by Amy Jakes May 27, 2020
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy for all people.–Titus 3:1-2
Over the last couple of weeks, several from our church family have asked me this question. Giving a complete answer in the two minutes before church starts or when rushing off to my Sunday School class after church just didn’t seem possible. So, here are my thoughts:
I have no good reason to avoid wearing a mask. It’s not a gospel issue. It costs me nothing. The governor, the health department, the church insurance company, and even The Family Leader all recommend wearing masks at church for those who are able. If someone were to get sick from our church, the steps we have taken show due diligence… The leadership is doing everything we can to help keep people “safe.” (Do I believe it will keep people safe? Do I believe it will make a difference? That’s irrelevant. God’s Word tells me to submit to the authorities. Paul and Jesus had much more corrupt authorities and yet they taught to submit on everything but preaching the gospel.)
Some people are scared. If my wearing a mask when I am at church or even out and about comforts people, I’m all for that. It seems like a common courtesy that again costs me nothing. I don’t want my preference about masks to give Christ a bad name in the marketplace of ideas. Christians got a reputation for not caring about people when they met during shutdown, when they didn’t wear masks, when they didn’t social distance. If I’m going to get called out, I want it to be for telling people Jesus is the only way.
Each of us needs to decide, thoughtfully, how we will handle the mask issue. This is something that Satan can’t wait to use to divide people. Passions run deep on each side of the issue. Yet as believers we are told to live in grace with one another. This should not be an issue that divides us. Wear a mask. Or don’t. But as with everything else in life, search the scriptures to know how God wants you to live. Be convinced in your own mind and let others be convinced in theirs.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.–Romans 12:18