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COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer? - Mayo Clinic weighs in.
WHY I WEAR A SILLY FACE MASK
Why I Wear This Silly Mask and Practice Social Distancing
…despite evidence to the contrary!
by Jim Steel
Some of the requests placed upon churches by our government hinder our God ordained worship, singing and praise. Many feel that some pandemic dictums are oppressive socialistic overreach. In the Christian world, each believer is first accountable to God for his own actions. We answer to God first. We try to honor God in our responses.
While the Bible does not address this particular issue, it provides us with an abundance of principles to help us obey God. I thought it might be interesting for some to understand exactly how and why I have responded to the Covid issue in general and the mask dictates. It may also help you to articulate your own position and understand those who disagree.
As a Christian, I try to reason from my first principle. In this case, I have a two-fold principle. I am to love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I am to love my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:30,31). This is what we call the royal law. We may assume that God would not expect us to do two contradictory things. In this case, I can do both, love God and my neighbor without contradicting myself. Bringing this down to shoe leather, then, let me, in reverse order, list a few reasons why I wear this silly mask and practice social distancing.
Reason # 5. I wear a mask because I understand this is a unique situation. (A temporary circumstance.)
A young man who goes to war, for example, may not be able to meet and fellowship every Sunday with God’s people. We understand that and we try to make provision for his unusual spiritual needs. There are times when we must willingly forego our rights for the sake of a temporary circumstance. A “present distress,” 1 Corinthians 7:26, can prompt us to alter otherwise normal practices.
Reason # 4. I wear a mask because I understand that I am not a doctor. (A medical exigency.)
You are to be commended if you are one who has managed to actually “follow the science” and sort out the facts for yourself. While we can all point to exceptions and we are all free to express our own doubts, the great majority of medical workers and authorities are convinced that we can mitigate the spread of this disease, and at least "flatten the curve", through masks and social distancing. We may all be proven wrong, but as things stand, most medical workers, for example, do not complain that they have to use PPE. If we find we have all erred in this matter and been herded like lemmings, we will at least know in our hearts that we erred on this side of caution and compassion.
Reason # 3. As a Christian, I wear a mask because I have been commanded to obey those who have authority over me. (A matter of obedience.)
I do so for testimony’s sake, and I do so because I am commanded to do so (1 Peter 2:13,14). There are many who go to great lengths to malign biblical Christianity. Nero needs his scapegoat. We must not give him occasion. There are also authorities who are not targeting Christians and are openly offended at that thought. Of course, it is important to articulate our freedoms, but when our first line of defense is to demand our freedoms, intended or not, we feed the spirit of rebellion that permeates our time. Secondly, it is a given that we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29) but we can still fill Jerusalem with our doctrine, still minister to Christ’s sheep, still pray (how many pastors have even stayed in regular touch with their own sheep during this crisis?), and worship to a limited extent. Christians are commanded to assemble together. The early church did all this without permanent buildings. And when we are forbidden to assemble even in private homes, there is a time and place to work these issues out in an orderly manner in the courts of our land. We are far better off allowing ourselves to be unjustly treated in the short term, than to be misunderstood in our intent for years to come. In the interim, we cannot pick and choose the speed limit signs we prefer to obey.
There is a subtle form of disobedience to which some of our pastors are prone. We openly state that we intend to obey the law (which we clearly hold in contempt) and then quietly announce that we cannot stop folks from doing what they will. We tread a fine line when we do this.
Reason # 2. As a Christian, I wear a mask because I love my neighbor as myself. (A matter of love.)
I want to do what is best for my neighbor and I want him to know I care for him, both his body and his soul. A well-known politician was reported to have said at the onset of Covid-19 “Never waste a good crisis!” We are not fools. We are not ignorant of the devices and the extent to which some will go, but the fact is, we have our own agenda. While some may think that the mask on my face represents “hiding behind my couch in fear,” the truth is I am not. I have no fear of death or dying. I welcome it in God’s time. My mask represents my heart’s desire to make my neighbor feel comfortable and confident in my presence. It is a small surrender of one of my rights to set his or her concerns at ease. I do not want to bring concern, real or imagined, into his world. And this brings me to my number one reason.
Reason # 1. I wear a mask because I am concerned about souls. (Your soul.)
I understand that social distancing and masks can also be harmful, especially among children who are forced to wear them for long periods. I understand that the improper use of masks can lead to re-infection and, in some cases, it can lead to life threatening strokes. These risks must be balanced and mitigated as much as is humanly possible. The fact remains, however that hundreds of thousands of deaths have been directly attributed to this pandemic. I cannot be nonchalant about death and suggest that we are all going to die anyway, and we take a risk every time we get in our car. Death is serious, death is permanent, and death robs us, once and for all, of our opportunity to receive Christ as Savior. If we can buy one more soul one more minute on this earth and so extend his window of opportunity to receive Christ, we have succeeded.
Covid -19 is not the enemy. Sin and death are our enemy because they close the door on our opportunity to be cleansed and redeemed through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:27). It was the love of Christ which constrained Him to face death and take our own sins upon Him. It was the resurrection of Christ which proved it was our solution over death and hell. Jesus Christ sacrificed His own glories, rights, and privileges to give you this opportunity to receive Him as your Lord and Savior. It is the mercy of Christ which has preserved you to this point. Covid, like death, makes no promises. It takes some within hours, others within months, and bypasses whomever it will. Every moment spent without Christ represents a moment of foolish risk. Today is the day of salvation. Do you need talk with someone about your soul? This would be a good time to contact us!
#Masks, #SocialDistancing #ChristiansWearingMasks