For us, infinity is something we infer, not something we can, in and of ourselves, directly understand. So, neither slavery nor any other material condition have anything to do with what we are in the “eyes of God”. A hint of this lies in how cars and trucks look to us from a great height- they are all just dots, regardless of the relative size our understanding otherwise ascribes to them in material terms. Since our ways are not God’s ways, our measures are not God’s measures.
Since, on our own, we cannot know the meaning of infinity, we must infer it from what we are capable of knowing. But, given the boundlessness of infinity, this inference always falls short of completion. Not so for God, given His infinite being. But if we cannot understand the limits of being in God’s terms, how are we to understanding the meaning of equality, from God’s perspective? Whatever we say, its meaning in terms of our finite understanding cannot extend to what it means from the perspective of God’s infinite being.
Yet though, on our own we cannot comprehend God’s meaning for equality we may understand the way God translates His meaning into terms accessible to our experience. This He has done through the Word by which all things are made. So, the objects of our experience represent the meaning of equality to us, in a limited way. But He has also translated Himself in the Word become flesh that dwelt amongst us.
When Christ spoke of the way all people should relate to God, He was speaking of a way of being that all of us inevitably represent. We are, therefore, all of us equally obliged to God, equally dependent upon God for the substance of our existence (i.e., the disposition of God’s being that makes our existence distinctly possible; the self-determinations by and through which His being becomes us, i.e., informs, expresses and adorns, our human nature, as a distinct species of and within Nature, as a whole.)
The Holy Scripture plainly describes this, our dependence on God’s information, as an aspect of His authority as our Creator:
I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: and that my soul knows right well. My frame was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; and in thy book they were all written …the days that were ordained… when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139: 14-16)
“…even the very hairs of you head are all numbered. (Luke 12:3)
These days most Americans (including all too many of those who profess to trust in, bless and act in the name of the Lord God and Jesus Christ) ignore or willfully reject this, our natural obligation to God. They ignore or reject the self-evident fact that our natural existence depends on God’s self-determination of His being, anterior to our existence. His prior will to preserve and serve our existence, informs the code
that comprises the program by which God’s grace and power preserves, informs, produces and sustains the human race.
We are all of us created equal because we are all equally obliged to execute God’s program for our existence. As we do so, we are all equally answerable to God, as the superintendent being of the whole to which we belong. Made in His image, we enjoy something like His self-determination. But when our will (i.e., what arises in consequence of our self-determination) takes no account of God’s prescribed will for our existence, we do, in particular, what contravenes the disposition of God’s general will, which is to serve and preserve us. We may not understand the consequences of our contrary will, because our finite understanding does not extend so far as the understanding of God. But we will experience those consequences, nonetheless.
God’s love might be described as the predisposition to serve and preserve our existence. This predisposition extends not only to our nature, but to Nature as a whole, insofar as the particulars of its way of being correspond to the requirements of ours. This observation is suggested by God’s written testimony, when the Apostle says:
He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
We are every day reminded that this passage encompasses the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. But how often do we remember that the phrase “that we might live through him”, encompasses the fact of God’s creation; the work of the Word through whom all things are made; Christ’s work, done before there was yet one of us.
With all this in mind, the Declaration’s acknowledgment of the equality of all, in the will of the Creator, is not at all about some measurement of our material condition as individuals. It is about our obligation and responsibility to God to observe the prescribed limits informed by His love, limits that allow for us to be in our way thanks to the will by which God has prepared all things, with us in mind.
The Declaration’s avowal of human equality, in terms of God’s creation, is immediately followed by its avowal of God-endowed unalienable rights. With almost willful blindness, however, all too many of us fail to make the connection. What is right? That which, in particular and on the whole, accords with God’s will for our existence as human beings. But this means that the reference to right is, in the first instance, not about freedom of will. It is about the standard of God’s will, in respect of which we have to choose among various possibilities that the special sense specific to our existence allows us to perceive.
Rights are the actions and activities that arise from the choices we make in conformity with the standard of God’s love for us—His will to serve and preserve our existence. So, they are actions arising in us in response to His love. We are thereby moved to conform to the rule God prescribes for our existence, enacting, in our own way, for God’s sake, what God has already enacted, in His way, for ours. As human beings, we are all equally obliged to respect God’s enactment. It is His first law of nature for our preservation, one we are all of us equally created to obey.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.