Is it bad that amidst all this complaining about equality and rights, I want to remind people of what we tell little children – “life isn’t fair!”? Now that is my knee-jerk snarky response. Let me explain why I think all the whining about fairness and equal rights is getting us nowhere.
Firstly, what makes us equal is our human dignity. No amount of anti-discrimination or equal rights laws can force us to treat every human being with the dignity that they deserve. What we really need is for our stony hearts to be replaced with living ones. We need to start seeing things from God’s perspective.
As Christians, we need to realize that God’s vision of justice and fairness differs from what the world tells us. God’s version of the world is hard to swallow sometimes. It includes guidelines like:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:21-24
What God really desires is righteousness – this means living in right relationship with ourselves, others and Him.
Let’s just go right for a controversial topic and apply this to marriage. People think that it is an issue of “fairness” that people with same-sex attractions cannot be married. Yet God created marriage to be between a man and a woman. For two men or two women to have a romantic relationship is a distortion of the way God meant for us to relate to each other.
I’ve already written about the different roles of men and women, so I won’t beat a dead horse, but this also applies to issues involving gender roles. People who are not oriented around God’s point of view have a hard time understanding why women can’t be priests. Again, it is made into an issue of “fairness” and discrimination. In reality, the priesthood involves a certain kind of relationship that only a man can properly live out. Inherently, women cannot be fathers, and men cannot be mothers. In God’s reality, everyone is called to be their true selves and be in properly ordered relationship with each other.
I’m not sure how this fits in, but something recently clicked for me: while our Church is set up like a hierarchy, it should look different from earthly governments. It is a community of people who have been given different roles and responsibilities. Some members have more authority, but with that authority comes greater responsibility. We hold to a counter cultural faith that says our leaders are servants and the weak will lead the strong. Jesus built the Church upon Peter, he did not appoint him as some fancy steeple on top.
“This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.”