Thousands of church leaders in Australia signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, urging the government not to enforce vaccine passports in the country.
Morrison, who is a proponent of the passports, has refrained from mandating the measure on a federal level. Rather, businesses and state governments are responsible for implementing a system if they choose to do so, The Epoch Times reports.
The letter, titled “Declaration of Ezekiel,” has gained support with more than 3,000 church leaders and more than 23,000 churchgoers have signed it. That includes people from all over the country and belonging to different denominations.
The letter was written by three pastors affiliated with Baptist churches who made five arguments against mandating passports.
Concern over establishing a two-tiered society was the first issue, noting that “Free citizens should have the right of consent, especially when the vaccine rollout has been labeled as a ‘clinical trial.’ Imposing a ‘vaccine passport’ when the nation is already divided on the matter risks the creation of medical apartheid,” the letter reads.
The next concern addressed the idea that enforcing vaccine passports will increase unnecessary stress among citizens who are already dealing with mental health crises from lockdowns.
Third was that the human conscience should not be coerced while the fourth pointed out that vaccines are not foolproof and should not be justification for a return to normal life. The final reason was that passports could result in church leaders having to deny the unvaccinated entry into a sanctuary.
In response to the letter, Martyn Iles, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, posted on his Facebook page, “The vaccine itself is not a major concern of mine, but coercion is a very, very serious misstep.”
Peter Kurti, director at the Centre for Independent Studies, told The Epoch Times that he was worried about Australians choosing not to attend church because of the mandate.
“If places of worship were required to admit only those who had been vaccinated and could prove it with a passport, there might be an issue here. But that lies in the future and – as far as I can see – we have not got to that point yet,” he said.
“Vaccine passports do not amount to a compulsion to get vaccinated, but they may add to the pressure to do so,” Kurti added.
Meanwhile, PM Morrison is supporting the rights of business owners to forbid access to individuals who cannot prove they are vaccinated.
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
(The letter addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is available to read in full below the HD Editor’s Note)
Over the past year, we have seen the government give orders to a place outside of their jurisdiction and their authority… the Church.
First, the demand was that churches be entirely closed; many complied because it was promised to be temporary. It was not too long before a few brave Pastors said, “I would rather obey God than man,” citing an impactful verse that urges Christians to not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together…and so much the more, as ye see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25)
One of the courageous Pastors that opened his Church was John MacArthur. Harbingers Daily covered his heated battle with the LA County in court last year. Grace Community Church and MacArthur were relentlessly persecuted for preaching the Gospel in person and refusing to close the doors of their Church to people in need of Biblical Truth.
“When any government official issues orders regulating worship (such as bans on singing, caps on attendance, or prohibitions against gatherings and services), he steps outside the legitimate bounds of his God-ordained authority as a civic official and arrogates to himself authority that God expressly grants only to the Lord Jesus Christ as sovereign over His Kingdom, which is the Church. His rule is mediated to local churches through those pastors and elders who teach His Word (Matthew 16:18–19; 2 Timothy 3:16–4:2),” MacArthur wrote in a letter.
New claimed “waves” of coronavirus have provided ample excuse for leaders to keep churches shut, or limit their attendance. We learned very early on in the “pandemic” that churches were being unfairly targeted.
As MacArthur explained in his letter, the government does not have authority over the Church. Pastors need to bravely stop handing the power over to an agenda-driven world that despises Biblical truth.
Many have stated that Christians, specifically, have a responsibility to stand against vaccine mandates.
David Fiorazo in his most recent article, “Resisting Medical Tyranny, Passports & Politics,” wrote:
“Christian churches already have a track record of folding under pressure last year, closing doors and conforming to secular government mandates, ordinances, and double standards. We failed the Covid test,” he lamented. “One reason we have not successfully fought to maintain our freedoms is a faulty understanding of Romans 13 and we have been told our rights come from the state, not God.”
“Will the true church stand united to love our governing authorities by telling them they have gone beyond their mandate and are taking the place of God by seeking to bind the conscience of the people?” he questioned. “How will the church respond to further government force, Hollywood and big tech marketing, and media manipulation?”
“Who will be the conscience of the nation, and the voice of truth if not for the church of Jesus Christ?” Fiorazo urged. “If you desire to be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel, you will oppose mandatory vaccines. You will oppose it because it is contrary to God’s design and boundaries he has established for human governments. We will render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but our bodies belong to the Lord as temples of the Holy Spirit, therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)”
“The Ezekiel Declaration: Watchmen, It’s Time To Speak” Full Letter: