Six Reasons Every Pastor Should Require Masks and Social Distancing at Church

I’ve said it before, navigating pastoral ministry is tricky business. But one thing that you can take to the bank is that requiring masks and social distancing at church is an outstanding pastoral decision. The nice thing is that you don’t really have to think about it. The government and health experts have already done all the thinking for you—your job is to do what they say. But just in case you are still unsure if you should require churchgoers to wear masks and social distance, here are six reasons why every pastor should require these wise and loving measures.

1. You Will Be Fitting in (and Helping Others Fit in Too)

One of your most important duties as a pastor is to fit in with other pastors. If a majority of other churches have chosen to enforce mask mandates, they are obviously correct. Throughout history, it has always been the case that the majority is correct. Christians, and especially Christian leaders, are never called to stand alone in the world. John Knox was definitely wrong when he said, “A man with God is always in the majority.” Furthermore, your duty is to help church members fit in with the world around them. It’s not helpful for Christians to look different than the world. You want visitors to walk into your church and say, “Hey, everyone here behaves just like the rest of the world—this seems like a good place for me!” You want outsiders to understand that the church reacts to the virus just like the unbelieving world. This is how we reach the lost. As you lovingly lead your people by requiring them to wear masks, you will be helping others conform to the world, which is better than being transformed.

2. You Will Encourage Everyone to Trust the Government

Christians should be innocent as serpents and wise as doves. This is especially true when it comes to government mandates relating to the church. Because the government is worthy of our complete trust and obedience, there is no need to question any of their decisions. Anything they tell us to do is undoubtedly for our good and should be adhered to rigorously, especially as it relates to church matters. By requiring face masks and social distancing when your church gathers, you will be helping your congregants to realize that every mandate from Washington, D.C. is worthy of our unquestioning obedience. Despite our government’s immaculate track record of always caring for life, from the preborn to the elderly, some naïve church members still stubbornly think that the government is not qualified to give such directives. These foolish Christians overreact to the fact that the government allows a few abortions each year. Overall, our government is manifestly spotless when it comes to protecting life. Any mandate to wear a mask or stay away from other Christians during church should be submitted to so that more people will trust that our government always knows what is best. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it just to be safe (and safety is always first in Christianity): the government obviously has the best interests of the church of Jesus Christ in mind whenever it makes any decision. In earlier times, before Christians knew better, the church stood independent of government regulations and mandates. Some asinine Christians (like the Pilgrims) were even willing to face imprisonment and torture to be free of government intrusion in matters of church life. Thankfully, pastors today don’t have to be like them. It is now not only acceptable to let the government tell the church what to do, but also the most loving thing.

3. By Binding the Consciences of All Believers, You Will Weed Out Dangerous, Independent Thinkers from Your Church

By using your authority as a pastor to require all church members to wear masks, you will do the good work of separating the wheat from the chaff. Why would you want to have supposed “Christians” in your church who think that individual believers should be able to make up their own minds about wearing a mask or social distancing? Those types of people certainly cause divisions and create obstacles. They are probably also conspiracy theorists. If you do not require masks, you will not only allow these dangerous parishioners to think for themselves, but you will be implicitly allowing them to encourage others to think for themselves as well. This is the last thing you want to do as a pastor. Your job is to do all the thinking for your church. Since you went to seminary, you are clearly the most qualified to decide if everyone should wear a mask. Your sheep are not able to make these decisions for themselves. By lovingly forcing everyone to wear a mask, you will likely get rid of those wolves who foolishly think you do not have the authority to bind the consciences of believers regarding the Lord’s Day assembly. Stand firm in your conviction that everyone should have the exact same convictions about masks; lord it over the people if you must. Your church, and world for that matter, will be a much better place without these people who think they can make decisions for themselves; self-government is so passé.

