The myth of impartiality ∙

The myth of impartiality

Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth and defer to no one, for You are not partial to any. – Matthew 22:16

John 2:24-25

 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men,

 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

There is a myth circulating that it is possible to be impartial. Yet it seems everyone has their own personal opinions, preferences, or biases. When you go to buy doughnuts, what kind do you purchase? How do you feel about others that do not like what you like? Individuality, diversity, and personal preferences are part of the fallen DNA. Humankind is essentially tribal and favors their own particular group or kind, whatever that may be. Football fans can be intensely loyal to their team and intensely dislike others, particularly rivals.

What is bias?

Bias consists of attitudes, behaviors, and actions that are prejudiced in favor of or against one person or group compared to another.

What is implicit bias?

Implicit bias is a form of bias that occurs automatically and unintentionally that nevertheless affects judgments, decisions, and behaviors. An implicit bias is an unconscious association, belief, or attitude toward any social group. Implicit bias may often attribute certain qualities or characteristics to all members of a particular group, a phenomenon known as stereotyping (https://www.verywellmind.com/).

Who decides which group or groups are favored and which are not? When wrongs are done, what appropriate action can be taken to right the wrong, if any? But perhaps, the most telling question is if someone controls the process, then “Who controls the controllers?”

It is there, but we are generally unaware of its presence. The 500-pound gorilla is that EVERYBODY has implicit bias, including those that censure others of having implicit bias.

Implicit bias is analogous to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The autonomic nervous system acts essentially unconsciously and regulates bodily functions. It oversees and controls heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, etc. It is there, but we are generally unaware of its presence.

A line between preference and diversity is crossed when it becomes disdain, prejudice, and outright hatred.

In the 21st century, recognizing implicit bias became an engine to drive social and cultural change. Yet people are left somewhat dumbfounded by the charge because it strikes so close to home. Most can recognize and acknowledge their conscious bias, so surely insidious implicit bias must be lurking under the surface. Further, most children of the King recognize the evil of blind, hateful prejudice and genuinely want it eradicated.

It is part of the collateral damage of the Fall. The entire human race is tainted by it. Is there any way to escape? The Father has shown the way.

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Has anyone ever lived who was totally free of bias toward any individual or group? There has only been one: The Lord Jesus Christ. Although his enemies spoke these words, they were absolutely correct.

Matthew 22:16 Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.

REFLECT & PRAY

Our soulishness and flesh, along with the pressures of the present evil age, exert pressure on us to conform. We must resist and be transformed and renewed in our hearts and minds. 

Father help me to escape the evils of bias and prejudice through inner transformation and changing how I think. Help me to know and carry out Your will and act in a way pleasing in Your sight.

INSIGHT

The Father God is truly impartial. On the one hand, He loves all people equally. Therefore His love compelled Him to resolve the problem of the separation that existed between Himself and fallen humanity.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Scriptures make it quite clear.

Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.

The Greek word translated as partiality is prosopolempsia. Prosopolempsia comes from prosopon face and lambanein to lift up. This word is used only in Christian literature. It literally means to receive the face. That is, accepting somebody based on their appearance or other external considerations. In addition to Romans 2:11, it is found in Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, and James 2:1. There is no “face-receiving” with the Father. Nor should there be with children of the King.

The source of “face-receiving” is probably the Old Testament, where a similar figure of speech is used.

Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.

The phrase translated as you shall not be partial Hebrew is nasa panim in Hebrew. Nasa panim could literally be translated lift up the face. That is to be partial and defer to someone based on appearance or status.

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD, your God, is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.

And why is this so? Because God the Father is the one who created the human race and everything else that is.

Job 34:19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be, and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all.

The Father is not concerned about a person’s appearance, wealth, social status, gender, or class. He is totally impartial. In the King James version, it is translated that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He does not show favoritism. He has no implicit bias or explicit bias.

What are the implications for the children of the King? We are to strive to be impartial as our Father is impartial.

2 Chronicles 19:7 Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.

Romans 12:18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw everyone to Myself.”

Children of the King are to strive to draw all people to their King.

¯\_()_/¯ 10-11-2

© Dr. H 2022

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