ethno-communal oneness

01/23/2007   |   community    |       |    1 Comment

As we’ve been walking through Romans, I’ve been convicted and enlightened about Paul’s teachings in ch.2.  Before we as Christ followers can get the “big-head” about not being under the judgment of God, he reminds us to re-examine our hearts.  He holds no punches in saying, “Who do you think you are..?  Judging the unrighteous when you yourselves do some of the same wicked and selfish things.”  For some reason deep within, we think that somehow we are going to escape “judgment” and consequential accountability from God… How cocky it is for us to thrust all the emphasis of judgment on the unrighteous when we have a judgment coming of our own?  No, God hasn’t “given us over” or damned us to Hell but he will judge us according to our works.  Paul says, “We are NOT EXEMPT from judgment just because we have been declared righteous.” 

Paul’s emphasis and point is to implore us to repent of partiality.  He is saying, partiality can’t remain in the heart of a missionary called to reach people with the gospel. If it did, we would arrogantly pick and choose who “deserves” the gospel and who doesn’t.  As well, we can’t co-exist in community with those who are not like us, if we are partial. Remember, Paul’s audience was mostly Gentile and partly Jew.  Can a “high-minded” Jew really co-exist with a Gentile if he doesn’t deal with partiality in his own heart?  What about ethnic integration?  Could this be why 11:00AM is still the most segregated hour in America?  Could there be more ethnically diverse ministries, if partiality was truly exposed, addressed and repented of?  I tell you what, it’s on my radar and I’m staying clear of it… It’s damaging, divisive, destructive, arrogant, degrading and grievous to the heart of God among other things.  Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts – exposing our biases, attitudes, stereotypes and motivations so that we can repent.