Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great Equalizer

"..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
-Romans 3:23

In economics ..the "socialism" theory / experiment has been a long-standing attempt to create a more level, or equal, playing field for society ..specifically in terms of labor and wage-earners. That's the simplistic description at least. Socialism is as broad as long ...and variants seem to come to light frequently over time. I wonder "why"?? I can understand the desire that things be "fair", that the class-systems aren't so extreme. This is, in fact, how Communism came into the picture ...and didn't work so well either.

I'm certainly no economist ...nor am I as savy as I would want to be in societal studies ...but there is an element which I believe we consistently disregard when it comes to the arguments and theories of utopian societies, level playing fields, class-less societies, etc. That is... the players in the game (that is you and I) are, to begin with, un-equal! That is ...un-equal in terms of our own desires, wants, and needs. We can generalize that we are all the same, but a closer look reveals different levels of maturity and need in we humans. Visit your neighbor, or a co-worker, and find out where they are in life. Chances are you'll find his / her wants and needs a little different from your own.

I believe there is, however, a "great equalizer". Whatever your spiritual disposition, I find it difficult to believe that anyone can argue against the depraved condition of man. Even the most "moral" of men surely recognizes the qualities of lust, of hatred in his own heart, our greedy nature, or our covetousness (keeping up with the Joneses). Recognizing that we are created in God's own image, fearfully and wonderfully made ....sounds good in a Bible study ...but living out our lives with this level of confidence, this level of contentment ....has yet to seem to work for us as individuals. And if individuals can't believe it ...why would we think we can practice life any differently as a collective?

I believe the Scriptures, when it says "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It isn't much of a stretch for me to believe in a Creator. I'm here.... I'm thinking... I am doing. Conclusively, it isn't much of a stretch for me to believe that Creator is a perfect and holy Creator. And if I am the "creat-ed" ...then it isn't a far stretch to resolve my own imperfection ....compared to His glorious standard.

In these terms you and I are very much alike. The differences, with this perspective in mind, are simply a matter of specifics. I sin, you sin, we all fall short of God's glory. Now the playing field is equalizing. We've found common-ground after all. As individuals ...we will always be different. Our Creator made us that way. As a collective ...we truly are in the same boat in terms of our spiritual condition. And our Creator is gracious enough to leave decisions about our own spiritual condition ...to the individual. Hmmm... no class-system here. Just a decision to be made by you ...by me.

There's more to this story ..that we have all sinned and fall short of God's glorious standard. The Scriptures indicate.... "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." -Paul's Letter to the Romans ch.3 vv. 23-26

I'd rather be "made" righteous ...than to "be" righteous. Dependent on me alone ....my righteousness shall wane ...become as filthy rags. Dependent on God's provision, through Jesus Christ, I am "justified". Only by His grace ...through faith. Maybe the playing-field is already equal enough ....and only a righteous Judge can mandate a fair sentencing or rehabilitation.

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