In today’s climate, there is much discussion centering around the perception that our freedoms, which many undoubtedly take for granted, are slowly but surely being taken away. Is that really the case, or is there a disconnect between my right to enjoy my freedoms and my obligation to my neighbor (as a Christ follower) to exercise responsibility?
Without law, there would be no order; everyone would do what was right in their own eyes. This has been the case since the beginning of time. In the Biblical account of Cain and Abel, Cain killed his brother. Verse 9 of Genesis 4 reads in the ESV, “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ And he (Cain) said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?'”
Yes, Cain. I am afraid you are. And so are we.
We have a son who struggles with alcohol abuse. He is aware that on occasion at dinner, or when were are at an event where drinks are served, his Dad and I will enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail. He also knows that if he is present, we will give up our “freedom” to drink because we are all too aware of his temptation to do so.
Am I being hypocritical? No; I am not condemning drinking on the one hand and imbibing when given the opportunity to do so. As a Christian, I have the freedom to use alcohol in moderation. Rather, I am saying no to the opportunity, in order to help promote a greater good, the sobriety of our son.
There are all sorts of opinions being offered as to whether or not masks should or should not be worn in view of the current pandemic. There is no Biblical passage which addresses mask wearing. However, we are told that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
It is true that over 50% of people who contract Covid will not even know they have it. That would be the case for me and my husband who is a health care professional, and who tested positve for Covid 12 days after being exposed and while quarantined. On day 10 of his quarantine, we experienced many of the symptoms, but because we did not feel terrible, we thought little about it. Upon his testing positive, we both agreed that there have been times in our lives when we reported to work much sicker than we have been with Covid.
BUT, that is not the case with 20% of the population who will contract this disease from people, who like me, had no clue they were infected. These people will, at best, be adversely affected, and at worst, will die.
Because of my husband’s work, I have a very high probability of exposure, but we took every precaution we could have taken. We wore masks in public, sanitized/washed our hands, washed our groceries down in a solution of detergent and sanitizer, and my husband showered immediately upon arriving home from work. So do we conclude that since we contracted the virus, none of these measures were effective? And furthermore, since they appeared to be ineffective in preventing us from contracting the virus at this time, that all of these measures were indeed ineffective previously? How do we know that prior to our contracting the virus, these measures did not help to prevent an earlier infection?
Sure, I agree that masks are hot, inconvenient, not really comfortable, and I would prefer not to wear one, but they do have some rather fashionable ones available! I don’t imagine surgeons love spending hours gowned and masked, but obviously it seems to prevent or deter the possibility of infection in open wounds.
Christians should not have to be mandated to wear a mask in public; it is the Christlike thing to do as a means by which we can show love to our neighbor. In doing so, we concern ourselves less with our own creature comforts and look more to the needs of those with whom we come in contact. While we may never have the opportunity to say a word to them about Jesus, as we choose to relinquish our freedom not to wear a mask, and accept our responsibility to love our neighbor by wearing one, this may be the very witness of the love of Jesus they need to see. And who knows, it may save a life.