Warhorn, Moscow, and Binding Consciences

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Introduction

As a number of you have no doubt seen, we were taken to task yesterday by Joseph Bayly and Brian Bailey, and given the nature of the criticism, I thought a response was necessary. I hope to keep the response centered on what I believe to be the central issue, and so perhaps this post won’t be as long as normal. But we shall see. Perhaps it will.

Hamsey Island Plague Church

One Qualification Up Front

One of the concerns that was expressed in the article was that we were painting with a broad brush in such a way as to lead people to assume the worst about absolutely anyone who differed with us. In other words, do we think it is impossible to be on the opposite side of this masking issue without being a coward, an agent of compromise, etc.? In a word, no. We don’t believe that at all.

Toby Sumpter and I have had two phone conversations total with Warhorn men about all of this, and as regards the issues addressed by this article, we thought we had done what was needed. Prior to the publication of this piece, as far as we knew, we thought we had done exactly what they asked us to do, which was to make it clear that we thought their position was a principled stand, not subject to the same criticisms we were leveling elsewhere. We did that in various ways and places, and were disappointed that they decided this response was necessary. We have been on the same page with them for so long that we have labored to avoid a direct collision with them over this issue. Now that we have obviously failed in that endeavor, I would like to address the central issue in such a way that we can still be comrades in arms after this is all over.

To spell it out, we do disagree with the decision to require worshipers to mask up in God’s presence. We also believe that many of the churches across the nation that are imposing this requirement on their people are doing so because of their general feckless approach to everything. But we don’t believe that about Warhorn, and we don’t believe it about some of the churches in our own communion that have taken this same approach. We make a clear distinction between the two.

We have made this very point while encouraging individuals who have been banned from worship unless they have a mask. If your leaders have been otherwise faithful — clear on LGBTQ issues, not woke at all, faithful in their exposition of Scripture, etc. — do everything you can to work with them as dutiful members. If they have not been like that, then maybe this is the Lord’s indication that it is time for you to go.

Another Important Observation

If you wanted to make a juicy Venn diagram, one with lots of overlap, you could draw two circles representing a Moscow constituency and a Warhorn constituency. But because we have more or less come down on opposite sides of the masking issue, this has created a problem. The article mentions that there are a number of parishioners in their circles who are sympathetic with what we have been arguing, and this has been creating big problems for them on the ground. More on this shortly.

Now I do not know whether any of these parishioners who are in sympathy with our arguments have behaved disrespectfully toward their elders. I do know that is a possibility, but I have no idea whether or not it is so. We have counseled parishioners who are caught in this dilemma to make a distinction between elders who have been otherwise faithful and counter-cultural, and elders who conform to this because they always conform to the prevailing winds. This distinction truly matters.

But if anyone has popped off disrespectfully to respectable elders, this was not our desire, not our counsel, and not what we would have advised at all. But with that said, disrespect is not the only reason why a church might be in turmoil. It is possible that churches are disrupted because we have been using inflammatory language and it has been fomenting unnecessary trouble. But it is also possible, as I will argue below, that the turmoil is baked into the very nature of a mandatory masking order for worship services.

The Heart of the Issue

The issue is not masking up, all by itself. I put on a mask earlier this week because I needed a haircut and couldn’t get a haircut without one. That is a nuisance, of course, but not the end of the world. I was starting to look like a chrysanthemum, and steps needed to be taken. The issue that is roiling churches is the mandatory masking for worship.

The difference of opinion we have is not over whether to wear a mask, with some saying yes, and others saying no, but with each agreeing that wearing the mask is a minor inconvenience. We don’t just have a difference on whether to wear a mask. We differ on the nature of this mask wearing in worship. For some, it is a minor inconvenience, just like when you go to CostCo, only you are going to worship. But for others, including me, it is an affront to the conscience, at a visceral level.

And I cheerfully acknowledge that it is a conscience issue that I never knew existed until all of this came up. I never had occasion to work through any of it. For other matters of conscience, like sabbath observance, or alcohol use, or entertainment standards, and so on, I have been thinking about them for decades. But in this case, a medicine ball was thrown at everybody’s heads by the archangel Gabriel, along with a peppy “think fast!”

I have no problem acknowledging that good men, like the men of Evangel Presbytery, had to make a swift decision on what to have their congregations do about masks. I have no problem agreeing that these are trying times. But given the fact that there are many Christians out there who had the same visceral reaction to the idea of worshiping God with a veiled face, I believe that such leaders had the responsibility to be more flexible with their people instead of simply mandating.

I can understand Christians reading our stuff in order to clarify thinking and to hunt down arguments. But I don’t believe that what we have been producing is responsible for the existence of the visceral reaction in the conscience that numerous believers have had. And I believe the turmoil exists because of a head-on collision between that reaction in the conscience and a mandate from the elders.

So say that in Church X we have a man who sincerely believes that his life is in real jeopardy because of COVID. He has faithfully attended church for years. If we forbade masks in worship, we would be putting him in a terrible position. We would be forbidding what to him is a minor inconvenience, an inconvenience which he believes is important to his health. We would be making his acquiescence to our mandate a prerequisite to meeting with Christ’s people, hearing Christ’s Word, and partaking of Christ in the sacrament.

But say that in Church Y we have a man who sincerely believes that to require him to cover his face when he goes to worship God is an insult to his status as an image-bearer, and he also believes (conscientiously) that a play from the broader culture is being run on us all. He also has been a faithful member of the church for years. To require him to mask up would be to place him in a terrible position, just like Church X did with their guy.

At Christ Church, we welcome anybody, masked or unmasked. No one is turned away over this issue. We have repeatedly instructed our people not to give the stink eye to anybody. Don’t assume that a mask-wearer is a coward, and don’t assume that a non-mask-wearer is a devil-may-care stunt parishioner. Church officers may wear a mask, and church officers may go without. In order to bind the conscience, there has to be actual binding, which would be an act of authority.

On this issue, we have resolved not to get in between anybody’s conscience, on the one hand, and Christ’s people, Christ’s Word, or Christ’s sacraments, on the other.

And ironically, if a church makes conformity mandatory, the turmoil is increased if the church has been a faithful one.

By laying out these and similar arguments as we have done, we have not bound anyone’s conscience. We have not required anything of anybody. The only authority we have is the authority of having said true things, if indeed we have. But that is not an authoritative act. If any of the men with whom I have this difference were to visit Christ Church, they would be welcome, with or without a mask, and they would also, despite agreeing with the Warhorn article, be welcome to sing with us, pray with us, confess with us, hear the Word with us, and partake of communion with us.

One last thing. I mentioned flexibility earlier. If the elders of the church believe the pandemic is far more serious than I do, there are many ways they could still accommodate those believers who can’t stomach the idea of approaching God with a mask on. They could recommend masks. They could ask everyone to mask up during the fellowship time before and after, but say you are free to remove your mask while worshiping. They could hold a second service for those who don’t feel right in their spirit about masking for worship. They could treat the issue of masking with something other than a command. Is this view of masking that we hold really an offense that deserves de facto suspension from the Table?

And we could also make sure that as we love one another, we continue to talk through the issue. In that spirit, the comments for this post are open.

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Emily Kozitsky
Member
Emily Kozitsky

Thank you for this article. It was very helpful. My family is not attending church because we would be required to mask and also to register with the church beforehand. I have a very very serious problem with a church that keeps attendance records open for the state to peruse. Think about what the state in other countries has done and is doing with those records. What happened to the protestant idea that all of worship was to be shaped by Scripture alone (regulative principle)? If wearing masks is not there, in any chapter or verse (but the contrary command… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

For the love of God, please tell me how does requiring parishioners to wear a mask during a worship service, for the expressed intent of loving our neighbor, wreak havoc on someone’s conscience. Don’t you have any better molehills to die on than that?

