Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches


Is Discrimination Always Wrong?  


Here's my observation for what it's worth. There has never been so much discrimination since we passed laws to ban it! It seems that the laws we enacted to eliminate discrimination are feeding the very monster they were supposed to remove. The term "anti-discrimination" seems to feature daily in newspapers and over television.  


Yet I am far from convinced that all discrimination is evil.  


On the one hand, there are forms of discrimination that are a denial of basic human equality and dignity. These forms are based upon false views of race, religion and gender and are to be resisted passionately.   On the other hand, there are forms of discrimination that are the result of wise choices and necessary distinctions.


We are in big trouble if we do not discriminate when it comes to issues of justice and injustice, mercy and oppression, order and anarchy.   We ought to discriminate in favour of that which is best for human welfare and we ought to discriminate against all that which threatens to destroy the fabric of our society. 


Let's not fall for the lie that says all forms of discrimination are necessarily wrong anymore than we ought to believe the lie that all forms of tolerance are always necessarily right.   There are expressions of injustice and oppression in our world that should not be tolerated for a minute. Someone once said that being tolerant in everything is the luxury of those who have no convictions about anything.  


The proposition that all forms of discrimination are necessarily wrong is a deadly logic. Such an approach requires us to part company with our brains and to become uncritical in the choices we are called upon to make every day.  


Jesus Christ knew how to discriminate in the best sense of the word. He discriminated against all forms of hypocrisy, injustice, oppression and evil. He discriminated in favour of all that was right, just and godly. He taught His followers that they must always discriminate between good and evil and that they must be against all that is evil and embrace all that is good.  


Those who claim to be his followers in every age can do no less. So, up with all that enriches and ennobles our God-given humanity and down with all that cheapens, abuses and destroys it.    

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