B1. Equality, Part 1: The American Myth of Equality



Equality is America’s Trojan horse … Thomas Jefferson … Inequality is part of God’s plan … “land of opportunity” implies inequality … Martin Luther King, Jr. … Is God racist? … God responds by giving us confusion … Equality invades schools and churches … goal should be opportunity augmented by responsibility … having the mind of Christ.

Equality is America’s Trojan horse

In Homer’s ancient tale, the Greek army besieged the city of Troy, but could not breach the city walls. After many days the Greeks pretended to give up the fight and withdrew their troops; but they left behind a large wooden horse mounted on wheels. The Trojans figured the Greeks had abandoned something of value, so they dragged the impressive-looking horse inside their city walls. Unbeknownst to them, the Greeks had hidden soldiers inside the hollow statue. The soldiers popped out at night, opened the city gate, and let their returning army enter to destroy the city.

“Equality” has become a Trojan horse in American thinking, among Christians as well as non-Christians. Equality is bringing into our midst an unseen enemy. This message will attempt to draw that enemy out into the light.

Thomas Jefferson and the Bible

Americans are taught from an early age to regard Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence as sacrosanct: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” I’ve never heard a minister question those words, and yet the Bible directly contradicts them. For example, when Isaac’s wife Rebekah was pregnant with twins Jacob and Esau, the Lord told her: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” [Genesis 25:23] Jacob and Esau were created unequal, and their inequality was fore-ordained by God.

As another example, in both the Old and New Testament, the father is designated as head of the family, and is charged with teaching God’s laws to the family. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Equality between sexes, and equality between generations, are both out of the question, because God has ordained a structure to the family.

There is a sentence in the book of Genesis that must be repugnant to modern women’s liberationists, and it may even be a sentence many Christian women wish to avoid. It is the sentence where God explains why he is creating woman. God had already created the first man, Adam, but when he saw that Adam was alone, he said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” [Genesis 2:18] Then God took a rib from Adam and from that rib created woman to be Adam’s helper. The liberationists scoff at the idea that a woman should be a helper to man; it goes counter to their crusade to prove a woman is an equal and a competitor to a man. But they can’t avoid the fact that those words – “a helper fit for him” – are not the words of man, but the words of the God who created them, the God to whom they owe their life and breath. Isaiah warns those who try to overturn God’s order of creation: “You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay; that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” And then he adds: “Woe to him who strives with his Maker, an earthen vessel with the potter!” [Isaiah 29:16, 45:9]

Inequality is part of God’s plan

Why not equality? Does God have a reason? In the New Testament, Paul likens the Christian church to a human body with many unequal parts, but in which all parts must perform their respective, God-given functions in order for the body as a whole to function. Paul says:

But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” … But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.  [1 Corinthians 12:18-21, 24-26]

The fact is, no two people, not even identical twins, have ever been created equal. Furthermore, inequality is part of God’s plan, so that many different parts – not just in the church, but in society as a whole – contribute their essential functions to the entire body.

It is, of course, important for us to uphold the principle that all men – rich or poor, black or white – are entitled to equal justice before the law; but that does not mean that all men are created equal. It is telling that Jefferson said his ideas were “self-evident.” That means he based his statement not on the Bible, and not on any outside authority, but on his own thinking. It is also telling that Jefferson’s own Bible (now carefully preserved at the Smithsonian Institution as a kind of national treasure) reveals major sections carved out by Jefferson’s penknife and discarded. In other words, Jefferson placed himself in a position of authority over the word of God.

But we know the real authority for how men are created lies with the Creator himself. It is up to God, the Creator, to decide whether men are created equal; it’s not up to Thomas Jefferson, or you, or me, or anyone else.

