Faith or Folly

We were all college students at Andrews. As our packed car sped along the back streets of Berrien Springs, one of my friends mentioned a prayer request. “Let’s pray now,” someone suggested. We bowed our heads and closed our eyes as one of the group offered an intercession. Most of us had been Christians for years, except our friend who was driving. She was a new convert and certainly eager for the Lord. After the “Amens” were said, the girl driving proudly chirped up, “I closed my eyes too!” She beamed like a cat who caught the canary. I think she believed the rest of us would be impressed by her amazing display of faith. Instead we were mortified. Someone finally spoke up, “Umm…that’s so dangerous, don’t do that again while you're driving, we could’ve crashed!” She replied cheerfully, “No way! While we were praying, I knew the Lord was going to take care of us!” I was shocked someone would behave so foolishly. And I vowed never to drive with her again. But, although I perhaps should have been, I wasn’t angry that she put our lives in danger. Maybe because I knew she was a new believer. And I recognized that her level of audacious presumption was present even among seasoned Christians. Of course I had the benefit of being able to extend that level of grace because we were all alive to tell the tale. The road had been relatively straight, wide and empty of any other cars. The prayer had been brief. And despite her folly, we were all unscathed. Others were not as magnanimous. At least one of my other friends was heated, and she scolded her profusely. In the face of this rebuke, our newly converted friend expressed a genuine look of confusion. What had she done wrong?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11350
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I have vivid memories of walking through the Smithsonian Natural History Museum as a child, looking at the fossil remains of animals that lived in entire eons that my belief system told me couldn’t have existed. My response? To literally shut my eyes and chant quietly to myself that it couldn’t be true, that I already knew the truth, and that God would give me faith to withstand the threatening and ungodly arrogance of these scientists. I wouldn’t say that every child raised in SDA environments is quite that closed minded… but I was, and if the things folks say on social media reflect real attitudes, I fear that SDA doctrine and education has raised a whole lot of folks who embrace motivated reasoning over skepticism, and faith over empiricism. We have doctors from the General Conference telling us to trust the science, but for decades that institution has (literally) platformed the opposite point of view. “You shall reap what you sow” seems appropriate.

“Can you defend what you believe? We’re all going to run into somebody who is a little shady and he’s gonna say, ‘Hey, I don’t believe any of that stuff you say. I believe in science. I believe in what they tell us in school.’ So I ask you guys, are you ready to defend yourself from those people out there? Are your kids ready to defend themselves from those people out there? Because those are Satan’s agents, trying to get us to believe in his lies. Be ready. Be prepared.”

-Young Earth Creation advocate and youth instructor Rich Aguilera to an audience in the General Conference auditorium during Creation Week, 2013.

it’s hard to understand the rationale for refusing the vaccines, when they’re free, and so easily available…but there is a strand of adventism out there that believes that “the health message” is all we need, and that anything more, is a denial of faith…

it’s very hard to break through to people who throw up defences based on mistaken notions, and who then go on to form firm resolutions and conclusions that aren’t valid, but who can’t see it…it’s complex, because a lot of what they believe is valid…

this whole covid situation, and how it has demonstrated the strength of full delusion, is something to learn from, no question…

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Jeremy,

First, it is not just some Adventists who are refusing to get the vaccine. There are many Christians in others denominations doing the same.

Second, there are several reasons why some people are refusing to get vaccinated. And, as usual, there are good ones and bad ones.

