Response to Adventist Today Article
September 10, 2021 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

This morning a friend and online member of our class emailed a link to an article on Adventist Today (AT) entitled “Is Reasonable on COVID and Vaccines?”

As I believe this article misrepresents what I have been teaching, I posted a response on their Facebook page. However, some have not been able to view it, so I am posting it here:

Sadly, you have missed the central and most important issue that I have been teaching on this topic and that is the Great Controversy and the two antagonistic principles at war between God’s government and Satan’s that enter into every phase of human existence (Education 190). It is the methods, principles and means we embrace in how we act and treat others that develops our minds, hearts, characters that is my central concern.

COVID is a worldwide issue and every person must decide how they will deal with it personally, but also how they will treat others—especially those who don’t agree with them.

Will we, in the treatment of others, use God’s methods, or allow fear to control our actions and embrace the methods of God’s enemy? The methods we choose solidify our characters by action into either more godliness or more beastliness.

We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to the Lord, this is an act of spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). I cannot decide for another person how they are to honor God with their body, whether they should eat a vegetarian diet or not. Neither can I decide for another person what medical treatments they should get—especially if they are healthy and at low risk from a disease.

“In matters of conscience the soul must be left untrammeled. No one is to control another’s mind, to judge for another, or to prescribe his duty. God gives to every soul freedom to think, and to follow his own convictions. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” No one has a right to merge his own individuality in that of another. In all matters where principle is involved, “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Romans 14:12, 5. In Christ’s kingdom there is no lordly oppression, no compulsion of manner. The angels of heaven do not come to the earth to rule, and to exact homage, but as messengers of mercy, to co-operate with men in uplifting humanity.” DA 550.6

“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.” DA 759.1

When is it okay to use the power of the state, of commerce, of travel, of employment, to compel and coerce people to take actions that violate their conscience?

Is it okay to fine people, restrict their travel, imprison, or burn people at the stake for teaching heresy as in the Dark Ages—after all the church needed to “save lives” from not just temporal loss but eternal loss and burning in hell—was it okay if their motives were to save lives?

“In striking contrast to the wrong and oppression so universally practised were the mission and work of Christ. Earthly kingdoms are established and upheld by physical force, but this was not to be the foundation of the Messiah’s kingdom. In the establishment of his government no carnal weapons were to be used, no coercion practised; no attempt would be made to force the consciences of men. These are the principles used by the prince of darkness for the government of his kingdom. His agents are actively at work, seeking in their human independence to enact laws which are in direct contrast to Christ’s mercy and loving-kindness.

“Prophecy has plainly stated the nature of Christ’s kingdom. He planned a government which would use no force; his subjects would know no oppression. The symbols of earthly governments are wild beasts, but in the kingdom of Christ, men are called upon to behold, not a ferocious beast, but the Lamb of God”
{RH, August 18, 1896}

Today, people are being placed in positions to decide in their hearts and minds whether to join with the state, the beastly powers of this world, to compel and coerce others. Each person is deciding in their mind what issue makes it okay to do this to another or not. And that decision determines their character and ultimately who they are loyal to.

The final deception will not be to bow down in a Satanic cult temple, but to take Satan’s methods into the heart in how we treat others—the argument will be: as long as we are “saving lives” it is okay to use the methods of God’s enemy.

My view is that we cannot win God’s cause by using Satan’s methods. We win by presenting the truth in love and leaving others free.

Getting the vaccine or not getting the vaccine is irrelevant to the real issues at play, the real issues are the character we develop in dealing with others and the methods we are willing to embrace in how we advance what we believe is right.

My arguments have not been “don’t get the vaccine” I have said if you believe it is right for you, then get it. My arguments have been against the methods employed to compel and coerce those not convinced that the benefit outweighs the risks in their circumstance. It is disappointing that so many people, including Christian medical professionals, are being dominated by fear to employ methods contrary to the kingdom of God.

It is also disappointing that your article failed to recognize the main point of my presentations and articles—the methods and principles we use in treating others. Truth, love and freedom!



The Adventist Today Author, added an addendum, after my response above. In case some have trouble finding my response on their Facebook page, I am posting it here.

If you think the issue before us is a viral pandemic threatening the lives of the majority of people, then you have seriously missed what is transpiring. The real issue happening right now is not about a virus nor about a vaccine, it is about power, control, the overthrow of liberty, the reshaping of society, and the rise of satanic forces. The virus is being used as an opportunity to incite fear, in order to manipulate and justify the violations of liberty.

People right now are being conditioned to accept methods of censorship, coercion, restriction of the free exercise of assembly, religion, and speech. People are being conditioned to justify the withholding of medical care (Dr. in Miami announces she won’t care for the unvaccinated), and some clergy are refusing communion to the unvaccinated. Why do they say they are doing this? Because the unvaccinated, they argue, are hurting people, are a danger to others—their immune status doesn’t matter, recovered individuals with natural immunity are not considered, just force the jab.

Just step back and think about what is happening—we as physicians never deny care, it doesn’t matter if the person is a murderer, rapist, molester, or smoker who keeps smoking through their trach after every ICU ventilator stay. If someone needs care, we provide it—that is the ethic of the physician.

But the perversity of the COVID politic is infecting minds, so that people are believing it is righteous to compel, coerce, force, withhold care, and withhold communion, for what? A medical treatment with no long-term safety data? Anyone who claims there is long-term safety data is lying. For a treatment whose effectiveness falls with every mutation?

Where is the respect for individual decision making? Where is the recognition that vaccines are not the only way to fight the virus? Where is the recognition that just because someone doesn’t want this vaccine doesn’t mean they are not working to stay healthy and prevent the spread in other ways.

Good arguments, based on published studies, can be made that the traditional SDA lifestyle (plant-based diet, sunshine, fresh air, etc.) provides better protection from COVID (lower infection rates and lower rates of bad outcome) than the vaccines. Good comparator studies need to be done to confirm this, but to suggest people who don’t want the vaccine are not scientific or don’t care about others is a lie.

What is happening now is an assault on our liberties and way of life, the principles of God’s kingdom are being attacked by forces that care only for power and control, not the health of the people.

If the government really wanted to stop the spread of COVID, then they would not ship tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, infected with COVID, all over the country—at tax payer expense.

If the government really believed the vaccines worked, then Biden wouldn’t have said, “we need to protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated.”

If the government really believed vaccines were necessary to stop the spread of COVID, then they wouldn’t exempt over 600,000 postal workers and illegal immigrants who are not required to be vaccinated.

Finally, my blog that you referenced was primarily about medical ethics, the loss of independent decision-making, and willingness to mandate and coerce, rather than leave people 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.
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