Equality, the gospel,and the American way

It’s ironic that while we Americans preach equality, we’re also proud of our individual inequality! I’m talking about the American ideals of individual achievement, do your own thing, be all that you can be, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, etc. – ideals which make us a land of opportunity, a land for individuals to rise up and show how unequal they are! In the popular mythology, this means placing a high value on “self-realization”: I become the self-made man or woman of my dreams, and I do so by proudly setting my own rules. “I did it my way,” the famous American song proclaims.

Think about this: Does anybody in America, male or female, black or white, really in their heart even want to be equal to somebody else? No, we want to show our uniqueness. And even if we did want to be equal, would that actually be possible? No, because no two people are created equal; that’s the way God made us, like it or not. America prospers because it encourages everyone to take their unique inequalities and make them shine.

What does this mean for Christian believers? We Christians instinctively know that “self-realization,” as promoted in many self-help books and the positive thinking literature, is intended to turn hearts away from God and focus on self. The popular American mythology encourages us to think we can do it all on our own and we don’t need God. So does the land of opportunity offer any opportunities for Christians? America offers Christians not an opportunity for self-realization, but for realization of our place in God’s plan. We have an opportunity to be “the best that we can be” – not by proudly creating our own rules, but by showing our complete obedience to God’s rules. We trust that by so doing, we will each take our unique, individual place within God’s plan, and so bring glory to his name.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Bible

In American schools today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is probably held in even higher esteem than Thomas Jefferson. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, King invokes the words of Jefferson, saying it is his dream that all Americans will learn to live out the American “creed” which proclaims “all men are created equal.” King’s speech contains Bible quotes; and since he trained as a Baptist minister and has a “Reverend” before his name, one might presume he is speaking from a Christian perspective.

However, just as Jefferson’s statement that “all men are created equal” was from his own mind, so King’s dream was from his own mind, not from God. This is evident in several ways. We know King was not a true representative of the Lord because of things he said that contradict the gospel, and because of his lifestyle. In King’s speeches he denied the virgin birth and he claimed the physical resurrection of Jesus was not an important belief; so we know King was not a Bible-believing Christian. And King’s lifestyle was not that of a God-fearing man. He had multiple extra-marital affairs and mistresses, attended orgiastic parties, and committed extensive plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation at Boston University. These are not the actions of someone trying to honor God.

There is also clear evidence from within the “I Have a Dream” speech itself that King’s words are not from God. An example would be in his rousing finale, where King looks to “that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’” A true Christian minister would proclaim that real freedom comes only by surrendering one’s life to Jesus Christ, not through (as King puts it) “faith” in a “beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” And a true Christian minister would know that according to the Bible God does not consider all men to be his true children, but only those who call in faith upon God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

The Lord once told the prophet Jeremiah what he thought of prophets who told dreams from their own mind:

“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams which they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Ba′al? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another.” [Jeremiah 23:25-30]

King has joined the number of those false prophets who say, “I have dreamed! I have dreamed!” – but their dream is made of lies from their own heart. The Lord told Jeremiah, they “think to make my people forget my name by their dreams which they tell one another.” Today whose name is more honored in our schools? Is it the name of God, or the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. – the man with the dream?

One may argue that we should not criticize King because he brought attention to injustices. It is true that equal justice before the law is a fundamental concept for a just society, but it is very different than saying “all men are created equal.” The requirement for equality between people leads to invidious comparisons between people who are unequal (who were created unequal, like it or not) which leads to jealousy and resentment, which in turn sow the seeds of hatred. By veering from solid scriptural teaching, King was inadvertently giving fuel to the hatred he claimed to oppose.

If there are injustices in society, then the perpetrators of the injustice should be punished. But if people are created unequal by God, and if someone objects to the inequality, then it is God whom they should blame. This is impossible, however, in a society where you’re not allowed to talk about God in public. All that’s left is to point the finger at other people. But the people being blamed cannot create equality because they are not God! So grievances just fester until the top blows off.

If you ask, “But isn’t the principle of equality what made this country great?” I would answer once again that a better word would be “opportunity” – opportunity to let our God-given inequalities bear fruit.

