Christians and the Covid Vaccine

Today is Good Friday. It’s a day we remember when Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many.

I’m writing after receiving my 1st covid vaccine. I can’t say that it was a pleasant experience, receiving side effects that knocked me off my feet for 24 hours. Still, that’s not the reason I’m writing. The reason I’m writing is to help you as I recount my thought process in deciding whether to get vaccinated or not.

What’s the problem?

You might ask .. why is there even a debate? Well, according to some research up to a quarter of people are hesitant to get vaccinated (this increases up to 72% if you are in a BAME minority group). So what are the most common factors for Christians to consider and how did I navigate these issues?

Issue #1: We Should Trust God

The Bible time and again exhorts us to place our faith and trust in God rather than men. I think we can say “Amen” to that. However, the Bible doesn’t say that God always works supernaturally.  In fact, that would be a denial of the way that God works through the physical world He created. We don’t do the same with food and yet we go to the supermarket each week and purchase it – we don’t wait for it to arrive “trusting God” will feed us. He feeds us by working in the physical world. And we give thanks every mealtime to acknowledge that “every good and perfect gift [ultimately] come from heaven”.

So the Bible endorses medicine and the work of doctors. We love the fact that our church family has those working in medicine and we thank God for them. We trust that God works through them.

Issue #2: YouTube Says …

There are so many conflicting theories online – not just YouTube. According to some, Bill Gates, the Illuminati and Kayne West are all involved. Some theories seem more Biblical, saying that the vaccine is the fulfilment of the “mark of the beast” from Revelation 13:15-17. I find that those who promote “discernment” are actually the ones that have fallen for some of the most outlandish claims, to even suggest that Covid is a myth. Christians we must stand for what is true which also means rejecting that which is false.

Issue #3: It’s Unsafe

This is probably the most legitimate concern. The speed of the vaccine getting approved, as well as news reports about blood clots as well as the claim that the technique used might alter our DNA in some harmful way. This way I rationalised my fear was to think about it based on risk and benefit. In my life, I’ve had three operations requiring general anaesthetic and none of those were free from risk. They had side effects. Like those, the regulatory bodies that oversee such things have given assurances that it is safe. I have no reason to distrust the regulatory bodies aren’t being honest.

Issue #4: Abortion

Here’s a big issue that we need to consider: some Christians take the view that it would be ethically wrong to accept the Covid vaccination because it has been developed and tested using cells derived from historic abortions. John Piper is one who has called for Christians to renounce the vaccine. He states that we would be “complicit in the desecration of dismembered human beings”. Others argue that we would be endorsing and supporting the ongoing practice of abortion.

This takes serious consideration. I’m pro-life. I think abortion is a sin. The World Health Organisation estimates that 55% of total global deaths were down to abortion, far outnumbering those killed by Covid. So how did I conclude that the vaccine was ok?

Well, let me say first that it is completely right for Christians to fight against this immense evil, which is a violation of human rights far greater in scale than slavery or the holocaust. And yet, we should consider many other medical procedures in the same light and also reject those too. Here’s what I mean …

Regardless of some popular theories, the vaccines are not manufactured from foetal tissue. The vaccine development process utilised a cell line (HEK-293) derived from an abortion performed in 1972. A past sin. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were not directly developed using this cell-line, but it was used in the testing phase. These are past sins that we should stand up against. For the issue was this ..  much of what we know about organ transplants is because of the Nazi experiments on Jews in the 1930s. I dare say that we would not reject a lung transplant based on the past sins of the Nazi’s? If someone came to me and told me they had a sexually transmitted disease I would tell them to go to a doctor and get treated – even though the USA conducted medical experiments on African-Americans who had sexually transmitted diseases. The 1972 abortion, Nazi and US experiments are past sins and should shame any society.

However, let’s be consistent. I have no problem with you rejecting the vaccine so long as you are also prepared to reject the MMR vaccine, most medical procedures and the treatment of STIs. We also have to reject all products in our house that were made through slave trade – even the publication of our English Bible’s in china because of the persecution of the Chinese church.

I am not making a case that every Christian gets vaccinated. I’m suggesting that we should have a robust, well-informed reason not to be. I hope you have found this article helpful

 

8 Comments On “Christians and the Covid Vaccine”

  1. Well written and explained…I agree with you

    Reply

  2. I went through a similar process. Praying and looking at the information from a balanced perspective. Like Bill says very well written. Thank you

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  3. Helpful and balanced article in working through your reasoning- definitely weighing up the risk and benefit is wise approach.

    Thanks for sharing

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  4. Very balanced. I think the main issue is that people do not read beyond headlines. If you read whole articles (from medical publishers not the media versions of them) you get a much more balanced view of the situation. Headlines are one thing, but the detail is quite another.

