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The Question about COVID Vaccinations

News 14

An interview with Francis Collins concerning the soon coming COVID vaccinations; insight from a fellow who's respected by many as a Christian believer and someone who's been deeply invested and involved in the science of COVID research and development.

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  • Frank

    • 2 years ago
    Sorry, looks like YouTube removed this one.

    (Moderartor's Note: Thanks Frank, glad you let us know. We found a different YouTube link and replaced the old one, so should work now!)

  • Frank

    • 2 years ago
    It's refreshing to see a Christian perspective on these things, with people talking openly about the Lord, prayer and faith rather than the typical sterile scientific briefing, and especially rather than the scare tactics, whether they're demonizing or deifying the vaccine and science as a whole.
  • CH

    • 2 years ago
    I heartily agree, Frank.
  • CH

    • 2 years ago
    Thanks, Tom. You express yourself far more clearly than I do.

    I am on the same page as you are with the vaccination question. The YouTube clip you included was good ... I felt he answered the question well. I won't take the vaccination for no reason, I do my best to naturally keep my immune system strong so don't feel that I'm dependent on getting it (though I also know of other good folks who are dependent on it), but if I have to travel or witness, e.g., and a vaccination would be a requirement hurdle it wouldn't be a problem for me to get it.

    Seems to me that I need faith one way or the other. It's either faith to get it or faith not to get it, and to my way of thinking faith is faith is faith. What's the difference?--The deciding factor to me is what do I need to do for the Lord and what does doing that entail? I believe He'll give me the faith for what I need to get done to do what I believe He's asking of me.

    I've heard from GM about his vaccination experience and it sounded like it went fine.--I don't know all of his reasons for getting it, but he's looking forward to relocating in Holland so it seems the vaccination weighs in in that way for him as well; as it will for me when I need to travel.

    I'll look around for the Focus on the Family clip. Sounds interesting.

    Want to hear my thoughts on your "control of the population" question? heh. ... I agree with you. It could be--probably is. But I agree with the "dry run" theory. It seems to me that it's "too soon" for it to be the real 666 deal, looking at it from my limited scope of all that's going on. I think eventually it'll come down to the real thing, even for the benevolent actors involved in the present "roll out", those who really do seem to have good of people in mind (folks like Francis Collins, N.T. Wright and others).

    But even if not, what stance here and now makes me a better witness? Or am I in a situation apart where I'm not needed to be or trying to be an open witness so can at present avoid the question? What actions run contrary to my faith and what I believe and/or may be a bad testimony to my faith? There are a ton of questions.

    Your example of Father Kolakovic was good. I recently read a short piece about Wurmbrand (Romainia under Communism)--not about the depth of the torture stuff, but about how he didn't avoid what he needed to do to be a witness during those difficult times.

    I have RD's book "Live Not by Lies" on my list to read. I read his book the "Benedict Option" and quite liked it.

    Tom, I believe you expressed a core question for me too!--"It spurs me to try to get my theology and convictions straight and to think about what I’m really here for and what my purpose is."

  • MikeB

    • 2 years ago
    Thanks for this exchange. I won’t comment on every point, as I agree with practically everything that was said. But the biggest take away from these paragraphs is, the one you excerpted, "It spurs me to try to get my theology and convictions straight and to think about what I’m really here for and what my purpose is."

    I resonate with that statement, but fail to take action on it as much as I feel I should. On one hand, since the re-boot, I have felt, experienced and partaken of the Lord’s UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for me and HIS grace. But I have to be honest and say, that I have become lazy spiritually and my most satisfying and disciplined spiritual activities are things I do with others. We have our weekly prayer group and meeting which sometimes gets boring and samey, but we have been consistent for 7 years and we have seen the results of our united prayers.

    I have developed from a begrudging, hesitant tither to a cheerful giver which is a major step for me and my money minded heart. Of course, my wife was my accountability factor, but I have seen our business blessed because of her giving attitude.

    Four of us go for walks every morning. We each share what we read that morning which keeps the focus of our conversation on the spiritual and what feeds us. My point in sharing these things is I have found that I am the type of person who needs support, community and a “church” or body of believers. That helps “spur” me to take action. Otherwise, I goof around in my workshop, follow my favorite sports teams, enjoy and watch a Netflix series, etc. My spirit longs for more, and I want to do it out of love and not obligation which develops into works.

