The other day in a discussion with a brother we were talking about the difficulties of discipleship and he pointed to the problem of radical egalitarianism. I have been reading since then and have to give props to Wildavsky, Piper, Grudem and others. I have more thoughts on this subject, but have attempted to boil them down in the following one page essay. I have some cross-cultural thoughts hinted at, but will save them for future discussion. I will gladly discuss any suggestions that are seriously thought out.
The effect of radical egalitarian thought on the hierarchy of wisdom naturally developed in Christian education and institutions has spawned a generation of very need individuals who don't realize their own needs. I have noticed when discipling young men that it is all too common to have responses to the impartation of wisdom that show a stubborn refusal to open oneself up to that level of learning which is acquired only in humility and asking the very questions that when answered would enlighten one with true wisdom. Proving that the source of such a fountain of pride is radical egalitarian thought is the prevalence of a refusal to be a servant in small things. The cry of “equality” has been so loud in the atmosphere of modern liberalism that anything associated with authority and hierarchy is denounced as evil or unjust. How justice came to be viewed in the institution of learning is not a puzzle. The worldly thought that equality is the highest good has replaced Gods’ glory being the highest good. Respect and honor are demanded before the floor is even scrubbed well. The thought that we should evolve into a society where scores are not even kept at ball games has crept into the church resulting in a despising of every kind of God-given authority and has given way to the demand of the democracy of comfort in the midst of theocracy.
The most common ideas in the world resulting from radical egalitarianism are feminism, the gay rights movement, affirmative action and quotas. Responsibility is the principle that is frowned upon in these discussions of course, because radical individualism demands that we not be put in the uncomfortable position of having to earn our way before enjoying the privileges of the way. The family is the first institution to suffer from liberal and radical thought. Every last vestige of the Christian family is being torn at by the media and other proponents of modern liberalism. For years now, TV show, movies and commercials have attempted to mock the authority of the home. In particular, because of the influence of feminism, another spawn of radical egalitarianism, the father in the home has been made the brunt of jokes, insinuations and parody.
Radical egalitarianism refuses to acknowledge that one segment of society or individual is superior to another. We have somehow been deceived into believing that all men being created equal ends with all men being equal. But where men end up in life involves time, experience, responsibility, learning, investment, blood, sweat and tears. Too many nowadays have been deceived by modern thought and have knowingly or unknowingly bowed to the God of radical egalitarianism to their own detriment. They will not have anyone telling them what to do and they will not acknowledge their need to learn. Thus we have a generation of know-it-alls climbing up our ecclesiastical ladders taking places that will possibly result in not only their own fall, (I have seen it far too often), but the fall of many of those unfortunate enough to end up under them.
Now lest some misunderstand, I am not talking of the kind of egalitarianism displayed by Jesus when He taught us that the servant is the highest, or that the first is the last. In using these words and in teaching of the equality of service in the body, he was not denigrating authority, nor dispelling the fact that there are those in society who have more and those who have less. Jesus was and is in fact the same Sovereign God who has ordained that such things be as they are. Agreed, that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Please understand that I am attempting to address the attack on the family and the church in their ministry of teaching that has resulted in children demanding to be addressed and thought of as adults before they have even had the time to experience the results of taking responsibility seriously.