God And Equality
by Jesse L. Smith
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“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” –Galatians 3:28
When our founding fathers wrote, “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” they were referencing a spiritual truth that is exclusively the product of Christian thinking. Much like our understanding of science, the values of equality that we hold so dearly in the western world are built on the assumption that all things were created by God. After all without God in our thinking there is nothing self evident about everyone being equal – and thousands of years of oppression against the weakest members of our societies has proved that. Cold logic dictates that the most valuable members of society are those that can contribute the most in terms of raw power; but the Word of God turns that principle on its head declaring that, “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” – Matthew 20:16 The Apostle James rebuked the church of his time for favoring the rich over the poor, and condemned its leaders for speaking against the weak saying, “Therewith we bless God, even the Father; and therewith we curse men, which are made after the image of God.” –James 3:9
The Biblical model of thinking when it comes to equality is radically different from any other model, where the weakest members of society are regarded as deserving the most honor. Members of the church are compared to components of the Body of Christ. Different parts of the body have varying purposes, but all are necessary for the proper functioning of the whole. If even the smallest member of the body is hurting, the whole body should hurt with it if the body is properly functioning. Although some parts of the body are more visible, those parts that are not visible are no less important! The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For our comely parts have no need: but God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body: but that the members should have the same care for one another.” -1 Cor. 12:24
God’s model for equality is not one of ‘sameness’ but of diversity! The natural world reflects God’s love for diversity – with infinitely varying forms of life occupying vastly different habitats. In the same way every human being is the glorious design of his Creator, and deserves the respect of all the other creations. Even our circumstances and position in society are given to us by the Creator of heaven and earth, and it is therefore our responsibility to respect others in whatever circumstances they may be in. King Solomon wrote, “Whoso mocks the poor reproaches his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.”-Proverbs 17:5 For us to belittle or look down on others is like slapping God in the face, and it will certainly bring judgment to our lives.
Just as the disciples of Christ strove against one another trying to decide which one of them would be the greatest, people are naturally consumed with their own self motivated desires. As long as we are driven by our own interests, true equality will be impossible to achieve. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” –Phil. 2:3-4 Most of us spend our entire lives trying to prove ourselves and establish our own worth, but what would the world look like if we spent more time trying to prove the worth of others?
The freedom of any society will always be measured by the value it places on the least of its members. Without God in our thinking, society will progress toward governments that only value those who can contribute in terms of raw power. The practices of abortion and infanticide are only the beginning of the devaluation of human life, and if we can kill the least then others will follow. Equality is a value derived from Spiritual Laws, and to omit God is to remove the basis for it. Take a good long look at the godless societies of our world today and their human rights practices – and you will see where we are headed as a nation.
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