Should I Get the COVID Vaccination? – January 1, 2021

Over the past few weeks, I have been asked several times about the COVID vaccination. As a Christian, should I get it? Let me state the obvious at the outset, I am not a medical doctor or an epidemiologist. As I have answered this question, I have sought to do so as a pastor, not a doctor. This means that I will not pretend to know things that I don’t have the qualifications or knowledge to answer. My goal is simply to give Biblical principles to help us answer this question in a biblical way as we sort through all the information. As we consider vaccinations in general, and the COVID vaccination specifically, there are several important Biblical principles which ought to guide our decision making.

The first principle comes from the creation mandate. At creation, God placed man as the overseer of creation. He gave man the mandate to practice dominion over creation. Genesis 1:28-30 – And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. The idea of dominion means to bring into subjection. After the fall, this mandate necessitated the idea of battling against disease, illness, and viruses. Biblical Christians hold the concept of medical health in high regard. This is why throughout history, everywhere Christianity advanced, you also saw hospitals and doctor’s offices follow. Vaccinations serve to help that dominion mandate. As we consider COVID, we ought to pray for medical advances that will help us overcome the virus. It is possible that these vaccinations do just that.

We must also consider the principle of life. Biblical Christians support life from conception until death. This is important as we consider vaccinations. What methods were used to develop this vaccination? Some methods involve embryonic stem cells harvested from aborted babies. As Christians, we must decry this method as not only unethical, but sinful. As far as my research has discovered, this method was not used in any of the COVID vaccines. But what if we discover it was? How far does the transmission of guilt extend? Am I guilty of supporting the abortion industry by receiving a vaccination developed with these methods? This leads us to another important principle.

We must consider the principle of conscience. Romans 14 informs us that whatever is not of faith is sin. If I believe that by receiving a vaccination developed through sinful methods is sin, then for me, it is sin. However, because this is indeed a gray area, we ought to be careful about judging the spirituality of those who disagree with us. Be sensitive to and do not violate your conscience.

We must also consider the principle of expediency. Just because we can does not always mean that we should. Neither does it mean that we should not. It is not wrong to question the safety of a vaccination which has been developed so quickly. You must ask if this is the best course of action? Are you prone to allergic reactions to the vaccination? Are you at risk for the side effects of the vaccination?

This leads to what I call the principle of expertise, or the principle of wisdom. In today’s culture, everyone’s opinion is valued the same as everyone else’s. Let me be blunt, this is foolishness. God has gifted different people in different areas. Through the gifts of their intellect, God sovereignly directed individuals to learn and grow in specific areas. We ought to value those individual’s opinions in those areas above the opinion of the novice. With the COVID vaccination, this means that I value the opinion of my doctor above the opinion of my Facebook friend. Do your research, listen to experts, ignore your social media.

Finally, we must consider the principle of love. There are two important aspects to this principle. First, we must consider those around us. How will my failure to get vaccinated impact those around me? Am I around those who are at great risk of the virus? Will my failure to get vaccinated signal a lack of love to those around me? Second, we must consider how we interact with our fellow believers. Romans 14 informs us that God is the judge. If someone insists on vaccination, then I must show love to them and not condemn them. If someone insists on not getting vaccinated, then I must show love to them and not condemn them.

From a Christian perspective, should I get vaccinated? I believe that the answer is “maybe.” We certainly ought to support the objective of the vaccination: dominion over creation through medical intervention. We should investigate the expediency and safety of the vaccination. We should do so in the proper places (NOT Facebook). We should consider our conscience in the issue. We should consider the impacts of our decision on those around us. And we should seek how to best love one another. Above all, we should treat one another with love and respect and brothers and sisters in Christ. Personally, I don’t know what I will do when the vaccination becomes available to me. These are the principles I am working through and praying through as I consider it.

For a better written Christian perspective, I would recommend the following article. Although he comes to a slightly different conclusion, I appreciate his Biblical methodology and perspective. Vaccines and the Christian Worldview: Principles for Christian Thinking in the Context of COVID –