Friday, January 1, 2016

Vaccine Pandemic: Part 5: God's Sovereign Control Over Diseases





by Steve C. Halbrook

posts in this series:
part 1: The Inoculation Controversy of the 1700s
part 2: Opposition to Vaccines by Doctors and Others in History
part 3: The Inquisition Against Opponents of Bad Medical Practices
part 4: The Medical Profession's Legacy of Tyranny, Torture, and Murder

part 5: God's Sovereign Control Over Diseases


Series Intro
Vaccines have become one of the most polarizing issues of the day. There is an aggressive push by lawmakers to force everyone to become vaccinated, as well as intense hostility by many vaccine supporters towards those who question the efficacy and safety of vaccines. 

Where's all the opposition to vaccines coming from? Are opponents of them crazed fanatics, looking for a conspiracy, or are their concerns legitimate? Having given this topic much reflection and research, we are of the view that they indeed have a case against vaccines, and that vaccines—far from being safe and effective—are a dangerous plague and one of the greatest deceptions in our day.

This series is a case against vaccines from both an historical and biblical perspective. Our hope is that it will equip Christians to better understand how dangerous vaccines really are, and to approach the situation from a biblical worldview.



God's Sovereignty over Diseases

God is absolutely sovereign over all that comes to pass; He "works all things according to the counsel of his will ..." (Ephesians 1:11b). Thus God says: "I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things" (Isaiah 45:7). And as Scripture states:
Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? (Lamentations 3:37, 38)
God, then, controls everything, from the life of the sparrow (Matthew 10:29), to the eternal destiny of man (Romans 9).

In His sovereignty, God judges people for their sins  — not just in the next life, but sometimes in this life. This is why He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 1:7), and punished Gentile and Israelite nation alike (Leviticus 18:24, 25; Judges 2:14, etc.). 

God did not end temporal judgments in the New Covenant era; for example, God struck down Ananias and Sapphira for lying to Him (Acts 5:1-11), as well as Herod "because he did not give God the glory" (Acts 12:23). God judged some of those in the church of Corinth with sickness and death for taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:29, 30). Rulers are warned to submit to Christ, "for his wrath is quickly kindled" (Psalm 2:10-12). While children are told they may receive long life for honoring their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3), by implication, their lives may be short if they don't.  

Regarding the church in Thyatira, God said this of the sexually immoral Jezabel, who was leading others astray:
Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. (Revelation 2:22, 23a)
While some may claim that God no longer judges nations, but only individuals (or maybe individual churches), first, where is this in Scripture? Second, the God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament; He still hates sin, even on a national level. 

Third, what are nations, but a group of individuals living together? A nation, then, presupposes individuals; a judgment on a nation is a judgment on individuals. Even if not on all of a nation's individuals, it still may be on a significant number of individuals for a common sin; and why would we think that people are no longer judged at the same time for the same sin? 

Fourth, even in the New Testament, judgement was ordained for the Jewish nation for rejecting and crucifying Christ (Luke 21:20-24). 

One way that God judges sins is through sickness and disease. We previously mentioned God's judgment of sickness on Jezabel and those in Corinth in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God struck Miriam with leprosy for speaking against Moses (Numbers 12). God also struck with leprosy Judah's King Uzziah when he attempted to usurp the church's authority and became angry with the priests upon being confronted (2 Chron. 26:16-21). 

For his wickedness, King Jehoram of Judah was told by Elijah, 
the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day. (2 Chronicles 21:14b-15)
Note here how one leader's actions can bring about judgment on an entire nation.

Moreover, God warned the Israelites that disease would be one of their judgments for apostasy:
The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. (Deuteronomy 28:22a)
If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God. And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. (Deuteronomy 28:58-63)
Granted, disease may not always be a judgement; God in His infinite wisdom can have different reasons for ordaining sickness and disease. It may be as a trial of one's faith, as in the case of Job. Satan was given permission by God to strike Job "with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head" (Job 2:7b). 

When Christians suffer God's reproof via affliction, we must remember that God disciplines and chastises those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:5, 6). While God brings afflictions in His providence, He also in His providence works all things for good for His people (Romans 8:28). The story always ends well for the Christian; even death is swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54)   eternal life, free from suffering, with the Lord Jesus Christ forever.


