See what others are saying and join the conversation!
Vaccines are nothing new, but they have become a hot topic for many people around the world in light of the Covid pandemic. There are lots of things to consider, from what our responsibilities are as Christians to who we’re ultimately held accountable to and why. These are scary, surreal times we’re living in, but through it all, God has provided His wisdom and instruction. He’s also given us a community of fellow believers to hold each other accountable and work through hardships with. That community might look a little different these days than it has in the past, but the connection is still there.
One such community trying to address these issues in a thoughtful way is Ebible. Not only is ebible.com a way to read and study scripture, but it’s home to many Christians just like you, asking questions and seeking answers. Ebible hosts hundreds of question and answer threads, including the popular question, “How should Christians view vaccines?”
I’ve picked out a few of the top answers from our most popular contributors. You can view the original question here. Please note, these opinions are not necessarily reflective of Ebible, FaithHub, or Great Life publishing.
Jennifer Rothnie, Ebible Supporter
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17
Like many issues scripture does not directly address due to advancements in medicine or technology, vaccines are a matter of personal conscience. A few may feel convicted that they should not get a specific vaccine, or even any vaccine, under any circumstance. Others may be convicted that vaccines are a moral obligation in service to the health of society. Still others – perhaps the majority – may feel it is an ammoral, neutral matter of conscience, not a sin either way, and can be determined case by case for different vaccines or at different risk levels.
[For a personal example, I tend to only get the yearly flu shot if I am pregnant, when there is higher risk to myself and my child.]
This doesn’t mean that scripture has no related advice we can pull from, but it does mean that one can’t easily claim that it is “definitely spiritually wrong” to get a vaccine or “definitely spritually wrong” not to.
The big questions to ask oneself is, “Have I prayed over this? Have I *genuinely* prayed over this, seeking the aid of God vs. For God to confirm my first instincts? Have I studied potential scripture that might shed light on it? Am I aware of the Biblical reasons others might choose to get vaccinated or refuse?”
And no matter our personal conviction, we should not mistreat others for being convicted differently. This isn’t just because it *is* actually spiritually wrong to be judgemental about the heart or intellect of others and to lash out at them in speech (Matt 5:22, Eph 4:15, James 3:9, Rom 14:1, etc.) but also for practical reasons: dismissing people, treating them as stupid, or telling them they just don’t know sicence is unlikely to be persuasive in the slightest.
Lawrence Valin, Former Family Physician
I am an MD anti-vaxxer.
This opinion was strengthened by a book I found in a rabbi’s office. It related to prohibition against “cutting” as in Deuteronomy 14:1, “You are the sons of the Lord your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead.”
Anything that breaks the skin might be considered prohibited, including vaccines. Some would seem to think that a medical system is a part of the Church. Mark 5 is all about the conflict of Church with the world. It’s about “uncleanness” or taboos. See “woman with a hemorrhage, who suffered much under many physicians and yet was worse”.
While in practice, I usually left it up to patients as to whether they got a regular flu vaccine. Some wanted it and some didn’t, and it seemed to be part of their lifestyle. The suggestion that whether you take it or not is a moral question relates to the issue of modern medicine being a “religion”. I think of vaccination as a kind of medical “sacrament”.
Ainsley Chalmers, Medical Research Scientist
One truthful conclusion can be made about vaccines used now for many years: They have saved millions of lives from suffering diseases like polio, measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, hepatitis and many others. I believe that their existence are due to the God-inspired medical discoveries made by scientists.
There are however some side effects associated with vaccines as there with all drugs but these are greatly outweighed by their health-promoting medical benefits. The vaccines not only protect the recipient but also those unvaccinated and close to them.
I personally have had the covid vaccine (AZ) but some friends and family have elected not to and I respect their wishes. It has nothing to do with spiritual or moral stances although I want to protect my family from my spreading the virus to them.
Currently, there are a lot of conspiracy theories and lies being promoted about the covid vaccine even by Christian ministries. Don’t believe every opinion you may read (even mine) on the subject. All I can suggest is do your own research on the matter and find out the truth.