Compliance or Noncompliance


The restrictions placed on our daily life forced many Americans to alter their habits and everyday routines. By now, wearing a mask, standing in line outside at a grocery store to meet the demands of mandated capacity or picking up a take-out order have become routine but while some are more compliant, others are grudgingly following along as all of us are trying our best to get used to this “new normal.”

The increased rules and legislated standards is to ostensibly achieve better safety outcome. But the concern for many are that the enforcing certain mandates, namely the mask, is only leading to some perceived safer environment and a false sense of security, when in reality, it does not in any remote way help to achieve what it is being promulgated as. Clearly there are others who disagree and thus the controversy continues.

Everything about this coronavirus is politicized and to wear or not to wear a mask has become one of the most hotly debated topics. Not a day go by where someone is posting or tweeting or have written an op-ed about why one should or should not wear a mask. And this article is yet another to add to the pile. In each case, the arguments are made including the ever cited “medical experts” weighing in with “facts” and “data,” supporting each respective camp’s biases, often coupled with some emotional anecdote or belittling memes to attack the respective opponents.

The recent Black Lives Matter protest demonstrations brought tens of thousands of people in close proximity to one another, but while one group enthusiastically endorsed the protest, even with more than 1,200 public health experts signing an open letter of support, others greatly criticized as a glaring hypocrisy. With the on-going controversy already at its height, the protests, showing no regard for the existing mandates and add to that the public health professionals’ blessing of it (also conspicuously endorsed by the politicians from the Left), seemed to have only expanded the rift between the Americans regarding the mask controversy between those who are more compliant against those who are less tolerant.

It is apparent that the rationale on both sides comes from a deeply emotional place. For those who are eager to restart their livelihoods, religious services or other aspects of life, conflicting messages (Within three months, masks went from unnecessary for healthy people to recommended for anyone who goes out in public.) about the coronavirus are making them question everything they have given up so far and after three months into this pandemic, they view the mandates as nothing more than a political power-grabbing. Whereas others are still very much concerned, not only for their own health, but for the well being of others and are more resigned to bearing it, at least for a little while longer.

I heard someone say, “if you don’t wear a mask, you are imperiling the lives of others, especially those who are elderly and the immunocompromised…” another added, “I believe the Lord allowed this in part to test His people to see who would care enough for the lives of OTHERS to follow guidelines to curb transmission. Hearts are being revealed!”

The implication is pretty obvious; the wearing of mask is not just a safety issue but a moral one. If you are a moral person (especially a Christian), then you should care about the health and safety of others and therefore wearing a mask is imperative not only to protect yourself and others but more to the point, it is our moral duty. In other words, in the eyes of a mask promoter, an “anti-mask” person is uncaring, selfish, reckless and malignly indifferent to the suffering of others. Thus the mask promoters hurl all kinds of vitriol against the anti-mask people and are greatly frustrated for they see it as posing a terrible threat to the well being of the rest of the citizens. They insist that mask wearing does indeed help in curbing the transmission of the virus and see the mandate as absolute necessity in getting through this deadly pandemic. And for those dead set on avoiding a second wave (or even a third wave) of COVID-19, they greatly worry about the future losses they might have to endure due to the recklessness of the non-compliant individuals.

The irony with the pro-mask group is that, while they show great concern for the vulnerable who might get sick due to the transmission of the virus, they show very little to no sympathy at all when it comes to those who have greatly suffered due to the lockdown mandates. They see a business owner who wants their business re-opened (because they are in a dire financial situation) as being selfish because in their view, the business owner is putting money over the lives of people, etc.

Moreover, in general, majority of the pro-masks also support the mandatory vaccination as the panacea to end this dreadful pandemic and yet they do not extend the same courtesy or sympathy towards those citizens who may suffer adverse or even fatal reactions to the vaccine. While they appear to show great sympathy towards any potential victims of Covid-19, they are quite dismissive when it comes to any potential fatal outcome due to mandatory vaccination. They see any negative outcome as being marginal at best and see any forceable consequences (however dire and fatal) as justifiable collateral damages, if the objective is to preserve the greater population. They argue that the positives clearly outweigh the negatives. Furthermore, they again view the noncompliants as grave threat to the “herd immunity” and are increasingly animus towards the “anti-vaxxers,” who they deem as extreme alarmists.

Conversely, the faith of the anti-mask people are quickly eroding in those tasks mandated to supposedly keeping all of us “safe”. Typically this group is made up of those who are either mildly skeptical to totally dismissive of the coronavirus narrative pushed by the mainstream media in accordance with the official “healthy experts.” They are greatly concerned about the heavy-handed, far-reaching consequences of the kind of infringement of rights that are being leveled against the citizens, all in the name of safety but with apparent neglect of all the devastating impact it has created and continue to cause not just here in the U.S. but all over the world. Even the healthy are now labelled as “asymptomatic carriers” and therefore are considered constantly at risk.

The anti-mask proponents also believe that them not wanting to wear the mask is more than justified for there are plenty of credible, independent medical evidences that clearly support that wearing a mask do not in the least protect any of us from the virus. On the contrary, it is a potential health hazard that can greatly compromise one’s immune system. Accordingly, this group views the mask promotion as insidious propaganda, leveled against the public by the overreaching, power-grabbing government for political expediency and to see how far the government can push its citizens to go along with their nefarious agenda.

This group sees the mask mandate as yet another sinister plot by the government to put unwarranted infringement upon its citizens in order to condition them for even furth
er tyranny moving forward. The anti-mask people ridicule their opponents as gullible sheeples who are brain-washed by the government, and are being played by the fear-mongering controllers of the narrative.

This group also advocates freedom guaranteed by the constitution and are frankly just fed up with all the glaring inconsistencies of data surrounding the pandemic. Consequently they are increasingly less tolerant when it comes to wearing the mask, which they already deem it as needless, ineffective, calculated to manipulate the public. That being the case, They see the pro-mask people as great threat to their freedom for they see the government controlling and using them against the non-compliant citizens in advocating the government’s agenda and snitching against all the noncompliants, etc. and thus making it all the more easier for the government to usher in a further tyranny.

The medical community is not much of a help in settling this issue. Clearly the government health officials are promoting the mask along with the mainstream media outlets. And yet there are also other various loud voices coming from legitimate sources that adamantly challenge the prevailing narrative.

What is really going on? Are we being manipulated from both sides?

Ok, there might be a few extreme individuals that are on the fringes that may deserve some reprimanding but by and large the great majority who are on either side of the debate seem like reasonable folks but obviously are looking at this from two different places.

Of those who you would regard as your opponents, do you see them changing their minds or be convinced otherwise by another sarcastic meme or some belittling remark or even with yet another medical evidence supporting your particular bias? I’m afraid the answer is no.

So what are you hoping to achieve when you decide to post yet another meme or another article supporting your bias?

I’m not trying to further argue the point in favor of one group over the other but to understand the debate in the spiritual sense and how we can make some sense within the context of the last day prophecies.

Having said thus so far, I am genuinely concerned as to how the mask controversy and other issues surrounding the current events (covid-19 pandemic, Floyd incident, Black Lives Matter movement and even democrats vs. republicans) will shape the more profound dilemmas we may have to face, which will soon come on the scene.

What I fear is happening is that while many of us are so embroiled in these superficial issues so strongly that we are oblivious to how we are being conditioned and contributing to a culture that is becoming more and more polarizing.

Keep in mind that the next big issue that is looming before us might very well be the mandatory vaccination. Again, having witnessed what’s been happening, there’s no doubt many of us will find ourselves pitting one group (in favor of vaccine) against others who oppose.

I can assure you, weighing the legitimacy of such mandate for and against compulsory vaccination will ensue the same kind of emotionally charged sentiments observed with the mask issue. I find it sad that these events are eroding any confidence we have in each other and putting incredible strains on relationships, even amongst our trusted friends, simply because of disagreements.

In a recent article in The Age titled, “New COVID-19 restrictions will be needed for anti-vaxxers”, The author states,

“To anti-vaxxers, I have one message: our tolerance for your wilful ignorance is over. We cannot afford, morally or economically, to give any ground to those who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The article goes on to say,

“…We must ensure that the safety of our community is the number one priority. That means that participation in everyday life cannot put others at risk. If you do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you ought to bear the consequences of that decision.”