4. You Will Be Showing Your Support for the Government Mandated Shutdown of Your Congregant’s Businesses

Social distancing requirements have led many family businesses to close their doors indefinitely. There is no question that this was the right decision. It is far more important that we slow the inevitable spread of the coronavirus than that people can support themselves and their families. If even one person dies because of the coronavirus, we have failed as a nation. But if a someone loses their business, cannot support their family, and turns to drugs, alcohol, and suicide, our hands are clean. This is the price we pay for safety. We will stoically accept such consequences—it’s the loving thing to do. In the extremely rare event that people in your church lose a business because of the government mandates, your job as a church leader is to show your faithfulness to the government’s decisions so these people will feel better about being out of work. By enforcing mask and social distancing requirements, your church will be an example to the community around you, a city on a hill. Your church can lead the way in helping businessowners submit to all the government mandates, even if it means Christians lose their jobs and have to rely on government money. This is the sacrifice you have been called to as a minister of the gospel. If you don’t follow this advice, the results could be disastrous. If you don’t comply with mask regulations, you might unwittingly encourage businessowners in your congregation to do the same thing. Obviously, if a business does not religiously enforce mask mandates and social distancing, all employees and customers will get the virus, and probably die. Businessowner Alfie Oakes committed the unpardonable sin of allowing customers to choose whether to wear a mask. He is a boar in the Lord’s vineyard. Avoid such heretics like the plague (or the coronavirus…same thing, right?) and do not let them in your church (unless they repent and don a mask).

5. You Will Help Christians Understand True Science

In the past, before scientific advances helped the church realize many of her errors, Christians used to believe that God created humans with immune systems. There are still some fundamentalists who believe this today. Now that we know better, it would be unconscionable to proport the lie that our bodies are able to develop immunity to viruses and diseases. To be honest, it is disgusting that some parents continue to teach their children this fairy tale. By ensuring that everyone covers their face and stays six feet away from one another, you will reinforce the undisputed truth that our bodies were not designed to interact with microbes and develop natural immunity. Churches should definitely not be the place for people to interact with other people. If you enforce these measures, concerned mothers can rest assured that their children will be much better prepared to face the world around them, having been sheltered not only from the coronavirus, but also a bunch of other deadly microbes. You’ll be a hero.

6. You Will Ensure Unity by Making Everyone Act the Same Way

It doesn’t make sense to recommend that only people truly concerned about contracting the virus wear a mask, or face shield, or hazmat suit, if everyone else isn’t also required to wear a mask. If some people are worried about getting the virus, then it makes perfect sense to make everyone else wear a mask too. Anytime anyone is concerned about something, then everyone else should also act as if they are concerned about it too. This what it means to love others. Love means we accept whatever someone else believes. If everyone isn’t required to wear masks, then the people that are really concerned about getting infected would be forced to make their own decisions about how to avoid the virus. They might even have to think about how concerned about the virus they really are. In any case, you don’t want to be the cause of those things. You want everyone in your herd, or flock, to wear a mask until further notice. In this way, no one will get the virus and the group will develop herd immunity. And, if you are ever tempted to question the wisdom of these mandates, just remember that “we are all in this together.” As long as everyone is acting in “unity,” nothing else really matters.


Chris Hume is a Christian husband, father, and military veteran. In case you didn’t realize it, this article was satire. To read about his views on the subject of the coronavirus and the gathering of the church, read his book Essential Service, available as a free download here. The revised edition includes an appendix about pastors requiring masks and social distancing.

53 Comments

    1. Sarcasm can have it’s place, this is not it, nor is it done as God has as He always focuses on the the truth. Truth is wearing or not wearing a mask doesn’t qualify as an essential of the faith, so no grounds for not obeying what the gov’t requires.
      Mt. 22:15-22
      It’s very likely that the coin Jesus held in His hand, the hand of the Creator Almighty God, was one that had the most blasphemous of declarations, “Tiberivs Ceasar Divi Avgvsti Filivs Avgsrvs” ( Ceasar Agustus Tibius, son of the devine Agustus) calling that after death Agustus had become a god.” Wikipedia
      Having to use coinage that had such offencsive declarations to God than requiring to wear a mask, no matter what you believe about the validity of the request, yet Jesus doesn’t even mention any opposition to the use of the money, just the opposite and certainly not sarcasm.
      Get the essentials correct for civil disobedience. Acts 2-4

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      1. Is this response satire? First, the government asking for taxes is not the same as the elders of the church requiring people to wear a mask in order to enter the public worship of God, which is what the article was making fun of. Second, if you are saying that you can’t worship God publicly without a mask, then that is an essential of your faith, hence the requirement. It is not an essential according to the Bible, but if you can’t worship God with fellow believers without a mask on then it is part of your religious practice, whether you admit it or not. Since Scripture does not require masks in the worship of God, no elder or government has a right to bar people from the gathered body of Christ because they are not wearing a mask. To do so would be creating a new law that people must obey in order to worship God which is what Jesus was constantly criticizing the Pharisees for doing. Third, what “essentials correct for civil disobedience” are found in Acts 2-4?

