As the COVID-19 pandemic changes with the Delta Variant, this blog is noticing the continued silence out of the EFCA in Minneapolis on this vary topic. The EFCA should be front and center and Greg Strand should have written a post or two at the national blog explaining the theological reasons why Christians should get vaccinated. Instead that is not happening and instead the COVID-19 death toll which is not far from surpassing the death toll of the Spanish Flu from 1918 until 1920 continues to grow. This silence in a medical crisis begs the question, does the EFCA love Jesus? Does the EFCA love thy neighbor?
“A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.”
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:39 NLT
Greg Strand of the EFCA
On July 29, 2021 the Washington Post obtained and published an internal document from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) that deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a disturbing document it was stressed that, ‘the war has changed.’ In the CDC they discussed the emergence of a new variant in the pandemic that is as contagious as chickenpox. It states that vaccination works but in some cases even the vaccinated can spread the COVID-19 virus. But the consequences among those who are not vaccinated are severe, and the death toll is predicted to go up. You can read that Washington Post article without a paywall in, “‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe.” The day after that CDC report the atmosphere here in Washington, D.C. changed. One friend told me that masks were mandated in the Pentagon. Another friend told me of what was happening in Missouri where he lives, stating that its a mess due to COVID. Another person told me that their company was slowing down going back into the office. The day after that CDC report I went to go swimming at the gym. When I walked in staff are wearing masks and you could sense the anxiety over the situation. It left me to wonder and I checked the EFCA communications to see if there were any updates or if the EFCA is responding to this national medical crisis.
Does the EFCA Worship Jesus? Do They Love thy Neighbor?
Back in April I wrote the following post, “The Moral Failure of The EFCA’s Greg Strand and Kevin Kompelien to be a Role Model in Covid Vaccination and Help Mitigate a National Pandemic.” The EFCA has a presence and influence in a number of states where the Delta variant is soaring. States like Texas, Oklahoma. Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Indiana and Tennessee just to name a few. The EFCA also has a great amount of leverage. And yet the EFCA has not modeled love by encouraging vaccination. I do not see on social media pictures of EFCA leaders getting vaccinated and thus encouraging others to get vaccinated. Greg Strand has not written one post at the national blog on the reasons why Christians should get vaccinated and the theological motivations for doing so. We are in a race to save people from dying. And the EFCA is just standing on the sideline with their finger in their nose staying silent. Forgive me from being blunt but I must ask.
Does the EFCA follow Jesus and want to alleviate suffering? Does the EFCA love and care about their neighbor? The continued silence tells me that no. The EFCA is not about following Jesus or loving your neighbor. The EFCA could be a mitigating factor in parts of the United States where people are needlessly suffering and dying. In a once in a century medical crisis your volume like any capability is also a responsibility. The EFCA is forsaking its moral responsibility. And we must also recall that fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing. Its time for Greg Strand and the EFCA to get off their duff and to explain to people why its okay to be vaccinated and to encourage them to do so.
The EFCA Should Mandate Staff and Personnel in Minneapolis and District Offices Be Vaccinated
Last year I wrote the following post, “In a Key Moment in American History Here is How the EFCA Should Roll Out the COVID-19 Vaccine in a Safe, Effective Way for the Denomination.” As the nation struggles to emerge from the pandemic the EFCA should require all personnel who work in Minneapolis in all divisions to be vaccinated. From the Office of the President, Theology & Care, Resources & Services, etc… EFCA missionaries no doubt are going to have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 especially with other countries requiring it for admission. Likewise the EFCA should require all district superintendents and office personnel to be vaccinated. Be the example and set the tone. Do this for communities that the EFCA claims to serve and wants to be present in.
Trinity International University Needs to Mandate Vaccination for All Faculty, Staff, and Students
This blog has written about it before but its time for Trinity International University to roll out a plan requiring vaccination for all faculty, staff and students. You can read that in, “Trinity International University is Not Requiring COVID Vaccination For Returning Students Putting it at Odds with Other Illinois Universities. Does the Legacy of Scopes Hang Over the Flagship School of the EFCA?” If the EFCA cared about communities in Illinois they would be requiring all people at Trinity to be vaccinated. As it stands Trinity is behind the curve. And this blog would say that schools like DePaul, Northwestern, Illinois State University and so many others are modeling love and more faith that Trinity. Those and other schools are taking such action mandating vaccination for their neighbor in the communities they live in.
If the EFCA is Not Going to be Proactive on Vaccination Against COVID Then Let’s Shut it Down
I am going to close the post with the following. We are in the worst medical crisis in a century. The EFCA sure likes to talk about serving communities and following Jesus. But its messaging fails to care about communities during this pandemic. Maybe the EFCA wants the death toll in COVID to surpass what is recorded in the Spanish Flu? Maybe they just want to wear face masks for the reminder of their lives? Maybe all the talk about Jesus is a ruse and its a lucrative gig? Just so Minneapolis knows I do not enjoy writing posts like the one you are reading. But as an outsider I must question the behavior of the EFCA during COVID-19. Talk is cheep, and actions speak louder than words. The silence by the EFCA on this topic is contributing to death. There are people in places and states where the EFCA has influence, and instead they are just letting them die. Vaccination saves lives, and the EFCA’s silence is killing people. How do people like Greg Strand sleep at night? Honest question I must ask? If the EFCA is going to continue to practice malfeasance can I recommend that the EFCA headquarters in Minneapolis then be turned into a hotel, health care clinic or even a parking lot? And if Greg Strand is the last person out of the building, please turn off the light.