Sunday, August 26, 2012


Did you know that the word prejudice isn't found anywhere in the Bible? What exactly is prejudice? Mr. Webster says that it's: "a preconceived judgment or opinion." Preconceived. In other words, a judgment made without fact or evidence. 

Certainly racial prejudice is a problem many people struggle with today. But aren't there many other kinds of prejudices? Social? We see someone who appears much better off financially and assume that person considers himself "above" us. Or we may see someone who seems to have far less than we do and consider that person "beneath" us.

But what about denominational prejudices? Do we as a the family of God have prejudices against our own family members? "That bunch doesn't believe like WE do," one might say. Or, "They believe..." All around us we look at those who don't do things OUR way, who don't worship as we do, and we label them WRONG.

But think about this: the Holy Spirit manifested Himself as tongues of fire in the Book of Acts. In Luke He appeared as a dove. When Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into His disciples, no outward sign is recorded as accompanying this infilling. Same Spirit, diverse manifestations.

If the Holy Spirit can manifest Himself in different ways in different situations, why do we think every person or denomination that doesn't worship and believe exactly as our own is wrong? The Bible isn't complicated. Jesus' message was never complex. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

This salvation brings about a change (repentance = a turning) from following sin to following Christ. This change is then professed through water baptism - see Acts 9:18. Having received Christ as Lord and Savior, the reality of the new believer's faith is shown through the fruit of the Spirit being manifested within his or her life - see Galatians 5:22. Any person who believes these things and has personally experienced salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, who believes that the Bible is the inerrant, irrefutable, Spirit-breathed Word of the Living God, is a part of the body of Christ. He is our brother. She is our sister.

Which brings me to the last point. Check your Bible from cover to cover; the word denomination isn't in there, either.

"For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all all and in all and living through all" (Ephesians 4:4-6, NLT).

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