Herbert E. Winkler
What is Prejudice?
While I was growing up, we lived in a rural community where several denominational churches held sway. However the only building within sight of our house was a Church of Christ meeting place.
My parents were sectarian in belief. I heard many arguments about the Church. But my mother soon saw the truth and became a Christian. She, like John in I John 1:3, wanting others to enjoy that good thing she had found, would talk with her neighbors who showed much prejudice. And so I learned that all the denominational churches were, as they called it, prejudiced against the "Cambellite Church." And as I grew up I learned that when one opposed a doctrine of another, and could not find his own doctrine in the Bible, he would shun him and call him a Campbellite, or narrow, and would have nothing to do with him in a religious way. That made a profound impression on my young mind and I determined, early, never to let my mind drift into such a detestable state of confusion. BUT REALLY, WHAT IS PREJUDICE? "Prejudge: v. t. to judge without a hearing or investigation; Condemn beforehand, or hastily, Prejudgment, a judgment without a hearing; prejudice. Prejudice, previous and unfavorable bias; prejudgment without due examination: detriment, injury." (Webster)
Scholars view "Prejudice" as follows: In The New Dictionary of Thoughts I glean the following:
"Prejudice squints when it looks and lies when it talks."--Duchess de .4brantes.
"The great obstacle to progress is prejudice." -- Bovee.
"Prejudice is a mist, which in our journey through the world often dims the brightest and obscures the best of all the good and glorious objects that meet us on our way." Shaftesbury.
"The prejudiced and obstinate man does not so much hold opinions, as his opinions hold him." Tyron Edwards.
"Beware of prejudices. They are like rats, and men's minds are like traps; prejudices get in easily, hut it is doubtful ff they ever get out. There is nothing respecting which a man may be so long unconscious, as of the extent and strength of his prejudices. Opinions grounded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest violence." Jeffery.
"He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." J. Stuart Mill
"Prejudice is the reason of fools." Voltaire.
"Prejudice may be considered as a continual false medium of viewing things, for prejudiced persons not only never speak well, but also never think well of those whom they dislike. And the whole character of conduct is considered with an eye to that particular thing which offends him." Bp. Butler.
"Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out." Sydney Smith.
"He that is possessed with a prejudice is possessed with a devil, and one of the worst kinds of devils, for it shuts out the truth, and often leads to ruinous error." Tyron Edwards.
The prejudiced mind manifests a wicked and vicious attitude--SIN. This viciousness is seen in many forms and ways. It is sometimes seen when we refuse to go along with the liberal element in the Church, such as supporting from the church treasury human institutions through which to preach the Word and the care of orphans and other indigent persons such as the aged widows and others, including human arrangements and organizations for preaching the gospel.
Here is a Concrete Case:
In planning a trip to the Florida College Lectures one January, my plans placed me at Cordele, Georgia for the overnight stop. I searched the Gospel Guardian church listings to ascertain if there was a Church of Christ there. I saw the ad: Sure enough there was this listing: "Cordele, Ga., Church of Christ, 610 16th. Ave E., Worship: 11: a.m., 6:30 p.m., Barney Cargile, Jr., Evangelist."
My Motel was in the 500 block on this street. On failing to find Brother Cargile listed in the phone book, I just drove up to the church building to see if I might find him there. No one was at the building, and as it was unlocked throughout, I took my own good time in giving it a thorough once over.
Ending my search at the rear, I came around the side, back to my car. But someone had come up in a station wagon and gone in. And as I started up the walk, a young man came out and was approaching me. And as we met I said, "Winklet is my name. Is this Brother Cargile?" The response was "No. He is not here." I said, "He preaches here doesn't he? He does not preach here," he said. I asked "Where does he preach?" He said "He preaches over yonder (motioning toward the west of town) for a little bunch of antis." I tried to strike up a conversation with him about Brother Cargile, but the young fellow was not interested and hastened on to his car. I got Brother Cargile's phone number from Central and called two or three times that night with no answer. I got him out of bed early next morning and he came down to my room. He had been out that night at Bro. Stanley J. Lovett's meeting some 50 miles away. I learned that this other man (name withheld) was the ring leader for the Liberals and that he was a leader in the Court Suit to evict the "antis" from the use of the church building. This man was bitter in denouncing us antis. But the point here is that he was so bitter and prejudiced against us antis that he even resorted to lying to me when, at least, there was not even a reasonable excuse for him to do so. This was a wicked and vicious sin on his part.
This hate (us "antis") attitude has been manifested in many cases. The big leaders in this apostasy are those preachers in high places, in the colleges, churches and journals who have taken every imaginable or conceivable measure and quarantine effort to keep us antis out of the pulpits of the churches.
The case above is only one of many instances of rank misrepresentation of facts to keep us from having a place to preach. I thank God for the MANY new churches which have been, are being and will be established wherein is the strength of the young lion in contending for the "Old Path."
Yes prejudice is a vicious animal in the wilderness of sin. Sin is its proper name.
I pen these thoughts cautiously, from my youth I have closely observed the prejudices of the various denominational preachers and members. I have held meetings in denominational buildings and several debates with their preachers and, with the exception of two cases; I have never been treated more sorely or meanly by the denominational world than I have by my own brethren in this present apostasy from the Gospel of Christ. "Is there no balm in Gilead?" Have we taken lessons in prejudice from the denominations? Have we cast off our THE badge of discipleship?
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, ff ye have love one to another." (Jno. 13:34, 35). "If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar" (I Jno. 4:20). I never dreamed that I would live long enough to see the condition as it exists in the churches of Christ today. Alas, my brother.
Prejudice in Action:
What else would have closed the pages of the Gospel Advocate to a free discussion of both sides of the issues which have arisen among the brethren and churches during the past forty years? What else would have caused the Advocate to call quarantine against all preachers who will not go along with their new ideas, by forbidding them a place to preach by not letting them into the pulpits?
What but prejudice would cause Lipscomb College to refuse entrance to a young man ff he rented a room from Sister Irene Foy whom they classified as an "anti"? So far as the college is concerned they may board with whom they will--Baptists, Methodists, Catholics or what have you, BUT NOT WITH AN ANTI. If Satan never laughed, I would think that he, at least, has a broad grin on over his success here.
But again, what is Prejudice?
"It is the lock on the door of a closed mind; the ignorance we usually mistake for reason, the first enemy of information, and progress; it is intellectual stigmatism, a perfect combination of conceit and ignorance. Prejudice never saved a soul, nor settled any question in the light of truth and justice. It is the defense of the devil, the shell of a petrified mind, and the ceiling on understanding. Prejudice is a robber which many of us entertain in our hearts. It robe us of generous feelings which we should have for others, and leaves us the tormenting of hate; by shutting our eyes and stopping our ears, it robs us of many precious truths, and leaves us the dross of our distorted opinions; it robs us of light; and shuts us up in the darkness of our own ignorance. No other robber can leave us so poor." R. L. Whiteside.
"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool, and he who dares not is a slave." Sir Wm. Drummond. "Nuf said."
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 49, pp. 6-8
October 22, 1970