Definition of Terms

For the purposes of this article the terms are defined as follows: (I) Prejudice: “preconceived judgment or opinion or leaning averse to religious teachings without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge;” (2) Important: “those doctrines that relate to salvation of souls;” (3) Bible Doctrine: “teachings of the Bible, whether explicit or implicit.”

Religious Prejudice Existed in Jesus’ Day, and It Exists Today

In Jesus’ day such prejudice existed. He said, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). These people were prejudiced by their own choice. Today some people decide that they will not believe anything, regardless of the evidence, that is contrary to what their parents, their preachers, their children, or others whom they like, believe. Such people are like the man who said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up!”
Some are prejudiced against Bible Truth because they want to remain in their sins and want to feel comfortable in them. A “religious” (?) person who is living in adultery, or a person who likes to drink intoxicants, or a person who likes to gamble, etc., will seek out people who espouse “theories” that offer him comfort while he continues in these sins. He then will adopt these heresies and will close his mind (become prejudiced) against what the Bible actually teaches.
The majority of the religious world is prejudiced when it comes to the Bible subject of salvation. Most believe that “sincerity” alone is sufficient. These same ones may believe that “faith alone” is all that is required for salvation. They all will agree to the error “that baptism does NOT save!” This is believed in spite of the fact that the Bible says “baptism doth also now save us” (I Pet. 3:21), and that we must “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
Just about any person in a modern denomination will argue (from a prejudiced heart) that the church has nothing to do with salvation. He will argue that one can be saved in one church as well as in another. He will most often argue that one can be saved even if not a member of any church! This prejudiced conclusion exists in spite of clear Bible teaching to the contrary. Paul said that Jesus is the “savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23). In Ephesians 1:22-23, Paul shows that the body is the church. In Acts 2:47 the Bible clearly states that the Lord adds the saved to the church (the spiritual body of Christ).
Since all have sinned (Rom. 3:23), all need salvation! No one can continue in sin and expect God’s grace to abound to cover that sin (see Rom. 6:1-2). Anyone who does not believe what the Bible says about the plan of salvation cannot obey it, and anyone who does not obey the plan of salvation of God’s Book cannot be saved (Heb. 5:8-9).
Anyone who chooses to “live in sin” while coddling his conscience with a false, prejudiced view of his sin, is condemned by his sin. On Judgment Day all men will see the folly of prejudice, even if they were ignorant of their being prejudiced. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:21-23).
Prejudice of any kind will cheapen one’s life. In all phases of our existence it is the Truth that delivers one. This is certainly true in regard to Bible doctrine. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
-Glenn B. Ramsey, Professor of Religious Education