When My Rights Aren’t Important
Monday evening a friend whose involved in prison ministry with me texted to say I should walk with my vaccine card. Recently the prison in Kingstown was asking those who ministered to provide proof of vaccination before being allowed inside.
Before I continue let me make very clear in my view vaccination is a personal choice. I have MANY FRIENDS here who have not taken the vaccine, and that’s fine. I originally took it last summer before coming to get surgery on my eyes in America.
My point isn’t whether or not someone should get vaccinated……
But adapting methods for the cause of the Gospel
Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19 states: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” By saying this Paul doesn’t refer to his doctrine because that never changes, or his convictions. Instead he changes his methods in order to reach different people groups, since you cannot reach the Jews the same way you reach a Gentile.
This fits into the idea of setting aside rights so Christian growth, and the Gospel can grow. This culminates when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8:13, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”
The foundational idea here is Paul was willing to change his way of living (not doctrine or biblical convictions) if it helped the Gospel grow.
In my personal situation, that meant taking the vaccine so that I could continue ministering actively in the community. To use one illustration, I visit weekly with a lady who is going to be eighty next month. She not physically strong enough to leave the porch so she will literally watch the road that comes down towards the house for my car. If I hadn’t taken the vaccine I couldn’t in good conscience visit with her since she has asthma, and in advanced age.
In the end this isn’t about the vaccine, but the Gospel being more important than my own rights.
I’ll be the first person in line to stand up for an individuals rights.
But I will also challenge them to set aside those rights just like our Savior did for the sake of the Gospel.