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Why Christians Should Avoid Alarmism (And What To Do Instead)

It’s just after midnight. I rub my sleepy eyes. I need something to help keep me awake, I think to myself. I’m on watch with a fellow soldier, looking out for enemy while our platoon sleeps. So, I grab some biscuits out of my army ration pack. They’re nothing special, but after days of patrolling in the tropics of far north Queensland, they help keep me focused. The moon is high in the sky, and the stars are radiant. They produce shadows all around us: shadows of the rocks, trees, and other flora found in the Australian Army’s High Range...

COVID Vaccination and The Church

Please note: Megan Best is a professional bioethicist and a valued contributor to this website. As with all our articles, we offer her reflections on vaccination and government health policy as a worthy contribution to our public discussion—not as TGCA policy. For a different perspective on the question of vaccine passports see Murray Campbell and David Ould’s post.  The recent announcement by the Australian government that increased freedoms would be available to citizens who were double vaccinated for COVID-19, or have exemption on medical grounds, has caused significant consternation in the Christian community. Issues of conscience and concerns about exclusion...

It’s Time to Speak: But What About?

For a while now, something has been gnawing away at me. It started a little over a year ago when I wrote an article that drew on John Calvin’s response to plague in his time. He wrote: … if either pestilence, or famine, or war begins to rage, or if any disaster seems to threaten any district and people—then also it is the duty of the pastors to urge the church to fasting, in order that by supplication the Lord’s wrath may be averted.[1] Calvin saw epidemics and other disasters as wake-up calls from God. But the world is not...

Vaccine Passports And The Coercing of Conscience: What Should Christians Think? (2/2)

This is the second of a two-part series exploring the question of ‘What should Christians think of Vaccine Passports and the Coercing of Conscience?’ You can read the first post here. In this series, I aim to frame this discussion biblically so that Christians can make sense of the issue and respond well. And so, here are four further points that help us understand the fraught issue of vaccine passports, conscience, and religious liberty: 1. The Key Question: When Might Governments Have a Compelling Reason for Restricting Religious Liberty? In the previous post, we saw that the God-given role of...

Vaccine Passports And The Coercing Of Conscience: What Should Christians Think? (1/2)

Vaccine Passports are increasingly controversial among some Christians. The recent ‘Ezekiel Declaration’ has garnered almost 3000 signatures from church leaders across Australia. It argues people should not be pressured to obtain a vaccine passport—partly because of conscience: [C]onscience should never be coerced.  The conscience is one of the innermost expressions that animates an individual, and that allows them to worship God as well as obey a legitimate governing authority … We would therefore ask that the Government not coerce the conscience of many Australians through the use of a ‘vaccine passport.’ In other words, people shouldn’t be pressured by Government...

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