They Want Your Conscience
It must be pointed out that these lockdowns and mask mandates are not morally neutral. The State (whether local, state, or federal) is making a claim on your conscience. Regardless of where you stand on masks & lockdowns, you must note that you are being told to act a certain way in order to be moral. You must mask up in order to love thy neighbor. A busybody at the grocery store just scolded my mother-in-law (from South Africa) the other day for not wearing a mask, despite the fact that she recently recovered from COVID. The lady told her, “This is about caring for each other.”
Again, they are making a claim on your conscience. You are being told that by celebrating Thanksgiving with your family and friends a few weeks ago, you were heartless and unfeeling. You are being told that it is morally wrong to go about open faced; no cheerful smiles are to be seen lest we get the sense that we can have joy in the midst of a trial. You are selfish for planning to fellowship with other believers this Christmas season.
Our overlords are not treating each of us as free men. We are being told what to do, and being scolded for not saying “Yes sir.” We’re being treated like children, and not like grown men. In raising my children, when I give an instruction (say to stop whacking the Christmas ornaments) it is not because I want my children to simply conform to my every edict. I require obedience of them, not for the sake of ensuring that they always obey my every word, but so that one day they can make wise decisions, restrain their sinful impulses, and learn to be mature men and women.
But these last several months have shown us that our “rulers” indeed think of themselves as rulers, not as those who serve at the pleasure of the people. They have conveniently forgotten that bit about governing by the consent of the governed. In our form of government––which isn’t perfect, but has a biblical bedrock underneath it, and sprung from the soil of Protestant theology––our elected leaders are not “above us.” The constitution is.
What we see playing out repeatedly with each episode of fresh mask mandates, lockdowns, and now the roll-out of vaccines is that our bureaucratic (often unelected) officials are making a claim on your conscience. Instead of presenting us with the relevant information, allowing for vigorous scientific debate, and making humble recommendations. They have opted for the boot of authoritarianism. Comply. Don’t question. Follow the experts. We know best. You are subjects not free citizens.
But what is most evident is that every stripe of approach across the world has failed to contain this virus. What it has contained is many people’s consciences to operate as free men and women. If you can’t see the arbitrary and speculative nature of all these measures, your conscience has been claimed by the state. The latest joke is that even folks who receive the vaccine will need to mask up.
What’s Been Unreported
So ask yourself this, when was the last time you heard a major media source highlight the good news of how many people have now recovered from this virus? Crickets? I sure haven’t, send it my way if you have. Why are we still threatening imprisonment and fines for people who have now recovered? Why are we not outraged at the formative years of a generation of little children being shaped to fear interaction with other humans? Why was Walmart deemed essential, but not the mom and pop gift-shop on the corner of main street?
Instead of honestly presenting the most up to date information available to us, trusting us to make wise decisions on our own, we have been treated like cattle. Here’s an interesting tidbit. Before any state issued a stay at home order, the general population had already altered their travel habits, and those who were able freely opted to start working from home. Once it became clear that this virus wasn’t as deadly as initially thought, we were confronted with a choice. The risk of a fairly mild virus (for most people), or the risk of prolonged isolation, loss of income, and loss of educational quality.
We’ve not been allowed to choose. We’ve not been trusted to make wise decisions. And on the whole, we’ve not bothered to protest this treatment. Why? Because we gladly let the administrative State (unelected Public Health Directors, City Planners, CDC czars) to make a claim on our conscience.
Come to Christ
Christians. The only claim on your conscience is God’s Word. It commands to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. It commands us to partake of the Lord’s Supper together (which my state’s Governor has suggested should be suspended indefinitely). It commands us to pray for the King. It commands us to defend the poor. It commands us to resist tyrants. It commands us to come to Christ, have our sins forgiven, and in baptism be assured of a clean conscience. This clean conscience then is at liberty to make wise decisions, as a free creature of Almighty God.