Should Christians Wear Masks?
By Jamey Escamilla • December 31, 2020
I recently created an article listing the lessons I believe Christians are learning from covid.
You can read that article here.
It got a lot of attention and mixed emotions, due to one lesson on that list.
In that article, I stated that the pandemic is revealing who REALLY has respect for governing authorities.
The position I was taking in that article was that I don’t believe that MOST governing officials are trying to take away our religious rights and keep us from practicing our faith.
And I don’t think that creating a mandate for mask-wearing or shutting down churches along with every other business is an attack on our freedom or faith.
I was really intrigued by the amount of concern we received over that one!
Now, I still stand by that personal belief.
But I’d like to shed a little more light on that one, and challenge those who disagree a bit.
I know this is a hot topic with Christians right now.
But at the end of the day, we should still be able to do two things:
Love and speak kindly with each other, even if we disagree
Provide good, scriptural, logical proof for our stance
So, when it comes to mask-wearing, here is my stance on it:
I think Christians and people should do it, whether there is a mandate or not.
Now, I’m not going to get into all of the mixed data out there, so please, DON’T send me links about doctors or medical universities saying that we SHOULDN’T wear masks.
It seems that there are credible sources that say to do it, and credible sources that say NOT to do it.
Truthfully, I don’t think people really know for sure yet if we should or shouldn’t.
So, BECAUSE there is mixed data and we probably really don’t know, THAT’S the reason why I think we should play on the safe side and wear masks.
ONE random article about one person who suffered health-wise because they wore a mask is NOT proof that mask-wearing is bad, in my opinion.
Because there’s a pandemic going on right now, I don’t see anything wrong with the government, states, or local officials putting a mandatory mask rule in effect.
I believe we should follow it, if they put it into effect.
One scripture I used to back this up was 1 Peter 2:13-17:
Submit to every human authority (ordinance) because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
To me, this is very clear – submit to every ordinance from governing officials, UNLESS it’s an ordinance put in place to take away our rights, freedom, and faith.
Now, many people had a lot to say about the article I posted.
But no one really addressed my scripture.
And that’s kind of one of my pet-peeves.
Let’s not ignore each other’s scriptures and simply proceed with our argument.
The scripture I’m posting here demands a response. It’s a wall that people who disagree with me need to find a way over before continuing the discussion.
Now, I did seem to get some responses from this scripture, and I’m going to list them here, and show WHY I believe they’re incorrect.
“This scripture is invalid, because our land has laws that allow the slaughtering of the innocent and other bad laws.”
My response: I agree that we shouldn’t accept and follow bad laws.
But still, you have to prove to me that COVID LAWS are “bad” and shouldn’t be followed.
Don’t deflect my argument by shining light on abortion laws and other bad laws that I’m definitely against.
When this scripture says, “every ordinance”, within that text, it gives us clues about these ordinances.
They are ordinances to:
“Punish those who do what is evil"
“Praise those who do what is good”
“Silence the ignorance of foolish people”
Show that we are “doing good”
I think the Bible is trusting us to know what we should and should not obey.
When I say, “We should respect and follow ordinances of the land”, I mean the right ones.
And we also need to remember that there are some bad laws that exist, but don’t infringe upon US personally.
Like abortion. It might be legal to get one, and that sucks.
We should fight it.
But the government is not MANDATING anyone to get an abortion. It’s a choice.
So, we can't use the existence of bad ordinances that are voluntary to justify not obeying questionable ordinances that are mandatory for some.
“The scripture you used is not in context.”
My response: That’s the only thing I hate about the “context” argument when it comes to the Bible.
Everyone says, “We need context, context, context.”
But then they proceed to create their OWN context based on a false interpretation.
I’m not really sure what people meant in the comments when they said, “Keep the scripture in context!”
Are you saying that this scripture doesn’t apply to us? So, we DON'T need to obey ordinances given by government?
"Context" means that you understand the "who, what, where, when, and why" of a scripture.
But none of that means that it can never apply to us in our day.
We're not debating context here - we're debating whether or not this scripture applies to us.
I believe it does, because it’s the same today as it was back then.
Obey the good laws and fight the bad ones.
When people said, "Keep it in context", I think what they meant was that our government looks different than it did back then.
Our constitutional republic is different than their Roman Empire.
In America, we just follow the constitution, and the government works for us as we hold them to do the same.
But still, what’s your point?
We still have to obey ordinances, just like they did.
God still wants us to follow the good rules, because it shows our Christianity.
The point of the scripture is just to tell Christians to obey the right ordinances.
Pay your taxes if you’re supposed to. Don’t speed on the freeway. Don’t break the law.
Yes, there are some scriptures that are supposed to be kept in the first century with the disciples.
But MOST New Testament scriptures can be applied to everyone.
So far, nobody has proven to me that this scripture is NOT for US.
“The Constitution is the highest authority. As American Christians, we have ONE HUMAN in authority over us - The Risen Christ.”
My response: So, you agree that the scripture says that we are to submit to every human authority.