The word “racist” prevents clear thinking

Just as no two men are created equal, so no two races are created equal. That’s what blacks who talk about black pride are saying quite openly. Anyone who watches sports can see there are many blacks with athletic abilities which no whites have (think 100 meter dash at Olympics), and there are many whites with athletic abilities which no blacks have (think Tour de France bike race). It’s revealing that no sports commentator will ever mention these obvious facts, for fear of being called racist. The shibboleth of equality has put shackles on our minds.

“Racial stereotyping” has come to be the equivalent (in the public forum) of racism. Again, this requires that we put shackles on our minds. Just as Paul described various members of the Christian community as having different roles that functioned together like the organs of a body, so some racial “stereotypes” have worked to benefit our society as a whole. Think for example of the Irishmen of New York who for generations have served as policemen and firemen to keep New York’s streets safe. Think of the Chinese who fed and clothed us with their restaurants and laundries. Think of the white women who as schoolteachers and librarians trained our kids. Think of the black musicians who brought us jazz music. Instead of calling these things racial stereotypes, perhaps we should call them racial gifts to all of society.

It will never help us deal with reality if we insist on pretending that there are no differences between races. It will never help us deal with reality – a reality created by God, not by our wishful thinking – if we insist on pretending that all people and all races are equal.

Is God racist?

Why does God make us this way? Does this mean that God favors one race over another? Is God racist?

The Jews of Jesus’ time considered their race to be the race favored by God. They were, after all, the people chosen by God to receive God’s holy scriptures and to preserve right worship traditions. They considered all non-Jews as unclean. Jesus, however, gave them this warning:

“But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na′aman the Syrian.” [Luke 4:25-27]

In other words, Jesus gave them examples from their own scripture of God selecting particular Gentiles ahead of Jews.

(If you’re not familiar with the Old Testament stories Jesus refers to, here is the background: The first story is from 1 Kings 17 and 18, and tells how Elijah the prophet was threatened by the evil King Ahab of Israel. Ahab blamed Elijah for the drought that was devastating the land, and sought to kill Elijah. But the Lord sent Elijah to hide in the home of a widow in Sidon, which was a Gentile city, and the Lord brought blessings to the widow and her son. God didn’t tell Elijah to find safety in a Hebrew home, but in a Gentile home. The second story is from 2 Kings chapter 5. In that story, Na’aman was a general in the Syrian army, an army which was at various times at war with Israel. Na’aman had a servant girl who was a Hebrew, stolen from the land of Israel. The servant girl saw that Na’aman was a leper, so she told Na’aman about the prophet Elisha in Israel, and told him Elisha could heal his leprosy. Then Na’aman, the Syrian general who was supposedly an enemy of Israel, went to Elisha the prophet who healed him. Elisha did not heal any of the lepers in the land of Israel, but only the Syrian general Na’aman.)

So Jesus pointed out two instances where God favored a Gentile over Jews. This made the Jews listening to Jesus so angry they tried to stone Jesus – they formed a first century lynch mob. But Jesus evaded them, and went on to die on the cross for the salvation of all men, of all races – equally. That’s how much God loves people of all races: He sent his beloved Son to die in their place.

One way God responds: Confusion

When we put our own judgment ahead of God’s judgment, we are claiming superiority over God. As we pointed out, it happened with Thomas Jefferson, and it is constantly trying to break down our walls of Christian belief. Equality has run amok, and because it charges at us in so many ways, it often wins the day and pushes God’s word aside.

So, if God’s word is getting pushed aside, why doesn’t God do something? We will document in another message that God is doing something, though most people are not seeing it. [See message “God Speaks to America.”] But it is also worth noting that God does not have to “do” anything dramatic for the effects of avoiding his word to be seen. God explained this to the prophet Jeremiah about 2600 years ago, when God’s own people were living in outright disobedience to God’s commands. God said to Jeremiah, “Is it I whom they provoke? says the LORD. Is it not themselves, to their own confusion?” [Jeremiah 7:19]

When we insist on challenging God’s thinking, he gives us over to confusion. God doesn’t really have to do anything for confusion to set in. He is the Creator; he is the one who established a certain order; his commandments show us the way to live within that order; therefore violation of his commandments leads to disorder, and disorder leads to confusion.

