Statement of Bishop Keith A. Butler, Sr.
Regarding COVID Vaccination
In 1979, I was installed as Founder and Senior Pastor of Word of Faith Christian Center Church (Word of Faith). I am the spiritual overseer and pastor of the individuals and families who are members of Word of Faith. In short, we believe the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God; in the triune nature of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that the in-filling of the Holy Spirit is an experience subsequent to salvation and that it is the will of God that all be filled.
Many members are being asked to submit a form putting their objections to immunizations into a religious context. As a non-denominational church, we do not ascribe to a doctrine that explicitly makes a biblical argument against immunizations. If a Christian objects to immunizations, it is largely to be inferred from the teachings of the Word of God. The reservation a Christian man might have to immunizations arises from several doctrinal precepts. The fact that most, if not all of the COVID-19 vaccinations may be associated and linked with abortion through the use of aborted fetal cells may cause many with sincerely held religious beliefs to oppose such vaccines.
* The 6th commandment and other teachings such as what is found in Jeremiah 1:5 are based on valuing life; and those with sincerely held religious beliefs are often distressed by elective abortions and then the utilization of those aborted fetal cells. The sixth commandment against unlawful killing requires an interest in the preservation of the lives of others (especially babies), as well as ourselves. It is clear that a person with a religious commitment to God’s law may have reservations which may lead them to believe it is God’s will to abstain from COVID-19 immunizations.
*Some members in my congregation have expressed that they believe the Lord has let them know He does not want them to receive a COVID19 vaccine. We are Christians who pray and seek the Lord’s wisdom, protection, and guidance in all things. Even though none of us are perfect, we are constantly seeking God’s will in every area of our respective life. Proverbs 3:5-8 says “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” In seeking His wisdom about the COVID vaccines, many in my congregation have expressed they have received in their spirit that God does not want them to take these vaccinations. So, as they are striving to always do the will of the Lord, they have indicated to me that they will not take the vaccinations. I teach my congregation to not question His reasons; but to simply obey Him and abide in His protection. (Psalm 91; Luke 4:12; Matthew 5:7) He gives us wisdom on how to proceed in our life and we trust Him.
The Bible is full of additional scriptures that speak to obedience to the Lord and taking care of our body which is the temple of the Lord, such as 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” and Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”. For these reasons, the members of my church have every reason to be free to make their own decisions about vaccines as part of their religious duty as Christians to listen to what the Holy Spirit has told them regarding the vaccines. Even those who may have taken other vaccinations in the past are led by the Holy Spirit as to which vaccination to take or not take. Communion with the Holy Spirit is a daily relationship and what He tells us is what we are to obey on a daily basis. I direct my congregation to do their homework, pray about the subject, and then follow Colossians 3:15, which says “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” I have provided an abundance of Biblical support to show that my congregation, based on their sincerely held religious belief, is free to act on their religious convictions about their spiritual authority to obey what the Holy Spirit tells each of them regarding the vaccinations. I teach my congregation that after having done all, to stand, to pray without ceasing, and then obey what the Holy Spirit has told them to do.
Bishop Keith A. Butler, Sr.
The above statement is neither legal nor medical advice; nor a spiritual recommendation/declaration on whether to take or not take a COVID vaccination. Use of this statement is at your own risk. This statement is simply recognition that as Christians, we are to each do our own individual homework including but not limited to studying applicable scriptures, pray about a subject, listen to the Holy Spirit, and then act on what He tells you for your specific situation. This statement is not an affirmation of what you should do except to follow Christ. Ecclesiastes 12:14 says “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind”.