"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

20 Questions for a Pastor Who Doesn't Wear a Mask Unless He's Sick or Around Sick People

That pastor is me. If you don't know me, you can read about me here. These 20 questions are all good. I've been asked them during the last six months. I thought I'd summarize my answers to give some encouragement to those who think like I.

1. Why don't you wear a mask? 

In short, I believe wearing a mask when I am healthy is an unwise act scientifically and socially. However, were I sick and had to go to the pharmacy or store for medicine,  I would wear a mask to help mitigate the spread of my 'dis-ease.' 

2. But what if every other healthy person is wearing a mask?

I don't try to change people. We have a man who wears a dress, women's jewelry, painted nails, and pantyhose when he attends the church I pastor. I don't force him to dress like a man, nor will I dress like a woman to make him feel more comfortable. I do not force anyone to take off their mask, nor will I wear a mask to make people feel more comfortable.

3. Can't you spread Covid-19 without having symptoms?

The Great Barrington Declaration and leading epidemiologists believe "there is no scientific evidence that symptom-free people without cough or fever spread the Corona disease."

4. But if so many people are infected with Covid-19 unknowingly, shouldn't everyone wear a mask?

One of the fundamental rules in infectiology is the necessity to differentiate between “infection” (invasion and multiplication of an agent in the host) and “infectious disease” (infection with ensuing illness). If you have Covid-19 and have no symptoms, you are not sick, and you are not infectious

5. But if an unmasked infected person 'coughs' for the FIRST time, can't Covid-19 spread?

Yes. But the science seems clear. Masks do not prevent the spread of coronaviruses. Covid-19 and other coronaviruses (there are many) are spread even when masks are worn. Washing hands, practicing good hygiene, staying home when sick are the best ways to mitigate the spread.

6. But since nursing homes and hospitals require masks, shouldn't everyone else wear a mask?

Even with full Personal Protection Equipment, complete isolation from the public, and strict sanitization, the vulnerable and elderly still get Covid-19 in nursing homes and hospitals. Extreme mitigation efforts rightfully take place in these facilities to stop the spread of Covid-19, but people still get infected.  That's the nature of a pandemic. But for your information, the spread of coronaviruses occurs often in hospitals and nursing homes with influenza and colds, just like Covid-19. The vulnerable are susceptible to coronaviruses, and targeted restrictions to help mitigate the spread in nursing homes and hospitals are appropriate. The best thing we can do for the elderly and vulnerable is to never enter a care-center with a cough or fever or without washing our hands. 

7. But wouldn't Jesus wear a mask in public if there was even a small chance it would help others?

No. I do not believe Jesus would wear a mask because I believe He would know masking healthy people would do more damage than good. However, I do not fault you for your belief that Jesus would wear a mask because you believe He would know that doing so would be for the good of others. We both agree that Jesus would think of others. We are also both thinking of others though we act differently. We just disagree over whether it is "good" for others when healthy people wear masks. We both want to do the good and the right thing. Let's agree to disagree. 

8. But what 'damage' could possibly exist by demanding healthy people mask?

Outside of potential damage to one's personal health, covering the faces of the healthy brings social damage. The face is a place of grace. A smile lightens the day. Being around people with faces covered is like drawing the shades on a sunny day. More importantly, once healthy people acquiesce to government mandates to cover their faces, then governments further encroach on civil liberties by locking people in their homes, restricting travel, shuttering churches and schools, and demanding vaccinations and tracking mechanisms. Social conformity is the mother of socialism and communism. Liberty is the mother of America. 

8. But what if the government decides to mandate (by law) that a healthy person must wear a mask at all times?

I will break the law. 

9. But Jesus told us to "obey the government in all things"?

No, He did not. In fact, Jesus "broke the law" of the land to feed His disciples on the Sabbath. If a government's actions are unjust, it is incumbent upon the people to violate the law. In the history of America, one generation's lawbreakers are the next generation's heroes. Moral people break the law for the higher good.

10. But how is wearing a mask unjust?

You misunderstand. A person freely choosing to wear a mask is not an unjust act. It's a mandatory law that requires healthy people to wear a mask that is unjust. It is forced compliance on a matter that violates the conscience. It's like the government forcing me to say 2 + 2 = 5, even if I don't believe it. 

11. But what if a business owner requires a mask to enter his shop?

I will politely put on a mask if I need something in his store, or I will politely leave. I believe it is the business owner's right in a free enterprise system to demand that a mask be worn in his shop, and I will not oppose the owner but might decide to shop elsewhere. Cakes and masks have much in common.

12. So you never wear a mask if you are not sick?

There are a few exceptions. If I must go into a hospital, a nursing home, or minister to a family where that family requests to wear a mask because they have vulnerable people in their home, then I will wear a mask if requested. 

13. Do you believe the pandemic is real?

Yes. However, Covid-19 is not nearly as deadly as previous worldwide pandemics. SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) barely meets the classical standards of a pandemic.