  • CH

    • 2 years ago
    I read a great article this morning by Tim Keller in “The Atlantic” titled, Growing My Faith in the Face of Death -- I spent a lifetime counseling others before my diagnosis. Will I be able to take my own advice? (Thanks for the link, Jon--now posted here under Devotionals.)

    Tim talks in the article about “taking his own advice” in the face of death (his pancreatic cancer). The question is clearly not on the same shelf as that of taking a COVID vaccination, but what happens with this or lots of other questions when the rubber hits the road? I tell people I think something is better this way, or that way; this is right or that is wrong; but what happens when I become personally, intimately face-to-face with that situation and my livelihood, my comfortable surroundings, my reputation, etc are at stake? What's real then?

    It’s so much easier to lean back and read, and postulate, and theorize, but I like Tom’s point earlier that "It spurs me to try to get my theology and convictions straight and to think about what I’m really here for and what my purpose is."

    Here’s from Tim’s article: "When the certainty of your mortality and death finally breaks through, is there a way to face it without debilitating fear? Is there a way to spend the time you have left growing into greater grace, love, and wisdom? I believe there is, but it requires both intellectual and emotional engagement: head work and heart work.

    "I use the terms head and heart to mean reasoning and feeling, adapting to the modern view that these two things are independent faculties. The Hebrew scriptures, however, see the heart as the seat of the mind, will, and emotions. Proverbs says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In other words, rational conviction and experience might change my mind, but the shift would not be complete until it took root in my heart. And so I set out to reexamine my convictions and to strengthen my faith, so that it might prove more than a match for death."

  • GM

    • 2 years ago
    Someone wrote me, expressing their well-meaning concern that I was considering getting a vaccine against Covid.

    As some of you know, 3 years back I had a heart attack and consequently had to have two stents inserted in an emergency procedure. Although I have enjoyed great health ever since, my doctor recently confirmed that this and my age puts me at “high risk” should I get Covid-19.

    However, it wasn’t simply that I readily accepted that I should get the jab because of that factor alone. I spent a fair amount of time reading and researching what I considered credible sources, and after praying about it I felt the Lord was leading me to get the vaccine when it became available to me.

    And once I felt I had the Lord’s approval on getting vaccinated, I figured “the sooner the better, as being fully vaccinated allows me to travel and so forth.” So I got my first shot Feb 4.

    But back to this fellow who wrote me expressing concern for my soul. By the time I got his note, I had already gotten my first shot, so rather than respond to him with a lengthy answer I simply wrote him:

    Indeed it takes faith to GET a Covid vaccine; Indeed it takes faith NOT to get a Covid vaccine; “According to your faith, be it unto you!”

  • Frank

    • 2 years ago
    Very interesting discussion. Sorry I’m coming to it late. I’ll just add a few random thoughts, for what it’s worth:

    * On the vaccination, I agree with CH (and with Tom? Sorry, it’s a long thread): I’ll get the vaccination if I need to, especially if it’s something I have to have for travel or legal reasons. Otherwise I’m in no hurry for it. There’s more and more talk of digital passports, especially in the world outside the US, so if cases continue to spread, it may become necessary. The long-term effects haven’t been studied, which concerns me—and I’m not wild about vaccinations as a whole—but I have faith that the Lord can protect me. I’ll claim the verse “If they drink [get injected with] anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.” (Unless GM keels over, in which case I’ll reconsider my views, ha. You know I’m kidding, right?)

