"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Respecting Persons Is Sin
Author:
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: April, 2012
Updated: Nov 7, 2017

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
-James 2:1

In the list of the most commonly committed sins in church buildings, respecting persons is near the top, even though most church-goers remain blissfully ignorant that they are guilty of doing it. As someone who grew up going to various church buildings, I can confirm through personal experience that this subject is rarely discussed (if ever) by leavened preachers. Most often, the only teachings ever done by the church building pastors is about not judging someone if they don't wear the right type of clothing to the church building, but those are milk-of-the-word messages that allow church-goers to remain unaware that they are guilty of sin.

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; [i.e. the prophets] and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
-Hebrews 5:12-14

The typical church building preaching addresses only the subject of not judging someone with poor clothing, and that is by either ignorance or design because respecting persons benefits the leavened preachers. I'll cover more details as we go through this teaching, but pastors in general would not be able to make near as much money, nor have near as much fame and influence over others, if people did not automatically respect their person.

The first thing we need to recognize is that respecting persons is SIN, just like murder, rape, theft, adultery and fornication; it's not just something lackadasically frowned upon in Scripture. The great commandment of the law and prophets, to love the Lord God and your neighbor (Mat 22:36-40), cannot be kept if Christians are respecting persons.
(Read "False Doctrine: Learn to Love Yourself" here at creationliberty.com for more details about the Biblical definitions of love.)

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
-James 2:8-10

One of the ways church-goers respect persons is by assuming, or presuming, that someone with the title "Pastor" or "Doctor" in front of their name automatically gives them more credibility; meaning that if someone is a "Pastor," they are more trustworthy. I've seen this more times than I can count, especially when I attempt to teach a church-goer the truth of New Testament doctrine that contradicts what their pastors of have taught them; I commonly hear the excuse, "But my pastor said *insert false doctrine*." The problem is that when I quote the Word of God, and people quote back to me the word of their pastor, they are showing me their foundation of faith is in a man (i.e. a pastor) and not God.

Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
-Jeremiah 17:5

Don't misunderstand; there's nothing wrong with quoting someone, but when people are trying to use a "pastor" or doctor" as a shield against believing or obeying the commandments of New Testament doctrine, there is a foundational problem with respecting persons; or in other words. They respect a pastor more than they respect God, they respect what a seminary "doctor" says more than they respect Christ, they respect what their dad told them more than they respect the Bible, etc.

The Lord God does not respect the persons of men, and therefore, concerning the things within the Body of Christ, we ought not to respect persons either:

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
-Acts 10:34-35

It does not matter to God where you live, where you were born, how much money or education you have. He looks to those who are humbled and tremble in fear at His Word:

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
-Isaiah 66:2

The Lord God rarely uses the strong, well-educated, wealthy, and beautiful to preach His Word; the Bible specifically tells us that He looks for the weak, foolish, poor, and lowly people to give His wisdom and understanding:

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base [i.e. lowly, those who the world considers worthless] things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
-1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Before continuing, let's read a general definition of respect:

respect (n): regard, attention, estimation of honor based on worth, looking to someone based on the qualities of the mind or actions characterized with valued qualities
(See 'respect', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 26, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

Please don't think that respect is evil; it certainly is not. For example, we respect the Lord Jesus Christ by looking to Him, giving Him our attention and honor because He is the Holy God, whose character and qualities are beyond compare, and in that context, respect is a good thing. In a lesser sense, we ought to respect a Judge over a courtroom if he judges in righteous discernment for the good of the people. You can even respect a cashier at a grocery store if he shows himself worthy of respect by providing efficient service with a humble attitude.

The problem is in respecting someone's PERSON, judging them based on their title and position, rather than judging them on their mind and character. A Judge in a courtroom can put away dangerous criminals, or he could also take bribes to allow dangerous criminals to go free, and so it is possible to mistakenly respect a judge who is himself an extortioner. A cashier at a grocery store could work hard and seem kind, but he could also be a thief who steals from his store and from customers, and so it is possible to give respect to a thief. Thus, to judge someone based on their title means that you are automatically respecting the value society has placed on the position, rather than judging the man by his words and actions.

