Religious Exemption is a term I have heard more in the past three months than the rest of my life combined! Recently I was asked if Christians should be able to claim Religious Exemption when public health is in jeopardy. Their question made me ask myself, “What does my faith in Jesus Christ exempt me from?” Below is a partial list of what came to mind.
My faith in Jesus Christ exempts me from:
-Putting my wants above the needs of others.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3,4
-Claiming my freedom in Christ as liberty to act without responsibility.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13,14
-Refusing to protect the most vulnerable in our midst.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40
Therefore, my “Religious Exemption” requires I receive the COVID vaccination to safeguard life, and wear a mask to care for my neighbor. Claiming the Christian faith is no justification to refuse these measures. By invoking the name of Jesus to claim exemption, you are using the Lord’s name in vain and therefore sinning. Now, you may have your own political or personal reasons not to do so, but please, stop claiming your faith in Jesus Christ as justification.