Monthly Archives: August 2020

Egalitarianism Examined

“We are all equal.” “Equality for all.” “Equal under the law.” Similar phrases and expressions abound. Here are a few dictionary definitions of EGALITARIANISM:

I. belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, social, or economic life.

II. active promotion of this belief.

III. the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities

Let’s analyze the concept. Clearly, there are many ways in which people are NOT equal. If one person’s skin is color A and his neighbor’s skin is color B, they are not equal as to skin tone. So it is with stature, eye shape, hair type, and other externals; so it is with human nature’s broad emotional and intellectual spectrum. Individuals have different faces and personalities. We see families sharing traits that differ from the common traits of other families. Each nation has its ethos. It’s beautiful!

So, per their Declaration of Independence, in what sense did America’s founders affirm equality? It was rooted in their persuasion that every human being has the transcendent, spiritual dignity of bearing the image of God. They wrote “…all men are CREATED equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

Yes, they believed in equality so understood. But they did NOT believe that we are all equal in the way that all the cookies made from the same batch of dough and cut with the same cookie cutter are equal, or in the way that every doll head or every automobile fender coming off the same manufacturing assembly line are equal.

Other factors further the inequality of us who have that one essential equality (the image of God). Chief among those factors is what might be called our micro-society of origin, i.e. our relationship with parents and family and the core beliefs and ethics we acquire there. Following hard upon that, and with it forming what is commonly called culture, are basic literacy and the degree and well rounded-ness of our advanced learning or lack thereof.

And yes, privilege is a factor as well. It’s not a dirty word. Remember the tenth of the Ten Commandments? Covetousness is the word for the sin that breaks it. Coveting is the dirty word. Contentment without complacency or laziness is a good thing. Envy, devouring the hearts of those whom it possesses, is the evil “green eyed monster.”

That cookie cutter take on equality which hates the privilege or advantages of others (real or perceived) is actually dehumanizing. It is adopted consciously or unconsciously by those disposed perpetually to regard themselves as victims of outside forces. It is seized upon by totalitarian regimes which treat their subjects as boys of past generations treated their little plastic toy soldiers; all set up in neat little rows.

In such oppressive societies, individuality is suppressed for the sake of the all consuming collective. State ownership of all property and resources, wealth redistribution, and the bizarre idea that people “deserve” what they have not earned are hallmark ideas of that kind of thinking.

Think about it: If you do a day’s work for an employer, yes, you deserve a day’s pay. But what else do you deserve, strictly speaking? Benefactors might volunteer their help in your time of need, but who is obligated to help you, and why? Does the world owe you anything? Is what you want equal (excuse the pun) to what you deserve?

Remember the flippant response of the stingy person to whom a want has been made known by their hopeful neighbor: “People in hell want ice water!” Nasty way to refuse a favor, but there’s truth in it. Those divinely condemned to hell, who had lived uncharitably on earth, don’t deserve ice water though they desperately want it…

The truth is diametrically opposed to all soul crushing, man made doctrines of equality. Our only equality inheres in and is limited to our common bearing of the spiritual image of our invisible Creator. Those treasuring this foundational truth regard themselves not as victims, but as “little creators,” able to do wondrous things with whatever abilities, talents, gifts, and lot in life the big Creator has assigned them as is His divinely sovereign right. The diligent care for property which results from private ownership of it, productivity and the creation of wealth (which can be intelligently directed into works of genuine charity), and the incentive to achieve and to be rewarded according to effort and merit are hallmarks of this kind of thinking.

So what will it be? Do you want to be a cookie cutter commie comrade? Do you want to count yourself as a penny stamped with the image of Caesar, your “equality” tantamount to having the same trivial value as all the other like coin of his transient realm?

Or do you want to recognize yourself as unique, one of many flowers planted by the primeval Gardener of Eden, with a personalized set of qualities all your own distinguishing you from the other flowers, every one of which is adorned with a nuanced reflection of the incomprehensibly rich majesty of the eternal King?

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Synonymous or Antonymous?

God made man LIKE God, i.e. in His image. The wicked tempter told Eve that she and Adam could become AS God.

AS and LIKE – two similar words, big contextual difference in meaning! God had created beings (humans) resembling Himself to the greatest extent that a creature can be like the uncreated Eternal One.

From the moment God gave them the breath of life, our first parents had been welcomed into the communion of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit which had no beginning. That flawless first pair were made perfectly upright and holy like God and given mighty gifts of mind and body.

God gave them dominion over the world; they were to rule the lower creation as His “vice-regents.” So they already had resplendent majesty, lawful authority, great power, a thrilling destiny, and unbounded liberty under their loving Sovereign. In other words, they already were LIKE God!

The devil’s lie cast aspersions on God’s character and maligned God’s wonderfully magnanimous purposes for humanity, the apple of His eye. That ancient serpent told Eve that God was “holding out on them,” and that therefore humanity should take control and usurp God’s rightful place…be our own gods…supplant Him AS God.

All the vain superstition and idolatry that has defiled the world since then is but the tragic, self-projecting playing out of what happens when God’s image bearers believe that primeval falsehood.

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On Streets: Dusty Gravel or Shining Gold?

“Many roads lead to God.” So goes a shorthand version of the popular concept that so long as you are sincere in your beliefs, the content of your belief matters little. That might sound fine and noble. But consider the men who flew airplanes into buildings on 9/11/01, killing thousands. They were quite sincere in their beliefs.

Not only everyone outside of the community associated with the religion those men professed, but most within that community condemn what they did, assuring outsiders that such evil violence is not in accord with their religion’s actual values.

But wait a minute…to be consistent, we must say that their sincerity triumphs over their savagery, right? Their road led to God, right? After all their very dying words sincerely and passionately invoked the greatness of their deity. They were utterly persuaded that the road they chose even led to a special, martyrs reward.

The fact is, ALL roads do lead to the one true and living God. Those terrorists and every other human being has a court date with the Creator and Judge of all. Every one of us will appear before Him. The important question is what happens when you arrive? How will you be received?

Enter a second popular concept, that a divine smile and a welcome into heaven is the next step when a person dies, pretty much automatically. You hear this expressed at funerals: “S/he is in a better place.” How do you know that? Might it not be a worse place? “S/he is no longer suffering.” Perhaps the person’s suffering is now worse. Are the 9/11 murderers in a better place or a worse place?

Which leads us to a third common and popular idea, kind of an add-on to the second one. “OK, there must some kind of hell, purgatory, or divine condemnation…but it is only for the most notorious wicked.”

Even if that were the case, are you confident in yourself that the absolutely pure and holy God will not count you among them? “Well…yes!” you say. “I’ve never shot or stabbed someone to death, I’ve been strictly faithful to my spouse all my life, I’ve never robbed a bank and never told a lie that really hurt anybody.”

Jesus said wicked hatred in the heart is like actual, physical murder…that lustful ogling is adultery in the heart. In fact, failure to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves, 24/7, makes us a putrid stench in the divine nostrils.

So your road, be it that of the 9/11 bombers or that of a boy scout, is a road to God and your final judgment. Thankfully Jesus is THE way to come to God without fear about how you will fare when you arrive. Every day of your earthly existence is another time of God’s mercy. Each day offers another exit ramp from your own way and an entry ramp onto the highway of the King of kings and Lord of Lords…the only road that leads to God and your eternal gain and joy, not your eternal loss and sorrow.

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