Today Julia and I are scheduled to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 illness (SARS-CoV-2 virus). The decision to get the vaccine wasn’t without some soul-searching, given the untested long-term effects or how it plays into the hands of the rich and powerful. Our country’s president has said he will insure that all Americans get the vaccine. If a left-leaning politician says such things, we wonder if it means more loss of personal freedom to choose medical treatments. But thankfully, we still have a choice so what should we choose?
We have made a decision, weighed in the balances on two scales. One scale is that of medical treatment and the other is that of social interaction.
We have heard the Lord set the framework for our decision with these Scriptures:
Our starting point concerns what is necessary.
Only one thing is necessary for us in this decision: to be in submission to a holy, all-wise and sovereign God. We believe with all our heart that He has the final say on what troubles we face and how long our lifespan. In Luke 10 Jesus told Martha not to be distracted and worried about so many things, but to choose the one thing necessary – as Mary had, sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His voice alone.
Medical Treatment Scale
The vaccine is not necessary for us, even though we are both 70 and Julia’s in a very high risk category if she contracts the disease. In the same way that car insurance, life insurance, or health insurance is unnecessary for us, this vaccine is unnecessary. We don’t get more days because of a vaccine, we get more days because God says so.
Some say the vaccine is necessary, others say it is has untested effectiveness and in fact may endanger our lives by blinding our body’s immune system to further variants of this virus. So, if the only scale we were looking at were the one viewing the vaccine as a medical treatment, our decision would probably be closer to the “No” end of the scale. There are other, more natural ways to fight the disease (good health habits like hand-washing or staying home when sick, Vitamin D3, zinc, etc.)
But there’s another scale of decision-making in this situation…
Social Interaction Scale
This is the reason we are getting the vaccine: we believe it will give us greater freedom in ministering spiritually to others and helping to quiet the mass hysteria that has gripped our world and put unprecedented power in the hands of American politicians for the past 12 months.
This scale has “No” on one hand (it plays into the hands of fear-based politics)” and “Yes” on the other (it’s a great way to be a good citizen and play along with prevailing worldly wisdom). In the middle, there is a rather large category of “Helpful.” We asked the question of our own situation, “Would getting the vaccine enhance our abilities and opportunities to give witness to the truth and purposes of Christ? Would it be helpful in our church and community to have it?” The answer was clearly “yes, it would.”
So, what else can we do? Our minds say “Wait until there’s more evidence of effectiveness and a determination on the part of politicians to protect personal freedoms.” Our spirits say “Don’t wait to get the vaccine, God’s heart for the world is worth giving everything for and He is worthy of even our death – if that’s what it takes.”
We hope our friends and relatives who are choosing so say no to the vaccine will understand.
We are not making a decision based on mainstream media reports and opinion-shapers, but on what instruction the Scriptures are giving our hearts. We are listening to alternative sources and weighing what’s being said, even by our own primary care doctor who has recovered from being sick with the virus but insists that the typical mask cannot stop its transmission.
We pray that Christ’s name will be glorified in our decision and that our witness to Him will move ahead with health and strength in mind and body, as well as in spirit.