The Great Equalizer

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
(Colossians 3:8–11, NIV)

We humans are fickle. In today’s Western society, we have a fondness for democracies and republics. We want to empower the people as opposed to obeying a king… and America has done a pretty good job at this by establishing our great middle class — a body of people who hold property and pursue happiness. But the American experiment has given us peek into our very hearts. The Constitution notwithstanding, we still want a king!

A king in America? Yes. In fact, we have several. We create royalty at every turn with our celebrity culture. But the worst part is that many who wear those crowns are only honored for being known… and not much else… and today, I am calling us out on this. Why do we lift up people who do not contribute substantively to society… and why do we give them their crowns?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying all famous people have no value. Many people have earned their high profiles. They have prepared, worked hard for decades and have achieved worldly success and, therefore, acclaim. But for these, notoriety is a by-product. If we stripped that away, they would still be great people in the world. But there is another type, and these take today’s focus.

How do people, who have the substance of meringue, become the darlings of millions? The very existence of the paparazzi tells us there’s a market for this… as they continue to peddle notoriety that has no value beyond that of a familiar face. You see, we Americans love to create our own version of royalty, and we have people lining up to take these crowns!

Now, I realize that democracy is not about everyone being the same. It’s about providing people with equal opportunity to pursue their dreams… and I understand that this doesn’t guarantee an equal result. Nevertheless, the heart of America is shown through what we do frequently and en masse: we set up kings and worship at their feet…. but Jesus provides an escape from this.

Every believer has equal status within the Body of Christ. We are all children of God… and God has no favorites. Furthermore, heaven has no middle management. The apostles, the great scholars and the faithful martyrs all have the same status that we do: we are heirs to the household of God — called to be saints… because every believer is equally holy and equally set apart to God.

The apostle Paul knew that he couldn’t avoid social strata, so he used it in his teachings — and especially concerning the Jews. The Jews were monotheists, and they were the first converts to Christianity. So, it would be natural to think that they were of better stock than were the pagan Gentile converts. But he taught that our history means nothing to God… while our currency means everything to him.

In like manner, notoriety means nothing to God… and equality will not be achieved by fighting for parity or through social engineering. It will be achieved through salvation… because the new self is an equal self in the Body of Christ… and the sooner we bow our knees to the right King — to Jesus Christ — the sooner we will be equal in everything that matters. 

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