Church/Members Asking About a Person's Vaccination Status

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Any fear that keeps you from church because "you might get sick" is an unreasonable fear: God commands His people to assemble. Ours is to obey, and if He send a pestilence to sicken us while we're obeying, at least we're obeying, and we know that He does all things well. God can just as easily keep us well while we obey as sicken us while we take every precaution known to man.
It is specious to say that we are tempting God if we run a risk in order to obey. God requires obedience in spite of risk, and will not hold us vain tempters of Himself if we suffer danger in order to obey.
Those who from fear will not assemble show that they do not believe that God will honor those who honor Him. They fear the wrong thing: God is to be feared more than any other danger and respected more than any other dignity.

"However, no need to talk about risks that lie in the way of one's duty. It is unnecessary risks that we must avoid."
-Mr. Gibson in Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I remain thankful that this has not been an issue in our church. If anything, people might be hesitant to admit they got the vaccine. The "vibe" in our assembly is to support what one thinks is right in such matters. The anti-vaxers probably outnumber the pro vaxers slightly, but none would try to bind another's conscience that I have seen.

Maybe it's because we are small. Maybe it's because we meet in Idaho. Most of us have been exposed, several have been infected, but, praise to God, it has not had an impact on us like it has had so many other places.

God has blessed us with a group of people who bear one another's burdens.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I remain thankful that this has not been an issue in our church. If anything, people might be hesitant to admit they got the vaccine. The "vibe" in our assembly is to support what one thinks is right in such matters. The anti-vaxers probably outnumber the pro vaxers slightly, but none would try to bind another's conscience that I have seen.

Maybe it's because we are small. Maybe it's because we meet in Idaho. Most of us have been exposed, several have been infected, but, praise to God, it has not had an impact on us like it has had so many other places.

God has blessed us with a group of people who bear one another's burdens.
Pretty much how my church is. I've been one of the more cautious members considering the many places I work but, haven't worn my mask for a few weeks now.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I've been one of the more cautious members considering the many places I work but, haven't worn my mask for a few weeks

Here's what I posted on Facebook yesterday:

No more masks for me.
Today I did it. I have had enough of this mask nonsense. I walked into a convenience store without a mask. I went up to the attendant and told them that I have not been vaccinated and don't intend to do so. "I'm one better than that. I am immune because I had Covid. But if you do not want to serve me, I will gladly take my business elsewhere." He said, "No problem, it's good to finally see your face."
I encourage you to take the same stand. Enough is enough.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I plan to take the same stand in my church.
So far no one has chased me out. :)

nomask.png
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I remain thankful that this has not been an issue in our church. If anything, people might be hesitant to admit they got the vaccine. The "vibe" in our assembly is to support what one thinks is right in such matters. The anti-vaxers probably outnumber the pro vaxers slightly, but none would try to bind another's conscience that I have seen.

Maybe it's because we are small. Maybe it's because we meet in Idaho. Most of us have been exposed, several have been infected, but, praise to God, it has not had an impact on us like it has had so many other places.

God has blessed us with a group of people who bear one another's burdens.
In our church, it is the vaxxers who are likely to get looked at askance. The anti-vaxxers seem to far outweigh those willing to get shot, and some of them have pretty bizarre reasons for not vaxxing. From political reasons (valid, we are a free nation), to conspiracy theories as wild as that "Bill Gates has put a chip into each vaccine."
I got it simply because it's calculated to comfort the largest amount of people with whom I deal in my work, and because I'm unwilling to have international travel curtailed (I travel quite a bit). But I'm fine with anyone who chooses not to, and I think it'll be a shame if whether you are or aren't becomes weaponized by either side. Which, given human nature, it probably already is.
 

