Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 24, 1970
NUMBER 20, PAGE 5-6a

Pride, Prejudice, And Partiality

Donald R. Givens

There is no superior race in Christ Jesus. He died for all men regardless of who or where they are. Romans 12:10 declares: "In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another." One cannot obey that scripture if his heart is filled with pride.

Again, the New Testament says, "And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear." (I Peter 1:17, all emphasis mine, drg). God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, 35), and He does not judge according to outward appearance or according to our social standing, wealth or lack of it, or our color of skin. And neither should we so judge a man.

Remember what Paul told Timothy: "I charge thee in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality." How much can we do by partiality? Absolutely nothing!

In this article we are writing of racial pride, and not simply self-respect. We are referring to arrogance manifested simply because one is of a certain tribe, nation, or color of skin.

As children of God, we are no longer Jew and Gentile; bond or free; rich or poor. . . we are all one new man in Christ Jesus. Jesus broke down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, and we dare not erect another wall between any other races in Christ Jesus. All men, regardless of nationality, race, or color have an equal right to obey the gospel, and an equal right to enjoy its privileges.

There is positively no place in Christianity for petty, paltry, picayune pride because my skin is white and another man's skin is red, yellow, or black. Let me make myself clear. We are not speaking about purely social issues, nor are we writing merely about educational problems or marriage ideas. We are writing about the church. I am speaking about spiritual relationships. In the church, there are no "classes" or "status groups." There are no second or third rate citizens of the Lord's kingdom. There is no superior race.

There was an abundance of racial hatred and prejudice in the New Testament world. The Jew was against the Gentile, and the Gentile hated the Jew. (We are the "Gentiles" . . . dogs! ... unless you are of Jewish blood.) Now, what was the attitude of Jesus toward all this racial strife and pride? Did Jesus join right in and deal with those dogs the Gentiles in hatred and partiality, because he was a full-blooded Jew? Do you remember John chapter four? Here Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman at the well although "Jews have no dealings with Samaritans." (John 4:9). Here, as on every occasion, Jesus treated one of another race as a human being made in God's image. He treated her with kindness, with love, and concern. Jesus was not filled with racial pride, prejudice or partiality.

It took the Jewish Christians many years to learn that the Gentiles had equal rights to the gospel. It took a miraculous vision on a housetop to convince the apostle Peter that what God had cleansed he was not to call common or unclean. It took a miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentile household of Cornelius to convince the Jews that the Gentiles were just as good as they were when it came to the salvation of their souls. And I do not know as yet just what it will take to convince some of our brethren that the Chinaman, the Indian, and the Negro is just as precious to God as they are.

I will tell you what stands in the way of some of us accepting the man of a different color of skin as our full equal in the Lord: racial pride. It is the same old affliction Peter had at Antioch when he withdrew from eating with the Gentiles when the Jews showed up. It is the same old disease the apostles had when they were flabbergasted that Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman.

In the church there are no second or third rate members. We are all one man in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:11-18). Let us not be guilty of erecting barrier walls after Jesus has torn them down! Again, listen to the scriptures: ... where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all." (Col. 3:11)

Every man, regardless of his race, nation, or color has an immortal soul. We are all made in the image of God. And furthermore, we are all sinners before God and need the forgiveness of our sins.

I must respect the dignity of a man with no partiality towards his social standing, his wealth or poverty, his formal education or lack of it, or his race. (Consider James 2:1-5). The apostle Peter learned this lesson well in Galatians 2:11-21. And as Paul stated in Galatians 6:15. . . "for neither is circumcision anything; nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

If a person is a "new creature," then he is my brother in Christ; I care not what may be the color of his skin.

My brethren, where did we get the idea that, above all others, Jesus died for the white American? Where did we get the idea that all others are "foreigners" to Christianity, and that they are second-rate citizens of the kingdom? I will say this much: It did not come from the Bible. Here is the way the Bible talks: "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28)

The passage one could use (if such could be found) to exclude a person from the congregation because of the color of his skin. . . I could use to exclude a person because of one's sex! (So we will just have all-male congregations. . . how would you women like that?)

One makes just as much sense as the other. Neither, really, makes any sense, My Bible tells me that all men are made in the image of God. My Bible tells me that Christ died for all men. Does your Bible read differently? All men have a precious soul, and it is as good as mine and it is the very same as mine.

All Christians have the same precious saved soul, and all saved people will live together in the same heaven because we have the same Saviour. Therefore, may the Lord help us to have the same love one for another.

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