“In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Galatians 3:28 (MSG)
I read recently of a heterosexual couple who fought a legal battle for the right to a civil partnership in the name of equality. Currently exclusively open to same sex couples, (2004 Civil Partnership Act), they suggested that a civil partnership is a more ‘equal’ relationship than marriage which comes with historical and social expectations.
What is equality? In its essence it is treating people equally but specific to their needs. Is this an oxymoron? If people are not all the same, how can we treat them the same? As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.’
The American Founding Fathers are believed to have written ‘All men are created equal before God’ to distance themselves from the European deference to the nobility – something they fled from.
We have the Equality Act of 2010 in the UK which gives legal powers of protection to areas of sex, race and disability, making it illegal to treat certain people differently.
If the equality of one person’s ‘rights’ are denied as a result of other persons being equal, how is that equality?
Personally and frankly, if we’re all treated equally and are equally responsible in law then why don’t we all pay the same tax? Matthew 20:12 suggests otherwise. In fact the Bible doesn’t unequivocally say we are equal, so is equality a human concept?
What we do know beyond any doubt is that all mankind was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27); Christ loves us all equally and offers salvation to all who repent (John 3:16). Acts 10:34-35 says, “It makes no difference who you are or where you are from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open.” As Christians, “Christ…treated us as equals and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18). Nevertheless He set us an example that equality is not the primary goal, Philippians 2:5-8.
As Galatians 3:28 says, within Christ’s family we are all equal, and we can each have a relationship with Him—that’s the crucial principal.
Lord, we get so caught up in this life with what our rights are. Let us love you first and foremost and aspire for everyone to be in relationship with you.
Study by Irene Tibbenham
About the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a deaconess in the Norwich Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
Worldwide Church of God Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
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