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      2. Jesus commands us to not fear, so yes, this virus and the governments fear mongering are a direct contradiction to our Faith.

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      3. It’s a shame that you will twist Scripture to make your point. In the passage about paying taxes, Jesus was talking about a denarius, which was commonly used for everything else. So, it was only offensive to them for paying taxes. He was showing their hypocrisy. Our assembly as a body of believers requires fellowship including greeting each other with a holy kiss, which includes touch as an expression of love. This is an essential of the faith. This article is not about wearing or not wearing masks, but the REQUIREMENT from pastors to insist on it. It never says that we cannot choose to wear one.

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      4. I “twisted” scripture, made it out to be something it was not, how is that? There are a lot in all of scripture and yes Jesus was pointing out their hypocrisy, He was also making it clear the principle in Romans 13, if the gov’t says to do something that’s not in violation of the commands of God then discussion over, obey. So those who say we should or shouldn’t wear a mask are going into unscriptural controversies that they shouldn’t.

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      5. Thank you for writing, Vaughn. I have a question in regards to your last reply. You mentioned that if the government says do something that’s not in violation of the commands of God “then discussion over, obey.” I am actually preaching on this topic this week because I believe that is a simplistic and unhelpful way to look at it. We must understand that God has authorized government to do a very limited thing (punish evil according to God’s Law, see Rom 13 and 1 Pet 2). If the government oversteps that line, we are not obligated to obey, even if we could obey and not sin. For example, many states say it is illegal to sell raw milk. Now, it is not a sin to buy pasteurized milk, but it is immoral for the government to say we cannot trade for raw milk. God created it for us to consume and government has no right to punish people for buying or selling raw milk. It is not wrong to disobey the government and buy or sell raw milk. Another example: not too many years ago in my home state the government allowed murder of babies (still do that) but did not allow midwives who didn’t meet their demands to help mothers give birth. Now, I could have obeyed the government and not sinned—I could have taken my wife to the hospital to give birth. However, I disobeyed that law and paid a midwife to do a home birth in defiance of that law because God never authorized the government to tell mothers who can help them deliver their children. My question: Would it be wrong to disobey the government in those examples? (And I have plenty more examples if you need them.) Thank you sir.

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      6. I thank you for your reply Chris, I hope that’s ok to address you on a first name basis, you may address me on first name basis as well.
        “I believe that is a simplistic and unhelpful way to look at it.” Is the issue at hand whether or not it’s simplistic or unhelpful, or whether it’s according to God’s word? Now i see you’ve gone on to try and make the point that what you are saying is backed up by scripture, but are you twisting scripture when you say, “If the government oversteps that line, we are not obligated to obey, even if we could obey and not sin. For example, many states say it is illegal to sell raw milk…” Where in the OT or Jesus example, or in any New Testament do we have this kind of idea given to us? You decide what it is that gov’t has a right to do and what ever each person comes up with that means you don’t have to obey? I will give you an example, I had a cobbler that truly believed the gov’t had no right to have stop signs, or lights, no speed limits, no regulations on the roads. Another says no gov’t can tell me what i do in my house, so i can ingest heroin and give it to my 12 year old daughter. If this unscriptural ideology was actually correct then why did Jesus obey the corrupt Roman gov’t who were limiting more than what milk you drank or if you could have a midwife or not. (By the way we had Nancy Mills, one of the most well known illegal midwifes deliver our first child in 1975 AD, which i would not do today). If this principle of each person determining what the gov’t can or can’t do why is this not given to us by Jesus, nor any of His disciples, on the contrary, just the opposite, as you have sited God calls us to be in a place of respect and honor and even address them in this way. When Nehemiah, Daniel, Paul and others are brought before evil corrupt rulers it is with the utmost respect that they obey everything they order of them except when it comes to the commands of God, this is when God makes it clear we are to follow God not man, and milk and midwives don’t elevate to this level.
        You, like i used to, mix western individualism, national Constitutionalism, and patriotism with God’s word. Don’t miss understand me, I stand outside abortion centers, write and visit with my representatives contending for justice and the protection of the widow, orphan, street people, and protecting liberties of Christians and the church (see my note previously regarding my letter to our governor), and on, but this whole argument is actually taking away from that which we should be uniting in the onslaught of the gates of hell and proclaiming the gospel in the harmony of the church, return to those matters that are not even the “elementary doctrine of Christ” and move onto “solid food for the mature” (Heb. 5:14; 6:1)
        Again: I Tim 1:4; Phil 2:14-18; Tit 3:9

