The Radical Equality of Christianity

Oct 20, 2019 by

By Bradley J. Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative:

In our world of recriminating hatreds—in which we desire more to label those we don’t like as sexist, imperialist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and, simultaneously, mark ourselves as victims—we often forget some important historical truths. Here’s one we conveniently ignore, dismiss, or mock: Nothing in the world has brought about more equality and justice than has the Christian religion.

To be sure, various paganisms—such as the Heraclitan Logos, Socratic ethics, and Stoic philosophy—had sought the universal as well. Each, however, hit understandable walls of resistance and fierce competition from non-egalitarian Gnostic systems.

Christianity, however, was the first to achieve a proper, just, and serious equality in any radical and meaningful way.

In roughly 50 AD, the Christian Church had reached its first crisis. Did one have to become a Jew prior to becoming a Christian? The Christians who had emerged from the Pharisaical schools said yes, promoting the letter of the Law wherever and whenever possible, no matter how many obstacles these might throw up against non-Jewish converts to the faith.

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