Home / Wellness / Health / Noble to vaccine-hesitants: ‘When did Christians lose their connection with their fellow men and science?’

Noble to vaccine-hesitants: ‘When did Christians lose their connection with their fellow men and science?’

There is a story about a Samaritan called ‘good’ in the Bible because he did not walk by a suffering Jew. He had no prior relationship with the man lying beaten on the roadside, who was not part of his community, yet he acted out of compassion. Giving up his rights and freedom, he helped the man recover and get on with life.

This story came to mind as I thought about Covid-19—we are all connected and depend on each other—and the public cry for personal choice and freedom. It is necessary to spotlight our churches’ behaviour in the light of Christian values since half of our population professes to be some form of Christian.

Image: An artistic depiction of the biblical story of the good Samaritan.

Since March 2020, there has been some outstanding charity work done by Christian groups and individuals. Some leaders have guided us on navigating these disorienting lockdown periods. Some key leaders have acted as spokesmen for the vaccination campaign. 

Yet, there seems to be an undercurrent of thought and behaviour that undermines the promised relief of the vaccination campaign. 

Vaccination is considered to be one of the most outstanding public health achievements in the 20th century, helping us to have a society free of vaccine-preventable diseases and saving the lives of millions. 

Why is this advance now a frightening prospect that stimulates some to wage war against it? Why is there vaccine hesitancy—the ‘delaying or refusing vaccines despite the availability because one may believe that a vaccine may be unnecessary, ineffective or unsafe’?

The positions shared by several local religious groups appear to fall into three broad categories: belittling health information from informed health professionals, accepting misinformation from religious and political figures, and rejecting restrictions on in-person religious services. 

Image: A satirical take on the relationship between science and religion.

When did Christians lose their connection with their fellow men and science? The essence of the Gospel is about a transformed relationship with your neighbour. When did it become all about us and what we want? 

Jesus, in Matthew 26:40, said: ‘if you have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, you have done it unto me’.

In times of pandemics, the traditional Christian ethic considers our neighbours’ lives the prime concern. During plague periods in the Roman Empire, Christians cared for the sick and offered a spiritual model where plagues were not the work of angry and capricious deities. It is claimed that this stance propelled the spread of Christianity. 

In 1527, when the bubonic plague hit Wittenberg, Martin Luther made two appeals: ‘The plague does not dissolve our duties: It turns them to crosses, on which we must be prepared to die’ and ‘obey quarantine orders, fumigate, and take precautions to avoid spreading the sickness’. 

Is our modern-day church in lockstep with this thinking?

When something goes wrong with our car, do we only pray or take it to a qualified mechanic? Why choose a skilled mechanic, if not because of his training? What is different? 

Image: A satirical take on religion versus science.

Why reject the advice of medical professionals in this matter but routinely take medicines with no clue about their ingredients? Why eagerly share misinformation that can be easily discounted? Does this eager promotion enhance the reception of what is deemed authentic and vital: the Gospel? 

Why are some churches clamouring for a return to in-person services? Is it that God only answers when we meet physically? 

Public health research has shown that the activities commonly undertaken in churches—singing, shaking hands, hugging—all come with a high transmission risk. Are the unvaccinated who are clamouring mindful of our school children being disadvantaged because of the lockdown? Or is that immaterial? 

The faster we get vaccinated, the more confident we can be about reopening, not just the schools but the economy.

What about Matthew 5:38 – 40 does our church not understand? Jesus, in that passage, speaks to suffering bodily injury, wrongful possessing of our goods and assault on our liberty. Yet, He insists that His followers should comply and not offend the government. Why are we different?

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) receives his Covid-19 Sinopharm vaccine shot on 13 July 2021.
(via Office of the Prime Minister)

The vaccines are safe, effective based on published data. (Financial Times, March 2021). Underlying diseases aid Covid-19 in destroying the body.  

Has the church spoken about diabetes and hypertension with its members? Is not the physical body supposed to be the temple of God? Why are our religious leaders not preaching more vigorously and consistently this version of the message of life, the vaccines? 

If you care about protecting life, advocate for something we have access to and others wish they had. 

Be a Good Samaritan! Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, take care of the sick, advocate for the vaccine.

Stand ‘for’ something rather than ‘against’ something. 

About Noble Philip

Noble Philip
Noble Philip, a retired business executive, is trying to interpret Jesus’ relationships with the poor and rich among us. A Seeker, not a Saint.

