Proactive or Reactive?
It has been pointed out that darkness is not a
thing in itself, but the absence of a
thing: light. Likewise, evil is not so much an entity of its own as a reaction to good. So both darkness and evil could be described as reactive. In contrast, good and light are proactive; they are the entities without which their opposites would not exist.
And so it is with the egalitarian cause. We have spent too much effort being reactive, because we seem so overly focused upon counterattack and defense. We have thus painted ourselves as the shadow, the threat, instead of the standard by which other views are judged. Our battles have all been uphill because we’re looking in the wrong direction.
We must change our mindset from defense to attack, from challenger to champion. We are not the ones hiding behind tradition or class or majority, but standing firmly on the Word, on the Truth, and on sound reason. If we err, it is on the side of compassion, whereas male supremacy errs on the side of legalism. As I’ve often said, we must have both truth and spirit; one without the other leads to error. But standing upon those two pillars we can then let any inferences we make bow to the heart if there is any doubt. This is the essence of our faith, the motivation of our salvation. Jesus said it all right here:
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so also must the Human be lifted up, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life. Likewise, since God loved the world, he also gave his only son so that everyone who would trust in him would not be destroyed but have eternal life. For God did not dispatch his son into the world to pass judgment on it, but to save it through him. The one putting trust in him is not condemned, but the one not trusting is condemned already for rejecting the name of the only God-Man.And as John later said,
~ John 3:14—18
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.And of course I would remind the reader that this love is not a cheap emotion that ignores sin or knows nothing of the holiness of God. If we do not love God above all, even family and friends, then we do not love God at all. And as Jesus further defined it,
~ 1 John 4:7—12 (TNIV)
Why do you call me ’Lord, Lord,’ but do not do what I say?Love must go hand-in-hand with truth. And truth is not something that can be picked up like rocks on the ground; we have to dig for it and that takes a lot of work. We must be diligent to know all the facts, to consult with many sources on word meanings and grammatical points, and to think logically and consistently.
This must be the foundation of our teachings, egalitarian or not, because everything flows from this point. This is the proactive, positive, faithful base from which we must operate. Since egalitarian teachings flow naturally from this source, we are merely teaching the truths of scripture when we teach equality. We need to focus on that instead of on what’s wrong with everybody else’s teachings. Let them become the challengers and accusers, the shadows, the margins. We have the truth and we need to start acting in accordance with that fact.