        In, for and because of Jesus Christ, vaughn

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      7. Actually, after Jesus says, “render unto Ceasars that which is Ceasars” (the coin which had Ceasars image on it) He says, “and render unto God the things that are Gods”. Why did that silence and awe everyone trying to trap him? Becuase he was declaring what belongs to God, i.e. human beings. Cesear himself, all human authority are under God’s ultimate authority. Not to do evil, but as Paul says in Romans 13, ” to do good”. That is not good arbitrarily defined but defined by God. Civil authorities are to do good, as they promote evil and trample the good they abdicate their authority and are not owed obedience and submission but rather resistance. Thwt is the historical Christian position.

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    1. Jason Storms,
      Yes, Caesar and his coin belong to God and by God’s word He said, give it back to him if he requires it (Rom. 13:7). What are you trying to argue for, not paying taxes, not obeying what ever you think the gov’t hasn’t done as they should? If the principle is whether or not we’re to obey the gov’t is only if they obey the God’s directive of for “good”, then no obedience to any gov’t is warranted, as i have mentioned before. If this nonbiblical view were the case then why did Jesus submit, pay taxes? If this were true why didn’t Jesus address one of the most evil, corrupt, ungodly, nations who did more evil against the people of Israel than any other e g destroyed their nation and dispersed their people for ~1,900 years?
      There are clear criteria for disobeying gov’t but much of this discussion about masks doesn’t rise to that level, that’s actually petty compared to what Jesus did in holding in His hand the blasphemous declaration on the denarius and then returning it to him and then ordering others to do the same; he brought up no civil disobedience, on the contrary, civil obedience.
      Of course, when it comes to those matters that are clearly ordered by God like assembly, Lord’s Supper, worship, gospel, life, … then it’s easy and clear, obedience to God must prevail.
      This we have seen has not been done, often over the nonissue of mask or no, or distance or not, and here the church sets themselves up for confusion, infighting, and acquiescing to gov’t in area they should not.
      Get ready with clear understanding and commitment to what God has said for we are going to have even greater test very soon.
      Don’t be side tracked with endless arguments.

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      1. OK, Vaughn. You make some good points. But what if mask wearing can be shown to not only be ineffective, but also harmful for some? Would you grant that those people should not be required to wear them?

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      2. Jim Clark
        OK, Vaughn. You make some good points. But what if mask wearing can be shown to not only be ineffective, but also harmful for some? Would you grant that those people should not be required to wear them?
        I worked in the health care field for over 40 years as a medic in the field of Vietnam, orderly, EMT, and RN, masks work, there is no question as to the efficacy of masking, the only thing remaining is which ones provide what level of protection, as there are so many being used, but that isn’t the issue. A church is it’s own separated entity when it comes to which law it abides by. By God’s law He commands us to obey every law of the “authorities” as far as it doesn’t violate one of His laws. Whether to wear a mask or not is not one of His laws and to obey or disobey that law is a matter of individual conscience, which is the point of obeying man’s laws as far as possible. (Rom. 13:5 ; however, God intended for relations between Him and between His children to be “mouth to mouth” (Hebrew of Numbers 12:8), face to face” (I Thess. 2:17; II Jn. 12) so if the authorities of the church were to say, you can have your mask off during service, I would obey them rather than any medical or civil authority, however, if those around me were weak and fearful and vulnerable (Rom. 14:1-2), as we are to do everything out of love. (Rom. 13: 8-1/0). Another area that can be a decision dilemma for the church/Christians are some “authorities” have ordered for no one to sing, this is in direct violation of the very nature of the believer, they cannot not worship by the Spirit that is w/i them and that would be by design include singing, so the “authorities” are going to have to answer to God if they attempt to restrict the believers love of God and the “works” that follow. (James 2:14-26)
        God’s word is actually very clear where the dividing line is about when one could be called to do what the “authorities” call, “civil disobedience”, but one must love God and pleasing Him first must be the criteria of all life.
        There is a great question is all this for the “authorities”, it’s why are you not obeying the commands of God that are clearly revealed in Rom. 13 to rule according to what is “good”? Since knowing what is “good” in God’s eyes can only come if one knows God in relationship through Jesus Christ, so this is where the church has the opportunity in what most call a crisis, a problem, and pandemic, “evil”, it is just another Providentially designed times for God’s power and word to be proclaimed for “good” (Gen. 50:20) and for us to fulfill our God sanctioned purpose, glorify Him. (Is. 43: 7)
        In, because, for Jesus Christ, vaughn

