“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.