A Cross-Centered Discussion of Vaccines?

I’ve made several posts on the topic of vaccines recently in light of the current H1N1 issue.

Maybe I’m imagining it, but I think I may have offended some people with my opinions.  It occurred to me that people who previously were unaware of my thoughts on the matter, now have full access to those thoughts.  And often those thoughts have been presented mid-stream without a proper introduction and without all of the disclaimers that perhaps need to be repeated (or at least referenced) in every post.

Regardless of whether its real or imagined, I wanted to say a few things before I proceed with any other posts on this very sensitive and highly controversial topic.

Last week

I avoided posting any comments related to vaccines last week in order to examine myself and God’s word before proceeding further. My desire is to have cross-centered discussions of everything – including vaccines.

During this break, I re-read one of the basics: The Cross-Centered Life by CJ Mahaney.  And I wanted to share my week’s worth of thoughts with you.

One Transcendent Truth

CJ says:

The Bible tells us that, while there are many different callings and many possible areas of service in the kingdom of God, one transcendent truth should define our lives.  One simple truth should motivate our work and affect every part of who we are. Christ died for our sins.

One Goal, Varying Expressions

Like most of you, I have a passion to display Christ’s worth with all of my might.

Because we are finite creatures representing an infinite God, this passion will be expressed in varying ways in each of us.  Some of us have a particular passion for stewarding money for the glory of God.  Some have an interest in using video production for the glory of God.   Others have interests in creating music for the glory of God, or preventing abortion for the glory of God, or church planting for the glory of God, or practicing law for the glory of God.

One of my main interests is stewarding our gift of health for the glory of God.

Most of us will agree that each of these are important areas for God’s glory to be displayed.  In some of the areas we may not have any particular opinion about the best way to glorify Him.  In other areas we will.  And we’re likely to encounter people with different opinions – maybe even drastically different opinions.

This is okay, because ultimately one truth should unify us:  Christ lived the perfect life we have failed to live and bore the wrath we deserved to bear.

Vaccinations are not a matter of salvation.

I want to be clear on this.  Regardless of how emphatically I may comment on the issue of vaccinations, I am clear (and I hope you are too), that this is not a matter of salvation.

Those of us who believe that vaccines are more dangerous to our health than the diseases from which they protect us, are no more righteous than those those who believe otherwise. Parents who vaccinate are doing what they understand to be best for their families.

Those of us who believe vaccines are more beneficial for our health than they are dangerous, are no more righteous than those who believe otherwise. Parents who don’t vaccinate are doing what they understand to be best for their families.

My view of you

I hope that every parent who has chosen to vaccinate their children knows that I in no way condemn you for your decision.

Your view of me

I hope that you do not view me as a nut-job, faithless, fringe lunatic. Some who choose not to vaccinate may very well be a little loony.  But most of us are not.  In fact, there are quite a few well-educated, well-grounded, faith-filled people (including many medical professionals) who see some major flaws with vaccinations and choose to avoid them.

So, why discuss it?

We’ve established that our opinions on the matter do not affect our salvation and that we need to be gracious with one another.  Sooo. . . there’s nothing left to discuss, right?

For some, that might be it.  You may have read this post and it may be the last you care to read.  You may have no interest in delving further into the topic of vaccines (or homeschooling, or toxic-free, homemade cleaning products, or composting or any of the other hippie-turned-Christian stewardship issues I discuss here). And that’s okay with me.  As I said before, we all have different interests.  Not everyone is excited about the things I’m excited about.  People can bring glory to God without composting or using vinegar to clean their counters. They can even bring glory to God with a complete vaccination record.  😉

But I do think that because “love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth,” we should be seekers of the truth. To this end, Erich and I think it’s good and right to pass along pertinent information on the topic when interest and time permit.

My hopes

I hope that my communication on this topic will inform you.

If you’re a wife, I hope you bring everything to your husband and ultimately rest in his leadership.

I hope that those of you who disagree with me never feel condemned or judged by me.

I hope that you will engage with me in this topic.  If you disagree, I’d love to hear why.  I am SO grateful for those willing to engage in debate, not just on this issue but on any!  There are certainly things I haven’t thought of, studies that I am not aware of, and sources I don’t know about that would be beneficial for consideration.  I am not seeking to be right.  I am seeking the truth.

Ultimately, I hope this is always a cross-centered blog

I am learning how to walk out my God-given interest in health in a way that glorifies Him. Though I’ve been blessed with abundant examples of how to be a cross-centered parent, a cross-centered worshipper, and a cross-centered steward of finances, I have had very few examples of how to be a cross-centered steward of my health.  I feel as though I’m wading in uncharted waters.

On top of that, I am sinful.  Stained through and through.  I face the temptation to legalism all the time.  I am self-righteous and quick to speak.  I am often tempted to allow issues of health displace the gospel from its rightful place at the very center of my life.

By God’s grace, I am ever-growing in my awareness of my sin, which leads me to be more desperate for His grace.  I am thankful for the Holy Spirit’s activity in my life and for a husband who has not grown weary from leading me and who is reviewing my posts before they go live. Still, we’re bound to miss things here and there.

So, please forgive me if I over-emphasize something or neglect something else.  I appreciate your grace and am glad to have  you join me in this journey!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by theduttons on November 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Erika, thanks so much for posting this. I’m a gracious recipient of your posts! Your example is compelling. One thing I’ve never felt from you is condemned. I’ve been challenged for sure, but never condemned. Thanks for being willing to share, and thanks for sharing how you searched your heart. It’s always very encouraging to see intentional blog postings. Challenges me to do the same. This is among one of my favorites that you’ve posted. What humility and what grace that you were able to rightly see why you post on various subjects.

    And as a side note, I tried the whole vinegar thing, specifically for air freshener purposes…amazing! It kills the smell, not covers up. Biggest bonus – doesn’t give me headaches like the other stuff! Oh, and it’s good for the environment. 😉 Love ya!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Trillia on November 13, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Well said Mrs.! These issues ans subjects are so tricky! It makes me that much more thankful for sound doctrine and a gracious God!! It’s neat that some things just aren’t completely laid out for us in Scripture but one thing is- the gospel.

    Love you too girlie!!

    Reply

  3. […] Before we dive in, I wanted to review that vaccinations are not a matter of salvation.  To quote from a post I did on this topic a while ago: […]

    Reply

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