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  1. As our business is in its death throes and as we consider moving out of state due to our governments overreaction to this virus, this really hit home. Thank you for adding some humor into the twilight zone and adding that bit about businesses. “It’s just a mask” they say and you’re not “essential”. Give me a break….. there’s far reaching consequences to all of these short sighted policies, far worse and longer lasting than the virus itself.

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  2. Satire, that has SO MUCH truth!
    We left our church because of social issues AND the mask policy.
    They came up with a “cute” slogan…
    “From the street, to your seat”. Think like a restaurant.
    The church IS NOT a restaurant !

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  3. Good article, we all know the government wants churches shut down especially any Christian holidays.
    Don’t believe me,read your Bible (King James) version it will give you the answers to the future.
    Go to church,if you want to wear a mask wear one,if you don’t then dont,if you are sick stay home till you are better.
    Don’t let the news media and the government brainwash you.
    Most of all find a good Bible believeing church, not one of those feel good churches they are only in it for the money.
    You may not like what a Bible believeing church preaches and teaches,but it’s an important part of your life and future now and beyond.

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  4. Excellent read! Sarcasm is great in exposing the contradictions and hypocracies that are daily frustrating my family and I during this time of “truth substitution”. The foundational lie that masks and distancing provide a safe and sterile environment is causing, and will continue to cause massive division. The truth is, they do not! It is even scientifically debatable as to whether they even help improve the environment. One thing is certain, Christ’s church cannot exist without fellowship. Masks and distancing are ripping congregations apart. I’ve been watching it happen. However, bold churches that are openly worshipping with relaxed or no requirements, are being overrun by those who want…..need…to gather and praise their Creator, and with little or no marked increase in infection. I know this for fact since I have worshipped in 4 of them, packed for two morning services each Sunday. What mental refreshment! Yes, as with any illness, there are those of higher risk. Protect them. But we must not, we cannot, stand in the way of those who are thirsty for worship and fellowship.
    Having been to the third world several times, and having seen the sacrifices those Christians make just to gather joyfully on a Sunday morning, I am embarrassed at the level of fear and faithlessness that has crept into, and is stifling the American church.

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      1. Mr. Loganecker, I completely understand your theology and reasoning. And I appreciate that you’ve supported your answers with Scripture. This is an issue that I have struggled with at our church, so please hear this reply as it is intended: an honest question, eager to hear your thoughtful response.
        How far are you willing to take your line of reasoning? If the government requires everyone to be vaccinated before returning to church, would you enforce that mandate too? Or because it’s more difficult to prove, more invasive and obviously permanent (unlike putting on a mask) would you let unvaccinated worshippers into your church against the government’s regulations? If you would relent at any point (“Now that’s too far!”), how can we burden Christian’s consciences who believe we have crossed that point already? Would you tell a house church in China that they were sinning if they exceeded the government’s limits for capacity due to fire code? Would you have told Christians in Germany that they were sinning if they didn’t follow the Nazi rules and get rid of their pastors of Jewish descent? I’m not saying it’s wise to break fire codes, but if we allow for exceptions to government overreach and tyranny, or allow God’s command to worship and receive the sacrament together to supersede government restrictions in any other circumstances, how can we treat masks as if this was a black and white issue? Thank you.

