Mostly Mail on Masks, Though the Musings Are Muffled

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Mablog Readers Have All Kinds of Observations on the Topic

The mayor of Moscow has mandated
masks when we are out and about. So this
is one of my grandsons at Safeway.

Re: 7 reasons for unmasking the masks Thanks for taking this stance on all this. I’m a Cardiac/ER RN in Seattle and can’t agree more. The response to the COVID dem-panic has been a joke.

My struggle is feeling like I/(we) are still in the minority in taking these views you present and I don’t know how to relate and communicate with my Christian brothers and sisters. Simply “accepting the weaker brother?”

Thoughts?

Josh

Josh, yes, absolutely. Accept your brother or sister when it comes to maintaining fellowship and so on. But this should not be allowed to drown out the objective nature of the facts.

Tim Bayly has written several pieces urging obedience to the government on the issue of masks (most recently here. I’m more inclined to your position, but I would be interested in seeing a response from you to this essay.

Tim

The Baylys have done so much good stuff over the years that I am uninterested in getting into a disagreement with them over anything like this. Just compare the arguments side-by-side, and assume good fellowship all around.

Mabloggers: Doug Wilson posted a cool photo of a surly looking Clint Eastwood with the implicit sentiment “just leave me alone.” For readers that do not live in our town (Moscow, Idaho) I would like to give you some background if you wonder “who is this guy, D.W?”. All opinions are mine.

I have known Doug for 40 years, and whether in politics or working with other churches, he is a walking “complaint, crisis and cause of the month club.” A few examples: In the early 80’s he wrote a column for our local paper, in one of his columns called for the tearing down of the Statue of Liberty. Go a decade or so further and he was an apologist for the slave regime of the South. Zoom to the present and a simple act like COVID mask-wearing is, of course, a bridge too far whether in regards to the social contract or (I would say) for “love of neighbor.”

A couple of more items: Doug prescribes Abraham Kuyper (c. 1900), but Doug is a chip-on-the shoulder Idaho libertarian. Kuyper tried to make a way for the church and state (welfare state of Netherlands) to work together for the benefit of the people — mainly the lower middle class. Lastly, some months ago I asked Doug if his church community was being put upon more than other citizens and businesses in Moscow. He (in part) answered, “We just want to be left alone”. Unfortunately for him the Gospel mandate to love our neighbor makes desire an impossibility. Lastly, ironically, the sentiment of a good many Moscowans toward Doug is “Can’t HE (please) just leave US alone?”

Fred

Fred, greetings. There is an element of reciprocity here. Not only have you known me for 40 years, but I also have known you for the same length of time. That makes us even. I don’t remember the arguments for tearing down the Statue of Liberty, but I bet they were great. Probably something along the lines of “if we aren’t going to practice it, we shouldn’t be bragging like we do practice it.” Being an apologist for the “slave regime” is not a description of my position that I recognize, so I suggest you go back and review your notes. On the COVID thing, if the government can simply assume that you are contagious and require you to act like it, to the extent of wrecking your livelihood, this is not a matter of “simply” wearing a mask. To supply the other part of the answer to whether Christ Church is being singled out, the answer is emphatically yes. Boycotts, vandalized businesses, discriminatory treatment from civic officials, and so on. So yes. And last, by “left alone” I was not referring to building an antisocial hermitage. I was referring to the issue of political coercion. The secularists want to make me do all kinds of things. I haven’t attempted to make them do one single thing. I don’t walk up behind them with a gun and say things like “government is what we do together. Now move it.”

I read the study on masks, and I have to say, I almost suspected as much, that cloth masks are pretty ineffective. But how does one respond to this article in light of “loving neighbor as oneself”? I have a few Karens in my neighborhood, and, while I am suspicious of all the “mask up” propaganda coming from the Houston media, I can’t articulate why I’m wary. The argument concerning mask wearing is that the science is settled and that it’s loving neighbor (I live in a Jewish neighborhood). Maybe you’ve already addressed this elsewhere?

Thanks for all the critical thinking help.

Lindsey

Lindsey, everything rides on whether the masks actually protect anybody, including your neighbor. If they don’t, then the issue is whether you should make sure to look like you are loving your neighbor. The fact that we live in a hypocritical generation can be seen in the fact that appearances suffice for all.

I was looking at everything that has happened to America in the past few months: first the novel Coronavirus and now the BLM movement tearing down monuments. I was thinking about how Trump (although he had a great 4th of July speech) has not really been able to handle these situations that well. He has seemed kind of stumped in how to proceed.

Then I was remembering something you had said, so I looked it up. On February 26th, you gave a plodcast on how we should pray for Trump, not just as the President, but as a person. (I got the distinct impression that this plodcast was provoked by Trump’s display at the National Prayer Breakfast, though that was not a part of the plodcast.) This is a paraphrase and abridgement, but you said: “Trump is not a humble man. He needs to have his Nebuchadnezzar moment. He has been the luckiest politician ever. Donald Trump needs to be brought to a point of humility. Be praying for the President, be praying for the judges he appoints, pray for him as the president, but also make sure that you pray for him as a man. He needs to be brought low . . . and as a mercy to us we don’t want what God does to bring him low to have negative consequences for us, for our nation.” Since the beginning of March, Trump has been consistently outgunned and outmanned.

