I am writing to inform you that Matt and I have had a disagreement. It was about a significant issue. We both explained our point of view and, in spite of what was said, neither of us were prepared to change our respective views. And we’re totally okay with that.
I am sure you’re wondering what the issue was. It was about COVID passports. One of us doesn’t think that they are a good idea (over concerns about the government’s limitation of individual’s freedoms), whereas the other is a bit more pragmatic (seeing them as a necessary, but short term, aid in limiting COVID’s spread when restrictions are relaxed) is is okay with them.
If you are following the discussion in the media you will realise that this is a “hot topic” of discussion at the moment. It has raised some heated responses. It has even caused some Christian leaders to draft the “Ezekiel Declaration” as a petition against passports (click HERE for more information).
So why are Matt and I happy to “agree to disagree”? Simply because we do not believe that this is an issue of sin or righteousness. It is not an issue that the Bible explicitly commends or condemns. And so there is freedom. It’s not that we believe that the Bible says nothing that might inform our positions, but what it does say will not essentially push you to only one position.
We also recognise that our particular views have much more to do with our social and political outlooks rather than a theological imperative.
So why are we telling you this?
We want to encourage you to do a few things as the discussion around COVID passports (and other COVID things) proceeds.
Firstly, please resist dressing your arguments in “theological clothing”. This is not helpful; nor is it accurate. (This is one reason why neither Matt not I would not sign the Ezekiel Declaration).
Secondly, recognise that Christians have freedom in this issue and we are free to disagree. So we can respectfully disagree and remain in fellowship.
Lastly, know that if COVID passports become a reality, both of us will respect the authority of the government and comply with all requirements that do not conflict with our allegiance to God (Lk 20.25, Rom 13.1-2, 1 Pet 2.13-17).
Cameron Munro (& Matt Winter)
Pastors | Trinity Church Brighton