The concept of equality amongst all members of many religious group is highly underrated. I remember reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm many years ago. According to this political satire, animals on Manor Farm rebelled against the farm owner, Mr. Jones, under the leadership of two young pigs – Snowball and Napoleon. The pigs in the farm were the most literate. They even knew how to read. The farm was renamed “Animal Farm” after the ousting of Mr. Jones.
One major change in Animal Farm was the adoption of the Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which had been, “All animals are equal.” Things moved quite smoothly on the farm until Mr. Jones, along with several of his men and other farm owners terrified of animal revolts, tried and failed to recapture Animal Farm. This failure definitely boosted the morale of those animals.
However, things began to get awry between Napoleon and Snowball. Napoleon orders his dogs to chase Snowball away and has himself declared leader. Napoleon also began to purge the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accused of working with Snowball. The pigs, under Napoleon, started to resemble humans – they wore clothes, carried whips and walked upright. A major adjustment came later as the Seven Commandments was abridged to a single phrase: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
Bottom line, Napoleon became the new leader. The animals realized that tyranny wasn’t peculiar to humans and that the rebellion didn’t bring exactly what they had imagined it would bring.
Are all believers equal? Imagine having an abridged version of the Seven Commandments of Animalism being upheld in Christendom: “All Christians are equal but some Christians are more equal than others.” While no such commandment exists in Christendom, some believers actually have something similar to this in their heads as part of their Theology.
“Surely all believers can’t be equal,” they might argue. “The apostles were definitely higher than the other believers after Jesus’ death and resurrection,” some would say. “Isn’t the five-fold ministry supposed to separate us all into strata? Ministry and spiritual gifts make us unequal.”
A brief look at Christendom today might actually strengthen these arguments. We have a Christianity where many lay people are taught to bow and cower before certain few. But the original picture of Christianity is a religion of equality. All Christians are equal. But if we are to say that two things, ideas, people, etc are equal, then we must have a measuring standard. Equality can’t be said to exist except a standard exists that is accepted by all the parties involved.
So, what is our measuring gauge? Simple! A.C.C.E.S.S. While I won’t be doing much exposition in this post, I’ll do so much in the next. I have often heard preachers emphasize on so many things in the Church – from faith to prosperity to spiritual gifts to love to holiness to grace. What I haven’t heard so much, however, is what I like to call The Doctrine of Equality. It’s Easter, the season we celebrate Christ’s death and His resurrection. And one thing that that resurrection brought was equality.
Access brought equality. The fact that we all have exactly the same degree of access means that we’re all equal. If some people had greater access, they could called “greater”. But we all have exactly the same access. Access determines ranking. I’ll do more exposition in the next post.
Until then, feel free to drop your comments and questions. What exactly does equality mean to you? Do you think it’s a big deal?
© Eleazar Maduka, 2017