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      2. Again, thank you for your reply and that it is reasoned, polite, and pointing to the Lord, as all things are to do. Perhaps you didn’t read, or i didn’t make it clear on previous post, the criteria that God has made clear is the departure point of obeying gov’t is if it violates anything that God has said, so in the examples you have cited, if any restriction of gov’t. restricts assembly, or worship, or the gospel, or life, than absolutely we have a command from God that trumps all others. I am addressing the unscriptural rabbit holes of disobeying gov’t. because one suspects that what they’re asking is incorrect scientifically, politically, or against any of man’s laws. As we know the Roman gov’t was immoral, corrupt, evil, cruel, unjust, prejudiced, pagans who conquered the Jewish people, as well as most of the western world, by the sword. They forced what ever gov’t and religious policies they wanted everywhere they went, but no where do you see Jesus or His believers rebelling or dying over what milk to drink, midwives, or any other forced rules be they just in man’s eyes or not, but if it was a matter of the gospel this we see millions who were willing to die, as well as in the Reformation, even in Nazi Germany, although there Bonhoeffer and most of the others didn’t figure what was going on until almost too late as they were arguing among themselves about this or that controversy instead of being about that “work” that God calls all Christians to be primarily about. (Jn. 6:28-29)
        We have an Almighty, Glorious, Splendid, Fearful, Loving, Just, Gracious, Merciful, Creator, Savior, who has revealed Himself and called His people to be single minded, upon Him. May we fight and live to the death on the sacred ground of glory to Him and proclaiming His name, the gospel of salvation.

        By, for, and because of, Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen, vaughn

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      3. You are not taking into account the spheres of authority that God has ordained in this world. When you say if it relates to life, we are allowed to disobey, that opens up a wide spectrum. I believe that drinking pasteurized milk is not healthy for me, and raw milk is a healthy choice that I should make for my family as a father. I am not joking about this; I take this very seriously. Furthermore, if there’s any mandate from the government regarding education, that’s overstepping their sphere. God has ordained family to educate children. It is false to view government as the highest authority on earth. There is family government and church government as well. No one is more important than the other. They are each authorized to do certain things. The government is only authorized to punish wrongdoers. This is why the apostles say you should be afraid if you do wrong. There are many things in our day that the government punishes for that are not wrong. These are examples of the government overstepping their bounds And we are not required to obey, that we may choose to do so.

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      4. So a fellow in a neighboring county believes that pasteurized milk is the only right and good healthy milk but his gov’t has banned pasteurized milk. Then there’s the fellow in another place who belives dinking any milk is a sin, but his gov’t allows only milk to be drank, no liquid, even water, is any where, then there’s the fellow who believes all of the gov’t is bad and rises up in rebellion, like most of the Jews just after Jesus was on the earth with one glaring exception, the Christians. Why didn’t Jesus join or support or lead in the many rebellions, just the opposite He didn’t allow them make Him king over all the many injustices of the Roman gov’t, and as you may know there were far more than today.
        So with so many things that the Roman gov’t was doing that are outside of what gov’t is supposed to do why didnt Jesus correct this? For the same reason He didnt set up a social justice system/gospel, or an anti defimation league/gospel, or a gender id league, or an anti abortion movement, or … because He came to save souls.
        That’s our primary business.
        This in no way is to take away from or lesson the Sovereignty of family and church over the state , ( the matter of the families Sovereignty is very near and dear to my heart with 3 children 14 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild I have to give an account to God for), but brother, do not fall into the divisive tactics of satan who would like nothing better than for God’s children and/or the church in arguing over the minors and missing the majors, and each of us making up what is the dividing line of what is grounds for disobedience to gov’t, may it be, “How may i glorify You, Your will be done.”
        Again, consider how much of the world’s/American rugid individualism, Nationalistic patriotism and rightism is influencing you, i know i was right where you are ~10 years ago. As the old Scottish pastor said, “rights, what rights, you’ve no rights only grace”.
        Don’t misunderstand this, or me, as I’ve mentioned I’m diligently contending for justice but as Nehemiah, Daniel, Jesus, and all His disciples, not for milk but for “water” ( Jn 4:10-14; 7:38)
        For His glory, vaughn

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      5. A biblical worldview is much deeper than you are presenting. Even the Apostle Paul stood on his rights as a Roman citizen. I do not advocate violence when the government punishes good conduct. But I acknowledge a brother or sister in Christ is not in sin when he or she disobeys the government to enjoy a good gift given from God. You are elevating the state far above what God instituted it to do: namely, punish evil, not good.