The common teaching is that if a homeless person came into the church, don't treat him different because of how he looks or smells, which is somewhat addressed in James 2 (we'll get to that later), but there is far more meaning behind this. There are two main definitions to the word "persons," the first is an individual, which is how we most commonly use it, but in the context of "respecting persons," it means a character of office.

In summary, respecting persons is to give heed, attention, and/or favor to one person over another based on a station of office or title.

If the homeless person has a station or title, I would be very surprised; thus, what the Bible is referring to is not whether or not someone has bathed in the past week, but rather, whether or not someone has a title in front of their name. An example of a title would be: pastor, doctor, elder, deacon, etc. The early church in the New Testament did not use these titles among one another.
(Read "Titles Are Unbiblical in the Church" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Respecting persons is also very closely linked to the teaching we did on judgment, and how many church-goers have been taught not to judge anything or anyone, but the Bible teaches we are judge all things.
(Read "Unbiblical Cop-Outs: Don't Judge Me!" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
-1 Corinthians 2:15

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
-John 7:24

Church-goers judge things all the time, everyday, and then hypocritically sit back and think they don't judge anything or anyone. If a child's ball bounces across the road and you hit the brakes on your car, you are judging the situation, potentially protecting the life of a child who may haphazardly run into the road to chase the ball; that's righteous judgment. If a rapist broke into your home to assault your daughter, and you shoot him to protect her, you're judging righteous judgment. Even if you drink hot soup, you judge it first to see whether or not it will burn your mouth. However, when someone judges according to the appearance of a man, they are not judging according to rightousness, because they are not judging the mind and character of the man, but rather, they are judging their position and title, and I would like to remind readers that titles and positions don't preach doctrine, titles and positions don't act or speak, titles and positions don't have a conscience—people do.

For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
-Deuteronomy 10:17

For there is no respect of persons with God.
-Romans 2:11

I have had many letters written to me concerning my rebuking of a pastor (or some other popular preacher or musician) for teaching false doctrine, or in more simple terms, I rebuked him for lying to people and proved it with Scripture. In these letters, there was no Scripture, there was no correction about my quotations of the wicked pastor, there was only complaint that I had done "something" wrong. What had I done wrong exactly? I never did get an answer from any of the letters; I only got whining opinions of "how dare you rebuke this pastor." The problem is that they are guilty of the sin of respecting persons, meaning that they regard his person as a pastor, and in their own eyes, those who rebuke the pastor can't be right with God because they worship the pastor as if he is the equivalent of God.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
-Proverbs 12:15

The reason they respect persons is because they don't respect the Lord Jesus Christ as much as they respect men and tradition:

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
-Matthew 15:9

Notice specifically the Lord Jesus Christ said that they worship him in vain when their hearts are far from him, meaning that all their "praise & worship" songs they sing in their church buildings are 100% useless when they believe and teach false doctrines, and when they give respect to men who believe and teach false doctrines. I recall a "music pastor" (even though there is no such thing in Scripture) I rebuked for teaching numerous false doctrines, and his response was a complaint that I didn't know anything about him because I had never been to one of his "worship sessions," but the Lord Jesus Christ says that when they teach the doctrines of men, their worship is in vain.

The Lord God told the Jews he would not hear their songs and melodies because they worked unrighteousness and taught false doctrine:

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
-Amos 5:21-24

The problem is that, because they have a pastoral title, these people think they can say and do no wrong, and that all their traditions are accepted with God:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments [i.e. first teachings] of the world, and not after Christ.
-Colossians 2:8

Much like the Pharisees in the days of Christ, those with titles (i.e. pastors) love to have preeminence among men.