Edm

Puritan Board Freshman
I think most people at my church do not want the vaccine. At least the ones I regularly speak with. I have people outside the church hounding me about it. Those that have received the shot REALLY seem to want me to for some reason. I just tell them " My body ,my choice " Seems like they may have heard that before...
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
There are much better topics of discussion on the Lord's Day and much better places to focus our attention before worship.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think most people at my church do not want the vaccine. At least the ones I regularly speak with. I have people outside the church hounding me about it. Those that have received the shot REALLY seem to want me to for some reason. I just tell them " My body ,my choice " Seems like they may have heard that before...
Their thought is that the vaccine works best if absolutely everyone gets it. That way the virus dies before the vaccine can wear off or it can mutate into stronger strains. Feeling that they have done their part, they want others to do theirs.
NOTE: this is not my desire; it's simply the rationale for their insistence.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
Their thought is that the vaccine works best if absolutely everyone gets it. That way the virus dies before the vaccine can wear off or it can mutate into stronger strains. Feeling that they have done their part, they want others to do theirs.
NOTE: this is not my desire; it's simply the rationale for their insistence.
Yeah this has been my experience as well. People generally see that there is an answer to the problem, so they wonder why somebody would not want to help be a solution to a problem.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Any fear that keeps you from church because "you might get sick" is an unreasonable fear: God commands His people to assemble. Ours is to obey, and if He send a pestilence to sicken us while we're obeying, at least we're obeying, and we know that He does all things well. God can just as easily keep us well while we obey as sicken us while we take every precaution known to man.
It is specious to say that we are tempting God if we run a risk in order to obey. God requires obedience in spite of risk, and will not hold us vain tempters of Himself if we suffer danger in order to obey.
Those who from fear will not assemble show that they do not believe that God will honor those who honor Him. They fear the wrong thing: God is to be feared more than any other danger and respected more than any other dignity.
well.......under the law of Moses, you had to stay out of the camp for a week if you touched a dead person. I believe that was part of disease prevention. If you had a baby you were home for 33 ( boy) or 66 ( girl) days, which I assume gave the mother rest and protected the newborn from extra germs. If you had leprosy you didn't go in to the assembly at all, no matter how badly you wished you could. God commanded these isolations.

I am aware that some people here think the Mosaic law had no health benefits at all and all these things are just symbolic. I don't want to argue about it, but again, if God commanded lepers to isolate, maybe some people who isolate view it as practical wisdom. It isn't fear to understand that this is a vicious virus and think you need to avoid it.

We all got it....d-i-l next door, then baby, then my son and me, then my husband. Ivermectin was astonishingly amazing for me and the d-i-l who have asthma, and went from hurting lungs on day 1 to zero lung problems the next day after our first dose. I think one answer to fear is to make people aware of the clinical results globally with Ivermectin, and that they do not have to worry about hospitalization and death. But it's still nasty- I was exhausted for a week and my husband and son for two weeks. Baby had a fever of 104 ( they hesitated to give the Ivermectin) an didn't eat for two days.

Maybe some people are mindful that the command about the sabbath also says to labor six days of the week. If you have a job, and the job matters, you will not be doing it if you get COVID. The employers won't even let you back until 14 days after all symptoms pass, or you get a negative test which can take months!!! after you are over COVID. D-i-l is stuck in that mess, her job requires her to be there and her doctor and board of health said she is not contagious at this point and may show positive for months, but the HR people at her job ( state of NJ, public school) won't let her back. Our doctors are honest that the vaccine antibodies may last 3 months max, and you can still get COVID with a vaccine.

Give people some grace here. "they do not believe that God will honor those who honor Him" is a very harsh judgment on brethren just trying to do the right thing.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
well.......under the law of Moses, you had to stay out of the camp for a week if you touched a dead person. I believe that was part of disease prevention. If you had a baby you were home for 33 ( boy) or 66 ( girl) days, which I assume gave the mother rest and protected the newborn from extra germs. If you had leprosy you didn't go in to the assembly at all, no matter how badly you wished you could. God commanded these isolations.

