Response to a Zealous Pastor’s Defense of COVID “Vaccine” Mandates
January 27, 2022 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Recently, one of our online followers emailed us to say that their local church had implemented a mask-mandate, despite their state and local governments not requiring it. The pastor who is requiring masks then presented a sermon arguing for COVID “vaccine” mandates, while also making the case that those who have been advocating for freedom of conscience and against mandates are misguided and are being disobedient to the Bible and the will of God. Our online follower asked me to review the sermon and share any facts that could help them refute what they believed to be serious errors on the part of the pastor.

While the sermon is about 50 minutes long, I stopped watching it a little after 30 minutes, because there were already so many errors, falsehoods, and misapplications of both science and Bible facts that further review seemed unnecessary in order to render a reasoned critique. Below is my assessment of the sermon’s main points.

First Falsehood:  Equating SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoronaVirus-2 or SARS2, the cause of COVID) with other serious and virulent diseases

The pastor opens his sermon with a review of smallpox, the devastation it caused when it first appeared, the controversy when the smallpox vaccine first became available, and the eventual success of that vaccine in eradicating the illness. He later lists other examples of serious illnesses successfully treated with vaccines—such as polio, measles, and tetanus.

The problem, however, is that these illnesses are not really comparable to COVID. Smallpox kills up to 50 percent of those who contract it, whereas less than 0.5 percent of people who contract COVID die from it. In other words, more than 99.5 percent of the at-large population who contract COVID recover from it. And for those under age 20 who contract COVID, essentially 100 percent recover. Thus, COVID is not a virulent disease like smallpox, and is no more dangerous to adults than the seasonal flu, and much less dangerous to children than seasonal flu.

Second Falsehood:  Equating the vaccines for smallpox, polio, and tetanus with so-called SARS2 “vaccines”

While the injections given for COVID are being called “vaccines,” they are most certainly not vaccines by the clear definition commonly used for that word prior to COVID. The vaccines for smallpox, polio, and measles are sterilizing vaccines, meaning they provide actual immunity to the disease such that the vaccinated do not get infected. (Thus, those vaccinated from polio don’t need to fear getting exposed to the polio virus; they are immune.)

But the “vaccine” injections for COVID do not provide sterilizing immunity and, in fact, were never designed to do so. Despite early government pronouncements supported by mass media, they don’t prevent infection, reinfection, or spread. They were designed to prevent the very few people at risk from the disease (less than 0.5 percent of the population) from having a serious/deadly case of the disease. The absolute risk reduction of the Pfizer injection is 0.84 percent, meaning that taking the injection provides less than 1-percent risk reduction from dying of COVID. Moreover, the risk of harm from these injections is still being calculated because more cases of injury and death from the injections are being reported every day, and the multiple reports now suggest that the risk of harm is multiple times greater than the benefit provided.

Thus, this pastor makes two false comparisons (COVID is virulent and deadly like smallpox and the “vaccines” are protective) to create the fantasy that injections for COVID make us safe from a terrible, life-threatening disease. Both points are false and mislead his congregation.

Because the injections are not sterilizing vaccines and were never intended to prevent infection, reinfection, and spread, but only to reduce symptom severity, they are more accurately designated as “injectable therapeutics.” A therapeutic is something designed to treat, not prevent, an illness. Furthermore, the therapeutic benefit of these injections wane with each mutation.

This pastor failed to present this truth to his congregation, perpetuating the fantasy that these injections are vaccines. Further, he failed to compare the therapeutic benefit of a 0.84 percent risk reduction with other well-documented therapeutics that do have long term safety data and that reduce hospitalizations and deaths by up to 84 percent with prophylaxis and over 80% with early treatment after infection.

Third Falsehood:  Mandating military personnel be vaccinated against smallpox during the Revolutionary War equates to mandating the citizenry be “vaccinated” against SARS2

The pastor, expounding on his misapplication of smallpox and its vaccine, reviews the history of the smallpox epidemic during the U.S. Revolutionary War and General Washington’s mandated vaccinations of soldiers in his direct military command. He then uses this historical fact as justification for the government mandating the COVID “vaccine” upon its civilian population today.

