Exemption Letter Time

The currency of fools

We were hoping that it wouldn’t have to come to this. We prayed for better. But free will is a tricky thing. Just ask Pharaoh. So, it’s Exemption Letter Time. Many of you have by now heard of someone or have been a victim of one of these scare tactics. From unelected bureaucrats, selected presidents, and power-hungry mayors and governors, religious freedom is under attack. Along with it, free will is under attack. Now, you don’t have to be religious to oppose a “vaccine”. Having your own opinion will do. Unfortunately for us, that’s a identifying characteristic of Public Enemy #1.

Exemption Letter Time

The Gold Standard returns

Our problem is not even the constant barrage of attacks and insults hurled at us. Instead, it is the feeling that we are alone in this fight. We put our hope in Amy Coney Barrett and she let us down. We put our trust in the in the Supreme Court and it just made it worse. Of course, as Christians we put our hope in God, the gold standard of Hope. But as we pray for God to work on hearts and minds, we must be active on our own. After all, we know that God is Able, but He is not in the business of forcing anyone: He’s no politician or bureaucrat. So, what are law-abiding Christian citizens to do?

The Exemption Letter

Regardless of what former NYS Governor Cuomo or the rest of the tyrants say, the United States is, above all, a nation of religious liberties. As such, people are free from religion in regards to its imposition. By the same token, people are free from government interference on its free exercise. Even if means that individuals take on more “risk” than politicians are comfortable with.

Although these rights have been etched in stone, we need to be prepared for pushback. You can always find someone that will challenge your rights. If those rights happen to be defending a Christian worldview then you’ve just become their top priority. In an effort to put forth the best offensive posture on the subject, we have drafted a sample Exemption letter. The letter below covers both the right to choose (agency) as well as religious convictions. I find it funny that the “right to choose” has such a narrow interpretation in culture these days.

Sample Exemption Letter

Above all, we are Christians. I have therefore left the introductory paragraph out. I strongly believe that each one of us will begin the letter as they best see fit. Taking into account both audience and tone is something that should be personal.

Opening statement

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, individuals have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of religion. As part of their religious beliefs, many individuals object to vaccines. Employers are required to accommodate religious observances and practices unless doing so imposes an undue hardship on the business.

Enumerate your reasons

As a practicing Christian taking the vaccine goes against my religious beliefs for multiple reasons. The first is that the vaccine was developed from aborted fetal cell lines. It is well known that many born-again Christians are against abortion.

First reason

At this point, there is a series of Scriptures that avail themselves to our situation. I have included a handful. Obviously the list is not exhaustive. We could probably use the whole Word as reference and not be wrong.

The Bible states:

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.

Psalm 139:13-16 “13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Proverbs 6:16-17 “16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood”

Job 31:15 “15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?”

I believe in the Bible. I believe the Bible is the Word of God and therefore carries the authority of God. His Word says that God forms babies in the womb. God has a plan and a purpose for their lives. Aborting a baby in the womb is murder. It is taking away another human’s life and is a sin. Taking the vaccine created from tests on aborted fetal cell lines goes against my religion. It is the product of abortion which is a sin. Since I will not give my assent to any abortion, I will not give my assent to whatsoever research may come of such sinful acts.

Second reason

In addition, my second reason has to do with free will. The Bible says that man has free will. We have the right to decide what medication and vaccinations that we can take.

The Bible says:

Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Genesis 3:22 “And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and bad, what if he should stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!”

Humans are made in the image of God. They endowed with the same mental capacities as our Creator. Therefore I can think for myself and make my own decisions. Genesis 3:22 explains how I have the ability to choose what is good and bad. I have the right to exercise my free will that was granted to me by God.

Therefore, I will use my free will to reject the vaccine. I have numerous concerns about the vaccine. One important concern is that there is no research on the long-term effects of the vaccine. Many people I know have gotten Covid after taking the vaccine. Others, unfortunately, died within days of getting a dose. Although this doesn’t prove causality, it makes me doubt its effectiveness. In addition, there is very little research done on how the vaccine affects fertility.

Always link it back

The Bible says:

Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea,”

I do not want to partake in any vaccine that could jeopardize my ability to reproduce and have babies which is something God has called me to do.

In Matthew 9:22 “Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.”

