An Open Letter to My Christian Friends About COVID

Dear friend,

I know we share deeply divided opinions on all things COVID, but I want you to know that I’ve been trying really hard to see things from your perspective. I’ve been working to learn all I can about how you see the world, and I think I do understand you. I don’t blame you (anymore) for your position, but I want to highlight the differences between our positions and ask you to adjust your position in a few very key ways.

First, the COVID pandemic came to the world just when the USA was in a very vulnerable position. Considering the fact that the only mitigation strategy against anything spreading from person to person requires the cooperation of multiple people, and considering that the USA at the beginning of 2020 was anything but ready for cooperation, it was a perfect storm of problems leading to other problems, but some things happened during the early days of COVID that turned a scientific problem into a religious and social problem.

As far as I can tell, there are a number of factors that probably influenced you to have your position, being skeptical about COVID and being unwilling to respond to it they way the media has been telling you you should. I think I’ve heard you, and this is what I understand about your position.

A Crisis of Trust

First, early on in the pandemic, President Trump effectively convinced the conservative media that the “fake news” media was using COVID to attack him. Many conservative Christians like you had by that point in time already aligned themselves fully with President Trump and the conservative media. They had already bought into the mental framework that the mainstream media was out to get him, was hopelessly liberal, and that they were waging a secret culture war against Christianity. This had two results. First, Christians were predisposed to believe whatever Trump said about the pandemic including that it would “go away” and that it was “like the flu” even if it failed to line up with what the scientific data indicated. Secondly, Christians were emboldened further to see the mainstream media as purveyors of false information because of their biased anti-Christian or even anti-American agenda.

I know from that perspective it was hard for you to believe anything the “mainstream media” said. I know you turned increasingly to alternate media sources like blogs and facebook posts that confirmed what you were hearing from President Trump or the Fox News hosts. I saw the posts you shared on social media where a nurse talked about how her hospital was not experiencing any COVID problems, and so the problems must be overblown. I saw the articles you shared about how Fauci was untrustworthy and may even have been behind the virus in the first place. I read the articles you shared about how car accident deaths were being mis-counted as COVID deaths, and on and on.

I know it’s been hard for you to know who to trust. Since the social media landscape and the news media landscape was split hardcore into two camps, and since one camp seemed dead set against Trump, it was easy for you to be skeptical of reports that COVID was this incredibly dangerous pandemic. To make matters worse, even people like Fauci early on said we shouldn’t wear masks and then later changed their tune saying we should. Understanding whom to trust and why was difficult for all of us, and I’m sure it was hard for you. But that’s not the only thing that has been hard for you during this pandemic.

A Crisis of Faith

Early on in the pandemic, all the suggestions regarding what to do about it seemed irrationally anti-Christian. The earliest mitigation strategies involved literally telling churches not to meet. I know this must have sounded like a direct attack on Christianity, and when you combine that with the overall liberal push of our modern world, it’s easy to conclude that COVID was just another excuse to diminish the importance of church in this society.

At the same time, you were hearing voices from many Christians, especially many famous and influential pastors who were also acting like this was a threat to the church. Pastors like John MacArthur even went to court to preserve the rights of the church to meet in person.

Combining that with the information you had that COVID wasn’t that big of a deal, it really sounded to you like COVID was an issue of Faith versus Fear. Christians in your circles started using the phrase “Faith Over Fear” and it made so much sense to you. After all, if it was your time to go, you knew where you were going, so you didn’t have fear, and you didn’t know why everyone else was acting so afraid of this relatively minor new cold going around.

From your perspective, COVID was a faith issue. There was a world trying to shut down churches or at least reduce their effectiveness, and that same world seemed to be hiding behind a great deal of fear while you and the Christians in your circle were living lives of Faith and Freedom. I know your church probably even grew during this time. People decided they wanted to be part of a church that wouldn’t go along with the latest social trends or godless fake news and they found Faith and Freedom in your church.

