The issue of inequality and the fight for equality…
The fight continues. And the divides seem greater. Maybe not in distance but in number. There’s an ever growing number of sub-cultures crying out for equality. This, to many, is the problem. But I think it reveals a problem. One that has been ignored for far too long within “evangelical” or religious circles.
Equality among humans is something that Americans espoused within the Constitution, but never really lived out fully. Also, it’s not an wholly “American” theme. It’s a Judeo-Christian theme adopted by the founding fathers. The idea that all people are created in the image of God and therefore have equal value regardless of what they produce or reproduce is found in the Bible, not history or philosophy.
This is a God thing. Humans hold a special place in the heart of God. They bear the image of God.
We struggle to live out equality, even as followers of God through Jesus, because we have our inherent, cultural, and societal norms, biases, and categories. Granted, people often place themselves in categories or sub-cultures based on any number of defining factors. But the idea that any group is lesser and should be treated that way is completely against the message of Jesus, the Bible, and the early church.
I believe the fight for equality in most cases is the fight for power and recognition. We all want a “seat at the table” and most don’t care if that means displacing another group. Rarely do I find a group pushing for “equal” anything, as much as their own power and recognition.
This isn’t anything new either. And if you’re fuming right now, I promise there’s a reason I point this out. Humans have always struggled for power and recognition. At one point in history, and even today in some cultures, it was Christians who were arrested, killed, and tortured unjustly. But what happened when Christianity became the national religion of Rome? Christians became the persecutors.
This isn’t unique to Christianity. It’s human.
Paul’s answer to the issue of equality…
When we look into the Bible we find that “Christians” or “evangelicals” in America have been getting it wrong all along. As they push against equality they miss some of the most important teachings for those who follow Jesus.
The answer to issues of equality is inequality.
Here’s a bit of what Paul told the church in Philippi…
“Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.Though he was God, he did not think of equality with Godas something to cling to.Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
UNITY <<< LOVE <<< SACRIFICE <<< HUMILITY