Vaccine Controversy: Reformed Churches Speak Out



March 17, 2014

Some parts of the Reformed community are making quite the stir in parts of Canada recently, and it is not positive. “When your neighbours may be hazardous to your health” was the title of yet another article that made the case that a Reformed community in BC’s Fraser Valley is contributing to a measles outbreak because of their refusal to vaccinate. Similar stories have appeared at times in Southern Alberta and Southern Ontario in the past decade – all areas where Reformed congregations are located. The latest rash of public outrage is taking on a new dimension: there are increasing calls for legal measures to be used against those who refuse to vaccinate. 

The Vancouver Sun has recently featured a surprisingly detailed article that compares the viewpoints of Reverend Adriaan Geuze, the minister of the Reformed Congregation of North America in Chilliwack, with that of Reverend Abel Pol, the minister of the Chilliwack Canadian Reformed Church.  It does a good job revealing the theological basis for the competing viewpoints. Read the article here. The blog One Christian Dad has also posted a detailed article on the subject – written by a member of a Canadian Reformed Church in the Chilliwack area. 

Although there are differing perspectives on the issue, we should be able to agree that it is a parent’s responsibility to make decisions about what is best for their child and that authority can only be interfered with in exceptional circumstances. It is good for Christians to respectfully challenge each other’s moral conclusions, as iron sharpens iron. There are huge consequences – including for our neighbours. But this is fundamentally a discussion for parents, families, friends, and churches – not the legal system. You are welcome to share your respectful thoughts on our Facebook page.

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