Respect of Persons
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. James 2:9
When it comes to respect to persons we find that God had to remind us at least eight times that he does not like it and when we do it leads us to transgress. In scripture Peter was shown that God is not a respecter of people when it comes to the Gospel whether they are Jew of Gentile, rich or poor, or slave or master. Another type of respecter of persons that is destroying the church of Jesus Christ is in the area of those that are held in high esteem even though their beliefs and doctrines would not be tolerated if they were the average man. For example:
Deacons in the Church
Do we pick deacons according to the word of God only or are they picked because they appear to have good business practices and are known as leaders in the community?
How about Pastors
Do we pick them because of how their lives line up according to the word of God or do we pick them because of what college they came from or the credentials they have. Many times I have sat in Pastor’s offices and listen how they have justified how people can compromise God’s word and get away with it. How they can compromise because they don’t want to offend someone in the church.
How about Teachers and Authors
Today unfortunately, people are spending too much time reading books than the word of God and even when they read them they don’t check something they learned by the Scriptures like the Bereans who checked out everything Paul taught by searching the scriptures, and they were considered honorable men (Acts 17). The following is three men who have written books and have taught multitudes of people even though some of their teachings were consistent with the word of God, many of their other teachings have been destructive and have allowed major compromise to creep into the church.
This man was trained in a liberal university and allowed ungodly men to influence him in his personal life. Later he wrote a book that perhaps millions of Christians have used to study the Bible. Here are a few of his teachings:
• He did not believe that the Word of God was infallible or inspired.
• Did not believe in the depravity of Man, but thought that man was basically good and only needed Christ as an example not a savior
• Did not believe in the blood atonement
• Did not believe in the Virgin Birth or Divinity of Jesus or the Trinity
• Did not believe in the eternal punishment of the wicked.
When I taught a bible class at a church years ago, I asked the class if they would want this person to teach a class where they or their children could attend and be influenced and they said no and gave me biblical reasons why he was not be qualified. When I told them who it was, one lady got up and left the class and never returned. Even thought there are warnings of his heresy in the book.
At a prayer meeting, I was talking to one of the men in leadership when this person’s name was mentioned. I shared about his personal beliefs, when he proceeded to rebuke me in the presence of the pastor who decided to take the fifth. Weeks later I visited the pastor at his home, when I entered, he motioned me to come to his study where he had a copy of the book he verified what I said was true, but no other word was spoken concerning this topic. It is interesting to note that this same pastor preached from his pulpit many times that a man’s morality/what his believes are will dictate his theology.
This person had a father who finished a work of the Old Testament in Hebrew. When he became of age he had the following beliefs:
• Did not believe in the inspiration of the Bible a doctrine his father effectively communicated to his son
• Believed in Evolution
• Did not believe in Genesis as history
• Questioned many of the basic doctrines of the Bible
• Lectured at Cambridge in the 1930s wearing a Nazi armband."
• In a lecture of June 1933 Die Judenfrage (The Jewish Question), he spoke for the stripping of citizenship from German Jews, their removal from medicine, law, teaching, and journalism, and to forbid marriage or sexual relations with non-Jews -
• Later he would go on to advance the Nazi Party in the area of religion, but some of his most hideous work was giving Hitler theological reasons to exterminate the Jews.
He wrote a ten volume series on the New Testament called the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Soon after the Germans surrendered in World War II, This man was arrested by the allies and was awaiting trial for war crimes when he died. Most pastors are highly encouraged to buy a set for their library.
William F. Albright (American archaeologist and biblical scholar) wrote that, "In view of the terrible viciousness of his attacks on Judaism and the Jews, which continues at least until 1943, he must bear the guilt of having contributed more, perhaps, than any other Christian theologian to the mass murder of Jews by Nazis”.
Years ago, I met a teacher at a local bible college who knew the personal life and actions of this person, but would only say “But his books are fantastic”. Many times when a person hears a sermon on the radio and the speaker talks about the meaning of the Greek word, most of the time it is referring from books written by either person #1 or person #2
This person grew up exposed to immorality such as Homosexuality, when his dog died at an early age he took on the name of that dog and refused to be called anything else even to the day he died. He went from being religious to becoming an atheist and then back to making a profession in becoming a Christian. Mythology was his favorite subject and he began writing children’s books that had Christian themes as well as Mythology mixed together. He was never grounded as a Christian therefore his personal life was never encouraged to change. Some of his habits included:
• Being a heavy smoker (at least 3 packs a day between smoking a pipe) He actively disliked non-smokers and merrily mocked teetotalers
• Was a heavy drinker and many times got drunk with his students
• Used profanity and wrote it in his stories as well
• Had a low regard for women
• One of his closest friends throughout his life was a sodomite
• Was influenced by men who were kicked out of the ministry because of heresy (George Macdonald)
In regards to his personal beliefs that came out in his writings as well were:
• The Bible contained "error"
• Never believed in a literal hell, but instead believed hell is a state of mind
• Did not believe in the total depravity of Man
• Not a word on the justification of faith alone
• Genesis account comes from pagan myth
• Believed in evolution
• Believed in prayers for the dead and Purgatory even though he claimed not to be a catholic
• He received the sacrament of extreme unction on July, 16th, 1963
• Believed Plato (Who was a Sodomite) was a theological genius
He and one his drinking buddies then wrote fables that were designed for young people that Christian and non-Christian as well as those into the occult loved to read. The result of these books have only desensitized the Christian and shown the world what they have in common.
Even a major Christianity magazine had to admit his stories were being unequally yoked with the world philosophies in the following quote: "not only was (he) hesitant to call his books Christian allegory, but the stories borrow just as much from pagan mythology as they do the Bible"
The Bible is very clear that the early church used the word of God to identify false teachers from infecting their people that they would know the spirit of error and the spirit of truth. We need to get back to that position and clean house from time to time concerning what we and our children read.
Person#1 J. Thayer of Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
Person#2 Gerhard Kittel
Person#3 Clive “Jack” Staples Lewis