God's Sovereignty over Disease Affirmed in Christian History

In Christian history, God's sovereignty over disease has been acknowledged. Thus, Joseph P. Byrne writes on the Black Death,
Any outbreak of disease on the scale of the Black Death had to have its source in divine anger. And such a display of wrath had to be related to the sinfulness of the Christian people. Archbishop William Zouche of York, England, made this connection in a letter to his diocese in the summer of 1349:[1]
"... who does not know what great death, pestilance and infection of the air hangs about various parts of the world and especially England these days. This indeed is caused by the sins of people who, caught up in the delights of their prosperity, neglect to remember the gifts of the Supreme Giver."[2]
And the King of Sweden stated, "God for the sins of man has struck this great punishment of sudden death. By it most of our countrymen are dead."[3] 

Byrne adds:
Yet even physicians, such as the German Henry Lamm, could write in the early fifteenth century, "[I]t is better to say that the epidemic comes from God than to repeat all the opinions one hears." Poets, philosophers, merchants, and notaries echo the notion of Gabriele de Mussis of Piacenza that the plague was punishment on[4] 
"the entire human race wallowing in the mire of manifold wickedness, enmeshed in wrong-doing, pursuing numberless vices, drowning in a sea of depravity because of a limitless capacity for evil, bereft of all goodness, not fearing the judgments of God, and chasing after every evil."[5]
The Puritans likewise affirmed God's sovereignty over disease. David S. Jones writes,
Indian epidemics ... were used, in conjunction with stories of how God struck down the English, to frighten straying Puritans back into the fold. Puritan historians told story after story of colonists suffering God's judgment. In 1666, "the Lord threatened the Country with that infectious and contagious Disease of the Small Pox, which began at Boston, whereof some few died: but through his great mercy it is stayed, and none of late have died thereof." In his history of King Philip's War, Increase Mather described how God struck down the Indians with war and disease. But at times, particularly in the early part of the war, God also turned against the English: "the Sword of the Lord hath been drawn against this Land, in respect of Epidemical Diseases, which sin hath brought upon us; Sore and (doubtless) Malignant Colds prevailing every where." John Winthrop Jr., governor of Connecticut, died. Coffins passed each other on the streets of Boston. The message from God was clear: "if the Sword will not reform us, he hath other Judgments in store." By the end of the century, the English had suffered from many "Afflictive Providences": Indian wars, droughts, blights, fevers, smallpox, and the great fire. Joshua Scottow concluded that whereas once God "vomited out these Natives, to make room for us," the Lord "now hath vomited us out, to make room for them." These narratives warned that God controlled disease among both Indians and English alike; health and safety could only be found through God.[6]
On the judgment of Indians, another author writes:
An early New England writer says, that he had not been able to learn accurately the nature of the disease or plague which depopulated the Indian tribes in the remarkable manner already described; but that he had "discoursed" with some old Indians, who told him that the patients were "all over exceedingly yellow," and this they described by showing him a yellow garment which the bodies of the victims resembled in color, both before and after death. There is a tradition that a Frenchman, who not long before this plague, had fallen into their hands by shipwreck, told them, as some of the surviving shipmates reported, just before he died by their hands, that "God was angry with them for their wickedness, and would not only destroy them all, but would also people their country with men who would not live after their brutish manners." Those infidels then blasphemously replied, that God could not kill them; which blasphemous mistake was confuted by an horrible and unusual plague, whereby they were consumed in such vast multitudes, that our first planters found the land almost covered with their unburied carcases, and they that were left alive were smitten into awful and humbler regards of the English by the terrors which the French-man's prophecy had imprinted on them.[7]
Finally, the Pilgrim leader William Bradford understood the death of a man who was hostile to the Pilgrims as a just judgment of God:
I must not omit to mention here a special example of God's providence. There was an insolent and very profane young man, — one of the sailors, which made him the more overbearing, — who was always harassing the poor people in their sickness, and cursing them daily with grievous execrations, and did not hesitate to tell them that he hoped to help throw half of them overboard before they came to their journey's end. If he were gently reproved by any one, he would curse and swear most bitterly. But it pleased God, before they came half seas over, to smite the young man with a grievous disease, of which he died in a desperate manner, and so was himself the first to be thrown overboard. Thus his curses fell upon his own head, which astonished all his mates for they saw it was the just hand of God upon him.[8]
In apostate, post-Christian America, God  and therefore His sovereignty over disease    has been forgotten. In the place of God's sovereignty over disease, an evolutionary worldview is embraced where "modern medicine" is idolized as having the ultimate power over disease. Since God's providence over disease is ignored, such things as violations of God's law are not considered to be a reason for sickness and disease. 

