What About My Rights?!
So many are asking, “What about my rights?” and forgetting to ask, “What is right according to God?” Our calling is not to fight for our rights, but to walk in love and share our faith. Jesus is saying in those previous scriptures (Matt. 28:18-19), “Just do whatever they ask: we have bigger fish to catch. We are fishing for men.”
People who do very little sharing of their faith on a day-to-day basis are many of the same people suddenly screaming that the government wants to silence them, comparing masks to muzzles and shouting about free speech. But we have already silenced ourselves on the most important issue. Our freedoms are important, nevertheless rescuing people from the bondage of death and hell and extending the freedom that God gifts us is more important. What if we were as vocal about sharing our faith as we are about exposing the “great mask conspiracy?” Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He’s the truth I seek.
So, I am not concerned about whether or not wearing a mask is a trick of the devil. If it is, God is still in control, and He will use it for good. God’s plan for each and every one of us is clearly stated in Jeremiah 29:11, “to prosper you and not to harm you.” His plan is filled with hope and a future of excellence. Paul the apostle also wrote, “You are not your own; you’ve been bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). I am not my own, however, this also means that God owns me, and I must do His will, which is to share His message and not fret about minor issues like mask wearing.
All of this is not to say that we cannot fight for our rights or freedoms, nor that it’s not critical in certain circumstances. If the state were to be fighting to silence the church, I sure hope we’d be fighting then.
To address the current situation in which we find ourselves in in California, where churches are closed for in-person services, I don’t consider this the state silencing the church. We are still completely free to witness, to meet for online services, and to be as vocal as we wish about Christ.
Nevertheless, when we find ourselves in a circumstance like Daniel, who was threatened with death, I hope we find inspiration to keep praying anyway. I hope we have the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who chose death by fire over idol worship. When it comes to preaching the gospel, the Bible is clear: “We must obey God and not men” (Acts 5:29).
I’ve heard people comparing the bold stance of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to their refusal to wear a mask. The difference between the two is colossal. If someone tells me that I cannot share my faith with others, I will not obey. If they tell me to wear a mask, something that takes little sacrifice on my part, I will obey with joy to be a good witness.
What Would Paul Do?
Paul said to the elders in Ephesus:
“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:22-24).
Let’s Be Vocal About Jesus!
If you are willing to take a stand on the mask issue by not wearing one, but you are not seeking to bring people to Jesus, your priorities are not in kingdom order. Between the racial tensions and the virus, the Church should be front and center, seeking to reach people for Jesus. Instead we are on Facebook arguing over whether or not wearing a mask is a violation of our freedoms, with even believers arguing between themselves over whether it sits well in their spirit, if the numbers show that wearing a mask is effective, and even arguing if masks are the mark of the beast. Abraham Lincoln might have said it, but Jesus said it first: “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Matt. 12:25). If we want to stand up for God, we cannot stand against each other.
To answer those questions my friend asked at the beginning of this blog series, I do believe Jesus would wear a mask if the Romans had mandated it. I think Jesus and his disciples would obey and wear masks even as they went to lay hands on those infected and healed them. If Jesus told the disciples and us to obey in other areas like paying taxes, telling us to walk two miles even if only one is required of us, why would they rebel in something so minor? Instead of being so vocal about mask-wearing, let’s be vocal about what really matters, sharing the Gospel.
Let’s get back to the task at hand: our Biblical commission of sharing His message.
It’s been great to see you, friend.