Mailvox: created equality

AP observes that equality is ideology, not theology:

Good response to Rob re: being “created in the image of God” on this morning’s post. I hadn’t thought of that one.

I did a little research into the use of the words “equal” and “equality” in the Bible not too long ago that turns out to support the point you’re making. The words are never used in the Genesis account (as you probably already have noticed), and while erek (the Hebrew) and isotes (Greek for “fairness”) appear here and there throughout scripture, at no point are they used to describe any sort of equality in God’s eyes between one man and another. That concept is simply not there in our Bibles, whether in Testaments Old or New.

Further, to say that two people are both “created in the image of God” is not the same as saying they are equally created in the image of God. There are always more accurate likenesses and less accurate likenesses, as we all know from portraiture, genetics and funhouse mirrors.

Even among Christians there is no “equality” in the sense that is being claimed here. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about how the Body of Christ is constituted of many members, some of which appear “less honorable”, “weaker” and even “unpresentable”. They serve purposes that appear ignoble, and the more “presentable” body members therefore have an obligation to care for these. The apostle Paul hints that these unpresentable members often have hidden value (probably both to God and to us; personally, I suspect their value consists largely in the graces they were created to cultivate in the other members of the Body), but what is very clear is that they were created to function differently. Further, whatever value they do have, no claim whatsoever is made in the passage that the various parts are “equal” in any way, or anywhere else in the Bible, only that they need each other to function properly

This is evident from the real world: nobody functions better and more admirably than the godly mother of a disabled child. The graces cultivated in her by caring for a “lesser part” speak eloquently to God’s real purpose in creating living beings that just don’t work, look, act, think or function as well as others.

Those who claim the Bible teaches equality are reading their early childhood Western propagandization back into scripture with no warrant.

As a general rule, if there is any doubt about a theological position, look with extreme skepticism at the position that is in line with the world’s approval.