• David Osteen

Should You Wear a Mask

The answer to that question 100% depends upon the context of the question. Without context it’s impossible to answer forthrightly.

If it’s a costume party and you don’t’ want to feel left out; then yes, you should wear a mask.

If you are in a car with some “friends” going to rob a bank; then no, you should just jump out of the car and not participate or wear a mask.

If you are doing work around the house and don’t want to inhale dust and fumes; then yes, you should wear an effective mask.

If you want to clean out the pores of your face from dirt and bacteria; then yes, you should wear a mask for that (but be wary of taking it off - OUCH!).

If you want people to see that beautiful face that God gave you; then no, you should not wear a mask.

You see, context really determines the answer; doesn’t it? So what about the question everyone is asking these days; “Should I wear a mask to protect myself and others from CoVid-19?”

You will have to decide regarding your home, work, and leisure life. Each person’s situation is different. But here at O’Connor Road the Shepherds are encouraging brethren to wear a mask. Here are some reasons why.

1) It possibly protects people you love - Right now, because there are still uncertainties surrounding the transmission of the virus, it is prudent (wise - Ephesians 5:15); especially if you will be in contact with anyone over the age of 65 and/or anyone with a compromised immune system. It certainly won’t hurt anyone else and can possibly help them. (Philippians 2:3) Don’t we all want that?

2) It possibly protects yourself - Depending upon the type of mask you wear and how you wear it, it can provide protection against several airborne infectious diseases. We want you to protect others, but we want you to protect yourself as well. (Ephesians 5:29) Don’t we all want that?

3) It encourages others to do so - Sometimes people may be self-conscious and not want to feel different from others. You wearing a mask can help encourage them to do likewise and possibly help prevent them from spreading/catching an infectious airborne disease. Don’t we all want that?

4) It helps limit a distraction for others who are concerned - Any coughing or sneezing individuals can be a distraction as that is a main way the virus is transmitted through the air. Wearing a mask helps reduce the distraction of concern in such instances and allows your fellow brethren to better remain focused on their worship to the Lord. (Romans 14:13 & 15:2 - in principle) Don’t we all want that?

5) It encourages more people to assemble - Seeing more people taking precautionary measures encourages those who may be concerned about assembling out of fear of safety to go ahead and come and be a part of the assembly. (Hebrews 10:24-25) Don’t we all want that?

6) To keep the peace - Wearing a mask has become a very divisive issue in society at large and within the church. What can we do to keep the peace and not let it be a divisive issue here? How can we be peacemakers? (Matthew 5:9) Well, wearing a mask (for an hour of worship service) is not likely to harm you at all, and can encourage others. Even if you don’t believe it’s necessary; would you humble yourself to be a peacemaker and wear one anyway? And if you absolutely believe everyone should wear one; can you humble yourself to not judge another by a new standard of love? (Romans 14:4) (i.e. - airborne infectious disease has been around your entire life, no matter who you are, and prior to 3 months ago you didn’t judge whether someone loved you based upon them wearing a mask or not. Can you still not do that, in the name of peace, is all that I am asking?). Don’t we all want peace; and aren’t we each responsible for it?

7) It is a “new” tradition (that might be) worth keeping (as long as we don’t turn it into transgression) - In Matthew 15:2 the Pharisees and Scribes scolded Jesus for His disciples breaking the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands before eating bread. (Washing one’s hands is even more important than wearing a mask) Though the Pharisees elevated the tradition to “law” thereby making (wrongly so) the disciples transgressors here. Jesus wasn’t actually condemning hand washing. He was just pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees judgement. (vv.3-9) Wearing a mask might be a “new tradition” worth keeping if it truly proves effective. But it’ll only be worth doing if brethren keep the tradition in love and don’t elevate it to law.

Wearing a mask is a choice. Whether it is right or wrong depends upon the circumstance, but also upon your own attitude. May you judge rightly, both.

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