Have our prayers been answered? How should we be praying now considering that BLM and the media have seemed to gain great speed? What would an answer to those prayers look like?

Asking for a friend. ;-)

P.S. Thanks for all your writing, podcasting, preaching, etc. It means a lot to many of us.

David

David, I still believe that the president needs to be humbled before God, but I suspect we are not at that moment yet. A lot of the crises we are dealing with are manufactured and artificial. If he wins big in the election, or even if he simply wins, he will consider his approach vindicated, and we will need to be praying about a moment that is further down the road.

You are wasting your political capital on something that is not, as you put it, “the point of the spear.” By making an issue of masks, you are moralizing an issue that is not a moral issue, and unnecessarily binding the conscience of Christians.

If someone decides to worship with a mask on, we shouldn’t make an issue of it anymore than we would make an issue of a woman not wearing a head-covering. Fight against bans on corporate worship, not what we’re wearing while we worship.

If wearing masks slows a very dangerous disease (and there is loads of evidence to support this), then the civil magistrate can, in good conscience, want to mandate their wearing. In other words, many civil leaders are trying to save lives and we make their lives much more difficult by assuming we know their motives. Many leaders are showing their weakness and lack of true concern by not standing up to the woke crowd, but that doesn’t mean they are all in that uncaring boat, nor that they are all in that boat all the time. If leaders are “breaking the law” by their mandates, then one can use lawful means to resist and bring it all to a head; but, again, do so by not binding the conscience of Christians.

Viruses are biological. Viruses ignore our deductive arguments and follow universal laws. In that sense, they are more obedient to God than we are. Science is inductive, at its best an attempt to get to the truth of the material world. Inductive reasoning never reaches an absolute truth, only a highly supported conclusion.

You attempt to debate what is inherently an inductive question (Are masks effective at slowing the RO of COVID-19?) with mostly deductive reasoning, and the the data from the articles you do cite is weak—one denies the reality of a time delay between infection and increasing hospitalization and death rates (which we are seeing again now in the data), and the other one simply says “There is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.” That’s like saying, in the middle of a pitched battle, that you can’t be sure the 16” guns are the best form of artillery. Who is going to study that in the middle of the mayhem, right after the fight has broken out? Our scientific warriors are hard at work–do they really have to re-invent the mask-wheel right now?

Based on what I have read about this virus in particular (and I have followed it since late January), it appears, at this point in the research, to be primarily transmitted in the air, especially in closed-in spaces. Surface transmission (“fomites”), is much less of a factor. Thus, wearing a mask indoors makes great sense as a means to reduce transmission. You say masks are full of germs but are surgeons dropping dead from pleurisy? (Lots of ways to sterilize a mask after you use it and re-use it if this concerns you). You say the masks don’t stop viruses because they are too small. That’s not true. They hitch rides on water droplets of varying sizes which can be blocked by masks in both incoming and outgoing air–not completely, no, unless you have a tight-fitting respirator. But the point isn’t to get to 0% transmission, it’s to get to less transmission. The percentage reduction in transmission varies depending on the type of mask and material. It also depends on the environment. The dentist article you cite is describing conditions where dentists have their face inches away from someone’s wide open maw. That’s not a typical social interaction and the viral content would be orders of magnitude greater. Also, there is some evidence that, like some other viral diseases, the severity of the symptoms of COVID-19 can depend on the initial viral load exposure, which masks of course reduce.

The burden of proof against masks is on you, as their use against respiratory diseases is ubiquitous both throughout recent history and now in Asia where the folks are every bit as smart as we Americans are, and much more experienced at dealing with this sort of thing. If you want to argue against their use, you must do so inductively, using in depth research of studies, not cherry picking articles that support your deductive conclusions.

Continue your good fight for those things which God’s Word unequivocally binds our consciences as Christians—male and female, Christian education, ending abortion and, right now especially, the essential nature of Christian corporate worship (including singing). But don’t bind my conscience to civil disobedience by something as non-moral as wearing a mask. As you are a Christian leader, others will follow your lead and expand upon it, judging those who wear masks as “weaker” or “uncourageous” or (worse yet) “sinning” brothers, and thus sow division in the church. There are so many ways to call Christians to biblical faithfulness and bravery, ways in which you have been faithful to call us to bravery in the past. There is no shortage of worthy causes right now for Christians to sacrifice their time, money, jobs, reputation and risk division in their ranks. Masks is not one of them.

Ginny

Ginny, there is a lot here, so one place where I would respond is to indicate agreement. We have been careful to emphasize the freedom of the saints to wear a mask to our worship services without being judged or hassled by the others. And it also goes the other way. The place where we differ is not on the masks themselves, but rather on the process. If the civil authority has the right to restrict me to my home because I might be sick, the opportunities for tyrannical abuses are manifold, many of which we have already seen.

I have been a faithful reader of yours since the early days of Credenda Agenda. Your ministry has been of great value to me and my family for quite some time now. Thank you for your well-reasoned post entitled Masks and a Lesson in Narnian Civics. Please keep up the good work! I just wanted you to know that you have certainly helped keep me afloat and for the very good encouragement at the very end of the article to not make it difficult for those who are caring for our souls.

