John Hagee, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, clarified that he believes in both science and medicine and will be “taking the vaccine” for COVID-19.
According to The Christian Post, previously, Hagee had been quoted as saying that Jesus Christ was the “cure and the vaccine for” COVID-19. He had been hospitalized with the illness.
"Pastor Hagee himself is taking the vaccine," Hagee Ministries spokesperson Ari Morgenstern told ABC News in a statement.
Morgenstern said that Hagee’s comments had been taken out of context.
"Pastor Hagee believes in both the power of prayer and modern medicine. These are not mutually exclusive,” he said.
Hagee contracted COVID-19 in October and then double pneumonia. He spent 15 days in the hospital.
“I’m sitting in this chair today as a testimonial to the healing power of Jesus Christ,” Hagee told Cornerstone Church members in November.
“We have a vaccine,” the 80-year-old pastor said. “The name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
“Let Him sweep through this country and heal the righteous who dare to ask for it. Heal our church members. Restore them rapidly. Let the name of Jesus Christ be exalted because He is Lord over all,” he said.
Hagee’s comments were later criticized for seemingly discouraging people from getting the vaccine.
"The challenges that we're seeing from the anti-vaxxer community, from religious communities, are also impacting equitable access to vaccines, which I think is a really important issue — particularly in communities of color," said Dr. Jay Bhatt, ABC News' medical contributor. "The choice we're making is one of health, of one of safety, of one of helping us together do the things we need to get to a COVID-free world."
In Louisiana, Pastor Tony Spell, of Life Tabernacle Church, told church members not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We're anti-vaccine," Spell told ABC News. "I'm their pastor; I'm willing to stand before God for every decision that I make in people's lives. Every decision. I'm willing to stand before God for them.
"How can you trust a government who in 1945 purposefully [conducted] the Tuskegee study?"
Spell was referring to the decades-long study by the U.S. Public Health Service on the effects of untreated syphilis in black men in Macon County, Alabama.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Ridofranz
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.