%.) Greece, Japan and Ukraine all had 25%. Still, many would like to blame religion. But it is a bit of a stretch, to say it mildly, to assume that all these people are religious. And it is interesting to see that philosophical, non-religious exemptions in America’s anti-vaccine leader, California, outnumber religious exemptions 100 to 1.ii

Biblical Commands Against Vaccines

I will not go into all the Bible verses that Christians use to justify their stance against vaccines. These texts vary from not being allowed to mingled unrelated matter as mentioned in Leviticus 19:19 and Luke 13:1-5, to the all the verses about having to trust the Lord in everything. It will just take too much time to look whether these texts stand or not. The truth of the matter is that most Anti-Vaxxers don’t even base their opinion solely on the Bible. Most sceptics have done their homework and based on that knowledge they decide. I believe this is the way forward when you say you’re a Christian. You use your brain! You use your God given responsibility when it comes to your own health and that of your family. It is up to parents to care for their children’s welfare, according to 1 Timothy 5:8 parents have every right legally and by religious beliefs to make decisions on behalf of their children, and not the state or an individual doctor or any other person for that matter.

Love You Neighbour

Now for the last thing to think about. A Christian ought to hold to the Golden Rule: Love Your neighbour as you love yourself.

Anti-Vaxxers will have heard this often enough. They are not loving, since they are not working with others to create herd immunity, which is needed to protect the community.

People will quickly say this to be a non-issue because vaccinated people will not get sick… They are immune right? Well, yes and no. Someone who is vaccinated ought to be better protected than people who did not receive the vaccination. At least that is the theory. Whether this is always the case is a whole different debate.

However, the problem is more for those who can’t get vaccinated because their immune system is weak and vaccines might make them sick. This includes people with vaccine allergies, and anyone with an immune-suppressing disease like HIV or cancer.

Who is responsible for whose health?

But with this argument we’ve returned to the biggest question. Who is responsible for whose health? As a child I did not receive all the vaccinations children receive nowadays. That meant that when I became sick, my mother called the school and told them that she would keep me home. Most of the time a child was not the only one. It came with waves. They stayed home for a while which made sure that some weaker children were more or less protected against a massive-infection. In the end they became sick as well but mostly more graduate than the others. Sometimes, the parents of the vulnerable children decided to keep their child home to protect it against the first massive wave that was coming. These cases were rare. I can only remember one child in my class. He had a heart condition, and he had an overall weak physique. Mostly, health is a matter of common sense of every individual. It has always been normal to tell people you’re not coming to their party because you feel sick. Likewise, you would tell someone that you do not greet with a kiss because you’re having a cold.

We can not demand others to undergo a certain treatment because we want to feel safe. The only time we, as society, do that, is when someone is a real physical threat to us or the world. A knife wielding person does not belong on the street, right?

Finally

You see that this topic is not nearly as clear cut as others. One thing is for sure: The Anti-Vaxx movement is not only religious driven. Many others are sceptical about vaccines.

A very important thing for Christians however, is that a Christian should always live life in honour of God. In doing so, a Christian might decide to get vaccinated or at least get partly vaccinated. But, it can also be that others say they honour God by putting all their trust in Him and refuse the vaccinations. In both cases we are called to be one in Him who gave all on the cross, so we can be saved. Even though Christians might disagree on whether they should be vaccinated, they may argue among each other, and they might think they have all the data on their side. One thing they should never forget: Christ died for all and in doing so we, as Christians, should trust that one day all these signs of living in a fallen world will be in the past.

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

This is God’s promise to those who put their trust in His Son Jesus Christ. I sure hope you will be there with me!


https://www.thelancet.com/journals/ebiom/article/PIIS2352-3964(16)30398-X/fulltext

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/france-most-skeptical-country-about-vaccine-safety

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