    I haven’t done much reading on the pandemic and the various vaccinations and things that may or may not be behind it all (other than the obvious desire of big pharma to make big bucks by promoting massive vaccination drives). But as far as the coronavirus itself, it’s just one of many deadly diseases in the world, any of which could be transmitted and caught. (I do wear a mask when out and I believe in taking precautions and avoiding unnecessary risks and crowds.) I’m not minimizing the risk of the disease. I caught a disease when I was 7 or 8 that has a higher mortality rate than COVID-19, encephalitis, and spent a few weeks in the hospital because of it. I wound up with hearing loss in one ear, a diminished sense of smell, vision loss (that’s when I started wearing glasses), and scars on my lungs that cause X-ray technicians some concern. I learned that it’s a deadly world, though I didn’t really think much about it till the pandemic hit. I believe the Lord will protect me again, with or without the vaccine, but if He doesn’t, I’ll still trust He knows best, or at least I hope and pray I will. And those are just my personal views and how my faith runs. I have no problem whatsoever with the views of people who feel otherwise.

    * On possible factors behind the pandemic and population control, I’d just have to say I don’t know. Tom/RD has a good point about the soft totalitarianism. I’ve been seeing more and more of a demonization of Christians and Christianity in the US media for some time. And the very vocal anti-mask, anti-vaccine, anti-restrictions of any sort by some right-wing Christians isn’t helping the case, as the media really plays it up. The message that gets conveyed (unfairly) is that Christians are a bit fanatical, and that their fanaticism spreads the disease, endangers others, and can kill other people. So like Tom said, cancel culture is on the rampage, with censorship of any dissenting views when it comes to vaccinations, masks, some aspects of science and medicine, and so on. The demonization of Christians and the new wave of censorship concerns me, and I think it’s leading toward the verse about “ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” US media mostly abandoned objectivity in the Trump era, and there have been lots of articles on that, with reporters now believing that they should call whatever they think is a spade a spade rather than presenting two sides.

    * “Live Not by Lies” sounds good, and I’ll try to get it at the library. I just saw it’s $16 on Amazon, which seems like extortion.

    * Mike, those were good points on "It spurs me to try to get my theology and convictions straight and to think about what I’m really here for and what my purpose is." I don’t take action on it as much as I should either. I’m lazy too. After (or even before) a long day of work, it’s hard to be spiritual, and I enjoy Netflix myself. I think it’s even harder when you’re single and don’t have much or any local fellowship. So I can relate, and I envy you your morning walks and talks. Those sound great. I’m glad the Lord loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be (as the quote goes—not a sudden stroke of eloquence). I think threads/talks like these help keep me on track and wanting to be more accountable.

    * That was a good article by Tim Keller in The Atlantic, thanks. Maybe we don’t really know the depth of our faith and convictions until they’re tested in the fire.

    And that’s more than enough from me!

  • MN

    • 2 years ago
    I've been following the discussion on OEG, but am short of words when it comes to posting public comments. Maybe things will change, but till then, I prefer to plod along trying to do what is right and trying to follow Him as closely as possible.

    Here, my sister and I got the 1st shot at the beginning of this month. Although the 2nd shot is supposed to be 28 days later, I am not sure when it would come to pass, as the Indian government decides all of that. I was not planning on going for the vaccination now, but with the possibility of my kids and Renee visiting us later on in the year and their requesting that we be vaccinated, the Lord put it on my heart to go ahead for it when I was called for it.

    I got the story of the preacher who was stranded on top of his church during bad floods. The preacher was so sure that the Lord would answer his prayers that he refused to get into a boat that his church members sent three times to rescue him. When he eventually went to be with the Lord, he indignantly asked the Lord why He had not heard and answered his prayers. Then the Lord told him that He had sent a boat three times to get the pastor, but the pastor refused to get in the boat. With my history of being a stubborn and independent person, I kind of took this to heart and went for it, as the Lord told me that the next boat might come along much, much later.

    I got a vaccine called Covishield (in India) and it’s the same as the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Had no side effects although my sister had mild signs of feverishness the day after taking it.

    Well, not sure if its even effective, but He is there with us and that is the main thing.

  • Frank

    • 2 years ago
    Sounds like a wise move to me. Everyone's situation is different, their body is different, and their faith runs differently. As GM said, "According to your faith be it unto you."
  • Jon

    • 2 years ago
    News article:

    Netherlands becomes latest country to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over concerns of possibly serious side effects

    15 Mar, 2021 -- Netherlands becomes latest country to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over concerns of possibly serious side effects.

