More and more state governments are issuing mandatory mask orders. This issue of being ordered to wear a mask in public is polarizing our nation. People are furious about their “rights” being taken away, about government overstepping its authority, and whether or not masks even work. These are certainly perilous times in which we now live. The apostle Paul listed 19 attributes of people in the last days and among that list are lovers of themselves, proud, unloving, headstrong and haughty (2 Timothy 3:1-5 2 Timothy 3:1-5  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
American King James Version×). These are many of the impulses and attitudes that we see in the world around us as people are warring over this matter, digging in their heels and demanding their “rights.”
We must NOT allow the influences of this world to create polarization within the Church. Many pastors have shared issues that are “bubbling” in their local congregations over the mask issue. We might have very strong opinions about the efficacy of masks, or strong views about what is happening politically.
However, we must have peace at services on the Sabbath. Our pastors must make decisions based upon state and local conditions. When these mandates do not contradict scripture, they must be followed. Nothing in these “mask” orders contradicts God’s law. For most Church members, having to wear a mask in order to meet together on the Sabbath is preferable to remaining at home. Right now, our adversary is stirring up strife and division in the world and in the Church! If we let THIS divide us, what will become of us when REAL persecution comes?
If you are attending services in an area where masks are required in public, then you must wear a mask unless you have a qualifying “medical exemption” as determined by government guidelines. There are reasons why some will not (or feel that they cannot) wear a mask, but do not have a qualifying medical exemption. It is recommended that those people stay at home and watch a webcast service. When coming to services with a mask, please do not wear masks with “statements” on them (the temptation to have a “Don’t Tread on Me” statement will not help to unify the congregation). Let’s keep the politics of all of this far away from church.
Also, please be extra-vigilant about NOT coming to services if you are sick. This should always be our “best practice.” Sometimes when we are sick, we may take a dose of medicine. Although the medicine may help us “feel” better, we’re still sick. We should always be considerate of others and stay home if we are sick, rather than expose others.
We know these are very frustrating times, but we will get through this. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.
Len Martin, Chairman, Council of Elders
Victor Kubik, President