The clincher

This is the part of the letter where you apply these Scriptures to your individual case. You have to show that the reasons you have listed are an integral part of your life. The exemption letter is not a formality. If it were a formality the whole country would file an exemption. Having to explain yourself a bit, I feel, is a good thing. A religious exemption is exactly that: for religious people. We are not here trying to “work the system”. We truly believe what we are claiming and a few lines as to why we believe them is a great opportunity to share your faith with your supervisors.

1 Peter 3:15

I have faith in the body that God gave me to fight Covid. I have had covid and recovered within days. Since I recovered on my own from a disease that has a 99% survival rate taking the vaccine is useless for me. In addition, taking the vaccine would express lack of faith in my God-given immune system.

I want to do my part to keep everyone safe which is why I am willing to wear my mask and take Covid tests upon request. This way, my health status will not be the concern of anyone around me. If there this the option to work remotely I would also be willing to work from home. I know that some parents are requesting that school offer a remote option. I gladly volunteer if such an opportunity presents itself. This would be a win-win solution.

The past year I have been able to work remotely/with a mask and was very successful. I believe that this would be the best solution to protect my religious freedom and keep my fellow employees safe.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and considering my religious exemption request.

Sincerely,

Wrapping it up

The exemption letter above is not meant to be the exhaustive. I built it around what I do for a living. I teach. The letter is modular, interchangeable, and fluid. Please feel free to use as you see fit. Please cut and paste what you like and leave comments with your own versions. I would love to be able to share them with everyone.

Folly of Indiscretion – June 7th, 2020 – Lighthouse Assembly of God

You don’t often hear preachers talk about such topics; but, after all, Pastor Geer, is not just any preacher. Western Christianity has, unfortunately, become too accustomed to soft, soothing words that build ego rather than character, remove insult rather than faults, and instill a false sense of righteousness rather than fear and trembling before a Sovereign God.  People tend not to want to know: “What does Jesus have to say on the subject”? In today’s message, entitled The Folly of Indiscretion, Pastor Geer teaches us from the Book of Proverbs on what happens to an unruly youth and how, through God’s saving Grace, even the most far-gone sinner can find his way Home.

Our prayer is that you are blessed as you take time out of your day to be in God’s presence and grow spiritually from the sharing of His Word.

Click the link below to watch the video from a secured server.

Warning Against Adultery

Life More Abundant International Ministries is fully funded and maintained by the Men’s Ministry of Lighthouse Assembly of God in Glendale, Queens, New York. If you would like to prayerfully consider coming alongside Lighthouse Assembly of God with a gift of any amount, we encourage you to do so through our Venmo Page. Every penny you donate goes fully and directly to the Church. And if you have been blessed, as we’re confident you have been, please share this link with someone, anyone, everyone you know. May God continue to richly bless you and His Church.

 

Amazing Love

Have you ever been truly loved?

I wrote this devotional a few months ago, the day of my dad’s birthday. It is a very emotional subject for me because my parents live far away: nothing on this Earth teaches you what truly matters like longing. I pray that you are blessed and, as always, I encourage you to share this with as many people as you possibly can in the hopes of reaching someone, anyone for the Kingdom. Here it is…

Amazing Love

Today is my father’s birthday. Today my earthly father turns eighty-one. My father and I have come a long way in our relationship: from when I was a child and being fearful of what he would do or say if I did something wrong, to when I was a teenager and resentful that I was not understood and that, seemingly, my opinion didn’t matter, to now. Now, now that I’ve seen the look in his eyes when I graduated top of my class, to when he watched me get married to Michele, when we welcomed my firstborn Madelyn, my second child Claudia and then our boy Joseph into the world. Now I can finally say with utmost certainty something that was true all along; that man loves me more than his next breath, I am the apple of his eye: there’s no hardship he wouldn’t endure, obstacle he wouldn’t overcome and no price he wouldn’t pay to see me live a long, fruitful, abundant, satisfying, productive, blessed life, pressed-down, shaken together and flowing over! 

The person I just described to you is, again, my father, a human: a mortal man with character flaws, sinful by nature, bound by opposing interests of love towards his children and of self-preservation, confined by an imperfect and incomplete understanding of the world around him and how his decisions shape it and vice versa. In spite of all of this, I stand here and tell you that my father loves me, fully, to the best of his ability, and beyond my wildest expectations. I know that if it was up to my father to design and plan the rest of my life I would be in good hands; it would be full of selfless love and abundance of every kind and long years of good health with my wife and children and their children and their children’s children. I know that if it was up to him, I would never know lack or want, my children would be counted among the wise and powerful, we would lend and not borrow, our tables would overflow with every good thing, we would be a stronghold for the righteous, a safe harbor during the storms, and my descendants could no more easily be counted than the stars in the night sky. Again, this is just simply my father, my earthly father.

