To Mask or Not to Mask?
Since the beginning of time, Satan has been busy devising means and methods to cut deep divides into the human race. As tragic as this is there is by far the greatest of tragedies is when he can successively divide God’s people. By far one of the greatest means that Satan employs to divide God’s people is by the misuse of Scripture.
Churches have been divided and even destroyed by the misuse of scripture by both those in the pulpit and those in the pew. It is a terrible tragedy to beat God’s people over the head with the Holy Scriptures. In some ways God’s children are fragile and can be easy manipulated. We have ample indication of this from God’ word:
• We are to bear one another’s burdens
• We are to assist believers who fall into sin
• We are to minister through our gift (s) to fellow believers
• We who are stronger in the faith are to work at not causing the weaker one’s in the faith to stumble or sin
• We are to encourage, exhort, and edify one another
Satan has implemented new ways to divide the people of God. Once again it is through the misuse of Scripture. The issue over the wearing of masks or not wearing masks is causing pain, hurt feelings, angry responses, and division amongst God’s people. Case in point, we are being told that Philippians 2:3-4 is a mandate for Christians to wear masks. If we have no selfish ambition, or conceit, and if we are lowly in mind, we will think of other believers as more important than ourselves, and we will refuse to look after our own interests and be concerned about the interests of others. This is a misuse of Scripture designed to guilt some believers into wearing masks.
First of all, it ignores the 47 studies that confirm the ineffectiveness of mask wearing and the 32 studies confirming the negative health effects of mask wearing. Second, the context is dealing with unity with individual local bodies of believers. Unity is only preserved through each believer commitment to humility. It is an exhortation to be imitators of Christ when the body gathers in order to maintain peace and harmony with the body.
Each believer is to be convinced in his/her own mind about the will of God governing our behavior towards one another. God has revealed a good deal about His will concerning our dealings with one another. If the weaker brother is convinced by God’s Spirit that wearing a mask is prudent, then by all means, wear your mask in godly conscious. But if the stronger brother is convinced in his mind that mask wearing is not necessary, then in good conscious do not wear a mask. The imperative of this scripture is that neither the stronger nor weaker brother is to force their conviction on the other.
Be careful to understand what I said. There is no question about God’s will on adultery. Thou shall not do it, period. There is no room for differing convictions, weaker or stronger on that issue. But there is no scripture dealing with mask wearing.
In the light of this fact, and taking in consideration of our responsibility to do all things to the glory of God and for the good of all people, particularly those of the household of faith, let each one follow their conscious as it is led and governed by the Holy Spirit. Let’s not misuse scripture to force our personal opinion or desires on others.