The spiritual problem at the heart of Christian vaccine refusal

But there’s also a deep, heart-level issue that is besetting elements of the Evangelical church. In part because of grifting culture warriors and in part because of the challenges and temptations of our own fallen nature, millions of Christians have confused selfish defiance with faith and moral courage.

This means, for example, that all too many people believe that the refusal to wear a mask in appropriate settings (indoors or in close proximity to others) is a sign of their personal fearlessness. It’s a declaration either that they have faith that God will protect them from the disease or that they don’t fear the consequences of catching the virus…

Translated into the vaccine setting (and in fact, anti-masking activists are forming alliances with vaccine opponents), many people now see the refusal to take the vaccine as a concrete demonstration of their own courageous assertion of individual autonomy. In reality, they are often yielding to fear—and when they yield to that fear, they are endangering themselves and others.