Let me begin by saying I am an egalitarian. I fully believe we are equal in value before God! Men, women, black, white, poor, rich … all are equal in value before God!
That said, a while back I walked into a mall and there was a young couple fighting; you could tell the girl was really angry with the young man. She was clearly hitting him as hard as she could. “Friends” that were standing around were laughing as this young man just took the beating. No police were called, no one intervened, and no one even seemed to be bothered. They thought it was funny.
What if we switched genders in this situation?
What if it was a young man hitting a girl over and over again in a public mall? How do you think current culture would view that?
While it’s good that our Western culture is working to bring equality for men and women, we don’t want to swing the pendulum so far that abuse becomes okay on the other side.
The reality is this isn’t new!
Running from the religious oppression of Europe, our forefathers came to the United States of America. As they settled into colonies their passion to express their version of religion shifted. There linger stories of new colonists interrogating others running from the oppression across the sea only to find it here too.
I can’t shake some of the stories we read in graduate school. There are stories of people spending months crossing the ocean only to find a noose at the end of the docks in America because they wouldn’t conform to the “correct” version of Christianity.
It’s important to note this wasn’t true of all the colonists. Many were good people! Many did show love and mercy, including to the Native Americans, but not all were like this. Some were tired of religious oppression, but were quick to offer it when they were in power.
Historically few seem to actually get this right … the pursuit of true equality.
As the gender, race, and religious (or opposition to a religion) power struggle continues, the swing of power will inevitably usher in new oppression.
What’s that old saying? “Ultimate power ultimately corrupts.”
Jesus is different. Christian love isn’t supposed to be about demanding control, it’s about submitting everything to the value system of Jesus. It might be time to pull out that old dusty Bible and read the red letters, the words of Jesus.