Let’s start with a few bad reasons:

1 - Covid is a hoax.
2 - Getting vaccinated is a lack of faith
3 - it’s the mark of the beast
4 - it’s political (“the liberals are after us”, for example)

Here are a few good reasons (at least, according to me):
1 - it’s still experimental. So, while we are seeing good results, research is still conducted to see the efficiency of the vaccines among different groups in the population. So, some people have adopted a wait-and-see attitude.
2 - there are documented side effects (which can be serious, causing severe disabilities, even death). While the number of people who have been negatively impacted by the vaccines is very small compared to those who have not, the severity of the possible negative side effects still gives pause to many.
3 - the issue of the legality of the process. By law, nobody can be forced to take an experimental medication (once it is not considered experimental, that’s another story). So, when they see that they are being forced/hammered/pressured to get the vaccines (which are still experimental as far as I know) some people resist.
4 - there are alternatives (masks, social distancing, boosting the natural defenses of the body, etc).
5 - accountability: the governments (local and federal) and companies want the people to get vaccinated with experimental vaccines but nobody is responsible if something goes wrong with the vaccines… except you. So, if there is a serious side effect from the vaccine (and it has happened), you are alone to hold the bag. And the American health care system being what it is, it means that you can face a very heavy financial burden (and we know that the first cause of financial bankruptcy in America is related to medical bills).

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i agree that these are bad…along with these, let’s add a few other bad reasons:

  1. covid was a dem plot to make trump look bad.
  2. covid is part of a chinese takeover of the world.
  3. covid vaccines alter your DNA.
  4. covid vaccines flood your body with chimpanzee viruses.
  5. covid vaccines flood your body with spike proteins, causing sterility, organ failure, and premature aging and death.
  6. covid vaccines flood your body with micro chips that enable the government to keep tabs on you.
  7. covid vaccine passports will eventually be used to force you into doing what the government wants you to do.
  8. breakthrough infections means there’s no point in getting vaccinated.

i don’t think any of these are good:

  1. covid vaccines are based on extensive research in the field of immunology that’s advancing exponentially…the viral vector vaccines - astrazeneca, J&J - are based on research from the 1970’s, and have already been deployed for vaccines against ebola and rabies…the technology has also been used in cutting edge cancer therapy…

the mRNA vaccines - pfizer, moderna - are based on newer technology, but are still based on decades of research…this technology is similar to recombinant vaccine technology, used in flu vaccines for yrs, except the RNA coding for the immunogenic antigen, instead of being introduced extrinsically, is now introduced intrinsically…this intrinsic technology has already been used in research for treatments against melanoma cancer…

all of these vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies that destroy the spike protein antigens in the vaccines within weeks…no spike protein residue accumulates within the body…

the mRNA vaccines, in particular, are undoubtedly the wave of the future…moderna is already developing an HIV vaccine that appears to overcome the notorious shape shifting ability of HIV to evade the body’s defences (preliminary trials have already shown an efficacy rate of over 90%)…there’s now also the possibility that a single coronavirus vaccine will be able to be developed using this mRNA technology, effective against all coronaviruses, including covid, SARS, MERS, and about 15% of cold viruses…

a wait and see approach, when so much has already been demonstrated by science, is likely the time needed to become infected with the currently circulating delta covid variant…this type of covid isn’t good…it results in a covid infection about 1,260 times more concentrated than what was happening with the original covid from last year…this kind of concentration means that even younger people, having no co-morbidities, are sitting ducks without vaccine protection…it would be one thing if there were a low risk of contracting covid while more research was being conducted…but unvaccinated people generally don’t have this luxury of time…if they are in a low-risk situation, it’s because they’re free-loading from others around them who’ve made the decision to be vaccinated…

the problem here is that vaccine research has so far outstripped common knowledge in recent yrs that society has little ability to relate to what is known to be scientific and factual, and based on natural law that god himself instituted…people have no idea how far immunology has advanced, or even what is conceivably on the horizon, like the ability to literally amalgamate man and beast, for instance create centaurs, or even human angels…

  1. there are many more documented side effects from covid, including long covid, where side effects for people who weren’t intubated or hospitalized appear to be indefinite in some cases…

in fact the effects of even so-called mild covid on all organs and systems within the body are only now being described…because the possibility of becoming infected with covid is now so high - Mississippi’s positivity rate is 46.5%; Idaho’s is 37.3%; Florida is no longer posting numbers - it isn’t practical to be more concerned with rare vaccine outcomes than likely covid outcomes…