14. Have you lost friends because of your stance?

Yes, but I will always be a friend to them, even if they de-friend me. I "sometimes offend but am never offended." Meaning, I don't expect people to think, act, or live like I, but I recognize that some people base friendship on their expected conformity of those they choose to befriend. I understand and accept their decision to no longer be my friend. I will always have a spirit of friendship for them.

15. Would you ever change your position on wearing a mask in public?

Sure. If science persuaded me that covering the mouths and noses of healthy people kept people from getting sick. I am not persuaded by science.

16. But don't you care what other people think of you?

I care more about people and what's best for them. And right now, I believe it's best that they see a pastor who is uninterested in being popular, unconcerned about being accepted, and only concentrating on living by a principle of doing what is best for others, even in the face of opposition. Refusing to wear a mask when I am healthy is what I believe to be best for society. I'm thinking of others.

17. But people think you are selfish, don't they?

Some do. I don't blame them. They believe that they are wearing a mask for "the good of others." But they either don't take the time to see that I think I am not wearing a mask for "the good of others," or they disagree with me and wish to force me to be like them. If I believed for one moment that putting on a mask when I am healthy would save ONE life or would bring "greater social good," then I would wear a mask. I do not believe that to be true. However, I'm uninterested in forcing others to see it my way. I accept and encourage people to be free to do what they believe is best and to not judge the motives of those who think, act, and live differently than they think, act, or live.  I am also unfazed by others who wish to force me to see it their way. I change when I am persuaded by science and the common good.

18. But could you not wear a mask so others would not be so angry?

No. I would be living a lie and would be violating my conscience. The Bible calls me to not be concerned about pleasing men. Anger is never the problem; it is only the surface symptom of a greater underlying and unseen issue. I believe I'm dealing with bigger issues. 

19. How do you lead your church to worship in public gatherings?

We tell people if they have a cough, fever, or other symptoms to stay home. We provide online services. We also encourage people to wash their hands and provide hand wash at every entrance. For those comfortable wearing a mask, we provide masks if they don't have one. We've added additional services to provide comfortable spacing for people to sit. But we don't force anything. We encourage people to respect other people and their boundaries, not to judge people for why they are doing what they are doing, and not to force your views on others. Our motto is: "Feel Free. Stay Safe. Love Loud."

20. Do you believe any good can come from this 2020 pandemic?

Yes. I believe that people are awakened to the truth that they are not in control of their lives as they once thought.  The LORD is. Trust in the LORD and lean not to your own understanding of what is happening. God has a way of bringing proud people low so that He might exalt humble people who trust in Him. 

12 comments:

Callie M said...

100% Yes. A study just came out from Denmark, mid Nov 2020, the first controlled study on masks and covid transmission - 6000 participants. The masked group and the unmasked group did not have significant differences. I'm not complying with this communist agenda, either, and I appreciate how polite and how clear your answers are here!

Christiane said...

I get confused about who is on whose 'side' these days, as to 'adversaries', because it looks like our nation's adversaries are stirring the pot 'to undermine public confidence in our democratic processes':


Regarding 'communist agenda', a revealing and interesting interview yesterday between Catherine Herridge and Director Ratcliffe, wherein Herridge at point 0.58 asks this:

Catherine Herridge asks:
"does the intelligence show that FOREIGN ADVERSARIES are AMPLIFYING the voter fraud
allegations?"

Director Ratcliffe responds: "they are"

(here, Herridge asks the Director WHO these adversaries are, but he declines to tell her)

Herridge then asks: "and what are their objectives?"

Director Ratcliffe responds: "to undermine public confidence in our democratic processes"


https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/padYpii1RizT_GTjBkVjGIx4_4_EBegT/intelligence-chief-ratcliffe-no-proof-yet-of-election-interference-china-now-biggest-u-s-threat/

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Your link supported there was NO voter fraud, but what do you think about this link?

Republicans support ballot investigations | Lexington County Chronicle (lexingtonchronicle.com)

1.Pennsylvania mailed thousands of unrequested ballots, many to deceased voters.

2. More than 20,000 Pennsylvania absentee ballots have impossible return dates and more than 80,000 have return dates that raise questions.

3. 51,000 ballots were marked as returned a day after they were sent out, an extraordinary speed given Postal Service delivery times.

4. Nearly 35,000 ballots were returned the same day they were mailed.

5. More than 23,000 others have a return date earlier than the sent date.

6. More than 9,000 have no sent date.

7. 25,000 Pennsylvania nursing home residents requested mail-in ballots at the exact same day.

Christiane said...

Hello out there REX RAY,

this is what I think:

I think (my opinion) is this: any real evidence might have been introduced in court, but attorneys KNEW that IF THEY LIED to the court, it would be the worst for them, as they cannot lie to the courts (in court) and maintain their professional and ethical credibility.

Soooo, something IS wrong, yes and it seems there is some 'lack' of factual evidence that sustains all the charges of voter fraud on a scale large enough to affect the outcome of the election.

