As the Gentiles Do
Dr. Randy White
“I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges.” (Acts 25:16)
Several times in the New Testament uses the phrase “as the Gentiles do” or “even the Gentiles do this.” Both phrases speak in a derogatory manner of the gentiles as a lost people, with no moral compass. The Jewish people were not to act “as the Gentiles do,” and the simplest aspects of the moral code were to be obeyed because “even the Gentiles do this.”
When Festus spoke to King Agrippa about Paul, whom he had imprisoned because of the accusations of the Jews, he noted that the Romans would not punish any man until he had a face-to-face encounter with his accusers, and an opportunity to hear the charges and make his defense. This is what the Gentiles do!
Sadly, Christians are prone to sentencing others for crimes without ever allowing a face-to-face defense. This judgment in absentia is woefully inadequate for followers of Jesus Christ, who taught that a face-to-face dealing with the problem was the primary way to deal with the problem (Matthew 18:15).
The next time you get caught up in accusations against someone who is not present, remind yourself that even the gentiles allow the accused to meet their accusers. Go, and do likewise.
In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White
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