Should Christians wear masks? Or would that be an indicator of a lack of faith?
My most recent article titled "How the Pandemic Has Exposed an Unbelieving Church" has created quite a stir among the pro and anti-maskers. Interestingly, the article really wasn't about masks at all. It was about faith.
In fact, I made it quite clear that we should use both wisdom and faith in these treacherous times.
It never ceases to amaze me how triggered people zero in on the narrative they want to attack, all while blowing past qualifiers and clarifiers that would address their concerns if they only took time to read them.
I can't tell you how often people become unglued just by the title of one of my articles. They arrive at conclusions that are unfounded because they didn't read past the first sentence.
Spoiler alert: I wear a mask if the situation demands it. I'm not a card-carrying anti-masker. I'm definitely not a pro-masker either.
I'm watching the carnage pile up all over social media as a result of verbal assaults, judgments on morality and ethics, crazy conspiracy theories (and some possible true ones) and accusations that pro-maskers are killing America and anti-maskers are killing Grandma.
It's ridiculous to point nasty, crooked fingers at the uncovered calling them selfish, unloving and reckless. Not only is that statement generally untrue and the motive fairly disingenuous, but the logic behind it simply doesn't work. It's equally ridiculous to presume those who wear masks are fearful by default and surrendering to the Antichrist. No, these aren't masks of the beast and no, America isn't going to become communist because we wear them.
I would encourage you to read an article I wrote on the spiritual reality surrounding the 2020 crisis. Yes, I do believe witchcraft is behind it, but wearing a mask doesn't mean we are surrendering to that spirit.
This bizarre conversation between pro and anti-maskers that has overtaken our culture must be refocused onto what is most important.
Unbelief Has Been Exposed
I don't think anybody can deny that the entire world has been shaken by the virus. The purpose of my recent articles on the subject is to awaken the shaken to the supreme opportunity to shine our lights into a desperate and dark situation.
Be honest. Christians are worrying, nervous, fearful and scrambling to do whatever they can to be safe from this invisible threat. This isn't true of all believers, of course. It's true of a whole lot of them though. I don't know how often I hear blood-bought believers urgently warning people to wear masks, to socially distance and to lock down while rarely hearing them proclaim the power of the blood that bought them. I'm dumbfounded.
The lack of a faith-driven spiritual response is a problem. If our joy, peace and confidence in Jesus has been impacted, we must respond in repentance. In the midst of a threat, abundant life is still ours. Joy unspeakable and full of glory. Peace that passes all understanding. We are more than conquerors, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. We trample on serpents and scorpions. We have authority over all the power of the enemy. That will preach.
The sad reality is that a lot of Christians simply don't believe that Jesus heals or protects today. Some believe that He can, but they doubt that He will. Miracles are rare. Wonders of old can be taught in Sunday school but they really don't occur today. They boldly defend the power of the enemy by confessing that nobody is safe, Christian or non-Christian.
What many Christians call faith is little more than hope. Hope is posturing ourselves by sitting back and waiting for God to do something we'd like Him to do. Faith is altogether different. It's active. There's an attitude driving it. It's demanding. It's expectant. It's militant.
Vibrant faith results in people speaking to mountains, shouting from rooftops, casting out demons, decreeing the Word of God and refusing to allow common sense, human wisdom or anything else to stop them.
Faith crushes fear. Faith destroys worry. Faith demands results. Faith pleases God.
Instead, too many default to hope (or hopelessness) and live pretty much the same way as the unredeemed do. Truths of Scripture are somehow dismissed as unreliable:
"'These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover'" (Mark 16:17-18).
The "sick may recover" would be a better translation according to the belief system of many Christians.
In fact, they tend to get quite mad at those who stand in faith on the Word of God, especially regarding healing. Accusations of "holier than thou" and "spiritual pride" are hurled at those who simply state they believe Jesus paid the price for sickness.
There are many reasons people are not healed. This article isn't the place to dive into a deep discussion on the topic. Suffice to say the reasons include one or more of the following: unbelief, fear, sin, lukewarmness, receiving communion in an unworthy manner, not understanding our authority, curses, lies we've adopted, ignorance of the Word, misunderstanding timing, lack of fervency and trusting in doctors more than God, among others.
Another reason is what I call the treasure map. Healing is a hidden treasure that often must be sought after. The Holy Spirit will lead us as we discover truths, repent of wrong thinking and work to grow in faith. The treasure map is the unknown. It's the journey. There may be no sin, no doubt and no clear reason why sickness remains. So, we seek, pray and stand as God progressively brings revelation to our situation. Those who are sick should not live in condemnation, but they should be earnestly seeking the treasure of healing with joy and great expectation.
If someone is not healed, it doesn't necessarily mean they are less spiritual. It simply means they are somewhere in the middle of their journey on their personal treasure map.
That being said, please hear me. Faith demands that we stare sickness in the eye and fight. We can't allow the "chances" of healing or our own failed experiences with sickness to cause us to doubt, to stand down or to divert to other more natural remedies. No! We decree truth! We stand as warriors! We declare that Jesus took all of our sickness on the cross. We proclaim that healing is ours! It's this type of boldness the world needs to see.
The Call to All
If you don't remember anything else in this article, please remember the following. This is what is burning in my spirit. This is the real purpose of my writing.
Declare the goodness and power of God! Stop declaring the deadly power of a virus!
The church should be commandeering the media, social and otherwise, with faith-filled messages to those who are haunted by fears of sickness and death.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).
We are anointed to proclaim Good News, liberty and healing! Are you doing that every day on Facebook and Twitter? You must! Especially during this opportunistic season!
The world should be witnessing a supernatural explosion as we radiate the power of the Holy Spirit and decree with passion that peace, freedom and healing can be theirs.
Christians, stop with the faithless drivel about the power of masks or the threat of COVID-19. Sure, make your point and be safe, but please stop giving the enemy more power than he already has. Speak life!
If the people of the world want scientific data on whether masks are beneficial or not, they can do their own research. What they need from you and me, however, is powerfully anointed, deeply profound and supernaturally charged revelation! Preach, preacher!
The call to all is to rise up in fearless faith, with smiles on our faces and fire in our eyes as we proclaim to a worried and dying world that Jesus has conquered death, hell and the grave! There is a love that eliminates all fear.
This is the message. This is the cry of my heart. We should be preaching Jesus.
Where are the social warriors who will share verses that ignite faith? Where are the believers who truly embrace the healing power of Jesus? Where are those who refuse to be shaken by the enemy? Where are the firebrands who will push back the darkness and laugh at the threats?
This is your mandate, Christian. This is your call. It's time you stop repeating all of the news stories and reports that spread fear. It's time to burn hot with the truth of the Word and show the world just what it is to be a sign and a wonder in the earth!
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 25 years and is a sought-out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. He ministers in churches and at camps and conferences throughout the nation. John has authored 10 books, is a regular contributor to Charisma magazine, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Additionally, he has planted two churches, has initiated two city prayer movements and a school of ministry.
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 25 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored ten books, is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. A large and growing library of audio and video teachings, articles, books and other resources can be found on his website at www.burton.tv. John, his wife Amy and their five children live in Branson, Missouri.
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