Wearing a Face Mask or Not

Wearing a Face Mask and using hand sanitizer

The Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation is a publication that provides articles on faith written by scientists who believe in God. In the September 2020 issue, editor James Peterson tells a story about standing in line at a home improvement store. While waiting, he had a discussion with a young couple about wearing a face mask. The two people’s response tells a lot about the condition of our society, thanks to the rejection of God and the Bible as a guide to life. Here is the discussion:

Peterson to Girl: “Are you aware that people wear surgical masks like the one I am wearing to protect other people, not themselves? I know for myself that I don’t like wearing a mask, and it does not protect me. It is to protect you.”
Girl to Peterson: “Masks don’t make any difference. You are either going to get the virus or not.”
Peterson: “So it is all fate? Nothing you can do?”
She nods with resignation.
Peterson to her friend: “You see it that way too?”
Friend to Peterson: “You don’t want to know what I think.”
Peterson to friend: “You sound like you may be angry.”
Friend to Peterson in a loud voice: “I am. I don’t give a **** about anybody but me. If it doesn’t help me, I’m not doing it, and you and nobody else is going to make me!!”

Peterson wrote, “So in 30 seconds flat, I had a reminder that we have our work cut out for us, and it matters.” As a Christian and a scientist, Peterson knows that wearing a face mask is only one small indicator of the state of our society. Later in Peterson’s article, he says, “Stuff 300 chimpanzees in a plane and they will tear the plane apart. Most humans just think about it.” His point is that evolutionists suggest that altruism and cooperation result in an evolutionary advantage for passing on our genes.

The American public’s response to the pandemic has been revealing and shows how the rejection of God has already influenced our society. Young adults will attend a party or go to a beach, knowing that they are exposing themselves to a contagious disease. The desire for pleasure while believing they are fit and will survive the virus drives them onward. Thinking of anything but their own immediate comfort causes a vast percentage of our population to refuse social distancing and wearing a face mask.

Some religious people who might care about others have accepted the political propaganda that the whole thing is fake until they see older family members die from the virus. Indeed, our work is cut out for us. We need to get back to basics. There is a God, and He has told us how to live. Taking care of the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16) and showing love for others (Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 19:18) should affect how we deal with the people around us.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

You can read Peterson’s article HERE.

Taking the Bible Literally

Taking the Bible Literally
For 50 years, the “Does God Exist?” ministry has been taking the Bible literally. We have maintained that if you take both science and the Bible literally, they agree and are friends. To take science literally means to accept all evidence that is factual. The word “science” means “systematic knowledge” (Websters Dictionary). How we achieve knowledge is not well understood by many of us. Theories are a way to get knowledge, but personal opinions are not. Knowledge grows and expands as new data refines it.

Taking the Bible literally means to look at who wrote the passage, when they wrote it, to whom they wrote it, and how the people to whom it was written would have understood it. Man-made theologies and denominational traditions are not ways of taking the Bible literally. As we study ancient cultures and history, and as we grow in our appreciation of the meanings of biblical statements, our understanding of the Bible grows. So also does our comprehension of God and how He has worked in the past and how He works today.

Some people marvel at the handiwork of God and yet deny God as the Creator. There are others who have formulated a man-made denominational understanding of the Bible that requires them to acknowledge the Creator but deny His workmanship. Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth writing in the Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (June 2018, page 87) state the challenge in this area beautifully:

“Why not rejoice in the fact that God gave us the ability to explore not only the present world in which we live but also the wonders of creation that predate our presence on this Earth? Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s character is manifest in His creation. Why should we work to undermine scripture with arguments that ultimately require nature to be deceptive? If, after seeing the evidence in God’s creation … the church insists that the obvious meaning is not true, we create a completely unnecessary stumbling block to faith. Christ himself is a sufficient stumbling block–we need not create any other.”

–John N. Clayton © 2018
For more on this subject, we encourage our readers to look back at these issues of the Does God Exist? Journal: January/February 2015, January/February 2016, May/June 2016, and 1st Quarter 2018 all available on doesgodexist.org.