Jake
Guest
Jake

Nailed the spirit there. *high five*

Jane
Member

If Liam had been aiming at satire, he would have been spot on.

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

And some people realize Liam was just ringing Pavlov’s bell.

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

Jane’s my very favorite preacher so no repentance is necessary.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Lucky Jane.

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

Indeed.

Anne T.
Guest
Anne T.

It “wreaks havoc” on my conscience because I am strongly convicted that wearing a mask is bearing false witness as it perpetuates the lie that they work (I have a stack of peer-reviewed RCT medical studies demonstrating masks do not work to prevent the transmission of viruses), and it perpetuates the lies and hypocrisy of the government and media concerning this whole “pandemic.” In addition, I am strongly convicted that it imposes upon me a man-made condition in my worship of God which is akin to false worship. To me, wearing a mask in the worship of God is not… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

Anne,

Strongly convicted by whom? Doug Wilson? I have a stack of peer reviewed Bible verses that demonstrates looking out for one another is the highest form of love.

Regardless, what if you’re wrong? What if you infect a family member or neighbor and they become gravely ill or die? If I’m wrong, I’ve just worn a mask in public and not harmed a single person in the process.

AF
Guest
AF

To be honest, your comment makes it crystal clear that germ theory is a religion to some. Read up on Antoine Bechamp / Claud Bernard’s theories- basically, the germs grow in cells that are already damaged in some way. It is not a one-to-one, get the germ, get sick kind of transaction. Which is why it is not murder or harming someone to go about your business without taking surgeon-level precautions.

Liam
Guest
Liam

AF,

Good luck with all that theory stuff. You keep telling yourself that if it gets you through the night. I’ll stick with washing my hands after changing the baby’s diaper.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Peer-reviewed Bible verses sounds about right lol. Lots of people reading their feelings into these verses is what I’m assuming you are referring to.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Yep, it’s a wonder to behold! Eisegesis run amok is considered serious Bible study at the Doug Wilson School of Theology and Fun House of Mirrors..

Dave
Guest
Dave

Liam, have you considered that a virus isn’t just a one on one encounter of the strange time. Long after the SARS was out of the news, it was shown that the SARsS virus needed an extended period of time and very close proximity to infect another person. As far as the masks are concerned, you would need a bio mask filtering smaller than .01 to make any statements that you didn’t infect anyone. Another fact from the SARS was that if you didn’t have symptoms, you couldn’t infect anyone. So, all the good folks thinking they are helping are… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

Yes, I have.

And your arguments are not viable since you are not an infectious disease expert like Doug Wilson.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Liam, after reviewing your comments, it plainly obvious to the most casual observer, that you do not have anything of value to contribute to the discussion. You have not responded with any facts other than your own wisdom and you like the tickling of your ears by that false doctrine. The issue is the incorrect quarantining and masking of healthy individuals in mass which does not fit any of the health regulations, a fact which I am sure you know. You are to quarantine the sick and not the healthy. I hope that you have enjoyed your mischief as you… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

Dave,

With all due respect, I think you are confusing me with Doug Wilson.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

Did you need infectious disease experts? Well, appeal to authority, but alright. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8583925/The-land-no-face-masks-Hollands-scientists-say-theres-no-solid-evidence-coverings-work.html “Regardless, what if you’re wrong? What if you infect a family member or neighbor and they become gravely ill or die? If I’m wrong, I’ve just worn a mask in public and not harmed a single person in the process.” An argument that proves too much. If applied to any other argument, it restricts anyone from doing anything. You don’t think that you’ll crash your car and kill someone on the drive to work today, but what if you’re wrong? If I’m wrong, you just never drive… Read more »

William Jones
Member
William Jones

The same can be argued about anything. How about vaccines? Should we require all avaialbe vaccines for Worship?

Should we set strict dress codes? After all, if you are wrong and it’s really ok to wear a dress that reveals the ankles. who have you hurt requiring long dresses, but if you are right, then you have stopped sin with the dress code.

It doesn’t seem an adequate argument to force masks.

C. David
Guest
C. David

Liam, how can you decide if her conviction is from the Spirit or men? What arrogance, what hubris! The legalists that descended on Galatia had nothing on you. I could see you right there with them. ” Who strongly convicted you that you did not need to be circumcised? Paul?”

Liam
Guest
Liam

Easy, Tiger. No need for the hissy fit. I only asked Anne a couple of simple questions and posited potential source of her mask convictions.

Circumcised? You need to get the snakes out of your head and rocks out of your mouth.

Go in peace and be filled.

Carl
Guest
Carl

It does in fact wreak havoc on some folks conscience.
Whether you understand “how” is not germane.
The fact that the elder-ship at Christ Church understand the fact that it does (or can) and insist on not binding the conscience of their parishioners. That is loving your neighbor.

Roger Ball
Guest
Roger Ball

I think he did a pretty good job of explaining that. For the love of God you should reread the post.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Explained? Mabye in Wilson gobbledygook. Convinced? Hardly. For the love of God, you should reconsider your conclusion.

Roger Ball
Guest
Roger Ball

I think you set a Blog and Mablog world record for number of dislikes in a single blog post. Maybe you should reconsider YOUR conclusion.

Liam
Guest
Liam

So did Jesus. So, I’ve got that going for me.

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

Liam: “…for the expressed intent of loving our neighbor…”

Now, where have we heard this before?

Oh, that’s right:

“If you love me, you’ll ___________. ”

– Let me
– Do whatever I want you to do
– Wear whatever I tell you to wear
– Mask up

Classic manipulation technique.

Liam
Guest
Liam

I know. Don’t you hate it when someone resorts to the words of Jesus to make a point. Go in peace and be filled.

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

Pro tip: When trying to make the enemy live up to his own rules, put in the work necessary to understand how those rules operate, otherwise you’ll fall flat on your face — like you did just now.

Somewhere from the depths of hell, Alinsky is frowning at you. A tactic that drags on too long is a drag, man.

This whole “loving your neighbor” thing works both ways, pal. So why don’t you try loving your neighbor by not imposing on everyone else to wear a magic talisman to assuage your irrational fear of the common cold?

Liam
Guest
Liam

Dude, you need to take a chill pill. Or a wee dram. You’re on the verge of apoplexy. You’ll come to see the light eventually. We all do, some just sooner than others.

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

Dude, I know my state of mind better than you do. Right now, I’m laughing at you, because it’s clear your superstitions have rendered you incompetent. If you duck, maybe next time your poorly-thought out Jesus juke won’t hurt so bad when it boomerangs on you.

Next time you mask up, don’t forget your rabbit’s foot!

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Here’s a good example of your progressive comrades “loving their neighbors”…slightly edited from the DNC version.
https://twitter.com/TRHLofficial/status/1296121173030436864

Liam
Guest
Liam

Barney,

Try to stay on topic.

You certainly don’t won’t me compare your Lord & Savior DT’s behavior to this video, do you? I KNOW you don’t want me to compare DW’s history.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

The funny this is I sound nothing like Barney but you can’t take the Crouchness out of Clay, even if you change your name here monthly. DT is far from my Lord and Savior, but even in your craziest progressive conspiracies, you can’t accuse him of the daily transgressions of his haters in the “Summer of Love Thy Neighbor” (largely excused and even supported by the Dems):
https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo (just scroll through for a bit)

And yes, what I said was certainly on topic since you’re the self-proclaimed expert around here on all things love thy neighbor.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Sport, I was voting Republican before you were born. So go peddle your self righteousness somewhere else. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

So you’re on Medicare? You sound really triggered,. Remember, it’s an anonymous blog where most people use made-up names. Nothing to get hung about (you should know that line).

Liam
Guest
Liam

Triggered? Hardly. Amused? Definitely.

Strawberry Fields Forever, was never on a studio recorded album.

