Without qualification, masking has been one of the most contentious issues for church leaders to face over the last two years. For some, it is a matter of health and preserving life. For others, it is a matter of liberty and personhood. For all, it is a matter of wisdom. By examining the issue of masks, we get a picture of the growing behemoth and complexity of bureaucratic rule and how we might respond as Christians. As the government expands, so do its rules. Christian wisdom demands we not settle for pat answers to an ever evolving code of ‘right behavior’ from a demonstrably godless state. So rather than view this as just another exercise in futility, continuing to model the heated rhetoric in the world, I believe it can be a constructive conversation in exploring the relationship of church and state for Christians.
I was a missionary in an Islamic country before I became a pastor. When you go to a Muslim country you comply with the dress code because if you do not, you would be punished and removed. There were legal codes to punish people who did not abide by them. However, they also had laws restricting Bibles. Most Christians would not abide by this law (or if they did would still utilize the Bible on their phone). In places where the church must gather underground (such as the country in which I was located), there is a balance to be struck in the tension of honoring the governing authorities in order to disciple the nations while disobeying where you can in order to fulfill the same commission.