Covid 19 Divisions

I have deliberately not written about this before because I have tried to stay outside of this discussion, due to the negative emotions that it has a tendency to generate. So I am going to tell you right from the onset that I am not going to advocate being pro vaccine or con vaccine at all.

What I would ask you to consider is that the vast majority of us are ill equipped to be able to ascertain as to whether we are being given accurate truthful information by the source we are looking at, in the first place, not to mention if individually, we have the mental where-with-all (medical and scientific training) to be able to comprehend the many sometimes complicated variances that are often highlighted with regard to vaccine issues. 

The subject matter is highly complicated and unfortunately, constantly changing. Educated professional assumptions have not always proven to be accurate because the experts are still learning. We are dealing with a constantly changing virus that has the potential to kill millions more than it already has. Wishing it away because we are tired of the intrusion of the repercussions it has introduced into our lives, is not going to change that reality. 

Motives behind why and what we publish on various media apps are another huge factor. Motives are even more difficult to evaluate, because we are dealing with a wide variety of possible factors that cause us to do what we decide to do and determine how we come to make a judgment on why we do it. The level of sincerity that we possess with regard to our judgment on something, in itself, is not always an accurate factor, because people can be very sincere and yet wrong. To ignore the reality that there is much misinformation and disinformation on this subject of vaccines on the Internet for Covid19 (both pro vaccine and con vaccine) would be fool hardy. 

The level of professional credibility in the specific fields of medical science that we are dealing with, for our sources, is vitally important. Then determining what the general majority consensus of those professionals is, is normally a good indicator of the way to go. I say “normally” because there are exceptions, hence the complications surrounding this whole issue. And bear in mind that you do usually find professionals who do not agree with the general majority consensus. The amount of media coverage given to those professionals who adhere to a minority consensus then also becomes a factor.

The current problem being of course, is the reality that we have a surplus of conflicting facts, on just about every conceivable area of Covid 19 and the produced vaccines, not to mention the various practical preventive measures that are advocated by some professional authorities to be used. Sources conflicting with other sources. So who do you believe? 

I know I am not about to change anyone’s mind. I have a son and a daughter that spend an inordinate amount of time researching this subject, as I also have, and unfortunately our conclusions are at polar opposites. I have experienced first hand, the frustration that results from producing research on a particular accusation that I deem to be disproven or proven, only to have it disregarded, because my sources are in opposition to their sources. They believe their sources are more credible and I think my sources are more credible. And then we have the cascading effect, where one accusation feeds into another, and another, and another. It just never ends. 

So we have agreed to disagree and give each other the right to make our own independence decisions without cross examining one another, to the point where it begins to affect our relationship. It is not easy. In fact, it is extremely difficult but that is the way that it is. I value our relationship more than I value being deemed as possessing the right perspective. What happens next is that each of us will bear the associated repercussions of our independent decisions. Will their determined course of action or non-action have an effect on me or vice versa? I don’t have an answer to that question, maybe it will and maybe it won’t, or maybe it already has, to a degree. I can’t change what has already happened but what I can do is try to promote measures to minimize any additional adverse effects.

What I do know is that damage control on my part is necessary before immediate harm to our relationships is done. Long term damage? I have no choice but to accept their opposing decisions and ride it out and trust in God, who knows my heart and their hearts, much better than I do. I may not agree with them but I can still love them.

Covid19 is but one factor that divides our nations, there are many more that run even deeper. I don’t see these divisions that we have melting away by themselves. What I do see is that the divisions are getting out of hand and damage control is necessary, at a bare minimum. If we as Christians, are truly to love our neighbours and family members as ourselves, then we need to acknowledge their decisions, even if we disagree with them, while still loving them. And if you stop to think about it, that is exactly what God did with us. Romans 5:8 comes to mind: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

And please don’t assume that I am saying they are sinners because they disagree with what I agree with, I am not saying that. I could be equally wrong. What I am saying is that where there is division or disagreement, there needs to be an acknowledgement of a differing perspective without hostility or exchanging personal accusations on all of our parts.

I’m thinking that if we forget that, we’re really in trouble, which is not to say that we are not in trouble now. 

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

32 comments

  1. Hey Bruce, well said. I noticed that you used this as a reply for another blog, and I said to myself, “Bruce ought to take this reply and use it as a blog.” And behold, here it is! I agree with your points, especially that this is incredibly divisive, and another big point you made … this thing is constantly changing and with it, by necessity, the scientific conclusions being made. Well done, Bruce, and much needed.

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    • Hi David, yes the same thought occurred to me while I was responding to Annie. I did make a few changes. This is an incredibly complex discussion and it has and is causing great harm, especially within the Church and even within families. Thank you David for your support, I really appreciate it. Blessings!

