Showing posts with label Equality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Equality. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2023

Anonymous Asks (277)

“Will everyone in the lake of fire suffer to the same degree?”

Catholic theologians speak of mortal and venial sins, distinguishing between degrees of evil. Dante’s The Divine Comedy contemplated a hell divided into nine descending circles, with the worst sinners at the bottom, distinguishing between degrees of punishment in the afterlife. Greater sin in this life, greater punishment in eternity, or so goes the thinking.

“But much of Romanist theology has no basis in scripture,” you protest, “and Dante’s not the Bible.” Very true. If some Protestants view the lake of fire as a great equalizer, perhaps they are simply reacting to extra-biblical traditions proclaiming the opposite.

If the Catholics believe it, it must be wrong, right? Well, maybe not in this case.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Glen Scrivener on Equality

A Church of England minister and evangelist, author, speaker and filmmaker, Glen Scrivener has an unusual knack for making the things of heaven relatable in today’s culture. I picked up his most recent book The Air We Breathe: How We All Came to Believe in Freedom, Kindness, Progress and Equality after watching a YouTube interview with John Anderson about its thesis. Scrivener contends that a number of core Western values have their basis in the Christian faith of our forefathers. Our societies, he argues, have absorbed these values by osmosis. Most of us don’t know why we believe these things, but we believe them all the same.

In general, I think he has a valid point to make. When you get down to specifics, however, it’s another story.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Anonymous Asks (234)

“If the Bible teaches the equality of the sexes, why has inequality always been the norm?”

This will probably come as a shock to some readers, but the Bible doesn’t teach equality, either of the sexes or of any other kind. If you doubt that, a concordance will sort you out in short order. There is a single verse in the New Testament where the word “equality” in the KJV may be construed to promote financial fairness, but the importance of strict equality of status, authority, privilege or even personhood is nowhere to be found in scripture.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Anonymous Asks (158)

“Why did God make some people less attractive than others, and what can those of us who got the short end of the stick do about it?”

I told this story here back in 2016, but it is meaningful enough to me that I’ll tell it again. In my early twenties I spent a week helping out at a Christian camp — as did my tall, handsome cousin. It was a nice gesture on his part to come along, but I quickly found myself gritting my teeth every time he was around.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Trinity (and Other Committees)

Last week I spent a torturous hour and a half completing an online job safety training module. Since the company I work for has more than 15 employees, provincial law requires that we have a safety committee. So every time a new government rolls out a new initiative or an old one decides to ‘refresh’ their documentation (code for ‘same thing, new wrapper’), the byproducts of their boardroom discussions eventually filter down to me.

I suppose if you have to be on a committee, the Job Safety Committee is the one to volunteer for. Coffee and donuts monthly for doing … not much. Finding a spot to hang the first aid kit, I suspect. In case a paper cut really, really bleeds.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Anonymous Asks (29)

“Does Jesus love us all equally?”

Equality is the signal obsession of our age. I’m not sure people living hundreds or thousands of years ago would have asked this question or even thought much about it.

So let’s ask another one: does it really matter?

We already know Jesus loves us. You probably learned it in Sunday School: Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so. And one of the most famous verses in scripture tells us that “God so loved the world …” God gave his Son for us, and his Son gave himself on our behalf. That’s love.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

How Not to Crash and Burn (18)

Anyone who reads here regularly probably already knows I am highly suspicious of claims the Bible teaches egalitarianism. Fairness, absolutely. Justice, always. Equality, in the sense it is currently used politically, not so much.

That said, there are aspects of God’s dealings with mankind that are indeed universal. For example, every single man and woman on earth can reasonably anticipate the judgment of God, either in this life or in a coming day. Likewise, God’s has displayed his love to the entire world and offers salvation freely to all. Again, the offer of fellowship with Christ is extended to any who will open the door and let him in. These things are universals, not limited to a privileged few.

