Masks and Mandaates

MASKS AND MANDATES

Two things I can say about my opinion on these subjects: I am no expert about communicable diseases, and I do not trust politicians. Covid kills. I have seen it happen, and even in our church family. Personally I am so very convinced of this that I had both Covid shots. My thinking is it helps me, but also protects those with whom I come in contact. For me, my identity as a Christian calls for me to do all I can to protect others from harm. The shots were inconvenient. The second one left me not feeling well for a few days. But I believe I made the most loving effort. And I have worn a mask when necessary through this crisis. I am not sure about the scientific benefit of wearing a mask. It is debatable, but again I am no scientist. I generally err on the side of trusting authority with things I do not understand. But as a good American, a healthy skepticism is always in order. Seldom have I trusted nor followed human religious authorities, and am not interested in modeling such as a pastor. I function best as a servant. So should the government. The problem with the government telling you what to do is that you must decide if the directive is for your own benefit, or less than pure motives? So, here comes personal opinion, not necessarily divine inspiration: These people in Washington have personal agendas, generally are out of touch with the voices of the common folk, motivated most by such base things as being re-elected and doing whatever necessary to “win”. Personally I think it very possible that politicians could manipulate the Covid crisis for political gain. Just watch. It is highly likely this crisis will be drawn into the next election, directly affecting how we vote and who is elected. So what does this all have to do with Mt. Tabor? We need to be good citizens, and offer a safe place for worship. We have spent 1 ½ years being cautious, some consider overly-so and some think not enough, which just proves the old adage “you can’t please everyone”. As we move toward Back To Church Sunday October 12, our intent is to be safe and practice cautious and behave with common-sense. Our final authority is God. The government is servant, and certainly we should try our best to cooperate as possible. Love for others demands we be wise and cautious. Therefore social distancing is to be encouraged. It is probably the best thing we can do to prevent the spread of any virus. Masks are not mandated, but encouraged- especially if in any way your immune system may be challenged. We will continue to clean and sanitize touch surfaces. And we will have to delay hand shaking, hugging, and other such greetings for yet a while longer. I understand, every individual has his or her personal comfort level. Some just will not take the shots. A few are puzzled why anyone would want to wear a mask or social distance? Should you come to church, see these folks around, then by all means it is understandable to avoid them. You love them, but you think they are reckless. Well, I’m on your side! If you are not able to take the shots for health reasons, then please be extra cautious- surely you need to wear a mask and practice social distancing. For the rest of us, in my opinion, it is common-sense stuff. We avoid unnecessary risks. We value the health of others. We refuse to judge the other person. And, as possible, we forego our rights for the sake of the other person (Romans 15:3). And I will add this: In my opinion, you should get the shot. It is not foolproof, but a reasonable risk to take to help others. If you will not take the shot, I will not badger you about it. But I expect you to respect others enough to take every precaution to not be a risk to others. We will get through this! Since the gates of Hell shall not prevail against God’s church, neither will Covid.

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