A Crisis of Freedom

Time has passed, though. All the initial months of COVID are behind us now, and you are ready to get on with your life, but you still see the fear-mongering and the government overreach going on in the mask and vaccine mandates. I’ve seen the things you shared online, and I’ve read your posts and the articles you linked to. I’ve been to the school board meetings where people who share your opinion have spoken up. You’ve seen statistics that indicate the vaccines aren’t effective (people still get sick), you’ve seen the statistics that all vaccines carry the risk of harm, and you know how fast these vaccines were developed, so you are hesitant. I’m not calling you an anti-vaxxer. I’m just aware that you are skeptical about these vaccines.

I know you have read the stuff about vaccines making people magnetic or that the vaccines are ways for the government to track us or control us somehow, and I know that you don’t really believe all those things, but they have still made you wonder what the truth really is. I also know that for you, you are deeply concerned about the government forcing you to get a vaccine especially when the vaccines aren’t effective, the disease isn’t that bad, and everything was rushed. You aren’t just skeptical about the vaccine, you are skeptical about the motives of the government. Why are they pushing this so much?

In fact, when you put all these things together, there’s one thing I know has bothered you the most. All of these things seem like an attack on your freedom. They are an attack on your freedom to attend church, your freedom to go to the store, your freedom to breathe freely, to talk without muffled sounds, to work a normal schedule, and even your freedom over your own medical decisions for you and your family.

My Plea

You have so many reasons to think that the COVID pandemic is overblown, you have so many reasons to think that the mitigation strategies are government overreach, and you have so many reasons to doubt the vaccines. I get it. If I had heard only the information you heard, or if I had read only the things you have read, I think I’d probably come to the same conclusions you have. Still, I have also heard other things, read other things, and have become convinced there is a different and better way to understand what we are going through. I want to share with you just a few of these things, and I pray God might use them in your life to soften your approach and to turn you toward a different perspective on these matters.

The Crisis of Trust

First, I want to talk about the problem we all have regarding whom to trust. I want to start with some research. Even though it can seem that all the media is extremely liberal and has a liberal bent, the latest research indicates otherwise. Consider this following chart describing the relative accuracy and bias of the various media outlets:

You can see the full interactive version of the chart here: Media Bias Chart, and you can read about their methodology here. If that chart seems biased, there is also the research done by allsides.com. What you will find is that according to methodical research, outlets like Breitbart, OAN, Fox News, and New York Post are all lumped together in a similar part of the graph. If you have spent most of your time listening to those sources, you’ve been hearing only a very small slice of the overall story. For people focused on Fox, even Christianity Today and the Wall Street Journal will feel liberal, but from this research, outlets like the AP, Axios, Newsweek, PBS, ABC and USA Today are all essentially in the center, treating issues on the left and the right equally, and are doing accurate news reporting. Simply put, there are real methods for figuring out the bias of the different media outlets, and therefore, there are tangible ways to determine trustworthiness. I want to reassure you that there are a lot of trustworthy sources out there. Furthermore, I want to reassure you that there are many researchers and news outlets that are regularly acting as watchdogs over the other news outlets. For example, if the New York Times had statistics to prove that the Wall Street Journal was reporting false information, they would love to report it and throw their competition under the bus, but they don’t largely because they can’t. If the scholars studying the data had a reason to undermine the authority of an outlet, they certainly would publish that too. Individual outlets might be biased, but there are ways to measure bias and correct for it.

More than general bias, though, I want to talk about COVID specifically. AllSides.com does interesting balanced research regarding the different perspectives on COVID, and they have put together an excellent resource here: Covid-19 Misinformation. On top of that, they have a really interesting article about the partisan divide regarding COVID opinions. In that article, they demonstrate that Republicans are more accurate than Democrats when it comes to estimating a person’s risk of hospitalization from COVID. However, the article also shows how Republicans are less accurate than Democrats when it comes to estimating the chances of death from COVID. From that one article alone, you can see that allsides.com is willing to report data that is equally favorable and unfavorable for each side.

There are many more ways to demonstrate the accuracy of our news sources, but I want to mention just three more facts that should tip the scales for you in understanding the severity of the COVID situation we are in.

The first fact is something called “excess deaths.” Here’s a study published by the CDC. And here’s a study published by ourworldindata.org. I know you might have a hard time trusting the CDC’s reporting, but they aren’t the only ones reporting this kind of data. I suggest you take a moment to click over to one of the articles I just linked and at least scroll down to the chart. The CDC chart is the easiest to understand, so that’s the one I’ll comment on here. The CDC has access to death records for many years. The blue bars in the chart show the actual number of deaths that happened each week going back to 2017. Hover over a bar, and it will show you the number of deaths predicted by their models compared to the number of deaths that actually happened in that week. Look at the chart in total, and you can see that other than a small spike in the winter of 2018, weekly deaths have followed a very stable pattern in our country all the way up to springtime 2020 when they spiked much higher than normal. The mainstream media and the CDC together said that those excess deaths were the result of COVID, and perhaps you are doubtful about that, but I just want to point out that something killed all those people and it was something that was different in 2020 than in previous years. Simply put, you have good reasons to trust the reports that COVID is a deadly disease that contributed to vastly higher mortality in 2020 and is continuing to kill people today.

The other two things I will mention are both just anecdotes. First, I have people in my church who work in the medical field. Some of them are nurses, and some are social workers, but all of them are extremely sad and burned out regarding the number of COVID deaths they have seen. Some of them intend to quit as soon as they can find another job. Some of them have been quite vocal with me regarding the importance of people following mitigation matters like vaccines and mask-wearing. I’m inclined to trust their advice.

Secondly, and this one is more painful for me to mention. I know a lot of white people who have had COVID and recovered fairly easily, or who have family members who had COVID and recovered. Some of those patients even ended up in the hospital, but literally none of the white people I know have died from COVID, and of all my friends and relationships, I only know of three white people who’ve had relatives die from COVID, but in those three cases, the person who passed away was either over 80 or had severely compromised health. However, when it comes to my African American friends, literally everyone I have asked has told me about multiple family members who have died from COVID. A pastor friend of mine lost all his siblings, another pastor friend lost both parents. A lady in our church lost her aunt. Statistics support my experience too. I could give you some statistics showing that black and brown people are far more likely to be hospitalized and die from COVID than are white people. Of course, the doctors still don’t fully know why, but the fact remains that if you are white, you probably haven’t experienced the devastation of losing multiple loved ones to COVID, but your black brothers and sisters have not fared nearly as well.

From that one anecdote alone, I have all the information I need to turn your attention toward Scripture, and I know you are a person who trusts Scripture.

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. — Isaiah 58:9-10 NIV

(2) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2 NIV

(40) “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ — Matthew 25:40 NIV

The ethics of the Christian family expressed directly in the words of Jesus is that if we see a brother or sister in need, whether that need is spiritual or practical, our calling is to step into that place and do what we can to help. Furthermore, the ethic of God’s people for all time has been to step into the places where people are oppressed and attempt to alleviate their suffering. The Christian church through the centuries has been the people to do that, and our calling has not changed.

Once a Christian realizes that there are people who are suffering, more than that, brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering, our calling is to step into that place and do what we can to lessen their suffering.

Once you learn that something is causing many people to die, leading to suffering and hardship for many families, and once you learn that at least one segment of our Christian family, namely our black and brown brothers and sisters, are suffering too, your Christian instinct should be to say, “What can I do?”

You don’t have to trust everything the left-leaning media says. You don’t even need to buy into everything the center-aligned media says. All you need to know is that people are suffering, and there might be something you can do to help. If you don’t trust the CDC, if you don’t trust Christianity Today, if you don’t trust the Wall Street Journal, at least pick up the phone to ask an African American friend or an ICU nurse in your life how COVID has impacted them. In all of this, I’m sure there is someone you can trust who knows the pandemic first hand and can help you see the need to do something about it.

However, when it comes to what to do about it, a lot of the solutions sound scary, and we want to be people of faith not fear, don’t we? Let’s talk about faith, then.

The Crisis of Faith

So far in this pandemic, the language among many Christians and language I have heard from you too, is language that sounds incredibly biblical: Faith Over Fear, and although I need you to know that I hear you and that I understand you, and that I agree with you that we should be people of faith not fear, I need to tell you that your faith is misplaced as is your fear.

A lot of Christians in my life, and you sometimes, have posted things to social media and have had conversations with me and have shared articles with me that indicate they are afraid of the government getting too involved in our lives. They are afraid that the government, or more accurately, the liberals in government, are trying specifically to undermine the influence of Christians in our society. The COVID mitigation protocols encouraging churches to stop meeting in person sound very much like government trying to diminish the power of the church. This is nothing more than an expression of fear that the world around us might somehow diminish the power of the church, but I call you to be a person of faith over fear.

Faith is believing the promises of God will come true. Faith is believing that the power of God will be revealed. Faith is believing that God himself is actually involved in the situation, and that all I need to be is on his side. And what does being on his side mean? Well, there’s a verse we both know, but I think you have been applying it wrongly.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. — Matthew 16:18-20 NIV

I know sometimes you have thought that this verse is a verse to empower Christians in the Culture War we find ourselves, but I want to assure you that it is exactly the opposite. This verse is a verse Jesus is giving to encourage his followers that nothing will ever be able to defeat the church… not even death (the gates of Hades)! By saying this, Jesus is reminding his followers that they need not fear anything that will ever come against the church. In fact, they don’t even need to fear persecution or their own death because the church Jesus builds is never going to lose. To top it off, he even ends the passage by commanding his followers to keep their mouths shut about him being the Messiah! At the time, Messiah was a political word, and Jesus was definitely not going to be a political king until far into the future. Therefore, Jesus is making the strong point that faith means trusting that the church will continue to do its job of helping people enter heaven even when all the forces of humans and hell seem to be against it.

Let me be blunt. You don’t need to fight the government or oppose the government out of fear that the government is getting too strong. In fact, I could go even further than that. True faith is trusting that God is in charge of the government:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. — Romans 13:1-2 NIV

Never forget that Paul was in prison when he wrote these words. Never forget that Paul was writing to Christians in Rome where emperors like Nero and Trajan would ruthlessly kill Christians. Never forget that many Christians had already been murdered at the hands of governing authorities when Paul wrote these words. Paul, facing extreme governmental pressure against the church, still told the Christians in Rome to view the government as established by God.

Some of my friends, especially pastors, would respond that shutting down churches is the exact thing Christians should rebel against. They will cite the first century church or the modern day Chinese who worship in defiance of their government, and I reply that the first century church and the modern day Chinese do their worship in secret using whatever technology they have available to them (basements, catacombs, etc.) and that nothing in any of the American lockdown protocols comes even close to what they are facing. The American government never told churches to stop meeting. On the contrary, the recommendations were only to change how the churches met so that things were done with a viral pandemic in mind: meet in smaller numbers more frequently, meet outdoors, leverage new technology to meet online, wear masks. None of these things were intrinsically dangerous to churches. In fact, each of these things had the potential to expand the influence of the church! New Testament Christianity doesn’t depend on buildings, gathering times, or audience sizes. These things are not sacred, and therefore the government mandates did not impinge on anything that is truly part of the worship of the church. In fact, the government mandates or requests were a moment of opportunity for the churches in this country to creatively expand their ministry by leveraging new technologies and trying new worship strategies! Furthermore, it was an opportunity for the Christians in those churches to be more intentional when it comes to family and neighborhood relationships. Following government guidelines had the potential to expand the influence of the church.

Amazingly, according to Paul, if you want to be a person of faith, you submit to the governing authorities, their rules and recommendations, because you trust that God knows what he’s doing, that the church will not be destroyed but may actually expand, and that rewards for you will come in the next age.

Secondly, there is something else that you are not afraid of, but I think you should be. You don’t need to fear government overreach. You don’t need to fear the oppression of the church. What you need to fear is the judgment of God.

Did you see what Paul said in Romans? Here it is again:

…whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves…

Lack of obedience to the governing authorities is cause for God’s judgment. But that’s not the only kind of judgment to fear. Another verse I’ve already hinted at is this:

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” — Matthew 25:45-46 NIV

A lack of concern for the cause of the needy will also result in judgment.

I don’t fear death from COVID, and I know you don’t either. We know where we will spend eternity, and we have faith that God’s will is going to be done in our lives. But then again, one reason I don’t fear sickness or death from COVID is that I have good enough insurance to cover my hospital bills, and my family won’t be burdened with decades of debt because of an extended stay in a hospital. I also have pretty good health, so I’m unlikely to get sick and end up in the hospital. I also have pretty good life insurance, so that if I do pass, my family will be able to move on financially. However, I only have this confidence because of my access to material wealth. There are countless people more vulnerable than I am to the financial and medical consequences of this virus, and if I can do anything to alleviate their suffering or reduce their risks, it is the right thing for me to do.

Wearing a mask is not an act of fear. It’s an act of submission to governing authorities (whether they have called it a mask “mandate” or not), and it’s an act of care and concern for my fellow man who might be more susceptible to problems from the virus that I might unintentionally carry into their presence, and further, it’s an act of love and solidarity for those who are truly feeling fear over all of this. My mask will make them feel just a bit more at ease, and that’s an act of love.

The time of COVID was and still is a great opportunity for the expansion of our faith and our influence in the world. The vast majority of the unchristian world in America, and the majority of our brothers and sisters in non-evangelical faith traditions, and the vast majority of the people of color in this nation all perceive COVID as a big threat, and the continued COVID denial and non-compliance among evangelical Christians is putting a barrier between us and them. It is isolating evangelical Christians deeper into an irrelevant bubble that sounds spiritual but is not.

However, things could have been and still could be different. The world can still see evangelical Christians leading the charge on COVID solutions. Politically speaking, evangelicals are the predominant voice of the Republican party, and if evangelicals had voiced solidarity with the medical data and the recommendations, not only would our churches have developed creatively new ways to reach more people, but we would have been seen in our society as the voice of reason and love, and our influence in the society would have grown even more. On top of that, protocols would have been put in place that would have much more rapidly eliminated the effects of COVID in our country, countless lives would have been spared, and the evangelical church would have been seen as a major part of the solution both in our country and globally too.

It’s not too late. I know you have heard a lot of information that makes you want to doubt what I say. I know you have heard respected Bible scholars say things different from what I have just said, but I need you to know that it isn’t too late for you or for all of us collectively as The Church to move in the direction of truth and love.

Our faith is not under attack by the world, because the author and perfecter of our faith has already conquered the world. The Crisis of Faith we are in is not a crisis of faith versus the world but a crisis of whether we have the faith to believe that Jesus has already won and that our Father is actually in charge of the world!

The Crisis of Freedom

I want to finally address this last concern I know you have. Even if you could trust that the information coming to you about COVID is accurate, even if you had the faith to see that God was in charge and not being threatened by any of this, you still would feel that government overreach is a hinderance to your freedom.

I know you aren’t worried about deleterious health effects from wearing masks, but you are worried about being forced to wear a mask. I know you aren’t in general against all vaccines, but you are worried about being forced to get a vaccine. I know you are worried about losing freedoms in one area of life because if the government can control one part of your life, what’s to stop it from controlling other parts of your life? If the government can control what goes into your body what’s to prevent it from trying to control what goes into your mind? I know there are so many worries you have about whether capitulation to governmental mandates and guidelines now is the top of a slippery slope leading to reduced freedom overall.

Beyond all that, you have a kind of American pride that sees this country through the lens of noble freedom. You understand that much of what makes America great is our great amount of freedom. Freedom to choose our own doctors, choose our own schools, worship how we choose, choose the stores we frequent, choose what we wear, etc.

I’m not going to challenge those assumptions here in this letter. What I want to do as I draw this letter to a close is just to remind you that you are a Christian first and an American second. Whatever values you have as an American need to be in submission to your values as a Christian, and freedom as a Christian means something very different from freedom as an American.

Take at least 30 seconds on each of these passages. Please don’t rush through them, there are powerful truths here we all need to remember.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. — Matthew 10:8 NIV

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, — Luke 4:18 NIV

“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” — John 19:10-11 NIV

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. — Romans 6:20-22 NIV

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. — 1 Corinthians 8:9 NIV

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. — 1 Corinthians 9:19 NIV

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. — Galatians 5:13 NIV

Christian freedom means we have been liberated from the penalty and largely even the effects of sin, but freedom from sin means we are now in bondage as servants to God and we are likewise in bondage to serve our brothers and sisters in love, and we are empowered to also view ourselves as slaves to the wider world! The world has no authority over us except what God has given to it (Jesus’ words above to Pilate) and therefore, we are also bound to serve the governing authorities as we are bound to serve God.