Exasperated

Exasperated, thank you and, as we used to say when I was a kid, keep on keeping on.

I am a Reformed Presbyterian, native Virginian, and 17 years of age. In your post “Unmasking the Masks” and “Masks and a Lesson in Narnian Civics” you have explained that Governors have no constitutional authority to just declare any situation is an emergency. Can you please explain this more in depth, or point me to a resource that can? How do we determine real emergencies? What constitution (U.S. or state) principles are they violating? I live in Virginia, and Governor Northam has been requiring masks for a while now. I stopped wearing them yesterday because of the arguments you presented, and I became convinced of them. I want to better understand why I resist, however. I want to be able to give an answer to those who question me. Thank you for all the work you do.

Warren

Warren, emergencies are situations that the entire population sees and understands — a flood, an earthquake, a hurricane. When everybody sees one coming, and it becomes apparent that we will be operating under emergency measures, the governor would declare an emergency, meaning that he is formally announcing that we have moved from ordinary time to emergency time. He also would let us know when the emergency has passed. We don’t object because we all felt the earthquake and we all saw the buildings fall down. But when all our knowledge of the state of emergency comes from a propagandistic press and the declaration itself, the opportunities for abuse should be apparent.

As a former Associate Publisher of World magazine (please don’t hold that against me) now living back in Bellevue, WA with my family, i have a few thoughts I’m not seeing addressed by the church. (Also – I’m a dissenting, not publicly, elder in my church). When God talks about “governing authority” in Scripture I must ask my fellow Christian American’s — what is the Governing Authority in a Constitutional Republic? Do we listen to an Emperor like Gov. INSLEE here in WA or do I obey the Constitution? And secondly, do we still believe in the 14th amendment which protects us FROM unequal application of the law BY our government. Many more thoughts, but those are two major principles many pastors don’t understand or haven’t thought deeply about. God bless you and your family brother. Sincerely,

Matt

Matt, thanks. Exactly so.

I am currently studying more in depth what the Bible and what church history has to teach us regarding the interaction of the church and the state as I am currently teaching on this subject in one of our Bible studies at church.

In terms of biblical examples when it is right to disobey the powers that be, I’ve come to this simple conclusion: 1) We disobey when the government tells us to do something God tells us not to do (Hebrew midwives, Daniel) 2) We disobey when the government tells us not to do something God tells us to do (Acts 5 – apostles).

To my question, and I quote: “Such illegal orders may be disregarded, and they should be disregarded. Where people comply, it should be out of necessity, and not because there is any Romans 13 basis for it. When you give a mugger your wallet, you are responding to coercion. You are not granting any moral authority to him. It is the same here. These orders are transparently hypocritical, unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral.”

I am having a difficult time understanding how wearing face coverings can fall into one of the two categories that I mentioned above. Is there a 3rd category that I’m missing (e.g., it’s a sin to obey an unlawful law)? Or would you say wearing face coverings falls into one of the two categories that I mentioned above and if so, wouldn’t that mean we should never comply with the face covering order?

And thank you for another well written post.

In Christ,

John

John, the additional factor, the “third thing” that must be taken into account is the factor of the authority of constitutional law. That is an essential part of the governing authority that we are responsible to submit to. If the mayor of your city said that the Second Amendment, which said you had the right to keep and bear arms, really meant that you didn’t have the right to have a gun, he is the one disobeying the existing authority. When you don’t turn in your gun, you are not disobeying. You are refusing to obey the one who is disobeying. This means that what I am saying falls under your first category, when someone tells you to do what God told you not to do. God told you not to disobey the existing authority, and the governor is telling you that you must disobey the existing authority.

Masks really chafe me, in more ways than one. So in my house-wifey, I’m going to stir it up on Facebook kind of way, I shared your post titled 7 reasons to unmask. So because I let you say all the things, most of the vehemence was aimed at you rather than me–they think I’m just some deceived dolt who needs reeducation training about how science trumps Scripture, how the virus is really really real and how I am compromising my Christian witness to the masses, oh, and the oft used line of “is this really the hill you want to die on?” After a few back and forth replying to replies, my phone died, I fed my family and went to bed. This morning I woke up to Todd Friel from Wretched telling Christians who don’t want to wear a mask to just do it & do it cheerfully. He quoted Peter saying that we need to just obey the government and be willing to comply, that our disobedience is actually disobedience to God. My husband fully agrees. I’m still dubious but not wanting to disobey either my husband or my government but I cannot shake my conscience that keeps saying I am participating in one gigantic lie. I’m conflicted to say the least and would appreciate your pastoral, biblical perspective. Did I mention that I home school my 4 kids and have been reading your books for a decade? You shocked me out of my stupor with the bold assertion that, “All education, by nature, is religious.” (I also got in trouble for quoting you on that, too!)

Also, my 15-year-old son would like to say that we are huge fans of the Amazing Dr. Ransom’s Bestiary of adorable fallacies. Thank you for saying all the things nobody else is willing to say.

