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Jesus is the Vaccine – CT

This weeks article on Christian Today. 

Jesus is the Vaccine

It’s the middle of winter, the Snow Queen rules and yet Aslan has come, the snow begins to melt, and we are heading for a summer paradise. One thing that the UK Government seems to have got right in this Covid disaster is the vaccine.

A year ago we were told that it could take up to 20 years to develop a vaccine – if at all. But here we are a year later.

Around 20 per cent of the UK population has now received a first dose and there is great hope that things may return to ‘normal’ in the not too distant future. That is good news indeed and as Christians we should express our thankfulness to the Lord for answered prayer.

And there are similar good news stories coming from further afield too. Over 130 million people have now been vaccinated worldwide. Israel has vaccinated 66 per cent of its population, and the US 13 per cent. We thank God.

However, it intrigues me that the vaccine is being spoken of in pseudo religious terms. If the NHS is the modern UK religion (remember how we have been told to stay at home to save the NHS – forgetting that it is the NHS that is supposed to save us?), then the vaccine is the saviour.

So let’s look at some of the comparisons between the Good News of Christ and the good news of the vaccine:

When it comes to the Gospel, there are anti-vaxxers as well

They don’t believe that sin is real or serious. Or they think they can handle it and it won’t really affect them. They behave as though they will live forever, or they believe that either someone will save them, or they don’t need saved at all. Anti-vaxxers may end up doing harm to their bodies – or those of others. But ‘anti-Gospellers’ do harm to both body and soul.

The vaccine is leading to a great deal of pride and hubris

Look how great we are! We can save ourselves. The Gospel makes us humble because we know that we cannot save ourselves. It took the Son of God to come and die for us.

The vaccine will not save us from death

Even if we were all vaccinated and the death counters on the news were to stop, death itself will not have been stopped. Every day over 150,000 people die in the world – that’s 56 million every year. A Covid vaccine will not stop that. The vaccine will provide a welcome reprieve for many. But it won’t give a single person eternal life. The Gospel promises not only new life now but an eternal life (John 3:16) – without pain, suffering or tears (Revelation 7:17).

The vaccine may give us a false or temporary peace and confidence

It is the Gospel that gives us a real and lasting hope.

The vaccine (and the fallout from Covid) benefits the rich most

It is the wealthy who have the means to survive the economic fallout – and some are even benefitting from it. And as usual, it is the poor who suffer the most. The rich nations will have double and triple doses for their citizens; the poorest will do well to have even 10 per cent of their populations vaccinated – although self-interest as well as compassion may encourage the rich to share.

The Gospel’s priorities are different. Jesus was sent to preach Good News to the poor (Luke 4:18), not to those who could afford it most. There were not many ‘mighty and noble’ called. It was not primarily the movers and shakers who Christ called but the moved and shaken.

As we look at these contrasts perhaps the Church needs to reflect on the public message it is putting out. As the historian Tom Holland commented, as important as health advice is, he doesn’t want church leaders handing it out. He wants to know what God has to say. I have heard church leaders far more passionate about ‘doing the right thing’ by obeying the government, than they are about doing the right thing by obeying God (although the two are not always necessarily opposed!).

At a personal level perhaps each of us needs to stop and reflect. It’s not wrong to be sceptical and ask questions about the vaccine. Neither is it wrong to be sceptical and ask questions about the Gospel. But we need to stop and listen to the answers, accept the evidence and act upon it.

Christians of all people should not be afraid of the vaccine – or of the virus – even if it doesn’t work for us and even if we have an adverse reaction.

We know that at the end of the day, we are going the way of all flesh, but “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” (Job 19:25-26).

As Richard Sibbes puts it, “He that looks God in the face often in prayer, and seeking him, may look death in the face.”

And in a sermon on Psalm 117, he makes this beautiful statement:

“Christ is not sweet, until sin be bitter.”

There are those who won’t take the vaccine and who won’t take Covid seriously until they experience it. And there are those who won’t seek Christ until they become conscious of sin. It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick (Matthew 9:12).

The world cries ‘is there a vaccine?’ Thankfully the answer is ‘yes’. The Lord asks, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:22). There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the sin-sick soul. There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole! Christ is the vaccine for the whole world at its deepest point of need. Let us share Him!

The Kitchen Table 11 – The Gospel Vaccine

A Woke Coup in Scotland – and a Warning to the Rest of the world – CT

13 comments

  1. I pray when you talk of anti-vaxxers you aren’t just blanket covering all! I am a Christian and trust the Lord with my life in every aspect. However, I am still undecided as to whether I take it or not. There’s so much information out there for all to see and do their research on, and pray through, as to what’s true and what is a lie! The restrictions being put on us, the control of our lives, the fear being instilled, etc. Are we paving the way for the enemy to gain control? I don’t know? If by taking the vaccine, TRULY does help protect others, then I am happy, but I need it explained how it’s helping as they say it won’t stop anyone still getting the virus or passing it on, it only alleviates the symptoms. Already, they are talking about regular shots of it? It’s all very confusing…..We pray consistently for the Lord to reveal & expose lies & I believe he’s doing that, so I will wait for HIS confirmation to settle my spirit and not be coerced into it just yet!
    Personally, I believe we are ALL under the Lord’s judgement. The sins of the world is great (As in the days of Noah!) Babies being murdered in the womb, the sanctity of family being destroyed, the sexualisation of our children etc etc etc! Sadly it hardly ever brought up in our church sermons, few have asked “What is God saying about this virus?” “What does HE want us to do?” My answer would be, for the nation/world, to repent, pray & let the Lord once again take HIS rightful place in our lives and in our land.

  2. Thank you, David, for these reminders. The situation here in the UK (and presumably elsewhere) reminds us of the sinfulness of man. The selfishness of people partying, against the rules, is staggering. Careless of their own safety and that of others.
    The “church” is failing to preach nationally the issues you highlight and has failed to call the country to prayer. And so on. Thank you for challenging us again.

  3. Good article David, but you are probably not up to date with the latest pronouncements by Government ministers and their “expert” advisors.

    Boris promised a “grateful” nation that the vaccine was, indeed, our saviour which would lead us out of Covid and into the sun kissed slopes of “normality” – rapturous unabated joy all round! “All hail to the blessed vaccine”, or “vaccines” for there are more ways to salvation than one.

    Errr..

    But we are not sure if it will prevent viral transmission, or protect us from hideous new mutant strains imported from festering plague-ridden countries overseas. So we need to close our borders to such vile places, and if anyone dares to arrive they will be imprisoned for 10 days (at their own cost of £1700) and even then only be let out if the notoriously inaccurate PCR test is twice negative.

    Oh, and don’t bother booking a summer holiday – we don’t yet know if it will be safe, and anyway it is currently illegal to go abroad on holiday. We may have to continue social distancing and wearing face nappies for the rest of the year. Foreign travel may not be possible until the whole world has been vaccinated.

    All this has been said in the last 48 hours!

    So much for vaccine salvation! Give me Jesus any time.

  4. Anti-vaxxers may end up doing harm to their bodies – or those of others.

    I am curious to know why you say anti-vaxxers may harm themselves or others? Also, is it not possible to be pro vaccine but still have serious reservations about the covid vaccine and the way there seems to be some degree of manipulation to get people to have it. Surely as with all medical interventions we should be free to make a risk/benefit analysis for ourselves (which will be different for every individual) with out emotional blackmail. No medical intervention should be mandatory and this is feeling very much like it could become so. I would appreciate your thoughts.

    I have read your blog for many years now and very much appreciate all your insights and commentary and your faithfulness to the Lord. I pray you will be enabled by the grace of God to continue your helpful and encouraging work.

    1. Hi Caroline…..To answer your questions.

      If the vaccine prevents you from getting the illness and then you refuse to take and then get ill and die – you are harming yourself. If the vaccine prevents you passing it on, and you refuse to get it and as a result pass on the virus then you harm others.

