Equality is a fundamental value of our culture…the only problem is that everyone speak about it but they are often neither able to define it or give a basis for it. What Christians need to realise is that the word and concept of equality has been stolen from Christianity…we need to take it back.
I preached this a couple of weeks ago
These are the notes:
Time to think.
Where do you get your info from? Google…Wiki….
I don’t apologise for asking you to think and to try and work these things out..and to question.
But be careful that your questioning is not accusation based on your feelings or what you have imbibed from the culture.
I believe in equality. But the bible doesn’t. It oppresses women, gays, blacks etc.In Scotland there has been a strong egalitarianism. Jock Tamsons Bairns…a Mans a man for a’ that…
Our society says it believes in equality. On the news today NHS England have been told that every time a patient comes to them they should be asked about their sexuality – to fulfill the equalities act. My mother or your Granny going to the doctor with flu and being asked what is your sexuality.
“Hundreds of projects aimed at tackling inequality and discrimination are to benefit from more than £20m in funding. Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said the money would be distributed between 224 projects across Scotland. More than £3m will go towards large organisations such as the Equality Network, Inclusion Scotland and the Scottish Refugee Council. “
And many in the church give into this agenda because ‘equality’ seems such a good thing. For example when opinion polls asked were you for same sex marriage most people said no….when they changed to ask are you for equal marriage…then the opposite result was achieved.
2) The Solution – The radical Equality of the Bible
- The Basis of Equality is that we are all Equally made in the Image of God – Psalm 8 – What is man? Here it means humanity.
Considered – v.4
Cared For – v.4
Created – v.5
Gen. 1:26 Then God said, “Let usa make mankindb in our image,c in our likeness,d so that they may rulee over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,f over the livestock and all the wild animals,a and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”Gen. 1:27 So God createda mankindb in his own image,cin the image of Godd he created themmale and femalee he created them.f
Crowned – v.6 – sub rulers…the creation mandate. The dignity of humanity. We are not just chemicals…we are not just sophisticated animals. We are made in the image of God.
But there is a fall…this is how inequality came in….the desire to dominate…to have power….to be as God….leads to exploitation, disruption, abuse….
- We are equally made in the image of God.
- We are equally in need of salvation. Romans 3 23 for all have sinneda and fall short of the glory of God,
- We are all equal in death – Hebrews 9 27 Just as people are destined to die once,a and after that to face judgment..
- We are all invited to come to Christ Matthew 11 28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Acts 17 30 In the past God overlookeda such ignorance,b but now he commands all people everywhere to repent
The Problem Reversed…..
What do you mean by equality? Wealth? Status? Intelligence? Good looks? Height? Speed? Abilities? All of equal worth? The Bible has a reason for that but what is the atheistic reason? Without an adequate reason it just ends up being words and hypocrisy.
You say that you believe in equality but like in Orwells Animal Farms….
All the habits of Man are evil. And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal.
Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?
- ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL,
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.
The problem is that society says it believes in equality but it has no basis for that equality and it cannot provide it with justice. It just becomes a meaningless word. The rich and the powerful and the privileged will continue to be rich and powerful and privileged. They will talk about equality…they will imply that if you were as good as them you would also be rich and powerful and privileged. We are in a meritorious society where you can work your way to the top…if you are at the top you think that you have earned it…as for those at the bottom.
The irony is that those who claim they are for equality end up pushing inequality in order to advance equality. So go back to the NHS directive – why that one issue? Why not ask about religion? Or poverty? Every time you go to the doctor…because its not about the health of the patient its about virtue signalling and political correctness – showing that this one issue is the only one that really matters. The Equality Network in Scotland – which is government funded is not about equality for all…it is only about sexuality and gender issues. All are equal but some are more equal than others.
Scotland’s egalitarianism..was based on Scripture and biblical teaching.
Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.
4) The Solution Restated….
You are not equal to God.
Is. 40:25 “To whom will you compare me?a
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
But you are made in the image of God.
But you are fallen.
There is another aspect…remember the four…there is a fifth.
- We are equally made in the image of God.
- We are equally in need of salvation.
- We are all equal in death –
- We are all invited to come to Christ
Equality restored in the Church –
Matt. 20:12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heata of the day.’
Gal. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,a nor is there male and female,b for you are all one in Christ Jesus.c
1Cor. 12:25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
2Cor. 8:13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,a so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,
Let me deal with this caveat – but what about…women…or gay people….or transgender? Etc. Are they equal in the church? Yes of course…Fundamentally. On the basis of what has been said. Our identity is in Christ – not in gender, or nationality, or sexuality….I can honestly say this – whoever you are you are welcome in this church. Gay, straight, transgender, rich, poor, male, female…whatever ethnicity, skin colour, nation and even religion – you are welcome here and you will be treated equally as someone made in the image of God.
Being equal however does not mean being the same….remember that other word – diversity. But being equal also does not mean that we just do what we want and ignore Gods word. We are all sinners in need of the redemption of Christ whatever our gender, sexuality, race, social class etc. If you choose to follow your own standards, your own laws…or the laws of the zeitgeist and culture around you will not create equality and you will not be equal…but if you follow Christ you will be. If you turn against God you are turning against humanity and you will never have equality. No matter how many laws you pass.
So how do we get there? How do we get this equality?
But its not primarily about law – that is the way of the world and the way of the religious. The way of Christ is to show us the law and to show us that because we are fallen we cannot obey it…so what can be done…..Christ gives up his own equality that we might be restored to real equality
But look at what Christ did. Phil. 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:aPhil. 2:6 Who, being in very naturea God,a did not consider equality with Godb something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing, by taking the very naturea of a servant,bbeing made in human likeness.c And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to deatha—even death on a cross!bTherefore God exalted hima to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,b that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,a in heaven and on earth and under the earth,b and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,a to the glory of God the Father.
Christ did not make himself equal with God. But he humbled himself that he might be exalted and we are raised with him…that is an incredible equality. That is an incredible position. The humblest Christian, the poorest Christian, the dumbest Christian….is in a far better position that those who are rich and powerful but do not have Christ……God is not a God of inequality….he is a God of justice, mercy and the most profound love….a love that gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garments of praise for the Spirit of heaviness.
A song for the Lord’s Day….
Psalm 79 – For the Glory of Your Name – 25th Anniversary Communion Sermon from St Peters