April 12, 2024

Equality and the Bible

Paper People

I once read that one of the interesting things about C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia was the whole concept of multiple kings and queens of Narnia and one High King.  The reason that this is interesting is that we usually don’t think of anything but a King being the absolute ruler, but in Lewis’ books there is rank but multiple people at the same rank.

Submission and Rank

For your entire life you will have someone that you will rank lower than, someone  to which you will be required to submit.  For part or most of your life, you will also have people that have to submit to you.  This is reality.  There’s no one that does not have someone they are accountable to or that they rank under.

And yet, it is human nature to rebel against the natural order of things and to seek to supplant leadership.

It was Eve’s desire to know more than God and not to follow the leadership of her husband, Adam, that had her eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It was Adam’s desire to follow his wife and to eat of the fruit that caused him to rebel against the leadership of God.

To this day, you can see it in Occupy Wall Street and in your kids—there’s a constant desire not to submit, but to overthrow those people who rank higher than you do.

Equality in the American Culture

This rebellion has seen itself cloaked in “equality” in Western culture.  Please understand, I’m not saying that any one person is not equal to any other person.  I’m saying that there is a difference in rank and position between people, and this society continues to confuse the two.

For example:

  • Employees consistently attempt to place themselves in judgment over their superiors—judging their motives, putting them down and claiming that they could do a better job, if only they had the chance.
  • Politicians continually judge each other and the opponent, rather than telling what they would do they characterize other people as evil, stupid, or other judgmental words.
  • Wives have decided that they are equal or superior to their husbands in rank, so they disparage them, they defy them, or they divorce them.

All of this is part of the rebellion of the curse.  All of this is rooted in selfishness, a lack of respect and honor, and is beneath us.

The Bible is a Book of Order

From the Genesis account of the Creation of the world to the construction of the tabernacle to the commandments to the Israelites, God shows that He is a God of order.  You can see it in how He set up the Israelite government, and how He arranged for leaders and servants in the church.

God provides what I call the Divine Order for families, with the husband accountable to God, the wife to the husband and the children to their parents.

This isn’t a foreign construct.  This is how God operates.

So why is it that we cannot see this and live in a rightful order with one another?

Image from Stock Exchange used under the Standard Restrictions explained at the link.

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3 thoughts on “Equality and the Bible

  1. There is a defined order which God instituted. God is at the top, the rest of us are equal at the bottom. I am no more lost than you. However, our sin is not that we want to usurp authority delegated to others, our sin is we would be god. Eve sought the knowledge of which God only knew. Adam went along with his wife. And both of them blamed someone/thing else for their treason. I am no more innocent than they.

  2. I believe that equality was there in the Bible but it was not maintained on earth because of the difference with which men an women are considered. The difference in the strength that God gave to men and women is the basic reason why people create disorder. But people fail to understand that both man and woman are strong and use their powers in different ways.

  3. I am a public school teacher in chicago and I have struggled with this idea myself. You could begin by giving students an interest inventory and learning style inventory. You could begin to promote community by letting students explore how they are alike and different. Be sure to discuss other ways people are different, and help students see that it’s ok to be different and we are unique and special. This needs to be explicitly taught to the students and using children’s literature to help support diversity and the acceptance of differences may be a good option. Encourage students to find good things about themselves and others. You may wish to have a compliment tree. Where you have a tree maybe on a bulletin board or wall and students can fill out an “apple” with a compliment about another student, color the apple and then place it on the tree. Students can see the good things others have to say about them and as the apples are added the students see how the compliment tree grows. Encourage students to communicate effectively with each other solving problems using “I” messages. Also if the community environment is not an inclusive or sensitive to differences environment, you may need to spend some time discussing the differences between how others outside of the class, at home or in the community feel as opposed to people at school. Or that they can form their own opinion. Teach children to have empathy for eachother. Give them little smiley, sad, mad faces and read them senerios. They can then decide how they would feel if they were in the same situation. Oh, there are so many things you can do,! I hope some of this helps!

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