Vaccine passports are a beastly idea
The ‘vaccine passport’ should be as abhorrent an idea to those who have chosen to be Covid vaccinated as it will be to those who have chosen not to.
It will remove an individual’s God-given right to choose and make their own place in society. It will elevate the compliant and punish the non-compliant. It will grant complete control of a person’s freedom of movement to be decided by the secular state. It will stigmatise all who disagree with state policy.
It will stigmatise all who disagree with state policy
The ‘mark of the beast’ of Revelation 13:16-18 is a pledge of allegiance to the ‘beast’ and his system of governance; anyone who has this “mark” will be able to trade and move freely.
I don’t believe the Covid ‘vaccine passport’ is the mark of the beast, but it does not have to be the actual mark for the Christian to be warned off it. Whenever a person or a system separates people on the basis of race or their belief system, grants special privilege or denies access to otherwise normal daily pursuits simply because of compliance or non-compliance – that is the spirit of the anti-Christ.
So please, dear believer, whatever your thoughts on Covid are, whether you have been supportive of global lockdowns or not, whether you have taken a Covid vaccine or not, recognise this one thing – there are powers in the earth right now that are using this present “crisis” to remove your freedom through the back door of a Covid passport.
Pastor David Bizley
Government power, faith and Covid-19
I was living in Victoria, Australia, at the onset of the global pandemic in March 2020.
Like many people, felt myself descend into a dark abyss of uncertainty, confusion, isolation and loneliness.
We were cooped up inside our houses for months on end, glued to television sets which only delivered doom and gloom
While it is clear to me that some measures are and were needed to curtail the proliferation of the Covid-19 virus, I often wonder whether the Victorian government’s response to the crisis was draconian and not commensurate with the risk posed by the virus. Australia was recording extremely low numbers of cases compared to other places in the world.
We were cooped up inside our houses for months on end, glued to television sets which delivered only doom and gloom. We were only allowed to leave our prison cells for essential services: to see a pharmacist, go the doctor or get groceries. I began to go crazy as the ‘new normal’ sank in.
On the occasions I did venture out of the house, everything seemed post-apocalyptic: my city had become a veritable ghost town. The few forlorn souls that I could see looked downcast, not that I could really tell behind the masks fixed tightly to their faces; a symbol perhaps of how they had been silenced and marginalised? I was reminded of scenes I had only seen on TV – dystopic places like Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina; once thriving cities were razed in the collateral of executive overreach and governmental power.
The lingering feeling I am left with is uncertainty, because the government wields such power to take us in and out of lockdown at a moment’s notice
The lingering feeling I am left with is uncertainty, because the government wields such power to take us in and out of lock-down at a moment’s notice and rules are altered more often than seasons change. When we confer boundless, unchecked power on governments, we risk undermining the very fabric of our democracy. Politicians would do well to remember they work for us, not the other way around!
For this reason my sister and I have moved to a state with a less harsh Covid regime.
The silver lining of this challenging and dark situation was that I focused on nurturing my relationship with my inner circle, on journaling and writing poetry more often and on coming closer to God.
No government is more powerful or can usurp God’s sovereign rule and ultimately everyone, including and especially those in power, will answer to him. For me there is comfort in this fact.
Silver Linings from Covid
Even among Christians it seems that opinions about the Covid crisis are divided between the sublime and the ridiculous.
Jesus warned us of pestilences in the last days – contagious diseases of epidemic proportions. God has allowed it in order to get our attention. Not for a very long time have our insecurities been so exposed as they are today.
There are some people who still know where to turn when things fall apart
On the other hand, it has been reported that literally thousands of people have come to know the Lord during this crisis, so there are some people who still know where to turn when things fall apart.
It has also been reported that church ‘attendance’ via Zoom has greatly increased and Google reported that there has been a huge rise of searches on the subject of prayer and Jesus.
At the end of the day, God is still very much in control and so we should not allow doom and gloom to call the tune.
As I have always said throughout my ministry, fear is never the real issue, it’s what you do with fear that determines the outcome.
Rev Mervyn Tilley
A missionary’s dilemma
Taking the Covid-19 vaccine will be a dilemma for the Christian charity worker or missionary needing to travel overseas if vaccination is required.
Vaccine passports are nothing new. In the past vaccination for yellow fever and several other diseases were required to travel to parts of Africa and Asia, perhaps they still are. I do not know if any of the many vaccines I have had to take to work overseas contained foetal tissue. I agree with the questions Dave Brennan raised in his article (HEART Apr/May), but questioning what was in a vaccine such as yellow fever would never have occurred to me.
Taking the Covid-19 vaccine will be a dilemma for the Christian charity worker or missionary needing to travel overseas
The question of taking the Covid-19 vaccine has similarities with taking meat sacrificed to idols; a subject Paul discussed in 1 Corinthians 8. We can do very little in this world without repenting of our own sins or compromising for someone else’s. When travelling on buses in an Asian country it was not uncommon for the driver to stop by the statue of an idol, pray to it and give it money so we could travel safely to our destination. Should we as Christians refuse to ride on a bus, knowing that its safety had been prayerfully committed by its driver to an idol? It would be a long walk!
Chichester, West Sussex