And yet, with all of his love and good will and good intentions, as sure as I know that he loves me, I also know that somewhere along the line he has, unknowingly, unexpectedly and unintentionally wronged me somehow. I can say that now not because I know of something in particular that he did; I know it based on what I know him to be: a flawed human with an incomplete knowledge and understanding of himself, of me and the world around us.

But….as Brother Izzy, a deacon in my church, would say…..”but God!” But God, who is Understanding and Wisdom and Perfection, loves me more than my father ever could and more than I could ever fathom.

The love of God is not like the carnality of human affection and its hierarchies. Even the worse of human families “love” each other after a while simply out of pure habit; the best of human families love each, deeply, from the heart, and it’s still cheapened by the biology of it all: they don’t foster those same strong visceral feelings for strangers, do they? No, the love of God is not that of a father, a mother, a child, of a lover, of a friend or any other: it is all of those, none of those and some much more.

God loves a part of me my carnal affections can only say that they love but not understand what it means: God loves my soul. My soul is precious to God; it is the life-spark He created out of the void of space and time and placed it into my very first cell. God loves my soul because He created it; not like a mother nurtures a baby in her womb and her love grows with every movement and every additional awareness she has of the growing baby. No, God loved me fully and completely from the moment He first thought of me and decided to assign me to be born for such a time as this. 

In the fullness of time, God revealed himself. St. Augustine explained that we were given two revelations: Holy Scripture and Creation, and that whenever one seemed to be in disagreement with the other it was due to our imperfect understanding of one of the two. In Scripture, God revealed Himself first as the Creator, then as the Lawgiver and Judge. For too many souls around the world, unfortunately, their voyage through His Revelation stops there. Thanks be to God that we have come to know him as King, Father, Brother, Friend, and Redeemer. Lyrics and verse suddenly spring to mind like “I am a friend of God”, “son, do you know I still love you?”, “I know my Redeemer lives”. The Apostle John wrote “what Love the Father has lavished upon us that we may be called His children!”

God loves us so much that He steadily and progressively, through His Mercy and Grace, kept moving closer and closer to us, even while we were trying to do our very best to run away from Him. The Israelites wanted Laws like the peoples that surrounded them so God gave them the Ten Commandments. Instantly, in their hearts, they pondered “who is my neighbor?” Still not satisfied, He filled in the “gray areas” for them giving them rules for everyday living filling three more Books with rituals and rules and procedures; still they were unsatisfied. Then they asked for a king to be like the peoples around them; they would not listen so He gave them Saul. 

Having watched us break, compromise, detract, subterfuge, lie, cheat, steal, connive, murder and rationalize our way around every single possible Law, Rule, Procedure, and Advice, He came one step closer and gave us one Rule, one Law above all the Laws and the Prophets: Love your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength…and love your neighbor as yourself. 

Having found us physically, emotionally and spiritually unable and/or unwilling to do so and therefore remaining under the weight of the Law and the power of Sin, He took one final step towards us; one final solution. “Ego te absolvo”, “It is Finished”, “Paid in Full”, “Remember no more”, “Father forgive them”. The hymn lyrics tell that “I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe” that “whomsoever will” come and accept freely! Can you conceive it; being deservant of Death and Hades and Hell and Torment, God sent His Son, to die for my son, my father’s son and each and every single one of us! What kind of Love is this?! What father would sacrifice his son for hostile, belligerent, arrogant, self-important, self-righteous stranger or even an estranged relative? Adding insult to injury, He now calls me son, Heir and Co-Heir with Jesus!

My father turned eighty-one today, and I know that he loves me; I know he wishes me well and even better than what he wishes for himself. But, there is One, who loves me more than I could ever imagine loving someone or being loved by someone; He loves me more deeply and more fully. I know this because He sent Jesus, the firstborn of many brethren, and instructed Him to leave Heaven to come and stand in the gap, pay our debts, settle our scores, remove our chains, open our eyes, wash us clean, anoint our heads with oil, cover us with His blood, give us news robes for our rags, put a ring on our finger, take us into the Holy of Holies, as honored guests at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and present us to God the Father as a Bride, perfect and without blemish! Amazing Love!