      It is possible to be pro vaccine but still have serious reservations about it – I do. But yes I don’t think it should be mandatory…you are right – that should be up to individuals to decide. Personally I would not take the vaccine just now because in Australia we don’t have any community transmission. However I would take it if I had to return to the UK..

      1. Hi David,

        They’ve already said, the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting the virus OR from passing it on! So NOT getting the jab, shouldn’t harm anyone, should it?
        Sorry, I don’t understand….

      2. Sorry Kathleen – that is not what ‘they’ have said. The point about the vaccine is that it is up to 95% effective in preventing you from getting the virus – and, in the case of Astra Zeneca at least 67% effective in preventing you spreading it. Think about it – why would they spend billions on a vaccine that does not work!

      3. Thank you for your reply David,

        I fully respect, love and follow all your posts, they have encouraged and uplifted me many, many times, but I am struggling a bit this time with your views regarding the vaccine. However, hopefully we can agree to disagree on this eh?
        I suppose only time will tell which way this “pandemic” is going, and what will transpire, so for now, because I still don’t feel settled in my spirit that all is well, I will wait & seek to hear the Lord’s word on it.
        Also, this is an excerpt of a piece I read in a BBC article entitled “ Can you still transmit Covid-19 after vaccination? a few days ago:

        “ In the case of Covid-19, neutralising antibodies that recognise the virus bind to the spike protein on its surface, which it uses to enter cells. To achieve sterilising immunity, vaccines must stimulate enough of these antibodies to catch any virus particles entering the body and immediately disarm them.

        What type of immunity do the Covid-19 vaccines provide?

        “In a nutshell we don’t know, because they’re too new,” says Neal.

        So far, the available Covid-19 vaccines have not been judged primarily on their ability to prevent transmission – though this is now being evaluated as a secondary endpoint for many of them. Instead, their efficacy was assessed by whether they could prevent symptoms from developing. “This means that we set our targets kind of pragmatically,” says Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London.
        Check: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210203-why-vaccinated-people-may-still-be-able-to-spread-covid-19

        Thank you & God Bless the work you do, Kath

  5. I agree with Tom Holland. I’m growing increasingly discouraged by seeing Christian friends on social media talk about nothing except Covid, Brexit, Trump, BLM, saving the environment, etc. Yes, these things are all important but they’re all transcended by the message of the Bible.

    Our duty as Christians is to show individuals the way to be saved from their sins or to help individuals struggling to meet their daily needs, not to try and save the world through governmental policy or technological advance. Face masks, the latest elected politican, identity politics and electric cars are not going to bring about the Kingdom of God.

    It seems to me that a lot of people, Christians or not, are caught up in the idea that you have to be on one side or the other of whatever political divide or difference of opinion happens to be in the news. As someone who grew up supporting a Scottish football team which wasn’t Rangers or Celtic, I am all too familiar with people demanding that I choose one side or the other when I have no time or preference for either!

    Our duty as Christians is not to take our stand on one side of the political divide in whatever country we happen to live in , but to be ambassadors for Jesus to anyone who will listen.

  6. To wander off from the main message you’re presenting I must admit that I have serious reservations about the vaccine because of the fetal tissue from an aborted baby (or babies) which is used in the process to produce the vaccine. Is it really impossible to produce the vaccine without using fetal tissue?
    I think it is clear that we have a serious moral dilemma here. It might be similar to taking advantage of money that was laundered by a relative or similar to taking the life of a person who guided people to escape in a war or another dangerous situation because of the risk that the guide might expose the escape route or hiding place to the enemy.
    And how should we view the possibility – in light of the mentioned moral dilemma – that refusal to take the vaccine could possibly cause us to pass the virus on to others who might get extremely sick and even die? It might be not too much of an issue for the everyday Christian and believe he/she can keep safe distances from others but what about the medical professional medical who works with Covid-19 patients everyday but refuse on moral grounds to take the vaccine and so pose a very high risk to his own family and friends?

    1. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were not produced using the aborted fetal cell lines, but other vaccines are based on these. Not that we seem to have much choice when it comes to accessing a specific vaccine. This is a major factor in my decision to accept vaccination, depending upon which is offered.

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