The Psalmist wrote:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases.”
My goals for any post I write concerning vaccine choice are two-fold:
- To help clear away muddy presuppositions, so that we as Christian moms might replace fear with love and pride with peace.
- To promote Christian unity and inspire thoughtful discussion.
THE MODERN VACCINE WAR: a breeding ground of fear, pride, and hate–and Christians are being sucked in.
Most vaccine-related posts I’ve read took me for a ride through various links (study after study) and clever, often emotionally-driven verbiage sprinkled with modern medical or scientific consensus. The writer’s agenda becomes obvious: to persuade the reader to make an “all or nothing” decision concerning vaccines. Rather than taking an objective, balanced ride up the middle of the road, the writer crashes into a ditch–promoting the one side dubbed as the “anti-vax movement,” or the other being “science-based and common sense.” Comments are filled with vitriolic language and shaming from individuals who’ve fallen into one ditch or the other:
- “Anti-vaxxers are child abusers! They should be thrown in jail and have their kids taken away!”
- “You are poisoning and KILLING your kids and supporting Big Pharma conspiracies and profits!”
- “If you shoot up your kid and he gets autism, it’s YOUR fault.”
- “Do your research. Vaccines cause autism! Here’s XYZ, XYZ, XYZ scientific studies! Science and FACTS never lie! It happened to my baby!”
- “Do your research. Vaccines do NOT cause autism! Here’s XYZ, XYZ, XYZ scientific studies! Science and FACTS never lie! My child was BORN with autism, not MADE!”
And the two Christian-cloaked comments that make my heart ache:
- “Christians who don’t vaccinate don’t really love their neighbor.”
- “Christians who vaccinate don’t really trust God.”
As of this writing, vaccination is still considered a medical procedure, meaning a patient (or parent of a patient) has the right to informed consent. So, parents have the right to refuse or delay any vaccination, and also have the right to authorize the injection of every vaccine on the market into their children beyond what’s “required” for school or recommended by government agencies. Medical, conscientious objection, and religious exemptions exist in most states.
I’m not going to tell you whether you should or should not vaccinate your children, which vaccines are “good,” which are “bad.” There’s plenty out there arguing for both ditches (hello Google). But I will explain the why behind the choices of Christian parents on both sides.
ULTIMATELY, our children are in the Lord’s hands
As believers our trust in the Lord’s sovereignty over medical outcomes should dissolve any fear of risks involved in opting-in or opting out, for ourselves and our neighbors. Sin brought disease and death to the world–and anytime a person (vaccinated or not) experiences illness or disability, avoids or overcomes disease, Jesus Christ cares, is not surprised, is in control and desires glory for Himself (John 9:1-3, John 11:1-44, Psalm 103:1-5). Satan, Sin & Death are the enemies, and Jesus is the Conqueror of all three–and one day He will cast away Death forever (Rev. 20:14)! As believers, we must always keep eternity our central focus: our brothers and sisters who choose differently from us are not our enemies.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:2-5 (ESV, emphasis mine)