“The son of God goes forth to war
A kingly crown to gain
His blood-red banner streams afar
Who follows in his train?”
“Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” — Matthew 11:6 (NKJV)
I’d love to know who these “blessed” people are that Jesus is talking about. I never meet them. I don’t know anyone who supports “team Jesus” only and isn’t offended by him. Instead, they support a certain high school, university, sports team, ethnicity, class, language, state, or nation – at the expense of others. One visiting pastor, after talking college sports for ten minutes, then supported a rival high school in the pulpit. Clearly he’s never visited my alma mater. We have better facilities, more Christian teachers, and more National Merit finalists.
Race / ethnicity
“Join hands, then, members of the faith,
Whatever your race may be!
Who serves my Father as His child
Is surely kin to me.”
— William A. Dunkerley / John Oxenham (Cyber Hymnal)
Some scientists teach that there are five main races and hundreds of ethnicities. This “science” is partly wrong. There are many biological ethnicities, but there is really just one race on planet Earth – the human race. God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26, NKJV). This isn’t black, white, brown, red, or yellow blood. It’s human blood.
We all came from Noah and, further back, Adam. This means that all the world’s ethnicities came from Noah and his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. So we’re all one human family. We can’t change the ethnicity we’re born with, so why we should judge others for their skin color or facial features? That’s racism and it’s wrong.
Unlike our ethnicity, we can change our eternal destiny. We have a choice. If we are in Christ, then we are members of the family of God (Ephesians 3:14-15). In the first-century church, believing Jews and Greeks were “baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). By being made “one in Christ Jesus” the distinction disappeared (Galatians 3:28). Why not believing blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians in the church today? Heaven is multi-colored. Only one in ten Christians is white. Why don’t our churches reflect this truth? Where is the spirit of oneness through faith?
“Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
Maybe the racist “Christians” among us need to return to Sunday school. Let’s say ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit, seek God’s kingdom, and stop the partisanship! [Check out Unite in Jesus.]
God made us male and female from conception. This biological distinction will not disappear regardless of how we dress, how many demons reside in our bodies, or how many sex changes we make. God knows what he’s doing!
So why do most Christians treat men and women differently? The world will always make a distinction. Women will usually work more, be paid less, and receive fewer promotions and perks. Non-Christian husbands, fathers, and brothers will usually treat their wives, daughters, and sisters with less respect. Christians should be different. The church should be different.
If we are “one in Christ Jesus,” then the spiritual distinction between male and female disappears (Galatians 3:28). Men and women should receive the same treatment in Christian homes, workplaces, and churches. Believing women work the same hours and receive the same spiritual gifts as men. They should receive the same wages, promotions, and ministry opportunities.
The light of spiritual oneness in Christ should shine on us wherever we are. Why doesn’t it? Let’s say ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit, seek God’s kingdom, and stop the partisanship!
Socio-economic status (class)
Some people are rich, some are poor. Some people are slaves, some are free. Some people are aristocracy, some are “common.” We have no control over the socio-economic status or class that we’re born into. Sometimes we can change it through marriage, hard work, or luck and sometimes not. That doesn’t mean we should treat people of other classes differently.
Does God care if we have aristocratic or common blood flowing in our veins? Does he care if we’re born into slavery or if we’re free? Does God care how much money we make, what houses and neighborhoods we live in, what cars we drive, or where we eat, shop, and work? I’d say ‘yes’ to the last question if we’re not rich toward God and don’t share with those in need!
Class distinctions mean nothing to God. All he cares about is our faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ. God has “chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith” (James 2:5, NKJV). We shouldn’t treat rich God differently and give them the best seats (2:2-3). This partiality makes us “judges with evil thoughts” so that we “dishonor the poor” (2:1, 4, 6, NKJV). It is sin (2:9). The same is true of the aristocracy. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
When legal slavery still existed in America, few white people believed that both slaves and free people were “baptized into one body” by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). Few believed that faith in Christ Jesus dissolved the distinction (Galatians 3:28). Few called slaves “brother” and “sister.” “Christian” owners also sinned when they refused to give their slaves baptism and freedom of worship. The United Kingdom wasn’t much different, but MP William Wilberforce (1759-1833) vowed to change that and succeeded. Where are men and women like Wilberforce in the church today?
Let’s share the gospel of Jesus Christ with today’s human trafficking victims, bring them to freedom, and treat them equally as members of God’s family. Let’s show the same lack of partiality with the rich and the poor, the aristocratic and the common. Let’s say ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit, seek God’s kingdom, and stop the partisanship!
I don’t know what language we’ll speak in heaven, but I don’t think it will be a human one. God has no favorite language when his people pray. He speaks them all. Yet some people believe that ancient Hebrew, koine Greek, and Aramaic are more sacred because they’re Bible languages. Jerome translated the Bible into common Latin, the language of the people. By the time other common languages arose, Middle and Modern English, the Roman Catholic Church opposed translating the Bible into them. Today, some people think King James English is sacred. This is ridiculous. Let’s say ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit, seek God’s kingdom, and stop the partisanship!