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But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrew 5:14)

Discrimination Defined

For Christians, discerning between good and evil ultimately means discriminating against evil.

But isn’t discrimination at the heart of bigotry?

Indeed it is—and in a much more significant way than most people have ever considered.

Americans have been well-trained to respond negatively anytime they hear the word “discrimination.” But discrimination is an inescapable reality for both Christians and non-Christians alike:

 discrimination: … 3. the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment. (Random House Webster’s Dictionary, 20001)

Discrimination in the Bible

For the Christian, the Bible passages that demand discrimination are almost endless. For example, in Solomon’s prayer for wisdom, he asked for “an understanding heart to judge” the people of Israel in order to “discern [discriminate] between good and bad.”2

Other examples include:

Then shall ye … discern [discriminate] between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:18)

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

Inherent in proving that something is good is discriminating between what is good and evil.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [expose, NASB] them. (Ephesians 5:11)

Refraining from participation in the works of darkness, much less reproving them, requires discernment and, in turn, discrimination.

Discrimination in everyday life

Everyone discriminates every day. Anytime we make a determination between two things—such as between a shower or a bath, coffee or tea—we have performed an act of discrimination.

Some acts of discrimination are life-altering decisions. For example, young men should discriminate carefully when it comes to a wife. A pretty face and a shapely figure can turn one’s head (let’s be honest, they can turn one’s brain to putty and blind one to what otherwise would be self-apparent). Consequently, a young man would be well-advised to be more discriminating in selecting a wife than in merely choosing between a woman who’s beautiful and one who’s not so beautiful. Otherwise, he could end up with what Solomon depicts as a “beautiful woman who lacks discretion,” whom he equates with “a ring of gold in swine’s snout.”3

Discriminating between good and evil

Discrimination can be either good or evil, depending upon one’s paradigm.4 If you’re working from a flawed paradigm, discrimination will inevitably produce sinful results. On the other hand, if you’re operating from the right standard,5 discrimination will produce righteous results.

According to Matthew 5:13-14, the majority are in the broad way leading to destruction. Therefore, the majority’s standard will rarely produce righteous determinations. In other words, theirs is more likely to be PC (politically correct) than BC (biblically correct).

To be biblical, discrimination must be based upon Yahweh’s6 unchanging morality as reflected in His law:

The law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)

Is there any standard man can devise that can improve upon what is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, and altogether righteous? Only a rebellious man would think so. It was this standard the Apostle Paul recommended to his protégé Timothy:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)7

How does bigotry fit in?

Just as everyone discriminates, everyone is a bigot. Just as discrimination is good or evil depending upon one’s standard, bigotry also is good or evil, depending upon one’s god.

Webster’s College Dictionary defines a bigot, in part, as “a person who is extremely intolerant of another’s creed, belief, or opinion.”8 When people hear the word “bigot,” it’s this characterization they usually think of. However, does this definition describe something evil or something good? It all depends, not only upon the paradigm you’re working from, but the god you serve.

As a Christian, the First Commandment requires fidelity to Yahweh alone, which, in turn, demands intolerance of all other gods, creeds, and beliefs:

I am Yahweh thy God… Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:7-11)

Bigoted for God

These passages demand bigotry for Yahweh and against all challengers.

It may sound strange to use the word “bigotry” as for one’s god, because in today’s vernacular, the word is always employed to mean “opposed” to something. However, when one knows the etymology of the word “bigot,” it’s not strange at all. In fact, it puts the entire issue of discrimination and bigotry in its proper light.

The word “bigot” is derived from the German phrase bei gott, meaning by god. Because everyone serves either the true God or some surrogate god,9 we are all bigots on behalf of our god and against all others. The Bible depicts this as being jealous, or zealous, for God (Numbers 25:13, 1 Kings 19:10).

Under the New Covenant, this means anyone who rejects Yahweh as Sovereign (by means of Christ’s blood-atoning sacrifice and resurrection from the grave) is, by God, a bigot for another god.

Because all alleged gods other than Yahweh are imaginary, they are merely manifestations of man himself.10 This means that anyone who rejects Yahweh as Sovereign and Christ as Lord and Savior is in reality a bigot on his own behalf or on behalf of some other individual or group of finite humans, whose fickle opinions are his criterion for discrimination.

[Y]e made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition … teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:6, 9)

 The question isn’t whether or not you’re a bigot, but rather for whom are you a bigot?

 

Related posts:

What’s Your Paradigm? (audio series)

Right, Left, and Center: Who Gets to Decide? (blog article)

Right, Left, and Center: Who Gets to Decide? (audio sermon)

Could YOU be a Disciple of Baal and Not Know It? (blog article)

Could YOU be a Disciple of Baal and Not Know It? (audio sermon)

 

1. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, s.v. “discrimination” (New York, NY: Random House, 2000) p. 378.

2. 1 Kings 3:9

3. Proverbs 11:22

4. What’s Your Paradigm? (a six-part audio series)

5. Right, Left, and Center: Who Gets to Decide?

6. YHWH, the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, is most often pronounced Yahweh. It is the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible and was inspired to appear nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. Regrettably, it was deleted by the English translators. In obedience to the Third Commandment and the many Scriptures that charge us to proclaim, swear by, praise, extol, call upon, bless, glorify, and hold fast to His name, we have chosen to memorialize His name here in this document and in our lives. For a more thorough explanation concerning important reasons for using the sacred name of God, see “The Third Commandment.”

7. When the Apostle Paul penned his first epistle to Timothy, the New Testament had only begun to be written. Consequently, it was principally the Old Testament Scriptures he was recommending as the standard for Timothy and all other Christians.

8. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, s.v. “bigot” (New York, NY: Random House, 2000) p. 132.

9. It is never a question of god or no god but what god you serve. The god you serve is principally determined by the laws you keep. Idolatry is not so much about statues as it is statutes.

10. Could YOU be a Disciple of Baal and Not Know It?

  1. Gregory Alan of Johnson says:

    For this comment is with the purpose of the praising of the author of this blog.

    • Gregory, thanks! However, my only claim to fame is Christ–1 Corinthians 1:27-31. I’m sure it’s the same with you, as well. Let’s together praise our Sovereign for His calling!

  2. Page 8 “SCOTTSDALE INDEPENDENT” April 22, 2015
    We all discriminate.
    Each of us in our own way. Every time
    we choose to walk on the opposite side of
    the street from a group of people because
    of their menacing appearance, that is an act
    of discrimination.
    I prefer the word “discernment”.
    Scottsdale, Arizona, is considering a LGBT city ordinance, to prohibit “discrimination”
    against lesbians, “gays”, bisexuals and transsexuals.
    Why should it stop there?
    Why not encompass the entire spectrum
    of paraphilia? Why not include incest?
    Polyamory? Zoophilia? Anthropophagy?
    Pedophilia? Necrophilia?
    I am not being flippant.
    The larger question: If there is no such
    thing as a magnetic field, of what value is a
    compass?

    ———————————————————————————————
    Atheist: “There is no such thing as absolute truth.”
    Theist: “Do you truly believe that?”
    Atheist: “Absolutely.”
    ———————————————————————————————
    Dostoyevsky wrote: “Without God, all things are permissible.”

    Dr. Sandy Kramer

  3. Princeton, thanks for joining us and for your input. I really like your analogy: “If there is no such thing as a magnetic field, of what value is a compass?”