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      6. I am fully aware of the limitations that God put on gov’t but not one of them comes close , although Israel did a good job at times as well as America, but then Jesus never elevated non-essentials as you are. Paul appealed to the justice system for the same reason we should. (Acts 16:16-40; I Cor 9:19-23)

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  5. There are still free thinkers left in the church body! Relieved to see it and see most of the comments understood and appreciate the genius in this satire piece.

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  6. Virtually all of the comments here and much of the debate among Christians here and elsewhere surrounding government mandates of mask-wearing, whether to meet or not, under what conditions may churches meet, and so on seem to center around the question, “Is it right or wrong to disobey government in these specific cases?” A more appropriate question for Christians who reside in the USA is, “Is the government acting within the scope of its legitimate power under the Constitution and laws of the land to impose these -or any- mandates upon churches?”

    If the answer to the second question is “No”, the first question is rendered moot.

    I contend that answer is an emphatic “No”. Christians are called to submit to the rulers instituted by God. Uniquely, in the case of Christians who are blessed to live in the USA with its constitutional republic, the actual “rulers” are the citizens under the laws of the land. Members of the three branches of the government are servants of the people, called to enforce those laws as their representatives. The legislative branch is charged with enacting law, not the executive branch. Furthermore, the legislative branch has NO authority -ZERO- to enact laws governing these matters regarding gathering and worship, being proscribed from doing so by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion…”.

    The Supreme Court of the United States has extended this prohibition to include all levels of government within the USA in this ban. In addition the prohibition on controlling religious expression extends to all three branches at all levels per the Supreme Court, thus the executive branch has no authority to require churches to do or not do anything. No member of the executive branch from president down to mayor may simply write laws into being by fiat, or “executive order”. We may allow for emergency powers to briefly override this principle, but certainly not for over a year (as in the present COVID-19 pandemic) or even beyond a very few weeks at most.

    One hundred years ago most Americans understood this. During the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 the government mandated closure of businesses and meeting places, even including Congress at one point, but only requested that churches temporarily suspend meeting. Most complied. But all understood that the decision rested with the churchgoers themselves.

    As Christian citizens of a constitutional republic we have responsibilities along with our many privileges. It is our duty as citizens submitted to the American Republic to keep our government representatives in their lanes, to hold them accountable to the rule of law. Therein lies our Christian responsibility as loyal submitted citizens, not behaving as if our government officials were legitimate autocrats.

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  7. So glad to see that a part of the “Reformed” movement still cares more about its “Christian liberties” than they do about understanding what true Christian liberty is. Go have a look at Galatians and recognize that Christian liberty is about what you are free to sacrifice for the cause of Christ, not what you are free to do because you can say, “I’m a Christian so…” And if you respond by saying the point was the requirement of masks, I dare say you missed the point. If you were more worried about love of the body, this wouldn’t even be an argument. Why argue about requirements if by you not wearing a mask you assault the safety of other families in your church and cause them not to gather with the body. I know of no families that believe it is unsafe to wear the masks (uncomfortable and frustrating? Absolutely) but I have spoken with many people that if the “recommendations or requirements” to wear masks were dropped and people started coming without masks, they would return to worshipping online. So next time you blatantly shout, draw attention to, or God forbid. preach about the fact that we shouldn’t wear masks. Add in a comment that it’s because you don’t care about the welfare of the whole body or if they all feel safe gathering together. Just another mouth in the body of Christ saying it has no need of the ears.

    Is your comfort and your pride really worth the cost? Is your love of the body so one directional?

    Or to put it another way, you are missing the forest on account of a few trees.

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  8. I am amazed at how quickly a “new god on the scene” can get the people of God to bow to this new idol. When the music plays (Daniel 3), we are commanded to bow – and so many Christians have bowed without giving pause to the greater issues. It is not really about love, safety, or being nice – ask the three Hebrew boys. It is truly about “Do we bow to King Jesus or king Caesar (no matter the human face)?” I know the cost of this question at a very personal level.

    Watch and ponder the message given by a young man from Grace Life Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on February 14th before he was put in jail the second time for preaching to his church. He excellently discussed most of these points as he puts his faith on the line in a biblical way.

    Great job of the satire – if we can rightly not allow the peripheral things to mess up your intentions. Thanks much.