From this evolutionary perspective, with just enough coercion by a "sovereign state," so-called herd immunity can supposedly be reached via mandatory vaccines, and the nation can be more or less disease-free. Such atheism does not consider that God Himself, if He so chooses, can justly annihilate an entire nation with disease. 

Thus, even if vaccines were effective as is claimed, they will not protect a nation in rebellion to Him from disease and/or other afflictions resulting from God's judgment. Moreover, even if vaccines were actually effective, the nation that does not vaccinate and is not in rebellion towards God is safer from disease and/or other afflictions than the nation that does vaccinate that is in rebellion towards God.

(Here we are not taking issue with the morally lawful use of medicine; rather, the unlawful use of it.)


Vaccines and God's Judgment 

Our duty and responsibility, as God's creation, is to simply trust and obey God, and to leave the results to Him. Ecclesiastes 12:13 reads:
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 
Therefore, the practice of the physician is lawful to the extent that it accords with God's law; but to the extent that it engages in sinful practices, it is not. Scripture forbids us from doing evil that good may come: 
And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. (Romans 3:8)
Now, vaccines endanger the health and even the lives of those who receive them. Therefore, Scripture forbids us from vaccinating others in the name of the greater good; vaccination is doing evil (endangering recipients) that good may come (supposed disease prevention). 

While God may bless our obedience, He surely will not bless our disobedience when we endanger people with vaccines. We previously discussed Deuteronomy 28. Moreover, God said to the Israelites:
If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer. (Exodus 15:26b)
And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. (Deuteronomy 7:15) (a blessing for obedience)
Here we see the irony: when we obey God — including by refusing to sinfully use vaccines that endanger the lives of others — we may be blessed by not suffering from diseases. 

On the other hand, when we sinfully use vaccines that endanger the lives of others, we may be judged with afflictions, including diseases — the very thing that vaccines supposedly prevent. 

And so according to the Scriptures just given, if we are serious about avoiding diseases and other afflictions, we would avoid vaccines like the plague. 

We must keep in mind that even if certain diseases no longer, or barely exist, in America, we must be careful not to give vaccines the credit that improved hygiene and sanitation deserve. Moreover, we cannot ignore new afflictions brought on by vaccines (for example, vaccine-caused autism and sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS]). 

Indeed, vaccines not only bring about suffering and death in and of themselves, but they may bring about future judgment and thus further suffering and death. Every death caused by vaccines is the shedding of innocent blood (which pollutes the land and can bring about God's judgment): "You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land ..." (Numbers 35a).

We must not only be careful about our own individual choices related to vaccines, but as to what rulers we put into power. We previously mentioned 2 Chronicles 21:14b-15, and how a leader's evil actions can bring about judgment on an entire nation (see also 2 Samuel 24:10-17). A ruler who promotes vaccines may do this very thing. 


Final Thoughts

Whatever God's reason for ordaining sickness and disease (whether for judgment or for some other reason), God always achieves what He purposes to do:
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35)
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)
While the vaccine religion emphasizes the sovereignty of vaccines in controlling diseases, Deuteronomy 32:39 tells us that there is none that can deliver out of God's hand.

God, and God alone, is sovereign  not "modern medicine." No matter how much hope is given to vaccines to eradicate disease, they cannot keep God from wiping out an entire nation with disease if God chooses to do so. And, since God judges nations for sins, one of the sins He may decide to judge a nation for is vaccines.

Therefore, if we are really concerned about minimizing diseases (and other calamities), we will obey God, and not shed innocent blood via vaccines. A national vaccine program may very well contribute to national suicide. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). 


Notes
_____________________________


[1] Joseph P. Byrne, Daily Life During the Black Death (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006), 22.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Cited in Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Cited in Ibid.
[6] David S. Jones, Rationalizing Epidemics: Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality since 1600 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), 63, 64. 
[7] Nehemiah Adams, The Life of John Eliot; With an Account of the Early Missionary Efforts among the Indians of New England (Boston, MA:  Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, 1847), 19, 20.
[8] Harold Paget, ed., Bradford's History of the Plymouth settlement, 1608-1650 (NY: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1920), 62.


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