Christian freedom is the freedom from sin with a new bondage to servanthood.

I know you want to preserve the kind of freedom you have grown to know and love as an American, but I’m calling you to put your freedom in Christ above your American freedom. In fact, I’m calling you to leverage your political freedom to do even more with your Christian freedom. That is, take advantage of all the powers and freedoms offered you in this country to do a better job of serving and loving the people around you.

It’s Not Too Late

COVID is still with us, many Christians are still living in fear of government overreach, many unbelievers are still living in confusion with regard to the pushback and hesitancy among Christians to comply with government recommendations, but we still have time to shift our witness in the world. We still have time to show our love for the people around us.

Here’s what I’m asking you to do.

First, I want you to really learn what’s going on out there. I know you are truly hesitant to trust the information coming from the CDC and the mainstream media because you have been told there is a vast liberal agenda behind it all. Maybe you have even heard some of the conspiracy theories out there, and the logic sounds pretty convincing. Nevertheless, I want to assure you that there are people just as skeptical as you who don’t trust the government, who don’t trust social media companies, and they are doing the hard work of researching the accuracy of all these things and are still coming to the conclusion that COVID is real, the CDC numbers are mostly accurate, and that the mitigation protocols actually help. Go ahead and visit the sites I linked above, do a search on COVID statistics over at the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. Read some of the articles on COVID at Christianity Today, and learn what you can from truly reputable sources. It’s okay if their conclusions are different from yours, but you need to know some of the hard numbers that are really out there.

Secondly, I’m asking you to wear a mask if it’s recommended in your area. The easiest way to find that out is to keep up to date with the NY Times Covid Tracker for your county. Here in Tippecanoe County, even though all the numbers are moving in a positive direction, the vaccination rate is so low and the infection rate is still so high that masks are still recommended for all people in public spaces regardless of vaccination status. I hate the masks as much as anyone else, but I’m convinced that if we all did our part for just a short time, the virus would have no one else to infect.

Thirdly, I’m asking you to get the vaccine. I know you have heard a lot of reports about how ineffective it is or how dangerous it might be or how rapidly it was put into the market, but I just want you to know that there is better information out there. To cite only one source, the CDC has published a very easy to understand chart comparing the death rates of vaccinated and unvaccinated people here.

By percentages, more unvaccinated 40 year olds have died from COVID than vaccinated 70 year olds, but avoiding your death is not the only reason to get the vaccine. For every single person who dies, there are a bunch of people around them who get exposed to the virus, there is a bunch of money spent in the medical treatment, there is a bed taken up in the hospital, there are a bunch of nurses caring tirelessly for that person, and there is a family experiencing the pain of loss.

You can help prevent not only that, but also, you can prevent that sort of thing happening around the world. The faster we get people in the U.S. vaccinated, the sooner our country will ship mass amounts of vaccine around the world, and the sooner our economy (and the global economy) will get back to normal! I’m asking you to get the vaccine for so many reasons, but I’m also asking you to walk in faith that the God who had Trump in position to launch the Warp Speed program is the same God who had the scientists in position to develop the vaccine and test it, and is the same God who will use this vaccine to take care of you, your loved ones, the vulnerable in this country, and billions of people around the world!

Now, I’m not asking you to do any of this out of fear. In fact, I’m asking you to do it out of faith that God put the CDC people into their position for this time, that God put the vaccine makers in their position for this very moment, that God had Donald Trump as the President for his term at least partially to fast-track this vaccine. I’m asking you to get the vaccine and wear a mask because you are a person of faith who is trusting that God meant what he said in Scripture about submission to the government, that he is in charge of this moment, and that by doing these two simple things, you will be living out the calling to love your neighbor as yourself…

…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. — Isaiah 58:10 NIV