Last week, I shared a brief story about this on my Facebook, but the truth is that it deserves much more space than I am able to give it in a single social media post. So I've decided to move it over to the blog this week and expand on the idea so that we can really get down into it.
It started a few weeks ago when one of my friends posted an op-ed piece from a man claiming to be a pastor. In this piece, the pastor asked what seemed like a simple question - would Jesus wear a mask?
The problem is...this pastor didn't actually want to talk about Jesus at all.
What this pastor wanted to talk about was masks. He wanted to talk about his opinion on masks. And he wanted to talk about what he believes about persons who do not wear masks.
It's not too hard to see this if you actually read the article and look past his mention of Jesus. The entire rest of the article paints a caricature of those who choose not to wear masks, always framing these objections under the guise of, "Does this sound like Jesus?"
Would Jesus be complaining about His freedoms being taken away? Would Jesus be screaming about oppression? Would Jesus be touting conspiracy theories about the nature of the virus or the efficacy of masks themselves? Would Jesus be concerned about His own comfort or about the way He looks when He wears a mask over His face? Any idea that you've ever heard that a person who advocates for masks uses to paint a caricature of a person who does not wear a mask, this guy threw it into his article and tried to attach it to Jesus.
But again, he wasn't really talking about Jesus; he was talking about persons with whom he disagrees.
He goes on to ask, "or" would Jesus care about others around Him? Would Jesus be willing to sacrifice Himself for the good of others? Would Jesus wear a mask for the good of those who are asking Him to wear a mask?
Still, we're not talking about Jesus. We're talking about what this guy personally believes about masks and the persons who wear them (or don't).
Not once in the entire article does this pastor reference the actual Jesus. He is only using the name of Jesus to try to guilt his readers into a desired reaction, to try to tell them - without any proof from the life of Jesus at all - what they would do if they were actually good and righteous persons. What they would do if they really wanted to be like Jesus. What they would do if they were really the Christians that they claim that they are.
And the implication in something like this is that if you aren't wearing a mask, then Jesus is disappointed in you. Because, hey, Jesus would wear a mask.
But would He?
This pastor wants us to believe that Jesus would wear a mask just because this pastor says that Jesus would wear a mask, without any evidence at all except for the pastor's own caricaturization of persons who do not wear masks as being un-Jesus-like. And yet, Christians all over social media were re-posting this, sharing this, commenting on this in massive agreement because...he used the name of Jesus. Even without saying anything about Jesus at all.
We have to talk about this. You know that we have to talk about this. We're going to start tomorrow with something that might surprise you....