Rom 13 & civil disobedience - Must I take the vaccine?

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Question / Comment -  Rom 13 & civil disobedience - Must I take the vaccine?


I just wanna ask you, how should we read Romans 13:1-7 in the context? Now with forceful vaccination by the government all over the state (in India), many church leaders (75% approx) who are pro-vaccine are using this passage to compel believers to vaccinate. They urge believers to obey the government by citing Romans 13. How should we interpret Romans 13 in the context? Anticipating your reply soon.


JPN Reply:


Romans 13:1-7, along with 1Pet 2:13-17 give instruction for the believer towards governing authorities. It is expected that believers live in obedience towards their government as a good witness and for the sake of maintaining law and order within a country. 

There are Biblical exceptions however. For example:

  • The Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh to keep the Hebrew male babies alive - (Exodus 1:15-22) 
  • The parents of Moses hid Moses for three months (in violation of Egypt's rule) to save his life - (Exodus 2:1-2)
  • Mordecai wouldn't bow down to Haman even though the King had said to do so (Esther 3:1-6)
  • Esther herself went in to see the King when this was not allowed to try save the Jews (Esther 4:11-16)
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego wouldn't bow down to the statue that Nebuchadnezzar made though it was a rule of the king to do so (Daniel 3)
  • Daniel himself would not stop praying even though the decree had gone out to stop (Daniel 6)
  • The wise men disobeyed Herod and didn't tell him where the baby Jesus was (Matt 2:1-12)
  • Peter and John wouldn't stop speaking about Jesus even though they had been commanded not to do so. (Acts 4:1-22)
  • The Apostles were arrested for preaching about Jesus again in Acts 5 where they said 'We must obey God rather than men'. 

It should also be noted that Jesus went against several rules imposed by the Jewish leaders as did Paul. History is full of examples of people having to do the same. For example, many during WWII (such as the Ten Boom family) were willing to disobey the government laws by hiding Jews instead of obeying the government and turning them over. 

So while we, as believers, desire to live in obedience to the governing authorities there are times when civil disobedience is allowed and required. From the examples above we could say especially when they go against our faith or when harm could result. 

So where does that leave us? There has been a lot of debate around Rom 13:1-7 in regards to whether Christians have to always wear masks, take the vaccine, whether Churches should continue to meet if the governing authorities say that is not allowed. You will find Christians on all sides of these debates. 

In my country, the vaccine is not mandatory (yet - although it is for people in certain professions otherwise they lose their jobs) but there is a lot of pressure for all to take it. If it is 'safe and effective', as we are continually told by the government, then obviously the believer should obey the government and do so. But what if it's not? For me personally, I do not want to take it. It is experimental and we do not know the long terms effects of it. Also the side effects so far, which include thousands of deaths, far exceed adverse reactions to all the other vaccines put together over the last 20 years according to CDC & VAERS statistics.  

As a personal example my mother went to a funeral today. Her friend of over 50 years died last week. While she was elderly, she had been very well and active. But the old folks home she was staying in got the residents vaccinated three weeks ago. Many residents got sick straight after. Our family friend got heart problem immediately following the vaccine - something she had never had in her life. About three weeks later she died. We also heard that the home had 8 deaths all around the same time. This just doesn't happen. That number of deaths around the same time following vaccination isn't coincidence. The country I live in has only had 25 people die in total from Covid itself. If 8 elderly people died from Covid it would be all over the news for days. These 8 got sick and then died not long after getting the vaccine. The response? Nothing. It won't even get mentioned let along be on the news. 

So should you have to obey the government if they make an experimental, potentially dangerous gene-therapy mandatory? I don't believe so. I don't know your country and I don't know what would happen if you disobeyed. This is something that you will need to pray about and stand firm in your faith, trusting God, whatever way you take. But I see many examples in scripture where people didn't follow the ruling authorities if harm would ensue and this to me fits into that category. I realise that there are Christians that would see differently on this, believing that the 'vaccine' is safe and we should all do our part to protect one another. Again, I would join them if I felt it was safe. But I don't. There are many highly qualified Doctors speaking out against it as well which are worth listening to such as Dr Peter McCullough, Dr Robert Malone (who invented the mRNA technology) and the ex vice President of Pfizer Mike Yeadon.

These are difficult days and many are facing decisions that we have not had to face before. May God bless you with wisdom and courage as you go forward!

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