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VACCINES AND FAITH
As I write this before Christmas 2021, I am looking forward to seeing my six-year-old grandson, whom I have not seen for two years because of COVID-19. John and I had our boosters, and my grandson has been vaccinated, so we plan to be together safely.
The practice of vaccinations and wearing masks is not only a medical issue, but it is also a religious one. Some reject good health practices, saying that “faith alone” will keep them well. That view of faith is not biblical. God tells us not to fear but trust his promises and act on what God's Word tells us. In 2 Kings 5:1–14, Elisha told Naaman that his leprosy would be cured if he dipped seven times in the Jordan River. The prophet told Naaman what to do, but Naaman had to have enough faith to do it. In Joshua 6, God told the Israelites that the walls of Jericho would fall if they marched around the city seven times, blew ram's horns, and shouted. That made no sense, but because of faith in God, they did what he said. In Matthew 9:20, a woman was healed when she touched the hem of Christ's garment. In Matthew 14:36, a similar action brought healing.
God has given us the ability to understand how his design of the human body works and what we must do to keep it healthy. This knowledge has helped doctors know how to activate the designed antibodies to fight attacks from diseases. As a result, science can now make vaccines to keep us safe from many diseases, including COVID-19.
John's son died of COVID-19 because an unmasked and unvaccinated health worker gave him the virus. Tim had solid faith, but not in the foolishness of humans. His faith was that a better place awaited him when this body could no longer function. Jesus calls us to a faith that accepts with gratitude the medical advancements that keep us well.
Religious leaders who encourage others to reject COVID-19 vaccines in the name of faith in God are rejecting the knowledge and methods God has given us to stay well. They are also advocating and encouraging behavior that adversely affects others. Unvaccinated people are about 90% of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. They are overwhelming hospitals and medical workers and infecting many others, too. God tells us to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3–5).
I pray that we will become more considerate and thoughtful of others.
— Cynthia Clayton
© Julie Marcussen
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.