  1. there have now been 4.36 billion covid vaccine doses administered worldwide, with very low numbers of negative outcomes…few, if not no, experiments in history have been conducted on such a ubiquitous playing field…in reality, the legality issue is as red as all the other herrings used to object to the vaccines…it doesn’t alter the reality that we are now living in a pandemic of the unvaccinated, where 97% of hospitalizations for covid in america are now among the unvaccinated…

a related reality is the fact that unvaccinated individuals pose a threat to vaccinated individuals, which is why the acceleration toward workplace vaccination mandates is only increasing…if everyone were vaccinated, it would stop covid from mutating because it would stop it from spreading and replicating…unvaccinated individuals are preventing this from happening…

  1. it doesn’t matter that there are alternative mitigation measures against covid spread…the people who resist the vaccines are also resisting masks and social distancing…if the people resisting the vaccines were religiously wearing masks and social distancing, it would be one thing…but this isn’t what’s happening, not by a long shot…here in Alberta, we have had pastors openly flaunt provincial health guidelines from the time limits on indoor gatherings were first introduced, even after they’ve been arrested and their churches physically closed…none of these people have any interest in masks or social distancing, let alone vaccines…

from what i’m seeing, resistance to health guidelines exists on an exclusivity continuum…you don’t see resistance to one mitigation measure without resistance to another mitigation measure…resistance to health guidelines is a full-stop, total resistance…the willingness to infect others and put society at risk is seen as a constitutional right…resistance to health guidelines is a total and complete perversion of what in a different context would be a noble instinct…what’s happening is that good impulses have been channeled in a wrong direction…it’s as if a chocolate factory has been co-opted into a poison factory, and the chocolate factory owners believe they have the right to make and sell that poison…

  1. governments and insurance companies everywhere have been footing the bill for hospitalizations and expensive medical interventions for covid for months, as have private individuals…while these governments, insurance companies and private individuals will do the same for vaccination mal-outcomes, financial liabilities are not by any means equivalent…to expect a complete bail out in the event of a vaccine mal-outcome, when the purpose of the vaccine in the first place is your survival and well-being, is a bit rich…

does the government owe you full protection against something lurking in your personal paranoia and unreasonable fear…hardly…

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Well, the Astrazeneca vaccination was stopped for several weeks or months in Europe because there were several cases of serious complications and even deaths because of the vaccine. Also, in case of ebola or rabies you don’t vaccinate an entire country.

This statement is, in fact, false and this for at least four reasons:
1 - An unvaccinated person who is not sick doesn’t pose any threat to anybody. It is a fallacy to equate every unvaccinated person with a threat.
2 - if someone is vaccinated, this person is supposedly not at risk to be contaminated by another person (at least, the risk is lower). That’s the purpose of a vaccine. For a vaccination campaign to be efficient, you don’t need everybody to be vaccinated. You just need to reach a “critical mass”.
3 - If the vaccines are so good (as they say), the unvaccinated are a risk only… to the unvaccinated.
4 - studies have shown that it is possible for a vaccinated person to still be contagious. So, a vaccinated person can still be a threat (this is why the CDC now asks the vaccinated people to still wear masks in public places). Also, the principal benefit of the vaccine is to decrease the symptoms of the disease but the vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent you to be contagious (even if it helps).

Now, I agree with you. Though not everybody has that behavior, it is true that many who refuse the vaccines also refuse the masks, social distancing, etc. This kind of behavior is inexcusable (according to me). I think that this behavior is based on political views (maybe religious views too like religious presumption). It is not by chance that it is the conservative states that resist the most to any health measure coming from the federal government.

It is a shame because I don’t think that the virus cares about your political/religious affiliation.

