Theologian and author John Piper released an article Tuesday (Oct. 19) encouraging Christians to get the COVID-19 vaccine, joining voices like Russell Moore, Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, Daniel Darling, Beth Moore, and Max Lucado.
Piper addressed his article to unvaccinated Christians who fear they will be “out of step with people they respect, and in step with people they don’t admire.” Bethlehem Baptist Church’s former pastor of nearly 33 years shared what he called a simple message to those who feel that way. “You are free,” he said.
Piper told those who have checked their conscience, consulted their doctors, and have chosen to remain vaccine-free, to “tearfully and cheerfully” go on their way.
Piper explained that Christians should be tearful because over 4.5 million people have died from COVID-19, over 700,000 of which being Americans. And they should be cheerful “because Christ makes it miraculously possible to love people by being ‘sorrowful yet always rejoicing,’ ” as 2 Corinthians 6:10 says.
Piper Provides Statistics
The Don’t Waste Your Life author cited the Associated Press, Evansville Courier and Press, KRTV—Great Falls, Lexington Herald-Leader, and Fox43 to point out that nearly all COVID-19 related deaths in the United States have occurred among unvaccinated people.
Related article: Franklin Graham Urges Christians to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Before It’s ‘Too Late’
Piper pointed out that even if one was hesitant to get vaccinated because of governmental pressure, the vaccine is proving its worth regardless of who might be behind it.
Piper said, “The team called ‘vaccination’ just made a first down, even if monkeys are holding the chains. For friends around the world who don’t know American football, that means a win is a win even if all the coaches and referees are incompetent.”
Piper’s Point: Resist Political Peer Pressure
Piper argued that allowing fear to be the driving force in the decision to refuse the vaccine is unbiblical, saying that it is “God alone [who] owns us. And God alone [who] rules us. We are not ruled by any man. We are free from all human ownership and rule.”
Piper explained that Christians should follow God’s leading, not the political left or right.
“We might think that the point of this biblical reality of bold, brokenhearted Christian freedom would be this: You don’t have to be vaccinated when the government tells you to. You are free. Live as people who are free,” Piper wrote. “That’s true, of course. If your Father in heaven makes it clear to you, by His word and wisdom, that His glory and your neighbor’s good will be better served by not being vaccinated, you are free to risk COVID for love’s sake. No Christian is obliged to bow to unwarranted mandates.”