I am aware that some people here think the Mosaic law had no health benefits at all and all these things are just symbolic. I don't want to argue about it, but again, if God commanded lepers to isolate, maybe some people who isolate view it as practical wisdom. It isn't fear to understand that this is a vicious virus and think you need to avoid it.

We all got it....d-i-l next door, then baby, then my son and me, then my husband. Ivermectin was astonishingly amazing for me and the d-i-l who have asthma, and went from hurting lungs on day 1 to zero lung problems the next day after our first dose. I think one answer to fear is to make people aware of the clinical results globally with Ivermectin, and that they do not have to worry about hospitalization and death. But it's still nasty- I was exhausted for a week and my husband and son for two weeks. Baby had a fever of 104 ( they hesitated to give the Ivermectin) an didn't eat for two days.

Maybe some people are mindful that the command about the sabbath also says to labor six days of the week. If you have a job, and the job matters, you will not be doing it if you get COVID. The employers won't even let you back until 14 days after all symptoms pass, or you get a negative test which can take months!!! after you are over COVID. D-i-l is stuck in that mess, her job requires her to be there and her doctor and board of health said she is not contagious at this point and may show positive for months, but the HR people at her job ( state of NJ, public school) won't let her back. Our doctors are honest that the vaccine antibodies may last 3 months max, and you can still get COVID with a vaccine.

Give people some grace here. "they do not believe that God will honor those who honor Him" is a very harsh judgment on brethren just trying to do the right thing.
The point is not: is this thing real, or how contagious is it, or how serious is it? The point is that we are not given license to disobey because "we might get sick." Lepers were not isolated until their leprosy was evident; mothers were not sequestered until they had given birth.
Anyone who shows symptoms ought to stay home from church for fear of infecting others; but to shut down churches wholesale "because there's something out there" is to disbelieve in God, who sends the pestilence where He will, and can stay it at any moment. Where did David go to worship when the plague was stayed? The very threshing floor where the Angel of the Lord ceased to destroy. When there is plague, famine, trouble and affliction, God's people need more than ever to assemble in obedience and worship God, who is to be feared more than anything else.
As I told the pastors: if the building is currently engulfed in flames, or there's a hurricane actively removing the roof, we need to find another place to worship that day. But the chance that we might get sick? Gimme a break.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
well.......under the law of Moses, you had to stay out of the camp for a week if you touched a dead person. I believe that was part of disease prevention. If you had a baby you were home for 33 ( boy) or 66 ( girl) days, which I assume gave the mother rest and protected the newborn from extra germs. If you had leprosy you didn't go in to the assembly at all, no matter how badly you wished you could. God commanded these isolations.

I am aware that some people here think the Mosaic law had no health benefits at all and all these things are just symbolic. I don't want to argue about it, but again, if God commanded lepers to isolate, maybe some people who isolate view it as practical wisdom. It isn't fear to understand that this is a vicious virus and think you need to avoid it.

We all got it....d-i-l next door, then baby, then my son and me, then my husband. Ivermectin was astonishingly amazing for me and the d-i-l who have asthma, and went from hurting lungs on day 1 to zero lung problems the next day after our first dose. I think one answer to fear is to make people aware of the clinical results globally with Ivermectin, and that they do not have to worry about hospitalization and death. But it's still nasty- I was exhausted for a week and my husband and son for two weeks. Baby had a fever of 104 ( they hesitated to give the Ivermectin) an didn't eat for two days.

Maybe some people are mindful that the command about the sabbath also says to labor six days of the week. If you have a job, and the job matters, you will not be doing it if you get COVID. The employers won't even let you back until 14 days after all symptoms pass, or you get a negative test which can take months!!! after you are over COVID. D-i-l is stuck in that mess, her job requires her to be there and her doctor and board of health said she is not contagious at this point and may show positive for months, but the HR people at her job ( state of NJ, public school) won't let her back. Our doctors are honest that the vaccine antibodies may last 3 months max, and you can still get COVID with a vaccine.

