DOES GOD SHOW FAVORITISM?
Suppose a High School Principal selected 12 of his Seniors to spread a message to the student body about a special treat being given out in the cafeteria. Would the Principal’s choice of these 12 messengers demonstrate that he has favorites or has unfairly shown partiality to some individuals over others?
No. He has chosen these messengers to bring a blessing to the entire student body and his selection of one messenger over another is not in anyway to the detriment or neglect of another student.
We believe this is what God has done with the gospel. He has selected from Israel (like the Senior class) messengers to bless all the world (the entire student body).
Here are a few biblical passages which indicate this:
…but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. -Acts 10:40-42
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” -Acts 13:47
He said to them (Jewish apostles), “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” -Mark 16:15
[Speaking to his chosen apostles] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last… -John 15:16
And this is all a fulfillment of God’s original covenant with Abraham:
And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you *all the families of the earth* will be blessed.” -Gen 12:2-3
PARTIALITY AND FAVORITISM ILLUSTRATED
But suppose the High School in our analogy above was bilingual and most of the students only spoke and understood Spanish. And what if this Principal only selected English speaking messengers to take the message to the entire student body, knowing full well that only the English speaking students would hear and understand the news about the blessing he made available in the cafeteria.
Suppose that the Principal only bought enough treats for his English speaking students and so his intention was for only them to hear and understand the message. He didn’t want to appear bias so he told the messengers to invite the entire student body but secretly he knew only the English speaking students would understand the message and respond.
Does that indicate an unfair bias or partiality? Of course it does. Now, did the Principal owe any of the students these treats? No. No one is saying he did. But for him to outwardly pretend as if he wished for the entire student body to be blessed while secretly only purchasing treats for some and sending a message that was intended only for some to understand is clearly showing favoritism and an unjust bias.
God doesn’t show favoritism as the scriptures clearly teach:
Acts 10:34-35: Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.
Matthew 22:16: And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “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.
Mark 12:14: When they came they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and do not court anyone’s favor, because you show no partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth
Luke 20:21: Thus they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly, and show no partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth
Romans 2:8-11: But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
Galatians 2:6: But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.
Ephesians 6:9: Masters, treat your slaves the same way, giving up the use of threats, because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.
1 Peter 1:17: And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one’s work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence.
James 2:9: But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
If your soteriological systematic paints God as partial then it’s not a biblical soteriology.
*[The guys at the Bible Brodown have complied much more on this topic]