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
-3 John 1:9-10

preeminence (n): superiority in rank, dignity, power, or influence
(See 'preeminence', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Nov 1, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

Thus, they became pastors in the first place because they wanted others to respect their person. Most of you reading this have not been pastors, so consider for a moment that you are one; you are set in high esteem by the public in general, everyone in the church building listens attentively to what you say and take your words very seriously, and in exchange for your advice and teaching for 30-40 minutes once or twice a week, they give you praise and a paycheck—when was the last time you had a job like that?

Can you now see why the position is coveted by so many people? Even on a low-income church building, it's still a really lucrative job.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
-1 Timothy 6:10

Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's [i.e. money's] sake.
-Titus 1:11

There are many men I've met who are pastors teaching false doctrines in the church buildings, who love the respect people give to their position. Everywhere they go, they are greeted with the respected title of "pastor," and are given special benefits and privileges.

Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
-Luke 11:43

Whether it's a pastor who loves to be called by his title, or a priest that wears his black garbs and loves to be called "father" (which is anti-biblical - Mat 23:9), there are many such examples that can be given for people who love to have preeminence among men. It is also not uncommon in the church buildings to have special reserved seats for pastors up in the front, if not on the very stage itself.

For example, John Hagee and his son Matthew have chief seats reserved for them in their synagogue:

(Read "Christian Ministries Teaching Evolution" for more details on John Hagee teaching Evolutionism.)

Every church-goer I've met who has a pastor that has a chief seat like this in their church building has immediately started making excuses for it. I have not seen an immediate repentance and rebuke of their church building, but rather, they always try to justify themselves.

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

The most common excuse I've been given is from Romans 13:

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
-Romans 13:7

The context of Romans 13 is talking about governing leaders and submission to government authority. These verses have NOTHING to do with church leadership. However, church-goers will continue to use them because they don't have anything else to justify their sin of respecting persons, and therefore they will use the Word of God under false pretenses in their inquity so they don't have to repent and sanctify themselves.
(Read "False Doctrine: Unlimited Submission to Government" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

For example, Gary Linton, pastor at Ministrymaker Ministries, uses this argument. After quoting Romans 13:7, he says:
"Thereís honor in being called by God and we are to give honor to whom honor is due. They are not better than anyone else, but respect is to be given for the office and calling. By showing respect for the pastor and church, we also show respect for God."
-Gary Linton, "The Churchís Responsibility to Its Pastor," Ministrymaker Ministries, June 10, 2017, retrieved Nov 2, 2017, [ministrymaker.com/churchs-responsibility-to-its-pastor]

So as you can see, he took Romans 13:7 out of its context and applied it to pastors, which was his first mistake. Then, he said that respect should automatically be shown to the office of a pastor, and when I read on in his article, he never gave any circumstances in which a pastoral office should not be automatically respected. This is the very defintion of respecting persons because he's not judging the doctrine being taught and the actions being taken by a pastor; rather, he's simply giving respect to a station, and that respect allows him to freely err and sin without rebuke.

Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
-Deuteronomy 16:19

As a side note, Linton goes on to teach other unbiblical things, which is why I don't repect his person either. For example, he teaches that the altar in church buildings (i.e. the place where altar calls are given) is a holy place that must be honored, when the truth is that the altar was designed for church buildings in the 1800s by a wicked man who was not of God, and that tradition has carried on due to the unbiblical "Revivalism" movement.
(Read "Revivalism: The Devil's Design" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Here's an example of a pastor who demands that the people in the congregation respect his pastoral position. The following video clip is Jim Standridge filmed at Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Oklahoma:

This pastors's message was filled with phrases like, "I'm important. I'm somebody... you listen to me," and "You're one of the sorriest church members I have. You're not worth 15 cents," but he still has the nerve to judge their "bad attitudes." Perhaps they were sorry, perhaps they were not worth 15 cents, but this pastor is judging himself to be better than others.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
-Philippians 2:3

