There are many who do not believe that anyone can have a religious objection to the COVID-19 vaccine. They call these claims BS. The major religions do not support this belief so how can it be true. They attack those who dare to say otherwise. The days of religious freedom in this country are being called into question. I believe that my relationship with God is personal. I try to work on that relationship every day. Sometimes the church helps me in that endeavor, but ultimately it is my personal relationship with God, my faith in Him and my submission to His will, that is of utmost importance in my life. And to do that, I must trust in Him, nothing else. (Some days I do better at this than others).
Perhaps close to a hundred thousand or more across the country are claiming religious objections to the vaccine. “My body is my temple.” “I am opposed to the use of aborted fetal cells.” “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than trust in man.” Has COVID created a Great Conversion of faith?! I hope so. But, like many, I suspect that some of those touting religious beliefs may not truly have this conviction.
Or maybe this is the spark they need to dive deeper into their faith. I believe that one should not use the Lord’s name in vain. One should not use God as an excuse. BUT I believe that everyday every one of us, whether close to God or not, whether full of faith or full of doubt, has the opportunity to draw closer to God. Perhaps you are afraid of the vaccine. Perhaps you are afraid in general. You are right to turn to the bible. You are right to turn to God. Our bodies are our temples to God. If you espouse these beliefs, even if initially without true belief, I encourage you to dive into them further. Because it truly is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. Although God has given us the intelligence and ability to do many things, no one among us, no scientist, no doctor, no president, is greater than God. If you have fear, if you have doubt, you can take refuge in the Lord… even if you have been absent from Him.
In Corinthians, Paul reminds us that we are called to be holy, to avoid immorality, to protect our bodies from evil because our bodies are temples created by God:
“Everything is lawful for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is lawful for me,” but I will not let myself be dominated by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,” but God will do away with both the one and the other. The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not! [Or] do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.” But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Our bodies are a host to the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are made in God’s image. We can do many things — we have free will — but not everything we can do is right. Our bodies are meant to glorify God. Our bodies are members of Christ. Would you allow Christ’s body, the temple of the Holy Spirit to be defiled with lustful, immoral activity? Would you allow Christ’s body to “benefit” from or take advantage of aborted fetal cells? Would you use your body to indulge in gluttony with food or drugs or alcohol for momentary pleasure? Unfortunately, we may have done all of these. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot do better. That we cannot reassess how we treat God’s temple. That we cannot begin to worship God with our bodies. That we cannot use our bodies to show love rather than lust. That we cannot take better care of God’s temple and prevent harmful substances from entering it. That we cannot reject immorality, greed, lust, gluttony and pride (believing that we know better than God).
I believe in science. But I believe in God more. If we have learned nothing these last two years, it is that we do not know everything. We have been largely powerless against COVID-19. Even the vaccine which the media seems to hail as the savior to the pandemic does not prevent the vaccinated from continuing to spread it. Even highly vaccinated areas are seeing huge spikes in the virus. We need God. We can be prideful and boastful. But we are foolish if we do not turn to God. We are foolish if we rely on man rather than trusting in God. For too many years we have been pushing God out of our lives. The bible is filled with plagues — do we think we are any better? Do we not see the parallels in today’s times. Whether or not you receive the vaccine, we need to turn our hearts, our minds, and our bodies back to God.
In danger I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me? The LORD is with me as my helper; I shall look in triumph on my foes. Better to take refuge in the LORD than to put one’s trust in mortals. Better to take refuge in the LORD than to put one’s trust in princes.Psalm 118:5-9
I understand the fear surrounding COVID-19. I understand the fear surrounding the vaccine. Fear is found where faith is not. Have faith in God. Trust in the Lord. Nothing is more effective in driving out fear. I believe and pray that religious freedom in this country will continue to be honored. And I hope and pray that those who are claiming it continue to turn to God.
Lord, I pray that all of those who use you to rally against the vaccine, find you. I pray that we as a nation turn back to you. I pray that those who persecute religious objections have open minds to what they cannot see and experience your love.