Katherine

Katherine, a father and husband does have the authority to make a decision for his household on an issue like masking up when you go off into the outside world. And so I would suggest that you make one appeal to him. Tell him that you would really rather not, and that if he decides against you, that you will cheerfully comply. And then leave it to him. The reason the governor or mayor cannot do this to the general population is that the “existing authority” includes the entire body of the law, including all the constitutional protections, and the people’s right to jealously guard their individual rights. The governor cannot just announce one day that habeas corpus is a dead Latin phrase that doesn’t mean anything anymore.

Re: 7 Reasons for Unmasking the Masks

Gov. Ducey press conference 9 July 2020: “Everything we will do going forward will be to protect and promote public health in Arizona.” Okay, everything. So little interest in livelihoods, for shutting down my daughter’s small gym which provides the income for her family of five to live. Really? Also. 4th of July weekend Chicago violence — 87 shootings, 18 dead — where BLM isn’t true. Please address what are, if any, boundaries to the Right to Life. Enough with distractors like masks and statues and changing names of stuff. Thank you for keeping the Gospel front and center.

Sandra

Sandra, thanks very much.

To a post on my FB page where I shared your article about 7 reasons not to wear a mask, an elderly friend, immune-compromised (so am I), at risk for age (so am I), responded that the verse you added at the end is taken out of context. I wanted to ask her what else she disagreed with, but have not, as yet, done that. If she is correct, I cannot see another thing that she could possibly disagree with.

But she still shared TGC ‘s blog saying the opposite, with bad arguments that your article addresses.

My friend does not know this yet but sharing TGC with me reminds me of the last critique of TGC that I read about conspiracy theories (I don’t know how to link it here but it’s easy to find at heresthejoy.website.

The question I asked Sam Powell, a Reformed pastor was this: is it loving to allow any authority in your life to abuse their authority (vows or oaths) over you.

There are so many parallels between abuse in marriage and abuse in government.

Anyway . . . my big question is: the Bible verse at the end of your article taken out of context? If so,, may I suggest that the logic you use in the article is sufficient.

The one thing I liked about TGC is that he said masks are not mandated in the Bible.

Neither is the right to bear arms. So . . . bad argument if they agree with the Constitution. (but I guess I don’t really know that)

I can’t remember if TGC is a Canadian group. If they are . . . maybe they don’t care that Trudeau has enforced gun control.

I look forward to your reply. THANK you for writing the article!!!

Caroline

Caroline, no, I believe that I was not taking 2 Cor. 3:18 out of context. There is a difference between legitimate exegesis of a passage and legitimate application of a passage. Paul was not talking about masks to ward off disease in that passage, which is an exegetical question. But I use the passage to show that God intends for us to worship Him open-faced, which applies elsewhere. Here is a different example. When Paul tells Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach (1 Tim. 5:23), he did not have teetotalers in mind. But it is a legitimate application for me to show that verse to a teetotaler.

“Second, when a genuine crisis is a disease, the appropriate (and constitutional and legal) response is to quarantine the infected. It is a gross violation of our civil rights (recognized by our highest authority, the Constitution) to simply assume universal infection, and to make everybody wear a mask. Our response should be to demand that we be shown in the law where made-up emergencies can be declared, and where healthy people can be quarantined as if they were diseased.”

Under the “Settled Constitutional Law” part:

Here, I was expecting to hear some nuance regarding asymptomatic carriers…Saying to quarantine the infected is easy, however, you didn’t lay out how to identify ALL infected, especially those asymptomatic carriers which are hard to identify.

“But now we are counting cases. And the reason the case count is going up so radically is because our infrastructure for testing is now on line. If you test a massive amount of people, as we were not doing before, then of course the case count is going to go up. And if, at the same time, the hospitalizations and deaths are radically decreasing, as they are, then this is unmitigated good news.

It is, however, being treated by our Mainstream Manipulators as ominous news at best. But it is good news for regular people with regular lives. Lots of new cases and plummeting death rates means that the disease is not as fatal as previously thought. It means the curve is flattened. Go back to work, everybody.

Stop letting them spook you.”

Under the “An Electorate With ADHD” part:

I was expecting to hear you talk about how death counts lag behind case counts by a couple of weeks, and how interesting it’ll be to see how these counts look very soon following the increase in cases…

Ryan

Ryan, thanks. Yes, it is hard to address everything that needs to be addressed.

You seem to be dangerously close to bearing false witness in your claims that the data about COVID is trumped up lies and manipulated data. It’s not always simple to compile and present data so we ought to have patience with the people doing it. I will admit it was hypocritical to penalize ordinary gatherings but allow protests but accusing government officials of intentionally seeking to stop the worship of God for reasons other than to mitigate the risk of spread of a very lethal disease sounds more like a conspiracy theory than a conclusion based on facts. When COVID began they were more concerned about people buying them up so they would not be available for health workers, now that they are readily available and knowledgeable people have studied the modes of transmission it does appear that wearing a mask does mitigate transmission. You might be more likely to contaminate your hands but that can be corrected by hand washing.

As for corporate worship, if you kill off 1% of your 1000 people worship service that is 10 people who will praise not the LORD (Ps 115:17), at least among the living. One of the worst incidents of COVID spread was a choir practice; singing is high risk.