While Abbey Road is one of my favorite albums, I never liked the Beatles. Go figure.

John C.
Guest
John C.

When our governor mandated masks, my spirit was in turmoil for days before our church agreed to not require parishioners to wear a mask. To many such as I, masks are symbols of fear and servility. Introducing such a symbol in the act of Christian worship and fellowship is an abhorrent act. Masks create the perception that rather than men and women, made in the image of God; we are biological weapons–carriers of contagion, with our breath and “viral droplets” as agents of chaos, disorder, and death. Is this not a byproduct of the materialist worldview? How this isn’t a… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

John C.,

Who told you that it was a symbol of fear and servility?

We are BOTH, created in the image of God, AND at times we all do carry contagions. You do know that it is a scientific fact that at times we humans carry contagions? That’s why we avoid contact with others when we are sick with a contagious illness like the flu, the common cold, the measles, Ebola, etc. It’s also the reason we get vaccinated when one is available. Let me guess, you believe that vaccines are a gubment plot.

John C.
Guest
John C.

Liam, No one had to tell me that masks are symbols of fear and servility. It is self-evident to me. It seems that is not the case to you, that is fine. I prefer to extend grace to those that have a different view than my own. To me, masks are a statist intrusion upon corporate worship and fellowship and that view is not going to go away. If I were forced to wear a mask in church it would be a violation of my own conscience and a distraction from both worship and fellowship. Those that would force such… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

JC,

I admire your mind reading skills. You and Angus (see below) should get together. He has the gift of divining cowardice.

Fredericka Lohr
Member

It sounds like your quarrel is with Louis Pasteur rather than anyone of the present day. Why not climb out of bed and ask, what can I do to maximize public health today? We can all do our part. Even Doug can start a fire & fumigate the place.

Zeph
Guest

Remember, loving God comes first. Loving your neighbor comes second.

Liam
Guest
Liam

They are not, no never mutually exclusive.

Tyrell Samuels
Guest
Tyrell Samuels

Sounds reasonable.

Lance
Guest
Lance

I think you’re way too nice to them. They believe that government is sovereign over the church which is patently untrue.

Kaleb Marshall
Member

That’s false witness.

Matthew Hoover
Guest
Matthew Hoover

This comment is wrong and illustrative of a big issue that remains. The Warhorn guys believe that the civil government has authority in the church because the Sovereign King Jesus has given it to them. That remaining big issue is authority and rebellion. It’s been an endless theme over there so I don’t have much to add. I would just ask of Pastor Wilson to please consider addressing many, many people who would like to make this a conscience issue but really 1) are discontent under this providence of God’s hand and find it convenient to blame civil government, 2)… Read more »

gray
Guest
gray

Who defines the limits of the authority possessed by civil government, and what are the distinctives of those limitations?

Liam
Guest
Liam

I’m thinking, Doug Wilson? Whatever he decides, subject to change when it suits him? Isn’t that how it works in a totalitarian cult?

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Go ask your woke friends. They have the biggest, most well-funded totalitarian cult/scam at the moment. DW can’t cancel anyone, get them fired for political views or send angry mob to their house.

fisher81101
Member
fisher81101

Aah Liam, Now I see why you are not making sense. You are just here with an axe to grind. Why slither around whispering accusations in the comments of a mask related article? No views this year on your discernment blog? Don’t fret. It will pick back up once PornHub starts charging again. In the mean time you could try writing a post about someone in the news more. Maybe 7 reasons John MacArthur is the AntiChrist? 12 Reasons John Piper is a Heretic? If you can’t count that high on your fingers take off one of your crocs. (Christ… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

” 1) are discontent under this providence of God’s hand and find it convenient to blame civil government” I don’t see how you have to worry about “blaming” at all in the thought process. The authority is God’s unless he gives it to someone else. He clearly places some degree of authority in civic rulers. The question is in if you believe mask mandates to fall within the purview of the powers of the civic ruler. So long as we agree that there are some mandates that would be not Biblically backed, as they would be beyond the bounds of… Read more »

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

Exactly so, it’s an authority issue.

Matthew Hoover
Guest
Matthew Hoover

Warhorn’s post from the last half-hour is helpful. The question is not simply “if you believe mask mandates to fall within the purview of the powers of the civic ruler.” The question has to do with what your elders believe, how you are to submit to someone who is incorrect, whether an incorrect judgment on their part rises to the level of idolatry, and then, for those entrusted with the care of souls, what sin issues might be driving conflicts that are arising. My three bullet points are pastoral concerns. People right in this combox are giving evidence that the… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

“The question is not simply “if you believe mask mandates to fall within the purview of the powers of the civic ruler.” The question has to do with what your elders believe, how you are to submit to someone who is incorrect” This is three card monty. You’re just obfuscating. The criticism is of the elders themselves. It isn’t possible for “the question” to now be about another subject. If your hypothetical person takes issue with the elders *and* doesn’t believe the elders responded appropriately *and* does not use the appropriate means to take formal issue with the decisions of… Read more »

Eric Rasmusen
Member
Eric Rasmusen

Very good, Matthew. You nailed it. The big question is whether a member should follow the policy the elders– not the government, the church elders– have decided, even if he thinks it’s unnecessary. And of course he should, just as he respects their authority when they’re wrong in lots of other things, which they are, like any leaders.

Jeff Singletary
Guest

Did you really mean to say ‘they’re wrong in lots of other things’? Who should follow anyone who is wrong in lots of other things? That would seem to be foolish. I believe you meant to say that elders are not infallible and will err on occasion. As a university professor you should be more precise in your writing. ;-)

Zeph
Guest

The people at Warhorn are good people. They have been faithful in standing against Woke and they have stepped up in educating against Child Abuse in the church. Doug knows this and that is why he is trying to get along with Warhorn.

Lucas Weeks
Guest
Lucas Weeks

Dear Pastor Wilson, In today’s post, you state the following: “We also believe that many of the churches across the nation that are imposing this requirement on their people are doing so because of their general feckless approach to everything. But we don’t believe that about Warhorn, and we don’t believe it about some of the churches in our own communion that have taken this same approach. We make a clear distinction between the two. We have made this very point while encouraging individuals who have been banned from worship unless they have a mask. If your leaders have been… Read more »

Toby Sumpter
Guest

Lucas, regarding the charge of “statist idolatry,” the analogy I’ve used a number of times in this conversation is the meat offered to idols ala 1 Cor. 8. The mask in itself is nothing, just as the state is not really a god at all, but we have an entire culture mandating the masks in the name of the State-Our-Savior. So, the widespread submission to that false god by wearing his badge *in solidarity with that claim* seems to me to be clearly an act of statist idolatry. But are there many good-hearted people just going along with what their… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
Member

Be ready to give a reason for the hope in you…by extension, if someone disagrees with church authorities the authorities had better try to persuade, and address concerns, not just lay down the law.

William Jones
Member
William Jones

If it violates their conscience, how could they s submit without sinning? They would have no choice but t leave.

This is why it is very important for elders to not mandate things unnecessarily.

THou shalt wear a mask is absent from the scripture.

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

An excellent point that leads to the question do some pastors and elders see this as an opportunity to cull the flock and rid themselves of troublemakers?

Todd France
Guest
Todd France

Thank you!

Nathan Davy
Guest
Nathan Davy

Pastor Wilson, you wrote, “If your leaders have been otherwise faithful…do everything you can to work with them as dutiful members.” Do you mean, “Obey your elders who are in authority over you,” or something less than this? This seems to be the main sticking point – should I be willing to submit to my elders and pastors, even if I believe that they are mistaken? “Working with” can mean a wider variety of things than “submission in Christ” can mean.

