Joe Biden wants preachers to advocate vaccination? Do you believe in a twofold kingdom yet?
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Do you have a link for that Biden statement? I’d like to pass it along to some.
I heard it live on TV or radio yesterday.
We ought to obey God rather than men, but where the two are not in conflict, don’t the Westminster Catechisms extend the 5th Commandment to civil obedience? In any case, was Biden proposing to impose his wishes on the Christian ministry by law? I must say that whilst vaccination is not the gospel, it is a better gospel than the one he professes to believe (not the most difficult of statuses for a gospel to achieve!)
I think Christians ought to advocate vaccination, both where I am and where you are, but we must be clear upon what grounds.
The law in the USA does not mandate Covid-19 vaccines. It is not the vocation of the minister to enforce civil policy. It is the vocation of the minister to preach the gospel faithfully, administer the sacraments purely, and to administer church discipline (with the elders) faithfully. The Scriptures teach submission to the magistrate and a minister exhorts obedience to just civil laws but he is not an extension of the state any more than the magistrate is an extension of the church.
Was Biden asking ministers to actually enforce civil policy, or merely to give this particular policy moral support (as, in my view, an example of the third application of the moral Law)?
He wants to co-opt ministers to advocate for his civil agenda. That’s NOT our vocation.
Whether the moral law requires vaccination is a matter adiaphora. A minister might advocate for it as an application of the second table but I think it ill advised that he speak to it either way. He is not a physician and he does not work for President Biden. He works for King Jesus and his vocation is to announce the advent of the Kingdom of Heaven.
In any event the moment the magistrate asks him to use his spiritual authority to advocate for public policy the magistrate has over-stepped his authority.
We have a group in our community that is pushing churches to advocate for masks / face coverings. The presented a petition to the city council and it was adopted unanimously. A couple of weeks ago they sent me a personal letter asking me to:
1) Encourage our congregants to follow CDC and state guidelines;
2) Place one of their signs on our church property (showing our support of their mission);
3) Like their Facebook page.
Our Session voted not to endorse this project. As a church we are compliant with CDC and state health department guidelines but do not want to officially endorse their policies. As a seminary prof told me once, “We speak when Scripture speaks, and we are silent when Scripture is silent.”
No joke. Less than a minute after I hit send, the phone rang. It was a representative of this group inquiring if they could put one of their signs on our church property. I politely explained that our church council, while sympathetic to CDC and health department guidelines, declined to endorse the project. I explained that we have lost members and church officers over simply being obedient to the magistrate (Romans 13; I Peter 2:13-17). The caller was disappointed saying “What we need is more leadership in the community.” I politely replied that “We speak when Scripture speaks and are silent when Scripture is silent. To do more than that is to bind consciences.” That pretty much ended the call.
Thank you pastor!
Margert Sanger had the same strategy for birth control. She insisted on enlisting Pastors to be advocates for birth control so everyone thought it A-OK. In a letter to Dr. Gamble she states it bluntly, “We do not want word to go out that want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is he man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occur to any of their most rebellion members.”
I don’t think the Biden Admin is trying to exterminate people via vaccines at all unlike Sanger via Birth Control/Abortion. In fact, I am huge advocate of the vaccines. But the principle of enlisting Pastors to a job Jesus never called them too is wrong biblically, and practically leads to all sorts of nonsense or just down right evil. Pastors should know better, their commission is from Christ and not the civil magistrate.