by Karla Perry
All people are equal, but all ideas are not. If we treat ideas the way we are to treat people we will harm people. Truth is not indigenous to people, it is revealed from God. When God brought the Hebrew people group out of Egypt to make them a nation, they did not already know how to be a nation. They only learned how to be slaves from the Egyptians. God gave Moses the law to teach the people how to become a great nation in the promised land. The foundational teachings of nationhood come from Mount Sinai. God had to get Egypt out of them, and the covenant way of life into them.
We do not hear God telling the people to keep the ways of Egypt or any other land. Today we have elevated ideas to the status of the people who have them. Because of the abuses of colonialism and our modern judgment of them, we have retreated significantly from discipling nations in truth. In so doing, we consign cultures to darkness while trying to deliver individual people unto salvation in Jesus Christ.
Moreover, we embrace the cultural ideas of foreign lands serving foreign gods into our own nation. We go beyond the freedom of religion, to equality of religion like a smorgasbord of ideas from which we can borrow to enhance our own spiritual experience. Some believers are doing this unknowingly as these ideas have been integrated into our university education. They accept the discipleship they received from their professors without judging it against Scripture. Instead they apply it to Scripture. Then these disciples write books and educate people who do not know any better than to now adopt a postmodern secularized Christianity. It is now becoming trendy to adopt this way of thinking.
But ideas, unlike people, must be treated harshly. Do they hold up to the standard of truth? Do they follow from biblical theology or did they come from another source? Biblical theology may not have a chapter and verse, but it has a worldview only sourced from the Bible. It did not come into the world because Buddha thought it up. Nietzsche did not introduce the idea to the world.
For instance, the idea that humans are greater than animals and have dignity and rights not ascribed to the animal kingdom is only a biblical idea. Without Genesis 1 and 2 we are left with naturalism that teaches that humans and animals have the same worth and yet even the naturalists borrow from a biblical worldview to say that that equality is a positive equality of worth rather than a negative equality of insignificance. It depends on the naturalist which way they go with that. Either an ant is as valuable as human, or a human is as worthless as an ant. Only the Bible teaches that men and women are created equal in God’s image and that truth is encapsulated in our Declaration of Independence that “we are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights . . .” This is what applied biblical theology looks like in a nation and why we call America a Christian nation.
When ideas do not correspond to biblical theology. When they don’t flow from that root of revealed truth, they require rejection. Jesus calls us to love all people all the time, but their ideas we can hate because we love them. If a person thinks he is as insignificant as an ant, love dictates that we hate that idea. If a person thinks he is an ant, we should hate that idea. We know from Scripture God only made humans to be men and women, not ants or anything else we dream up. Embracing ideas that are outside of God’s revelation only serves to harm people, cities, and nations. Let’s get better at loving people from all cultures and worldviews, but let’s also get better at not adopting ideas that are not born of truth.