For more than a thousand years now, some pretty awful things have been done in the name of religion and within the recognized Christian church. To cite just one such occurrence that was revealed yesterday on the internet, was the story of a home for unwed mothers run by Catholic nuns from 1925 till 1961. Inside their property, the remains of almost 800 babies were found in an old septic tank which was filled to the brim with their bones. To be sure, please don’t think that such ghastly incidents are limited only to the Catholic Church but have happened in all the recognized churches within the Christian religion.
In our Spanish Bible Class in church last night, we discussed another unpleasant practice that occurs even today in Christian churches, namely favoritism. Writing originally to Jewish believers who at the time were scattered throughout the world, James, generally accepted as the brother of our Lord, made this plea: My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. (James 2:1 NIV) Reading further on in the chapter, it is apparent that he was referring specifically to their gatherings for worship, although favoritism is wrong no matter where it is practiced. Very soon after my conversion, in the first church I chose to attend with my wife and family, we were witness to an ugly incident. During the Sunday morning worship service, one street person walked in, sat down, and remained for the entire service. As we were leaving when the service was over, a lady member of the church, with a pointing finger, angrily accosted the pastor and warned him in a loud voice that if he allowed such people to come to “her church” in the future, she would leave the church and no longer financially support it. I was just new in Christ back then, but I was convinced that there was no way she could be right. She wasn’t!
Favoritism has many names; here are just a few: bias, partiality, prejudice, discrimination, racism, and distinction. Nevertheless, no matter what you call it, it is wrong and it is ugly and should never be allowed in church, society, or in any other place, for that matter. In fact, it should not even occur at home or within our circle of friends. The Bible says repeatedly that God is no respecter of persons. I pray we can all be like Him in that regard.
Memory verse for the week: (Galatians 6:2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.