That verse about unveiled faces, you know that is not about this situation. A Christian in a prison camp is the Lord’s free man and American Christians are the Lord’s slaves. Either way wearing a mask is a pretty reasonable thing to do. I even remember a tape of a sermon you gave where you said that Christians ought to be the most law-abiding citizens so that when the time comes that they tell us to sin that we can disobey and it will astonish everyone. Gathering online, outdoors, or with masks is not sin.

Go read what you wrote and tell me that it does not sound like you have one foot in a conspiracy theory.

Grace be with you,

Chris

Chris, I still believe that Christians ought to be the best of citizens, and that it should surprise everyone at where and how we draw the line. But there has never been a time when the authorities thought that the Christians were drawing the line at a reasonable place. And the key in what you say is where you acknowledge that it was hypocritical to say BLM rallies are fine, and other gatherings are not. I would argue that it was not simply hypocritical; it was discrediting. They told us, in effect, that their treatment of this disease was driven by politics. Okay, then. Have it your way.

Thank you for your post on the hypocrisy of masks. It is everything I wanted to say minus my emotional uproar. You are straightforward and logical in your argument. My husband has followed your blog for years and I thought to check here to see what you had to say about this farce. So thank you. I have often felt very isolated in my convictions concerning the lunacy of mask-wearing. Now that it is mandated in my county I’ve been very disheartened. Thank you again for taking time to put together a well thought-out and witty piece.

April

April, thanks very much.

I want to begin with a long, heartfelt thank you for the great work you have done throughout the last 20 plus years. What has prompted me to write is a belief that before leading and teaching on what we as Christ’s people should be doing now in response to the lawless, totalitarian orders from everywhere that all the elders who went along with the tyranny last time should start with an admission of a great failure to stand firm. We as sheep should be willing to forgive our shepherds, but it is hard without them admitting the error, and asking for forgiveness. I base this on the fact that there were people saying that the churches should remain open and active, and in at least some cases, the request was made to elders directly. What you are saying now is good and helpful, and maybe I missed your statement of course correction, but I have not heard one word of regret from a single elder anywhere in this country. If you have done so, then I apologize for wasting your time. The reason I think it matters so much is that this war is going to get much more dangerous, and we need to be and follow men of courage. Closing churches when there was no law or penalty did not look courageous especially when there were voices saying not to comply. I hope that we are seeing a growing courage in church elders, but a great help in building confidence in the body would be an analysis and repentance, so as to move forward. I for one of many have lost much respect and confidence in CREC as well as Christian leaders in general. With respect, and Blessings,

Eric

Eric, two things. First, I have made a statement that I wished I had read the relevant parts of the Idaho Code much earlier than I did. I forget which post that was in — perhaps one of my readers with a better memory than I have could help. That said, I believe that our initial default position should be compliance (on things that Scripture gives to the magistrate to deal with, like infectious disease). I have a duty to follow the existing authorities until it becomes obvious that they are abusing that authority (as it has become obvious to me). So I would suggest there were more than a few who complied early on, not because of cowardice, but because that is what they believed Scripture required.

Link: Two months ago, it was “N95 masks are useless, you should social distance” and simultaneously “don’t hoard N95 masks–save them for the medical professionals”. Now it is “N95 masks don’t protect *others*, so you shouldn’t use them.” Because believing two contradictory things at the same time isn’t enough, now we have to believe three.

Dane

Dane, and the number could quite possibly rise above three . . . never underestimate them.

The Nature of Hell

I’m working (or plodding, as you might say ) my way through all of your books and currently find myself in Mere Fundamentalism.

I greatly appreciated your insight into the eternal nature of Hell. “Hell is eternal because lack of repentance is eternal. The sinning is eternal. In other words, it is not God who has no sense of proportion–it is the sinner.” This would seem to shed light on blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin. Basically there is grace and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit this side of the grave. On the other side, grace is removed, and the Holy Spirit does not create faith, so we are left with eternal rebellion and eternal rejection of God’s rule.

Would you say that it also makes sense of 1 John 5:16-17? The sin which leads to death should not be prayed for because there is no possibility of repentance after the grave. All sin leads to spiritual death, but not all sin leads to physical death and therefore sins which the sinner survives can still receive grace in the form of Holy Spirit-conviction?

Anton

Anton, yes. I believe that this approach applies to the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and the sin unto death. Agree.

The Right Needs Christ As Well

I was surprised and happy to hear (part of) the excellent “All Black Lives Matter” ad video from New St. Andrews on the Stu Does America podcast on The Blaze (Episode 97). What I am praying will happen is Stu’s “conservative” non-Christian listeners will think, “Huh. Wonder what NSA is all about,” then will follow the threads to the excellent, Biblical teaching by you and Toby and the rest, then will hear the Gospel, and then God will save them and make them actually dangerous to Satan and his people. It could certainly happen, by the power of God. May it be so.

In Christ,

Kelle

Kelle, yes. We are praying that the Lord give us opportunities for presenting the gospel to those without Christ on the right. We want the gospel front and center everywhere.

Language, Language

Did you see Ted Cruz’s response to getting “banned” by China last weekend?

Here is the quote if you’re in a hurry:

After joking about how sad he was not to be able to take his family on their planned vacation to Beijing on their way home from Tehran this summer, he got serious and said the following:

“Chinese communists are murdering, torturing, lying, evil bastards.”

