COVID-19 Vaccines: Are Mandates the Solution?

Should you take the COVID vaccine or not — that is the issue.

There are enough confusing and conflicting reports revolving around the COVID vaccinations that many well-meaning people could be puzzled and disturbed. Franklin Graham, leader of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, says you should take the shots and that pastors should encourage their congregations to do the same.

Yet, 41 percent of white evangelicals have not taken the shot. Why? Some argue that since they are opposed to abortion on moral grounds, they cannot in good conscience take a vaccine they believe is tied to fetal stem cell lines. However, fetal stem cells have been used in the development of many prescription and over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, Tums, Maalox, Albuterol, Prilosec, Lipitor, Zocor, ex-lax, Benadryl, Claritin, Preparation H, Zoloft, Azithromycin — to name a few.

The argument over the COVID vaccines is not largely one of religious principle but personal choice. Many people are skeptical about the effectiveness of the vaccines, and others feel it was rushed to the market too soon.

Some people have been fully vaccinated and still contracted COVID. Presumably, their symptoms were not as severe as they would have been if they had not been vaccinated. Russell Moore, former president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was fully vaccinated but still contracted the virus. He stated that he felt awful and emphasized, “This stuff is terrible.”

Israel National News reported that a study done in Israel found that people with natural immunity (i.e., they recovered from COVID) have a greater level of protection than vaccinated people.

The Biden Administration announced on Sept. 9, 2021, that businesses with 100 or more people would soon be required to have all employees vaccinated or tested weekly. The mandate was to be regulated by the Labor Department through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary immediately filed a lawsuit through the Alliance Defending Freedom. Southern Seminary president R. Albert Mohler said, “We encourage vaccination but oppose mandated vaccination.” Other seminary presidents voiced their opposition to mandates. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, stated that being vaccinated is in the best interest of national health, but added, “An emergency mandate through regulatory action by the Department of Labor is the government trespassing on civil liberties.”

On Sept. 8, 2021, the International Mission Board announced a vaccine mandate for all missionaries and some staff.

Then in January of this year, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling blocked the mandate announced by President Biden. OSHA then withdrew the mandate but stated it would continue to work on a COVID-19 healthcare standard.

With all the information, disinformation, politics, and confusion surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no wonder people are uncertain about what to do and what to expect regarding this pandemic that will likely claim over a million lives in the United States alone. As I write this, the number of deaths is nearly 950,000. It is a deadly force sweeping the world. We cannot ignore it.

Should you get the vaccination? Should you wear a mask (what kind)? Will some alternative treatments and drugs outside the mainline work? What about mandates? Should we be forced to do something by our government, even if it might be in our best interest?

One of the country’s most popular preachers is Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Texas, who preached a sermon in January titled, “You Should Have a Choice,” from Romans 14. He stated, “You should have a choice — natural immunity or therapeutics. Our issue is against mandates, not vaccinations.” He added that Romans 14 says we are free to choose. Referring to the last part of verse 23, “whatever is not from faith is sin,” he concluded, “So whatever decision you make, be able to trust God with it. That is the issue.”