Give people some grace here. "they do not believe that God will honor those who honor Him" is a very harsh judgment on brethren just trying to do the right thing.
Lynnie, so glad that you and your family got through this. Ivermectin has saved untold numbers of lives and would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives if the knowledge of it had not been suppressed by evil men. (See FLCCC)
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
Lynnie, so glad that you and your family got through this. Ivermectin has saved untold numbers of lives and would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives if the knowledge of it had not been suppressed by evil men. (See FLCCC)
Reason being if effective treatment is widely available they can lose justification for emergency use authorization of experimental 'vaccine.'
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
The point is not: is this thing real, or how contagious is it, or how serious is it? The point is that we are not given license to disobey because "we might get sick." Lepers were not isolated until their leprosy was evident; mothers were not sequestered until they had given birth.
Anyone who shows symptoms ought to stay home from church for fear of infecting others; but to shut down churches wholesale "because there's something out there" is to disbelieve in God, who sends the pestilence where He will, and can stay it at any moment. Where did David go to worship when the plague was stayed? The very threshing floor where the Angel of the Lord ceased to destroy. When there is plague, famine, trouble and affliction, God's people need more than ever to assemble in obedience and worship God, who is to be feared more than anything else.
As I told the pastors: if the building is currently engulfed in flames, or there's a hurricane actively removing the roof, we need to find another place to worship that day. But the chance that we might get sick? Gimme a break.
These are vital points. God speaks to this. He is not silent. He gives us instruction. And I argue there is an obedience component that must cut through a Godless narrative and worldview.

Not only has the narrative of widespread asymptomatic spread been debunked, it's antithetical to God's word and our reality. The whole vague notion of genetic testing for this condition detached and void of symptoms is one big smokescreen. The treating of individuals as potential biohazards by reason of their very existence is not grounded in God's word. There are other religions that hold to such views in which men and women outside a certain camp are unclean but that is not Christianity.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
The point is not: is this thing real, or how contagious is it, or how serious is it? The point is that we are not given license to disobey because "we might get sick." Lepers were not isolated until their leprosy was evident; mothers were not sequestered until they had given birth.
Anyone who shows symptoms ought to stay home from church for fear of infecting others; but to shut down churches wholesale "because there's something out there" is to disbelieve in God, who sends the pestilence where He will, and can stay it at any moment. Where did David go to worship when the plague was stayed? The very threshing floor where the Angel of the Lord ceased to destroy. When there is plague, famine, trouble and affliction, God's people need more than ever to assemble in obedience and worship God, who is to be feared more than anything else.
As I told the pastors: if the building is currently engulfed in flames, or there's a hurricane actively removing the roof, we need to find another place to worship that day. But the chance that we might get sick? Gimme a break.
I actually agree with you about lockdowns, I think once we have "flattened the curve" for hospitals they are a mistake. I'm all for opening everything.

But that is not the point I was making. I was trying to respond to accusations that people who stay home are in sinful fear and wrong to stay home. My church has plenty of older people and asthma people and so forth who watched church on their computer because they honestly thought it was the right thing to do for a period of time. They could be wrong, but accusations of sinful fear I think are just as wrong as saying home. Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and we should be cautious in our accusations of sin.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
One more plug for Ivermectin. This virus isn't over yet. Having experienced Ivermectin results myself I consider it a vital part of the entire discussion. If people knew there was such an effective treatment, it might help. If we actually all used it, it would definitely help!


Michael Capuzzo, a New York Times best-selling author , has just published an article titled “The Drug That Cracked Covid”. The 15-page article chronicles the gargantuan struggle being waged by frontline doctors on all continents to get ivermectin approved as a Covid-19 treatment, as well as the tireless efforts by reporters, media outlets and social media companies to thwart them.