As a missionary to China who is currently serving my own 5-year “entry-ban,” I enjoy seeing China being called out for the evil regime it is.

But I was wondering if you had any pointers (or admonitions) for Christians who purposefully use “bad” language in public. A certain post you wrote a few weeks ago also comes to mind, in which you included the (I think, appropriate) phrase “bitch goddess Jezebel” when discussing intersectionality.

Thanks in advance!

Eugene

Eugene, our standard in such things should always be Scripture. There will sometimes be violations of propriety that some will say are violations of Scripture, but I don’t believe that this is the case. There is no master list of “bad words” in Heaven. We have to make our decisions as we look at scriptural situations, and reason by analogy to our own. I think Ted Cruz was entirely in bounds on that one.

Two Questions

1. Name of book you referenced a couple months ago on Plodcast – skeptics guide to climate change??? Title and author 2. References on Christian ministry in antebellum South, particularly if and why not all Christians – Jew, Greek, Scythians, etc. in church together, or maybe they were?

Darel

Darel, I think you are referring to Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People by Roy Spencer. On the other question, I don’t have one source, but I have seen references in many sources that blacks and whites worshiping in the same church was not uncommon, although obviously not universal.

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Jeff
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@Tim. I’ve had the same thought. Although Doug was very politic in his answer, it would be helpful to see an online dialogue between these men. I do favor Doug’s positions. They seem more well thought out. But I am open to someone like, Tim Bayly, who has a very strict position on Ro 13 critically interact with Doug and point out error and inconsistencies.

Anyone really. Sanityville serves more as an echo chamber and little creative dialogue takes place there.

Mike Freeman
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Mike Freeman

Jeff, I find Tim Bayly’s views far more persuasive (and there’s something I never thought I would type since I normally disagree with Tim on just about everything). And here’s what I think Doug, and others like him, misapprehends. In the early days of the pandemic, people were told not to bother with masks because it was thought there weren’t that many cases, and not because masks aren’t effective. Once cases went into the thousands, the advice changed, but it was based on a change in the facts. The original advice not to wear masks was sound when there were… Read more »

Gray
Guest
Gray

“Maybe Doug and his congregation will get lucky and avoid a Covid-19 outbreak…On the other hand, maybe their luck will run out…”

Flavors of luck being the only available of 2 alternatives is hardly a logical argument. You left out at least one more. I would encourage that you at least consider Cromwell’s dictum.

Jeff
Guest

In the beginning we were told the health care professionals needed them. The experts who were allowed to have a voice said they were not necessary for the common man. At least that was one of Fauci’s positions. Contrary voices have been silenced. The WHO said they were ineffective. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html Doug has provided scientific references which conclude masks have been ineffective. A web search will find other reputable scientific sources which say the same thing. These pre-Chinese virus studies don’t have the bias of trying to navigate the current maelstrom. Doug is correct that masks have morphed into a political… Read more »

Gray
Guest
Gray

One other point: expertise is currently disallowed unless it agrees with a specific consensus. Dissimilar views, research and findings are scorned and shouted down. That would, in a culture that thinks that mathematics is not racist, raise alarms.

We no longer live in said culture; it has now been declared that speech is violence and 2+2=4 is a form of colonial imperialism.

Gray
Guest
Gray
Gray
Guest
Gray

So, if the data is compromised, what can be said about the conclusions from said data? “the Florida Department of Health said that some laboratories have not been reporting negative test result data to the state.” “[The] report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However…the hospital…confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.” and “[The] report also showed that the Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76 percent. A spokesperson for the VA: “this does not reflect their numbers and that… Read more »

Gray
Guest
Gray

And speaking of research that has been vilified: the National Institutes of Health, (of which Dr. Fauci is the director) researched chloroquine and concluded “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread”. This research was published 22 August 2005 in “Virology Journal”, the official publication of the National Institutes of Health. COVID-19 is a coronavirus, labeled SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-1, is genetically related and shares 79% of its genome. They both use the same host cell receptor, which is what viruses use to gain entry to the cell and infect the victim. Research: Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of… Read more »

William
Guest
William

Doug,

Kudos! Your masterful use of selective memory was on glorious display in your response to your long time Moscow neighbor, Fred. No wonder you are so well thought of in the community!

I’m curious if you have ever had the opportunity to visit The Truth About Moscow site?

JP Stewart
Member

That’s rich coming from someone who’s constantly wrong and intentionally reads things into to others’ comments to fit his/her/preferred pronoun narrative.

Augus Tinian
Guest
Augus Tinian

JP, I don’t always agree with you but nearly always appreciate your subtlety.

William
Guest
William
William
Guest
William
adad0
Member

Hey Bill!
I am curious as well.

You, Jim Acosta and Anthony Weiner all have similar rhetorical styles.

Any possibility that you three are triplets separated at birth?

Asking for the good of humanity. 😏

Thanks!

JP Stewart
Member

Or perhaps William, Clay Crouch (who used to post here) and a few others who sound suspiciously similar….weren’t even separated at birth. They just come up with a new alias every year or two.

adad0
Member

Ah…”Chroucho snarks”, a guy who somehow did not see the humor his AWESOME nick name! 😏

JP Stewart
Member

Croucho Marx would be more accurate politically speaking, though.

