“Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, And from the traps of the workers of iniquity” (Psalm 141:9).
This last week the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod Reporter, the official newspaper of the LC-MS International Center (https://reporter.lcms.org/) published a statement by Synodical President Matthew Harrison on the challenge modern inoculation technologies present to pro-life communities:
“We live in disturbing times….I want to make a few somewhat personal remarks to you…. This COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the world, as well as us as Christians individually and corporately as a Synod. Attitudes and approaches to the challenge by LCMS individuals, congregations and districts vary. This is due to a variety of factors: the intensity of the disease; cultural and political contexts; and our own varying views on the medicinal, social, political and — to some extent — religious issues involved.“Government intrusion into churches through various regulations — attempted by states and municipalities across the nation — have even sought to regulate our sacred practice of Holy Communion (the holy of holies where government has no place), which has been troubling. In many cases, we have seen governments treating churches unfairly, even closing churches while leaving theaters or clubs open. Local and state governments have taken advantage of COVID-19 to push regulations into our parochial schools, where such state regulation has not existed before. I, for one, am deeply concerned about increasing government overreach into areas of the First Amendment. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). And I aim to resist this increasing encroachment wherever and whenever I can.
“…Expected presidential mandates that force employees of companies and nonprofits to release or terminate unvaccinated employees will be challenged legally from various directions. I believe — and so do others — that such mandates for churches violate the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment, because they would force the termination of pastors and called workers in larger church institutions who refuse vaccination. Our military chaplains are increasingly pressured by the LGBTQ agenda of the U.S. military. In addition, those chaplains who have conscientious objections to the vaccine mandate are now faced with the question of continuing to serve or leaving the military. Thus far, free speech protections still remain, thank God.
“…As the other resources note, the vaccines, in various ways (development or testing), made use of stem cells from aborted babies. This is limited to two lines from two babies from 36 and 48 years ago. I was able to obtain the vaccine that is less morally problematic, but it is still problematic. I was present in the White House when President George W. Bush limited research to such lines and ensured that no others would be taken from later or current abortions. We gave thanks for that. But this remains an ethical quandary…”
(You may read the entirety of his commentary here: https://reporter.lcms.org/2021/personal-remarks-from-president-harrison-about-covid-and-vaccines/.) Please be advised that based on the extensive work that I and many others have participated in over the last two years with Mad Christian Mondays (revfisk.com/newsletter) tracking the moving target of inoculation science and the media narratives driven by bizarre misinformation alliance between Silicon Valley and various public voices, regarding death rates, hospitalizations and the effectiveness of the gene therapy technologies many of Harrison’s comments in his fourth paragraph are simply misleading. At worst, they are outright incorrect, as there is significant debate amidst the medical and scientific communities regarding things Harrison claims to “know.” For example, consider this recent interview by Lifesite News with Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA inoculation technologies used by both Pfizer and Moderna (https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/744314/).
I broach this with you, firstly, because our Synodical President has. Secondly, because I hope that you will continue to inform yourself, rather than take on assumption the claims of anyone in these matters, whether myself, Governor Pritzger or anyone on your screens. If anything is clear, it is the case that nothing is clear like it used to be.
Since March 2020, I have striven to keep St. Paul a community that will not be divided over “stories from far away,” where regardless of our various lives, challenges and choices in the misinformation age, we seek our unity in what we can know for certain: the Scriptures of Jesus Christ.
As your pastor, I have endeavored to keep many things “that I know” to myself or to private conversations, even though I deeply believe there are many risks to life and livelihood at play, especially for young people. But I also know that I am only one man, and that no matter how certain I may be about what I have seen or learned online, I am as likely to be deceived as you are. The more we all bear with each other in such humility, the more the Truth is certain to reign among us from the sure and certain holy places of our God.
If there is anything I have not been loud enough about, it is the use of aborted baby parts in development and testing of these vaccines, particularly the evident effort of the pharmaceutical community both continue such research and hide its implications from the faithful. I am convinced that our God will forgive us all sins of ignorance as his people. But I am just as convinced that he will not bless the prospect of a nation that builds its future on the exploitation and sacrifice of children, even if it is “only” two babies’ partial bodies kept partially alive in petri dishes since 1973. Christ, have mercy! Such things ought not be!
He is risen! “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). “Trust in the Jesus Christ with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
And remember, Jesus Christ is sufficient to save you from all things, whether pestilence, famine, lies, thefts, false science, election fraud, conspiracy theories and all other works of deceit the Evil One seeks to employ against on you in this age of darkness.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:115-16.)
And above all, never forget, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).