Because of ivermectin, Capuzzo says, there are “hundreds of thousands, actually millions, of people around the world, from Uttar Pradesh in India to Peru to Brazil, who are living and not dying.” Yet media outlets have done all they can to “debunk” the notion that ivermectin may serve as an effective, easily accessible and affordable treatment for Covid-19. They have parroted the arguments laid out by health regulators around the world that there just isn’t enough evidence to justify its use.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
I actually agree with you about lockdowns, I think once we have "flattened the curve" for hospitals they are a mistake. I'm all for opening everything.

But that is not the point I was making. I was trying to respond to accusations that people who stay home are in sinful fear and wrong to stay home. My church has plenty of older people and asthma people and so forth who watched church on their computer because they honestly thought it was the right thing to do for a period of time. They could be wrong, but accusations of sinful fear I think are just as wrong as saying home. Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and we should be cautious in our accusations of sin.
We can be dogmatic about this. Staying home from church, neglecting to bring your offerings to the temple of the Lord on this earth, where the means of grace are dispensed because "I might get sick", is sinful, and it should be grounds for church discipline, which starts at the very least with a charitable and gracious admonishing from the consistory/session. This is a dividing line and must be so.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
We can be dogmatic about this. Staying home from church, neglecting to bring your offerings to the temple of the Lord on this earth, where the means of grace are dispensed because "I might get sick", is sinful, and it should be grounds for church discipline, which starts at the very least with a charitable and gracious admonishing from the consistory/session. This is a dividing line and must be so.
Every PCA and OPC pastor and elders and church within a 45 minute radius from me obeyed the civil magistrate. I looked one day out of curiosity. Thats a whole lot of Reformed brethren and leaders you want to discipline? It doesn't make you wrong, but I'd suggest you go into the prayer closet if you care, because I don't see your opinion ever happening.
 

jw

Administrator
How else do we discover who does or does not want grandmother to cease? Inquiring for a companion.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
Slight detour.... cant donate plasma if receive vaccine? https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1394860260410732547/pu/vid/576x314/eBQqOe4nAHMBUDfq.mp4?tag=12

I try not to ask anyone about their vaccination status. It's become a loaded question.
You are entitled to your opinions but please don't disseminate obviously fake news. It only takes 10 seconds to do a google search and find out that this is false.


 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
We can be dogmatic about this. Staying home from church, neglecting to bring your offerings to the temple of the Lord on this earth, where the means of grace are dispensed because "I might get sick", is sinful, and it should be grounds for church discipline, which starts at the very least with a charitable and gracious admonishing from the consistory/session. This is a dividing line and must be so.
I appreciate your opinion on this, but in love I wouldn't agree with this. I think much of life requires balance, and on top of that not everybody interprets the Bible the same way you do.

Many people would say it is okay at times to meet together virtually, or in small groups in homes, as this is still a form of gathering. Also, most Christians would agree that there is no longer a temple system in the New testament church. As far as the means of grace, in the age we are in thankfully we have plenty of access to them apart from Sunday morning gatherings, though I see a great importance of assembling together as a congregation.

We just have to always be careful to not make hard line stances where the Bible gives us freedoms. I don't mean to sound critical towards you, I just know that most people would look at that and view you as pretty extreme.

I would also add that many congregants in a church like this would view that as controlling, and would stay away from such a church.
 
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De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
I appreciate your opinion on this, but in love I wouldn't agree with this. I think much of life requires balance, and on top of that not everybody interprets the Bible the same way you do.

Many people would say it is okay at times to meet together virtually, or in small groups in homes, as this is still a form of gathering. Also, most Christians would agree that there is no longer a temple system in the New testament church. As far as the means of grace, in the age we are in thankfully we have plenty of access to them apart from Sunday morning gatherings, though I see a great importance of assembling together as a congregation.

We just have to always be careful to not make hard line stances where the Bible gives us freedoms. I don't mean to sound critical towards you, I just know that most people would look at that and view you as pretty extreme.

