Rumors about the pandemic are rampant – among them: the vaccine contains a tracking chip; all those sick with the Delta variant are really experiencing the effects of the vaccine; or mask mandates are designed only to accustom people to government control. And Evangelical Christians – who are among the most vaccine-hesitant – seem especially drawn to conspiracy theories.
Dr. Dawn Galbreath of Christian Medical & Dental Associations understands the distrust and the worry, but argues that Christians don't have to live with it.
"Yes, this stuff is scary – and yes, it's upsetting," she acknowledges, "and there are more questions than there are answers. But Jesus is bigger than all of this – and the more that we're focused on him, the more that these other things sort of fall into the right priorities."
She admits being disappointed by the Church's general response, suggesting that believers may be missing a unique opportunity to witness.
"Rather than taking the greatest opportunity we've ever had in our lifetime to show Jesus to the people around us – [people] who are afraid and who also don't like the lockdowns and who are yelling at each other – a lot of places and a lot of groups of us have gone the opposite way, and we've stirred those political issues and we've stirred those fears," she tells AFN.
The Texas-based internist also shares her opinion on why Christians tend to gravitate toward the conspiracy theories:
"… The very basis of our faith is that we have access to Truth that people around us don't know – [and] there's something about that that somehow can easily be twisted into things that are not true being viewed the same way."
Editor's note: Galbreath's comments echo a decades-old encouragement by Christian recording artist Barry McGuire, who once described how Christians are to be "shock absorbers" in a world filled with shocks:
"[Those shocks] come up against us every day and try and bend us and twist us and destroy us and get us crazy inside. But with Jesus within us, we can open up to that shock because he's received it. And if we don't open up to the shock and allow him to absorb it through us, then it will bounce off of us with more energy than it had when it hit us and go on to destroy somebody else." (From the 1975 live album "To the Bride" with 2nd Chapter of Acts)