This is what happens when a preacher gets lifted up in his pride; he forgets where he came from, and starts hypocritically judging others, pointing out their attitude problems when he hasn't checked his own. The Bible calls this "haughty" and "vainglory." He also commonly used the words I and me an awful lot when he talked about matters of the church, and there was not one mention of the Spirit of God nor the Lord Jesus Christ in any of his ranting against those people.
(Read "The Biblical Understanding of Pride" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
-Matthew 7:5

What's even worse was that after the display of pride and railing on the congregation he was speaking to, he walked up to one of them and said, "You know I love you, right?" Then put on a show of making the man stand up and give him a hug as a display for the masses to make the outside of the cup and platter look clean:

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
-Matthew 23:26

If Standridge had repented of the pridefulness in his heart, that would be understandable; however, in a news interview, he said:
"I know I'm right, and I know I haven't done anything wrong."
-Jim Standridge, "'You're Not Worth 15 Cents!': Baptist Preacher Isn't Sorry For Yelling At Congregation During Viral Sermon," Business Insider, July 5, 2013, retrieved Nov 2, 2017, [businessinsider.com/baptist-pastor-jim-standridge-not-sorry-2013-7]

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
-1 Corinthians 10:12

We can know what's in his heart by what comes out of his mouth. Despite what the typical church-goer claims (i.e. "You can't know what's in someone's heart; only God can!"), it is possible to know what's in someone's heart to a certain extent.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
-Matthew 15:18

A Lutheran website with an anonymous author provided an answer to a question about respecting the "pastoral office:"
"Q: 'It seems to me that people of todayís generation do not respect the pastoral office as much as previous generations. Is this a valid observation?'
A: Your assessment unfortunately appears to be on the mark. Clergy scandals, preachers espousing liberalism, and money-hungry pastors often hit the headlines, and this has probably taken a toll on the way pastors as a whole are perceived in every denomination. Years ago the laity tended to have a high view of the public minister, but some of the respect may have been attributed simply to his credentials as being more educated and learned than the average person in his parish and even in his community. Today this isnít so much the case. Our congregations are filled with lay people who often have just as much formal education and/ or degrees as does the pastor who serves them."

-Anonymous Author, "Pastoral Respect," Evangelical Lutheran Synod, retrieved Nov 2, 2017, [els.org/resources/answers/pastoral-respect]

This anonymous (i.e. cowardly) author is not judging individual doctrine that is taught, but rather, he is assessing the general station of a man given the title of "pastor." The people who have looked down on the pastoral title due to scandals (i.e. sin) and the love of money are not judging the doctrine each individual is teaching, but rather, they are just giving their overall opinion of whether or not they think the position of a pastor in general is good, and there is no rebuke from this anonymous author to set them straight on not respecting a man's person because, after all, I'm sure whoever he is, he too is in a position of leadership in which he demands respect.

What gets even worse is that the anonymous author then says the reason people don't respect the pastor is because both parties have college degrees. In other words, now that the "ignorant laity" has titles as fancy as the pastor, they don't respect him anymore. This demonstrates everything the Bible teaches about not respecting persons, that if we would hear the doctrine of a man, and have respect to him for teaching the truth, or not respect him because he teaches lies, we would then be following Christ instead of the traditions of men.

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
-Mark 7:13

To give a more simple example, let's suppose your neighbor has a chihuahua (a small dog) named Princess Buttercup. Buttercup is a vicious dog that bites visitors, rips up furniture, and makes a horrible mess everywhere she goes. One day, she decides to run over to your property and start biting and ripping the paneling off your house, and when you grab the first gardening tool you find to chase her off, your neighbor comes out and says, "Hey, don't disrespect her! She's a princess!" The absurdity of respecting a dog, no matter what the animal does, simply because it has the title of "princess," is absurd, but church-goers do it ALL THE TIME, EVERY DAY for pastors and doctors without thinking.