The problem here, beyond the falsehoods already noted, is that he misses the larger legal reality of the United States Constitution in regard to health mandates on the populace. Despite the Continental Army enduring two epidemics (the forces in the North suffered a smallpox epidemic, from 1775 to 1782, while forces in the South suffered from a malaria epidemic), and despite these outbreaks severely hindering the army’s ability to carry out the war effort for the very existence of the nation, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution chose not to include any medical exceptions to the Bill of Rights.

Thus, there is no legal justification for vaccine mandates on the citizenry; simply put, it’s not constitutional. Yet the pastor fails to take note of this and, instead, uses this very history to support the opposite conclusion—that it is justifiable for the government to mandate medical treatments upon the citizenry.

This pastor, by advocating from the pulpit an endorsement of governmental mandates to violate the consciences of people, is advocating the methods of the beast of Revelation. Note, I am not speaking of promoting voluntary vaccines or injectable therapeutics while leaving people free to decide for themselves. Rather, I am speaking of using coercive power—fines, arrest, and restrictions of the liberties of healthy people (quarantining, travel and dining bans, and termination from employment)—to cause people to take a treatment against their will, including injections into their bodies (spirit temples). Bodily autonomy, governing one’s own spirit temple, is vital to our sense of self; removing it via a “vaccine” mandate goes against the principles of God’s kingdom.

Fourth Falsehood:  Those who don’t want to be injected with SARS2 “vaccines” are rejecting science, natural law, and are thereby refusing to follow the Bible

The pastor makes the case that we are to live by the laws that God has made, including the laws of nature, and even goes so far as to state that for those who don’t, their prayers are an abomination to the Lord. While we eagerly agree that we are to live in harmony with God’s design laws for life, we equally encourage this pastor to include Romans 14:5 into his understanding of God’s law—that “every person should be fully persuaded in their own mind.” This is the principle (law) of liberty, which teaches that love can exist only in an atmosphere of freedom; take away liberty and love is destroyed. God gives humans real freedom; thus, those who live in harmony with God’s laws grant others freedom in the governance of their own lives as dictated by their consciences. Perhaps this pastor would be benefited from this passage in the book The Desire of Ages:

God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan’s government. The Lord’s principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power (759.1).

When we use coercive power to compel the consciences of others, we advance Satan’s kingdom; in using Satan’s methods, we actively oppose the work of God. Forcing people to take medical treatments against their conscience is beastly. We are to present truth in love and leave others free—yet this pastor endorses using governmental power to coerce people.

The pastor also employs a strawman (a logical fallacy) suggesting that those who are opposed to the “vaccine” mandates are opposed to science or natural law. (i.e., “If you are against mandates, then you are not following the science.”) But you can oppose mandates and support science! In reality, those opposed to mandates are the ones who are the true lovers of science; they are the ones who want openness, examination of the evidence of effectiveness, both short- and long-term safety data, and an accurate accounting of potential injuries from the “vaccine.” True science loses nothing by investigation and inquiry. In fact, the more questions, more evidence, more research, more studies, and more data, the clearer the truth becomes.

Only those without truth and who have something to hide find it necessary to obstruct an investigation. Instead of true scientific inquiry, they advance a cause based on mere claims, and use authority of office and power of position to silence opposing voices—to censor; to obstruct investigation, inquiry, and evidence that refute their narrative; to fire from jobs, and deplatform from social networks. Those with truth don’t need to do these things. Which group is utilizing which method? It is the pro-COVID vaxxers who are obstructing evidence, truth, science, and facts—not those opposed to the mandates.

Sadly, his sermon misrepresents those who oppose the mandates as being against science and natural law; nothing is further from the truth—in fact, it is the opposite of truth.

Fifth Falsehood:  Using the Bible’s instructions to quarantine lepers as justification for quarantining the unvaccinated

The pastor makes another false equivalence when he cites the biblical example of quarantining lepers to support the various COVID restrictions and mandates, such as mask wearing, social distancing, or the quarantining of unvaccinated people. But vaccine status is irrelevant; what is relevant is actual health status.

