Unquestioning compliance is compromise.
Speaking directly to why Church’s should be rejecting vaccine mandates, the Scottish Baptist Pastor asserted the distinction between moral Biblical imperatives and socio-political expectations.
His straight-up conclusion is that breaking with worldly counsel is not the same as God’s objective moral law.
Ergo, choosing whether or not to get vaccinated – on reasons of good conscience – is not a sin.
“There is,” he said, “nothing in scripture that in any way can argue that we must, according to God’s moral law, be vaccinated.”
Paraphrasing Noble, the Christian has no moral obligation to meet the state’s expectations, when those expectations involve the abuse of power God loans to the state.
Since all authority comes from God, moral obligations to fulfil the expectations of the state, vis a vis Romans 13, are brought into question, when the state acts sinfully, by governing without regard for God’s authoritative, objective moral law.
Simply put: Moral obligation to the God who reveals Himself in Biblical revelation trumps the questionable expediency of fulfilling the dubious expectations of the state.
Quoting from the 1689 Baptist confession of Faith, Noble exposited:
“God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in anything contrary to his word, or not contained in it.”
Paragraph 2 further reads:
“So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience.”
“The requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.”Chapter, 21
Noble explains how lockdowns, mask mandates, QR codes, bans on gathering, singing, and the relegating of Christian ministry to a non-essential service, “is where we are being bound and restricted in a way that goes against God.”
Despite “the depth” of Romans 13 illustrating how “the authority of government is not absolute,” a majority of Church leaders are embracing these restrictions and bans as though it were.
He admonishes those leaders stating:
“The Church’s default position has been a proof-texting of Romans 13, and an almost blind compliance of everything that our government has said…[through] the propaganda machinery of state news channels, spouting out the latest narrative that we are being expected to follow.”
The question, “should we do it if the government says so,” must be answered with careful analysis of what the government is demanding, and on what authority they are doing so.
“The governments of the United Kingdom are not governments seeking to honour and glorify God. They are governments attacking the very Word of God, [by way of] brutally murdering the unborn and calling it healthcare. They’re redefining gender and mutilating genitals, then calling it love.”
“[These governments are] taking further control, limiting our freedoms in the name of public safety, [and] redefining science. Science is no longer dealing with falsifiable facts; science has become an ideology that we must accept.”
The Scottish preacher didn’t hold back, arguing:
“We come then to the issue of the vaccine mandate where they want to literally create a two-tier society with a medical apartheid and a seemingly digital passport id system that is designed to divide and conquer…What would the church’s response be? Is it still silence? Is it still compliance, because we’re a “Romans 13 church?”
Noble then called Churches starting to “wake up” to repentance, saying, “the first thing we need to do is address the error.”
Without Church leaders repenting of binding those who, in Jesus Christ, God has set free, Church leaders are a “walking contradiction.”
He rightly affirms:
“It is not enough, for the Church to be silent, and to silently disagree with this – we must be vocal and clear that [these mandates go] against the Word of God. [They] goes against how God has designed us.”
“Are you getting vaccinated with a good conscience before the lord or are you getting vaccinated in order to have a right standing with the government?”
Then closed with:
“As Christians in the West, we have been used to living like atheists for too long…we must repent of our idolatry.”
This reflects what Caldron Pool’s Editor-in-Chief, Ben Davis reasoned this week. Much of the institutional church is “doing what is right in its own eyes,” choosing to bend to the authority of culture, not the authority of Christ.
By doing so the Church is effectively being forced by some false, and some affable shepherds, into bowing to the same dysfunctional pattern carved out by the pluralist, people-pleasing, priest-led rejection of Yahweh in Ancient Israel.
Noble’s well-reasoned points have gravitas.
Justifying sin with the words “because the government said so,” surrenders the church to the deification of the state via natural theology.
This is an unashamed rejection of Deus Dixit (a rejection of where and when God has chosen to speak). The direct consequence of this is an abdication of responsibility, faith and reason.
To restate an earlier point, breaking with God’s objective moral law is not the same as breaking with worldly counsel.
There are many Biblical and historical examples within the Christian church where breaking with worldly counsel was necessary in order to hold true to God’s objective moral law.
The punchline here is that unquestioning compliance is an unacceptable, and unbiblical compromise.
Jesus is Lord. Caesar is not.
We cannot read Romans 13 in abstract, and fall into a contradiction of this fact, or the intent of Paul’s letter.
Particularly, Romans 2, 3 and 8. Let there be no segregation between Jew and Gentile, for all have fallen short of the glory of God, and ‘you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Especially, Romans 14, and Romans 12.
Here Paul commands the Church to sigh with the wounded, walk alongside the weak, and ‘not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of the mind; that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’
Moral obligation to God trumps fulfilling the dubious expectations of the state.
John-William Noble’s sermon has earned its place in the eventual CCP-19 anthology of dissent.