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  2. I just read your response on Annie’s blog and thought you should turn it into a post! I agree with all you’ve said, I’m sorry to hear about your kids. COVID has revealed and divided hearts like nothing I have ever seen in my 40 years on this earth. Christians are to be known by their love which manifests in unity. Largely, not all each side thinks the other side is a wolf. Hard to communicate let alone have unity with someone perceived as a wolf. I ask God daily for wisdom and discernment and I know you do too! Now more than ever is God giving us opportunities to practice being quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger (Jas 1:19). Thankful to be on this journey with you. Love and blessings to you and Peggy!

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    • Hi Mandy, David just said the same thing about doing a post! You’d almost think we are on the same frequency! You are right, this is extremely difficult and hard to navigate. I’ve never seen anything like it. James 1:19 should be worn on our foreheads! Thanks for your encouragement. God’s blessings to you and Nathan as always. Love in Christ – Bruce

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  3. I love this post. Your son and daughter are so blessed to have you as their father!

    My husband and I both researched the covid-19 vaccine issue on our own and we both wavered a bit on whether the vaccines were good or bad. We found ourselves, for a time, on having to lovingly agree to disagree. Then my husband told me that he felt the Lord was telling him to go the opposite of what he had been intending to do, which then put us on the same page.

    In keeping with your decision not to say whether you are pro or con on the vaccines, I will refrain from giving my opinion here, too. I just want to say that it is a wonderful thing when two people — especially a husband and wife — can lovingly disagree.

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  4. Bruce, I agree with you and the other commenters, and (as I think you know) I am one of those professional scientists (former Professor of Public Health) that you mentioned. And you are correct, this virus has all of us stumped. There is much about the virus and the disease that we simply don’t understand and that makes no sense. This is one reason that there is so much confusion and uncertainty.

    I also strongly agree with your comments about the divisions in the church that the vaccine issue has raised, and deeply regret this. I have recently had some personal experience. I was asked to make a short (4 minute) video address to the body of Christ about vaccines. I simply stated that the mRNA vaccines are safe and effective, that they contain no fetal cell material, and that too many Christians are dying alone for no good reason. The reactions were swift and fierce. Over 3000 comments, mostly full of vitriol, very little sign of Christian fellowship, and personally very painful.

    I said nothing in the video about mandates, (with which I dont agree), but most of the comments were claiming I wanted to take away freedom to choose. What I wanted to do was try to persuade my brethren that they should choose the far lesser risk of the vaccine compared to the risk of the virus. Clearly I failed, and clearly the other viewpoint in winning. All of this is God’s will, but it is also His will that I keep trying to do what I can to save lives. I don’t know all the answers, nobody does. All I ask is what you are asking. Mutual respect, patience and grace toward each other. Bless you for posting this, and let’s pray for each other.

    Sy Garte

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Sy, thank you for taking the time to comment. I had watched the video you made and I read a good number of the comments. At least you tried and that fact alone is important as a scientist and especially as a Christian witness. Sure gives one food for thought doesn’t it? I sincerely hope you keep trying because of the need to address the noteworthy amount of misinformation and disinformation that is being disseminated from many quarters. Don’t let them get you down Sy and I definitely will be holding you up in my prayers. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours. Love in Christ – Bruce

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    • It’s too bad so many people assumed you wanted to force everyone to get the shots, which clearly you were not. You’re right, it is so complex, especially since everyone’s body is different and unique. Some have died after getting the shots, most do just fine. Same with the viris. Probably what takes the worst toll on our health is anger and fear! There is a lot of disagreement in our family, but we have somehow been able to stay friends. It helps me to start each day with the Lord, and it helps that I believe (which I have from the beginning of this thing) that I will not leave this world one moment before God wants to call me home, and when He does, nothing will keep me here (nor do I want it to). For those who are worried about their loved ones who have taken the shots, Mark 16:18 is a comforting verse to focus on.

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  5. I agree with you. It’s impossible to know who is lying and who is telling the truth about Covid. I avoid conversations about politics and covid as much as possible. I used to be trusting, but I learned that many people are not trustworthy. I have tried not to let that change me too much. The easiest thing to do is to just love everyone (like Jesus said). Blessings, Bruce!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve heard it said that over eighty percent of Canadians have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, yet the government restrictions just keep getting worse!

    Canadian pastors have been arrested by police and churches gatherings banned in the name of a virus. That has all been done unlawfully.

    I am afraid that the bells of liberty no longer ring and the birds of happiness no longer chirp their melody.