But you're saying that we don’t need to obey covid ordinances because as Americans, we really don't have a HUMAN over us, just the constitution?
Huh? That’s kind of silly to me.
First, the constitution DOES give other HUMAN officials the right to put ordinances into place, even if others aren’t doing it.
If mask-wearing wasn’t constitutional, then there wouldn’t be more than half of all states mandating it right now. They wouldn’t be able to.
We’re really just splitting hairs over what an “authority” is. And who cares?
I believe governing officials are “over us” and we need to “submit” to them in the sense that they create laws for us to follow, and we pay them taxes.
But are they “over us” in the sense that they dictate us or know better than us? No.
All men are created equal.
Some men we elect to give us ordinances. And we should obey them if they’re good.
I think what THIS argument is really about is that some people just don’t like having others "over them."
They don’t like the thought of submission, period. It’s kind of rebellious, if you ask me.
Other arguments against what I was saying:
“We have more examples of going against the direct ordinances of kings in the Bible.”
Some people quoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The king told them to worship their false God, and they didn’t.
Others quoted Acts 5:29:
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
The governing officials told them to stop talking about Jesus, and they refused.
My response: But again, these were BAD ordinances/laws.
So, good on Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Peter. I say, “Amen” to them.
But you have to prove to me that COVID ordinances are bad with the intention to take away our freedom.
You see, if the government mandates that I can’t write this blog because it’s about Jesus…
… then I’ll be right there on the front lines with you, fighting that mandate.
But I don’t see covid mandates this way.
“Wearing a mask is essentially the same thing as the Nazis pinning a star of David to the Jews. It’s all about control.”
My response: prove it.
“You revere Hitler.”
My response: No, I don’t.
“The Bible says not to forsake the gathering of the saints. If the government tells us to close our churches, they’re telling us to disobey scripture.”
My response: the scripture that says this is referring to a willingness of some people to not attend church.
Some people just don’t want to go when the doors are open. That’s sad.
If the churches are open, and you’re OK with possibly contracting covid, and you can be responsible IF you contract it, then you should go.
But we have NOTHING in the Bible that tells us what to do if there’s a pandemic going on.
People are dying, and some churches are hot spots for covid.
So number one, this scripture is not referring to a world-wide church shut down.
It’s referring to individuals who don’t go when the doors are open.
Number two, we can’t say for sure what Paul would have said if there was a pandemic going on.
Would he still encourage everyone to gather? We don’t know.
Would they know about the science of a pandemic, and how it spreads? We don’t’ know.
Would the Holy Spirit tell them what to do during a pandemic? We don’t know.
But one thing I do know is that the Bible does also say to use wisdom in situations like this.
In the Old Testament, God would tell the land when a famine was coming.
A famine is when there’s no food. Usually, disease accompanies it.
Then, he would tell them to kind of ignore it and just eat all they want and live life as usual.
Why? Because "FAITH OVER FEAR! FAITH OVER FEAR! FAITH OVER FEAR!"
No. That last part isn’t true.
What God DID tell them to do was ration their food to get ready for the famine.
He told them to take precautions and do what was necessary to ride the storm out.
In other words, it was faith mixed with common sense.
And I think that’s how we should approach covid.
I know there’s already people getting mad with what I just said.
But I’m sure that their lives were altered in the Old Testament due to famine.
They couldn’t do what they normally did. They might have missed a gathering with others.
But they were doing what God would have them to do.
The point is to use wisdom.
Are churches being shut down? Yes. But why?
Because there’s a secret desire of the government to control us and take away our freedom?
I think it’s just because there’s a pandemic going on. That’s it.
Now, if every other business, like bars and strip clubs, are allowed to open, but the church still can’t, then fight it. I’m with you.
That’s wrong, and there might be some liberal, biased official behind it. They won't win.
But is that the case for EVERY jurisdiction? No, so we shouldn’t make it sound like it is.
We closed our church for a few months, even when we didn’t have to.
The health of our members was important, and covid numbers were growing in our community.
But we opened back up a few months ago, with covid guidelines in place.
We haven't had ANY outbreaks in our church.
I enjoy living in a state where I’m trusted to do the right thing and doesn’t mandate the closing of businesses.
I’m not knocking any other state. I’m sure they’re doing what they think is right.
But if my state said to close for a bit, along with every other business, I would respect it.
The kingdom of God is not just about gathering.
And I can still have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Look, what I really think is this…
If YOU say that Christians shouldn’t wear masks and abide by covid restrictions, I ask you this:
If YOU then say, “Because they’re trying to control us and take away our freedom and religion,” I will tell you this:
By “prove”, I mean show me a document, a writing, a video, or a sound clip of some official saying that this is their goal – to murder Christianity.
Then show me that EVERY government official is trying to do this.
It really just bottoms down to theory.
You are welcome to believe that.
However, just know that not every Christian who is for mask-wearing is of the devil.
I hope you guys can hear my heart with this post.
And again, I'm not upset. I just felt the air needed to be cleared a bit.
I'm glad we can have a loving discussion! Be blessed!