Policy of Cornerstone Church of Kirksville, MO
Regarding Religious Exemptions for the COVID Vaccine

On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration ordered the COVID Vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This executive order charges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement and enforce a COVID vaccine-or-test mandate for federal workers and contractors, private-sector employers with over one hundred workers, and Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals. While there are several legal challenges to this executive order, government agencies, businesses, and hospitals are implementing the vaccine mandate despite OSHA suspending enforcement.

In the review of these circumstances, the Elder Board of Cornerstone Church (Elder Board) has, through prayer and deliberation, come to a consensus regarding religious exemptions allowed through the United States government with derivative authority under God (Romans 13:1-7) for this, or any future vaccine mandate. The board enables religious exemptions on the grounds of (1) any violation of God’s general revelation through conscience regarding the individual and personal risks and benefits of COVID vaccination, (2) the Christian Church, and by extension, their seminaries, and universities, are not coercive extensions of state power, (3) the use of maintained aborted fetal stem cell lines in the development (Pfizer and Moderna) or production (Johnson & Johnson) of vaccines, and (4) God’s authority granted to parents for the health and well-being of their children (explicitly concerning potential future mandates for the COVID vaccination of children).

Christians are called not only to consider their conscience that is an internal receiver of God’s general revelation but also to consider the conscience and faith of others around them (1 Corinthians 10:23-30). Given the spectrum of damaged consciences among believers and nonbelievers, every believer must be gracious towards others regarding the objection or acceptance of the various COVID vaccines. If the use of these experimental or technologically new vaccines violates the conscience of an individual weighed in the balance of the risks and benefits posed, then the Elder Board offers members a religious exemption to the ETS based on allowances through the United States government under God.

The Elder Board recognizes that the Body of Christ to include churches, seminaries, and universities are not coercive extensions of state power. Therefore, the board resists any  government intrusion into matters of religious conviction and offers members a religious exemption to the ETS as allowed by the government under God.

The development (Pfizer and Moderna) and production (Johnson & Johnson) of COVID vaccines document the use of maintained stem cell lines from previous abortions. God reveals in Scripture the sanctity of life (Exodus 20:13), His divine authority and sovereignty regarding unborn human beings in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 22:10, 127:3-5, 139:13-16; Proverbs 6:16-19), and His providence in using sinful and traumatic events to His greater will and glory (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 4:17). Therefore, the Elder Board allows for religious exemptions to the ETS for objections to aborted tissue in developing and producing the current COVID vaccines as permitted by the government under God.

Finally, COVID vaccination for teenagers and children is increasingly popular. However, there are no current mandates regarding COVID vaccination for minors. The Elder Board, as an extension of these previously enumerated allowances, offers religious exemptions from any local, state, or federal coercive measures for children based on the petitions of their parents as allowed by the government under God.

The Elder Board continues to affirm the sovereignty and providence of an all-knowing, allpowerful, maximally benevolent God that uses the free-will decisions of human beings created in His image to bring about His greater will. Everything good, right, and true comes from God; yet God still uses the evils and injustices tolerated in this world to call to Himself a people set apart through the holiness of Christ. While pain, corruption, and suffering are very real, we look forward to a day when God dwells directly with his people… “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4, ESV).”

Approved and adopted by the Cornerstone Church Deacon Board
December 12, 2021