The confusion of women’s liberation

The news headlines in recent years provide an example of confusion arising from the women’s equality movement, and bring to light a rarely-mentioned verse in scripture. The women’s liberation movement says men and women are equal and we can forget God’s plan for different roles of the sexes. Even many Christian women would agree with this; they would say God was right most of the time, but he was a little off in this case. It’s time, the thinking goes, to have women in charge: women serving as generals in the army, women as police commissioners, women as corporate CEO’s, and so forth.

Generally, men are either agreeing with this or they are pretending to agree. They are afraid of being called misogynists; and even if they are aware of what the Bible says, they know that arguing publicly from the Bible is an invitation to ridicule. So they shut up, and privately scratch their heads, wondering what is going on. What is going on is that – to the perverse delight of some women’s libbers – men are forfeiting the leadership and protection roles they are supposed to be fulfilling.

And yet through it all God himself is still in control, and God answers those who wonder what is going on the same way he answered his people in the time of Jeremiah. At that time he said to his people, “How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman protects a man.” [Jeremiah 31:22]

We think we are in control; we think we are doing something very progressive. But in fact God is in control. It is God who has created this new thing – “a woman protects a man” – in order to lead us into confusion. We don’t stop to ask ourselves: If a woman protects a man, then who protects a woman? And so we end up with a #MeToo movement – a movement in which liberated, professional, supposedly independent women are all shouting in unison, “I need protection!” Attempts to overturn God’s plan lead to confusion – and then to frustration and anger because our plan is not working.

This is an important topic for our time, so for emphasis I will add a brief summary of the history of women’s liberation and its resultant confusion:

Initially, women decide to prove themselves “equal” to men, so they say, “Men, get out of our way; we will show you we are independent and don’t need men!” But they ignore the fact that men need them. (Too often they deliberately ignore this fact, asserting that women need to pay today’s men back for past “centuries of oppression.”)

The result is that men gradually abdicate their role as protectors and providers, eventually saying, “Well, this is very nice not having to take on all that responsibility; I could get comfortable with this!” Women’s libbers mock at the old-fashioned labels of “ladies and gentlemen”; mixed audiences are now to be addressed simply as “guys.” Then, sure enough, almost overnight there are no more ladies and gentlemen! Women remain adamant in their refusal to be “ladies” (with its implied dependency on men); but they begin to complain loudly that men are not behaving as gentlemen. The complaints about men gradually grow into hatred of men. And that’s where we are today: equality leading to confusion, leading to frustration and anger, and finally to hatred.

Equality in our schools and churches

Nowadays, school teachers who seek intellectual honesty have a tough job, as do Christian preachers. Americans pride themselves on their freedom of speech; but still – in spite of our boasted First Amendment rights – some things deemed to be critical of the principle of equality can’t be said in public.

Consider, for example, the information presented earlier about Martin Luther King, Jr. – that he cheated numerous times on his wife, attended orgiastic parties apparently without scruple, and plagiarized extensively in his doctoral thesis. When the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebration rolls around, are school teachers going to mention these facts? Almost certainly not, since the principle of equality and the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. have become inextricably linked and enshrined as icons within the walls of academia.

What about a preacher on Sunday morning mentioning these facts about King? King’s life would, after all, be an illustration of this passage from the second letter of Peter:

They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. [2 Peter 2:19-20]

King’s speeches offered people a promise of freedom, but he himself became overpowered by “the defilements of the world.”

