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Piper Pipes Up, Both Sides of the Jab Explored

Piper Pipes Up, COVID, Antioch Report

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Since no one seems to be talking about COVID vaccines anymore, we thought we’d take a jab at it. Thanks for subscribing everyone, it’s been great 👋. 

But really, this topic is divisive, controversial, and highly-politicized. So let’s sort through the headlines, present opposing viewpoints, and bring it all back to what we hope is a faithful, Christian perspective.

Let’s start with what you’ve been scrolling past reading this week:

  • Yesterday the White House announced plans to unroll vaccine distribution for the 28 million US kids aged 5 to 11. Unlike the adult counterpart, this vaccine will be given in children’s hospitals and doctors offices (ya know instead of the empty lot where the McDonald’s used to be). 
  • The FDA approved a “choose your own adventure” booster shot plan. Early studies are suggesting that a mix-and-match of vaccines and boosters could increase the immune response. 
  • Vaccine mandates are going into effect across the country leading to protests and industry-wide lay-offs

A Nuanced Issue With Lots of Nuancy Nuance

Earlier this week, John Piper penned an article on his website encouraging Christians to either get or not get the vaccine based solely on the facts about the vaccine itself, and not because of the “monkeys holding the chains” (his words, not ours). Basically, if you aren’t getting jabbed because you don’t like who’s in charge, that’s poor logic. If you aren’t getting it for other reasons you can go “tearfully and cheerfully” on your way per Piper. 

If any group of people should be able to have a civil discourse about a sticky subject, it’s Christians. With that, we invite you to exit the echo chamber of network news and look at arguments sourced from both sides. 

Reasons to Get the Vaccine:

  • Nearly 5M people have died of COVID worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. The past 2 years have been marred with the untimely deaths of family and friends.
  • With this devastating loss of life Christians should be the most compassionate group of people whether or not they choose to get vaccinated.
  • The vaccine appears to decrease transmission of the virus even in breakthrough cases. 
  • Without a vaccine, travel and mission work will be nearly impossible for Christians. Already, the SBC requires vaccination to enter the mission field. The eternal work that needs to happen outweighs any risk the vaccine poses. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals are about 29% more likely to be hospitalized than vaccinated individuals and published studies point to the efficacy of the vaccine.  

Reasons to NOT Get the Vaccine:

  • Young and healthy individuals have a very low mortality rate compared to those over 85 years of age. Chances of survival globally are 98.2%. 
  • Vaccine’s have not had a dramatic effect on death rate yet, only case counts.  
  • The use of fetal tissue cells in the production and testing of the vaccine opposes the values of many within the Christian faith.
  • Mandating personal healthcare seems a slippery slope of losing individual US freedoms that won’t be easily reversed. 
  • The vaccine is new and there are no longitudinal studies yet to determine long-term side effects for younger adults or children. 

A Case For Christian Liberty

John Piper’s main focus in his article wasn’t to educate you about COVID. His main point was that there is freedom in Christ to get the vaccine, or not get the vaccine. Christians belong to God in a way that transcends all earthly authority. As Piper words it, 

“Christians are lowly because we are “under [God’s] mighty hand.” And we are joyful because “he cares for [us].” Our freedom does not make us brash. Bold, yes. Brash, no. There is a peculiarly Christian boldness — a brokenhearted boldness. Our freedom does not make us cocky. Courageous, yes. Cocky, no. There is a peculiarly Christian courage — a contrite courage.

Why contrite? Because our clothing is still singed with the fire of almost being condemned. We deserve condemnation. And grace alone saved us.”

In the care and ownership of God we find certain liberties in our faith. The vaccine presents a unique opportunity to extend love and liberation to other Christians in their choice.

A Christian who gets the vaccine is your brother or sister in Christ. A Christian who doesn’t get the vaccine is your brother or sister in Christ.

We should stow away (or better yet kill) any animosity we are holding against the “other side” of this issue even as we have respectful debates and discussions. 

“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price . . .”

1 Corinthians 6:19
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Angela Aliff

Angela Aliff

Angela Aliff is a staff writer at The Antioch Report, a content strategist, and owner of Evident Co. Aside from a diagnosable book problem, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 kids.

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