The Israelites repeatedly fell into a pattern of idolatry which led to a pattern of receiving God’s judgement on their nation in the Old Testament. We don’t make idols or offer sacrifices to idols today-or do we? Idolatry is when you exchange something for God. It can also be thought of as elevating something above God. It’s placing your affection or trust in something above God-having disordered affections.
The emergence of Covid 19 has exposed our many idols and has become a national idol that has penetrated the church itself. Modern Day Idolatry Penetrating The Church
1. Modern medicine and science instead of scripture have become the ultimate authority instead of God’s word on matters of life. The medical community has the unholy power to end your life, stop your life, force a vaccine, remove you from your family, remove you from society, and many other things. Why? Because we have elevated the medical communities faulty beliefs above God’s Word and that is a rejection of God Himself.
When is a person a person? God answers that countless times in scripture (Psalm 139 and 22 to name a few)-but many in the church reject God’s clear answer in the Bible to justify abortion-which is absolutely modern day child sacrifice.
It comes down to who do you trust? As hostility towards things of God ramp up in the US it’s becoming more obvious who actually trusts God and who trusts corrupted idols such as science and medicine. This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One… “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)
2. The idolatry of 24/7 cradle to the grave global masking is part of that idolatry. Now I’m not saying people don’t have liberty in this matter or that being forced to wear one in school or a job is wrong, but this is not a neutral or benign spiritual issue at all.
There is nothing in all of creation like the human face-the Bible is not silent on this. Part of being made in God’s image is reflecting God’s glory (2 Cor. 3:18) through the face and this happens over and over in the Bible (Matt 17, Acts 6, Ecc 8, Ex 34 and more). God created the face unique and is the part of the body made to behold. We don’t gaze at someone’s shin to see what emotion they might be feeling-the face is what God gave us. So covering the unique beauty and complexity of the face and replacing it with a cold sterile image takes away from not only being made in the image of God, but reflecting God’s glory. It takes away from what makes man made in God’s image-making him different and above the animals. It’s a tactice that reduces and dehumanizes-just as they dehumanize with abortion. In Islamic cultures that mask women it in effect eliminates women. It reduces their role in society to simply what the men want it to be.
The human soul is a spiritual part of a person that shines through their face. A person’s countenance (Acts 6) is what God used to testify against those who would murder Stephen. He’s countenance was that of an angel as he was dying; he cried out for God not to lay this sin to their charge. What they saw in his face was to convict them of the wrong they were doing.
It’s the primary source of how we identify people. It is the organ of emotion. It’s critical to a person’s emotional and psychological development. If a baby or young child is deprived of a mother’s face for a time it will become inconsolable. This will continue until the baby is able to see the mother’s face. We are told to seek God’s face countless times in scripture and this instinct is how God created us to seek each other’s face (3 John, Acts 20, among others).
The universal masking of society diminishes what was made to reflect God’s glory. Whatever covid 19 actually is it has exposed who people trust. I thought sports were our nation’s biggest idol-but turns out it’s actually so called medicine or science. When we allow this idolatry to corrupt and alter the scope and nature of worship and service to God-that is a dangerous place. Judgement will start at the house of God and we should be certain that we are not found to be worshipping false idols in our day of visitation. That would be far more frightening and devastating any virus.
How should we respond to evil governments? We know that the Bible often tells us to Fear the Lord and follow him. We need to be on God’s side of a response. Let’s start by looking at various situations and scriptures.
First off, in America as Christians to follow the government means we are on the side of the constitution and the governing documents. Those founding documents give us religious freedom and right to life. Easy application that both slavery and abortion are in violation of the constitution and those items line up with scripture. Those forces wishing to overthrow and destroy our constitution and government have taken control of almost every area of American life. So while evil government that violates it’s own constitution has taken hold-I believe we are bound to first obey God and second our rightful government (the constitution).
The reasons why it could be right for a Christian to civilly disobey, separate, flee, resist, or secede from an evil government.
