Are All Men Created Equal?
In the previous chapter (Why did Selective Salvation gain Popularity?) we saw how certain groups felt they were inherently superior. The feeling of inherent superiority was not limited to the Reformation period. That feeling is still present in many parts of the world. The majority of our current world conflicts are a result of one group thinking they are better than another. Although some wars are the result of greedy land grabs, a large number are driven more by ethnic pride and anger. This is the reason why brutal ethnic cleansing is so common in many of these conflicts. The feeling of superiority is incredible amongst these ethnic groups. Many of these groups actually believe they are inherently better than those around them. They actually believe they were created superior to the other groups.
Although it is easy for us to condemn the Nazis for believing they were the "master race," many other countries have taught doctrines similar to this over the centuries. A close look at their writings will reveal a doctrine of superiority. The amazing thing is a person doesn’t need to have remarkable intelligence, extraordinary skills, or have incredible wealth in order to feel superior. Even people we think should have nothing to brag about often feel superior. There are some tribes living in the jungles who actually call themselves "The people." Surprisingly, when some of these tribes were first told that God Almighty loved them, they responded, "Of course He does, we are The people."
The smugness of believing the world revolves around us has led to many atrocities. Scientists were burned at the stake simply because they dared to say the universe did not revolve around our planet. Obviously, these burnings were also politically motivated, but it does show how egocentric our thinking can become.
It is difficult for those of us who were born in a "melting pot" country (a country where numerous cultures are blended together) to comprehend how deep the feelings of ethnic superiority can run. Usually, the only types of classes we deal with in America are the ones based on income and education (upper class, middle class, etc.). These classes are not based on inherent superiority. In the U.S., breeding and pedigree are not nearly as important as they are in other countries. This is why a peanut farmer can become the President of the United States and a poor boy from Texas can grow up and become a multi-billionaire.
Even our "enlightened" society with its revolutionary philosophy of equality ("all men are created equal") had a hard time actually treating everyone as equal. Blacks gained the right to vote in 1867, women gained the right to vote in 1920, and Indians (the ones who originally owned this land) were prohibited from voting in some states as late as 1954. In fact, the abstract to my property (dated Oct. 4, 1944) strictly prohibited the property being sold to anyone, but whites. (The document below says, "Said property shall not be used, sold, occupied, transferred or otherwise disposed of to other than the Caucasian race."
Unknown to most Americans, many white males were even denied the right to vote. After the American Revolution, some of our founding fathers tried prohibiting everyone, except the aristocrats, from voting and holding positions of leadership. In fact, some of the states actually passed such laws and many white men were prohibited from voting. If our country with all of its concern for equality, blatantly treated "inferiors" so terribly, imagine how bad it must have been in Europe 400 years ago.
In India, the social class system (caste) is taken to an extreme. There, the caste system is etched in stone. One does not move from one caste to another. The welfare system and relief efforts we have in the United States are almost nonexistent over there. In fact, helping a person in poverty is considered doing him a serious disservice. They believe a person is in poverty (or a lower caste) because he is paying for the sins of his past lives (reincarnation). If you were to help relieve him of his suffering, you would force him to be born in poverty again, or even worse, as an animal. As a result, there is a smugness and pride in being born in the special superior class.
I believe all men and women are created equal. I do not believe God has created a special class of salvation available only to a select few. I believe God is no respecter of persons and is offering His love and salvation to all mankind.
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