The Church Unmasked?

Screenshot (1972)

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:“ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ”

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:1–23, NIV 1984).

My Musings – If I might be so bold as to add, one man considers it more sacred to worship without a mask; another man considers each worshipper alike with our without a mask.  The man who worships with a mask must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not wear a mask must not condemn the man who does.  In like manner, a man must not condemn a church that requires a mask for the sake of those are reluctant to worship without a mask.

Perhaps a bit sacrilegious on my part, but the point is we must “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of [a mask].”  Whether a church requires a mask or not, should not be a matter of contention.  Whether another church, out of abundance of caution, continues to worship virtually should not be looked down on by those churches that do not, and vice versa.  “He who [worships virtually, worships] to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who [assembles with others to worship], does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”

My Advice – These are unusual times.  Under normal circumstances I would recommend to not forsake the assembling together.  That is the ideal.  But these are not normal times, and prayerfully they are not the “new normal.”  But unless and until things return to normal we must bear with one another.  And who is to say which is the so-called “weaker” brother?  The one with or without the mask?  The one who feels it is more prudent to continue worshipping virtually, or the one “throwing caution to the wind” and resumes assembling together?  Let’s continue to pray for one another and lift each other up, whichever “camp” they are in.  We hope to God that the time will soon be here when we can all leave the “catacombs” and return to worshipping in the “temple courts.”

Author: thebrewisamusing

I was raised in a Christian family and my earliest childhood memories include regular Sunday school and Church attendance as a family. I was taught that our Judeo-Christian values were not just a part of our Sunday routine they should be part of our character and influence all aspects of our lives. I was also taught that as important as these values were they could not save us. We must also be “born again” by accepting Christ.

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