We recently got a question from a spiritual pastor in one of the communities we serve about what to tell his congregation about the COVID-19 and about the COVID-19 Vaccine.
We then got feedback from one of our spiritual care leaders at CHRISTUS. His words are worth sharing more broadly. As he details below what might be important to keep in mind as you or others you love and care about think when putting faith in God before anything else. At CHRISTUS, we know people have questions about the vaccine and that they are making decisions on what makes the most sense to them, their lives and to their life circumstances.
Thank you to Dan Ford for his thoughtful words.
Faithful Decision Making on Vaccination
Whether or not to get vaccinated, although contributing to the common good, is a personal decision. There should be deep respect for the reasons and concerns people have for or against it. When Christians come to me for advice on that or any other important decision, I often approach it from a faith perspective, especially when I think that is what they are looking for in asking me. I share what I call the Three Points of Reference for faithful decision-making. Let me explain.
Scripture tells us that prayers “availeth much.” Although we always need to get some reliable information, people of faith should also pray about things for guidance. Pray with an open mind, humility and love in your heart for God and neighbor.
Christ gave us the church so that we are not alone in our walk and seeking His will. It is helpful to get advice from other Christians and from anyone else we think has Godly wisdom. That may be friends, our pastor, or articles and books written by others. That is the second point of reference and will help inform the prayers of the first point. For me, just observing physicians with both knowledge and wisdom getting the vaccine was very convincing for me. I knew they could understand the medical reports far better than I.
The third point of reference can sometimes give us a little homework, because it means we research sacred scripture. At least we scan our biblical mind and memory to make sure that nothing contradicts what scripture tells us. Where vaccines are concerned, did you know there are many references in Scripture to guide us? Although there were no vaccines in those times, there were many examples of God providing healing by combining faith and intentionality with earthly things. Let me provide a few examples. In Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22 leaves are provided for medicine. In Isaiah 38 figs are applied for healing. In 2 Kings 5, the military officer Naaman did not have much faith, but when he was at least willing to obey and wash in the Jordan River as the prophet told him to, he was healed of his leprosy. In I Timothy 5 and in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, wine is used for healing. In John 9 Jesus healed a man of blindness by placing mud on his eyes. These are all signs that we can use the things of the earth to heal our maladies, especially when done so in faith.
The three points I use as explained here can be compared to the 3 points to find a given place in physics. We need 3 intersecting lines or dimensions to find a point in space. This is why GPS must use 3 satellites to find a place (north, east and altitude). I hope this helps anyone still struggling in good faith to make the right decision about getting vaccinated, or for any other decision. Get informed, then pray, seek the wisdom of Godly people, and apply scripture. God bless you in making a decision that gives you peace.
Vice President, Mission