Is the Vaccine the Mark of the Beast? (podcast)
Greg confronts vaccine paranoia.
Dan: Anthony says he is a frequent listener of the podcast (thanks, Anthony). He says, “My question today is about the COVID-19 vaccine. How would you respond to Christians who believe that it is the mark of the beast? And then he also wants to know if you (Greg) and I (Dan) are planning on taking the vaccine and would you encourage Christians to do so as well? I would love your thoughts. Just like everything else with coronavirus, I am concerned that this is becoming an unnecessary divisive issue based on poor interpretation of Scripture. I look forward to hearing from you.”
Greg: Well, the first question is, I’ve had the vax, I’ve had COVID, and I’ve even had the booster. … The mark of the beast. I don’t know how to understand a person saying it’s the mark of the beast. Or maybe that it turns your body into a magnet. … Or it’s going to alter your DNA. Or it’s the way the government’s tracking you now. You know, it’s really nothing new. In the 70s, when barcodes first came out, I had just become a Christian and Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth had just come out, … we were living in this apocalyptic world, and the barcode comes out, and we’re like, this is it, one code, universal economic system, here it is. Henry Kissinger’s the antichrist. And now with the internet. You know, fringe groups believe these crazy things. But now with the internet, and the democratization of all knowledge and the elimination of all experts, and now everyone’s got their own reliable sources of information—that kind of backward thinking, people get sucked into it all over the place. They get siloed, and they follow their confirmation bias so they only want to hear what they want to hear. And they come to identify, their map is their territory, and now they can’t distinguish between true information and false information, and that is just a sad situation.
So, the best thing you can do I would imagine, is, number one, it never helps to judge someone or laugh at them or to scorn them. If you genuinely want to help a person you have to respect them. You can think they’re crazy, but, see, I think what’s happened here Dan, is that we’re not ready for the internet. Our brains have not evolved enough to handle this kind of diversity and having to discriminate between true and false. I don’t think a lot of folks, unless you train your brain how to think, are aware of confirmation bias and are aware of how we can be manipulated—unless you’re aware of that you will get sucked into this. And so I see folks who get sucked into these kind of holes of alternate reality, they’re as much victims as anything else. They’ve gotten sucked into this. And so don’t blame them. But you want to try to help them to get out of it.
And really asking this question at all times: What source are you getting your information from and what proof do you have that they are more reliable than the CDC and Fauci, and all these other scientists whose life is dedicated to protecting us against these kind of things. Why trust your source over that source? That source that they love so much because they agree with them. But you can say just because you agree with it, that doesn’t mean you should trust it. In fact, you should mistrust it. Ask tough questions. How would these people know this? What is their thinking based on? So you try to get them to start thinking somewhat independently. But to the degree that they love their wormhole, to the degree that they love their alternate reality—it’s giving life to them, because they’re part of the special group that knows. They know about Q and they know about the inside stuff and the democrats eat babies, and you know, they’re part of the inside group. And if they’re feeding off of that, well, you can pray for them and keep on loving them, but it’s going to be hard to—I have a relative who is in this situation and the most sinister thing is, they now have a wall of protection that insulates them from facts. Everything that disagrees with them is by definition fake news. What do you do? That’s scary.
Dan: Yeah, it is.
Greg: I’ll say this, by the way, that the mark of the beast thing, I don’t know where people are getting that, but it’s clear in the Book of Revelation that the mark is 666, or there’s some early manuscripts that have 661. So a lot depends on this. So maybe if it’s 661, then maybe the vaccination IS the mark of the beast. But if it’s 666, then maybe Moderna’s the mark of the beast and Pfizer is sort of a little demon, and Johnson and Johnson’s of God. I don’t know. It’s just—but you have to take it seriously.
Dan: Why anybody who had an investment in Moderna over the last couple of days, probably feels like it’s the mark of the beast. They lost a lot of money over the last couple of days.
Greg: Did they really? I didn’t get into that.
Dan: Well, Pfizer just came out with a COVID pill that eliminates 89% of the symptoms that keep people hospitalized and the high risk cases, and stuff like that.
Dan: For the record, I did get vaccinated but I do think that natural antibodies are better than the vaccine. However, socially speaking, I think it’s better for society to get vaccinated.
Greg: I just think, unless you have reasons—trust science! Science has gotten us a lot of good. Now I think we need to be very aware that there can be evil people who use science for bad purposes, and who can use science as a worldview and claim anything other than the material world is nonsense. There’s all that, but all things being equal, science is based on we know what reality and finding ways of making nature work for us. It’s eliminated smallpox and you could list a whole bunch of other diseases. So all things being equal, trust it.
Dan: What do you think about, like, if that’s the case, shouldn’t we have vaccines for everything? There’s a thousand different viruses and diseases, and in which case, then, where do you draw the line? I’m not saying that to question coronavirus, because I think this is big enough that we all agree that this is a really bad one and we need to do something about it. But what do you think about other vaccines?
Greg: Well, I think that all things being equal, if you can get rid of something that is plaguing humanity, the better. Realistically you go after the things that are chronic, that cause the most amount of pain, that are most life-inhibiting. And that’s not going to happen for quite some time.
See this podcase about the book, All Creation Groans: Toward a Theology of Disease and Global Health: https://reknew.org/2021/07/all-creation-groans-podcast/.