What about the Regulative Principle of worship and wearing masks? An Opinion by Jack Kettler
What is the regulative principle of worship?
The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) 21.1 says:
“But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.”
In everyday language, the church may not require the members to do anything not authorized by Scripture. Unusual requirements may not be forced upon Christians in the public worship of God. Scripture limits the church’s power. Meaning, the church cannot command what Scripture does not command. The imposition of humanly devised requirements is forbidden. Where is the wearing of masks mandated in Scripture? Nowhere. Therefore, a church cannot require members to wear masks during worship services.
What about the state, can it impose requirements for worship that the church cannot?
In Colorado, for example, the state legislature handed the governor virtually unlimited dictatorial powers during the current state of emergency, almost impossible to rescind. With the current one-party state rule in the state, there is no chance that this will change in the near future. The churches in Colorado suffer under an unrepentant homosexual who is drunk with power, classifying pot shops as essential and churches non-essential.
As stated, on the starting question, a church that bound by the regulative principle cannot impose the wearing of masks during worship. How ironic, the church cannot, yet the state can. This is a quagmire of shocking proportions. The only way out of this quagmire for a church is outright non-compliance. There are churches who have taken this course of action and have not been molested by the state, probably because of the bad optics of arresting pastors and church members.
The current COVID-19* psychological operations (PSYOP) have neutralized most churches coming to the November elections. Instead of talking about biblical election issues, church members are cleaning hymnbooks, door handles, and jumping through endless compliance hoops with no end in sight. The virus state of emergency, like the on-going time-share industry fees for assessments and maintenance, this will probably never end. Now that the precedent has been set, the next flu or virus will allow the government to launch into action.
* The COVID-19 is a real virus. The national panic is completely unjustified since the average age of death from the virus is 80 years of age and usually involves underlying health issues. One doctor said that at this point, the virus is all about politics.
The majority of pastors cannot be faulted for not recognizing how the initial virus emergency has been highjacked and turned into a (PSOP) against the Republic. The efficacy of face masks, the manipulation of detection tests for the virus, and death counts have all been exposed by presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh. He makes the case the test counts are being manipulated and exploited for political purposes and, most parts are outright fraudulent. For example, 300 hundred testing sites in Florida have turned in 100 percent positive tests for the virus. This was hundred percent positive testing was exposed an independent news channel. In addition, the majority of so-called news sites are participating in this scandal.
On the church front, pastors are starting to awaken to the exploitation of this virus, leading to the destruction of the church. John MacArthur, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in California, has said his church will reopen. MacArthur said, “The State Does Not, Should Not Have the Authority to Close Churches.” In addition, the governor of California who is also drunk with power has banned singing in churches.
MacArthur said regarding the current state virus over-reach:
“As pastors and elders, we cannot hand over to earthly authorities any privilege or power that belongs solely to Christ as head of His church. Pastors and elders are the ones to whom Christ has given the duty and the right to exercise His spiritual authority in the church (1 Peter 5:1–4; Hebrews 13:7, 17)—and Scripture alone defines how and whom they are to serve (1 Corinthians 4:1–4). They have no duty to follow orders from a civil government attempting to regulate the worship or governance of the church. In fact, pastors who cede their Christ-delegated authority in the church to a civil ruler have abdicated their responsibility before their Lord and violated the God-ordained spheres of authority as much as the secular official who illegitimately imposes his authority upon the church.”
“Therefore, in response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services.”
“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)
Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com