God is sovereign (and not equal with man), and this leaves us in a state of wonder and worship. It also gives us a tool to deal with political issues of the day. The church has failed to teach men to stand in silence and awe before a Holy God who works all things after the counsel of his own will. Teaching the doctrine of predestination is the only way to nullify the blight of modern Egalitarianism.
Egalitarianism is a fancy word that intimates that everything and everyone are equal, and if not, they should be. It’s only fair. As a system of thought, it is an ultimate concept that controls modern theology, philosophy, and social theory. It tends to deconstruct all authority systems. To challenge its validity, one must be willing to be considered a heretic, and therefore worthy of rejection. That rain is water is an ultimate concept. That the sun rises in the east is an ultimate concept. That all men are created equal was declared to be an ultimate concept in the American Declaration of Independence.
Historically and philosophically, Egalitarianism as a system (as opposed to biblical equality) has been associated with Marxism. All property must to be distributed equally among the working class through revolution. The newer Cultural Marxism demands equality in all other areas of life such as religion or sexual orientation. All religions are equal. Christianity is not the only way. Straight, homosexuality, lesbianism, and transgenderism are all equal.
Actually, the system of Egalitarianism began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve decided that they were equal with God and ate the forbidden fruit. As I have argued before (“The Fatal Flaw in the Declaration of Independence,” July 16, 2020, The Aquila Report) biblical equality is defined by equality under the law. The Bible is very clear that in judgment before the Law of God, no consideration is to be given to a person’s status as whether they are rich or poor, master or slave, or even male and female.
Egalitarianism as a philosophical system is most prominently displayed in the theological structure designated as Arminianism. It teaches that Jesus died equally for every person individually, and all persons have an equal right and equal ability to choose or reject Christ. Every man equally has a free-will capable of making a decision for God. In this system God is in his very essence egalitarian, and to think of him in any other way would make him an unfair tyrant. In Arminianism the ultimate choice in salvation is not a benevolent and discriminatory act on God’s part, but rather the choice is that of the egalitarian man who has the ability to act independently of God or any higher authority. In reality, God is brought down low and becomes man’s equal.
Along with the rise of Arminianism in America, when democracy was separated from God’s Law, it became a child of Egalitarianism. Man is now the measure of all things, and the democratic vote has become another form of mob rule. However, ultimate authority must reside somewhere. As a result, unintentionally, the Supreme Court has replaced God himself.
However, the Reformed (Calvinist) Church has always taught differently. There are indeed elements of equality in Reformed theology. As I mentioned before, in judgment all men are equal under the law of God. All men equally sinned in Adam. “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all” (McGuffey Reader). The free offer of the gospel is to be proclaimed to all men without distinction, regardless of class, gender, or race.
There is in Reformed Theology (and we believe in the Bible) an ultimate element of discrimination in the very being of God that nullifies or tempers modern concepts inherent the harmful system of Egalitarianism. God did choose from a fallen race of sinners a certain number of elect people, a number that cannot be either increased or diminished (Westminster Confession of Faith, 3.4). These elect people were chosen not because they were better in any way than other sinners, but they were chosen according to the kind intention of God’s will.
The ultimate reason for this discriminatory election remains hidden in the mind of God. It was according to the “secret counsel and good pleasure of His will” (WCF, 3.5). The argument ends there. Who am I to argue with the potter who made the clay? There is no Egalitarianism here. There is only silence. This is a sovereign discrimination on the part of God. It is a benevolent discrimination indeed, but a discrimination nonetheless. Discrimination here assumes a position of ultimacy in the very character of God. Discrimination is not always sinful.
Of course, the doctrine of election in no way nullifies the gospel. The bottom line is that if you have come to Christ, then you know you were chosen by him before the foundation of the world. Don’t get all bent out of shape here! However, the importance of this doctrine is to give all glory to God, and to take comfort that our salvation is a gift that comes from the pure grace of God. There is no place for human merit, not even in some act of a an independent free-will.
Predestination is not some obscure doctrine to be shelved in a secret place for heady theologians. It is the very antidote for the modern systems and schemes that are seeking to promote the error of the ultimacy of Egalitarianism in our society. It actually is the only defense against a radical Marxist ideology that has captured not only modern politics, but also most of the modern church. This is one reason our forefathers chose a Constitutional Republic over Democracy. The early reformed preachers saw the dangers in a pure democracy. They saw it as a form of Egalitarianism.
Arminianism has no defense against Egalitarianism because it comes out of the same muddy pond. The Reformed Church has much to contribute to the modern political and philosophical conversation that results from identity politics and social justice, both which deny that God has the right to discriminate between right and wrong. God is sovereign (and not equal with man), and this leaves us in a state of wonder and worship. It also gives us a tool to deal with political issues of the day. The church has failed to teach men to stand in silence and awe before a Holy God who works all things after the counsel of his own will. Teaching the doctrine of predestination is the only way to nullify the blight of modern Egalitarianism.
Larry E. Ball is a retired minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is now a CPA. He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee.