BY HUMPHREY MTANDWA
Should the church be subjected to governmental laws and can the church exist outside of society? When Jude was talking to the early church, he spoke against a group of believers that he referred to as false ministers, who through their dreams and false visions rejected authority. He compared these individuals to Korah who defied Moses. These ministers believed that the church was totally free from all authority and having no regard for both spiritual and physical authorities.
Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Roman church says, “Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.” Imagine Apostle Paul said being an irresponsible citizen shows that you are an irresponsible believer. What if the government institutes laws that go against one’s beliefs? How is a believer supposed to react to the government? The church is instructed to follow and be submitted to any duly constituted authorities as long as their laws don’t go against God’s laws. God’s word is the guide that we use as a measure because most laws have been taken from the word of God and most constitutions have been written using God’s word. The set of believers stated in the book of Jude were unruly and followed their dreams and visions and not the word of God.
Apostle Paul encourages us to live as responsible believers and he outlines how. When faced with issues like the vaccination or even the temporary lockdown of churches, how is the church supposed to respond? Are there people or situations that are similar to these in the Bible? When it comes to lockdown the Bible shows situations where people with leprosy were isolated or those with other infectious diseases were instructed to be in isolation for some time. So in as much as the laws instituted by the governments seem unfair, we have to judge them against the standard of the word of God.
In the Bible vaccination is not there, but at one time Moses raised up a brazen serpent and those that looked on it received healing. Could it be the brazen serpent was a form of vaccination? Though the Bible does not have direct scripture which supports vaccination, we weigh the situation using God’s Spirit .
The vaccination programmes all over the world are measures that governments are using to ensure safety of citizens and Apostle Paul encourages this by saying laws are put to ensure the safety of the church. Saying believers can get vaccinated does not mean we are to be ignorant. The governments have to ensure the vaccines are safe and also encourage the manufacturers to be accountable for their vaccines. The job of the church is to pray that the enemy will not use the vaccines as a tool to cause further harm. Remember Paul says the church is the one that causes peace in the nations through prayer. Let’s support the vaccination programmes through prayer and also by participating.
God bless you.
- Humphrey Mtandwa is an anointed minister of the gospel and teacher of the Word based in South Africa. He has written several books including The Enoch Generation, Truthfulness and Theophany. He blogs at mtandwa.blogspot.com and can be contacted via e-mail or WhatsApp on +27 610286350.