A few key starting notes
1. God’s law is above man’s law. If a government commands or forces us to violate God’s law we cannot follow. Some examples could be demands to stop preaching against homosexuality, commands for pastors to have to perform such marriages (in the US has happened), commands that would force doctors to encourage or perform abortions, commands to stop preaching the gospel, etc. Scriptural examples of these are many. Peter, Paul, and the apostles continued to preach when told not to. Daniel continued to pray and worship God when the government told him it was against the law. These verses come after the apostles had been arrested for refusing to stop preaching the gospel.
Acts 5:28-29 saying, e“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you fintend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, g“We must obey God rather than men.
2. Secondly, God instituted government for our good. The institution of government is always good-while those in power of government are often evil. It’s always right to operate within the laws to try to make the government more godly. Where things get tricky is how people have and should understand this second point. I believe we should consider that God has given Christians options that can all be glorifying to Him in many situations. I draw this conclusion by numerous accounts in scripture of conflict with government and the many different responses that God ordained or allowed. Additionally to this end, Ecclesiastes 3 states.
For everything there is a season, and la time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to mdie;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to nweep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to odance;
8 a time to love, and a time to whate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Those verses indicate that God allows for a time and a season for nearly everything. Let’s look at a few points.
We should seek to put Godly people in power or people who will uphold justice. God is against lawlessness. Government is to bring wrath on those who practice evil.
Exodus 18:21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. (Additionally Deut 1:15-16)
Romans 13:4 …But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, tan avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer
We are generally to obey rulers (Titus 3:1, Remind them to be subject to rulers….additionally Romans 13 among others), but God is ultimately opposed to evil rulers. (Isaiah 1:23-26, Isaiah 10:1-3)
Protection of an innocent life in defiance of the government is described as faith and this was done by defying and hiding from the government. Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the kings edict.
God appears to want people to intercede in times of injustice and oppression. We are to defend the oppressed, poor, needy, weak, and vulnerable.
Isaiah 59:15b-16a The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
Psalm 82:3-4 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
This application seems to surely apply to something like mask mandates, vaccine mandates, or unlawful lockdowns. Our body is God’s temple and we are to protect the health of our families. If we are convicted and believe that the masks, vaccines, or lockdowns would do harm to our bodies or families whom we are to protect-we I conclude it’s our responsibility to obey God rather than government and not willingly comply with those orders that would be harmful. The believes on where the line is will vary, but let everyone be fully convinced in his own mind as Paul sais and there is plenty of evidence it’s possible those mandates are very harmful to both our bodies and our families.
Self defense has many Biblical examples. This includes defense of homes, families, cities, and peoples. This goes hand in hand with the right to bear arms. The Jews weren’t the ruling class but they were allowed to fight to protect themselves from genocide in the book of Esther. I think we would also be allowed and responsible to fight to protect our families from genocide.
Esther 8: 11 …the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included,
Esther 9:16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder.
In Esthers time the people had permission from the government to defend themselves from conflicting orders much as in our time (evil leaders vs rightful constitutional law).
Proverbs 24:11A Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
Additionally, Isaiah 1:23, Isaiah 28:6 speak to these ideas. Abram had no problem rescuing Lot and his people with force (Genesis 14:13-16). In Luke 22:36, Jesus advised His disciples to take swords along with their other provisions. Exodus 22:2, also indicates it is okay to use self-defense.
Nehemiah also had the permission from the king-just as American’s are on the side of the constitution. Nehemiah had local authorities conspiring and perverting justice and had to resist. They took up arms to defend their work and even migrated into one area together. They weren’t overthrowing the entire kingdom-they were preserving their people. This example could be the best Biblical example and closest to America. In Esther they were given permission to rise up and defend against a Jewish genocide. What would it look like today? Secession? Migration to one area? Seperation?
Neh 4:13-14 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears,and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
They attempted to scare Nehemiah but he did not flee. In Chapter 7 the people return to the city and basically migrate or immigrate to the same region. The moved to the same region for reasons of strength and protection. They continue to rebuild and they begin returning to God’s law by reading the law in the public gathering.
Was the American Revolution a violation of Romans 13:1-7?
