New unpublished
Jonathan Edwards Sermons! 

edwardssmall

Sound Cloud

Listen to my Songs at

SoundClound

soundcloud-logo

 

 

 

 

 

   

Devaluing the honor of Christ, for the honor of being called 6/5th human from the world Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Friday, 11 April 2014

(I wrote this essay in response to a black so-called friend accusing me of prejudice some time ago. I found it a good opportunity to speak about favoritism. I will fictitiously call him Bob.)

Bob, 

          Because you insisted on a response and because I have been wanting for the opportunity to write on the doctrine of favoritism I decided to respond to you, otherwise I would have not since I perceived that you are making truth relative to favoritism.  The problem with this, as I will explain more later, is that even Jesus Christ has no hope (John 21:25-27) of conveying truth to a person who makes truth, whether it is relative to how it makes them look good, or relative to political gain, or relative to whatever reason other than an open minded and honest seeking of the truth.    

I do not doubt for one moment your love and compassion for your own ethnicity, as it is normal for godly men and women to be such, for even Paul had great concern for his Jewish brethren in Romans 9. My concern is if your love is too much?  My concern rests in the fact that favoritism is scripturally as much as a sin as prejudice, despite modern man foolishly trying to make favoritism a virtue of the highest order. Morons!

          We will look at the doctrine of favoritism at large, but will focus on the black community since this is the immediate context of our discussion.  The favoritism which the black community is struggling with, howbeit being agitated by present conditions, is a universal struggle very person and group deals with.  I do not know the pain of slavery, whether it is present day sex-slave or historically being called 4/5th human and shipped off my homeland into alien fields to work as forced labor, and I do not need to.  But I can sympathize with compassion—since as a Christian I have the mind of Christ, His Spirit and truth—with the condition this had on the African-American community and why they have their present day struggles.  See, the favoritism the African-American community is facing is the primordial issue of trying to right a wrong with another wrong; that is, trying to right the sin of prejudices of the past with the sin of favoritism of the present. This a mistake for Romans 12 commands us to overcome evil with good, and not evil with evil. Unfortunately the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. It seems the combination of trying to do a good thing such as solving segregation with both the rise of prosperity-gospel preaching (started by white ethnicity) and taking affirmative-action too far has made favoritism so natural that even in the church few seem to know what it is anymore. 

 

          I have worked downtown Jacksonville for almost 10 years, which has a large poor black community and an unfortunate high black-on-black death rate.  I have gotten to know some of my of black brothers and sisters giving one single father a free ride home when I leave my work to help him out, over a number of years now.  In any case, more than a few I find are so lost in favoritism that they have literally lost the ability to even understand what it even is, even after it is explained to them.  I say this with compassion in that I do NOT say this in the sense that they are worse sinners or more evil than others, they just like any other community (social, economical, or ethic) have particular sins they struggle with for whatever reason. 

          Usually with favoritism the persons involved know they are committing favoritism, for example, back in high-school and the numerous clicks (college clicks, at least some, even go as far as giving themselves fancy Greek letters as if this justifies their favoritism), the persons knew they were showing favoritism and even would try to justify their sin. But the black persons I interact with have been so indoctrinated with it they do not know they are doing it.  Admittedly, when I first started to work downtown I was taken aback by this and thought they were willfully trying to be evil with favoritism, but now I understand it better.  So no, they are not more evil than any other person, but tragically they are as evil as every other person and ethnicity.  We are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, and unless God has chosen you and sent His Son to die, forgive and rescue you, you will die in your sin as Adam’s offspring; and where Adam’s children die the eagles will be gathered.

         

          You asked why I made my predictions of the rise in black on black crime rates; here is a basic biblical explanation.

