When the Emperor Julian (A.D. 361-3), a Christian who apostatized and tried to reinstitute pagan worship in the Roman Empire, wished to attack Christians in Constantinople, he devised a plan to defile Christians during the first week Great Lent when the fast was strictest and cause them to break the fast. He ordered the governor to sprinkle blood for sacrifices offered to pagan gods to be sprinkled on all the food in the market, so that when Christians, hungry from the fast of the first week came to buy food, they would be triply defiled: one, by eating something from an animal forbidden during the fast; two, by eating something that had been sacrificed to idols; three, by eating blood—the latter two forbidden to Christians at the Council of Jerusalem in A.D. 50. By God’s grace, the Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit (+305) appeared in a dream to Archbishop Eudoxius and ordered him to tell the Christians not to buy anything in the markets but to eat boiled wheat with honey (kolivo) at home. In this way, God delivered the faithful in the capital from breaking the fast and defiling themselves.
The Prophet Daniel and his three friends faced the question of defilement, too. In spite of the king’s expectation that they would dine from the provisions of the king’s table, the young men firmly purposed in their hearts to keep the Mosaic Law and not defile themselves with non-kosher meat and wine that had been offered to idols. The other Hebrew youths who were captives with them did not make this resolve and defiled themselves. They thought, “We are captives. We must obey the king. We do not want to rock the boat. Who could possibly blame us when we were compelled to do it so that we might live normally?” But God provided a way for His faithful children in response to their faithful resolve to escape defilement, and He so blessed them that they finished their training to far exceed all the others In knowledge and understanding.
Our brotherhood perceives that we face a similar trial now with the so-called vaccinations for the virus. The shots are at least doubly tainted, first, as nearly all modern vaccines are, by substances poisonous to the body (though manufacturers claim they are not present in sufficient quantity to do harm). Secondly, they are tainted by the use of cells and tissue from aborted babies in their development. The first defilement can result in physical sickness and death, both soon after receiving a shot and later on down the road. Through December 24, 2021, The VAERS (vaccine adverse event reporting service, established in 1990) data released by the CDC in the US reported the following for the three COVID shots used in the USA: 21,002 deaths, 110,609 hospitalizations, 3,435 miscarriages, and 35,650 people permanently disabled. Independent studies of the effectiveness of this reporting service indicate that only 1% to 13% of all vaccine adverse events are reported to VAERS. If this is true for the shots being administered for COVID, we can multiply the figures reported here by a factor from 8 to 100 to see physical harm from “vaccines” at an unprecedented level for any vaccine. The mainstream media admit that some people are harmed or killed by the “vaccines”, but they continue to chant the mantra that serious problems are “very rare.” They are not. Any new vaccine in the past that generated a tenth of these reports of adverse reactions would have been long pulled from the market.
The result of the second defilement is spiritual sickness. It renders us unfit to receive the abundance of grace God desires to pour out on us. Acquiescing to evil so that “good” may come is not how a Christian follows Christ. To use medicines developed, let alone containing, the cells and tissues of aborted children, is to embrace evil for the greater good. It is a form of idolatry, an offering of a sacrifice to a false god. The offerings are the innocent babies killed in their mother’s wombs, whose parts are harvested. Among the false gods now widely worshipped in the Western world are Safety and Health. Some Christians have been unaware of this idolatry. Other Christians have been conditioned to accept this over the years as a necessary evil as growing numbers of vaccines, medicines, and other products are produced using the sacrifice of infants. This acceptance of evil because some ‘good’ seems to come from it is a defiling compromise. It is not something God can bless. It gradually conditions those who subscribe to it to give their loyalty and love to whatever and whomever promises health and safety rather than to trust in the Living God who governs all by His loving providence. Daniel and the Christians saved from defilement by St. Theodore trusted the latter. Today, many, even some Orthodox Christians, appear to trust the former.
Is there not a third defilement in the current shot? These experimental mRNA vaccines offer man-made programming to human cells. Those creating them know neither the real effectiveness nor the long-term effects. But at a deeper level, this should concern us. Man, in his overweening pride, continues to play games with the Creator’s crowning work. He is not content with man. He wishes to improve him. For long years, it has been by birth control, test-tube babies, or plastic surgery that man has tried to “improve” on the Creator’s will and work. Yet man in his pride aspires higher, to clone, to grow new organs, to reprogram the Creator’s software, and to transcend by technology and science man’s created limitations. All this leads to transhumanism, a modern tower of Babel. This project offers insult to the Creator. It is blasphemy. It is nothing any Christian should support.
The current crisis appears to us to be a call to awaken from our sleep and repent. A growing number of drugs, vaccines, and other products are being developed by the use of cells and tissues from aborted babies. To partake of any product that contains such material or that relied upon the use of such material to develop it is as much defilement as was eating blood or foods sacrificed to idols. As the Holy Synod of the OCA wrote in their Encyclical Letter in 2001, “We cannot, however, condone the manipulation of embryonic cells in any form for research purposes, including lines developed from destroyed embryos. Rather, we can only express dismay at the fact that the debate over this issue has avoided major considerations regarding the very meaning and value of human life. President Bush’s proposal to use only the existing sixty lines of stem cells because the embryos had already been destroyed (i.e., killed) falters on the precept enunciated by the apostle Paul in Romans 3:8, ‘We may not do evil so that good may come.’ The very act of destroying those embryos is evil, and we may not profit from evil even to achieve a good and noble end.”
In light of this, shall we continue to defile ourselves with such products? Shall we justify it on the basis that it is widespread and that we have already participated in it? Is this not akin to the ancient practice of offering children to Molech to propitiate the god so that good would come upon the people? Rather, is it not time to acknowledge our fault and repent and stop defiling ourselves spiritually and harming ourselves physically? As Christians, we cannot abide in the spirit of our age. We cannot “go with the flow.” If we do, we have betrayed the Faith and our Lord.
The OCA bishops went on to warn that President Bush’s decision in 2001 “unwittingly opens the floodgates to ever more utilitarian manipulation of human life. Research on existing stem cell lines should be prohibited for the simple reason that those embryos should never have been created in the first place. The moral line has been crossed, and Mr. Bush’s proposed limitations do little to prevent an inevitable descent down an increasingly slippery slope.”
In 2021, we readily see the truth of the bishops’ words. We know of the trafficking by Planned Parenthood in aborted baby parts. We know of the ongoing use of tissues and cells from aborted babies to make or attempt to make products that are promised to bring us health and healing. All we have to do is accept the evil already done so that we may receive what is presented to us as good. All we have to do is eat the king’s meat and drink, or buy what is offered for all in the market. But we cannot do evil that good may come. Knowing of the evil and how widespread it is, it is time to turn away from it and stop defiling ourselves. We must find alternative ways of cultivating health. Ultimately, as Christians, we entrust our lives to God on whom we depend and do not cling to man’s defiled products.
As St. Paul warns, “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (I Cor 10:21). We face a choice—to drift along with the flow of our sinful generation and continue to defile ourselves or to stand up against our faithless generation in faithfulness to God. It will be as inconvenient for us as bucking the king’s policy was for Daniel or as having to make special arrangements to procure suitable food was for the Christians of Constantinople, but the reward of so doing is the true blessedness every true Christian craves: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.”
Original post here on January 10, 2022
A good companion piece to this is the Orthodox Ethos original article "The Spiritual Reality Concerning the Vaccine"