Freedom to Exercise Our Rights?

I ran into an excellent study on the principle of how we are to exercise our freedoms in Christ that we have been given, which you can view at the direct link below. I would ask that you take the time to read the complete post.

https://www.gotquestions.org/food-sacrificed-idols.html

While this particular study deals with Christians freedom to eat meats that have been sacrificed to idols (a situation that was quite common in the market place during this specific time period), the general principles of how we are to use our freedoms implies that if we are operating in love and concern for others, even though we have this freedom, it is not always prudent to do so.

These are the 4 summarized conclusions of this particular post:

For a Christian:

1) Having the “right” to do something does not mean we are free to do it in every circumstance, REGARDLESS OF its effects on others. Emphasis is mine.

2) The believer’s liberty in Christ can and should be VOLUNTARILY LIMITED in order not to cause a weaker brother to sin by violating his conscience. Liberty is limited in love. Emphasis is mine.

3) Maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of love may require a believer to give up his personal “right” to a thing. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

4) We should avoid anything that would make a weak Christian think less of his faith or that would make an unsaved person feel more at ease in his sin.

Now I am aware that this may be a touchy question to ask, but I’m going to put it out here anyway, because I think the Godly principles that are illustrated within the Scriptures quoted within the link above, should or at least may, be taken into account in all areas where we have the freedom to exercise our Christian rights.

Question: Could this principle of exercising our rights in Christ, balanced with our concern for other Christians and non-Christians, affect the manner in which we respond to mandated health directives that have been proven to be effective and are aimed at protecting the general population at large?

I know this can be complicated but I would be interested in your thoughts, especially as to whether you think it is a valid consideration.

Make sure that you all don’t respond at the same time because we don’t want to overtask the WordPress servers!

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

32 comments

    • I agree with Frank. If the shots were proven safe and effective, no one would have a problem with them. But according to the official CDC stats, VAERS (V@xine adverse effects reporting system), as of some months ago over 20,000 people had already died and over 50,000 permanently disabled after taking the v@xine. (I don’t know the most recent. ) These injured/dead people may be a small minority, but I think they and their families would beg to differ… Of course, everyone has his or her sincerely held beliefs. I refuse to accuse anyone of being selfish or hateful according to his or her v@xination status. That’s for God to judge.

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    • Frank, you are correct and that is a huge problem for any number of people. For some, perhaps too many, the vaccines have been dangerous. The number of adverse reactions has never been seen like this before (at least in the US, maybe not Canada). That is not opinion, it is a fact. The data is available.

      Regarding effectiveness, we were told by our President that if we took the vaccine we would not get COVID. He literally said that on several occasions. And then, boom! Fully vaccinated and boostered people got it left and right. Those are facts.

      For the record, I have been vaccinated and had the booster. All of my family has. Most of them got COVID anyway. Some had severe reactions to the vaccine.

      So, let us ask the question another way. Could this principle of exercising our rights in Christ, balanced with our concern for other Christians and non-Christians, affect the manner in which we respond to mandated health directives that have been proven to be ineffective and have unanticipated risks that could kill them or seriously disable them?

      Perhaps Canada is different. Perhaps everyone was fully protected and did not get COVID after vaccinations. Perhaps no one had significant side effects. Perhaps no one died from the vaccine.

      I refuse to be shamed for standing up for someone who concerned about taking the vaccine. They may have very good reasons for being concerned. It could be un-loving to force them to take it. Consider African Americans. Many have legitimate concerns because of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. African Americans generally refuse to get vaccinated. Should they be forced to considering their concerns?

      I know this is a rant. I think it needs to be said and it needs to be seriously considered. Many scientists and reasonable people disagree with the mandates. It is worth considering their feelings and concerns rather than rejecting them.

      Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well Michael, you surely can’t say that I stopped you from stating your opinion. As I stated in a previous comment, I don’t think this is the medium to argue the pros and cons of taking or rejecting covid 19 vaccines and I still believe that but evidently you see otherwise. At no time in this specific question or in the entirety of this particular post did I identify the covid 19 vaccines as the mandated health directives. The mandated health directives could easily be the polio vaccine or the vaccine for chicken pox etc. In addition, at no time did I infer that anyone be forced to take any vaccine. All I specifically asked was COULD the principle that I identified affect the manner in which we respond as per the parameters of my question, especially as to whether it was a valid CONSIDERATION. Interesting how I deliberately ensured that there was not one word in this post about covid 19 vaccines. Not only did you not answer my specific question, but you responded by addressing your own assumed parameters that differed from mine, plus took the liberty of restating my question to address your specific concerns. What needs to be said Michael is that we don’t practise precise comprehension well anymore and I personally find that scary. Blessings.

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      • Out of all the miscomprehended assumptions you made and the assumed liberty you took, you apologize to me for finding your comments scary? Really? Not a problem Michael, forgiven. Blessings.

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  1. I agree with your summary of this important Biblical point Bruce, we must be sensitive to others understanding and belief in God. As regards to food I have always enjoyed some meats (offal) which generally I wouldn’t eat in polite company. At present we are having to apply this to Covid in our household (both myself and Susan are positive now). Before I read this Patrick my neighbour and friend came to our door, but I had to stop him from approaching and tell him our situation from a distance, not for my benefit but in for Patrick and his wife’s benefit. I cannot for the life of me understand folk who refuse testing/vaccine to not just keep them safer, but also their loved ones who may have other health concerns. The bottom line here is our practicing love towards others before ourselves. This is a brave post Bruce, God bless you brother!

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  2. RE: Question

    Thanks for posing the question, Bruce. A bevy of vaccinations have been mandated for children entering school for decades and 99.9% of people don’t protest. Regrettably, this particular pandemic has been politicized and conspiratorialized. In August 2020, one of America’s most prominent pastors even stood in the pulpit and denounced the pandemic as a hoax! As far as I know, he’s never rescinded (even though he came down with C-19 himself and covered it up for 8 months).

    I have seen many Christians take the view that getting the COVID-19 vaccinations is a matter of personal choice and that no one should be forced to participate. As we’ve seen over the last year, the spikes in hospitalizations are overwhelmingly due to people choosing not to get vaccinated. The bottom line is vaccines don’t work if not enough people get them.

    Sadly, born-again Christians are at the forefront of the anti-vaxx movement, leaving a very bad impression in the minds of unbelievers.

    Your point about about the incongruity of Christians supposedly committed to the welfare of others yet leading the anti-vax charge is more than valid. Of course, anti-vax Christians passionately believe they’re on the side of right because of misinformation they’re fed from pulpits and from the internet.

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  3. A great question Bruce. I think “loving our neighbour” means that there are times we need to lay aside our freedom in Christ out of consideration for others. A pandemic is certainly a time to be considering the greater good rather than focusing on individual rights.

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  4. Bruce, I am not against the v@x but I respect people’s rights to make their own medical decisions, and I am against forcing my decision onto others. Most of all, I am against letting it have more of our attention than the gospel. A high-profile Christian leader we all know and love was preaching that if Jesus were walking the earth in the flesh, He would be promoting the v@xine. Then this preacher got myocarditis and had to have heart surgery. Thank God he survived and publicly thanked everyone who had prayed for him. I’m glad to see he’s back to preaching the gospel.

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    • Hi Annie, I respect your opinion. The question wasn’t about forcing, it was whether THIS PRINCIPLE might be applicable for a Christian, to VOLUNTARILY not exercise their personal right not to take the vaccine, in order to address the welfare and consideration of others, with regard to the perception of others and their rights to not be unnecessarily subjected to a stronger viral load of the disease and possibly be subjected to a greater probability of being hospitalized or needing intensive care, including death (lesser and greater rights). And I do understand that it is complicated. Thanks Annie. Blessings!

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      • Bruce, I will voluntarily do whatever the Lord leads me to do to show His love for others. (By the way, I have natural immunity now, so I don’t see myself as a threat to anyone.) As it is, some respected (and censored) doctors on the other side are saying v@xed people carry a higher viral load than unv@xed, so it’s hard to make an informed decision. It’s even harder to be informed when debate is not allowed, and one side is routinely censored, by anonymous “fact checkers” with no known credentials. Intelligent, informed people who are thoroughly convinced of their position should not be afraid of debate. (“Censorship is not strength.”) All this has me concerned about the future of our country and free speech. It’s like the Darwinian evolutionists who refuse to debate Christians about intelligent design. They just call us ignorant idiots and think they’ve won the argument.

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      • No thanks necessary Annie, all are welcome to express their opinions as long as we all remain cordial with one another and that’s never a question with you! Blessings!

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  5. Not an easy subject. I have my concerns of how effective some of the vaccines are with the new variant omicron since in LA county the majority are vaccinated and my specific area is 90% vaccinated but it seems Los Angeles still have such a high number compared to neighboring counties. I don’t think technically I’m antivax as I do think the vaccine is effective with the earlier variants. Having said that (didn’t want to debate the science out of respect) I took the vaccine for the sake of others and I do wear mask not to stumble others to minister to others and given the rules here in my county which is probably much stricter than the rest of the US. While I have certain political views about what the government can and can’t do I do think in our particular church even without government pressure it is good for our senior citizens to be careful and also our medical professionals who work in hospitals treating covid, since lack of precaution would be grave the consequences if both segment of our church population aren’t careful with each other. I also do try to encourage members to be hygenic at church like washing their hands and not going to church when one is sick yet also want to tell our members to not assume someone was “dirty” is why they got sick as there’s so many factors with how covid or any sickness spread.

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    • Hi Jim, I understand your concerns and acknowledged that this subject is complicated. This is not the forum to discuss the pros and cons of getting vaccinated. Was just curious as to whether THIS PRINCIPLE was, for a Christian, possibly applicable, by VOLUNTARILY not exercising their right not to take the vaccine, to address the concerns and rights of others (lesser and greater rights). Appreciate you taking the time to respond! Blessings!

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      • Ah gotcha; this topic easily lead me to tangents and even then I was trying not to go on tangents. I think this passage is relevant for the specifics you mentioned

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      • Thanks Jim. I find it interesting that even the mere “suggestion” that this principle should or may be applicable, and possibly considered, regarding this particular topic, causes some of the responses it has. The question was aimed at whether the principle of voluntarily not exercising our rights in order to address the concerns and rights of others, was a valid principle TO BE CONSIDERED. Sometimes I think that the underlying objective being taken advantage of by satan and allowed by God, is to cause division and discord versus producing unity. Kind of makes me wonder if God is trying to tell us something and we are missing it. Heavy stuff! Blessings!

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