Summary: Judgmental discrimination is a significant sin. Jesus breaks down the barriers and we must follow his lead!
1. Favoritism – Visitor Survey
Back in the 1980’s, a man visited 18 different churches of differing beliefs to find out what churches are really like. The man said that he sat near the front. After each service he walked slowly to the rear; then returned to the front; and then back to the foyer using another aisle. He said that he always smiled and dressed neatly. He would ask a member to direct him to some place in the building – the fellowship hall; library; preacher’s office, etc. He always stayed for coffee if it was served.
The man developed a scale to measure churches’ friendliness:
10 points for a smile from a worshiper
10 points for a greeting from someone nearby
100 points for an exchange of names
200 points for an invitation to return
1000 points for an introduction to another worshiper
2000 points for an invitation to meet the preacher
11 of the 18 churches he visited scored LESS THAN 100 points! 5 scored LESS THAN 20!
His conclusion – “The doctrine may be biblical. The singing inspirational, the sermon, uplifting; but when a visitor finds that no one cares whether he is there or not, he is not likely to come back.”
2. James 2.1-13
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
3. Passing judgments abounds – it may be something inconsequential or something significant
ILL.- Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke.