Recently one of my family members vehemently stated they would NOT wear a mask, just because they did not want to wear a mask. Nothing in the way of evidence or reasoning mattered.
In 1998 a book by David Henderson entitled Culture Shift addressed our post modern culture and the shift taking place. His chapter titles included people as Consumers, Spectators, Self-absorbed individuals, Beyond God, Beyond Right and wrong. Although 20 years old the book is truly relevant for our world today. It is worth a read.
“The Word of God and the gospel it contains are as true and crucial today as when they were spoken a couple thousand years ago.
The worlds self-reliance and complacency can make us forget how much the gospel is needed. And the skepticism and relativism with which the world greets us can prompt us to be timid and apologetic.
Its easy to second guess ourselves. Is this really all that important, my wrestling so long to gain a hearing from God’s word?
Yes, Yes, yes, yes! Do not be misled by the casual gruffness of our world. Underneath it are parched souls gasping for life. The words of the Bible have never been more relevant, timelier, or more needed. The Bible simply begs to be proclaimed.” David W. Henderson, Culture Shift
Today is no different than when the Apostle Paul brought Christianity to the people. The population is hostile to the message then as it is now, Paganism was active throughout the culture (as it is in America today). There is a high level of Spiritual Warfare, demon activity that is completely ignored especially by Christians. Everything was politicized as it is today.
Unfortunately, the church in America has not changed with the times. Yes, many churches have wonderful buildings, great programs and before Covid were packing auditoriums. But the bottom line is are all those Christians living out the Christian way of life? Do they even know anything about the book of books, The Bible? Can they make a case for their faith?
Many of course cannot nor have we as the Body of Christ adapted very well to post-modern culture. Christians have not adapted their message to the times.
Politicizing means we bring a political character or definition into a decision or subject. We take sides in a polarized discussion. I.E. wear masks or do not wear masks. Taking sides can and often does discount common sense and the common good.
Americans (and people in other cultures) tend to be expressive individualists. Expressive individualists usually are not team players and often are selfish and lack empathy. This is not always the case but an accurate observation.
The Libertine freedoms of Americas Founders that allows small government to give Americans the choice of obeying or not is alive and well today. Most Americans (Christian included) act like libertarians and do not know it. The government CANNOT tell them what to do.
The libertarian’s freedom-at-all-costs mentality during this pandemic is selfish and Christians should be the first in line to be thinking of other people’s welfare... That is neither socialism, or republican or democrat it is love. Love for one another. What we do is for the common good and not selfish choices.
There are however good reasons for anyone, particularly if you claim to be a Christian to do this.
When we wear a mask, we love our neighbor. Even though it is annoying to wear a mask and you do not believe the science you can still love your neighbor by wearing a mask. It has been said those of us who have not been exposed to someone sick or dying from COVID do not understand the horror of this disease.
If we do not care and we do not mind watching friends and family become sick, even a slim chance, then so be it.
To wear a mask shows respect for Authorities.
Now I know that we have become so cynical and contentious that we do not trust the government. Yes, the government, the people we have elected, they do foolish things. Right now, our government is doing foolish and unwise things. Keep in mind they are not much different than the rest of us. We want to do things OUR way and so do they.
Authorities asking us to wear a mask is for the common good. They are not asking you to commit treason! Be obedient as per Hebrews 13:17
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Be an example for other Christians. When Church members act like the world at large and argue and judge over mask wearing we diminish our witness. We are no different than the sinful world around us.
Give up your freedom for the sake of others.
Freedom as defined by the US Constitution is not freedom as defined by the Bible and our Lord. Paul is happy to give up his freedom for the sake of loving others (1 Cor. 8:13). “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them,” (1 Cor. 9:19). “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:22–23).
To live out what we preach is to give up our freedoms for the sake of others.
The non-believing world has started looking at Christians as reckless virus super-spreaders who put their own freedoms (to gather in person, to not wear masks) ahead of the health of the community?
Are we as Christians as “servants to all,” or are we just as bad as the media says we are?
The annoyance of wearing masks can help not only save lives but also souls.
Albert Camus the French Philosopher/Atheist said this: “What the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.”