The salient point in regard to lepers is that they were contagious, and actively contagious people should be quarantined. That has been the historical standard of medical ethics and care—quarantining the actively sick. We have never before quarantined the healthy!

In his fear-induced zeal, the pastor has unfortunately misapplied Scripture to create support for the unethical, ungodly, coercive, and erroneous policies of beastly world governments.

Sixth Falsehood:  In order to be safe, one must receive the SARS2 “vaccine”

The science shows that it is the unvaccinated who have recovered from a COVID infection that are the safest in our society—they are the least likely to be reinfected, the least likely to spread it, and the least likely to have a serious future case, while it is the vaccinated who are the most dangerous in our society when it comes to spreading COVID to others.

The unvaccinated recovered have broad, robust, and long-lasting immunity with their naturally occurring antibodies to multiple sites of the COVID virus; these antibodies are also ultra-potent to most variants. This means, again, that the unvaccinated recovered are the least likely to be spreaders.

A Cleveland Clinic Study found that “not one of the 1359 previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated had a SARS-CoV-2 infection over the duration of the study” despite working in a hospital and being exposed to COVID patients.

But the “vaccinated” have limited immunity in antibody diversity (only to the spike protein), limited longevity of antibody production (6 to 12 months requiring repeated boosters), and limited antibody type and bodily location (IgG and IGM, no IgA at mucous membranes—the site of infection).

The unvaccinated recovered have broad, long-lasting antibodies, including IgA at the mucous membranes, the site of COVID infection and, thus, they are the least likely to get reinfected and spread it. The unvaccinated who haven’t yet been infected, when they do get COVID, get sick, the experience real symptoms and know they are sick, so they choose to stay home until they are recovered and, therefore, don’t expose their friends, family, and coworkers. (Just like humans always did with every flu season prior to COVID).

But the inoculated get the “vaccine” injection designed to reduce symptoms and illness severity without IgA antibodies at the mucous membranes in the oropharynx. Thus, when they get infected, the virus reproduces in their oropharynx, but because they have IgG and IgM antibodies circulating in their bodies, they don’t get as sick. Often, they don’t even know they are sick, so they don’t choose to stay home and, instead, they interact with and spread the virus to others.

But this pastor, rather than presenting the actual science, instead, gave an impassioned sermon advancing the government’s propaganda.

God’s People Will Advocate for Freedom of Conscience

It is truly sad how many people have surrendered their minds, their thinking, to others, to the authorities, whether state or church. But God has created each of us in His image, with our own individuality, ability to think and act, and we each have the responsibility to think for ourselves, to weigh the evidence for ourselves, to come to our own conclusions and “be fully persuaded in our own minds” (Romans 14:5), and then to act on our conclusions.

We at Come and Reason Ministries are not here to tell you what to think. We practice God’s methods of presenting the truth (as we currently comprehend it) in love, while leaving you free to come to your own conclusions—including disagreeing with us. Our love for you will not change if you disagree. We are all finite; it is okay that we see and understand things differently. And in heaven, we will meet many people who believed differently than us about many things, both in Scripture and science. But what is not okay, what will separate the saved from the lost, is the methods we apply to our lives in how we treat others (Matthew 25:31–46).

Those in God’s kingdom live by the principles of truth, love, and freedom. They hunger to grow in truth (knowing they don’t know all truth, they are open to correction with more evidence and truth); they lovingly present the truth to others, always respecting the God-given individuality of others and never seeking to coerce, compel, or control the consciences of others.

The lost, however, whether they have various truths or not, practice the methods of Satan; they use their power to coerce the consciences of others—often employing some just cause (to “save lives”) to control people and retain power. But in so doing, they corrupt their own character, harden their own heart, and become like their beastly father, the devil. This is exactly what those who crucified Christ did. They had various truths—Sabbath, health message, belief in a coming Messiah, God as Creator, etc.—but the methods they preferred and practiced were coercion, force, and authority over others.

We at Come and Reason Ministries reject these beastly methods and invite you to join us in standing for the kingdom of God—to be a lover of truth, presenting it in love, while leaving others free.

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain. In 2022, Dr. Jennings became Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, Virginia.