Darius T
Guest
Darius T

That Warhorn included such a large section of “fact-checking” COVID claims shows where their allegiance lies: the “experts” in this Covidiocracy. That they cannot bring themselves to merely allow congregants to choose for themselves says all we need to know… we’re all supposed to be VERY scared and frightened.

kevinmbratcher
Member
kevinmbratcher

Appreciate you making the case again here in a clear and unmistakable manner.
Even as an infrequent reader of your blog and sermons, the qualifications you make here were already known and assumed to me, which made the representations by Warhorn more confusing than anything.

I hope that this clears up a misunderstanding that was unintentional on their part, and that their take was not an intentional misconstruing.

Jonathan Franzone
Member
Jonathan Franzone

I have followed the Warhorn guys for a couple of years now and have loved most of what they produce. Until now. I will still continue to follow them on other issues, but as it pertains to masking and whole-heartedly following a corrupt government into whatever madness lies ahead… I just can’t. I am one of those who experienced the visceral reaction to the idea of worshiping the Triune God with a mask over my face. A mask which, as best I can tell from the many varied research out there, is completely useless. If I and my family are… Read more »

Joel
Guest
Joel

Jonathan, I have no issue with you disagreeing with Warhorn on a particular stance. But I don’t believe your comment is accurate regarding Warhorn and I believe it’s slanderous and would exhort you to edit/delete it. They’ve never said we’re “whole-heartedly following a corrupt government into whatever madness lies ahead.” That’s a false and slanderous thing to say. In fact, they have stated things that they will not obey/follow the government on during this Covid season and many times prior. Please be more careful with your words. It damages the reputation of good men and more importantly, Jesus’ Church.

God bless,
Joel

Jeffro
Guest
Jeffro

Joel, I have no issue with you disagreeing with Jonathan regarding whether his opinion is slanderous or false. Actions bear witness. They can say and write lots of things, but that’s just noise and scribbles. Right now, based on actions, I don’t see how you could call Jonathan’s statements slanderous. Maybe you have some secret knowledge, though.

Joel
Guest
Joel

Jeffro, Seems like you do have a problem with me disagreeing with Jonathan considering your post addresses that very thing :). Not sure if your first sentence is meant to mock me or not, but me writing that phrase to Jonathan was sincere and I hope it comes across that way. I don’t believe Jonathan’s comments are accurate. I know these men, I’m an elder in a church in the same town as the warhorn men. They’re good men who have fought the good fight of faith for many more years than me. Same as Mr. Wilson. I’m thankful for… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

” They’ve never said we’re “whole-heartedly following a corrupt government into whatever madness lies ahead.” That’s a false and slanderous thing to say. ”

He didn’t say that they’d stated that. He gave that as his analysis of their behavior. He might be wrong, and it might be inappropriate to speak on the topic if he isn’t informed on it (I have no idea if he is or isn’t), but it objectively isn’t slanderous.

Fredericka Lohr
Member

Jonathan, some people say King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem wore a silver mask on account of his leprosy. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, though the tomb was subsequently desecrated. Assuming he practiced appropriate social distancing, I’m not getting your visceral reaction. Like there’s something wrong with that?

Jsm
Guest
Jsm

The root issue relating to government mandates, as another commenter mentioned, is authority and obedience. The Warhorn folks believe the elected stewards of our constitutional republic are the civil authorities we should obey within limits. The Moscow folks believe the written laws of this constitutional republic are the supreme civil authority we should obey. The Moscow view is that when the written law and the steward are in conflict we must obey the written law to follow Romans 13. The Warhorn folks keep talking past the Moscow folks because they keep applying the Lord’s commands in Romans 13 to the… Read more »

Andrew Warner
Member
Andrew Warner

Your first point is spot on. That is where the rub is in all the discussions of masking and mandates across Reformedum and Evangelicalism. Many pastors and Christian leaders know Romans 13 well, but do not understand our constitution and government structure well at all. So they are giving authority to men and women who do not have the authority they think they have. Pastor Wilson, can you do another post clarifying this key difference. It seems only you folks and John MacArthur seem to understand this. Whether its Warhorn or IX Marks or the chaps at TGC, there is… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

“Many pastors and Christian leaders know Romans 13 well, but do not understand our constitution and government structure well at all. So they are giving authority to men and women who do not have the authority they think they have.”

Spot-on. This is the main issue.

gray
Guest
gray

“The Warhorn folks believe the elected stewards of our constitutional republic are the civil authorities we should obey within limits. The Moscow folks believe the written laws of this constitutional republic are the supreme civil authority we should obey.” 1. “…we should obey within limits” Please define those limits, and more importantly, the standard upon which that is assessed. 2. What either “believe” is irrelevant to the reality except in respect to who is maintaining the correct position. In a constitutional representative republic, are the civil authorities bound by the codified supreme law? The Constitution, which in the United States,… Read more »

gabe
Guest
gabe

I think the insight about which aspects of government are in focus between these two houses of worship is worth thinking about as far as their disputes goes, but applying that reasoning directly to Romans 13 is a distinction without a difference. The logic of the text does not make such a demarcation. In fact, it seems to have more to do with those real human rulers, for winning them over, in the same way the apostle Peter calls for submission to every authority in 1 Peter 2:13-21, even going so far as to bring in examples of slaves obeying… Read more »

Jane
Member

The “either masking is always, up to and including working with asbestos, an act of idolatry, or it never is,” is a poor argument. It also ungraciously entirely fails to interact with the substance of Wilson’s argument. I am sorry to see things being conducted at this level.

Kim
Guest
Kim

I really appreciate this post and I’m thankful for the clear thinking on all of these matters there at Christ Church.

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

Sigh. First, masks are to protect others, not yourself, ok? It seems that datum is too often ignored or altogether denied. Second, making masks optional does nothing to protect those who are afraid of contracting the virus from the unmasked. This too seems to be an obvious fact too often ignored, forgotten, or denied. Making masks optional means those wearing a mask want to protect others, not themselves. But it could also mean they want to set an example because if everyone wore a mask no one would ever, ever, ever get sick again and utopia would be here, Millenium… Read more »

Jonathan Epp
Guest
Jonathan Epp

Well, from up here in Canada I must say I see very little practical differences between Moscow and Warhorn. It seems that Pastor Bayly’s church will disobey if the song leader and pastor are required to mask up, whereas Christ Kirk sets that line at the parishioner level. There is a variety of justifications given, coming from more or less the same set of protestant convictions. That two bull elk (Wilson and Bayly) occasionally lock antlers should not concern us, it is evidence that the men are in proper fighting trim. This is how men and theological positions are sharpened… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Earnest question: does Christ Church forbid hats or have a have a dress code? If so, how is that not binding the conscience? If not, how do they police inappropriate or disrespectful clothing? Not trying to stir the pot, genuinely interested the difference. Thanks!

kyriosity
Member

Christ Church does not have a dress code.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Wanna bet?

kyriosity
Member

Sure, I’ll take your money!

Liam
Guest
Liam

Try sauntering into the sanctuary in a micro mini and a bikini top, wearing a mask.

kyriosity
Member

I didn’t say that I didn’t have a dress code. But you should come give that a try, Liam!

Liam
Guest
Liam

Of course you have a dress code, as all fine young ladies do.

If you think your church wouldn’t say anything to a lady so attired showing up, I’ll take that bet.

kyriosity
Member

A fine middle-aged lady, as a matter of fact.

You’re insisting on making judgments based on hypotheticals. I’ve no interest in playing that game. The bigger problem with your imaginary girl is what’s beneath her micro-mini and bikini top — straw.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

As much as it irks modern feminists and progressives, the Bible speaks clearly about modesty. Do you have a problem with that?

Liam
Guest
Liam

I’m all for modesty. Try to keep up.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

So you agree the elders (or deacons, priest, etc. depending on the church) should ask someone to put on more clothes before they enter the house of God? So what is the disagreement over? And what did I not keep up with?