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here’s an interesting video from CNN showing possible polical overtones to vaccine resistance:

actually it isn’t false…this is because:

1 - an unvaccinated person who isn’t sick can be an incubator for covid without realizing it…symptoms have nothing to do with whether the virus is replicating, and therefore mutating…

2 - in case you haven’t noticed, the critical mass for covid safety through vaccines has been rising steadily, due to the rise of variants…at this point, Canada’s chief public health officer is calling for a national minimum of 80% full vaccinations for everyone 12 and up, with the tacit assumption that single dose vaccinations will be even higher…this is significantly higher than in previous statements…alberta’s current rate of 67% full vaccinations (higher in calgary) would have been celebrated last year…now it’s seen as a bit pathetic, since other parts of canada have significantly higher full vaccination rates…

3 - this may seem intuitive, but it’s wrong…vaccination offers protection for today’s variants, that’s all that can be definitively said…there is a risk that future variants will evade current vaccines, which is why the unvaccinated pose a risk…an unvaccinated person is much more likely to become a covid incubator for mutations than a vaccinated person…

4 - if a vaccinated individual is contagious, it only highlights the fact that an unvaccinated person is much more contagious…

there’s no contesting the facts: 97% of hospitalizations from covid in america are now amongst the unvaccinated, and we’re not seeing 97% of vaccinated people being hospitalized for vaccine side effects…this isn’t a fine-people-on-both sides situation, if there ever is such a thing…it’s clear that vaccination produces the strongest benefit for the most amount of people…

as for astrazeneca, it has had a checkered past, no question, especially during the early months, before it was known that there is a causal relationship between the vaccine and rare blood clots, now known in canada as VITT (vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia)…a handful of people have died from this outcome in canada…but this is really a phenomenon from the past…today, we know that therapeutic intervention through a combination of non-heparin anticoagulants, immunoglobulin and prednisolone staves off severe outcomes if administered in time…the issue now is knowing the symptoms of VITT, and getting medical help expeditiously…

astrazeneca is still seen as a major tool in which covid can ultimately be controlled, especially in poorer countries, and therefore the world, due to its relatively low cost and easy storage and transport properties…britain’s experience with the vaccine shows it does what it was designed to…

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Thank you, Courtney Ray!

I read this article this morning on MedPage Today that stated:

“The CDC has estimated that unvaccinated people are up to eight times as likely to be infected with Covid-19 and experience symptoms. They are also 25 times more likely to be hospitalized with serious symptoms, and 24 times as likely to die of the infection, compared to people who are vaccinated.”

It is with grieving hearts that we see people dying all around us who are afraid to wear masks and take the vaccines. It is extra painful when Adventists teach others to avoid these life-saving measures.

One of the most disturbing Adventists who keep warning people against the vaccines is Dr. Tim Jennings of Come and Reason Class. He claims to teach people to “learn to discern.” I used to follow his class for ten years, but not anymore. He put up a blog this week titled, “The Great Controversy and Covid. Preparing Your Mind to Be Beastly.”

For months he has been spiritualizing this scientific battle for human survival. Earlier last year, he declared those who obey their state mask requirements are acting as surfs and refusing to think for themselves. He claims this is all a fear-driven plot to control the masses and the vaccines are the world’s greatest experiment.

I think one of the worst statements Jennings has made is likening the obedience to state mandates to letting go of our self-governance. He proclaims that it’s a violation of freedom for people to be forced to wear masks.

He writes:

“Some will protest my view. They will say the government simply wants to save lives. They will ask how I can be so insensitive; they will ask if I want to kill people. But this is a false argument.”

It’s not a false argument when we realize that we can give this virus to others and they might die. No one is being forced to wear a mask in their own home or yard. But for the local government telling people to wear masks to protect others seems about as sensible as telling them to buckle up their seatbelts, or stop driving drunk.

Is there not a limit to freedom when it could harm others? Whatever happened to other-centered love? I have a five-year-old neighbor who is not vaccinated. Even though I am vaccinated, I’m not planning to go near him inside a building without wearing a mask in case I could give him a virus.

