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COVID & Masks for Christians

We are dealing with a world that’s really different right now, in the beginning of 2021 than it’s been in our entire lifetime. Seeing everyone fully dressed for a bank robbery every hour of the day in public gives me a chuckle. I mean, imagine telling someone in 1989 that one day they’d get in trouble if they forgot to wear a mask into a bank. It’s funny. Yet, it’s so very serious. It’s incredibly serious.

I need my family of fellow Christians to fully understand this message. I have hope that there’s still enough of God in the American Christian mind to receive a message that I fully believe is vital for our current world crisis. COVID-19 is scaring people all over the world. People are terrified of catching it. And so many Christians are walking around maskless.

My fellow Christians are saying that the death rate from COVID is lower than the death rate from drugs. They’re telling us that it’s less than 1% of the patients who die. Overall, it’s really not a dangerous illness. That is factual information, I’m sure. It’s perfectly fine to discuss these academic matters, but would you do me a favor? Talk about it with your mask on.

Why? Why would I need to use a mask? My friends tell me that a mask will lower your resistance to other illnesses, and over time, you’ll have a less powerful immune system because of the mask and the hand sanitizer that keep you from being exposed to regular contaminants that you usually interact with. Yes, I get that. It’s a very valid argument, and it’s one that bothers me a lot. It’s a dangerous time to be in this world, and we should discuss these issues, with our masks on.

Why? I mean, my friends also saay that the mask doesn’t even protect the person wearing it. Everyone is obsessively wearing masks to keep safe from COVID when you can’t avoid COVID by wearing a mask. Okay. I get that argument. I even fully believe it. Yes, that mask is not going to keep me from catching COVID from a person who sneezes on me. Got it. Thanks for the information. You’re right. Now, back away to a 6 foot distance and put your mask on.

Why? Well, every single Christian probably knows about Cain and Abel, two brothers who had a rough relationship. Cain killed Abel and hid the body. That’s how bad the relationship was. So, when Cain killed Abel and God came by to talk to Cain, God did that thing that so many fathers do. God gave him just enough rope to hang himself. He asked a question that he already knew the answer to. He said, “Where is your brother?” Cain’s answer is iconic, and evil. His response was, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9, Bible) In ancient language, that means, “I’m not responsible for my brother. Go ask him where he is. I am not supposed to look after him. What? Am I his babysitter?”

Well, God knew the answer to that question. He knew exactly where Abel was. Abel had bled out in a field nearby. His blood clearly marked the ground and God’s eye spotted it. Cain’s actions had caused the death of his brother. Cain was a murderer, and he didn’t want to be bothered with questions about his victim. He had moved on.

Are you your brother’s keeper? Are you responsible for caring for the Christians around you? Are all the Christians around you clearly marked with a certain tattoo, symbol, icon, or even an ethereal glow? Or do you assume that the maskless people around you are the only Christians?

Some of the people around you are wearing prosthetic body parts, wigs, and make-up along with their masks, and you have no idea that they are battling cancer. Maybe the cancer has them so weak that they could die from a simple cold bug. Maybe they have literally no one to go to the store for them. They are at risk every day from any illness. And then along comes COVID. It could knock them out in one quick punch. They wear their mask, but we remember that the mask doesn’t protect the person who is wearing it. They’re still in danger.

My very well-meaning Christian friends tell me that their own healthy immune systems are doing so well at protecting them. They really don’t get sick often. None of their Christian friends are getting tested for COVID, because why get tested and raise the positivity rates? That harms the political cause, so they won’t find out if they’re potentially dangerous to that person with cancer. If they knew that they were dangerous, maybe they’d mask up, at least I hope they would, but they just don’t know. On top of that, they have the right to go maskless and keep their own immune system in great shape, they say. So they walk around maskless and untested. Yay, they win.

My Christian friends are exercising their rights, they tell me. They say that they have the right to protest this ridiculous rule put out by people who want to scare the general public into giving up these God-given rights. They are confident, built up by a concensus of so many people who agree with them. And so they walk past that quiet, dignified cancer patient in Publix. They boldly proclaim that they have the right to do their shopping maskless, and so they continue on their way. Maybe they never know that they left traces of COVID behind for that lady to pick up.

I hope I don’t have to draw a picture of what a dying cancer patient endures. I hope we don’t need me to play on our collective emotions to help others see that this is a very ungodly scenario. Godly people are their brother’s keeper. They deserve nothing, but have been given everything by God’s grace. They have the right to remain masked, to care for that person who they may never meet in conversation, but whose life depends on their use of that mask and that sanitizer.

Stop being so silly. Stop spouting your philosophical stuff while there are people around you who could die by your negligence. Stop. Just stop. Put on the dang mask. Squirt your hand with hand sanitizer. Behave in a socially responsible way, not because it’s conservative or liberal, but because human lives depend on your actions. Tell God to protect you from the fallout from masking up. If you can believe that your maskless body can be protected from COVID, then can’t you believe that God can keep you from the non-COVID cooties?

As believers, it’s time to stop speaking out of both sides of our mouths, claiming faith and super strength through Christ but refusing to put ourselves at risk for our fellow man. Right now, COVID is a threat to our friends and neighbors. Do the right thing. Mask up.

BIBLE REFERENCES

  1. I don’t think going maskless is wrong. “13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.” (Romans 14:13-15)
  2. God is our protector. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31)

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