After the most accelerated research process in history, it appears a vaccine has been created for the novel coronavirus that plagued 2020. Following billions of dollars in spending and governments around the globe slashing red tape to expedite the process, it seems the scientific effort has paid off.
Although, this article will not go down the rabbit hole of every social media conspiracy theory, there are some legitimate concerns regarding the vaccine and the days ahead. These concerns include government compulsion, the micro-chipping of citizens, and the use of aborted fetal tissue in vaccines.
Most of the particulars of the vaccines, their processes, and how they will be administered are beyond both the scope of this article and the reach of my expertise. For the purposes of this article, it is sufficient to say that at least two companies (Pfizer and Moderna have made public statements) are claiming to have created successful vaccines that are at least 90% effective. This is particularly noteworthy, as many health experts had anticipated a much lower rate of success. In addition, the speed of development is literally record-breaking.
There have been many areas of concern regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Many of these concerns stem from rumors and theories that have been circulating the internet since the early days of the pandemic. Although, this article will not go down the rabbit hole of every social media conspiracy theory, there are some legitimate concerns regarding the vaccine and the days ahead. These concerns include government compulsion, the micro-chipping of citizens, and the use of aborted fetal tissue in vaccines. Let’s explore the Christian response to each.
The first concern is rooted in what many have seen as government overreach throughout the process of dealing with the pandemic. Some states and municipalities have responded with common sense measures, according to the limited knowledge they possessed. However, some have gone far beyond what seemed reasonable and have crossed lines of constitutionally protected rights.
Most recently, state leaders have sought to limit holiday gatherings and Pennsylvania has garnered headlines for calling upon citizens to wear masks within the confines of their own homes. The seemingly hypocritical responses to handling protesters, along with leaders responsible for the most draconian measures not adhering to their own guidelines, have thrown fuel on the fire of distrust for governmental motives regarding virus response.
While believers are called to live under the authority of government, forced vaccinations would be a gross overreach.
Considering the above, and throwing in some internet sensationalism, you now have a growing concern regarding whether the government will compel citizens to take the vaccine. Possible repercussions for refusal could be losing the ability to travel, work, shop, or even attend events at large venues. Essentially, the government could drastically reduce your ability to live a normal life if you refuse to take the vaccine.
If this were the case, particularly regarding a virus with the high survival rate of COVID-19, that would be an overreach by the government. While believers are called to live under the authority of government, forced vaccinations would be a gross overreach. At that point, for believers, a point of personal conscience has been reached. Each person would then be forced to decide whether or not to vaccinate based upon the extent to which they believe the government has the right to impose itself in the personal health decisions of citizens.
That is not to say that employers are not within their rights to require employees to vaccinate. Some fields like healthcare and childcare already require certain vaccinations. Any employer is within their rights to call for their employees to be vaccinated. At the same time, an employee reserves the right to seek employment elsewhere. Either decision is within the bounds of both Christian and American liberty.
Since the early days of the pandemic, conspiracy theories have been swirling. They covered every topic from the origin of the virus to the motives in government response. One popular theme is that the government, Bill Gates, or both are planning to secretly microchip citizens, using the vaccine as the vehicle.
…no believer should be afraid of “accidentally” taking the Mark of the Beast. Choosing to deny God and worship the Anti-Christ is a matter of the will.
A few things should be noted. First, some conspiracy theories are true. However, most are simply fun to talk about with little basis in reality. In this case, it would seem to be the latter. Unless there is some profound evidence, such as whistleblowers and local medical professionals refusing to administer the vaccine, we can most likely dismiss that theory. However if that is a real concern for you, by all means, abstain.
It is also important to note that no believer should be afraid of “accidentally” taking the Mark of the Beast. Choosing to deny God and worship the Anti-Christ is a matter of the will. You aren’t going to be a believer who is surreptitiously branded and thus lose the salvation won for you by the work of Christ.
…articles have claimed that the vaccines contain material from aborted babies. If this is true, we have a real ethical quandary on our hands.
Material from Aborted Babies
News of a vaccine was quickly followed by articles with warnings regarding the content of the vaccines and the processes by which they were developed. Some of these articles have claimed that the vaccines contain material from aborted babies. If this is true, we have a real ethical quandary on our hands.
If abortion is murder, then benefitting from the murder of an innocent person would certainly be inappropriate for believers. Some may counter that a murder victim, or even a person killed by a drunk driver, could be an organ donor and thus benefit someone else. However, the issue of a one-to-one donation in a tragic circumstance is substantially different than the systematic harvest of material procured through the killing of innocents.
No one should be forced to choose between their health and their conscience.
For many believers, and almost all who claim to be pro-Life, the inclusion of aborted fetal tissue is a deal-breaker. So, it is important that we have the facts regarding the vaccines themselves. At the time of this writing, two companies have publicly announced their success. More companies will no doubt be following suit. The global market will soon have many vaccines available.
There are many issues surrounding the entire vaccine industry they may cause concern for ProLife individuals.
According to Lifenews, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain fetal cells. The vaccine, which Pfizer claims to be 90% effective, was created through computer genetic sequencing and has been called “ethically uncontroversial” by Pro-Life advocates. Although any person seeking vaccination should certainly do their own research, this does seem to be very good news. No one should be forced to choose between their health and their conscience.
If Pfizer’s 90% claim was not astounding enough, Moderna claims its vaccine is even more effective. Those looking for an ethical vaccine will pleased to hear the news that this vaccine was also developed without the use of fetal tissue. It joins Pfizer’s offering as “ethically uncontroversial.”
The fact that two vaccines have been developed without abortive fetal tissue is great news. However, it is important to note that other treatments for COVID-19 and other vaccines in development are less ethically sound. There are many issues surrounding the entire vaccine industry they may cause concern for ProLife individuals. We are moving past much of that sordid history, but it does exist. Interested readers can find out more about COVID treatments and other historical vaccine concerns in this Christianity Today article.
…believers must make their decision in good conscience before God.
One concern remains.
Why do you want a vaccine? Are you afraid of death?
For the believer, our answer is absolutely not. We do not fear death. However, we do believe in caring for ourselves so that we may be able to continue to walk out this journey. We understand that God is in control and that ultimately our life is in His hands. Yet, we also know that we should use the practical wisdom that He has given to mankind in order to maintain a length and quality of life that enables us to carry out our life’s purpose, bringing Glory to Him.
Some may add that the use of medicine and vaccines increases the overall public health, is an act of love to our neighbor, and shows our value of life. Others would reply with ethical, medical, or scientific reasons they choose to abstain from vaccines. Both believers must make their decision in good conscience before God.
Stumbling over my brother’s syringe
In the end, every believer will make their own choice. People you love and respect may come to a different conclusion than yours. Whatever your decision, this is no issue for which we should strive against one another.
The season will pass, His purposes will not.
If you take the vaccine, take it in faith and go forward living a life that seeks to honor God.
If you do not take the vaccine, abstain in faith and go forward living a life that seeks to honor God.
Consider the issues. Make a choice of conscience. Live for Him. The season will pass, His purposes will not.
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Very thoughtful reasoning. Well done, Pastor Conley.