By Rev L Manaka
To vaccinate or not to has been on the lips of many people lately in the light of the new corona virus. What is my response to this hot topic as a minister of the Gospel?
We have prayed for a solution to COVID-19, we even prayed that God would raise our own people to bring a solution. Some came and reminded ma y of the home remedies like steaming and eating certain root plants some of which were largely part of our kitchen. Others came with vaccines and if the vaccine is one of the answers, we thank God for their availability.
Historical abuses of vaccines and other foreign chemicals inflicted on Blacks cannot go unnoticed. We cannot remain mum of horrific confessions that came out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. These incidents have made some people to conclude that there is a hidden agenda behind the vaccine that is being proposed to combat the Covid-19.
Whether this government is in cohorts with institutions and individuals that are bent on doing damage to Africans, Black Africans for that matter, is a matter of conjecture and detrimental hearsay. At best, the current South African government has been kind, charitable, and humble before its people. I can not even begin to fathom a possibility of a sinister motive behind the envisaged vaccination drive.
Churches do not legislate and force people to make decisions in a particular direction. That is the work of cults. The double standard approach of the world leaders when it comes to how the church should influence decisions cannot be ignored. Where it benefits a ruling regime, churches are “used” to influence decisions and where it is viewed as a threat to their political existence, the voice of the church is muted. Pastors and churches that have been influencing people en masse in a certain direction have always come under attack.
Most church leaders and counsellors are of the view that issues that are so critical and border with Doctor-patient confidentiality, should be left like that and no other authority should wrestle that power from the patient or from the doctor. So as in the case with the mass vaccination drive, the church leaves the decisions to the individuals or families.
Whether one takes the vaccine or not, is not a determining factor to lose salvation or heaven. The vaccine and the taking of the vaccine do not have the power to defeat the plan of God in people’s lives where it comes to eternal glory. God’s plan shall always prevail.
The question of side effects comes to the fore whenever we are dealing with medicines. But, let truth be told. Life on earth is a risk and it is surrounded by many risks. Does it mean that people should rush into adding one more risk (like that of the vaccine) to all the other risks that we already face? Not necessarily.
Let us judge the risk on two grounds. The first ground is that of intention. The second ground is that of the greater good, that is the end.
For starters, there cannot be imputed wrong if the intention were to save a life and in doing so, the unintended happened. The main reason for a true vaccine, is to save lives. It is that which was intended. That is why certain protocols are put in place to seek to avoid maximum risk. An in an emergency state of disaster, quick thinking and quick action can save more lives.
To add, there are greater benefits to more people in the taking of the vaccine as a preventative measure. More lives will be saved, and communities will continue to exist. I state this at the risk of being labelled majoritarian or utilitarian. The more the people that are protected, the better. Is it a case of the end justifies the means? No ways! A casual reading of the protocols put in place and the general practice of immunisation that is currently in place does not come anywhere close to the end justifying whatever means were used to achieve a required goal.
Otherwise, why do we study at home or in schools? One of the main reasons we study is to acquire new knowledge and to share that knowledge. If by researching and studying the facts people come up with a solution that will assist others, why would we not seek to apply that information?
All truth is interwoven and undergirds the other. Therefore, we all should run in our lanes. I am a practical theologian by both training and praxis and have information that can assist the scientist. The scientist has information that can assist me. I should shy away from being an authority in matters that are beyond my experience, training, and comprehension. Instead, I must rely on the guidance of the one who knows. We need collective wisdom, not collective ignorance.
In our attempts to straddle and interfere into each other’s lanes, many rumours and conspiracies have been promoted. One of which that still baffles my mind, for example, is that 5G gave us Covid-19. How does electricity produce a living organism? This link between 5G and a virus is a huge leap of faith. I do not have that kind of faith! There are so many missing links and they will remain missing. To me this thinking is just another form of Darwinism, or evolution.
Another fallacy is to say that the vaccine has the number of the beast whether in its constitution or coming with it as a microchip. This eschatological figure is written about in Revelation Chapter 13 of the Holy Bible. The Bible shows that the number of the beast, 666, is a name of a person, not a vaccine. This mistaken view of seeing the number of the beast in everything has proved pointless repeatedly. Sadly, these proponents do not come back to us to say they were wrong.
The number at some stage was said to be in barcodes the time when barcodes were being introduced, and in tracking devices, pace setters, etc. History is full of people assigning anything that they cannot understand in layman’s language as the number of the beast. This is just another case of anti-intellectualism and anti-progress.
Did you know that Pope John Paul the Second, Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev (the former Russian President), were thought to be the anti-Christ? Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded just the Anti-Christ will be wounded. Mandela’s prison number was 46664. You can see the 666 there. Gorbachev had a birthmark on his forehead.
You as the reader, will work out your own disadvantages of taking the vaccine. But here are the advantages of taking the vaccine. So, what are the advantages of taking the vaccine?
- Brotherly and sisterly love: COVID has shown us how we need each other. An infection to one person results in an infection to the other, if exposed. It is brotherly and sisterly love to protect each other from the attack of this virus.
- We already have physical precautions that we take against the virus, and these include sanitising our hands and surfaces, wearing of masks, and maintaining social distance. If there can be a medical or metaphysical solution, it would be unwise not to apply the measures.
- This is an opportunity to be wise as snakes, but harmless as doves. We cannot be that naïve to believe that any drug or vaccine works. At the same time, we should exercise our God-given gift of making our own choices. In a disaster situation like the one we find ourselves in, the choice is up to the individual to decide which is better, the COVID vaccine or getting infected with the virus and fighting for survival in hospital or home.
- You keep the main thing the main thing. Instead of spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation thereby spreading fear, panic, and lies, why not focus on that which builds people and glorifies God? Imagine if all the energy that people are using on wrong things and misinformation can be used constructively.
Thank you all. It is up to you to vaccinate or not to.
Rev L Manaka is the founder of Victory Tabernacle, of College of Christian Leadership and of the Apostolic Partners Network. Dr L Manaka is an author and resides in South Africa.