The article further advocates for some kind of strict measures to deal with the non-compliant citizens and says, “As a community, we should consider to what extent we allow organizations to prevent those who object to being vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter their premises, participate in their activities and, in some circumstances, seek their employment.”

Another article, on, August 10, 2020; the title read, “

“Defeat COVID-19 by requiring vaccination for all. It’s not un-American, it’s patriotic.

“Make vaccines free, don’t allow religious or personal objections, and create disincentives for those who refuse vaccines shown to be safe and effective.”

The contributors of this article are three doctors, Dr. Michael Lederman, Maxwell J. Mehlman and Dr. Stuart Youngner, who are obvious promoting compulsory vaccination as the answer for containing the recent outbreak of Covid-19. Again, the messages coming from these doctors not without moralizing against the non-compliants, in this case, as being non-patriotic. The alarming trend is that the majority of citizens do not even bother to critically question the validity of such mandate and are willing to go along as fully justified measures. The article further stated,

“To win the war against the novel coronavirus that has killed nearly 163,000 people in this country, the only answer is compulsory vaccination — for all of us.

“And while the measures that will be necessary to defeat the coronavirus will seem draconian, even anti-American to some, we believe that there is no alternative. Simply put, getting vaccinated is going to be our patriotic duty.

“The reason: When an effective vaccine is available for COVID-19, it will only defeat the pandemic if it is widely used, creating “herd immunity.” It is important to note that during an epidemic, there is no threshold above which the protection conferred by herd immunity cannot be improved. Thus, the more people who are immunized, the lower the risk for all of us, including those who are not vaccinated.”

Is this where we are headed? The frightening thought is that we will likely find even our close friends espousing similar sentiments and they will undoubtedly challenge those they deem as their opponents with the same or even worst vitriol we’ve observed with the mask controversy.

Whether it’s the mask or the vaccine or other mandates that have been imposed thus far, and depending on which side of the debate you happen to align yourself with, the relentless pursuit of health and sa
fety will continue to be leveraged against personal liberty.

One group will champion the health and safety while others will try to defend the personal liberty. It is becoming very apparent that these trends will continue to devolve into more and more severe mandates with even more dire consequences leveled against those who fail to comply. From what the Government has already been able to impose thus far, it’s not too difficult to imagine what the future may hold for vaccine protocols.

Are you seeing the picture?

Not unlike how the mask compliance is now being used as a means to control the patronage of any public space, it is not too difficult to imagine how the vaccine or other type of “health” compliance will play a role in any establishment’s right to refuse entry or disallow participation from those who are not compliant. Businesses, especially those involved in the care or service of vulnerable communities, might be allowed the right to refuse employment to those without a COVID-19 vaccination, etc.

As you can see the compliance and non-compliance issue will come with heavy-handed moralizing and these impending issues may very well be just a telltale signs of even greater gulf that will come to bear between the two opposing groups.

Civil obedience or disobedience

When it comes to civil obedience or disobedience, we need to understand whether or not the obedience or disobedience is either in harmony or in conflict with the claims of God. Below are a few statements to consider:

“It is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai and afterward engraved on stone with His own finger…. The ten precepts of Jehovah are the foundation of all righteous and good laws. Those who love God’s commandments will conform to every good law of the land.” {ML 280.3}

We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s Word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A “Thus saith the Lord” is not to be set aside for a “Thus saith the church” or a “Thus saith the state.” The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates. {ML 280.4}

We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered.8 {ML 280.5}

While some may consider various pandemic mandates as egregious overreach and how these infringements leveled against the citizens are setting some ominous precedents; but are these mandates in conflict with the claims of God? With all the illegitimacy notwithstanding, if the mandates do not “conflict with the higher law” or do not conflict “with the claims of God” then is it wise to resist them? Then again, it’s worth noting that she also says that “We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere.” Not sure if I would consider Covid-19 mandates as meeting the civil laws that fall “within its legitimate sphere.”

Looking back, Adventists who were involved with abolition movement exercised civil disobedience when it came to the slavery law for they viewed the slavery as a direct opposition to the Three Angels Message for the slaves were disallowed to observe the Sabbath. Moreover, our country had the fugitive slave laws passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of enslaved people who escaped from one state into another state or territory. The Fugitive Slave Clause states that freedom seeking slaves “shall be delivered up or you would be prosecuted for harboring a fugitive. This by the way was morally acceptable back then along with treating the slaves as one’s property.

Whereas, the Bible says,

Thou shalt NOT deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:” Deuteronomy 23:15

Which is more humane? In fact this very passage served as a biblical mandate to the early abolitionists (who held to the biblical principles) to partake in civil disobedience, for they recognized that the law of the land violated the law of God and that the the law of God was supreme over and against the law of the land.

Furthermore, the civil disobedience exercised by the civil rights movement challenged the Jim Crow Law which were meant to marginalize the African Americans. Jim Crow Law began as early as 1865, immediately following the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. Segregated waiting rooms in bus and train stations were required, as well as water fountains, restrooms, building entrances, elevators, cemeteries, even amusement-park cashier windows. Laws forbade African Americans from living in white neighborhoods, etc. Segregation was enforced for public pools, phone booths, hospitals, asylums, jails and residential homes for the elderly and handicapped.

Clearly some back then thought these civil laws were “good law of the land” and it fell “within its legitimate sphere” of the law and therefore many endorsed the law. On the contrary, you will hardly find any support for these laws and the civil rights movement proved that the civil disobedience with respect to these laws were more than justified. The verdict as to whether or not some of the Covid-19 mandates warrant civil disobedience however is still up for debate.

Here’s another statement to consider with reference to 2 Pet 12:

“The apostle plainly outlined the attitude that believers should sustain toward the civil authorities: ‘Submit yourselves to EVERY ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or UNTO GOVERNORS, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.'” [2 Pet 13-17] {AA 522.2}

Coming Crisis

Moving forward, for those of us who are fam
iliar with prophecy should be reminded that there will be a segment of people in the last days whom the rest of the world will come to despise. The central issue will not be about masks or vaccines but of worship. And not unlike coronavirus pandemic, a crisis, (but in this case, natural disasters) will be used as a leverage to make people comply to a mandate.

We are told that Satan will cause all manner of calamities:

“In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people … do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5. {GC 589.3}

Note how the faithful followers of God will be falsely accused and will be forced to comply:

And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah. {GC 590.1}

Are you seeing the parallel? The scenes unfolding in these statements depict unrelenting crisis (worst than the corona pandemic) wherein a great threat to the well being of the citizens will be leveraged against God’s people having to come in line with the rest of the citizens.

“Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.” {DD 35.2}

“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” GC 445.1

Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death. On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator’s rest day demands obedience and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts. {GC 604.2}

The solution however is not the masks, social distancing, nor mandatory vaccines, but for a certain segment of the population, namely those who are violating the Sunday Sabbath, to comply with a religious agenda; The “CALAMITIES WHICH WILL NOT CEASE UNTIL SUNDAY OBSERVANCE SHALL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED”. It follows that those who do not comply will be met with severe civil penalties with all manner of vitriol and subsequently “be declared that they are deserving of death.”

The issue is not about who is wearing or not wearing the mask or who is vaccinated or not but who will show forth loyalty to the Sunday sacredness, leveraged against “calamities which will not cease”.

Instead of,

“you need to wear the mask to curb the transmission of the virus” Or “we need to close down businesses and schools, churches, etc until the virus is contained”. Or “mandatory vaccination is needed, in order to stop the spread of the virus.”

But it will be,

“Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced!” in order for the calamities to cease.

We are also reminded that those who comply with the Sunday Observance when it is enforced is receiving of the Mark of the Beast.

“But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast.” {Ev 234.2}

Soon the saints and the worldlings alike will be faced with this colossal issue. Are we prepared? Which side will you stand on? What kind of spirit are we harboring? We are facing what will be our greatest decision that will determine our eternal destiny. We will not have the kind of luxury to squabble over minor issues such as masks. How we navigate through these present challenging times will determine how we will ultimately fair in the days to come. Ultimate irony is that people will rigorously pursue an all out war in an effort to preserve their temporal safety (for a time)and yet dismiss what is infinitely more valuable-eternal life.