A mask is a non-invasive tool we have to protect the vulnerable among us so why not use it? The vaccines are saving lives. Misapplied faith is taking lives. wearing a mask and getting a vaccine are ways that I am using my freedom to self-govern and to offer other-centered love to others.

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This is a very interesting and insightful article and one that should teach us to value faith and avoid folly or presumption. As Christians we should never needlessly expose ourselves to harm or danger and perhaps expect God to miraculously intervene, That is sheer folly. On the other hand, of we are placed in circumstances, not necessarily of our own choice and we seek God by faith it is likely God will intervene to save us. Faith in God in no way leads me to become presumptuous and act foolishly… A responsible Christian will act responsibly and never endanger himself, herself or others by their unwise actions.

Thanks.

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Faith and magic are not the same, although they are often confused by both Christians and non-Christians.
Faith is never there to give us ‘special powers.’ It is always there to help us manage uncertainty, give us confidence in God’s salvation and maintain faithfulness to Christian ethics.

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It’s an issue I stop arguing, because it became a basket generic progressive concepts that thinks that science is a computer one punches questions into to get correct answers, and not a process of trial and error that can’t possibly test all of the issues it tend to generalize otherwise.

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I think you clearly don’t understand who is being irrationally fearful here.

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To say that it is “still experimental”, is a stretch. Yes, the FDA has not given it the final approval yet, but that has normally taken many years for a vaccine. We can’t afford many years. And it has been administered to almost 200,000,000 Americans. Virtually all of them are alive today because they took the vaccine.

The number of people suffering severe side effects even death from the vaccine itself can be accounted for in a two digit number. Do the math. Unless you slept through your statistics class or flunked first grade math, or perhaps believed the absolutely insane political rhetoric from idiots, some of which have now died from covid, you would have already gotten your shots. The news is filled almost every day pointing out people with crazy excuses for not wearing masks and not getting the vaccinated and not avoiding crowds or insisting that they can crowd into churches, who then have died from the virus. There are thousands of deathbed confessions of “I should have gotten the vaccine” or “I shouldn’t have listened to the pundits who told me this is just like the flu”. Dozens more are heard on videos in the emergency rooms gasping for air, asking the doctors to give them the vaccine, and the doctors saying “it’s too late for that”.

I have heard some who have followed the guide lines and gotten the vaccine say " this is a good way of thinning the herd of the ignorant". I don’t like that either. But I don’t know what else you can say to these people who refuse to look at the numbers. Numbers that don’t lie. You wouldn’t put your life on the line on a roulette wheel knowing that if 0 or 00 came up that you would immediately die. Yet that is pretty much the odds of those who are refusing to get vaccinated and then become Covid positive. And this doesn’t even take into account that the longer this virus runs, the worse the variants most likely will be.

Please people, wake up. This is serious stuff. Get vaccinated.

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I have taken a very serious and open-minded approach to the entire virus subject brought to the world by China scientists. Studying masks, their design, and flaws with wearing them, as well as the vaccine options have been my pursuit.
Regarding masks, the N95 masks made by different companies were found to have different filtration efficiencies for the most penetrating particle size (0.1 to 0.3 micron). The size of covid 19 is about 125 nm(0.125 microns). However, some sources state the virus to be as small as .01 microns.This is why the cheaper surgical style masks won’t protect you from getting Covid-19. The holes are too big. It is like expecting a chain link fence to stop mosquitoes. In addition, the outer edges allow leakage. What the masks do, is stop droplets from when you cough, sneeze or even exhale from passing through and carrying a virus particle piggyback on them. The masks protect others if you have a burst, such as a sneeze or cough, from the splatter, but not from the airborne micro size virus. The result is a concentration or build-up on your mask that continues to be available to your inhaling and exhaling which is basically making it worse to even wear a mask. The best solution for mask protection is to change it every 30 minutes. However, the best solution is to protect your health by not wearing a mask but keeping a large distance from others.
Regarding the vaccine, since the real-time experiment is currently taking place, you have the freedom to choose which control group you wish to be in and time will reveal the truth. With the vaccines showing to build more viruses within the recipient one must be aware of the potential danger of mutations developing that will begin to multiply the entire virus subject. See this source for that statement, but understand that other scientists are making the same statement. https://home.frankspeech.com/tv/video/dr-peter-mccullough-dangers-covid-vaccine.
I must ask the question, what steps were taken by and for Stephen Harmon? Before contracting the virus was he taking vitamin C, D, and Zinc? When he became sick was he given Ivermectin doses? If none of these steps were taken and if he had underlying health issues then his chances for survival were slim. Any health professional who would send a person home or to lay in a hospital bed without any Ivermectin prescription and to simply wait out the illness ought to be dismissed from practicing medicine. For anyone to rely on a vaccine that is in trial stages to be the cure is simply uninformed, irresponsible, or ignorant. The information is out there but it is quite suppressed and confusion results. Many hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved if hydroxychloroquine with zinc and Ivermectin had been in use a year or more ago.
Faith or Folly? How about using science and thinking ability God has given us to work with the issues brought to us in this sinful world? I see that a symposium on the Covid coercion subject is taking place in Berrien Springs Michigan on August 20 - 21 at the SDA village church. One of the speakers will be Dr. McCullough. I encourage all to attend. I wish I could but I live way too far away. He is the same person I attached the link reference above that discusses how this covid virus develops more viruses in a vaccinated person.

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Okay.

Let’s talk about the numbers.

Total COVID deaths to date: 4,300,000.

Total world population: 7,800,000,000.

Percentage COVID deaths since 2020: 0.055%.

Chance of being hit by lightning in the US: 0.081%.

In light of this, I suggest that in addition to wearing a mask, being vaccinated, maintaining social distance, constantly wringing our hands with sanitizer as a lubricant while watching the news for the latest “surge”, etc., everyone should be required to wear a lightning rod for a hat.:rofl:

After all, what did Jesus know about not worrying?:wink:

Isn’t one’s fundamental faith in god demonstrated by being eternally afraid of everything?:flushed::flushed::flushed:

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I will be anxiously waiting to hear from you after you have watched/listened to the livestream of the Covid, Coercion and Conscience meeting on August 20-21 at the SDA Village Church in Berrien Springs MI. Science is likely to be involved in the statements that will be made.

I will be anxiously waiting to hear from you after you have watched/listened to the livestream of the Covid, Coercion and Conscience meeting on August 20-21 at the SDA Village Church in Berrien Springs MI. Science is likely to be involved in the statements that will be made.

i won’t be wasting my time…science and numbers have already spoken…there’s nothing village church can say that can change any of the facts…

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Jeremy,

This shows that the vaccine can have a severe impact on your health. There were several cases of people dying in Europe because of blood clots caused by the vaccine. Again, I understand that it’s a very small number compared to the total of people who have been vaccinated but it is not the issue. The issue is that people should have a choice and decide whether or not to get a product that can cause potential adverse reactions in their bodies. At the very least, we should understand why many are hesitating.

Statistically, the risk is low but people are not statistics. The families of the few people who were severely impacted and even died due to the effects of the vaccines surely are not comforted to know that their loved ones were among the statistical unlucky ones.

Lynden,

Like I said above, people are not statistics.

i’m not averse to people making decisions based on facts…but i do think the full facts should be presented, such as the reality that people who have had loved ones suffer and die from covid by far outnumber the people who have loved ones that have suffered from vaccines (don’t forget, the astrazeneca problem isn’t a problem now)…

what i’m seeing quite a lot of now is a strange lack of proportionality: the iota of negative news about the vaccines by far outweighs in many minds the mega-tons of negative news about covid…it’s the same strange inability to see the damage that trump has done to america…in looking at the facts objectively i can only conclude that people have lost their ability to reason, or they may have never had that ability in the first place…

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