I was initially a little perplexed by negative responses I received to comments I had written about there being sound biblical reasons for avoiding vaccinations. I had come to this conclusion a number of years ago, when I had occasion to present my case before a secular tribunal. At that time, the tribunal was willing to listen to and accept my faith-based position as a reasoned rationale for refusing vaccination. I have a binder full of documentation to support my understanding of scripture and this evidence was sufficient for these secular people to see the merit of my position. I do understand that other Christians hold variant views, based on their traditions and the lens through which they view the scriptures. But my understanding is based in part on the following 7 biblical principles that are being ignored when we put our confidence in vaccines.
1. Teachings relating to quarantine are ignored as vaccines try to circumvent quarantine of those who are ill thus allowing people to continue to spread illness in the false sense of security vaccines provide.
2. Instructions regarding hygiene are undermined as vaccines are used to “protect” without treating the cause, when changes in hygiene and sanitation would be a better solution.
3.Though the death of a few due to vaccination is considered by vaccine manufacturers to be the cost of the cure, this would be considered murder according to scripture, as vaccine promoters know the risks but say they are unavoidable. There is an intent to harm…if only the few, for the sake of the many and this is not “love your neighbour”.
4. The teaching regarding clean and unclean food is ignored as many unclean animals (horses, monkeys and others) are used as growing mediums for vaccines and cells from these cultures find their way into the vaccines.
5. The use of fetal tissue in the manufacture of vaccines is abhorrent to a Creator who says in scripture that children are a special gift from Him. Abortion is murder according to scripture.
6. Vaccination, by releasing the toxin directly into the bloodstream, circumvents the normal immune response through the mucous membranes that God created for our protection. The bible asserts that God’s wisdom as Creator is greater than man’s limited and often twisted knowledge and ignoring His instructions as if He did not exist is foolishness according to God.
7. Vaccines have created the illness they are supposed to protect against, are often implicated in a variety of conditions of the immune and nervous systems, contain neuro-toxic chemicals, and have been proven to contain extraneous viruses that are cancer-causing. The biblical principle is to treat our bodies as the temple of God and to not pollute it with substances that would cause illness.
My understanding of the scripture in relationship to vaccination and other health issues is based on the concept of sola scriptura, by scripture alone, a principle that rejects traditions that are not supported by scripture. The issues of health that plague us must be viewed in the context of the bigger picture of God’s plan and purpose for us. So here is a synopsis of that overall plan and how vaccination fits into the picture.
I understood that at baptism I entered into an everlasting covenant relationship with the Father, because my Creator (the Christ) had died for my sins (lawbreaking) and through His blood of the covenant I now have a personal Father-daughter relationship with the one known initially as the “Ancient of Days.”
The covenant relationship means that through the Spirit I will have a circumcised heart so that the law will be written on my heart. The law will be at the core of who I am emotionally and mentally, so that what I speak and do flows from this inner wellspring of truth and righteousness that is the law. With the law at the heart of my being, I can now keep the teachings of my Creator in spirit and in truth. I should no longer follow the dictates of my own carnal heart or focus on my own physical wants or needs, but rather I should become perfect as my Father is perfect, living in accordance with his revealed teachings.
This will mean that my goal is to live by every word of God – the instructions contained in the torah, the prophets and the writings – and take on the role of a disciple teaching the commandments that are able to instruct, correct, and make me wise. I will endeavour to follow those teachings,the perfect law of liberty that sets us free, because they were given by a faithful, loving Creator for our good both physically and spiritually.
God’s spirit will help me to understand His perfect teaching so that I might love Him with all my heart, my body and my mind. His teachings will also help me to understand how to love my neighbour as myself. God does not leave “love” up to human imaginations or rationalizations, rather He tells us clearly that obedience to his teachings is the essence of love. His message is consistent from Genesis to Revelation – the everlasting covenant makes us children of God and He expects loving obedience, as this is what is best for His children.
We are physical beings even after we are engendered by the Spirit of God at baptism. God’s teachings are holistic and they take care of the whole person – body, mind/emotion and spirit. There is no dualism in the scripture. As long as we are physical beings the physical aspects of the covenant – teachings related to health, hygiene, building codes, how we treat the blind, sexuality etc. – are still valid. God did not change human physiology at Christ’s death. What did change was the revealing of the Father, the reality of the prophesied blood sacrifice that paid the penalty for our sins (lawbreaking), and the opening of the everlasting covenant (salvation) to the gentiles.
So, are there teachings that are no longer valid for individual Christians? The writer of Hebrews states that the Christian is served by a new priesthood, that of Jesus Christ, so there is no longer a need to offer physical sacrifices as they merely looked forward to Christ’s sacrifice. This was indeed new, and especially important for the Jewish believers at the time (68AD) as the temple was about to be destroyed and the nation dismantled, and not to be rebuilt until a time prior to Christ’s return.
As for learning from biblical history like Noah and the ark, God gave us examples to teach us. What I learn from Noah is that I won’t be building an ark anytime soon, unless God comes and talks to me personally and gives me the plans as he did with Noah. This is not likely to happen! I can also learn lessons, of perseverance, loyalty, diligence, and I can be forewarned and avoid drinking to excess, from Noah’s example. Noah walked with God and he understood about clean and unclean animals long before there was a national covenant and a levitical sacrificial system, and long before God ratified the everlasting covenant with Abraham. These teachings about clean and unclean foods and other health related instructions existed long before they were codified and scribed in the Torah by a loving Creator for the benefit of every individual who embraces and abides by these teachings.
A sola scriptura approach means I will look at scripture as a unified whole that expresses the will of God for man, for all time, and is not limited in scope, nor is it anachronistic or deficient. God did not start an “old” plan, learn it would not work and then created something “new.” God is awesome, He had one plan from the foundation of the earth and He is still working that plan to His honour and glory. The everlasting covenant will be fully realized when Christ hands up the Kingdom to the Father, when there is a new heaven and a new earth and no more death or tears or sin (lawbreaking). In the meantime we are physical beings who must live in a physical universe and God’s instructions were given that, “it might be well with us.” Believers should endeavour to not add human tradition to the scripture, nor take away from it by carving out those teachings that they don’t understand as yet, or they feel are “outdated” or unnecessary.
So getting back to vaccination, how does my belief and understanding of the “big picture” that God has in mind effect my decisions on health and vaccinations? I believe there are at least 7 good biblical reasons for avoiding this modern practice…not to mention the accumulating scientific evidence that vaccination can kill sensitive persons at worst, or is ineffectual for many at best. If you are interested in what one medical doctor and neurologist has to say about vaccines here is a synopsis of his view. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/if-you-are-in-support-of-vaccinations/
But frankly, the biblical reasons are sufficient, and anything science is able to add to the picture is the “icing and not the cake.” God’s word is the truth, it has substance, and eventually the truth will be brought to light. That is a promise from our Creator, the one who made the human immune system in its complexity and knows how to maintain it most effectively.
But it is up to each of us to do our research and make the choice based on a sound understanding of scripture, a choice based in faith not fear. For believers this will involve a lot of soul-searching, prayer, and study of the scriptures to determine what is the best course of action, the course that draws us closer to our Creator and the goal of perfection of the heart and mind – perfect as our Father is perfect.
Should I get my flu shot this year?
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this health blog are based upon the opinions of Carolanne Patton, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright. The information on this blog is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Carolanne Patton. She encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional..
What science says: About flu vaccines