          In the Old Testament during the time Jerusalem was being besieged by Babylon (my focus is not on the judgment aspect), the people inside were filled with evil and criminal activity.  Now, during the besiege these people, who were already poor from years of war, got poorer.  What happened to the evil and criminal acts?  Did they decrease or increase in a place where money was dwindling? They increased.  And they increased on each other, Jew on Jew.  This example of Jerusalem is not an isolate issue for the Old Testament Jews, but is an outworking of men and women being born as sinners from their parents Adam and Eve; in the O.T. the prophets ascribed Jerusalem’s evilness to the basic condition of the human heart; the same heart every man, women and child is born with.  Therefore, Jerusalem is a blueprint or an example for what happens to any person or group in their place and does not turn to Christ the Rock (1 Corin. 10:1-13).  

          Back to the point, the Bible also shows this is the case with riches; that is, the richer people get if they were evil before, they to increase in it.  But, people often irrationally forget the bible shows it is the same with the poor.  Proverbs 30:8-9 sums this up in a nifty and obvious manner. NLT “First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.”  The people who they are most likely to steal and violate are the ones closest to them, their own poor neighbors, their children’s friend’s parents, and their own ethnicity (etc.).

          On this alone combined with the fact that the black unemployment rate, under Obama was increased in unfortunate ways I believe the evils and crimes among poor black communities will increase and increase on each other, reflecting presently the examples that the Scripture testifies of.  Regarding the present and very unfortunate issue of sex-slave trade I have seen some reports of, for example, regarding Atlanta and the sex-slave trade.  Now, among richer white people there is a problem, as the reposts showed, but the largest amount, according to the reports that I saw, was among poorer black communities and even more troubling, but not unexpected to me, was that sex-slave trading increased in poorer black communities in Atlanta even while they and the economy was getting poorer.  One might off-hand think with less money there would be less opportunity for the purchasing of slaves for the purpose of sex, but the stats I have seen, do appear to show the opposite.  But stats, or no stats I believe the Scripture’s testimony of reality is the accurate and truthful one, even against man’s best stats.  I also believe therefore, any sub-culture, ethnic-culture, social-culture living in a close geographical area, apart from authentic believers, if they were to get poorer or richer will also increase in evilness and crime on each other.  This answers why I gave my predictions.

          For the above the reasons it is obvious why I connected Obama’s re-election to the increase of particular things.  I singled out the black community because of the ironic judgment they are receiving in this re-election and my sadness to know the crime from black-on-black will increase: I am sad to know there will likely be an increase in these: I am sad to know black men will treat other black women as 4/5th human by snatching them from their homes and transplanting them in foreign fields making them slaves in the labor of prostitution.

          I rarely single out the black community, since I believe I do not have a large audience with them, and so I have no problem doing it on a rare occasion if applicable to show how in all things, and in all places and people that the supremacy of Jesus Christ’s word will always be true and victorious.  I have 2 thousand+ pages of martial that I have written on my website, and I am able to count on one hand the amount of times I have spoken to the black community in America. In fact, in your own response to me you said this was the fourth time.  In this light, I find it odd that you would suddenly single my post out and in essence rebuke me for to speaking directly about the black community as a sign of prejudice and bigotry. You can understand how much your favoritism appears, by our own admissions that a 4th remark on a community, that I interact with, out of thousands of pages of material I have written somehow equates to bigotry?  Do you not realize you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day?   

 

          Allow me to humbly give this correction to you.  In your last statement you said: “you will never reach the heart of black people by treating as though they are less important because they seemingly all voted for Obama.” 

          Friend, you actually hit something right on the nail that is true for all human beings, but in the opposite manner.   Do you remember, Naaman, the Syrian Leper?  He thought God disrespected him, or that is, Naaman took God’s command as though God thought him less important because he was told to bathe in the dirty Jordan river, rather than to give him a miracle through the waving of the prophet’s hand, which in Naaman’s eye’s, would have given Naaman the importance he believe he deserved.