We should probably add wisdom to this list.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reading With One Eyeball

Sometimes people get the obvious so wrong you can’t help but wonder if they’re doing it deliberately. Or maybe somebody just poked them in the eyeball.

Mary Kassian was at the meeting of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood twenty-five years ago when the word “complementarian” was coined, so she’s probably not the worst choice to explain it what it means. She attempts to do that here.

My reaction? I’m not so sure it means anything good.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Better Than Equal

I note that Tim Bayly and seven pastor-or-elder friends have taken their best shot at “fortifying” the same Nashville Statement we’ve been mulling over on our Friday morning Too Hot to Handle series (the first installment of which may be found here).

Like Bayly and crew, IC and I would probably have drafted a modestly different document (assuming we agreed to write it at all), so I was curious to see what the revisers decided needed changing.

To my surprise, I find myself more interested in what they didn’t change. Maybe I’ve got a log in my eye or something.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Not Going to Nashville [Part 2]

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The Nashville Statement is a significant evangelical document. It’s an attempt by big names such as John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Russell Moore, James Dobson and others to formulate a written response to Western culture’s post-Christian “massive revision of what it means to be a human being”, especially as that revision relates to sexuality and marriage.

Significant though it may be, in our next few installments we’ll be discussing why, here at ComingUntrue, we’re Not Going to Nashville.

Tom: We stopped after Article 1, Immanuel Can, in which God designed marriage to be a lifelong covenant with a variety of useful purposes.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Too Far Gone

Does your church need an ... er ... equalizer?
“You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
— Korah’s Rebellion, Numbers 16

Christian women are priests just as Christian men are priests; therefore Christian women should be able to do everything in the churches that Christian men have traditionally done.

So goes the modern argument, and it’s dead wrong.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

That Wacky Old Testament (3)

Greg at Holey Books complains that the Levitical law is sexist:

Women Are Worth Less (Lev. 27:1-4). This is one of those passages that really, really should make believers — especially women — question just how much of the Old Testament we can take seriously. According to Leviticus, a man’s worth — in “dedicating a person to the LORD” — is 50 shekels. A woman, however, is only worth 30. (NB: the ratio here is strangely reminiscent of the U.S. Constitution’s provision that a slave was only worth 3/5 of a white man. There must be like the “golden mean” of massive inequalities.) It is difficult to explain this away without logically also concluding that part of scripture was a historical artifact of its time that we should not take seriously. Unless, of course, you actually hold that men and women aren’t equal or shouldn’t be equal. Which would, obviously, be absurd.”

Notice that Greg is reacting as if Leviticus declares that the intrinsic value of a woman before God is only 60% of a man’s value, as if the Law somehow diminishes her personhood. He finds such an idea offensive to the core and “absurd”.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Inbox: The Original Order Was Equality

One of the great joys of blogging is receiving feedback from our readers. I mean that sincerely.

We love comments: wildly enthusiastic comments, bitterly hostile comments or comments anywhere on the continuum between them. The readers I enjoy engaging with most make an effort to moderate my views or qualify my interpretations with other scriptures. Right or wrong, that’s always welcome. If something I’ve written strikes you as goofy, ill-considered or off base, chances are there are ten other people (at least) out there reading the same post and thinking exactly the same thing.

An unknown commenter is looking to modify my views on equality, so let’s revisit the subject.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chasing Equality

Everybody wants to be equal. It’s the way of the world.

But equality means different things to different people. When hardline feminists or politicized homosexuals say they want equality, what they really mean is superiority. They are looking to acquire a trump card through which they will be able to dictate how they are treated — and even thought of — by the rest of society.

Not “equal” exactly, is it.

There’s also the question “Equality by what metric?” to consider. If by equality we mean that every human being ought to be considered as strong, smart or useful to society as every other, we are clearly talking rubbish.

That’s easy to say from my position of “privilege” as a white male, of course.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Trinity (and other Committees)

The most recent version of this post is available here.