I heard this elder minister preaching on the radio today, as I was driving for an appointment. I must say, he had country kind of style; you could tell from the way he spoke, that he had been preaching for a long time. He said that showing partiality and respect of persons, was a sin. He went on to talk about how church folk acted and what some of his experiences had been over the years. I’d never heard that this was a sin.
If you do some studying and run some references, you’ll find the Apostle Paul talking to ministers and other folk, telling them and teaching them, how they ought to act. He listed all of the things they should do, then he finished up by saying this: “Observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” (1 Timothy 5:21). Well. I wonder if we can truly say, that we had never heard this passage before? Could we actually say, we did know and fully understand, just what the apostle was truly saying?
But Paul wasn’t the only apostle to make such a comment. James, said the same thing. He was teaching and admonishing people in the church, to show forth the fruit of the Spirit, how to act toward one another and all of those they came in contact with. He finished up, by saying, “without partiality.” People today, who attend various assemblies, are still being hurt by those who DO show partiality, and those who do special favors for those they approve of. The word “clique” is a common expression today.
I wonder why no one stood up to address this issue long ago? Why was no one allowed to do so? I don’t want to say this, but I don’t have a choice. We were forced to swallow it; it was paraded across the platform in front of us, in all kinds of meetings, in all kinds of churches, even among the pews. It’s one reason, that not allowing the full 5-fold ministry to operate, has done so much damage and hurt do many people. If they had been, a certain group of ministers, would have stepped forward and spoke correction and rebuked such a thing. Hence, silence them. Strap them in, or put them out.
The real measure we need to address: This old country preacher on the radio was right. It was sin. And it was one of the worse sins we could have committed. It brought division within the body of Christ, it caused people to be wounded and badly hurt.
It caused some good souls, both ministers and laity, to quit. And it allowed this group within the ministry, to become even more powerful and controlling. If the original apostles, had walked in on, or even heard of such behavior, they would have cleared every platform in the country. We are all men and women in the Kingdom of God; we are all equal in God’s sight. We all have a work to do. The Spirit, is very grieved.
~ Robert Blackburn