VaccinE evangelism

Which of these two questions is more socially awkward?

1. Are you vaccinated?
2. If you were to die tonight, would God accept you into heaven?

D. James Kennedy, a major figure in Evangelical Christianity, developed question 2 as part of Evangelism Explosion, a training on how to share (Calvinist) Christian faith. Conservative Christians have posed this question to millions of total strangers. The premise of the question is an understanding of atonement of sin in Jesus and justification by faith as a vaccine against hell, received by repentance and prayer.

Why ask such an intimate personal question to total strangers, offending their “religious freedom”? Radical, impartial, inclusive, love (opposite to xenophobia). What person who loves others as himself would want to see a stranger spend an eternity lost without God? (What person who loves others as himself would want to see their neighbor deported?)

As a Methodist in the Anglican/Arminian tradition, I can say that our relationship with the risen Christ, our teacher and friend, and our communion with God in the Holy Spirit are much more than getting vaxxed against hell and that salvation is more than a status or getting what we want. That doesn’t change the fact that we cannot save ourselves. Decisions about faith, trust, and actions can have extreme consequences.

So let’s contextualize a bit.

Vulnerability is universal.

If you were to become infected today with COVID-19, are you certain that you would survive?

Would there be a space in a hospital for you?

Would those you infect survive?

The free gift is offered, and with each passing moment you malign it, doubt it, and reject it, you risk losing the opportunity for it to potentially save your life and that of others.

Will you examine the evidence and have faith?

Will you repent and receive the free gift that is offered before it is too late?

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