Liam
Guest
Liam

Of course. That’s what I wrote. Read it again. I was simply making the point that her church does have a dress code. It may not be written down, but there is one. Do you disagree?

Like I’ve said numerous times, try to keep up!

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

Right, no, we’re all kept up. It just isn’t a very useful point. If someone asked me if I had any rules for my kids governing their use of spoons, I would say “no”, because that’s true. If one of them tried to gouge out the eyes of another with a spoon, I would obviously stop them. Pointing out that this is an “unwritten rule on spoons” is being pedantic to the point of absurdity. The clear and overwhelming implication in the statement is that there is no rule about spoons *unless the use of that spoons overlaps with another… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

Oh boy. Are you always this obtuse? Let me guess, you’re a New St. Andrews alum.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

I’m about a decade too old and three kids too busy to be a St. Andrews alum, but so far you’re 0-2 in responding to my comments with anything substantive. So congrats, you’re losing to the stay at home dad with no college degree.

Adam Spaetti
Guest
Adam Spaetti

Pastor Wilson, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how the comments of many of your defenders do not cause you to cringe, even gnash your teeth in some cases. You bear some responsibility for what people think you think, and I don’t see how some of their conclusions don’t horrify or at least embarass you. “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” Rom 14:22

gray
Guest
gray

What was your MOS?

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

As in the.Army?

Rob Slane
Guest

Dear Doug, I confess to being baffled by the reaction of so many Christians to all this. Most did not wear masks back in March, when the pandemic, such as it was, was at its height. And at that time, of course, Caesar cautioned against their use. Yet when the virus was shown by numerous studies to have an Infection Fatality Rate of 0.26% max (around that of a bad seasonal flu), and when it was on its way out, right at that point along came Caesar with no more Randomised Control Trial (RCT) studies than he had in March… Read more »

John Waller
Member

‘an affront to conscience at a visceral level’ The phrase perfectly sums up my own feelings ever since the masking mandate came in here in the UK. I have struggled to comply even for 30 minutes in a supermarket, so to enter worship masked was unthinkable to me from the beginning. It felt like an insult to the One who set me free to wear what I see as an instrument of bondage. Thank you for your clarity of thought, as always. Far from stirring up turmoil in the Church you have brought a measure of reassurance certainly to this… Read more »

Jane Deely
Member

I believe the position of personal freedom of conscience is the correct way to approach the mask issue. If you want to wear one, fine. I was attending church perfectly well until the mask mandates started. Then my church turned me away for refusing to wear a mask. Now, I am apart of the vulnerable population. I have 3 autoimmune conditions & would most likely not be asymptomatic. I’m not afraid of the virus and, to put it simply, I do not believe in the efficacy of masks. Nor did the CDC or WHO, for that matter, until it became… Read more »

kyriosity
Member

I disagree…about Doug looking like a chrysanthemum. More like Sam the Sheepdog from ye olde Looney Tunes cartoons.

Roger Ball
Guest
Roger Ball

Clap for the Wolfman!

Benjamin
Guest
Benjamin

If churches are going to mandate a dress code, why limit it to the face?

Michael Foster
Member

In Persecution in the Early Church, Herbert Workman expertly explains how state-led persecution sprung up through “red tape” regulations and on the basis that Christians were lawless rebels against the government. A few quotes: “But Julius Caesar, on political grounds, suppressed all [religious societies] except those of ancient origin, while Augustus placed all religious societies under the strictest control.” “The imperial idea that Christianity was a danger to the State and civilization itself, an anarchist institution, was maintained with varying insistence, some modification in detail, and occasional intervals of toleration, from the days of Nero to the final victory of… Read more »

Jane
Member

It is disheartening how often and how quickly Christians want to forward the argument that as long as an authority does not expressly and accurately articulate the gospel or an explicitly Christian creedal confession, and then expressly state that their goal is to quash it, the Church is not under any threat that we should beware of. But it NEVER starts that way. It didn’t even start that way with Jesus and the Pharisees.

Ken
Guest
Ken

I think Workman would be more relevant if only Christians or religious adherents were required to wear masks. I am much more convinced that rather than an attempt to suppress Christianity, the COVID reaction is more indicative of our lack of moral spirit – we’re a soft nation that has panicked. This is how government by soccer moms and the managerial class handles a crisis. I find it shameful and disastrous but am having a hard time finding animus towards churches in particular.

R.A. Crabtree
Member
R.A. Crabtree

My friend Doug, keep fighting. We need you and admire your courage. Thanks for this article.

Greg Laughlin
Guest
Greg Laughlin

For all those who believe that masks work, do you wear them in your home around the people you love the most? Do you limit your time with your spouse or children? If no, how do your arguments for masks not apply to yourself in those cases? Because if your honest, it’s about obedience to the state and not health or safety. Since Paul and Peter wrote the texts being quoted about obedience and both disobeyed the governing authorities, it at least opens the possibility of disobedience to governing authorities that is not a violation of those texts. If the… Read more »

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

I see two motives dominating church policy. One is cowardice, plain, and simple. The leadership is afraid of standing up to the state authorities. They hide behind Romans 13 and say things from the pulpit like, “They haven’t prohibited us from preaching the Gospel yet!”, leaving aside the fact they haven’t preached the Gospel for a long while – if ever. The second is they are in agreement with the strategy and see it as being to their advantage. You saw this when the social justice theme went viral shortly after lockdowns were imposed. This is part and parcel with… Read more »

Liam
Guest
Liam

Angus you shore got you one mighty fine superpowr . Yes sir. Youins the first genuwine long distance cowerd detector I ever hurt of. Did you come by it naturally like or did you have to pay money fer it? Is it sorta like divinin? Thars a feller two hollers over from me divines water. But he charges money to do it. Do youins charge to detect them cowerds?

David
Guest
David

Back in March, when I was thinking the death toll might be 10% fatalities (meaning 700 million worldwide and 32 million with America), I remember looking at my wife and saying, “I’m never going to wear a mask. This disease may come and kill us, but it will not find me afraid.” I equate wearing a mask with panicking because for myself it is also a visceral reaction. Its akin to someone who feels claustrophobic. I don’t think the people who wear masks have that same claustrophobic/panicky/visceral dislike. I think for them the mask is a security blanket that makes… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Didn’t the person in the mask say that last bit? e: no, it was Andre the Giant’s character. Fezzik apparently.

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Mr. Wilson, thank you for the reply to my letter to the editor this past Tuesday. I appreciated the true wisdom in your answer to my question, and pray for an easing of difficulty between myself and my dad/Father. I have been thinking about a joke that was made on twitter, I think, about burkas or burqas. Or niqab or hijab, I’m not sure the final style. As a woman, I feel different when my hair is covered–less proud, maybe–than when it is uncovered. Even binding in a ponytail is usually sufficient “covering.” This may not be every woman’s experience.… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

In reading these comments, it strikes me that wearing a mask or not wearing a mask has almost become a side issue. For some here, the central issue is that you’re not going to comply because it’s the civil magistrate who’s telling you to do it. And for those for whom that is the case (not saying everybody, but certainly that applies to some here), then Tim Bayly has it exactly right. Your issue is a rebellious spirit, and the Bible tells us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry. Whether or not… Read more »

kyriosity
Member

Perhaps this is the only article on masks that you’ve read here? If so, you might be excused for getting and unclear and incomplete picture. But Pastor Wilson has made it abundantly clear in other posts that he is perfectly willing to comply with the civil authorities when they are acting within their actual sphere of authority. I’m not going to attempt to rehash his surrounding arguments here, but I’d recommend that you scroll through the past few months’ worth of content, see for yourself, and withdraw your accusation, which violates the ninth commandment.