The following quote is from a teaching given by another author who remains anonymous:
"And so here is the apostle telling them now at Thessalonaika how they are to treat this aspect of the total ministry of the Church, how they are to regard the ministry of the elders and the pastoral office. And he tells them that they are to respect it. They are to respect those who work hard who are among them, and who are over them in the Lord, and to hold them in the highest regard, in love, because of their work. Mark that. They are to hold them in the highest regard no so much because of themselves, but because of their WORK. That is what is meant by respecting the pastoral office. It is not because the pastor might be charismatic. It has nothing to do with his being a nice man. They are not to have a high regard for the pastoral office because the pastor happens to be a man with an engaging personality, or because he happens to be the kind of person who is easy to get along with, a man whom one can easily talk to. By the same token, the pastoral office is not to be disrespected because the pastor may be none of these things! No doubt an engaging personality, being easy to get along with and talk to is immensely helpful to the pastoral office but that is not the reason that the apostle Paul urges the people to respect the pastoral office."
-Anonymous Author, "The Pastoral Office: A Guide to Pastoral Leadership," The Messianic Evangelicals, retrieved Nov 2, 2017, [nccg.org/169Art-PastoralOffice.html]

Simply put, he's saying that, no matter good or bad, right or wrong, mean or kind, the office of a pastor is to be respected. Again, this is the very definition of respecting persons. First, we need to read the verses this anonymous author is referring to:

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
-1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

There are a number of problems with the above quote, but the first is that he is quoting from some new-age bible version, which causes a lot of problems. Most of the people I meet who fight against the basic doctrines of Scripture do not use the King James Bible; not to say that anyone who uses the KJB is teaching the truth, but rather, putting oneself on the foundation of God's pure and perfect Word is a good first step to understanding and sanctification.
(Read "Why I Use The King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details on the confusion and false doctrine taught in new-age bible versions.)

Next, notice that in 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul did not say to highly esteem pastors specifically. He said "them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you [i.e. to counsel against wrong practices]," which applies to elders, evangalists, prophets, apostles, and assortment of other things which I cover in more details in an article we have called "Is the One-Pastor Church System Biblical?" However, this anonymous author is only suggesting that these things apply to "pastors."

Finally, the problem is not highly esteeming those who labor in the Body of Christ, because we ought to highly esteem the laborers for the sake of the work being done for the Lord Jesus Christ. The reason for this is because, if they are teaching truth and righteousness, sanctification and repentance, faith and mercy, as the Bible instructs us, then they are here for our good. I can speak from personal experience on this, that I RARELY am treated with such respect; there are very few people in this world who would give me that honor, even if I held a pastoral title (i.e. I don't hold a title, and I am not a pastor), and I am disrespected BECAUSE I teach truth, righteousness, and sanctification, just as the Old Testament prophets (e.g. Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc) were disrespected for doing the same thing.
(Read "Is The One-Pastor Church System Biblical?" here at creationliberty.com for more details on the problems with modern-day definitions of church leadership and the structure of the typical building that do not follow Biblical instruction.)

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
-Matthew 5:11-12

However, judging the work of a man is NOT the judgment this anonymous author instructs us to make; rather, he instructs us to respect the OFFICE or POSITION of a person who claims to labour in the Word. The anonymous author is not teaching us to judge the doctrine the man teaches, but rather, pay no heed to what he says, and just accept and respect him simply on the basis that he has a "pastoral" title.

Paul pointed out to the Corinthian Christians that he sought to cut off "occasion" from those who desired it, and in this context, occasion means "opportunity or convenience," meaning that they are people looking to gain material wealth and "glory" (i.e. fame and respect) from their position over the congregation. What Paul is saying is that there are many people (i.e. "deceitful workers") that will come into the church for the sake of the money and respect they will automatically get from people, and that one of the reasons it is sin to respect their office is because they are the ministers of the devil.

