Apprehension About Vaccination?

Apprehension About Vaccination?

Pastor Vincent - 17 July 2021

Weekend Devotion: Apprehension About Vaccination?

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We saw in many countries, as Covid_19 vaccination program is being rolled out nationwide, there are much apprehension about the reliability and safety of the vaccines. And Christians are beginning to ask whether our faith allows us, or encourages us to take the vaccines.

 

Apparently, we read that there are vaccines that are manufactured using aborted fetus cells, which is a moral ethical concern for believers. But there are also other concerns about the safety of the vaccine especially the mRNA vaccine, or whether the vaccines could be a mark of the beast.

 

Now, I’ve read articles written by Christian leaders or doctors who claim that with follow up vaccine doses and boosters, it appears to be rapidly progressing to that point – especially when it gets to the stage where a person cannot buy or sell or travel or function in society without the vaccine. This somehow fits the definition of the mark of the beast given in <Rel 13:16-17>. And they point to a prediction that vaccines delivered by a needle and syringe will soon be replaced by a patch device hydrogel to be inserted into our body, which will eventually alter our DNA and leave a mark on it. And they went on to conclude that will be how Satan wants to imprint “his image” on us.

 

Now, although this kind of theory sounds absurd, it is unbelievable that such a pseudo-scientific view is gaining traction among evangelical Christians. In fact, research has shown us that when there are fears and uncertainties, people tend to believe what sounds skeptical, rather than what is sound and logical. Of course, there are many things we don’t know about the mRNA vaccines yet, but we have to be biblically sound when people quote from the bible.

 

Now, having preached on the book of Revelation myself, I am always very wary of such far-fetched, mystical, and forced explanation that likened the “mark of the beast” to something that is physical. Taken from the whole view of the scripture, the mark of the beast is not something material or physical, rather it is spiritual.

 

It cannot be something that is a mark on the human skin, or something that changes our DNA. The mark cannot be something that affects our physical body. It has got to do with our soul. When the bible says “mark”, it meant to be a seal on our soul. So when the Bible says it’ s a mark on our forehead, it is to mean our “belief”. When it’s a mark on our right hand, it is to mean our “works or way of life”, which is a product of our belief. It cannot mean anything more than that to even affect our salvation and make us a child of Satan. You cannot be a child of God at this moment, and then the next moment you get a vaccine, get some imprint on your skin or your DNA, then you become a child of Satan. That’s absurd, that’s unbiblical.  

 

So in this sense, I cannot agree with this kind of view, which I see it as a conspiracy theory. Sometimes these people sounded like they are explaining from the Word, but they may not be understanding the Word from the whole context of the Bible when they try to attribute meanings to it, and they made those mistakes especially when they try to explain the book of Revelation with regard to end times prophecies. This is also the reason why I am against those prophetic ministries who are leading a lot of people astray by misrepresenting the biblical facts, and sometimes without them knowing. Ignorant churchgoers are buying into such views. 

 

But having said that, we are indeed instructed by the bible to also practice discernment. So having read scripture verses about the day that will come where men will “not being able to buy or sell, except for those who has the mark of the beast”, we are at least aware this will happen someday.

 

And now looking at the whole pandemic situation, all it takes is a small virus like Covid_19 to create enough anxiety in governments to have their people being inoculated or traced wherever they go. So it gives us an idea that it is not hard to get people to adopt a belief or practice collectively, when someday, enough sense of crisis is being felt by the general people.

 

But how exactly is the anti-Christ going to control the general people? With what kind of avenues or instruments is he going to use?

 

We don’t know.

 

But we know that it can happen easily thru a sense of global crisis, and it will definitely be something that lure or compel churchgoers to turn away from the Christian faith. We are expecting that, but we should refrain from making reckless conclusions now.

 

So back to the issue of vaccines. I like to encourage believers to have a very clear and sound mind on deciding inoculation.

 

 Now, two things hang on our mind. First, is it really safe? The answer is no one can be sure. Second, do we trust the efficacy of the vaccines? We know it is not 100%, but in our hearts, we know we trust no one but God. But practically speaking, should we take the vaccines? My answer is Yes. Why? Primarily, it is “for the sake of the gospel”.

 

Now, if we are put into a situation where we cannot gather in church or visit people or dine with them so freely without them fearing an infection, then we should really go for the vaccines. Now, we must think in favor of the gospel, and in favor to ministering to people. And if we claim we are people who live for the gospel, why should we be afraid of the risk? Why should we be overthinking needlessly?

 

Now my brethren, when faced with uncertainties, learn to make a decision with our intention in sync with the gospel, and we will not go wrong.

 

Even with regard to choosing a vaccine, its straightforward also. There are people who asked me, “Pastor, should I take a mRNA vaccine or a non-mRNA one?” My answer is if you have no life-threatening allergies, you should choose the vaccines that give you the easiest access to church gatherings, or to gain access to your ministries. If you are in Singapore where only people vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are given full access to gatherings, you should choose either of these two vaccines. But if you have a ministry in China, and will need to be traveling there very frequently, take the Sinovac vaccines instead. I think having a primary focus on the gospel, coupled with commonsense shall prevail in choosing a vaccine.

Now to conclude, we must be able to differentiate between what is reasonable fear and irrational fear. I think God has put in every human being some reasonable fear so that that we will not be reckless and avoid some obvious danger. But irrational fear has no grounds. It accepts all forms of skepticism. It believes all sorts of conspiracy theory, and doesn’t make sound judgment based on available information. Now, think about this. If the whole world is totally driven by irrational fear, we would have already destroyed one another.

 

Now, as I see it, Covid_19 not only test the authenticity of our faith, it also reveals how much of the Holy Spirit we have in us. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul,

 

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” <2 Ti 1:7>.

 

Ask for a sound mind, my brethren.

 

 

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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