Submission to Authority and Mandatory Vaccination

In the event that civil magistrates mandate COVID vaccinations:

  1. Would citizens be justified in ignoring or defying such an order?

  2. Would elders be justified in requiring church members be vaccinated before attending in-person worship?

  3. Would a member be justified in leaving his church in response to his elders mandating vaccination to worship if no workable compromise can be made?

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Thanks for bringing this up.

I would not assume a vaccine is coming our way. I know a vaccine is in the works, but working on a vaccine and getting one safely tested and out on the market are two different things.

In case we do get one, assuming the vaccine is safe, I would have no issue submitting to an order getting it. I would want to get an antibody test to see if I had already had Covid 19 (as I suspect I did last winter), in order to determine if a vaccine was necessary in my case or if there was a chance of complications.

My personal opinions/preferences aside, many other Americans, Christian and non Christian, are strongly opposed to many vaccines. Forced vaccination is opening up a big can of worms, pushing am already agitated and divided people further and further to civil unrest. Prudence dictates that forced vaccination be mandated only in times of extreme danger, which, I say, we are not in right now. We may be in such an emergency in the future. Right now there is not a sufficient reason to infringe people’s civil liberties and stir up so much resentment against the government.

I’m not optimistic that our government will be prudent.

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Coronaviruses are very common and there’s never been a successful vaccine for a coronavirus. That’s not to say that there never will be one, but it’s an interesting fact that I haven’t seen lead many news stories on a vaccine.

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Would you think differently if you knew that the tissue of murdered babies was used as an integral part of the vaccine development?

Because that’s a primary reason why many Christians have come to oppose vaccination.

But it really has absolutely nothing to do with what you or any of us think though, right? It has to do with who has the rightful authority to command our obedience when we don’t agree with what they think.

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That’s what I wanted to say but it is beyond my expertise. It’s what I’ve heard though.

I think I would. I have not studied that issue. The Christians I know who are antivaxx are antivaxx for more reasons than the aborted baby tissue reason.

It has something to do with what we think because we do get to vote in an election coming up, we have a First Amendment right to petition the government and seek a redress of grievances, and on paper at least, our government is supposed be restrained and limited, especially when our civil liberties are concerned.

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Yes, and to imply that what has been written here is unthinking submission to every government dictate is to have been reading without any discernment or understanding. By the way, I don’t know why this hasn’t been talked about here, but rather than go about things the way Idaho did and flaunt their local government orders, our church has communicated with the health department and gotten clarification allowing removal of masks when everyone is sitting down in church and socially distanced. This seems both more submissive to the government and more effective in seeking change, especially when it’s such a small issue.

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Yes to what exactly? All 3 questions?

Yes, citizens would be justified in ignoring the order?

Yes, elders would be justified in requiring vaccination for in-person worship?

Yes, a member would be justified in leaving the church if elders required vaccination?

Sorry, my yes was in reply to Ben Carmack’s reply immediately before mine. I couldn’t figure out how to make it reply to that specifically. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

But in answer to your questions, there are some very serious questions to be thought about there. In no way does a mandated vaccine approach being the same level as mandated facemask wearing in my mind. I talked to our elder that is a doctor this week and told him I hoped he was thinking really hard about the vaccine issue right now and would be ready to help guide us if and when it gets to that point.

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We’ve spoken with out local authorities in WI about the lawfulness of “mandates.” Our WI state constitution allows for mandates through the unelected DHS head in very limited and extreme circumstances and for a limited time (I believe it is 60 days).

The WI Supreme Court struck down Governor Ever’s Safer-At-Home mandate (that came through the head of DHS) because it went beyond the 60 days. Instead, the court mandated that anything beyond the 60 days was required to go through a bipartisan committee.

According to our state statutes, such a “mandate” requiring a vaccine wouldn’t be lawful coming from a an unelected commission but would have to undergo the typical legislative process.

So, at least in WI, and if the understanding I’ve gained from our local authorities (city and county) is correct, a citizen would be justified in defying an order given by the head of our state department of health.

As to the 2nd and 3rd questions…I am unsure. My initial reaction is that requiring a vaccination in order to attend worship would be an additional qualification for membership in the local. This would, in addition to a genuine confession of faith and baptism, add “vaccination” to a requirement for fellowship in the church.

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