William
Guest
William
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

This is the third time you’ve posted this link. You’re spamming the comments. Knock it off.

William
Guest
William

TCFKAfp,

Grow up.

JP Stewart
Member

A guy who spams links like a 12-year old or bot…telling someone else to grow up?

adad0
Member

JP,
Bill might be even more pathetic than that!
I would not be surprised if Bill, or Chroucho snarks, creates fake aliases, to reduce the number of down votes on his own snide posts.
That would make Bill a “tribe of one” despite his protestations about tribalism. 😏

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

I appreciate Ginny’s letter above. There is a lot of research starting to accumulate to demonstrate that transmission of the virus through aerosol particles is real, and that limiting the transmission of aerosols is in fact helped by basic cloth masks, and that layered together with other measures (social distancing, adequate ventilation, limiting the amount of time we are singing or playing in close proximity at one time, cleaning surfaces and hand washing) is helpful to preventing the transmission of the virus. As a musician who is deeply invested in maintaining robust musical training and collaborative musical experiences as a… Read more »

Gray
Guest
Gray

1. Regarding obedience to government, it seems that responses in urging said obedience frequently misses one of the fundamental principals, and that is that obedience should be according to the law, and not just according to the dictate(s) of personages. The several constitutions (state and federal) sit as controlling instruments above and superseding those who are bound by them; they bind government, not citizens. Those who levy charges of hypocrisy or anarchy (for questioning or resisting government edicts) must also decide upon a charge against lesser magistrates (Prosecutors, Sheriff’s, etc) who have challenged unlawful actions of government, e.g. https://idahonews.com/news/coronavirus/adams-county-prosecutor-urges-gov-little-to-rescind-stay-at-home-order 2.… Read more »

Jeff
Guest

Yes, they are trying to walk back their previous no mask positions. The issue has been researched for many years. There’s really no new data available to us because of the Chinese virus.

JP Stewart
Member

Spot on. I was about to mention your first point but you saved me some time. The idea that we must submit to any politician or unelected bureaucrat because of Rom. 13 ignores the fact we’re a constitutional republic. It’s ultimately the rule of law, not Tony the Tyrant (or Toni the Tyrant if he identifies differently that day) we submit to. If you read the framers, the real order of importance is “we the people” then state/local governments then Federal servants.

DCL
Member
DCL

It’s actually a question of authority.
Gerald R. Thompson of the LONANG Institute has an essay on the matter entitled God’s Laws of Authority.
Although a tad lengthy, it’s quite good and worth a look. You can both read it and freely download it here: https://bre.is/UQk2GwdZ

Ginny
Guest
Ginny

Pastor Wilson, Encouraging civil disobedience based on legal over-reach is is one thing. But when citing scripture to make your case about not wearing masks in worship, you make it a matter of right and wrong. This necessitates judgement, does it not? The verse from Corinthians is metaphor, used to describe how we don’t need to fear God’s glory fading away from our faces, as Moses did. Applying it to this mask issue is to be on very thin ice. As I said, I think you could make a stronger case for head coverings in worship than you could for… Read more »

Gray
Guest
Gray

Definitely not Pastor Wilson, but I think that viewing and arguing from the lesser to the greater is a normative scriptural approach: “For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But… Read more »

William
Guest
William

Ginny, thank you for cogently pointing out his silly exegesis. Unfortunately, around here silly exegesis is par for the course. They like to start with a position and then the gnat straining and camel swallowing ensues.

May your tribe increase!

Ginny
Guest
Ginny

Ah William,
Pastor Wilson has taught me as much wisdom from the scriptures as anyone on the planet. I am not in your camp.

William
Guest
William

Ah Ginny,

That’s a pity. You should expand your horizons a tad more. But I still admire your critique. And given Wilson’s low view of women, your pluck.

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

Don’t call me plucky. I don’t know what it means :)

Laura
Guest
Laura

In your Narnian Civics post, you link to two articles that you refer to as studies. Both are commentaries and neither are peer reviewed. It appear you may be a bit confused on what a scientific study is even though you sure do appear to think of yourself as a respiratory infectious disease SME. Neither of those articles were studies. Do a quick search in Pubmed, however, and you will find many actual studies that provide mounting evidence that masks reduce infection, including a very recent systematic review. Additionally CDC’s MMWR published a case study today, showing that when two… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Laura, what you failed to mention is that the first commentary was written by experts on respiratory protection and the second was written by the former director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Bern. The first commentary has a rather extensive bibliography with 52 cites, 50 of which are actual studies. Fifty studies. Actual studies. Is there a reason you left out that bit of information? Laura: “Additionally CDC’s MMWR published a case study today, showing that when two masked COVID positive hairdressers came into contact with nearly 200 masked clients, that there wasn’t a single transmission.… Read more »

Augus Tinian
Guest
Augus Tinian

x

Augus Tinian
Guest
Augus Tinian

x

JP Stewart
Member

In addition, there’s the simple fact that “The pore size of cloth face coverings range from ~ 20-100 microns. The Covid virus is 200-1000x smaller than that, at 0.1 microns.”
https://tennesseestar.com/2020/06/29/dr-simone-gold-commentary-we-do-not-consent/

Studies have the luxury of cherry picking data sets and/or designing conditions that may give, well, desired outcomes. When they fly in the face of hard facts, a heathy dose of skepticism is warranted.

