The Bible has two main commands: love God and love others. One pastor is asking how wearing a mask fits into that.

Whether in favour or opposed, it seems everyone has something to say on the subject of masks.

Moses Falco, pastor of Sterling Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, says he understands the disparity and wariness some may have when it comes to following government rules and regulations - particularly with matters of faith and freedom.

"Especially in the church, I can appreciate that people are concerned or worried about what the government makes mandatory on the general public," he says.

"We value personal freedom quite highly."

There is a place, of course, for the church to stand up to the government. However, mask-wearing in and of itself does not seem to be an issue of religious freedom the pastor says.

"Usually, it's for the sake of those who don't have a voice or for the sake of those who are vulnerable or persecuted," Falco says.

While scientists and health professionals continue to debate the degree to which masks and PPE are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, Falco feels what is not in question is whether wearing a mask will infringe on your faith.

Masks have been recommended by Canada's top doctors as a way of reducing the spread of the coronavirus. PPE, however, is not necessarily effective in protecting yourself from the virus; rather, it helps protect others from getting the virus from you.

"My understanding is masks will, to a certain extent, help to lessen the spread of COVID and if we, as a people of faith, are concerned about that and concerned about the vulnerable who might catch COVID ... it makes sense from a Christian perspective that we would try to do our part to help mitigate the risks of this virus," Falco says.

"In Manitoba, we've been pretty fortunate with our COVID numbers and so masks have never been mandatory," Falco says.

But he notes churches and stores can decide for themselves if they want to make masks mandatory within their own premises, as Walmart will do beginning Wednesday.

Some Christian leaders have stood in opposition to wearing masks. That includes televangelist Andrew Wommack who made headlines this spring for saying he wouldn't wear a mask when talking about the constitutionality of wearing a mask in the United States.

Wommack also says he won't wear a mask because he can't see Jesus doing so.

“Well, you know, we’re supposed to see ourself in Christ… and I just can’t even picture Jesus wearing a mask as he goes around praying for people,” Wommack said. “It just doesn’t compute for me.”

However, Falco says he thinks wearing a mask in the Christ-like thing to do.

"The Christian faith is all about love for God and love for other people, love for our neighbours, even love for our enemies. And even if that love costs us something - in this case, it's just a minor inconvenience - we have a chance to show love," he says.

While he is not concerned about contracting COVID himself, Falco does have concerns about potentially passing along the virus to someone else.

"If wearing a mask could prevent that, then, in my mind, it's the loving thing to do."

Falco sees it as a small inconvenience for a short period of time that could mean the difference between health and sickness for someone else who is more vulnerable.

"Masks can be one way in which we witness."

Ultimately, though, Falco says it is a decision for each person to discern for themselves, so long as masks are not mandatory in the province.

"For me, it's led me to believe that I should wear masks in certain situations," he says.