          As children of Adam and Eve we are all born with sinfully stupid ideas in how God would approach us and reveal Himself to us. And since social, economical and ethnic communities are made up of human beings they too have sinfully perceived ideas in how God is to approach them and reveal himself to them.  They get offended because God does not meet their sinful standards, but God’s greatest judgment to unbelievers is seen in that He meets the world through a crucified Savior, which is foolishness and a stumbling block to all who are not born-again by the Holy Spirit.  In other words, the sinful heart passed on from our first parents is a heart of pride; that is, we expect God to treat us as 6/5th human, but God comes along and tells us that we are a “drop in the bucket”[1] compared to Him.  Man is greatly offended by this.  See, God tells us we are sinners which totally misses our expectation of being treated as more important than a sinner who is already dangling over hell, and whose only hope is unadulterated mercy that only comes in a blooded, abandoned, abused and suffering Jesus Christ for sinners: this lowly death being for us, is an indictment of how bad off we are and the degree of our intellectual and moral failures!

 

          Our sinful nature which causes us to think of ourselves as 6/5th human finds 1,000 and one ways to express this out.  One way this is expressed is if a different social group, ethnic or economical group, from a 3rd party point-of-view sees and signals out some sinful behavior in another.  See, most of the time communities share in the same sins and so they show each other favoritism by not calling each other out for it, but when another person does not share in their community related sin and their favoritism of that sin and calls out the sin, then they are shunned, rebuked, or worse demonized and murdered as the Jewish leaders did toward Jesus; the same that the O.T. Jews did towards the prophets.  The fact is, Bob, we are all “less important” because we all lost the image of God through Adam and exchange it for the image of Satan.  The good news is that for believers they become even more important than that of Adam’s status because they “become the righteousness of God” and even the image of Christ.  Why is it that I am accused of wrong doing when on a rare occasion call out some sinful issues of a community that is different from the ones I commonly live with?  Why?  Where in the Bible am I forbidden to do this?  Where?  The fact is, the prophets called out the community related sins of their neighbors all the time!  So of course I will call out the sins of my neighbors unless I get called out by God for not doing what He commanded me to do: which is in part to call out the sings of my neighbors and call them to repentance and mercy of Jesus Christ.  

          My friend Vincent Cheung says it well:Nevertheless, in most cases the truth of Jesus Christ does not reach men by what they regard as spectacular ways. Instead, God hands them a book, and in effect, says, "Read it. Believe it and live. Disbelieve it and burn in hell." This is very difficult, even impossible, for non-Christians to accept. God designed this hindrance to expose those who are destined for hellfire, and to exclude them from eternal life. It is not that the divinity of the Bible is hidden, but that sinners are blind to it. As Jesus said, if someone refused to believe Moses, then he would refuse to believe even if a person were to return from the dead to speak to him. Men's refusal to hear the risen Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of this. But God awakens the intelligence of his chosen ones to perceive the Bible's wisdom and power, and to realize that this book is identical to the voice of God.”[2]

          I know by calling out sin, whether to an individual, or to a community that it automatically means I will be perceived as not giving them favoritism that they feel I and God deserves to bestowed on them.  I expect this to be the case.  The rule is that unless you treat, whether a person or community, with the same favoritism they expect (6/5th) “over others” then they will not receive you. But my trust is in God’s word that the “gospel is the POWER of Christ unto salvation.” And so I believe and trust the elect will see themselves as less important so that in Christ they might become so important that they will one day judge even the angels.

          There is indeed nothing wrong with pinpointing our how certain communities struggle with sin and favoritism in their particular ways; in fact, as preachers and teachers it is our example from scripture to do just this!  Paul talked about masters and slaves and gave particular ways in which they need to focus on in applying the gospel to resist sin and live with a good conscience to God.  Paul also did this with poor and rich, giving particulars they need to apply the gospel in, and to resist sin in.  The same is done with Jewish communities and non-Jewish communities and their particulars.  And so, by Biblical principle I ought to be doing this more often; that is, if I was to be accused of wrong doing it is that I do not call out specific communities more often, including the black ethnic ones.  Some will have a hard time believing this is what the Bible says, this is because they do not believe the words that proceed from the mouth of the Living God. That is, since they do not believe that Jesus created the world in 6 days, and He was God’s Son who came and died for their sins, and do not believe God’s justice is relative to His worth and not man, and do not believe He is the metaphysical cause of all things (even sin), then of course they will not believe the Scripture about such emotion issues like favoritism and prejudice.

