Does Christ call us to be prejudiced?
Peter Farley discusses the human tendency to be prejudiced, and explains why a Christian should try to avoid all prejudices, even toward beetroot-eaters!
I admit I have some prejudices, but don’t we all, to a greater or lesser degree?
Jesus warned us in Matthew 7:1-2
: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” We need to ask ourselves: “How are am I measuring up?”
What a person thinks or believes on any matter is not important to others, if their views or beliefs have not been expressed, implicitly as well as explicitly. What matters is that, in all things, in all ways and at all times, we strive to be equitable, always equally open and accepting of anyone and everyone, without distinction.
A question often asked of Christians is whether they think homosexuality is sin. If I were to be asked such a question, should my answer not be along the following lines:- ‘With respect, what is more important to you, is not what I think or believe in relation to this question, but what you think or believe.’? To say otherwise is to be judgmental or partial – for me, that would be sin!
For me, the same should be the answer for any question on a moral or social issue, other than for matters where there is almost universal agreement across the whole spectrum of humanity e.g. basic human rights:
The right to liberty and freedom
The right to the pursuit of happiness
The right to live your life free of discrimination
The right to control what happens to your own body and to make medical decisions for yourself.
The relevance of what a person believes when they ask themselves whether they think homosexuality is sin, depends on whether what the Bible says is relevant to them, or not. If it is, then I believe THEIR conscience will give them THEIR answer. Even then, I cannot speculate or postulate on what THEIR answer could (certainly not, should) be! I can only answer that question for myself.
Instead, I hope to be confident enough to ask if what people think I believe has ever adversely affected my attitude to anyone. I hope and pray it has not, for my desire is for unconditional acceptance of others rather than rejection, unity rather than division, peace rather than conflict, friendship rather than enmity, harmony rather than discord.
Is it being flippant to use the following illustration? I have an intense dislike (some may think akin to hatred) of beetroot. I am very happily married to someone who loves it! I cannot understand how anyone can like it, BUT I am always happy to share my meals with anyone and everyone who does. I cannot think it will ever come to it, but I would be willing, if necessary, to fight for the right of anyone to eat beetroot.
Gosh, I find that a challenging parable! Am I doing all I can for the right of everyone to enjoy liberty and freedom, the right to pursue happiness, the right to live life free of discrimination, the right to control what happens to their own body, and to make medical decisions for themselves? Am I doing enough to fight the injustice, the misfortunes and the inequality that blights our communities, our nations, let alone the rest of the world?
The clarion call of Isaiah 56:6
is to: “Loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
Let’s set about setting the captives free!
A Wannabe Word-Weaver, Peter Farley (founder of The Matthew Project) is a father of five and grandfather of thirteen. He lives and worships in Sheringham. His dream is to see a men’s shed set up in North Norfolk, and would be grateful to hear of any vacant sheds or buildings in the area!
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users.
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