James 2:1 (ESV)
My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
Are you impartial?
James set a high expectation, Christians are to be impartial. If we just look at the variety of Christian denominations we can see evidence of our impartiality. There is an old poem noting our divisions, “You go to your church, and I’ll go to mine, but let’s walk along together.” It’s a sweet, romantic sentiment, but it begs two questions: If the two live so close together to share a walk, and enjoy each other’s company, why are they going to different churches? Can they not agree on their doctrine? Just because we have choices for Christian churches does not diminish James forceful command, “Show no partiality.” I recent listened as a leader of my denomination lamented, “We have reversed the lesson of Acts 2 and seek agreement over unity.” The point is that we would rather divide than remain in the same space with someone with whom we cannot agree. We see it every day in U.S. politics, as if this makes it acceptable behavior. What is behind James point? “God shows no partiality.” God loves, shows mercy, applies grace to all of us, to all creation, just as the sun shines on the evil and the good. Jesus taught, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” No one even picked up a stone; we are all sinful, with no right to judge one another. Are you impartial? Only you know. Our God is impartial; so, Christians are expected to be impartial. Let us place unity over agreement. Let’s worship together, too.
“The sun and the moon shine on all without partiality.” Confucius
Stephen L. Hodges © 2021
 “Your Church and Mine,” by Phillips H. Lord
 Romans 2:11 (ESV)