During his ministry years, Jesus was compliant to very few government or religious decrees. Only those that were in accordance with God’s will did Jesus follow, such as being baptized by his cousin John (when John insisted that he should be baptized by Jesus) or paying a tax (which Jesus argued did not need to be paid). And his compliance was solely to reveal God’s miracles, namely the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove as a sign to John that Jesus was the Messiah, and the gold coin being found in the fish’s mouth to pay the wrongly demanded tax.
I mention Jesus’ famous non-compliance to government and religious dictates because we currently live in an age of profound and disturbing compliance. Even those who consider themselves Christians are marching in lockstep with government mandates of questionable validity, agreeing to have their places of worship locked down and/or the number of people who can attend worship services drastically reduced. CAN YOU IMAGINE JESUS AGREEING TO STATE INTRUSION ON HIS WORSHIP OF GOD? No, I cannot imagine Jesus ever agreeing to the state intruding on his worship of God. And if Jesus would never have allowed the state to intrude on his worship of God, then neither should his followers. All Christians are allegedly his followers, so NO CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE PERMITTING THE STATE TO DICTATE WHEN AND WHERE AND IN WHAT NUMBERS THEY CAN WORSHIP GOD.
The government should also not be mandating face coverings while worshiping God, because God’s people are to come before him with their faces uncovered, hiding nothing, and with nothing coming between them and God. THIS IS WHY JESUS DIED, so that nothing could ever again come between us and God – not other people, not evil spirits, and certainly not something as inconsequential as a government-issued mandate. As born-agains we should NEVER willingly let something come between us and God.
Who should we fear more – God or the government?
Jesus tells us to fear God only, as he is the one who has ultimate power over our body and soul. The government has authority over our body only, and only if and when God permits it.
Jesus was famously non-compliant to government decrees. He spoke when he was commanded to be silent and silent when he was commanded to speak; he walked freely where he was threatened with arrest and refused to go where he was expected to attend; he preached what he was ordered not to preach, taught what he was ordered not to teach, healed when he was ordered not to heal. He thumbed his nose at the unjust and frankly illogical dictates of the temple elders who were complicit with the corrupt Roman occupying forces, and he did his Father’s will rather than that of the rulers. And in so doing, he was blessed and protected by the Father.
We, as followers of Jesus, are to live our lives as Jesus lived his during his ministry years. We should allow nothing to come between us and God, or between us and our worship of God, or between us and our preaching and teaching of the Word. If the state decrees that we cannot assemble to worship God, we do it anyway. If the state decrees that we cannot exceed a certain number of worshipers, we ignore the rule. And if the state mandates we cover our faces when we come before God, we refuse to comply: NOTHING SHOULD COME BETWEEN US AND GOD AND OUR WORSHIP OF GOD, or Jesus died in vain and our rebirth is annulled.