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  9. Delicious satire. If you’ve ever wondered how Paul, under divine inspiration, could blurt out “Oh you stupid Galatians,” you have only to look at the safety-idolatry of the Covid-frightened contemporary church. We are commanded to fellowship. Biblical quarantine applies to manifested symptoms. The Romans 13 magistrate has an obligation to be an agent of wrath against the wicked, not the righteous. If you have closed your church, if you require masks, you may have to wonder if you are really “in Christ” or not.

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  10. Chris, excellent article. Sometimes humor is the best way to get a point across. In Mark 12:17, Christ says, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Our worship does not belong to Caesar. It belongs to God. The moment any pastor or church points to a governmental directive as the reason why masks are required while worshipping in the Lord’s house, that pastor or church takes the decision of whether or not to wear a mask out of the hands of the Body of Christ and places it in the jurisdiction of the State. And when you do that you place the authority of the Body of Christ underneath the authority of the State. It never belongs there.

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  11. I have enjoyed the article very much. Satire is an excellent way to communicate. I do have a question about microchipping. That seems to be where this will eventually be leading. And then the question is, if the government requires an RFID chip and my conscience is held captive that I should not do it, but as Vaughn Longsnecker suggests that because the government requires that then I need to give them my arm. Since we have a form of government that is of the people and by the people and supposed to be for the people, and since this country started with rebelling against the king of England, maybe it wouldn’t hurt if for conscience sake I said no! So the best of my knowledge the state that I live in has not made it a law but has done an extraordinary job of getting just about everybody to conform. We did it to break the curve and the only thing we broke were a lot of private businesses. I know Nero was mentally ill when he was running Rome. With the mentally ill people that’s running the country now, we can probably expect some of the same kind of response from our government. I guess I should just go ahead and say it, because some of you might want to jump in on this. But if the government passes the equality act, we just might find out how much we want to obey the government. A mask today and celebrating sodomy tomorrow by mandate. So before you respond and say there’s such a big difference, I believe the thing that has made me the most uncomfortable, is watching the masses bow the knee, when the majority of it was driven not by science, but manipulation. We have been set up to conform to the spirit of this age. And Dr Fauci told folks that it was okay to have sex with strangers but cast a shadow on the church? Come Come now, you might want to go ahead and go to church raise your hands and your voice and thank God that He is eternal and sovereign. And you don’t have to wear a mask! Get over it! Just think equality act or go to jail. I will not obey the equality act, even if we lose our tax exempt status. Maybe, just maybe this will bring the church off the playground and unto the battlefield!

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  12. God has actually made it explicitly clear, if gov’t ask you to do or not do something that I have said to or not then you must obey Me over men. Acts 5:29
    If a gov’t is not doing what their mandate is to do in Rom. 13:1-7, it is the churches responsibility to point that out Mk. 16:18, but no where does that give a Christian an excuse to not obey all the other rules, laws, directives, given by those corrupt gov’ts, for if it did then Jesus shouldn’t have obey Rome or the Jewish leaders, but He gives instruction just the opposite. Mt. 23:3
    Stop making this an argument for all your pet peeves and rights you think are violated, when Jesus Christ was accused of being a law violator and He was completely innocent He gave no defense for His rights. Neither did any of His followers for millennia. Some have said Paul did, Acts 22:29, but this was for the advance of the gospel to places he would not otherwise go. Phil. 1:3-11
    Humble yourself for the benefit of the gospel instead of seeking your own rights, comfort, agenda, bandwagon.
    I Cor. 9:19-23

    In, for, because of Christ Jesus, love vaughn

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  13. Wow – no wonder people hate Christians so much. The mask is a tool for public health. Not religion and not politics. And by choosing to inconvenience yourself for the sake of others, you could be showing them your love and how you care for them. Instead you make it a fight against your personal rights, which probably aren’t being violated at all. Masks aren’t the issue here, but your heart is. People aren’t wearing masks because the government told them to. They are wearing masks because the health experts have shown that wearing a mask will help reduce transmission of a disease that can be deadly. How deadly? Does it matter? No. By choosing to wear a mask. You are showing people you care. By choosing to write articles like this, you are showing that you only care about what affects you. Even if masks didn’t work, what’s the worst case that would happen? You would show people you care. And if they do work and you choose not to wear one? You could pass a disease that could be deadly on to someone else. Do we love people more than ourself? Let’s show it to them instead of fighting over something as stupid as a piece of material.

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