Vaccines and religious rights?

man in yellow protective suit

Right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress came to the Sofa’s attention in the past due to his fanboy behaviour around Donald Trump, and what can be described as a wrong opinion around climate change, but Sofa has found himself being thankful for Robert Jeffress clearly coming out against religious exemptions for taking a covid vaccine.

Yes religious, not medical, but people are trying to say that taking a vaccine that helps protect against a harsher illness, and decreases the chance of passing that illness onto another is against their religious rights.

“There is no credible religious argument against the vaccines,” Jeffress told The Associated Press for a report last Friday.

Jeffress, a prominent evangelical supporter of former President Donald Trump, who has been fully vaccinated since early March, said he and his staff “are neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates.”

Christian Post

Which.

Has attracted some anger from those from what I guess would be called the political and religious right.

“We all know the chemicals, the different things that are in there that are designed to literally take life away from people.”

That would be the worst vaccine ever right?

Psalm 13

But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.Psalm 13:5-6, New Living Translation

David is having another bad day. And yet again he turns it round to praising God in the end. There’s a lot we can learn from that. Even when things are feeling all against him, David still finds these words at the end. In the last post, about Psalm 12 I wrote about God testing and purifying us through what are often, unfortunately, painful processes.

In Acts 16, we find Paul and Silas locked up in prison for preaching the gospel, sharing the good news of Jesus. It would have been easy for them to feel like David did at the start of this Psalm, that God had left them and abandoned them. They could have felt hurt or betrayed even. Instead, they chose to praise and worship God, despite what was going on around them. God sent an earthquake, broke the walls down and set them free. There is power in praising before the event.

You might be waiting for God to break a wall down for you or to break through in a difficult situation. Keep on praising God even though you don’t know what’s going to happen or how it’ll all work out. Know that we trust and follow a God who is in control, has beaten death and promises us new life in him.

Prayer

Dear God thank you that you are in control, that you make things work out in the end! You are high above all else and we praise you no matter what is going on, when we can’t see what’s ahead of us or how things are going to play out. Amen

Donald Trump. The Given Son?

Donald Trump, the given son?

In this weeks episode of “Satire is pretty well dead”, it appears that this is a real sign over in America. For those unsure, the Bible verse, Romans 8:17 is:

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

And yes, there is a hint of Isaiah about the text:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Which (and I’m no Bible expert), I’m fairly certain is referring to Jesus. Not Donald Trump.

Again.

Jesus. Not Trump.

What the “Joint heirs” bit refers to…

Any ideas?

The State of “Let Us Worship” in America

Now, I’m not sure. But I’m sure the “Let Us Worship” events were originally meant to be protest/worship events based around the option around indoor worship events being closed.

Because… you know… public health impacts ability to worship indoors safely.

Its been awhile since I’ve gone to a worship event, but I’m fairly certain the “talkie bits”, weren’t like this…

Perhaps we were doing it wrong?

Psalm 12

The Lords’ promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.

Psalm 12:6, New Living Translation

Have you ever experienced God test you? In the Psalm 11, says that God tests or examines the righteous and the wicked. But we know that the difference between the righteous and the wicked is that the righteous are like a tree planted by a river bank (Psalm 1) that weathers all seasons and bears good fruit. King David in this psalm compares the words and promises of God as being like silver purified seven times in the furnace. They are flawless. They have no imperfections. They are perfect. When we’re being tested by God, it’s the process he uses to find the flaws and work them out.

A few weeks ago, I was really struggling with some pain in my leg. I tried everything I could at home, I stretched it, I used foam rollers, I tried heat treatment and cold treatment. The pain got worse. So I went to see a Physiotherapist. They examined my leg, they found that the muscles through my leg and lower back had gotten so tight and knotted that they were pinching my sciatic nerve. No wonder it hurt! They set about working out the tension and knots in those muscles, needless to say it hurts. At one point the physio was putting pressure onto a particular problem area, I felt a jolt of pain shoot through me, except it never let up, she was keeping the pressure on. She asked me if it hurt. I thought to myself, somewhat sarcastically, ‘no, I only flinch when I’m enjoying myself’ but said a muted ‘Yes a little’ through gritted teeth. A sheepish ‘sorry’ was the reply, but no let up in pressure. A few days of stretching (doing the right ones this time) and using heat treatment (in the right places) led to the pain subsiding completely. It turned out that to ease my suffering, I had to go through some pain first.

We know that ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love him’ (Romans 8:28) and sometimes, unfortunately, that means we have to go through the fires and furnaces, through the pain in order to become the person God is calling us to be.

Prayer

Dear God thank you that you have a plan for all of us, that you know who we are and who we can be better than we do. Thank you that your words are true and pure and that you want to make us pure too. Please let it not hurt too much! Amen.