This could be a powerful lesson to people in the Christian community, but what are the chances of the story being told? Think about this: A white preacher preaching to a white congregation would be seen as fomenting racial hatred by saying such things about a black man. And a black preacher preaching to a black congregation would be resented for bursting a very big bubble. In both cases, they would probably end up saying, “What’s the use? Better leave well enough alone.” The principle of equality, with Martin Luther King, Jr. as its figurehead, is firmly entrenched in our social consciousness; any attempt to get rid of either one would upset too many people. Equality’s shackles have reached firmly into both schools and churches.

By the way, didn’t I refer earlier to the principle of equality and the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., as “icons”? And isn’t “icon” a synonym for “idol”? And aren’t idols condemned by the Second Commandment which God gave to Moses? These questions should be considered by the preacher who says, “I guess I’d better leave well enough alone.”

The gay lobby also has latched onto equality as a powerful weapon to wield against Christian doctrine in both schools and churches. In public schools, the teaching of “marriage equality” has completely replaced God’s teaching, and made the mention of Christian teaching forbidden. In churches this has happened partially, but not completely. Some liberal churches have completely caved, offering gay marriage ceremonies and ordination of gay ministers, while more conservative churches still hold the fort and adhere to Biblical teaching that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman, and that homosexuality is a sin.

So far the infiltration of churches has happened in response to social pressure. But legal pressure on churches is on the horizon. Legislators in California have created a law making “conversion therapy” illegal. Conversion therapy is the gay lobby’s pejorative term for any attempt of a Christian to tell a gay person that Christ can save them from the gay lifestyle and from same-sex attraction. In other words, part of the Christian gospel is to be outlawed in California – even in churches – in the name of “equality.”

At present writing, a bill called the Equality Act has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, but is unlikely to pass in the current Senate. If a future election should cause the composition of the Senate to change, however, the bill will no doubt be re-introduced. The Equality Act would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (SOGI) as protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It is hard to see how this act would give the LGBTQ lobby any more influence over public schools than they already have; but what about private Christian schools and churches? No doubt the LGBTQ people will be twisting their conformity tourniquet as tight as they possibly can to bring SOGI to everyone, everywhere.

Christians should be worried, and they’d better start praying: praying that the blood of Jesus would hold back the darkness that is trying, in the name of equality, to come across our country.

Responsibility overrides equality

Earlier I remarked that while some people say that equality is what made America a great country, I maintained it was not equality that made our country great but opportunity. I want to amend that statement now. That statement is incomplete, because opportunity must be accompanied by responsibility. Opportunity without responsibility is useless. Where does responsibility come from? It comes from obedience to God’s just decrees – decrees which proclaim, “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not” – commands which hold individual people responsible to the very highest laws.

To give a specific example, modern equality teaching sows covetousness. How does equality sow covetousness? By telling us, “Look at your neighbor, and if your neighbor has more of this thing or that thing than you have, then that is inequality, and you’d better demand your fair share.” This is in violation of God’s tenth commandment which says, “You shall not covet … anything that is your neighbor’s.”

This example may seem at first to be of interest only to pious, religious people; but it is significant for everyone. There are no federal or state or local laws that prohibit covetousness, but there are many – probably millions – of laws which deal with the results of covetousness. God’s law gets to the root of the problem: one law instead of millions. By suppressing God’s laws, our culture is multiplying problems for our people. People must be held responsible not just to a labyrinth of man-made laws, but for the covetousness which God’s Spirit sees within our hearts.

Equality preachers accuse God

Without realizing it, the equality preachers are accusing God the Creator of not being fair, because he created us unequal. They are accusing God of being a racist. Modern equality teaching seeks to replace the mind of God (who created us unequal) with the mind of man (who declares, contrary to all evidence, that all men are created equal). Paul said, “’For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” [1 Corinthians 2:16] The mind of Christ must be our one and only source of truth. The solution is not to believe in some mythical equality. The solution is to lay it all – our thoughts, our actions, our words – at the feet of Jesus Christ, our Savior.