Should a Christian get a COVID-19 vaccine?


Let me say from the outset, I am not going to directly answer the question. Why not? Because I believe it is a decision every Christian presented with the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine should make based on his/her own convictions. My purpose in writing this post is to address some misconceptions about the vaccines so Christians can prayerfully consider the decision from a perspective of truth, not misinformation. These misconceptions are based on questions we receive at GotQuestions.org.

Mistruth: The COVID-19 vaccine is the mark of the beast.
As a background, please read “What is the mark of the beast?” In summary, the mark of the beast will be recognizable by the following five items:

(1) It will be instituted in the end times during the reign of the Antichrist. See Revelation chapter 13.
(2) It will be required for anyone to be able to buy or sell. See Revelation 13:17.
(3) Some form of worship of and/or allegiance to the Antichrist will be required to receive it. See Revelation 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; and 20:4.
(4) It will somehow relate to the number 666. See Revelation 13:18.
(5) Anyone who refuses to take the mark of the beast will be killed. See Revelation 13:15.

Since none of those five factors are involved with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, no, a COVID-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast.

Partial truth: The COVID-19 vaccine is created using the cells from an aborted baby.
It is important to know that there are multiple COVID-19 vaccines. There are numerous different vaccines in various stages of availability and testing. Some of the vaccines are at least partly connected to aborted fetal cell lines from the 1960s and 1970s. Does the fact that some aspects of some of the vaccines are connected to abortions that occurred 50-60 years ago mean the vaccines themselves are unethical? Possibly. But, it is not as clear cut as those who oppose vaccines make it out to be. If we refused to have any part in anything that had any connection to something unethical in the past, we would likely be very surprised at how many things we would have to give up.

If you are convinced that you should have no part in a vaccine from aborted fetal cell lines, and therefore refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine, I applaud you for standing by your convictions. But, there are, or will be, COVID-19 vaccines that do not come from this ethically questionable background.

Mistruth: The COVID-19 vaccine permanently reprograms your DNA.
Again, there is more than one COVID-19 vaccine. The different vaccines work in different ways. Some of the vaccines work in a very traditional manner. Even with the new mRNA vaccines, the above description is a distortion. Essentially, the mRNA vaccines instruct your cells to create a harmless (on its own) part of the virus so that the body will recognize it as a threat and attack it. Should an actual virus infection occur, your body will then be pre-equipped to attack the virus. The mRNA vaccines do not reprogram your DNA and the effect they have on your RNA is not permanent.

Unproven: The COVID-19 vaccine is not safe because it was rushed.
It is true that the COVID-19 vaccines were produced in record time. Supposedly, the time savings were made possible by the removal of unnecessary delays and by running the tests and trials simultaneously, rather than one after the other. Over the long term, some of the vaccines may turn out to have serious side effects. But, so far, the vaccines are proving themselves to be both safe and effective. Something being developed quickly, or even in record time, is not necessarily a sign of danger. It could, in fact, be evidence of God’s mercy.

Should a Christian get a COVID-19 vaccine?
I am convinced that getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a matter of personal conviction and discernment, not of right vs. wrong or good vs. evil. Do balanced and thorough research and speak to medical experts whom you trust. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). Whatever you decide, do it in faith (Romans 14:23).

Show grace and peace to those who come to a different decision than you (Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 4:6; James 1:19).

S. Michael Houdmann


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Should a Christian get a COVID-19 vaccine?