Skip to main content

I appreciate your comment and concern, Michael.  It is true that as a denomination, we hold to a high view of Scripture that aligns better with the ways some Christian traditions read Scripture than others.  I think its worth noting that the "sermon" list you reference is a link to an outside source that contains resources from Christian pastors from a variety of traditions.  Once the link is clicked, there is a drop down menu that allows one to search for sermons from a wide variety of traditions, including those who share a similar view of Scripture to our own - Evangelical and Reformed Church of America being the ones that stand out immediately.  

Beyond the sermons by those who share our views of the authority of Scripture, I think there is value in knowing how Scripture is shaping the response to domestic violence of the Christian community at large.  It can be encouraging to hear that those in other Christian communities are also talking about and addressing issues around domestic violence and spur us onward in our vigilance about attending to issues of abuse.  Furthermore, reading outside our own tradition can help us see things in Scripture that we had not seen before and awaken in us new insights and awareness of God's concern for the vulnerable.  So, while we may not agree with everything in every sermon, they still provide ideas that can help us incorporate greater awareness of domestic violence in our own sermons.  And because of that, we thought they were worth sharing.

Great question, Randy.  Just a couple of additional considerations to add to this already robust conversation.  


While every state and province has different regulations, a general consensus is emerging that private businesses and organizations can require employees, volunteers, and even clients or participants to be vaccinated.  Furthermore, if a business or an organization has a policy specifying that employees or volunteers (or even participants) need to be vaccinated, they can require proof of vaccination without violating privacy laws or human rights legislation - as long as the business or organization makes every effort to protect confidential information, the policy of requiring vaccination is clearly stated and consistently applied, and accommodations are made for those who cannot receive the vaccine for reasons of physiological limitations or disability (as per the ADA or the CDA).  A strong policy will include identification of who needs to be vaccinated, rationale for why vaccination is required, reasons for collecting proof of vaccination, and privacy measures that will be taken to store and destroy sensitive and confidential information.  


There are good reasons why churches should require at least staff and volunteers to be vaccinated.  For many people, the church is a symbol of God’s love and presence in the world.  Because of this, people assume that the church is a safe place, a place that loves and cares for them and will protect their well-being.  In other words, people extend a tremendous amount of trust to the church and its staff/volunteers and will assume that they are taking the proper precautions to protect and safe-guard their physical, spiritual, and emotional health.  Because churches are granted this kind of trust by those who participate in their ministries, it's really important that churches do everything they can to honor that trust (or divest themselves of that responsibility by making clear that they cannot ensure a person’s safety).


Because children below the age of 12 cannot get vaccinated and thus, cannot take all the precautions available to mitigate the impact of Covid for themselves, it is the responsibility of those who work with children to ensure their safety.  Thus, it seems especially prudent that the church require vaccination of staff and volunteers who work with children.  This is not a matter of personal rights and freedoms.  It is a matter of being faithful to our calling as the church to represent God’s love and care for people in this world well.


Kelly,  thanks for these comments.  I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in being willing to share the story about Jimmy Swaggart.  And I would agree with both your comments.  Our propensity to celebritize and idolize prominent preachers, teachers, and evangelists is deeply problematic and fosters cultures which lack accountability, transparency, and attentiveness to the way power is being used or abused.  And second, that there are many unsung heroes that are faithfully doing the work of the Lord who also deserve our support, encouragement, and prayers.  

Thank you for your helpful comments!

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post