Why I’m Wearing a Mask Tomorrow

The last two Sundays, I’ve worn a face shield, but tomorrow I’ll be wearing a mask.  I don’t want to waste our time discussing it tomorrow, so I’m putting it out there tonight.

Not These Reasons

It’s none of these reasons:

A. It’s not because the Scottish government guidelines require it.  The guidelines still permit those leading worship to use face shields if they are sufficiently distanced.

B. It’s not because I think the government should have changed the guidelines for churches just because people in Aberdeen spread the virus on a pub crawl.  The government should be ashamed of this.

C. It’s not because the government has any credibility.  The same people who told us not to wear masks now order us to do so.  The advisor who told everyone to stay home traveled to her second home.

D. It’s not even that I believe the government has any legitimate authority to dictate what we do in the normal order of worship in this circumstance.

E. It’s not because I believe we are in an emergency.  There have been seven new cases in Fife in the last week.  That is less than 1 for every 50,000 people.

F. It’s not because I believe it would be dangerous to skip the mask.  The likelihood that I have the virus is vanishingly small.  The likelihood that I both have it, and would pass it on, if I keep my distance, is even smaller.  The likelihood that I would pass it on if I keep my distance and wear a shield is so small that it is silly to talk about it.

It’s These Reasons

Unity

Ephesians 4

2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Galatians 6

2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The government has now made it a legal requirement to wear a mask in church.  I am not going to stand in front of brothers and sisters who may not wish to wear a mask, but are doing so because they believe they must obey the law, and not wear one with them.

Love for My Brothers and Sisters

I John 4

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Believers should not be afraid of the virus, but some may be.  For those who are struggling with fear, I’m not going to make it harder on them.  Now that the government has said what it has said, it’s possible that some would prefer I wear a mask.  I’ll do so.

Evidence of True Discipleship

John 13

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Jesus said in this verse that how we demonstrate our love for one another before the world is an evidence of true discipleship.  If they see love, they will know we are truly His followers.  If they don’t, they will doubt it.

There is greater risk of a car accident on the way to church than of catching the virus during our service, even if no one wore masks — but that’s not the way the world sees it.  If they see us in a church service together without masks, they’ll think we don’t care about one another.  In I Corinthians 9, Paul said he gave up his freedoms for the sake of the Gospel.  He gave up a lot more than I have to give up by wearing a mask.  If the world sees a mask as a sign of love, I can wear it.

Loving Our Neighbours

James 2

8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

In a recent survey by KEKST CNC, they found that on average the British people think that 7% of Brits have died from coronavirus.  This would mean 4 1/2 million deaths, one in every 14 people!  In reality, it’s closer to 0.07%.  The media and politicians have so scared the British people that they think it is 100 times worse than it is.  The tragic fact is that we live among terrified people who are scared of death and so scared to death.

I won’t let their fear keep me from honouring God and obeying His command to worship together — but I’ll do what I can to keep from stoking their fears.  I don’t like to wear a mask, but my God tells me to love my neighbours.

So, I’ll Wear a Mask

When you see me tomorrow, those are the reasons.  I’m not afraid of not wearing it.  I’m not wearing it because the government says I must, or even advises it.  I’m not afraid of catching or passing on the virus.

The government gives exemptions from the mask for certain health conditions.  Perhaps, given the lung problems I’ve had in the past, I could get an exemption, but I won’t.  I’m able to wear masks, I’ve done it before without trouble, and will do it again.  I don’t believe Christians should fear masks anymore than I think they should fear the coronavirus.

I may take the mask off briefly, when well distanced or outside, so the children can see me and see me smile.  It can be scary for very young children to see everyone wearing masks — they need some normalcy.  For the service, I’ll be wearing it.

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
This entry was posted in Thoughts on the News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Why I’m Wearing a Mask Tomorrow

  1. Lange Morrison says:

    Thank you Jon for your honesty. Leaders must lead by example. By wearing a mask you show your compassion for others.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you. I seriously doubt it is necessary but I believe it pleases the Lord for me to do so, which means I couldn’t very well preach and lead if I didn’t do it, could I?

  2. Mark says:

    My wife and daughter have asthma, my other child cannot ware a mask for longer than 5 minutes, I have difficulty breathing with one on and I will not put my children through this form of torture , we cannot sing , what will they tell us to next , I will not bow down to this nonsense , meet outside so we dont have to ware masks and show the world what we are about, persecution is coming , but ha ho never mind we wont be here because of the LORD invisible return, really the church not preparing the body for persecution as in other countries, it is starting to happen in America , and it is coming here very soon , soon we will have to meet in secret, in china the government is telling believers to deny there faith or there money and other things will be stopped , I cannot ware a mask , in Australia the police are dragging people out of there cars for not wearing a mask , If they say I need to wear in church then I cannot go to church I will have church at home , where 2 or 3 are gathered , I am in the midst if them. Do we have to obey the government in all things no, we are heading to a one world government cashless society and a one world religion, sooner than we think, and the church is still asleep. My great aunt died on on her death certificate was death by covid , her daughter went to her doctor and he told her she died of old age, he told her to go and tell the person who put her as covid that she died of old age and her doctor would back this up with her medical history , they changed the death certificate to old age, what a lie, so no I will not obey this lie , they already warned us of a second wave and lo and behold, that’s what happening now in Australia and some parts of the usa, Would GOD want us muzzled and not be able to breath a lung full of his air,

    • Jon Gleason says:

      I don’t know where you live but in Scotland, those who cannot wear a mask do not have to.

      Did you even read the article? Because actually, you are arguing against things I didn’t say and not responding to what I did say.

  3. David says:

    Thank you, brother!
    I came to these similar conclusions a little while ago.
    I doesn’t matter what the government says or doesn’t say; it doesn’t matter whether we believe the science is for masks or against it. It matters that my brother or sister who
    a) might be weak in faith (eg. 1 Cor. 10:27-ff) — so I do it not to offend them
    b) might actually be immune-compromised so that the mask might actually provide some protection.

    And of course, in view of the world which is watching and judging our behavior. This is not the moral hill that I want to stake my battle.

    Thank you for a well reasoned and Biblical response!

    -David

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you, David.

      It’s intriguing to think that many Christians, if left to themselves and the Scriptures, would probably end up wearing masks for these reasons, but because the government has told them they must, they won’t. It’s a trap of Satan to use overbearing and often wicked government to turn our minds to law and freedom rather than to love and spiritual things.

  4. David says:

    I’ve been think and meditating on the above post as well as your post “Obeying God, Obeying Man —Some Key Scriptures”. And it occurred to me that Jesus instructed Peter on the issue of paying the tribute money. Jesus pointed out that He was not bound to pay that. But He went on and said, “Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go…” and pay the tribute money.

    It encouraged me to go ahead and wear the mask so as not to offend others.

    Again, thank you for your insights on these matters.
    -David

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you, David. I thought about that same passage later.

      I suspect you know what I’m about to say but others reading may not, so I’ll clarify. Just to avoid confusion, the meaning of the word “offend” here is “cause to stumble” or “trip up”, it’s an old meaning for the word. The idea is not that Jesus didn’t want to upset people, He was quite willing to upset some of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 🙂

      We should not needlessly cause people to be offended/upset, but it often can’t be avoided, and we should be God-pleasers, not men-pleasers. But we should always avoid, when we can, causing people to stumble.

      And that is definitely applicable to the discussion at hand. If we behave in a way that appears to be selfish and unloving, and we don’t have to, we are setting up a stumbling-block for people. They are getting a false picture of the Gospel, of salvation, of the Lord.

      I believe that we are free to not wear masks in our church services, just as Jesus was free to not pay the temple tribute in question in that passage. But Jesus knew that to refuse to pay, even though He was free, would have caused them to stumble by making them think He did not love God or the temple, that He had put His own financial interests higher than the worship of God and the care of the temple. So He paid it — but in a way that would testify to Peter, and for all time, that He truly was Lord of the temple, Lord of the whole earth, in fact, and so was free but paying voluntarily for a higher purpose.

      So, all that said, I really appreciate your bringing it up because I think it is directly applicable. I don’t wear a mask in church because I think the government has authority to require it, just as there was no requirement for the Son of God to pay a temple tax. I wear it for a higher purpose than obedience to a usurping authority.

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