But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion [i.e. opportunity or convenience] from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
-2 Corinthians 11:12-15

When Christ warned the apostles about the deception of teachers, He specifically pointed out to beware their "leaven," and once the disciples had reasoned out what He was saying, they realized He was warning them to beware of their DOCTRINE (i.e. beware what they teach):

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees... Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
-Matthew 16:6-12

The Bible does not tell us to highly esteem such men, but to rebuke and reprove them, and specifcally in Eph 5:11 (see below), it says NOT to have fellowship with them. (That is, unless they repent. - Luke 17:3) If we were to highly esteem men who teach the false doctrines traditionally taught by most pastors today, then we would be respecting that which is highly esteemed among men, meaning that we are respecting his person and not judging righteous judgment, so let us stop judging a man by how he appears (e.g. suit & tie, stands behind a pulpit, is called a "pastor"), and start judging his words in comparison to God's Word.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
-John 7:24

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them... all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
-Ephesians 5:11-13

Cherry-picking verses is why so many preachers teach false doctrine; because God's Word was designed to be taken line upon line (i.e. getting the context of the verses), and here and there a bit (i.e. multiple passages in different books of the Bible will give the entirety of the doctrine).

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
-Isaiah 28:10

The above anonymous author continues to tell everyone:
"It is not the man -- the pastor -- that is important, it is the work, it is the message, it is the office of the pastor which is worthy of esteem."
-Anonymous Author, "The Pastoral Office: A Guide to Pastoral Leadership," The Messianic Evangelicals, retrieved Nov 2, 2017, [nccg.org/169Art-PastoralOffice.html]

However, as we saw earlier in the defintions used by Scripture, it is the office (i.e. the person) that God does not respect, and when we respect that office, we sin and it blinds us to the truth. The Bible teaches the exactly opposite this anonymous author teaches. I will respect any man if he teaches the truth of God's Word in purity and sanctification, but when they start teachings lies, and encourage others to teach lies, I have no respect for the Devil.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
-John 8:44

Yet, most people who claim to be of Christ fight against me when I teach about the sin of repsecting persons because they highly esteem titles. If there is anyone in this world who has done the most to prevent me from the teaching the truth of God's Word, it has been the church-goers, church buildings, and so-called "pastors" of America. The pastors have often strived against me because they have prestige and a paycheck to protect, but the church-goers fight against me because they don't want to believe that all the happy-go-lucky, funtime, feel-good messages and traditions they are accustomed to are evil, and neither party wants anyone to correct them.

Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
-Proverbs 15:10

Their pastor gives them a feel-good message they enjoy, and they don't want to hear the truth, so they would rather believe the lies of tradition than have their eyes opened:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap [i.e. pile up or mass together] to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
-2 Timothy 4:2-5

We are supposed to make proof of our ministry, enduring the afflictions (i.e. grief and hardship), letting people judge our ministry by what we teach; not to just have our ministry respected from day one because we are called "ministers." As we read earlier in 2 Corinthians 11, there are men who are so-called "ministers of righteousness" who serve at the Devil's pleasure. Yet, many go and listen to these devils and believe in their fables because they have itching ears, meaning that they want to hear a fanciful, feel-good message that makes them feel warm and gooey inside so they can have their ears scratched.

I've heard the excuses from church-goers over and over and over: "Well, it's not like that at my church. No, we're not like those people." And yet, to this day, I have still not seen a church building I would be willing to attend and be a part of because of all the leaven I've seen in them. (This is not to say that there are no church buildings that do what's right; perhaps there are, but they are extraordinarily rare, much more so than the average church-goer wants to believe.)

The Bible does not say there would be tons of Christians all over the place, and millions and millions of people going to heaven everywhere. God's Word tells us that MANY go the way to destruction, and FEW find the way to life:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
-Matthew 7:13-14

All of us have been guilty of respecting persons at one time or another, and so I'm not saying that if you respected persons that you're going to hell because we are not saved by works; we're saved through repentance (i.e. grief and godly sorrow of sin) and faith by the grace of Christ, but respecting persons is still sin, and we still need to repent. Those of you who have attended church buildings for many years in your life will understand most everything I've said here; you will know the general level of "awe" that is granted to a pastor by those who surround him, which is a form of worship and fear of man, rather than God.