It’s important to understand that many of those supporting the Revolutionary War were deeply religious and felt biblically justified. Some today say they were wrong in this belief, but they knew their scriptures better than almost all American church leaders today and they may have been right: The colonists supported God’s institution of government. They believed that actions against a specific oppressive government were not a violation of the general principle of Romans 13. The colonists saw the war as a defensive action. Peaceful resolution was attempted before the British fired upon unarmed citizens in the Boston Massacre. The colonists, therefore, saw themselves as defending themselves after the conflict had been initiated by the British.
In scripture we see different responses to evil government. Paul fled. Jesus instructed his disciples in Matt 10 to flee from persecution from one city to the next. So from fleeing, defying, resisting, and even overthrowing. It depended on what God’s purpose was. Sometimes he ordained war, defense, etc. Other times such as in Ezekiel’s time he told Israel to not fight back because he was against them and judging them and if they resisted they would fall to the sword. If they went into captivity God would spare their life.
Where are we now in America? How should we apply Biblical principles to our situation? Ultimately God will not allow any action to succeed if it doesn’t fall within his greater plan and purpose. I conclude it falls within biblical guidance to do what is needed to attempt to protect and preserve families, the body of believers, and communities. Even if Christ does not return till the end-after a time of tribulation it appears Jesus gathers a remnant of survivors from the earth. We can seek to be survivors while we are faithful in teaching the gospel to our children and those around us. We can take actions in good conscience and good faith while leaving the outcome of any efforts in God’s hands.
Consider the miracle of the Bible. Written by 40 writers over a span of 60 generations in 3 languages and yet manages to present a perfectly cohesive unfolding story of redemption. The Bible is excluded from the NYT best seller list because it would always be on top. Over 6 billion Bibles are currently in print in over 2,000 languages. A tiny drop of the overwhelming evidence supporting the truth of the Bible is below.
The Bible was written by men claiming to be speaking for God with the phrase “Thus saith the Lord” appearing over 3,000 times. We have over 24,000 ancient copies of portions of the new testament. The next closest historical document is 643. The Bible accurately reports history down to the exact details. Top secular archeologists report the Bible is the single most accurate and important historical document in their field. It has helped identify countless archeological finds. An astonishing 50,000 plus archeological finds verify the people, places, and events of scripture down to exact details.
Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies some of which were incredibly detailed. After Jesus death, burial, and resurrection he was seen by at least 552 people over 40 days. His disciples and followers choose to speak on the matter and face horrible executions for refusing to deny his resurrection. How many people do you know that would willingly die a horrible death for something they knew was a lie? They died for the truth. The Bible is alive and continues to shine truth into the hearts of it’s readers today. Those in the world of science are constantly turned back to the Creator.
Earth hangs on nothing (not built on pillars) (Job 26:7)
ANTHROPOLOGY: The Bible claims that all humans are “one blood” descended from one man and one woman (Acts 17:26; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20). Some nineteenth-century biologists argued that different races descended from lower animals, but today genetics has verified that there is only one human race.
BIOLOGY: The Bible claims that God created animals “after their kind.” Nineteenth-century biologists argued that animals evolved from other, very different animals, but today biology confirms that creatures reproduce within their own kind.
GEOLOGY: The Bible claims that God destroyed the earth and the creatures inhabiting it in the worldwide Flood. Nineteenth-century geologists argued that rock layers and the fossils found in them were formed as sediments were deposited slowly, but today geology confirms that many rock layers were deposited catastrophically, burying fossils within only minutes or hours.
A recent 2020 Gallup poll identified that abortion was the issue that most divided liberals from the conservatives. Not only is this a constitutional issue (right to life)-this is an authority issue. Do you believe God’s Word is the ultimate authority and or do you look elsewhere for that authority? What does God consider human life (Jer. 1:5, Job 31:15, Psalm 139:13-16, Ex 20:13). Most divisive issues in this country come down to conflicts with God’s word as authority on any given subject. This is why Christians are viewed as a target that must be squashed or removed to achieve a godless revolution.
Jesus did not promise peace to us now on earth-He brought peace between us and God through his sacrifice on the cross. In fact in Matthew he tells us that the Gospel and His word will divide people.
Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’senemies will be those of his own household. 37…38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Our founding fathers recognized God as the ultimate authority and with many of our country rejecting that-it’s no wonder they reject our founding principles of freedom and liberty. They choose to enslave themselves to another master to their own destruction. When confronted with the uncomfortable truth of the Bible you have to choose to forsake your sin and agree with God or cling to your sin and reject God. So many want to ride the fence-and claim a different “interpretation” while holding hands with the Bible and the world at the same time. However, scripture is clear on all the important things we need to know.
2 Peter 1:20 – knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
I have witnessed many times when people are confronted with what God actually said about a matter-they read it themselves and realize it’s painfully clear. At that moment I have sadly seen them reject God and His word outright because it doesn’t align with their desires and thinking on issues of morality, sexuality, truth, salvation, or daily living. Until Christ returns this is a spiritual war for the truth and we are trying not to eliminate our opponents as they do to us, but to show them the truth that they might be saved.
Budda “I’m still search for the truth” (end of his life)
Mohammed “I am in need of forgiveness”
Jesus: I am the way, the truth, and the life” “It is finished”
Is social distancing or other mandates such as masks compatible with scripture?
1. Social distancing, gathering restrictions, and forced shutdown mandates grant the government power over the church. Christ is Lord over and head of the church-not the civil government (Matt 22:21). The government is not to make rules for the church and when the church complies without a fight it emboldens and fuels further tyranny and persecution. Matt 22:21 says give to Caesar what is his (taxes, etc) but give to God what is His…the church, worship, etc. Does social distancing or any other mandate arise to the level of affecting a church body’s usefulness, integrity, fellowship, worship, and ministry. I would submit that social distancing rises to that level as outlined below.
2. Long term shut down orders banning or restricting gatherings of believers cannot be followed and still be considered in line with scripture (Heb 10:25, Acts 2:42, Acts 2:46). Additionally, self isolation is not considered wise (Proverbs 18:1).
3. Social distancing was not applied in the ministry of Jesus. He touched (healing, foot washing, etc). He walked with others, ate with others, and taught crowds. This is despite the fact that disease outbreaks were a threat then, too. (Matt 8:3, Matt 17:7, Matt 20:34, Luke 5:13, Luke 22:51 are a few). Possibly the only example of social distancing is scripture applies to lepers-but not to healthy people.
4. Social distancing discourages loving one’s neighbor. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27). Is social isolation and distancing really in line with the ideas of loving the brethren and fellowship with the brethren in the NT? Government has been clear that what started as 15 days to slow the spread is now the “new normal” for the foreseeable future. The Bible seems to suggest the opposite of social distancing with the body of believers.
5. Social distancing reinforces a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7 and Matt 10:28). The fear of catching disease can easily deter people from attending church and fellowship with other Christians. Fear of the Lord should be emphasized and what example are we setting for our children to live in such fear? God did not give us a spirit of fear-that is not from the Lord. Social distancing divides and conquers the church community. It causes us to view one another with suspicion-as dangerous disease spreaders that must be kept at a distance.
6. Social distancing is social engineering. We are being trained to behave more like herd animals, easily controlled by the state. In short, we are being trained into total compliance to a godless state. However, we must only give total compliance to the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 10:5). We must not be mind-controlled; as Scripture says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a).
7. Social distancing is an admission of inconsistency. The churches don’t enforce social distancing for the flu or other such diseases. Why the sudden shift? We should be the beacons of truth and consistency. Bereans should not embrace whatever we are told automatically in the face of inconsistency-but should search the scriptures.
8. Social distancing impedes church attendance, fellowship, and impedes spreading the gospel. When interaction is minimized so are opportunities of witness and ministry. We are being trained to operate as if the temporal world is more important than the eternal things of Christ. (John 12:25)
9. Social distancing negatively impacts child development and creates socially stunted adults who operate more like machines than humans. We have many parental instructions as parents to raise our children with great care (Eph. 6:4).
