THE DISTRESS OF FEELING LIKE AN ISLAND
Get vaccinated or lose your job. Many are sitting on the brink of this “cliff.” Actually, today due to my not being vaccinated I lost the privilege of caring for residents in one nursing home. This is not an easy position to be in, but for those who, in truth, believe the Word of the Lord when He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you….Do not let your hearts be troubled…..I take care of the sparrows, will I not take care of you….I will work all things out for your good, even this,” there is no reason to be afraid. I believe I am not afraid. Not because losing my job is not a real possibility, but because I do believe God cares for believers, of whom I am one.
A note is in order. To rightly not be afraid, one needs to have a clear conscience before the Lord God. One must ask, “would the Lord have me to be vaccinated?” If one stubbornly holds out “just because,” then there may be reason to be afraid. The Bible does not say, you must be or you must not be vaccinated. Still one’s decision should be based on the Word of God, with a willingness to listen to the Lord and to be corrected. As of today, the Lord’s instruction to me regarding getting a COVID vaccine is “wait.”
I am not an “antivaxxer.” I think vaccinations play an important role in our mandate to care for one another and for the world. For some reason the primary concern I have about these COVID vaccines does not seem to enter the minds of many others. The Lord has blessed me or burdened me with a mind that needs to know why I believe what I believe, about God, about Jesus, about faith, worship, and the church. I need to know the details about medical illnesses, about medications, and pretty well everything else I am expected to accept as good. To accept the goodness of mRNA vaccines I need to know details. I cannot accept something just because someone claims to know and says I should. I need to know the details showing why I should accept these vaccines.
I have studied how mRNA COVID vaccines work and some details about how they are made. The science is amazing. If these vaccines turn out to be safe in the long term, it will markedly change the face of vaccine production.
My study gives rise to questions about the long term safety of these vaccines. This technology has never before been used for large scale vaccination. No long term research establishes their safety. What I have learned about the science of these vaccines raises some important questions. How long do these synthetic mRNA molecules last in our bodies? How long they continued to produce the associated spike protein? Does it matter? The answers to these questions may have long term safety implications. This posting is not primarily about these questions. I will leave that to another blog posting. This posting has to do with the resulting feeling of isolation among both medical colleagues and fellow followers of Jesus Christ.
Recently, I received a copy of a letter signed by pretty much every other primary care physician across two counties, espousing the need for and safety of these vaccines. In my local hospital all but about three doctors have been vaccinated and many join in promoting the need for and the safety of these vaccines. None of these colleagues seem to be asking the same questions as me. On the internet, although many express concern, I have not found others seeking answers to my reasonable questions. It “boggles” my mind that so few seem to share the same concerns as me. Thus, I feel like a tiny island.
Am I crazy? Should I take the apparent fact that I stand largely alone as an indicator that I am wrong and abandon my concerns? Jesus says in John 8:32, “the truth will set you free.” Jesus says that you will know the truth “if you abide in My Word.” We may be quick to think these saying of Jesus do not apply to the details of COVID vaccines. But the implication of the passage is that those who are in the Word will see the truth: thus suggesting that those who are not in the Word are at risk of believing falsehood. Telling only half the truth, if the whole truth leads to a different conclusion, is actually falsehood rather than truth. When I evaluate my concerns compared to the sea of comments and opinions around me, I am compelled not to abandon my concerns, as they arise out of a quest for truth. Many of the conclusions of others seem to be based on “half of the truth.”
It is easy to demonstrate that many of the comments, case numbers, and situations used to support the use of these mRNA vaccines, although based on real numbers are only part of the picture and tell only “half of the truth.” Are half truths used because the whole truth is less likely to convince people to believe we need mRNA vaccines to save us? How can a sea of medical people accept this? Is it because few other doctors seem to abide in Christ, let alone speak of Him or His Word? Could it be that Christ, the source of all truth, leaves them blind to the truth, leaving them to believe, as truth, what is not truth?
Yes, in my local sea of medical service providers, I feel like a tiny island. Yet, this is not the source of my greatest distress. I do find comfort in the Words of the true Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, that the truth will set me free. So why do I still have heaviness of heart? Not only do I feel like an Island in the medical sea, I also feel like an island among those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I do not fit into the common groups. I do not think vaccines in general should be avoided by Christians. My concern is not based on thinking these vaccines are part of some conspiracy, or a violation of religions rights. Also, due to my concerns, I am not able to promote these vaccines as a Christian’s responsibility to protect others. I have not been given the freedom of conscience to simply promote these vaccines “trusting God” to take care of us. As well as not fitting into these groups, there seems to be a growing animosity between the vaccinated and un-vaccinated. This is the source of my greatest distress, especially given that the Lord desires us to truly support one another at all times, even when we do not see things in exactly the same way. 
I can imagine some saying, “Why are you so stubborn? Just get the vaccine. Would it not be better to swallow your pride, take the vaccine, and continue to be an influence in the nursing home?” This admonition would be warranted if I am driven by pride and stubbornness. I can be proud and stubborn. Yet, I do not think this is the primary problem. I believe my concern is for truth. To just get the vaccine in spite of my concerns will in some way be accepting as true what is not true. It is the truth that Jesus says, will set you free. Ultimately, Jesus, the truth, will save us, not vaccines.
It may appear I am saying the truth will prevent you from getting COVID. I cannot say this. The Bible does not teach that belief in Jesus will prevent the hardships of this life, including those associated with illnesses like COVID. Neither will placing our hope in medical treatments, doctors or world leaders ultimately save us from the losses and destruction we fear. Jesus ultimately can save from the distress resulting from animosity and broken relationships associated with our differences of opinion over COVID and Vaccines. Jesus teaches His followers saying, “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). If Jesus is able to do this, He is also able to save us. C.T. Studd summarized the teaching of Jesus in a poem saying, “Only one life ‘till soon be past only what is done for Christ will last.” Ultimately, it is Jesus who can work this in us (Philippians 2:13) and give those who believe on Him everlasting life. (John 3:16). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) Through Jesus may “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord life up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
- I realize I am not alone in not being able to be vaccinated. I am aware of a minority of nurses, PSWs and other support staff whose jobs are also threatened. This blog is not about being alone under the threat to lose ones job. It is about feeling alone in my reason for not being vaccinated. [return]
- I acknowledge the concern about the use of fetal cells. Fetal cells should not be used in the production or development of vaccines or other medical treatments. My post is not about this issue. The Lord willing I may be able to tackle this topic in another post. [return]