It's sad that church-goers often say to me, "Oh, our pastor's not perfect, but he's a good guy," and yet, they treat him as if he is perfect. If you don't believe me, then test it for yourself by sending them this article, and watch how many excuses you get in return, assuming that they'll even take the time to read it.

Again, many of these pastors take up a job as a pastor in the first place because it's a position where they get preeminence, and it's easy pay. They preach their wicked, false "storehouse tithing" sermons and watch the money roll in, and that is what they were taught to do by their seminary college. (i.e. a "Pharisee Factory.")
(Read "Is Tithe A Christian Requirement?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
-Matthew 13:22

Just like the preacher we saw in the video earlier, they feign an outward appearance that they love their congregation, but inwardly, they are covetous. They are making merchandise out of people.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
-2 Peter 2:3

In our article, "Is Tithing a Christian Requirement?," I document that research studies done that, out of a sample size of 1500 evangelical church buildings, 70% of the pastors said they didn't study the Bible on a regular basis, and at least 50% of them said they would quit being a pastor, but they had no other way to make a living. (The study concluded much more than that, so read the article if you want more details.) This is what it means to make merchandise of you; they want get up behind the pulpit once a week, do a song and dance to entertain you, rake in their tithe/paycheck from your wallet, and then go back to living their deceitful lives while expecting you to respect their title of "pastor."

One of the ways they entertain is through their long show of prayer. The preachers lead people to think they are deserving of honor and respect because of how loud, long, and sanctimonious their prayers are during their church services:

(Read "The Biblical Understanding of Prayer" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
-Luke 20:46

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
-Matthew 6:5-7

I guarantee that these men don't whoop and hollar and dance around foolishly when they are alone in their closets. They do this to put on a show of entertainment for the masses, and the only reason those church-going masses don't brand the man as "insane" is because they respect his person and are willingly blind to his wickedness.

I've met people who are afraid to listen to what I teach because they fear their pastor and what he would say or think. They fear men; they don't fear God.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
-Proverbs 29:25

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
-Proverbs 1:7

To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
-Proverbs 28:21

Those men demanding the respect of their station are evil in their hearts; I don't care how "good" someone wants to claim them to be, the Bible says that they are willing to sell you out for a meal ticket. People whine about their feelings, and that they "feel" like he's a good preacher, which means they trust in the feelings of their hearts, but a few verses later, Proverbs says:

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
-Proverbs 28:26

Job had three friends, and there was another man with them, a young man named Elihu. After he heard Job try to justify himself to be righteous, he rebuked him sharply and said:

Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
-Job 32:21

He told Job the truth, and did not respect his person. This is what God would have us to do; judge men not according to the appearance, and not to be a respecter of persons in our judgment.

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
-Proverbs 24:23

People who respect persons are not only willingly blind, but as I've already state, they allow "respectable" men to deceive them:

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
-Romans 16:18

The types of people who respect person make the following kind of arguments (and these are actual arguments I've received in emails): This type of argument is a logical fallacy called an "Appeal to Authority." In it's logical form, it looks like this: For example, this type of argument takes place a lot in the Catholic Church. A Catholic will say, "'Father' Williams told me this bread and wine has been turned into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus. Williams is a priest, so it must be true." Despite the fact that it is still literally bread and literally wine, the Catholics still consume it under the assumption of transubstantiation (i.e. the proces of turning wine to blood) because a priest told them it was so, and they respect his person as a priest, so they don't dare question him.
(Read "Corruptions of Christianity: Catholicism - The Mass & Transubstantiation" here at creationliberty.com for more details)

In the end, whether pastor or priest (which are the same in most respects nowadays), they are deceiving many people, and scattering Christ's sheep because they have no sought our the Lord God

For the pastors are become brutish, [i.e. savage, ignorant, untaught, brutal] and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
-Jeremiah 10:21

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? -James 2:1-4

In this context, "gay" means "happy or pleasant," so the man who wears the "gay clothing" means the one who wears the clothing that is esteemed by men, and those who would wear the type of clothing that is being described are those of high office. That's why he goes on to refer to these men of high station as "rich men."