10. Colossians 2:23 – These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
Masks and self severity has no value-especially when there is virtually no danger (masks, social distancing). It’s dehumanizing, discouraging normal human interaction, despite the fact that God designed us in His image. Lost and hidden are positive and needed smiles, facial expressions, hugs, positive physical interactions, etc.
The more oppressive this evil system becomes the more clear it appears to conflict with Biblical Christianity.
After the Japanese decimated our fleet in Pearl Harbor they could have sent their troop ships directly to California. Our Chief of Staff said we would not be able to stop a massive invasion until they reached the Mississippi River.
After the war, the Japanese generals and admirals were asked that question. Their answer….they knew almost every home had guns and the Americans knew how to use them.
The world’s largest army is America ‘s hunters! There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin. It would be the eighth largest army in the world. More than Iran, France, and Germany. 750,000 hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan ‘s 700,000. comprise the largest army in the world. Texas would be the largest standing army in the world by it’s self.
Hunting and Americans with guns — it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.
Public gatherings to read bibles: Banned in some states
It is believed that modern persecution of Christians is currently at the highest levels in world history. It’s estimated that around 160,000 Christians are murdered for simply being a Christian each year. In the US this week a BLM protest in Portland that included virtually no people of color started burning bibles. What does protesting police brutality and racism have to do with burning bibles?
What realities might we soon be looking forward to in this “new normal”? We can look elsewhere on the globe where trends with the same ideas led to severe persecution. Voice of the Martyrs identifies 52 countries where bibles are (1) difficult/dangerous to obtain, (2) illegal or highly restricted, and (3) strictly illegal and only available through covert smuggling.
In North Korea owning a bible or professing to be a Christian is a death sentence. It’s estimated that at any one time there are 70,000 Christians in concentration camps for the sole reason of being a suspected Christian or a family member of a Christian. In North Korea documented incidents against Christians include being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, and herded off bridges.
In Somalia you can be executed for just being suspected of being a Christian. Persecution can’t stop Christianity from spreading-in fact it has always led to it’s spread. Could it really get that bad in America? History has shown that once communist, socialist, dictatorships, or islamic oppression takes control of a nation and their government things spiral very rapidly. These true stories depict what Christians often face in these hostile countries.
How are we to respond to persecution should it come to our doorstep?
2 Thessalonians 2:15 – So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
Revelation 13:10 – If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the goodFight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Deuteronomy 28 outlines in great detail blessings and curses for nations based on their faithfulness to God or lack of. Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…that was probably true about America at one time, but not currently.
Ezekiel 14: 12-16 And the word of the LORD came to me: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it ….and cut off from it man and beast, 14 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD. 15 16 even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
God may not spare a nation for a few righteous men. God does not promise protection to even the most righteous mens family during judgement on a nation. God’s hand is on those who individually fear him (Acts 10:35) “But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him”.
Repentance (2 Chron 7:14) is a key for the people of the land to avert God’s judgement. However-God may not hear those prayers if the land does not repent at the proper time. Jer 22:21 “I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
God has spoken to America in our prosperity and we have not listened. It may be that Judgement is already here or it’s too late. There are national sins it would seem the nation would need to repent of to avert judgement.
The indictment against America could include
America is stained with the innocent blood of millions of children. Nations that participated in the national sin of child sacrifice or abortion come to a bad end. The issue of when is a person a person. God tells us when that occurs (Ps 139:13, 22:10, Jer 1:4-5, Luke 1:39-44) and our Nation has rejected God’s eternal unchanging word on the matter. When a political party makes child sacrifice part of it’s national platform that is a scary place to be-simply awaiting God’s judgement.
2. Homosexuality- Not only does the nation tolerate and promote this it is accepted in many American churches. God calls this an abomination and tells us in Romans 1 that he has given people over to it-so we are already being given over to judgement.
3. The abandonment of the family unit that was instituted by God.
4. The prevalence of materialism, idolatry, and sexual sin-Our nation shows no signs of repenting of this sin.
5. A perverted Justice System-Where justice is delayed, not applied, and where those speaking the truth are punished instead.
Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good and good evil
Isaiah 59:14 – Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.
These perversions of justice are not forgotten by God, and he will take vengeance against the nation that perverts justice.
