The case for vaccines
Many Christian health care workers will be dismayed by James Smith’s article (‘Test all things’, June-July issue).
For the past year, I have worked for the NHS 111 Covid Clinical Assessment Service, and am now an NHS vaccinator. I can personally testify to the devastating effect that Covid-19 has had on many – but also to the real benefits of vaccination in preventing hospitalisation and death.
I can agree with Mr Smith on one point: that God is in control. But perhaps God’s way of bringing relief from our ongoing crisis is to use the very instruments that he condemns.
The author decries lockdowns, but early and effective lockdowns have considerably reduced subsequent deaths. Also, while understanding the reservations of some over the development of Covid vaccines, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have brought the pandemic under control in this country, dramatically reducing both hospitalisations and deaths.
Mr Smith mentions two therapeutic agents which can treat Covid. Unfortunately, so far only the use of corticosteroids has resulted in a substantial effect on mortality. While ivermectin may not have been adequately trialled, drugs such as hydroxychloroquine have been demonstrated in reliable clinical trials not to be beneficial.
To those who are uncertain, my advice is to please get vaccinated, not only for your own benefit but also for those in your community. Is jeopardising the lives of others, who do not share one’s views, a fair use of personal freedom?
At present, I can think of no clearer demonstration of Christian care for others than getting vaccinated.
From a GP
Name and address supplied
According to card-carrying Communist and SAGE professor Susan Michie, we should wear face masks “forever” (Daily Telegraph, 20 June).
However, masks cause great misery for those who wear spectacles, outer hearing aids or need to lip read. And if you use regular nasal drops in order to breathe properly, life is almost impossible.
Masks also restrict people from communicating their opinion about restrictions in public places. No “read my lips” is possible. This bondage is another government effort to keep our mouths shut regarding the prison-like existence of lockdown. It really is quite cunning!
So many otherwise mature Christians are drifting into ridiculous conspiracy theories on the internet. They claim that mankind is planning all kinds of evil so “the Antichrist” and presumably “the Beast” can take over the world and destroy all Christians, after which the Lord will return.
Such Christians believe the false teaching that the Antichrist and the Beast have not existed in the world for the past 2,000 years. Apparently, martyred Christians “under the altar” (Revelation 6:9-10) will not be in Heaven until some future date. This is a denial of the historic Christian martyrs, starting with Stephen and the slaughter of early believers by the Roman Empire. It wrongly insulates UK Christians from the persecution of Christians worldwide, which has been increasing for the past 20 years.
Biblical theologians must set out clearly the Protestant truth on the ‘end times’. We have failed to get our message out to those who need it.
The true Gospel
Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by faith, not works. Galatians 1:6-10 says that if anyone teaches a different Gospel to this, let him be accursed. Catholics teach salvation by faith and works, which is a false Gospel – whichever way you cut it. When will born-again believers wake up to this fact, and act accordingly?
Praising God with pom-poms
A URC church in Woking has been signing the words of praise songs with their hands, as they were following government guidance not to sing. What a good idea – why should we only use our voice to worship?
I’m a member of the Christian Dance Fellowship of Britain, and I believe that we can use our body in praise. After lockdown ends, we could organise Christian movement groups for seniors, using colourful pom-pom shakers. Older people appreciate melodic songs such Graham Kendrick’s ‘Shine, Jesus Shine’ and Marilyn Baker’s songs.
Movement improves fitness and balance, but too often exercise is done to a repetitive, tuneless disco beat!
A scriptural challenge
I read with interest Charles Gardner’s article ‘Divided over Israel’ (April/May).
Could he tell us how he understands these texts by the apostle Paul?
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter”(Romans 2:28–29).
“For they are not all Israel who are of Israel” (Romans 9:6b).
“Beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:2–3).