Yesterday I blogged about how the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines used cell cultures that originated with cells from an aborted fetus to test, but not produce, their vaccines. I said that as a Bible-believing Christian I was comfortable taking and recommending the vaccine. Am I being a hypocrite?
Here’s a very nicely done analysis from a Christian pastor and cultural critic I greatly respect, Jim Denison. I agree with his findings and recommendations completely, as do almost all Christian ethicists I’ve either read or contacted about this issue. By the way, you can subscribe to Jim’s Daily Article here.
Do the vaccines use aborted fetuses?
Please note that in what follows, I am not a physician or offering medical advice. Rather, I will explore the ethical issue, share with you my personal conclusions, and urge you to determine your own.
A California bishop recently claimed that some researchers producing the various vaccines made use of cells from an aborted fetus and stated that Catholics should therefore not avail themselves of such vaccines. However, many ethicists disagree with this conclusion and state that taking a vaccine does not promote or endorse abortion.
Joe Carter’s article on this issue is especially helpful. He notes that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines used cells from the HEK293T fetal cell line in the testing process, though neither includes such cells in the vaccines themselves.
This tissue was acquired in the Netherlands in the 1970s but records pertaining to its origins were lost. As a result, it is not known whether the tissue came from a spontaneous miscarriage or an elective abortion.
However, the cell line developed from it no longer contains fetal tissue cells. In addition, since it is completely unnecessary to create new cell lines from aborted children today, vaccines made from existing cell lines do not promote abortion.
Baptist theologian Albert Mohler notes that the use of fetal tissue obtained from abortion in medical research is immoral, but “there is no activity related to abortion in the present that is in any way associated with the use of these vaccines.” Dr. Mohler adds that the seminary he leads would distribute the vaccine if the school is given access to it.
Using Roman roads for the gospel
Even if we assume that the original fetus was aborted, using cells developed from it today is akin to the use of organs from a person who was murdered. Transplanting such an organ into a recipient’s body does not mean the recipient participated in the murder of the donor.
By way of analogy, living at peace with another nation even if that peace was brought about by unjust means (targeting of civilians or using illicit weapons, for instance) does not endorse these means. Nor does riding on a train line originally built by slaves endorse slavery. Dr. Russell Moore adds that Christians in the Book of Acts used Roman roads to carry the gospel without determining whether the taxes that paid for them were raised ethically.
Scripture teaches that life begins at conception (cf. Psalm 139:15–16), making abortion clearly unethical. (For more, see my whitepaper “What does the Bible say about abortion?“) However, for the reasons argued above, I agree with pro-life ethicists who believe that receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is moral with regard to abortion.
For this reason, I intend to take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as soon as it is available to me.
As you make your decision, I encourage you to seek not only medical knowledge but also biblical wisdom.
Science writer Isaac Asimov observed: “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
Let’s evaluate the former in light of the latter, to the glory of God.
Here’s my three-part blog:
- COVID Vaccine and Aborted Fetus Cells — Part 1 of 3
- COVID Vaccine and Aborted Fetus Cells — Part 2 of 3
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.