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  7. The prayer that Christ prayed in John 17 “That they may be one even as we are one (Father Son Spirit) was not a prayer to be fulfilled later on in eternity. It is God’s perspective of importance over and above anything else or any situation found among believers in our “today” that are important.
    Our culture of believers is trying to walk on the water while wave watching or they are just hunkered down in the boat hoping not to die in this storm (only Peter was invited out of the boat).
    Personally I think the affairs of the world are just heating up and we have tougher “faith” choices to make ahead.
    I personally choose to be very outspoken on the subject of having an implicit fellowship and trust moment by moment with our risen Christ and pray a lot for wisdom in navigating life in that lane. Many so called Christians practice drive by shootings and hit you with their door on the way by. Their car is not holy Spirit driven. Do I hear an amen from someone lying wounded in the ditch?

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    • Hi Gary, I just read and released your comment, sorry for the delay. As they used to say on the old “Mash” TV series, “stand by for incoming!” with regard to casualties. You could be up all night answering comments! Blessings brother.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A good problem Bruce. I seen posts with 100 likes and 3 comments. A post should invite others to the conversation, somehow. yours is a safe place to make comments that can be taken as a “not intended” consequence. My words sometimes have loose tolerances (unlike manufacturing specs) although I try to get the wings on the plane and the flaps working before take off.

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  8. Bruce, I appreciate your ponderings in this post. I have read the comments of anti-vaxxers here at WordPress and elsewhere in which they frame this issue as a personal freedom choice in the manner of which flavor ice cream someone prefers or which side of the Arminianism-Calvinism debate someone stands. But vaccinations don’t work if not enough people take them as we saw with the virus surges this past summer, so it’s not a personal freedom issue.

    I work at a large defense contractor corporation which just announced all employees and contractors must be vaccinated by December 8th or they will be terminated and they won’t be able to collect unemployment. In my department of 15 people, 12 people have stated they are planning on giving up their jobs rather than submit to vaccination. In my walk-byes, I’ve noticed that a few very vocal “prophets” are influencing the credulous sheep. There’s tremendous peer pressure to submit to the anti-vax position. Good jobs are very scarce in Western New York, but these 12 young people are willing to give up their employment at a good company because of the anti-vax conspiracy paradigm.

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    • Hi Tom, thank you for commenting. I don’t know of too many families that haven’t been touched by this in one way or another and it can easily escalate into emotional and hostile exchanges unless all concerned agree to entertain an overview of accommodation for conflicting perspectives. Strange how “truth” can have such opposing perspectives, both with allegedly truthfully sourced supporting facts. Here in Canada we also have our growing minority share of those who see this as a “personal freedoms and rights” issue with the strong majority siding with utilizing the available probability and containment changers, to meet the need for the “common good”. Here in Nova Scotia, with a relatively small population of approximately one million, even with the 4th wave resurfacing, our infection rates are still very low and well controlled, because of adherence to accepted safety precautions and high vaccination rates. The province of Alberta, who has a larger population and a larger minority perspective, is not fairing nearly as well. This is a good example of the repercussions of having a lower province wide acceptance rate. And our nation wide compulsory vaccination mandates within many federal and provincial level departments and agencies plus civilian companies, are also the source of considerable opposition. No matter which way you look at it, I personally find it sad. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours Tom. Love in Christ – Bruce

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  9. Bruce this was actually a very good post; such a difficult time these days. There’s certainly a lot of false info in all the spectrum and its so needed to be careful for discernment. And there’s so many dimension not just only with the science, but then public health policy then what’s the role of government…so many things!

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    • I agree, there is a flood of conflicting “truth” and unless one is willing to thoroughly investigate BOTH sides of the equation fairly, taking into account that this is a new virus that is still being learned about, which can have dire consequences, especially for the elderly, if left unchecked, looking at only ONE side of the equation can have devastating consequences. The scary part is that looking at both sides takes a lot of time and most people just don’t have that amount of free time. Add to that the level of scientific knowledge one needs to possess to filter out misinformation and disinformation and the magnitude of the problem intensifies. And then there is the “am I my brother’s keeper” aspect, which unfortunately is also key to our root problem. Not an easy situation to fix, that is for sure. Definitely beyond my pay grade. Blessings Jim!

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      • I agree, not easy. This virus manage to do a lot of things that kind of left me surprised. I think in my area my church probably has more protocols than most churches in our neighborhood and I keep myself clean a lot throughout my time in ministering on Sundays. I think some are surprised with my political views that our church does church with health consciousness; but our local church context I think we need to be careful even if I have certain political concerns since we have a lot of elderly and medical professionals among the young adults and if we don’t be cautious it can lead to a detrimental result, one that I wouldn’t want in my conscience.

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