Gloria Copeland, the co-founder of Kenneth Copeland Ministries from Fort Worth, Texas, is under fire after making some controversial comments about lab-made flu shots.
Copeland urged her followers not to take the flu shot because Jesus Christ already gave them one.
"Well, listen partners, we don't have a flu season. We've got a duck season, a deer season but we don't have a flu season. And don't receive it when somebody's threatening you with 'Everybody's getting the flu.' We've already had our shot. He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. That's what we stand on and by His stripes we were healed," she said in a video posted on her Facebook page.
Her comments came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that at least 53 children died from the flu this season, and nearly 15,000 people have been hospitalized because of it since October.
Copeland then offered to pray for those who have already been hit by the flu. After doing so, she maintained that those who follow Jesus are free from the dangers of the flu, and all they have to do is keep believing that they will never be burdened by it.
"Jesus Himself gave us the flu shot. He redeemed us from the curse of flu and we receive it and we take it and we are healed by His stripes. Amen?" she said. "You know the Bible says He Himself bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases and by His stripes we were healed. When we were healed, we are healed so get on the word, stay on the word. If you say 'well I don't have any symptoms of the flu' well great, that's the way it's supposed to be. Just keep saying that. 'I'll never have the flu, I'll never have the flu.' Put words, inoculate yourself with the Word of God."
Netizens offered mixed opinions to Copeland's message. While there were some who celebrated her words, many others fumed because of it and accused her of making "reckless" and "irresponsible" claims.
"Telling people not to get proper medical care is dangerous and un-Christian. Shame on you, doubly so for doing it in God's name," an angry Facebook user wrote. "When someone dies from the flu, their blood will be on your hands. Did you ever consider the possibility that God gave us an intellect and knowledge so that we can protect ourselves? Did that thought ever cross your mind?" another commented.
Other people chose sarcasm to get their message across. "Wow. If this works for the flu, then I guess it would work for cancer too. I sense that a lot of drug companies who make medication for people with cancer are about to go out of business if this Secret Gets Out," a netizen wrote.