Should Christian Children Disobey Anti-Vaxxer Parents?

It’s a senate hearing room in Washington D.C. where Ethan Lindenberger of Norwalk, Ohio testifies this week. He’s the 18-year-old who grew up in a home where his mother didn’t believe in her children receiving vaccines.
She bought into the “proof” on the internet that those vaccines can cause more harm than good.
Ethan’s siblings have not been vaccinated, but when Ethan recently turned 18 and of legal age he went against his mom and had his shots.

Measles is flourishing, mumps are showing a recurrence. Measles, which was declared finished not many years ago, is now breaking out again and is widely reported in 10 states.
Also reported—several Russian-backed websites also seem to be backing the anti-vaxxer movement.
Every Christian doctor and medical professional I know, except one nurse, believes science supports vaccination. They say solid research is on their side.
It’s an interesting question for young people who are Christians. When do you honor your mother and your father and their wishes? Or when do you go against them and follow the medical community?
The question of obeying parents can certainly be taken to extremes. A friend of mine, an attorney and now ordained minister in California, didn’t get married until in his 40’s because his mother kept objecting at the last minute three times. He finally got married without telling her and now his twin boys are almost grown.
Here’s how I come down on the issue for Christians. Once a child becomes an adult, a Christian before God needs to carefully and prayerfully make up his or her own mind on issues like preventive medicine.
Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet as gospel truth. You must consider how trustworthy the facts are when making decisions related to life and death.
You can still show honor and respect for parents while disagreeing with them and acting against their wishes.
I like what I heard one Christian doctor say: we vaccinate as a way of loving our neighbors. He also said we should not give into fear mongering.
Those are my thoughts and the thoughts of Pediatrician Justin Smith.


As the leader of the Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” A former secular journalist, Charles has worked for United Press International, and as a press secretary for two former U.S. senators. He and his wife, Janet, have authored several books, including Missing Jesus. Charles’ latest book is Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus: The Real Story of God At Work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *