“Roads to nowhere” were everywhere in the West Texas of my upbringing. I’m sure you have seen them where you live.
Ours usually ran along two lines. There were the roads into subdivisions that were never built because of an oil crash. Or there were roads out in the country that only went as far as the furthermost gas/oil well. Then there was a dead end.
What both had in common was the “Dead End Ahead” signs warning of the end of the road. And finally, there was a huge barrier across the end of the road that specifically read, “Dead End.”
However, almost without exception, over time someone ignored the warning and plowed through the “Dead End” sign to discover for themselves that the sign was correct.
Fortunately, because it was in West Texas, there are only a few ravines, cliffs and mountains. So, most folks survived. However, the damage was done to their car and the sign, and if they were actually caught, then they had to pay damages.
Choosing to forgo the COVID-19 vaccine is a “road to nowhere” with a stark “dead end.” And like all those warning signs in West Texas, those who remain unvaccinated without any medical basis for doing so make this decision willfully. They cannot claim that they were not warned.
As a person who has been known by his compassion and empathy, I must tell you that if you splash your current COVID-19-positive test results and report having a struggle on social media, I frankly have no empathy or compassion left for you if you haven’t been vaccinated.
The vaccine resistant are like the driver who ignored the warning signs and went crashing through the barrier. The religious among this group are putting God to the test through such actions.
For Christians who continue to refuse vaccination, consider that Jesus refused to jump off the temple roof so that angels would come and save him when tempted by Satan to do so. His response, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Luke 4:12).
That is, however, what mask- and vaccine-resistant Christian have done, again and again, from the beginning of this pandemic, which has killed nearly 612,000 Americans.
You have put the Lord your God to the test. How have you done that you ask? Let me share several ways.
First, you have turned to misinformation, lies and conspiracy theories, which have no place in the life of a believer.
Let’s call it what it is: idolatry.
It is often phrased to me, “Well, I don’t know who to believe.” The truth is, you do. You know exactly who is dispensing scientific, accurate, timely and actionable information.
Second, you have made a mockery of the lifestyle of Christ who lived and died for others.
He who “gave his life as a ransom for many” is our model, our example, our commander, our sovereign. Yet somehow you have allowed a vaccination to get tangled up with toxic political views, which pushes you to take a stand totally against everything you have “professed in Christ.”
Third, may I say it as kindly as I can – or perhaps as kindly as I care to at this point – you are complicit in the death of others who are unvaccinated.
There is a reason why this surge is called a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Those who have refused the vaccine comprise a majority of people contracting the Delta variant, ending up in the hospital, and possibly the ICU and the funeral home.
In your ignorance, you may have sat beside them in church and allowed a COVID-19 variant to pass from you to them. But take heart, at least no one “made you” wear a mask or receive a vaccination.
Fourth and finally, too many faith leaders in churches where many unvaccinated people attend have sidestepped and sat on the fence.
By refusing to speak out strongly in favor of science, public health and the common good, they have effectively blessed all the decisions of their congregation no matter how foolish or unwise.
Through their unwillingness to speak the truth about COVID-19, all the while professing to speak truth from the Scriptures, they have compromised their integrity and raised the suspicions of many regarding how committed to the truth they really are.
I am suspicious of how committed you are to the health of the congregation in all things. I am suspicious of your courage to stand up, step up and speak up about any number of things of both temporal and eternal value.
So, for anyone among the unvaccinated with “ears to hear,” please get off your road to nowhere before it’s too late and you reach a literal dead end.
A private practice counselor working with veterans and survivors of trauma, he recently relocated to Round Rock, Texas, to be closer to family. Previously, Chancellor served four churches in Texas for 33 years, then ran a Mental Health Department of Alan B. Polunsky Maximum Security prison which houses death row.