Christians, Executive Orders, and Masks

I posed a question on my Facebook page a couple of days ago asking if there is any biblical justification for Christians disobeying mask orders. The strongest argument I have heard so far on why Christians are justified in disobeying mask mandates is that the restrictions were put in place through illegitimate means and are, therefore, invalid. There are at least three reasons this fails:

1. Executive powers are granted through the legislative process. Our elected representatives proposed and approved the executive powers our governors and presidents have. That is how the process works. So when the president or governors act within the limits of what they have been given through those laws, their actions are legitimate because they have passed through the legislative process. This is why executive powers are limited in nature and temporary. It is no different than a church body that gives limited authority to its Board and/or pastor to make certain decisions without the full vote of the congregation. The church voted to grant that authority, when the Board or pastor acts within the approved parameters, their decisions are legitimate. If you do not like executive orders, talk to your representatives about getting them changed, but for now they exist.

2. It is not up to us as individuals to decide on what is a legitimate law and what is not. That is the role of the courts. Can you imagine what would happen if individuals could decide for themselves what laws were legit and which were not? We would have chaos and anarchy. A society cannot exist in this manner. If you think a law (or mandate) is invalid, you have every right to protest it, work to change it, and even challenge it through the courts. You do not have the right to ignore it though. “Sorry officer, I do not think that speed limit is legitimate, so I am not subject to it.”

3. All that I have written above is inconsequential to how we, as Christians, are to respond. The Bible tells us we are to submit to our authorities, the just and the unjust, as long as doing so does not cause us to disobey God. So, the argument that a law is unjust, unfair, or illegitimate does not nullify the commands of Scripture. The law exists, it is being enforced, if it does not contradict the word of God, we obey. Simple as that.

I could add that the commands of Scripture that we love our neighbors should be enough to convince us to wear our masks, even without #3, but I think this is sufficient for now.

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