Practical Application of the Word of God
Someone near and dear to me posted this status a few days ago on Facebook and, after I got over my surprise at telling myself about 30 minutes before this post that this person looked like she was becoming an activist, it got me to thinking about how the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil looks in practical terms: “I am really considering activism on such matters. Nothing gets me more riled up than ignorance and intolerance for people of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical disabilities. There I said it; now I can get on with my day. Have a good one ya’ll.”
I’ve seen and abided by the EEOC laws throughout my career. The anti-discrimination blurb has been in every employee handbook I’ve ever received. I even had an employee, whom I started the process of termination with because after two years of me holding his hand and walking through the requirements of his job – which he had been given by someone else because he claimed racial discrimination in being passed over for it several times – he still couldn’t do the job and I was having to do most of his job and my job as well, that I had to walk through racial, gender, and age discrimination with HR to prove – and I was sucessful – that the reason for termination was not discrimination, but simply because he couldn’t fulfill the job requirements of his position.
So I’m familiar with the gist of the law, but have never really thought about what this law says and how it demonstrates what the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil looks like.
Not discriminating because of race, gender, age, and physical disabilities is certainly consistent with biblical principles. James gives a stern warning about showing partiality based on wealth in James 2. So these areas of this law are good and should be enforced.
However, the two items – I know there are more, but these two come to the front of my mind – that show how evil can be included with good are religion and sexual orientation.
Religion is the toughest one, in the US, because the same law that gives me protection to serve God as He has commanded – which is not what most Protestant and non-Protestant organizations do – also gives people practicing any kind of “religion” protection to do what their religion practices.
But let’s look at religious discrimination from God’s point of view. The Bible, which is the Word of God, defines how to worship and how not to worship God. Idolatry – making objects and worshiping them instead of God – and having other gods – this is anything that we put before God in our lives, and this is one we all have to be very careful of – are listed in the 10 Commandments. But other information is added through the history of Israel in the Old Testament.
Time and again, we see the warning to Israel not to practice the religions of the nations around them, and the warning for intermarrying with those nations was not racial, but religious. We see Solomon at the end of his life worshipping the gods of his wives and concubines (I Kings 11:1-6). We see Israel still had their Egyptian gods forty-plus years after leaving Egypt (Joshua 24:14). We see Solomon’s idolatry and worship of other gods continue and worsen – every time we read “and _______ did evil in the sight of the Lord,” we should immediately go back to see how not to worship God and the same is true for “and ______ did what was right in the sight of the Lord” to see how God wants to be worshiped – throughout the kingdoms of Israel and Judah until both nations went into captivity because of their refusals to repent and turn back to God.
The major and minor prophets of the Old Testament specifically point out false religion and idolatry as the two sins that Israel and Judah embraced wholeheartedly and refused to repent of.
So to tolerate and not discriminate against anything but the true worship of God – in accordance with human laws – is a form of compromise. And since every employer in the US has to abide by EEOC’s laws in totality, we all are forced on some level to compromise.
The same is true for sexual orientation. God clearly says that sodomy and homosexuality are sin (e.g., Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, I Kings 14:24, Romans 1:27, I Corinthians 6:9, I Timothy 1:10). To not discriminate and tolerate a lifestyle that God says is sin also is a form of compromise.
And this is how Satan works. He is an all-or-nothing being and his method is force. God is just as all-or-nothing, but His method is choice. By including good and right things with things that God specifically says are sin and evil in a law that must be adhered to in it’s totality, Satan is able to further his agenda to destroy humanity. And those of us who say we believe and obey God have to be very careful that we are aware, alert, and not compromising in our own commitment and obedience to God because we are immersed in a world that has embraced and accepted that compromise.