I'm the first to want to know if something happened that was fraudulent but I would not want to 'hear' what could not be properly entered in A COURT OF LAW as evidence.

So I'm thinking people have relied on trusted sources of information that cannot be backed up by actual evidence;
and until such time as there is evidence that can be presented IN A COURT OF LAW, I must think that people who are fearful of fraud have relied on sources that are not ABLE to present factual evidence that can be sorted out in our American legal system, which I 'trust' to give a voice to all sides fairly (hopefully).

Does that make sense? Well, you did ask.
I think I'm going with what the courts determine in the end as 'truth'. We are a nation of laws under the US Constitution, and I respect that as did my family before me.

RB Kuter said...

Okay, Wade, now that you've felt free to address questions, I have several that I would love to hear some responses to:

1. Why does a person driving in a car alone wear a mask?
2. Why do people who stop coming to church because they say there is COVID risk continue to go to grocery stores, Walmart, department stores?
3. Why do they quarantine seniors in care-facilities when their workers leave and go out into public places every day and then return to the care facilities?

Got some more but might be more likely to get a response if I don't overload things.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

I like the way you think about real evidence being in court.

A Democrat judge in Nevada refused to hear witnesses claiming fraud in Nevada.

Now they are appealing to the Nevada Supreme Court.

This was on Fox TV tonight.

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,
the court system has built into it the right to appeal to a 'higher' court, so I suppose what you are describing is being done according to law

I am not a lawyer. Nearest family member who is an attorney is up in Boston and is a partner at Fitch (used to be 'Sally and Fitch') - I know, I know, the old name sounds like a road-show act, but actually it was and is a very distinguished 'business' litigation firm and my relative is the son of my cousin. So while I have a lot of people I can ask in the family about medical matters, there is only one lawyer and I haven't seen him since he was about five years old at his grandma's house (my dear Aunt Yvonne, God rest her) -

One question: WHY have people waited SO LONG to get evidence into court? And I wonder also why the Nevada low court refused . . . did the witnesses come with admissable evidence? Or not? I'll take a look at the news and see what I can find out about it.

Don't worry, if there is anything valid that needs attention, it WILL COME OUT, but it has to be done according to law. Look, if you get any real 'symptoms' (coughing, etc) and feel out of sorts, call your doctor and report it. Things are getting bad with this virus. My family has been hit and my sister-in-law (pediatric nurse practitioner) is now hospitalized with covid pneumonia and we are all worried for her. I'll be up late tonight praying for her sake, as she is very unwell.

Wade Burleson said...


1. Why does a person driving in a car alone wear a mask?
Convenience? I honestly don't know. :)
2. Why do people who stop coming to church because they say there is COVID risk continue to go to grocery stores, Walmart, department stores?
At the church I serve, some would say that "hardly anybody wears a mask at church" (and they'd be correct), and so "I will not go anywhere where everyone is not masked." I've told them that I understand, but we will not be forcing anyone to wear a mask.
3. Why do they quarantine seniors in care-facilities when their workers leave and go out into public places every day and then return to the care facilities?
As you know, people who work in care facilities must get on with their lives, BUT if they were FULL PPE, stay home if sick, and ALWAYS practice good hygiene, they should be able to work. :)

Got some more but might be more likely to get a response if I don't overload things.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

You asked why the Nevada low court refused.

If you’ll read again: The lower court judge was a Democrat.

Christiane said...

Hello WADE,

I know. People don't know what to do. This is a 'novel' situation. The 'trouble' has been politicized, which doesn't help anyone to find their way forward, sadly.

People ARE not wanting to 'make things worse', so they do what they must do, but not what they want to do and some of their choices 'don't make sense' do they? Like St. Paul wondering why he did what he did not want to do, so much of our inconsistencies puzzle us also.

I just go 'bird by bird' trying to do one thing at a time, not achieving much, but trying not to hurt anyone out of ignorance. 'Bird by bird' is a saying from Anne Lamott about a kid who was overwhelmed with something and looking to find a way to cope, this:

"“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
(Anne Lamott)

WADE, sometimes the 'answers' aren't the 'same' for all of us, being Americans and of an independent spirit, we march to different drummers, but I believe that most people are of 'good will' and not wanting to do harm consciously, they try to do the best they can, as far as they can see forward.

Some ancient advise:

"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." — Jeremiah 6:16

Stand.

Look.

Ask.

Walk.

Rest.


WADE, please pray for those who cannot see their way forward and are suffering. Pray the Psalms when it seems darkest. And then go read the beginning of the Holy Gospel of St. John. You will be strengthened and encouraged for the journey.

'All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.'

Christiane said...

Okay, REX RAY,
I see what you are saying. LOL

you take care

RB Kuter said...

Thanks for your very gracious response, Wade. It displays the sincerity of what you profess to believe, that is, you decide the position you will personally take on this "COVID mask" situation and allow others to decide for themselves how they will respond, while at the same time asking that they respect your right to your own opinion.