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

I wasn’t referring to Pastor Wilson’s article; I was referring to the comments here, some of which clearly do have a problem with civil authority. As I thought I made clear in my original comment.

kyriosity
Member

Apologies. I thought you were referring to Pastor Wilson’s comments in the post. I have only skimmed many of the comments, so while I did not see evidence of that rebellious spirit, perhaps I missed it.

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

You were clear, Mike. Some here should follow their own advice about reading.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

I’d be careful impugning motives (rebellious spirits) of brothers and sisters if you don’t really know their views. Andrew Warner nailed it in his comment. Despite how far we’ve drifted from it, we still live a Constitutional Republic. Our foundational document begins with “We the people.” We’re ultimately under the rule of law, not elected tyrants and unelected bureaucrats who have strayed very far from our founders’ intentions. As much as I’m opposed to looters on the streets, the biggest looters live in D.C. and do things they were never authorized to do.
https://tinyurl.com/y43oexx3

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

DCL, did you happen to notice Brother Steve’s comment that came in this morning shortly after mine? “Masks *could* have been recommended as a health precaution much as the government recommends people not smoke cigarettes. Big Left deselected that option and made a Baal out of it..” That’s not an objection to mask wearing; that’s an objection *to being told to wear a mask* by “the Left”. He’d probably be fine with it if it were a mere recommendation; he as much as says so. That’s not an attempt to parse what is and is not the proper role of… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

As with your initial comment, you skip over the small detail of showing the path to your conclusion. You just declare it. ” that’s an objection *to being told to wear a mask* by “the Left……….That’s not an attempt to parse what is and is not the proper role of the civil magistrate; that’s outright rebellion against the civil magistrate telling him what to do.” This is just objectively false. Saying that the mandate is being made by the Left is not in any way stating that the mandate is invalid *because they are the left*. You imagined that component… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

” For some here, the central issue is that you’re not going to comply because it’s the civil magistrate who’s telling you to do it. And for those for whom that is the case (not saying everybody, but certainly that applies to some here), then Tim Bayly has it exactly right. Your issue is a rebellious spirit, and the Bible tells us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry.” This is completely and totally irrational. You don’t even make any effort to show how you reach your conclusion. Simply because the objection is… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

“You first have to establish the authority of the figure you’re claiming they’re rebelling against.” Are you seriously disputing that Jay Inslee is in fact the civil magistrate (at least in Washington) and has the authority that a civil magistrate has? If you are disputing that, then have a nice day and I will go on to other things. If you’re not disputing that, then that statement is a red herring. The quibble is the extent of his authority, and not whether he has authority. Under normal circumstances, I would agree that Jay Inslee does not get to dictate your… Read more »

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

The scenario you describe calls to mind the adage of falsely crying wolf.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Mike, don’t worry about Justin. He’s seldom right but never in doubt.

Jeff Singletary
Guest

In counseling we would say masks are the presenting issue. So you are correct that masking is not the central issue. It is authority. When I read your reasoning, which comes across as quite wooden and simplistic, I understand where the statism accusation comes from. Where exactly is the line of compliance/non-compliance crossed? There have been discussions about this down through the history of the church; different cultures, different forms of government, different applications. When the conclusion is jumped to that those who disagree with your application are sinful as idolators and witches, it comes across as legalistic, judgmental and… Read more »

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

Counsellors are a scourge on humanity surpassed only by lawyers. No wonder, that, they’re both of the same cloth.

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

Jeff, the line of compliance/non-compliance is crossed when the civil magistrate tells us to do something God forbids. And so far, I haven’t seen even a semi-plausible argument that God forbids us to wear masks, either in worship or anywhere else. “But I don’t want to cover my face, which reflects the image of God.” My whole body reflects the image of God, so by that rationale we should show up to church buck naked. “But the regulative principle.” Well, the tabernacle didn’t have a roof, so I guess we just get rained on. And so on. And I didn’t… Read more »

Andrew Warner
Member
Andrew Warner

True. But the line is crossed by the civil magistrates when they require people to do something they are constitutionally prohibited from doing. This is the point Pastor Wilson has been trying to make for a few months now. It is not whether we obey or not obey. It is who we obey. Do we obey rogue governors or the constitution they swore (before God, mind you) to uphold? In the good ol’ US of A, our constitution is our authority. The rule of law as outlined there and the laws that flow from it are what we submit to.… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

Which specific constitutional provision does a mask mandate violate? Under our system of federalism, the states are free to do anything not prohibited to them by the Constitution. That’s the Tenth Amendment. So unless you can find a provision in the federal Constitution that prohibits it, the states can do it. There’s a separate question as to whether a specific state Constitution may contain something that prohibits mask requirements, but that would vary from state to state. And Constitutionally, I see mask mandates as analogous to building codes. The church is not being singled out, any more than it’s being… Read more »

Andrew Warner
Member
Andrew Warner

You are correct that the states have the authority in these matters. I am grateful that, for once, we have a federal government that recognizes this. Now, each state has its own constitution with degrees of authority granted to the executive branch in times of emergency (and what constitutes and emergency right now is a whole other discussion). I do not know and don’t care to take the time to look into all 50 of our states’ constitutions to identify who is and is not abusing authority. That being said, there are still general principles that apply and, I would… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Guest
Mike Freeman

I’m not an expert on Indiana law, but are you certain that there is nothing in either your state constitution or statutes that doesn’t authorize the governor to do what he did? Most state constitutions and statutes contain emergency provisions, and you might be surprised at what the governor can do once an emergency has been declared. Plus, if there really isn’t anything giving the governor that authority, I’d be shocked if there hasn’t already been litigation over it, given how litigation happy this country is. Respectfully, I think you may have fallen prey to the confirmation bias some are… Read more »

Andrew Warner
Member
Andrew Warner

And here we go again, making accusations of brothers and sisters in Christ without assuming the best of each other. Is confirmation bias a thing? Sure. Assuming that I am not aware of this or what my states laws and rights as a citizen are? Come on. Let’s continue to be fair and judicial and assume the best in each other. Indiana code does grant the Governor power to declare a state of emergency for 30 days due to a natural disaster. A disaster being defined as, “… an occurrenceor imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

This isn’t about masks, but about how far we’ve drifted from the Constitution and how our system is supposed to operate.
https://newswithviews.com/covid-19-and-three-discontinuities-of-government/

Jeff Singletary
Guest

I had a friend who was a missionary to the Netherlands. I’d asked him why the country, once a stalwart Christian nation, had fallen so far into godlessness. One of the things he said was that the churches complied during the rise of Fascism. They came to a place where, as he put it, the church was no longer a safe place. They were seen as an arm of the government. The reason I am attracted to Doug’s position is that he seems to at least try to understand the immediate and long term impact of the current situation. His… Read more »

dchammers
Member

Well said Mike. Reading through this entire thread, you make the most cogent argument.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

He’s quick to accuse others of rebellious spirits and confirmation bias, but has a very wooden and limited understanding of applying Rom. 13 in a constitutional republic. That doesn’t meet the “most cogent” qualifications in my book.

Christopher
Member
Christopher

The important question about authority is if the civil magistrate does not have the authority to mandate mask wearing who does? I put that authority in the hands of the family, rather than civil magistrate or church.

Joseph Spurgeon
Guest

I maintain that it would be beneficial to the church in America and to the relationship between the two fellowships involved if Pastor Doug Wilson and Pastor Tim Bayly would have a public audio/video conversation on this topic. Both groups have good platforms to host it. It would be good to hear the real time back and forth. Please make it happen.

David Pryor
Guest
David Pryor

As someone who once belonged to one of those two fellowships, I can confidently say, “It ain’t gonna ever happen.”

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

Yeah! PPV, baby!

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

The mask has become a secular burqa, a mandatory emblem of the dominion of Big Left. Masks *could* have been recommended as a health precaution much as the government recommends people not smoke cigarettes. Big Left deselected that option and made a Baal out of it. And you don’t even have to be a Christian to object to that.

