Elitism, Meritocracy or Grace?


By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

Hollywood has often been called a club. Certainly, the history of Hollywood has been rife with elitism, cronyism and nepotism. The studio heads from the Golden Age used to hire their relatives, whether or not they could even speak English.

There is another side of Hollywood, however, which is a meritocracy. The saying goes, You’re only as good as your next movie. The biggest names go from first to worst, and one bad movie is enough to destroy a career.

Today, most people have an inner aversion to exclusive clubs. If you aren’t born in the right neighborhood, have the right blood type, speak with the right accent, go to the right schools, it’s almost certain that you’ll never become a member.

Many people are also wary of a meritocracy. It’s a cruel system. While it is fun to look at the winners of the Olympics, as the Audi commercial notes, it’s no fun being in second place. Often the bar gets so high for membership that it seems to be impossible to participate.

Most religions fall into these two camps. Either you’re part of the religious club because of your blood type, such as the caste system in Hinduism. The untouchables will never be able to get out of the basement. No matter how debauched the Brahmin is, he will always be the upper caste.

Other religions like Buddhism depend on meritocracy. According to Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, any physical or mental defect indicated that you were further away from enlightenment. Only the most perfect could achieve true enlightenment.

The Good News is, that there’s a welcoming community where the price of membership and qualifications do not depend on your birth or your behavior, but on God’s love and grace. This community is open to anyone who wants into it. The price of membership has been paid by Jesus Christ on the Cross. As Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.”

Upon Christianity’s biblical precepts, civilization was built. Adhering to its precepts allows each person to succeed according to their God given gifts and abilities, knowing they are loved by God just as much, no more, no less, than everyone else.
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