Masks: UnHealthy, UnBiblical, UnNecessary, UnConsititutional
I am very concerned about the government orders on masks - on four levels. I feel that Christians ought to resist and speak out - now. We should not take this lying down, and we ought to feel free to explain our views to those who insist on wearing masks. After all, this is a free country, and we still have the right to free speech. I am disturbed by the robotic effect on the citizens of the United States.
Here are my thoughts on masks.
It is no secret that masks are very uncomfortable to wear and that they restrict oxygen intake and outflow the way that God designed. But it's worse than that. Does anyone think it is healthy to trap bacteria in a warm moist place around your mouth and nose? Of course not. Many medical experts have expressed concerns that wearing a mask may cause serious health issues by limiting oxygen supply, increasing heart rate, causing dizziness or confusion, etc.
As part of our desire to protect others' welfare, we ought to listen to God. It means we prioritize explicit commands and principles in the Bible regarding the handling of sickness. Specifically: restrictive measures and quarantine are for the unhealthy, not the healthy. Biblical commands suggest that we ought to isolate (quarantine) only those known to be infectious. Based on Biblical truth, we should not quarantine the healthy. Further, Christians are supposed to visit the sick, pray for, and lay hands on them. For more on this, click here.
The ineffectiveness of masks are well documented in peer-reviewed abstracts. Based on this research, many people have concluded that any benefit that may occur from wearing a mask is eclipsed by the potential dangers of actually wearing one. Perhaps one could make a case for a sick person wearing a mask to protect other people. But most masks barely do that. Healthy people wearing a mask is neither effective in controlling the spread of disease or is wise from a health standpoint. We ought to leave these decisions in the hands of those who have convictions about these matters. I am not comfortable violating individual freedom of conscience on the issues of health.
The civil government's recent mandate requiring the wearing of masks in public oversteps their God-given authority by infringing on individual rights granted by God, our Creator. I believe that healthcare is to be governed under the jurisdiction of and in keeping with the individual and the family's freedom and is not to be interfered with by the state. I hold this as a religious conviction, and I would be very comfortable claiming a religious exemption from wearing a mask.
The civil government does not have jurisdiction over the health care choices that people make either individually or in the context of a local church. As a church body, we seek to make every attempt to voluntarily submit to the civil government unless it contradicts our Lord's commands in the Bible. Therefore, in this church, I recognize the God-given freedom not to wear masks despite government recommendations.
Forcing masks unravels boundaries of individual God-given rights. But, what concerns me most is what government orders are coming next to protect public safety. Almost anything could be used to manipulate the American people in the name of public safety (vaccines, equality, climate change, religious convictions, biblical morality, free speech, etc.) Is the mask the first step in an incremental process of limiting the jurisdictional freedoms of the individual, the family, and the state? This is the most dangerous part of the equation, with the government orders demanding masks.
We should note that most of the governors the United States seem to want us to believe they have jurisdictional authority over your healthcare and even how you manage it in the church of Jesus Christ. They think they have a right to tell people what to wear at church. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state has no jurisdiction over the church of Jesus Christ. The church has only one authority - Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church. In many states, these governors have banned what is commanded by our Lord Jesus in His Word.
What's up with evangelicals?
On the face of it, most evangelicals believe that the state has authority over the church based on Romans 13:1-7. They have proven this by their recent behavior. I am ready to say that either they are man fearing churches or have grossly misunderstood Romans 13 to mean that the church is subject to the civil government. Romans 13 does not teach that the civil government is the head of the church. I recently preached two messages on this here and here.
Scott T. Brown is the president of Church and Family Life and pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Scott graduated from California State University in Fullerton with a degree in History and received a Master of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology. He gives most of his time to local pastoral ministry, expository preaching, conferences on church and family reformation. Scott helps people think through the two greatest institutions God has provided — the church and the family.