    The Netherlands has halted use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for at least two weeks while an investigation into possibly serious side effects from the jab is undertaken by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

    The precautionary decision to suspend use of the vaccine until at least March 28 was based on new information from Norway and Denmark regarding potentially serious side effects in people who received the inoculation, Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said on Sunday.

    “We can’t allow any doubts about the vaccine,” de Jonge said. “We have to make sure everything is right, so it is wise to pause for now.” Dutch health authorities reportedly had to cancel 43,000 vaccination appointments because of the suspension.

    Ireland made the same decision earlier on Sunday, suspending use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after four new cases of people suffering serious blood clotting after receiving the shot were reported in Norway. Denmark stopped offering AstraZeneca vaccine jabs on Thursday after some recipients developed blood clots, and Norway followed suit.

    Ireland becomes latest nation to halt rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine following new reports of blood clotting.

    Austria, Iceland and Italy also have postponed or restricted their rollouts of the vaccine based on the same concerns. Health authorities have pointed out that they haven’t yet established a clear link between the AstraZeneca jab and the reported medical issues that patients suffered.

    The World Health Organization has said the vaccine is still considered safe to use and hasn’t been proven to cause blood clotting.

    Seven people died shortly after receiving their Covid-19 shots in the first week of South Korea’s vaccine rollout, which began on February 26. All seven cases involved the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 17 others who received the jab had severe, non-fatal reactions. Since then, there have been 46 more severe reactions, but no additional deaths, and nearly 562,000 people have received the shot, according to government data. South Korean health authorities have reportedly found no evidence that the deaths were caused by the vaccine.

    South Korean government investigates 7 deaths that followed Covid-19 vaccination with AstraZeneca's jab.

    The Dutch vaccine setback comes amid growing unrest over Covid-19 restrictions. Anti-lockdown protests continued on Sunday, and saw clashes between police and demonstrators gathering in The Hague.

  • JR

    • 2 years ago
    This is an interesting discussion. I did get the vaccination because I had to in order to go to Germany without having to quarantine 10 days. My daughter is having a baby so I don't want to quarantine any days, although I may have to for 3 days. Another son-in-law bought me round trip business class tickets as a surprise--and my brother is stepping up with Mom's care for a month so I trust the Lord is in it and opening the way for me.

    At this point, it has come to that. Trusting the Lord. I don't think I'm getting the mark of the beast! :-) I see it as God's love for me when I am really needing a break ... and He will protect me from the shot.

    The one thing I believe is that spiritually the Lord works in many different ways, otherwise, we could just all live one way and never develop that close walk with Him that is going to be needed whenever/wherever the tests come--our personal tests for our personal walk!

    Someone may not feel they have the faith for it, and if not, then I respect that they made that decision. I have had a lot of "walk through fire" times in my life ... and no one can take those walks for you ... nor from you. I think we all may eventually see things with fresh eyes and it may be very different than we even thought. But it's interesting to speculate and search in this very particular time of history.

  • CH

    • 2 years ago
    JR, thanks for the testimony of how Lord is giving you faith for your situation, because of your need and His love for you to give you the desires of your heart. A “walk through the fire” decision that no one can take for you ... nor from you.
  • GM

    • 2 years ago
    It’s now been over a month since I got my 2nd jab. So I have therefore been “fully vaccinated” for some weeks now, and thank the Lord have not “keeled over”.

    During the next 3 months I have 3 flights booked for visits to other countries. And in the meantime my days have returned to normalities like grocery shopping in my local supermarket (in full faith) instead of only shopping online and having it delivered, plus grabbing a bite to eat or a beer with friends and family, etc.

    From what I have read, one’s chances of getting COVID-19 if you are fully vaccinated, according to studies suggest the odds are very low — probably just a fraction of a percentage point. Even if you do get infected once fully vaccinated, your case is likely to be asymptomatic or mild, like a common cold.

    Gregory Poland, an infectious disease physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and director of Mayo's Vaccine Research Group stresses that all COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the US are extraordinarily effective at preventing severe illness: “I've been a vaccinologist for four decades, and I've never seen efficacy like this in first-generation vaccination.”

    Having shared all this, I still feel the best advice one can follow on the subject is “According to your faith, be it unto you.”