JP Stewart
Member

Ah, the peer review (coin flip) cult strikes again.
https://www.science20.com/news_articles/how_reliable_peer_review

Peer review is very susceptible to groupthink and an unwillingness to challenge existing paradigms. This is especially true now, as going against the grain can mean losing tenure or many other side effects of today’s cancel culture. Just try being a lonely voice who questions COVID restrictions, climate change, LGBTQ dogma, etc.

As for “baiting” LGBTQ, I wonder how much time Laura spends on blogs denouncing convicted child molesters reading books to children? I’m guessing the number of minutes she does this weekly rhymes with the word “hero.”

William
Guest
William

Laura, I appreciate you using your rhetorical skills in the service of good. Pay no attention to the wannabe experts below. But I’m sure, given your experience with Douglas Wilson, you’re used to his disciples’ apoplectic convulsions.

JP Stewart
Member

If William compliments your rhetorical skills, you should know something is very wrong with whatever you wrote…

Laura
Guest
Laura

fp and JP You both seem like a delight! I would say we should banter in person over a cup of coffee, but I think I’ve gathered your position on masks, and given there’s a pandemic on, I think I won’t run that particular experiment with you. However, to mark our budding friendship, please do send me pictures the next time either of you has a surgery- not only will I see your smiling face, but also your surgeons. fp- sorry for misquoting the MMWR number- totally unintentional, but good catch pal-i-o. I’m glad we are the kind of friends… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Aren’t you the snarky one, Miss/Mrs/Mrs? Laura? Thanks for wishing surgery and possible COVID on me….that’s oh-sol tolerant and progressive of you. Maybe some of your Antifa pals have been rubbing off on you?

As for the pedo remark, since you were quick to defend the pure and perfect alphabet community, I was referring to this in particular…but there are similar examples.
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/drag-queen-storytime-convicted-pedophile-dressed-as-a-woman-reads-to-kids-at-public-library

You may also want to read up on BLM organizer Christopher Devries some time…another sicko in the fight for social justice!

William
Guest
William

JPS,

You should take up your beef regarding child molesters with Douglas Wilson. His record in abysmal. Good luck!

William
Guest
William

Laura,

Given JP’s penchant for mentioning them, I’ve wondered if JP is fixated on child molesters. Hopefully not, but one does wonder.

John
Guest
John

Fred-
When saying, ‘Lastly, ironically, the sentiment of a good many Moscowans toward Doug is “Can’t HE (please) just leave US alone?” ‘ hopefully you took your own advice over the years, keeping your distance and not taking advantage of any of the downstream benefits of Doug’s ministry (Logos School, loving community, etc.).

Mark H.
Guest
Mark H.

I think, both evidentially and commonsensically, that masks reduce the probability of me infecting my neighbor significantly, and my neighbor infecting me somewhat. If that’s true, and if COVID can be transmitted asymptomatically, then wearing a mask in close personal contact is loving my neighbor.

Hypocrisy on the government’s part (sanctioning maskless public protests rather than sanctioning them) does not relieve me of that duty to love. The fact that by doing so I inadvertently conform to illegitimate government orders neither relieves me of that duty nor signals my compliance with that authority.

Augus Tinian
Guest
Augus Tinian

x

Gray
Guest
Gray

“…evidentially and commonsensically…” As standards, those are fair parameters. It is the fine print that can make it confusing. Evidence must be factual, and not just information that has the appearance of being so. For example, Florida’s numbers: Florida made international headlines when it reported a shocking number of positive COVID-19 test results: More than 15,000 in a single day. Until: The Florida Department of Health reported in a single day, lab results that had been collected over the course of four to five days. That is one example of a continuous stream of several choices: government incompetence, government obfuscation,… Read more »

Masks – Eric Rasmusen's Blog
Guest

[…] . Pastor Doug Wilson: […]

Johnny Sanchez
Guest
Johnny Sanchez

Pastor Wison,

Thank you for bringing some sound over all biblically reasoning to this topic. One thing I keep hearing when dealing with the Roman’s 13 interpretation, is that Paul wrote Roman’s 13 while Nero was Ceasar. So they say because of.that we too should submit to the tyrants during this Covid-19 governance. Can you please address this?

Thanks,

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m sure my views are shaped by personal experience, but I wonder if the people who so vehemently oppose the wearing of masks have seen this illness up close. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my daughter has continued to test positive for COVID-19 since she was first diagnosed at the end of April. Although she didn’t need to be hospitalized, she has been in bed almost continuously since the illness began. Her doctors think she may be one of the unlucky ones who will remain symptomatic indefinitely. (And if anyone would pray for her, I would be very… Read more »

Ginny
Guest
Ginny

Hi Jill,
Will most definitely pray for your daughter and her mama!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jill, here are a few thoughts for you. First, God is in control of every step of our lives and we need not worry. That’s not to say that the road is always covered with rose petals, but that God supports us all the time, no matter how difficult it seems. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 This is just one of the many promises in scripture of God’s never failing support.… Read more »