Fredericka Lohr
Member

The Trump administration recommends mask use without mandating it. Do you think they are Big Left, or is this helpful advice that should be carefully considered?

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Fredericka, I live in North Carolina under a governor who is most assuredly a card-carrying member of Big Left. This is the guy who prevented Trump from bringing the GOP convention to Charlotte under color of COVID-19 fears. And yes, he has mandated the use of masks statewide here. The vast majority of churches don’t even hold services in North Carolina. In addition, I have friends who are quite liberal in their views. The amount of passion they have on this issue goes way, way beyond any legitimate health concerns. It’s definitely a “Baal.” Rebels from the subversive tribe No-Mask… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

” If they could send deputies to perform a facial smackdown on you across the hood of your car, they would do it in a flash — the hostility is that intense.”

Don’t give them any ideas. If they defund your police, they may send the Brown Shirts from Antifa/BLM to do the job. They have plenty of practice doing that type of thing.
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/08/ny-post-victim-blames-man-nearly-beat-death-blm-rioters-posted-anti-george-floyd-meme-facebook/

Fredericka Lohr
Member

Sounds like he’s got nothing on Janet Mills here in Maine. I think she’s Josef Stalin’s baby sister. But the question of mask mandates and how vigorously they should be enforced is a separate question from whether masks work to prevent disease spread. They do work. When they asked the sailors on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt whether they wore a mask, they found that correlated with how likely they were to have gotten it.

John
Member

Please look at the research regarding masks that is from pre 2020. The problem laymen and the media have is that they often do not distinguish between the different kinds of cloth masks. There is the type worn in a hospital where individuals have been trained in their proper use. These are, hopefully, changed quite frequently and should be considered protective for only a relatively short period of time. Even with these precautions there are still 100K nosocomial deaths every year. The other type of cloth mask is the mask we usually see people wearing in public. Usually made from… Read more »

Fredericka Lohr
Member

John, if you look into the various materials available, the blue shop cloths they sell at auto supply stores have excellent filtration properties. A couple of layers of those will make your home-made cloth mask very effective. The best evidence of what
works against this particular disease was compiled, I would expect, after the disease existed not before.

Jane
Member

The size and permeability of viruses do not vary significantly enough to matter which viral diseases you’re taling about when it comes to mask utility, and the ability to permeate of respiratory droplets and the properties of various mask materials do not vary at all over time, so really decades of research would trump a couple of months’ worth.

Fredericka Lohr
Member

Are you under the impression that decades worth of research runs against mask use? Usually with anti-maskers you see the same handful of cherry-picked dissenting opinions over and over: like the Canadian dentist, the Japanese health care workers, etc.

Jane
Member

I’m not an anti-masker (except perhaps by a very strict hyper-pro-mask definition) and I don’t know what the research says. I’ve seen a lot of conflicting reports and I’m not qualified to judge between them My point is only that there is no factor that could make research specific to this situation produce a result different from what research throughout the long history of mask wearing would already have produced. This virus doesn’t behave differently from other viruses in any respect that would affect its transmission or lack thereof through a mask, and the physics and chemistry of respiration, coughing,… Read more »

Ree
Guest
Ree

If your information is correct, then what you mean by masks “working” is that they protect the wearer. The argument for mask mandates is that they protect everyone else. But if masks protect the wearer, then great—let people decide for themselves if they want to be protected.

Fredericka Lohr
Member

Ree, they protect both the sender and the recipient, the one from transmitting, the other from receiving. Two hair stylists in Missouri tested positive, back in May, but they were found to have infected no one. Both wore masks. If both sender and recipient are masked, the risk of disease transmission is very small. If recipient alone is masked, he receives far more than zero percent protection, although far less than 100 percent.

soylentg
Member

Wow. Just wow. Only 6 hours earlier Fredericka said that “Usually with anti-maskers you see the same handful of cherry-picked dissenting opinions over and over …”, but now she is offering two hair stylists in Missouri as proof of the effectiveness of masks. That doesn’t even add up to a handful of cherry picked dissenting opinions, but then, who’s counting?

Fredericka Lohr
Member

Soylentg, I mistook Jane’s view, I thought she was an anti-masker. I think it’s pretty remarkable that somebody with an illness that’s spread by breathing in another person’s exhalations can bend over customers, getting in their face, yet not spread the illness at all. If you’ve got that capacity, why not use it?

Liam
Guest
Liam

Ms. Lohr,

I appreciate your attempts to educate and inform. But for a few exceptions, this crowd isn’t interested in facts. Their chief aim is to be chronically offended. Their modus operandi involves camels and gnats, and fun house mirror logic.

Liam
Guest
Liam

I’m sure by now you realize that logic, reasoning, and love are not in this crowd’s skill set. It’s a downright shame.

Ron Nordin
Guest
Ron Nordin

Liam, are you this annoying in person?

Liam
Guest
Liam

comment image

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

Gotta hand it to ya, Liam, that was well played. Good one.

Liam
Guest
Liam

That was the most flattering picture I could find that wasn’t XXX-rated or didn’t have him hanging all over Jeff Epstein.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

I’m sure such pictures of Clinton exist.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Probably. What’s your point? Clinton’s a rightfully disgraced former POTUS. Trump’s a rightfully disgraced sitting POTUS.

Mert Nixon
Guest
Mert Nixon

Dear Liam, God loves you with all His heart! Jim Wilson wrote a wonderful book. “How to be Free from Bitterness.” God bless you.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Mert,

Thank you for your concern. While I’m certainly not a Calvinist, an evangelical in its current manifestation, or a fundamentalist, I’m very grateful for God’s unfailing love for you, me, and everyone else in this beautiful world.

No bitterness here, just a lot of amusement and incredulity. Stay safe and mask up!

Jeremy Vander Galien
Member
Jeremy Vander Galien

Dear Doug (and Toby), Thanks for the explanations above and in the comments below. We’re in rural, Northern WI and haven’t had much impact from the virus itself while the shut-downs have caused quite a bit of damage in the form of businesses closing, no funerals for those who have died, etc. WI has had the protection of the state Supreme Court clamping down on our Gov’s overreach with an unending safe-at-home order. However, earlier this month Gov. Ever’s did issue a statewide, indoor mask-mandate. Because we (elders and pastors of our church where I’m the senior pastor) see that… Read more »

Brent Kelly
Guest
Brent Kelly

I just wanted to say thanks to you guys for the bible reading plans that you are putting out. The plans are challenging, but reasonable to keep up with. The introductions to each book on Spotify have been very helpful as well. On a similar note, i have supplemented my bible reading for years by listening to the Thru the Bible program with Dr. Vernon McGee. Do you have any thoughts on his teaching/theology?

Eric Rasmusen
Member
Eric Rasmusen

There are a number of issues here. One is whether masks do any good. That’s really a topic for a secular forum. A second one is the set of church v. state issues: can the state require churchgoers to wear masks? That’s a top for here, but it’s not the most important topic. Third is the important one: do church leaders have authority to require people to wear masks, or to forbid masks, or do they not have the authority and are wrongly binding consciences if they have a mask policy. I’d like to encourage everyone to focus on this… Read more »

Andrew Warner
Member
Andrew Warner

While I like your analogy and would love for it to be a one-to-one comparison, that is not where the mask discussion has landed, unfortunately. The requirement to wear masks for many people exists in a moral category where, at best, it is unloving to not wear a mask and, at worst, down-right deadly. Also, it has been moralized to the point where not wearing a mask is considered having a rebellious spirit toward the government and therefore to God. These are serious accusations to make against a person. While I’m sure in some extreme fundamentalists circles this may have… Read more »

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

May I suggest that if the Gospel was reliably preached, the church wouldn’t be having the difficulties you cite to the extent you imply and instead would be facing the issue in a way Grace To You is.

Zeph
Guest

Let’s change the topic. For the pro mask crowd., how do you react when you see someone sans mask who has been identified or self identifies as medically exempt.? Real part of this issue.

Elisabeth
Member

What if the church is impotent? Does God want people to go underground? What about the assembling of saints?
Sitting under a woman preacher or salesman preacher is deplorable!
So, the alternative is the Lutheran church where they preach homilies every Sunday…yet seem on the cusp of reformed yet faithful preachers may be pressured to capitulate to the mob?
Where to worship? I really like this church but they won’t let me become a member. Isn’t membership important?
Ugh.

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

Yikes! We need Jane to answer this one.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Elsabeth, The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

The rector and her wife would love to have you join! And pets and pagan relatives are welcome at the Eucharist. Ironically, the way the ECUSA has treated some continuing Anglican churches who have tried to break free is some of the least tolerant and loving behavior imaginable, though.

Liam
Guest
Liam

JP,

I didn’t know you are an Episcopalian. Now as you know, since you’re an Episcopalian, the ECUSA didn’t prevent any parish from leaving. I’m curious why you haven’t left.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Not ECUSA…no chance of that. I’m talking about how litigious ECUSA is, though.
https://virtueonline.org/la-crescenta-ca-church-fights-building

Liam
Guest
Liam

Now Barn,

How any times have I told you not to go commenting about things you don’t understand? It’s simple. The parishioners in TEC don’t own the church property.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Try to keep up.

If 70% of Christ Church membership voted to fire Doug Wilson and his elders and leave the CREC to join another organization, do you think he would hand over the keys to that portion of his kingdom and walk away quietly?

Ron Nordin
Guest
Ron Nordin

So, if and when Caesar declares a day when we don’t need to wear masks, do all the mask wearing proponents just stop wearing masks? Or do they suppose it would be unloving to unmask because they could still transmit the virus (or any virus) that could kill someone even though they have no symptoms?

Here in Wisconsin the governor picked the magical day of September 28th as the end of the state mask mandate. Let’s say he for some reason does not extend the order. Now what?

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

That’s the day Liam moves to Canada…or Venezuela.

Liam
Guest
Liam

August,

Prophecy! You’ve added to your arsenal of gifts. It should work well with your gift of cowardice detection. Attaboy.

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

Thank you, Liam. That means a lot, coming from you.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Bless your heart.

Jeff Singletary
Guest

This goaded me on the other end. A while back the governor or the mayor were going to institute mask mandates. The order was to take effect in a week. If they were such a crucial tool for the prevention of the virus why wait a week?

bryan
Guest
bryan

A mask is the least of my worries in terms of obstacles to worship. I’m still dealing with my sometimes jacked-up heart and mind. This past Sunday, our church finally opened up. We RSVP’d and had our masks. We were turned away at the door, dressed in our Sunday best, because we arrived 10 min late (kids). Our tardiness provided enough time for the non-RSVPers to rush into the sanctuary and fill it to social-distanced capacity. The non-RSVPers had been lurking in the “overflow” room, where RSVP’s aren’t required. God bless em’! They offered us the overflow room but we… Read more »

Augus Tinian
Member
Augus Tinian

Thank you so much, bryan! That story just warms my heart.

Liam
Guest
Liam

That’s the spirit. May your tribe increase! I bet you get a LOT of upvotes. That first one is mine.

AZet5
Guest
AZet5

Pastor Wilson thank you for another great display of loving your neighbor amongst controversy while still swinging at the dragon. I am still not clear on where you are out of line in this mask controversy according to Warhorn. I would like to point out a fallacy in your ministry though. Church planting is your all’s weakness up ‘er. Because if I attended any of the churches in my town there would be more Liams in your comment section and maybe a few more blogposts trying to keep you in line. I’m down here in AZ with my face cooking… Read more »

We Be Libtards
Guest
We Be Libtards

We excommunicated the last dude with the temerity to say “but Doug Wilson said…” Ain’t had so much as a hint of that kind of trouble since then either, let me tell ya.

Chris Marr
Member
Chris Marr

I do appreciate the clarification about the visceral reaction because that never crossed my mind. My own visceral reaction is to think that man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart so a mask does not hinder true worship in any way. I thought that the whole reaction against masks was really a reaction against government overreach coupled with the nuisance factor and quoting that verse about unveiled faces was stated tongue in cheek.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

The Troll Formerly Known as Clay Crouch: did you miss this part? “Attorney Eric Sohlgren, who represents St. Luke’s, has been involved in three recent cases that involved similar lawsuits against parishes that left the diocese. The courts ruled in favor of the individual churches in all three cases, he said.” I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer, Clay, nor do you play one on TV. This isn’t quite as simple as you’re trying to make it.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Easy, Tiger. I’m guessing your reading comprehension is on a 3rd grade level. The case is being appealed. Did you miss that part?

I hope the parishioners get to keep their property.

Liam
Guest
Liam

Barn,

How you doing on that that Doug Wilson thought experiment assignment? I tried to keep it simple for you.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Clay, you’re earning your reputation as the drive-by shotgun poster of the century. Congratulations or something. However, your projection-deflection-ad hominem formula is beyond stale. You’re the one who didn’t understand the complexities involved with your sue-happy denomination. Thus the poor reading and overall comprehension award goes to you. I don’t have time to reply to 15 comments a day, so this will suffice on this issue. I see your DW obsession goes beyond this site. I assume you’re retired or have a 4-hour work week gummint job?
http://moscowid.net/2018/01/25/the-husband-is-responsible-for-all-the-problems/

Brendan
Guest
Brendan

I could be wrong, but I’m otherwise glad that this in house war about masking among US Evangelicals hasn’t been reported this side of the Atlantic—yet!

It would hugely undermine the gospel if it were to make the press.

Anti-maskers please listen: you are not being persecuted—not for Christ nor the gospel.

You are just being mildly inconvenienced.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

“I could be wrong”….”You are just being mildly inconvenienced.” Yes to the first statement and no to the last one. 1) I know people who haven’t attended a live church worship service in 5 months. That’s way more than a mild inconvenience. 2) Watch the guy in this video. He’s right on both the affect shutdowns have had on small businesses and the dehumanizing effects of a long-term mask-wearing, social-distancing society (this was only supposed to last for a month or less, or so we were told) https://www.dailywire.com/news/viral-video-veteran-tells-california-county-lockdown-protests-arent-going-to-be-peaceful-much-longer-our-families-are-starving?fbclid=IwAR3WumC6fet4fTxsjZrkfI_z9yKok2IdhGnJFn0cC00tUCG4PbMn9g6FDnQ 3) The mask hysteria could lead to very questionable U.S. election results… Read more »

Anonymous to avoid prejudice
Guest
Anonymous to avoid prejudice

I see Warhorn as a particular kind of homeschooling father from the late 80’s. He is bold, brave, and visionary. He stands contra mundum, and in a world gone mad that is something for which to be grateful. But the strain of fending off wolves has rendered him over-protective and generally distrusting about everyone around him. And let’s be honest, at first it wasn’t so bad. Little Jimmy didn’t mind (or even know any better) when Papa moved them all out to rural Arkansas to homestead off the grid. But now that Little Jimmy is Big Jimmy he wants to… Read more »

AS
Guest
AS

Thanks for this article, as others have noted, this is quite helpful. In our municipality there is a Bylaw in effect which requires mandatory masks in Church. The Church is required to post notices of the requirement for mandatory masks, and technically they are supposed to ‘ask anyone to leave who is not wearing a mask’. This adds an additional layer to the issue, where now mask wearing becomes a matter of ‘submission to the powers that be’. This takes the matter of conscience from ‘loving your neighbor’ to ‘submission to authority’. I still see the issue for the Church… Read more »