COVID-19 schismatics

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:


A post was split to a new topic: Was the American Revolution justified?

The mask dispute is all so silly and ridiculous and tiresome. It is, as you say, not complicated.


The tone of this article is one of strident attack and accusation of “reformed Pastors,” in a broad and vague way; by its nature, it places them, and many other Christians, in a false light. This is a violation of the Ninth Commandment, which the author does not mention as his condemnation is blanket.

It trivializes broader Scriptural truths to accuse many who are called by God to labor in the teaching of the Word of God of “fomenting rebellion” by being against wearing masks. Really, is that a truthful assessment? Contrary to the author’s assessment, it is not possible to effectively preach wearing a mask, and the symbolism of doing so is disturbing from a biblical standpoint, just to start.

As the author discusses authority and submission, he does not seem to even consider the authority God gives to His church, and those he has called to lead in it. Yes, they too are sinners, like the magistrates
he mentions in isolation. But they have real authority, and that given by God.

In my state, the original order by the Magistrate was that gatherings for “religious activities” in groups of ten or more are [absolutely] prohibited until further notice. Yes, it is true, that groups of ten can “meet” by internet. Setting aside possible security and privacy issues, which the author does not mention, there are some poor churches that have little, if any, technology. There are certainly church members in that same boat. And, of course, it is impossible to administer the sacraments by video. The author doesn’t just trivialize that, he ignores that vital function of the church of Jesus Christ.

Is the author at all concerned that church attendance, virtual and in-person has dropped dramatically since the virus restrictions? The author does not mention the actual effect. Rather, he implies a hypothetical situation of no interference with the vital- the public worship of our Triune God.

Nor does the author reflect on the context of the source of obedience- the magistrate is subject to the law of God.

The magistrate, in the United States, is not a law unto himself, either, he is subject to the Constitution.

I would be happy to debate that with the author for there is no way the Constitution allows a 100% prohibition of meeting of 10 people or more for public worship, the recent 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court relating to a California prohibition notwithstanding. A first amendment right like free exercise of religion is subject to strict scrutiny for a compelling government interest that can be achieved by no less restrictive means (Supreme Court test).

Unless the author intends to say that the 7-2 decision in Roe v Wade is authority over the law of God AND over the United States Constitution (the decision CLEARLY contravenes both), and that the author is tired of Christians fomenting rebellion against abortion, since after all, we are not being required to have an abortion, and abortion might have a potential therapeutic safety effect on some mothers. Or, that Christians have no right to speak against it because of their other sins not related to that.

If the author is indeed a Pastor of a biblically faithful congregation, he is undermining his own authority and the harmony of believers, something which he cannot do without. Wearing a mask cannot undo that for him.


There are arguments above and floating around that are specific to the US and therefore are less applicable to me and my family. However, the broad point made in the original argument is sound, and I thank Tim Bayly for making it again.

I wonder, Tim, whether some of the resistance can be put down to immaturity. “The government can’t tell me, a man of God, what to do.”

Regardless, there is a serious case of over-realised persecution alongside the COVID pandemic.

Save it for the true threats, brothers. You are wasting good will on trivialities.


I talked this over a bit yesterday with two men from our church (in Tim Bayly’s presbytery). Masks do not vex me. What has offended me most is the civil authorities taking big unprecedented steps to restrict free movement and the operation of businesses. If I’m allowed to go where I wish and work to provide for my family, but I have to wear a mask, that’s a fair deal, and I will take it in a heartbeat. Even if masks are silly and don’t help, if masking helps us all calm down and start to return to normal, then it’s all worth it.

Honestly though, showing my cards here, once Joe Biden is elected in November, the speed with which the Deep State will reverse itself on all things Covid 19 will make your head spin. Mark it.

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I do appreciate this article.

Rebellion against masks seems like such weak cosplay. Like rebelling against the “no shirt, no shoes” rule. There is not really any gravitas behind it. It has about the same weight as virtue signaling on Facebook.

I do think its theater, but I go along with it just like I go along with the TSA theater at airports. It doesn’t really cost us much to do so, and what I think is beside the point.

If you really want to rebel, stop paying your taxes. Then we’ll really see your resolve when the full weight of bureaucracy comes to crush you to an unrecognizable pulp.


[quote=“mattrob, post:7, topic:1938”]
I do think its theater, but I go along with it just like I go along with the TSA theater at airports. It doesn’t really cost us much to do so, and what I think is beside the point.

There was a study a few years ago which demonstrated the utter ineffectiveness of the TSA. If I recall correctly, they had a 95% fail rate at detecting dangerous items going through their checkpoints. Everyone complaining about masks still submits to the TSA when they fly.

Exactly. It is extremely easy to smuggle in dangerous items through the TSA, for someone willing to do the prep. Almost as easy as triggering a false positive on your computer backpack.

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Let’s say the TSA checks were mandated but not enforceable if you skipped it. You have 90% walking barefoot through the TSA line and 10% foot-shod individuals happily walking past it with no repercussion other than salty looks from the un-shoed. Do you think folks would continue to go through the mandatory TSA line? If you believe it’s just theater, would you still do it if they didn’t haul you and your sneakers to airport jail?

Is it commendable to live by what we believe are lies? If it really is just theater and there are no teeth to playing along (yet), then it would seem a rather big deal to a people who desire to live in the truth.

It’s one thing if we’re forced to play along. I have to wear a mask at my work or I get fired. Ok, I’ll play the dumb game, just like I do with the TSA. But if someone is walking barefaced through a grocery store in a mask mandated county and no one is going to enforce the mandate or even say anything negative to them about it, why should they keep up the charade?

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Thanks for writing this one. As someone who has always leaned libertarianish, the article is very helpful.

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The purpose of security theater at the airport is actually to make you feel safe so you will keep traveling.

Look at masks the same way. Far from pushing people to fear, masks allows them to not fear and get back to living normal life.

Is it the best way? Probably not, but it’s a lot easier than convincing people there’s nothing to be scared of, especially since there is something roughly equivalent to a 9/11 every 5 days right now and we don’t know whether masks will help (despite the conservative non-scientists’ insistence that they know it’s pointless.)

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I might be convinced to run with that argument, but I wanted to highlight that (so far in most places) the mask mandates are largely unenforceable while the TSA is unavoidable. For people convinced that masks/TSA are nothing but theater, it makes sense then that people would continue to play along with the TSA rather than wear masks. Lift all repercussions for avoiding the TSA and you’ll have a large share of folks skipping that line.

The point is, as of now, the two can’t be compared, so just because we go along with the TSA doesn’t automatically equate that we should therefore go along with masks.

Hey, @pcafriend, what’s your name?

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When you say we don’t know whether masks will help are you referring to analyses such as this one? It raises the question–compared with what? If the comparison is being made between surgical masks and cloth masks (such as this study) then indeed cloth masks are not very effective. In the continuum of behaviors that will transmit the virus and those that won’t, masks are only a single element. Most of the positioning I’ve seen against mask-wearing comes from those that don’t see the virus as a threat. But if masks aren’t effective, don’t tell the winning countries which must be remaining healthy on pure faith :wink: