Every single day I am inundated with professed Christians who steadfastly and loudly refuse to be vaccinated under the auspices of their faith. They write to me or respond on social media with lengthy, passionate sermons, chastising me for my heresy and boasting that they “trust God, not Science” to protect them from the virus.

Nearly all of them aren’t being completely honest. They don’t really trust God alone, He’s just their first line of defense. If they’re in really trouble they call for backup – and it won’t be a minister, priest, or pastor.

A man named Brett sent along this fairly representative testimony, writing:

People were healed with the Holy Spirit. If you were actually connected with the Spirit, you would know that Jesus would not want us to have faith in man, but to have faith in God to protect our health.

I don’t know Brett, but I suspect that if he’s ever had a heart attack or a broken leg or an open wound, he’s quickly made his way to a doctor or to the hospital because ultimately he knows that medicine and Science work better than just thoughts and prayers alone. I imagine he’s had blood work done or had an MRI, and that he likely takes some kind of prescription medicines, none of which he really understands.

So, it isn’t that he normally trusts God over Science, he just doesn’t take a hard and showy stand against one in order to show his allegiance to the other. Which sort of shows you that this anti-vaccine Conservative fervor running amok in America right now, decimating our healthcare system, and killing thousands of people, isn’t really a religious stance, it’s a political one dressed up to look like religion. These people are declaring moral opposition but in fact they’re just voting Republican, invoking God and waging their lives while doing it.

And when the rubber meets the road and they begin to feel terribly ill, they all dial 911 not their preacher, because the urgency of the moment clarifies what they truly believe.

The bottom, is that just about every single “I’m not getting the vaccine because I’m trusting God,” person will rush to the hospital, not the church when they can’t breathe, when their bodies are overwhelmed with pain, when they feel life ebbing away.

Over and over my timeline is flooded right now with videos by terrified Christians in ICUs gasping for air, about to be intubated, expressing their regret and pleading with their friends and followers to get vaccinated before it’s too late. And so many seemingly healthy believers watching, will say a prayer for them — and wait until it is too late. Then, hundreds of thousands of dollars of care and any experimental treatment within reach will all be within “God’s plan.”

That is the sad truth about people like Brett: they are “just trusting God” while they are healthy, while they are symptom free, until it feels costly — until they are dying. Then, they welcome Science – which, God would be the source of anyway, if they really thought about.

I wish these people would save thousands of dollars, hours of healthcare worker’s time, their own lives and the lives of others — and simply skip the step of getting sick by getting vaccinated. If God is God, God made the science and the doctors and the vaccine.

Brett closed his letter with a dire warning of my coming damnation, saying:

Repent, before it’s too late. Know that Jesus would flip vaccine clinic tables if they were in the Temple.

People like Brett want to vilify science until the moment science is their only chance. They pray for a miracle, and that will come through the hands of doctors and the medicines and the machines made by human beings.

I hope before their lungs can no longer function and they are past the point of no return, they come to know the truth that sets them free — and get vaccinated.

John Pavlovitz

Julіа Kоblіtz

The original version of this Op Ed was published on johnpavlovitz.com

John Pavlovitz launched an online ministry to help connect people who want community, encouragement, and to grow spiritually. Individuals who want to support his work can sponsor his mission on Patreon, and help the very real pastoral missionary expand its impact in the world.