It has been concerning that many conservative Lutherans have simply taken over the church of the anti-Christ’s official position, without comment or warning about the differing authorities Rome has for its theology and practice. This document is man’s word—and its official adoption is nothing compared to the authority of God’s inspired Word.
First, Rome, does not teach the value of life very well—since many Roman Catholics (including the current U.S. president) are allowed to publicly support and virtually worship the murder of unborn infants without harsh rebuttal or public discipline. While the information about cell lines and which vaccines are involved with them is helpful, we should not let others, who have different church commitments and doctrines, guide our conscience and dictate what is right.
The fundamental tenet of this document is this: “the positive moral obligation to do good and in so doing to distance oneself as much as possible from the immoral act of another party.” “Distance” is vague word. Being “close” to sin physically does not imply divine guilt. Jesus ate and drank with sinners, but was guiltless, though close to sin His whole earthly life. Good has to do with God’s will, which is defined by the divine law for us. What health experts and church leaders say without God’s authority is worthless when it comes to morality before the true God.
We should “avoid cooperation with someone else’s evil actions” and “avoid giving scandal,” we are told below, but participating willingly and being “close” to sin are very different things. These definitions must be precise, but they are severely lacking in this document. God, who is love, defines love—not man. Avoiding “scandal” is not the same as publicly sinning, or the sins of the flesh in Gal 5. and 1 Cor. 6. Scandal among unbelievers is not always a bad thing.
The Roman authority behind this document says that a “serious health danger” may make “avoiding scandal” justified. But what is the proof and doesn’t this lead to very sloppy thinking? Do you really want the health seriousness or public good determined by church leaders (even doctors are not always correct)? So the bishops give a logical explanation for the Rubella vaccine (its the only vaccine, basically is the reasoning), but there is no authority behind it—just man’s fallible word. Scripture is silent on this issue. Just because man says something is good, does not make it good in God’s eyes. This is speaking for God—a mark of the pope’s church and the anti-Christ.
The vaccine is really not for yourself, it reads, but for others, who might “contract it through exposure to those infected.” This is not a moral reason though, but a scientific explanation. Incidental exposure and risk in accidentally transmitting the virus is not a matter of guilt or sin. We do not need to confess passing the cold or flu to others—it is simply part of living in a cursed world with a mortal body. It is avoidable in these sinful bodies. This is health “guilt” and wordly shaming—but not before the holy God. This sort of reasoning is human thinking—not God’s Word.
This document seems to care much about appearances, but not the heart of the person: “Another consideration is the fact that one’s receiving benefits from an evil action might affect how others perceive that original evil action, thereby giving scandal. Others might be less inclined to see that action as evil. They might interpret one’s acceptance of benefits from an evil action.” What others think, interpret, or feel does not determine right and wrong. The document seems be trying to get the point across that vaccines are not immoral in themselves in promoting or requiring new abortions, nor intrinsically holy, but that we should strive to make a good confession of Christ and His Word in how we live and what we do in the world. This issue does not have to made complex and overly scientific, because Scripture is not.
“The world is currently facing a health crisis,” it states. That may be true, although “crisis” can be variously defined. The reasoning of this document is completely worldly, in the end—the very same as earthly, pagan leaders are making. The ends justify the means, seems to be the conclusion. But just as no man can say it is sinful to take a vaccine, no man may say it is perfectly good, acceptable, and right—or even necessary—since God has not given us a divine Word to follow on this matter.
The very nebulous reasoning here basically means nothing: “AstraZeneca vaccine should be avoided if there are alternatives available.” Vaccines are moral, according to this, so avoiding something conditionally makes sense—since vaccines are assumed to be good overall. But that is a public health argument—not a theological or moral one. An atheist could (and often does) make the same kind of statement: “Every person who becomes ill with COVID-19 places an additional burden on the health care systems, which in certain cities, states, and nations have been in danger of being overwhelmed.”
The end result seems to be it doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you have good, pro-life intentions. But why not just be honest? God does not tell us how to make most medical decisions. We must use the intelligence He gave us, submitting to Scripture and Christ. Relying on men, especially those who have an erring confession, to ease the burden of thinking for ourselves, where God’s Word is silent, is lazy and leads to complacency—which is the Roman Catholic way. —ed.