6. Violence, lawlessness, and hatred of one other-The riots have demonstrated the lawlessness we now live in, violent crime is escalating, and we just had an election in which the strongest motivating factor to vote for millions was hatred of another person.
Oftentimes when a nation, people, or city is judged for their sins they were defeated militarily or totally destroyed in some other way. In the case of Nineveh and occasionally Isreal God relented but with Nineveh both their leader and people repented. That is not happening in America today. The Bible tells us that in the end times people will still not repent even as the judgements are poured out upon them.
I believe the covid response is another grievous national sin as it tells us the things of God are “non essential”. The covid response like abortion dehumanizes people who are made in God’s image (Gen 1:26). Isn’t it interesting the part of the body the Government insists we cover is our face-it’s okay for strippers to perform in parking lots as long as their face is covered. That is quite opposite of when Adam and Eve sinned and they covered their body-not their face.
1: Cor 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,24 which our more presentable parts do not require.
It’s interesting that some orthodox Jews who adhere to the OT set fire to masks in NY City in October as a protest over mask mandates during worship. In their tradition which is rooted in OT scripture it’s not appropriate to read or learn scripture with a mask on, pray with a mask on, or go before kings with a mask on-let alone the King of Kings. (Ex 34:34).
In addition to the spiritual implications of dehumanizing people made in the image of God are many. The Bible sais quite a bit about a person’s face as having a spiritual context and seems to be very much part of being made in God’s image. Countless times we are told to seek God’s face (Psalms 27:8 and 2 Chron 7:14) and in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord”—-Our face is to reflect the Glory of God and it can be said that whoever mistreats the face of another person would be doing the same to the face of God since we are made in his image. An early church father wrote “The image of God is to be found in the face of the saints.”-echoing a common idea that the soul shines thru a persons face. While the only legitimate instance of social distancing or mask wearing for disease I can find in scripture is in Leviticus for lepers-it nowhere indicates this is for healthy people.Things that cover a person’s face in the Bible1. Shame (Psalm 44:15 -…and shame has covered my face, Psalm 69:7 Dishonor)-Genesis 38:15 – When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face-We are told in Leviticus 19:32 – “You shall …honor the face of an old man…(not cover it) God hides his face from us individually or as a nation when we sin (Psalm 104:29/Is 59:2) but it is a blessing when he shines his face upon us (Psalm 31:16). Likewise it is a blessing when we shine our face upon others if we are reflecting God’s love. God uses people’s countenance and faces in many ways.
(Stephen) Acts 6:15 – And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.—-They could not have seen that his face was like the face of an angel if his face was covered-it was a testimony against them
In the NT church they desired to see each other’s face..
3 John 14 – I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Acts 20:38 – being sorrowful most of all…they would not see his face again.. In the OT in Ezekiel there is an interesting incident recorded in Ezek 13. In verse 10 it records that the people built a wall symbolizing protection from their enemies and in Ezekiel 13:18 – …Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls!
There was a threat to the nation in this passage in the form of the Chaldeans and in the form of God’s judgement. God had told them through the prophets that judgement was certainly coming and I believe in America we are in the same situation. What happened was a people who did not repent sought a false security and hope in this wall they built and in these veils the women gave out. Much like in America, a wall, a vaccine, a mask, or even the military can give us a false sense of security without national repentance. In Ezekiel this false hope was destroying souls and in America-the same thing is happening because we are devoid of repentance.
Proverbs 28:9 – If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination
Because our nation and our people have turned from God’s word and do not even know God’s word-our prayer for deliverance for our nation is likely an abomination before God.
One pastor went as far as to say this…Social distancing in the Church of Jesus Christ is tantamount to blasphemous infidelity and an impeachment of the integrity of the word of God, To allow the idol of coronavirus to determine the scope of congregational worship in the house of God is an abomination.
