Tag Archives: equality

Equality Is Not Justice

Justice and equality are not the same. Equality implies that everyone, no matter who they are, no matter what they’ve done, should be treated exactly the same. Justice means everyone, no matter who they are, gets treated fairly. Everyone plays by the same set of rules.

If we are all to be equal, then jails and prisons are unacceptable. Criminals must be released and allowed to go free, otherwise, they are not equal. If we are to be just, however, then some people will forfeit their freedom by disobeying fair and just laws.

If we are to be equal, then competition is a curse. Every worker, no matter how many hours they work or what job they do, must receive the same annual salary. Every team in the NFL must get Super Bowl rings at the end of each season.

If we are to be just, then workers will receive fair wages based on their willingness to work and their abilities. If we are to be just, then competitive endeavors will have both winners and losers.

If we are all to be equal, then siblings should be allowed to marry each other. And men to marry men, women to marry women, marriages of three, or four, or whatever. If we are to be just, however, then we will place healthy and holy limits on who can and cannot marry.

If we are all to be equal, then children should be allowed to do all the same things as adults. I hope anyone will agree that this is a foolish statement, which demonstrates that absolute equality is a ludicrous notion. Justice and wisdom require proper limits.

Justice means that people require different treatment based on the facts. To treat a criminal like a law-abiding citizen would be foolish. To promote incest would be unwise. To treat children like adults would be dangerous. In fact, parents who treat their kids like adults may find themselves in legal trouble.

Equality is not automatically a virtue. To treat the weak exactly the same as the strong can be heartless. We build both stairways and ramps because we believe that people should be treated differently based on facts and circumstances. It is wrong to make some people use the stairs.

“Equal” has become an emotionally-charged term that is unfurled like a banner to rally public support for normalizing immoral and sinful behaviors. Sin is recast as a civil right and civil rights are redefined as equality. But true civil rights do not guarantee everyone equal treatment, they promise fair and just treatment.

The Bible calls for justice, but never insists on absolute equality. In fact, Scripture tells us that some people deserve special considerations. Widows, orphans, and aliens require extra help. God insists upon it.

The Bible says that some people have the right to take freedoms from others. The Bible says that some people have no right to marry. The Bible says that nobody has the right to pervert justice.

Using equality as a cover for immorality undermines justice. Any sinful behavior can be added to an endless list of supposed civil rights. Absolute equality as a guiding principle leads us further away from justice, not closer.

Not only does the Bible elevate justice above equality, God’s word also elevates mercy above judgment. More than simply judging sin and immorality, God’s desire is to demonstrate mercy and grace to the sinner. But without justice there is no mercy, no grace.

Only when we truly understand the justice and holiness of God can we appreciate his mercy and grace. If we try to replace God’s justice with mistaken notions about equality, then we obscure and even erase God’s standards. Rejection of God’s standards leaves us ignorant of our need for God’s grace.

Without a healthy understanding of God’s grace, we find Jesus dying on the cross not as our Savior but as a fool. Who would die for a world that has no need for a Savior?

Despite all the attempts to replace justice with equality, the sinfulness of humanity is still blatantly evident. And great sin requires a great salvation. Praise God we have a great salvation through our great Savior Jesus Christ!

Let us not demand human equality. Instead, let us cry out for God’s grace.

May God’s Spirit give us wisdom and compassion,

Brother Richard Foster

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Can We Talk Religion?

Can we have an honest discussion about religion? No. Not if those who speak the truth are indiscriminately labeled as bigots.

To discuss religion in the U.S. is to discuss Christianity and Islam. To discuss Islam is to discuss the problem of radicalization. But honest discourse is shouted down by predictable accusations of “hate speech.”

But to point out that Islam has a problem with violence is not hatred for all Muslims. To deny that Islam has a problem with violence is to ignore the facts and to stick one’s head in the quicksand of political correctness.

It is time to stop showing graphs that compare radical Islamic murder in the U.S. with other murder, but begin the count on the day after 9/11! The agenda of such cherry-picking of the stats is plain for all to see: to rewrite history in order to exonerate Islam.

Why the strained effort to elevate Islam and to denigrate Christianity (i.e., defining Christianity by the acts of 1,000-year-dead crusaders)? It’s the new definition of Equality.

The New Equality is not simply advocating for fair treatment between the races, between men and women, between the rich and poor, or between different creeds and religions. The New Equality is systematically dismantling established ideas of what is morally right and wrong.

The New Equality claims to be acting out of heartfelt sympathy for the exploited and the underdog. But the real goal is to establish a new foundation for defining right and wrong.

The long-time foundation for right and wrong is God. Different cultures and religions have diverse views about God, but still he is the authority, the basis for beliefs, values, laws, governments and societies.

But God and religion are no longer valid in the world of the New Equality. Things are simple with this new perspective. Erase all differences. Remove all pride of accomplishment or confidence in righteousness and you eradicate all hatred and violence, right? Soon everyone will be well-fed and satisfied, right? Wrong.

In the New Equality, nobody can claim to be right. All religions must accept absolute sameness. If a certain group claims to be right or to know the truth, then they are accusing someone else of being wrong, and that might hurt someone’s feelings.

Feelings are now more important than truth. Or, put another way, feelings have become truth. Not so long ago we were told, “If it feels good, do it!” Now we are faced with another step back: “If it feels good, it must be right!”

All this moral confusion is a result of denying humanity’s ability to know the truth. In an increasingly secular culture, we are asked to believe that nobody can really know ultimate truth, and so it is impolitic to make such a claim.

And yet certain claims stubbornly refuse to exit the stage of history. The words of Jesus still ring out: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – nobody comes to the Father but by me.” “I am the Light of the world – whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Think of all the kingdoms, movements and philosophies that have come and gone in the past 2,000 years. But Jesus’ words continue to speak truth and hope to hearts around the world.

Just before he slipped away into the pages of history, Pilate asked a famous question, “What is truth?” When he uttered those words he was literally looking truth in the face, but he turned and walked away and washed his hands of Jesus.

The New Equality perpetuates the attitude of Pilate, insisting that truth is illusory. Deciding beforehand that we cannot find the truth really limits the discussion.

An honest dialogue admits to the possibility of real answers, of one position being right and another being wrong. Can we talk religion?

May God’s Spirit open your heart to his truth,

Richard Foster

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