I would also add that many congregants in a church like this would view that as controlling, and would stay away from such a church.

Thank you for conversing with me on this, and in a charitable tone.

I'm clearly not out to be ecumenical for the sake of being ecumenical. If most people in the church would look at me as being extreme, that doesn't really bother me, given the state of the church in the western world. I am also well aware that most do not interpret the Bible the same way as I do. That is one of the reasons that there are many denominations even within the reformed camp. This does not mean that each of those denominations does not and should not think that they are "right" in their particular convictions. For example, cannot an RPCNA person be convinced that they are "right" in saying that only Psalms should be sung? I applaud them for taking an actual stance, apart from the usual "different people have different interpretations" stance. If we can all just interpret things the way we want, I'm not sure why there are any divisions in the church at all. But in fact there must be divisions because error exists. How can I have fellowship with people who do not come to the physical gathering? I have no fellowship with these people, it is their own fault. They have cut themselves off. It is like if you cut off a limb from a body and expect that limb to interact with the other limbs - it is impossible.

I firmly believe that the body of believers is the temple of God on this earth, which obviously finds expression in local congregations. It does not find expression with me sitting on my couch on Zoom. We are instructed to bring our offerings to the place that God has named, and no other place. This is the regulative principle of worship. In the old dispensation that was the temple in Jerusalem. In the new dispensation that is the local congregation of the church of Christ.

This will no doubt be seen as extreme but I believe that there has been an almost wholesale abdication of authority and conviction in the reformed churches in north America, which has shown us to be very weak. The fact that many would rather stay home than come to worship shows how weak our churches truly are, for if the Holy Spirit was present with power, nothing could keep these people away. But the fact is is that many in our churches are actually afraid to die. We have older persons in our congregations, who should have the most assurance of anyone, who should be the most ready to die, who are so afraid of death that they don't even come to corporate worship when there is not a single active case of COVID-19 in the congregation, which in fact is a disease that the vast majority of persons who contract, survive. That very fact is a stinging rebuke of the state of our churches, is it not? Or do we actually think that our churches are in good shape?

From Martin Luther's letter "Whether one may flee from a deadly plague"

"Because this letter will go out in print for people to read, I regard it useful to add some brief instructions on how one should care and provide for the soul in time of death. We have done this orally from the pulpit, and still do so every day in fulfillment of the ministry to which we have been called as pastors.

First, one must admonish the people to attend church and listen to the sermon so that they learn through God’s word how to live and how to die."

I believe Luther was correct. In fact, staying away from church is the exact opposite of what someone should be doing if death is all around us.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
I appreciate your opinion on this, but in love I wouldn't agree with this. I think much of life requires balance, and on top of that not everybody interprets the Bible the same way you do.

Many people would say it is okay at times to meet together virtually, or in small groups in homes, as this is still a form of gathering. Also, most Christians would agree that there is no longer a temple system in the New testament church. As far as the means of grace, in the age we are in thankfully we have plenty of access to them apart from Sunday morning gatherings, though I see a great importance of assembling together as a congregation.

We just have to always be careful to not make hard line stances where the Bible gives us freedoms. I don't mean to sound critical towards you, I just know that most people would look at that and view you as pretty extreme.

I would also add that many congregants in a church like this would view that as controlling, and would stay away from such a church.
I would be careful on being too casual when it comes to what God requires in worship. I think it is this type of attitude that has allowed revoice into your denomination specifically, and CRT into almost every denomination. You say it is ok to meet virtually for a time. Many have taken this to mean forever. If after a year and change, someone is still not attending church I believe it is more than reasonable to start some sort of counseling. If they are truly that afraid and not just being lazy, then there is a problem there that needs to be dealt with. If they are being lazy, well, that is also a problem. This is not to say there are not legitimate reasons for missing church for a time, but I find most people not faithfully attending lately, do not fall into those categories.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior

Not fake news.... plenty of conditions attached:

d. To ensure that COVID-19 convalescent plasma collected from donors contains antibodies directly related to their immune responses to SARS-CoV- 2 infection, you should not collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma from:
i. Individuals who have received an investigational COVID-19 vaccine as a participant in a clinical trial, or received an authorized or licensed COVID-19 vaccine, unless they:
1) had symptoms of COVID-19 and a positive test result from a diagnostic test approved, cleared, or authorized by FDA (i.e., individuals who meet the qualification for evidence of COVID-19 described in section III.B.1.a.1 above), AND
2) received the COVID-19 vaccine after diagnosis of COVID-19, AND
3) are within 6 months after complete resolution of COVID-19
symptoms.
Administration of COVID-19 vaccines for the purpose of boosting immunity of convalescent plasma donors would need to be conducted within a clinical trial under IND [21 CFR Part 312].
or
ii. Individuals who received an investigational COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy as a participant in a clinical trial, or received an authorized or licensed COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy, until at least three months after receipt of the therapy.

 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you for conversing with me on this, and in a charitable tone.

I'm clearly not out to be ecumenical for the sake of being ecumenical. If most people in the church would look at me as being extreme, that doesn't really bother me, given the state of the church in the western world. I am also well aware that most do not interpret the Bible the same way as I do. That is one of the reasons that there are many denominations even within the reformed camp. This does not mean that each of those denominations does not and should not think that they are "right" in their particular convictions. For example, cannot an RPCNA person be convinced that they are "right" in saying that only Psalms should be sung? I applaud them for taking an actual stance, apart from the usual "different people have different interpretations" stance. If we can all just interpret things the way we want, I'm not sure why there are any divisions in the church at all. But in fact there must be divisions because error exists. How can I have fellowship with people who do not come to the physical gathering? I have no fellowship with these people, it is their own fault. They have cut themselves off. It is like if you cut off a limb from a body and expect that limb to interact with the other limbs - it is impossible.

I firmly believe that the body of believers is the temple of God on this earth, which obviously finds expression in local congregations. It does not find expression with me sitting on my couch on Zoom. We are instructed to bring our offerings to the place that God has named, and no other place. This is the regulative principle of worship. In the old dispensation that was the temple in Jerusalem. In the new dispensation that is the local congregation of the church of Christ.

This will no doubt be seen as extreme but I believe that there has been an almost wholesale abdication of authority and conviction in the reformed churches in north America, which has shown us to be very weak. The fact that many would rather stay home than come to worship shows how weak our churches truly are, for if the Holy Spirit was present with power, nothing could keep these people away. But the fact is is that many in our churches are actually afraid to die. We have older persons in our congregations, who should have the most assurance of anyone, who should be the most ready to die, who are so afraid of death that they don't even come to corporate worship when there is not a single active case of COVID-19 in the congregation, which in fact is a disease that the vast majority of persons who contract, survive. That very fact is a stinging rebuke of the state of our churches, is it not? Or do we actually think that our churches are in good shape?

From Martin Luther's letter "Whether one may flee from a deadly plague"

"Because this letter will go out in print for people to read, I regard it useful to add some brief instructions on how one should care and provide for the soul in time of death. We have done this orally from the pulpit, and still do so every day in fulfillment of the ministry to which we have been called as pastors.

First, one must admonish the people to attend church and listen to the sermon so that they learn through God’s word how to live and how to die."

I believe Luther was correct. In fact, staying away from church is the exact opposite of what someone should be doing if death is all around us.
Thanks so much for being charitable as well brother! It's especially difficult when communicating online when we are not in person, as it's hard to feel out somebody's character, but trust me I would never mean anything in a rude way or insulting way towards you. I always want to be kind and gracious.

I see you have some very thought-through reasons to have the convictions that you do have. Thanks for taking the time to explain why you feel the way you do!
 
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