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  5. Hi, thank you for posting this article. I agree this is something we should really think about. It is my hope that everyone would put great effort into thinking about this as you clearly have. Currently I not 100% sure on my position on the vaccine. Your article has been very helpful to consider aspects already in my mind (and some parts I had not considered), but I have to say it has been more helpful than most of what I have read so far.
    Firstly,
    I wondered if you were aware that in a recent article, that Christian Concern mentioned some valid points that Christians might want to consider in deciding about the vaccine?
    Here are some that I think you have not mentioned (though probably could fall into your issue #3). I really think the last point I have mentioned here is extremely important to point out.
    (source: https://christianconcern.com/comment/can-vaccine-passports-be-justified/)
    a) Vaccine producers have been given legal indemnity from being sued where patients suffer complications from the vaccine. Some people may be concerned that corners may be cut.
    b) The AstraZeneca vaccine has faced criticism from major politicians around the world and in the press, including links to blood clots. When even some rare cases appear to be linked with deaths, it is reasonable for people to have concerns.
    c) Tools like the Yellow Card scheme and VAERS (in the US) allow people to report possible side effects of vaccinations. Although this information is often unverified, it is understandable that people are concerned by reports of 970 deaths linked to vaccines.
    d) Current UK guidance says that those who are pregnant should not routinely have this vaccine. UK guidance previously recommended that breastfeeding women were also not to be vaccinated. Both of these policies may be more due to precaution than any evidence that the vaccines could lead to complications; but again, it is reasonable for women in this position to be hesitant about vaccination.
    It states just after the list, that like your article, each should make their own judgment “Many Christians will not judge these concerns to be significant enough to avoid being vaccinated. But some will.”
    Some of those points above have links to other articles which can be found on the actual page.

    It addition to the above, I wondered if you might be welcoming to some questions I have relating to some of your points? Firstly, tied to your issue #2 – Do you think the whole situation is in any way connected to Revelation 13:17? Perhaps a preparation, or do you think it is nothing to do with it at all?

    Appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks – Nigel

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  6. Hey Nigel. Thanks for your very helpful reply.

    I can’t fully answer your initial four points as I’m neither a scientist not a medical professional. What I do know is that with most kinds of medical intevention there is somekind of risk associated with having it against not having it. What complicates this further is that this risk changes depending on who the patient is (unlaying health history etc). I therefore don’t think it’s an easy judgement for any of us to make and ultimately we stand before the Lord and answer to Him.

    In terms of the Revelation question .. I might follow this up on a seperate post but to get the thinking started … the answer to the question is really dependednt on a number of other presumptiions:
    1) Who, or what, is “the beast”. If it is symbolic then the likeihood that the “mark” is also symbolic is high. If you view the beast as an actual person then there is no reason to believe that the mark is anything other than a literaly mark.
    2) When we read Revelation 13, it seems to me that people are going to want the mark because it allows them to worship the Dragon. Again, this is a far cry from what we are seeing today with the vaccine.

    the sort answer is “no”. I don’t think the vaccine is in any way related to the Mark of the Beast in Rev 13 (at least no more than VISA or bar codes are).

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  7. Thanks for your reply Simon.

    For some reason it does not notify me when there is a reply. i don’t know if you have a way of doing this at all for the people who comment?

    In regards the Revelation question, your point one. I was thinking that the mark (assuming it is a literal mark) is not going to be a vaccine. Although some are arguing strangely that it becomes a chip within a vaccine and therefore a mark. But I think this would be unlikely. Always unlikely, because there will always be people who can’t have the vaccine. So therefore not everyone who is “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” would have it from a vaccine.

    But a passport or identification that everyone can carry around in some way – that indicates they have had a vaccine, or are exempt etc was my thinking – by way of a mark on the body for ease of use. Not necessarily in this instance of what is going on. But I find it fascinating that we have something happening right now that could be used to justify every person – across the world receiving a mark to buy and sell. Does that makes sense?

    But at the end of the day, that chapter is loaded with bizarre things that are challenging to understand. It is like there are snippets in there that appear clear to us and then a load of other stuff that is not so clear at all.

    What is interesting is that verse 9 is in there, to suggest one can certainly understand it?

    I do keep thinking that whatever is going on, it is a fascinating time we are in.

    Hope you are all well.

    -Nigel

    Reply

    • ” It is like there are snippets in there that appear clear to us and then a load of other stuff that is not so clear at all.” – can’t agree more. Revelation is shrouded in certain uncertainties!

      I do keep thinking that whatever is going on, it is a fascinating time we are in – agree again. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus!

      Reply

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