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8 comments

  1. Speaking as a vaccinated person who still wants to understand vaccine opposition, I can say with certainty the advice of other medical professionals is the answer to the question posed
    “Why reject the advice of medical professionals in this matter?”
    When you have medical professionals going on video to warn against the administration of the vaccine, it creates confusion in the minds of some people.
    Who am I to blame them for being hesitant? As a scientist, I want to believe the limited evidence that tells us the vaccine will not harm but I cannot expect everyone to embrace that position, especially when it’s so hard to separate fake news from real.
    And this is another thing that separates this time from all vaccine history. While there may have been urban legends in the past, nothing got so widespread that it took hold before the truth had time to sink in.
    My point is that, instead of condemnation, we need to seek better ways to reach our hesitant brothers and sisters. I don’t see any website that can convince me to tell a mother of a teenage boy that her son will be safe from the side effects of Pfizer… that’s a decision each parent has to take on their own…
    And it’s not just Christians that are hesitant…so we cannot blame everything on them. What is perhaps needed is a better system for delivery of factual data to support the claims of vaccine safety and refute the claims of the danger they pose, these claims that are being spread by some medical professionals.
    Just because I landed on one side of the vaccine debate (thanks mainly due to the brave founder of this online newspaper who took the plunge and got the vaccine when almost everyone else was not planning to) does not mean I can’t appreciate there are reasons to be concerned.
    But hopefully with every passing day, survival rates of vaccinated individuals will be the best argument in favour of it.

  2. The “vaccine hesitants” are busily sharing news of every death that happens post-covid-vaccine whether or not there is any evidence that event is directly related to the vaccine….the latest being the untimely passing of the drummer Anil Soogrim. Fear is dangerous. And for some reason they seem to fear the vaccine more than they fear the virus itself. That’s the part that doesn’t quite make sense when you think of the number of persons who have lost their lives to this virus.

  3. Caution related to the experimental (emergency use approval) vaccines is not a religious thing. It’s an individual choice about an experimental drug that MAY or may not do more good than harm. To date, a significant, but small percentage of vaccinated persons have suffered severe adverse reactions, including death. Time will tell whether the benefits will outweigh the adversities.

  4. When i look for a mechanic, i have to assess the following:
    (1) Is he a good mechanic (knowledgeable and competent)?
    (2) is he honest and unbiased (a professional who does excellent work for EVERYONE regardless of background, affiliaton, etc)

    • Firstly these experimental C19 jabs do not qualify for the official medical definition of being genuine vaccines.
      By definition a vaccine is supposed to prevent virus transmission as well as to prevent the illness which none of these experimental C19 jabs do by design.

      Secondly none of these experimental C19 so-called vaccines have been approved by the FDA and WHO for long-term safety and efficacy and are only for emergency use (EUA) during a genuine Pandemic meaning that their use cannot be mandated by anyone (governments or employers) without violating people’s basic human rights of choice to refuse any medical treatment especially experimental ones which put them in same position as a lab rat.

      Thirdly the manufacturers and administers of these experimental C19 jabs are all indemnified by governments from liability for any harm or injury that C19 jabs may cause to vaccinated persons which means that any medical costs for adverse reactions and events after vaccination fall on the shoulders of the vaccinated and their family members.

      Fourthly it has recently been discovered that the most pathogen component of the Sars-Cov-2 virus and also the C19 vaccines are the spike proteins they deliver into the mucous membranes and blood vessels walls which can lead to blood clotting issues in any part of the body and sudden death from heart attack, etc that have been on the rapid rise since experimental C19 jabs started to be callously rolled out to the general population.

      So with above in mind unless employers or those who are administering the jabs sign a separate lawyer prepared document accepting liability for covering full medical costs for any adverse reactions and events that may happen after vaccination then it is not logical or sensible for the vast majority of the population (who are in little danger of dying from Covid-19 after natural exposure to the Sars-Cov-2 virus) of submitting themselves to a risky experimental C19 vaccination especially when there are other much safer treatments and prophylaxis now available like vitamin D, Zinc and Ivermectin.

      • Noble, I very much agree with your words of wisdom. The science of dialysis is readily accepted … yet, the vaccine to also prevent a most vicious form of death is being questioned by people who were all vaccinated in our youth. Wake up people, wake up.

  5. Interesting point of view ,would love to read more