          Interestingly, the same God and gospel which pinpoints out specifics for particular people and groups is the same God and gospel which gives all these particulars their beginning and end: for the supremacy of Jesus Christ.  That is, there is no marriages in heaven nor is there Jews and barbarians, there is only those united to Christ as His bride. It is the same blood of Christ that runs in all believers that unites them as one in knowledge, love and holiness in Christ.

          I have at this point been dealing with favoritism in the context out of you and the black community because of our conversation, but now I will be dealing with favoritism more generally.

          A real dark side of favoritism is that in order to make you and your community 6/5 human and other 5/5 human is that the others are less human than you.  That is why favoritism is as evil as prejudice: i.e. treating your group as 5/5 human and the other as 4/5 human. Jonathan Edwards teaches us that when you idolize something, then the other opposing group, you will inevitability demonize them. And so it means little if your group starts out as 6/5 human or 5/5 human, as long as the other group(s) are less than yours in humanity, and they are opposing your group, then you will find wicked ways to demonize them. And so both favoritism and prejudice create this evil.

          A real problem for America is that we are a culture, a government and society built on favoritism. One of the chief ways to affirm your mutual favoritism to a group or community is in fact by affirming their sin as good.  As long as we overlook the sins of each other and even approve of each other’s sins then all is well. We are so accustomed to this that we are not even aware that we are doing it. In any case, the prerequisite of being in it together—in the culture of favoritism—is only true if you first promise to caress my favoritism, and then and only then are we in it together; that is, only by affirming my sin as good are we in it together. But this is nothing new, for the scriptures show evil men often engaging in this type of wicked behavior.

          Michael Jackson in 2012 had a previously unreleased song titled, The Price of Fame. Ironically, he did pay the price, but some men would even say it was worth it!  Man’s judgment is that they approve of this price as the scripture reveals that they do, Romans 1:32 “also approve of those who practice them.”

          Now, the ultimate dark-side of favoritism is not that it devalues other humans; rather, the greatest sin is that favoritism de-favorites God as Supremely valuable and beautiful above all others. God, remember Him?  Favoritism flips the greatest commandments around because to love something more than its value is idol worship. Its idolatry. It is the blending of God and creation together as one, Romans 1.  See, you cannot love God and money, as Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount; that is, God designed the human soul so that it is only capable of one true favorite at a time.  Favoritism, among other things, exposes a heart that has devalued God as supreme above all others and has replaced Him with something else in creation. Now, many will try and fool those around them by ascribing supremacy to Christ, but their hearts and thoughts are far off resting and caressing their true favorite, whether it be their child, food, their ethnicity, or music or stealing or even something innocent as teaching Sunday school.

 

NLT James 2:1,

          My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others? For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor" -- well, doesn't this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?  Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren't they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?  And yet, you insult the poor man! Isn't it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?  Aren't they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?  Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord's royal command found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin, for you are guilty of breaking that law.  And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God's laws.”