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
-James 2:5-7

For example, we know a judge by the long robes that he wears before sitting at the bench, just like we can recognize the Catholic Pope by all the "gay clothing" he wears. This is talking about judging a man's character to be noble and righteous based on the clothes he wears, which is a reflection of the wealth he has that his high station has provided him, and thus, they give them positions of honor and seating because they have not judged their character, but judged their appearance and respected his person.

If you were waiting at a doctor's office, and man came in wearing a lab coat and a stethoscope around his neck, you would take him to be a medical doctor at first glance. However, if he assessed your medical problems and recommended a lollipop as the cure, you would begin to question if he was really a doctor or not, and that is good judgment because you are judging what he is teaching rather than how he appears.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not tell us that those highly esteemed in His church were to be elevated to a status above others, nor our entertainers, but rather, they are supposed to be our servants:

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
-Matthew 20:25-28

Respecting persons falls under the category of idolatry because it is a form of worship by respecting a person's dress, abillity, education, and/or title, rather than looking at the facts. Respecters of persons listen far more to those with a title, weath, and/or fame, than those without, and that's why, over the years, I've had some young men write me and tell me that they can't start up ministry because they have go get a degree first, or in other words, they knew that in order to get people to respect them, they needed a degree. (i.e. They want people to respect their person automatically, rather than having earn it from the ground up by being a servant and proving their ministry.)

How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
-Psalm 82:2

He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.
-Job 13:10

Charles Spurgeon had a very poetic way of talking about the sin of respecting persons among the Jews, concerning the Pharisees, Sadducees, cheif priests, elders, and scribes:
"They used very grand phrases in those days, and doctors of divinity were very common, almost as common as they are now; and the crowd of doctors and rabbis helped to keep each other in countenance by repeating one another's fine names till they believed they meant something. Dear friends, it is very difficult to receive honor and to expect it, and yet to keep your eyesight; for men's eyes gradually grow dull through the smoke of the incense which is burned before them;"
-Charles Spurgeon, quoted in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Sermons Preached by Spurgeon in 1875, p. 413

I agree. It's like what I said before, the more his person is respected, and the more people respect his person, the more both parties are blinded to the truth:

And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
-Luke 6:39

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked... As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
-Revelation 3:17-19

And when someone like myself, who is without degree or fancy title, comes along to rebuke these prestigeous men, the people most often just turn off their ears and refuse to hear. Instead, they answer me with rebuke before even hearing me out.

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
-Proverbs 18:13

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
-Leviticus 19:15

Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
-Deuteronomy 1:17

As the Body of Christ, if we refuse to respect a man's person, and treat all equally, we become a peculiar people in the eyes of man. It doesn't matter how smart they are, it doesn't matter how famous they are, it doesn't matter what title or authority they carry, we treat them equally. It's something this world is not used to because the world judges in the unrighteousness of respecting persons all the time, every day, everywhere we go.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
-Titus 2:13-14

There is no person alive today who is immune to the temptations of pride, and I too have been guilty of respecting persons, to which I have repentaned and sanctified myself. I pray our Lord Jesus Christ would remove the pride from our hearts, so we can see clearly to guard against all forms of respecting persons, and thereby become a peculiar people that will glorify Him.

Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
-2 Chronicles 19:7

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
-Galatians 2:6

And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:
-Luke 20:21

It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
-Proverbs 18:5

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
-Jude 1:16-18




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