Showing Partiality: No Respect of Persons
28th November 2019, hej
1) Showing Partiality: No Respect of Persons
It helps all of us to examine deeply whether we hold some people to standards and not others. Do we respect persons by being biased? If we do not respect persons, not even ourselves, we do good to our own souls.
The Wealthy and Powerful
There are very few who do not judge others at all. Most think and make conscious or unconscious judgements the moment they meet a person or hear about them.
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that wears the rich clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (James 2:1-9)
Who is not aware of
the favour given to the well off, especially their ability to sue,
which is not extended to others? If you have not seen it, perhaps you
have not been in business? Can someone on an average salary stay at a
resort for the wealthy?
How many look up to the rich and powerful? How many laud the wealthy donor and say how wonderful they are? The wealthy sports or pop star that can do no wrong? Do they not consider how such money is made and how such power is given? Listen to the great teacher:
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:10-15)
Idolatry is forbidden. Have not the great and wealthy been shown to fail because of poor judgement? Perhaps the most famous example is the Kennedy family. Examples recently include a raft of celebrities involved in fraud to gain their children's college admissions: to which headlined The unfairness in punishment between celebrities and the public. Prince Andrew of Britain who chose a wealthy associate who himself was above investigation, and became involved in things the half of which have not been revealed. Lindsey Graham a Congressman of America who would not investigate his friend Joe Biden, until it was too hard to ignore. As our Lord says do not rich men oppress us, in fact do they not buy favour and then oppress? The case of Harvey Weinstein who was known to have power to oppress. The case of Ed Buck in California who got away with murder for his connections to Democrats, who had power to oppress to prevent fur use and also to personally oppress others to lead to harm and death.
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 17:15)
Notice we can justify the wicked. It is a separate offence to condemning the just. It is 'politically correct' to justify the wicked, those who would never repent from ways and lifestyles that are an abomination to their Creator- and it is then one step further to condemn the just, who may dare point out God's way.
Isn't partisan politics where one side is judged more harshly than the other, or worse still not judged all? In a debate will we evaluate both sides on the same terms? But then again who is not guilty for giving a friend more credit than may be warranted? And lastly who is not more lenient on judging themselves than others?
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1Cor 11:31-32)
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7)
It is natural to be partisan. It is natural to give honour to wealth, which is why it required a law from God to cause us to think.
Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. (Leviticus 19:14-15)
Judgement in favour of the poor, because they are poor is not allowed either! How do we know this?
Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. (Proverbs 6:30-31)
Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.(Proverbs 30:7-9)
Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (Exodus 23:2-3)
The poor may not be despised, especially in the matter of food, but they are to be held to account. The poor may oppress others as well as the wealthy,
A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food. (Proverbs 28:3)
The poor man, if a true servant of Christ, need never steal.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6)
O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. (Psalm 34:9-10)
Moses' personal command to the Judges emphasised a pattern that we are to seek to think as much as possible as God would.
Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. (Deuteronomy 1:17)
And again so to not miss the point,
Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Deu 16:18-20)
Jehoshaphat's reforms emphasised this point
And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chron. 19:6-7)
The Apostle Paul puts even the humblest servant of the Lord as a judge of Angels
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
The place of Wisdom
These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer. (Proverbs 24:23-26)
As it is quite natural to make unconscious judgements which lead to bias, we need to think and consider and question consciously. We might then kindly and with care rebuke a friend, if they do not heed then they will lead us astray in any case.
A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. (Proverbs 28:20-23)
God's Final Judgement of Us
The most important Judgement of all is God's final judgement - it is of more importance than any other, as the outcome relates to eternal life!
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:34-35)
God's final judgement takes into consideration all judgements all people have made.
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. (Ephesians 6:8-9)
God can override human judgement in this life for just eternal outcomes,
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. (Col 3:24-25)
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. (Romans 2:7-11)
We are to strive to be like our Creator who has no Respect of Persons: and that high aim includes that we don't 'respect' the 'person' of oursleves!
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: (1 Peter 1:16-17)
For the wisdom in not taking gifts
For how to understand Paul's comment to judge nothing before the time in context.
Respect is akin to 'fear', why we might fear humans rather than God