The sins of America fit Babylon in revelation 18 and whether that’s us or not-we can assume by our national sins that God is storing up judgement for us. We are told in Revelation 18 starting in verse 4-regarding those in Babylon
Revelation 18:4 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities
What does it mean to come out of her-lest you take part in her sins? At minimum our conduct is to depart from the conduct of the nation at large. The remainder of Revelation 18 is frightening especially if you consider the possibility that it could describe our future. Secure your soul by trusting in the Lord Jesus who died for the sins whoever would believe in Him. To turn to Jesus you have to turn from your sins and acknowledge that you are a sinner who needs a savior.
Should God’s judgement hit America in anything resembling Revelation 18 hope of eternal life is all we would have left. God always saves a remnant and we can try to be among those survivors (Ezekiel 7:16). However, we are certainly not promised that if God did not spare the old world in Noah’s day saving only 8 souls alive from the flood and would not spare Jerusalem in Ezekiel even in Noah, Job, and Daniel had been found it it. American’s should tremble before God and realize that the God of Love is also a God of Justice.
Is there enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Jesus Christ or will the evidence convict you of being a follower of a worldy system that opposes God? Following Christ might get you cancelled, killed, or persecuted. In light of what is happening to America Christians need to be clear about who their allegiance is towards. Are they bowing down to the god of system controlled media, science, or institutions or the God of the Bible? Some very clear lines are being drawn.
Endorsement of the beliefs of the cultural shift in America today is not compatible with Christianity. This dangerous ideology has manifest itself in recent history in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Communist China. Cultural marxism turns into socialism and finally manifests itself as full blown communism in the end. Those systems and ideas without exception have resulted in Christian persecution every place they have been implemented.
Those systems at their core are atheistic philosophy with no room for belief in the God of the Bible. Karl Marx was clear on this point. In these systems the state becomes the ultimate authority. This is not compatible with Christianity as we hold God and his word as the ultimate authority. Our nation was founded on the principle that God was the ultimate authority-so this movement attempts to undo that. Are men owned by governments or free souls under God?
They demand to control your thinking, beliefs, actions, and decide what’s best for you. Christians should submit themselves to the control of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”. Our thoughts and beliefs should conform to Christ not the state, system, so called science, media, or the mob. These movements seek to be Christianity without Christ. It’s a counterfeit Christianity. Jesus died in the place of sinful man to pay the penalty for sins for those who believe. These government systems do not want a Savior such as Jesus-they portray themselves as the savior for the problems they create. Either Jesus is Lord or the government system is lord.
Matthew 7:20 “Thus you will recognize them by their fruits”. When a movement becomes lawless and devolves to riots, looting, chants of f— the police, and other such evils those do not flow from God. Those are not fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness). Certain government restrictions cannot come from God when they include criminalizing churches and church goers, outlawing singing and worship, and banning religious gatherings.
Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul And body in hell”. The Bible tells us to fear God not man or a virus. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The message we are being flooded with is fear of everything except the fear of the Lord. The one thing we should actually fear is a holy God who is also just and will punish sin. Is your allegiance to Christ or to the beast of government systems that oppose the one true God?
What are Christians to do in the face of evil government? Some practical application?
Daniel shows us that we obey God over government when conflicts arise. We are already there in America where those conflicts are arising. The books of Nehemiah and Esther show us that we should protect the oppressed, defend homes, families, and communities. We also should take any action possible to thrawt genocide (Esther). The genocide of abortion has killed over 60 million. We may soon face another genocide more visible on God’s people and we should seek to thrawrt that as well. Jesus tells us to give to Caesar what he is due (taxes) but to give to God what he is due (worship and allegiance to his law). If civil mandates rise to the level of conflicting against religious conviction and Biblical instruction we cannot comply with the civil order.
In America we are given even more options-we were given founding documents that gave the people of the nation freedom to alter, reform, or abolish any future action, law, or government that is contrary to the founding documents. We are in such a place today where much of our government is contrary to the founding documents. Nehemiah faced a similar plight and stuck to the original document from the king when provincial rulers opposed his work. Paul and others fled persecution and government. Christians are being forced into conflict with this new system. Some are facing an impasse now-others may still be years before the impasse arrives. When it arrives we must ultimately seek to obey God over government systems. I would urge Christians to read scripture with a heightened level of urgency to better understand how that is to be lived out today.