          Regarding the scriptural teaching of racism, which is scripturally called judging with, "partiality" I often find people, in more well-off societies, forgetting that being partial goes both ways: it can be expressed in both negative (giving to little favor), or positive (giving to much favor); both would be a sinful partiality.  Today we often call this negative form of partiality, prejudice, and the positive form of judging partiality, favoritism, but both have the same biblical root sin: judging with partiality, which God hates.  If you would reverse the role in James ch.2 and asked the poor man to sit up front and asked the rich man to site in the back or at my feet, this would also be sinful partiality, for it could be the poor man is a thief and the rich man is an honest one. NLT Proverbs 24:23, “Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.” See, to show favor either way before the truth is known about the men, is according to scripture, horrid sin in the sight of God.  It is sin because if you make a judge to show honor or dishonor before you know if the man was righteous or unrighteous not only is this partial, but it does not reflect the true nature of Jesus Christ, who will judge the world in righteousness.[3]  The point James is making is simple: favor is not to be given without truth, that is, without righteous deserving cause (Luke 14:8). In other words a righteous man should be given favor, and an unrighteous man—a thief—should be treated with disfavor; that is, they should make restitution or go to jail. Putting someone in jail is treating them with dishonor or disfavor, but if the person is unrighteous then that is how we treat them; that is, when someone murders the are acting by their own choice; by their actions they make themselves 4/5th human. Their unrighteousness is sub-human and so both God and God’s servant, the government, will treat them as sub-human and bring judgment on them by making them a slave inside a metal cage.  In the context of the church, if either the poor or rich man was evil then they should be asked to sit as the elders feet and repent, or if either are good men then they should be asked to sit up front and given honor.   In our age, there is a strong emphasis about a popular man and an unpopular man. In this age, it is easy to get a fan club on very vain reasons.  Popularity is NO indication of righteousness, and so to ask a popular man to sit up front in church before the church as a chance to personally evaluate the man is a sinful judgment of partiality.   

          This is in fact was summarized by the famous Martin Luther King when he said that a man should be judge not by the color of their skin but by their own righteousness.  And of course coming from a pastor this righteous standard is the Bible’s.

          But those who disbelieve in the resurrection of Jesus Christ will also find no place to believe the words of Martin Luther King either, because to be judged by your own righteousness does not treat them as 6/5th human, because such a judgment will not indorse their and their friend’s, their fan’s and their communities’ sin.    

          America is as sinfully partial today as it was 150 years ago, but the partiality has changed from negative (prejudiced) to positive (favoritism) partiality. What the kkk was in prejudiced, we are doing today in favoritism in our churches, Facebook friends, school-yard clicks, college clubs, media, politics, music, toy, electronics, pets, food, brands, clothes, sex, status, blogs, and community groups. My age is as blinded to their idols of favoritism.  They are blind to God and blinded at their direct action that de-values Him for their idols.

 

Conclusion:

          Jesus Christ faced a similar culture of favoritism in His day.

NLT John 5:42-47, “I know you don't have God's love within you. For I have come to you representing my Father, and you refuse to welcome me, even though you readily accept others who represent only themselves. No wonder you can't believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don't care about the honor that comes from God alone. "Yet it is not I who will accuse you of this before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, on whom you set your hopes. But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. And since you don't believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?"

         

          The Jews had a culture that was from the ground up, built on giving each other favor and honor. One reason Jesus was so hated, among other things, is that He disrupted their game of favoritism.  He came, not giving them honor, but came seeking God’s honor.  If they were really in the practice of giving God honor then there would have been no conflict but unity between Jesus and the Jews. They approved each other’s sins and then they would make sons of hell twice as worse as they were. They would approve of the other person’s sin and honor them, and then the other would do the same to them. Jesus came in the scene; however, he was in a completely different motion.  He was seeking not His will or honor, but His Father’s.  From the Jews’ perspective this disrupted everything and ultimately led them to kill Jesus. That is, Jesus did not treat them as 6/5th human; rather, Jesus treated as a drop in the bucket. Jesus treated them as if they were just like every other sinner, in which there was a tower ready to fall on them and judge them, and a Governor ready to mix their blood in wine if they did not repent and believe in God’s Son.  And for those that did not repent Jesus will judge them for He is the Son of Man.



[1][1] Isaiah 40:15-17

[2] Vincent Cheung, The Bible: A Stumbling Block. Web. 2014. www.vincentcheung.com

[3] Psalm 96:13,  John 5:27.

 
< Prev   Next >