Grace for Your Day January 17

In the Fall of last year, the province of British Columbia ruled that all government employees who have not been vaccinated against the Coronavirus will be placed on unpaid medical leave. This decision came as a surprise to many people because there is a shortage of workers in the area. However, the health officials deemed it necessary in order to keep the community safe. It was also preceded by another law which said that all people 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated in order to attend the following venues:
- Indoor ticketed sporting events
- Indoor concerts, theatre, dance, and symphony events
- Licensed restaurants and restaurants that offer table service (indoor and patio dining)
- Gyms, exercise facilities/studios, pools, and recreation facilities

In other words, not only are state workers to be turned away if they are not vaccinated but so are consumers who want to partake in any of these events. If they do not have proof of vaccination, then the owners are required by law to turn them away at the door which raises the question: How should the church respond to this? Should we force people to be vaccinated as well before they can attend our services? Should we meet them at the door and ask for proof that they are “safe?” Some churches in B. C. are choosing to do this right now which is causing problems because many of their people do not feel comfortable taking the vaccine so what should we do?

Fortunately, the Bible tells us what to do in situations like this in the Book of Romans. Here Paul writes in 14:1-3, 13:
Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him . . .
Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this – not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

As we talked about several weeks ago, in Paul’s day, people did not wrestle with issues like vaccines but they did deal with problems related to food because some believed that they were only supposed to eat vegetables in order to honor God while others thoughts that they could eat meat. Due to their Jewish or Gentile backgrounds, they were very finnicky about their diet so, in order to deal with that, Paul reminds them of what a Christian is. A Christian is someone who serves the Lord. Food has nothing to do with it so you should not judge one another on this issue.

I mention that because I believe that Paul would say the same thing to us today. We want to be careful not to judge each other in times like this. We do not want to create a vaccinated versus unvaccinated camp in the church because everyone has different levels of comfort with this issue and that is okay. It is not a problem because vaccines have nothing to do with our relationship to God. If some people do not feel comfortable taking it, then they should not be harassed about it. Instead, they should be welcomed with open arms which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This week, I will be preaching a sermon entitled “Should a Christian Get Vaccinated?” The purpose will not be to come down hard on this issue but to approach it the way Paul did and talk about the freedom that we have in Christ. You are free to get vaccinated and you are free not to. The one thing that you are not free to do as a Christian is judge each other over it. You do not have the right to come into the church and look down upon everyone who takes an opposite position on this because “you should not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died” (verse 15).

Please join us as we talk about this important subject. The sermon will be livestreamed and made available on our You Tube Channel for all those who are not able to come in person.   – Jeremy Cagle