“Would Jesus wear a face mask?” I asked this question at ladies Bible study last night. My stubborn, stiff-necked, rebellious heart didn’t like the answer that came back from the ladies: “yes.” My heart knows that the answer is right, but I don’t like it. Like other American’s, I love my rights, and I don’t want to lay them down. I have been searching God’s word for a loophole – anything — that would provide justification for civil disobedience on the mask mandates. I haven’t found it.
Writing the letters to the church in Corinth – specifically 1 Corinthians – Paul addresses a laundry list of disputes in the church, including eating meat offered to idols. On these issues, Paul says in 1Corinthians 6:12 and again in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” (HCSB). To paraphrase, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 10:24, “no one is to seek his own good but the good of the other person.” Paul sums it up in 1 Corinthians 10:31 when he says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything fo the glory of God” (HCSB, emphasis supplied).
What does this have to do with masks? As American’s the Constitution and Bill of Rights gives us individual freedoms. However, as I read and study, God says that whatever we do, “do everything for the glory of God.” Wearing a face mask does not meet the threshold for civil disobedience. On the contrary, if you have a terrible rebellious attitude like me, it does not glorify God. It wrecks my witness for Jesus in my community. As we navigate these bizarre times as American Christians, it is essential to remember that the word of God trumps the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. American Christians have to be very careful that while exercising our American freedoms that we are not creating a stumbling block or creating a contrary testimony.
My personal opinions about wearing face masks haven’t changed – I still doubt their efficacy and safety. But, wearing a face mask isn’t in violation of God’s word (again, I’ve checked), so for me, God is calling me to submit and be obedient to Him.
Grace and truth. Bless or curse. Speak or remain silent. Act or don’t act. Civil obedience or civil disobedience. In these turbulent days of 2020, I feel like the Body of Christ is walking a tightrope trying to balance these issues that all seem so diametrically opposed to each other. Which is the right choice? I believe the answer from God is “BOTH.”
Robert Madu’s sermon, “Living Between Tension & Grace” really hits the mark on this issue. John 1:14 says that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father full of grace and truth.” The Body has swung wildly from one side of grace where we can’t say or do anything that is “not positive” or “makes people feel uncomfortable,” to the other side of “the truth hurts” so here, let me beat you over the head with scripture. Neither of those extremes is right or correct. The truth lies in the middle where there is balance.
Physical fitness experts will tell you that to have good balance you have to have strong core muscles. The same is true to be spiritually balanced. Core spiritual muscles are developed in intimate prayer and study of scripture. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus found it necessary to have alone time with Abba, Father. To know what the Father feels, says, does and what Abba wants us to feel, say, and do, we have to be connected to Him. The Body of Christ will never find balance without building these core muscles. Each of us individually, will never find balance without that time building our relationship with Abba, Father.
Where are you out of balance? Too much truth given with a bat? Too much grace because you want to be nice? The answer is between you and God. In these turbulent times, you need to be able to hear what God is saying and be bold enough to follow through with what He asks. Find your balance, build your spiritual muscle — Get alone with God. Be obedient to what He asks you to do or say.
It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.
It is the grace of God that empowers us to live obedient to His call.
It is the mercy of God that delivers us from what we deserve.
It is the truth of God that gives us freedom and deliverance.
It is the love of God that covers our sins.
It is obedient faith to God that allows kindness, grace, mercy, truth, and love to flow in and through us.
It is quite evident that mainstream media appears to be biased — if not outright propaganda factories. Down is up, left is right, right is wrong, suppression of free speech by anyone opposing the radical left narrative is censored. Given these blatant and vicious lies, I — like millions of others — have followed the white rabbit down the hole of what was formerly called conspiracy theories. Today a family member forwarded me a link to a video discussing the moves and countermoves of the radical, Marxist left agenda. Frankly, if true, this would result in the presidential election being nullified, and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, being made “interim” President of the United States. This sequence of events is connected to the voter fraud that will be brought about by mail-in votes. Terrifying, right? What should those in the Body of Christ do? How do we line this up with God’s written word?
Regardless of what you think, feel or believe about following the white rabbit down the conspiracy hole, you must remember that:
- God is JEHOVA SABAOTH — the LORD OF ARMIES (Psalm 84:12).
- It is God who “will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5
- The Body of Christ must remember that we are to PRAY and then SPEAK or DO whatever God leads us individually to do.
- BE AWARE that this is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE manifesting in the earthly plane. Remember, we are to wrestle against the powers, principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Don’t be afraid, God is in control, but you must engage and participate. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I say this with all love, but, you can’t stick your head in the sand. This IS NOT JUST POLITICS BECAUSE IT IS AN ELECTION YEAR IN THE USA. You must engage in the battle even at the risk of your reputation and relationships.
The moves and countermoves are in the hand of the Lord of Armies. It’s our prayers that move the Hand of God