Imagebearers

Updated: Nov 2

"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26



I recently finished reading The Postmodern Pilgrims Progress by Kyle Mann and Joel Berry, the minds behind the Babylon Bee (good read BTW). If you aren't familiar with The Babylon Bee, they are a Christian satire news site that also has real news stories under Not The Bee. They did a great job presenting the classic by John Bunyan in modern terms.


The book is written from the perspective of an angelic narrator. The narrator refers to the human characters in the story as Imagebearers. The usage of this term in the story was profound and gave me cause to pause and consider the implications of what it means to be made in the image of The Most High.


We are made in the image of God, Elohim. This is something unique to the human race, in fact the book of Hebrews says that angels are "..ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation." Hebrews 1:14 Now more than ever the enemy is working hard to mutilate, ruin, destroy this fact. Abortion, transgenderism, racism are all examples of how the enemy has done his best to undermine the fact we are Imagebearers of the Most High.


Let's get clear on a few things:

  1. ALL HUMANS have value. Whether in the womb, in a prison cell, on the streets of the slums or sitting in Washington DC. It doesn't matter who they are, where they've been or what they've done, all humans have value because they are made in the image of God.

  2. Life begins at conception. While this is wildly debated in today's abortion discussion, one simple fact remains: in a normal pregnancy, if no intervention were to occur, most pregnancies would end with fully developed child. The process of abortion requires intervening in a natural process that would end in the delivery of a living human baby. As a result based on the Biblical principal of valuing life, I can confidently say all life begins at conception. *One note: many parents have been medically encouraged to abort their children for a variety of reasons, typically to do with the health of the baby or mother. The outcomes of these situations vary wildly. There are parents that have defied medical advice to deliver healthy babies and others faced complications defying the advice. This is not a black and white issue and has varying degrees of complexity, but the medical world is not and has not been 100% correct on this issue. This is too much to tackle in this blog, but I want to acknowledge the fact there are complex issues when dealing with potentially abnormal pregnancies.

  3. There is only ONE race: the human race. There are different cultures, nations, levels of melanin, different physical climate adaptations, food adaptations, but none of our differences make different races. The entire topic of race has been grossly distorted and primarily used by the enemy to devalue humanity. By dividing into "different races" he's made us think we aren't all created equally in the image of God.

  4. God made them Male and Female Mark 10:6. There are two genders and they are easily distinguished by the XX or XY chromosomes. Cultural trends, gender dysphoria, etc., do not negate the basic science of human sex/gender. Even in the rare case of a chromosome or hormonal abnormality that has caused a human to be born without a distinct sex/gender, the person is no less valuable or made less in the image of God than anyone else. Any variations in a human is still a person crafted in the womb by God (Psalm 139:13), and God does not make mistakes. Our brother Nick Vujicic is a wonderful example of how God is intentional in all that He does, especially when we don't always understand the why.


The enemy has effectively divided humans by causing us to forget that we are made in the image of God, and therefore have divine value. The value God gives us far exceeds any value a human could give or "take" from another human.


Keep in mind, since the enemy is not God's equal - he's a created being, he is not capable of creating something from nothing. He must take what God has created and pervert it for his causes. Jesus taught us that "He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44


The enemy has been lying to people about who they are, who God made them to be, about their value and their identity. Now, more than ever, we are in a battle to remind our fellow Imagebearers of who they are because God created them.


Jesus told us in John 15 that we are to abide in Him because apart from Him we can do nothing. The way we abide in Him is to obey Him. One of the ways we are to obey Him is to love people. We love people by treating them like they are Imagebearers of the One True God.


This begs the question, what does it mean to love people? This is where once again the enemy wants to redefine love. Love is love, the world says. This often means confirming someone's mental illness or normalizing their sinful lifestyle. As Christians we must see through this charade and see it for what it is: it's akin to a medical doctor having a diagnosis of terminal but curable cancer, and not telling the patient because they don't want to hurt their feelings.


The Bible defines love like this:

  1. Patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, not proud, does not dishonor and is not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

  2. Love lays down it's life for others

  3. Love prays for others

  4. Love restores

  5. God is love

  6. Whoever does not love does not know God


In other words, true love, love as designed by a perfect and all loving Creator is very different than the "Satan masquerading as an angel of light" 2 Corinthians 11:14 that is in our mainstream world.


We cannot change the narrative simply with words, but we have to follow with action. We have to do exactly what Jesus did. He met people where they were, He loved them in their messes. He invited them to see their true meaning and value. He gave Himself up for them.


We won't be able to love as we have been commanded until we first love God. Then from our fellowship with God can we love our fellow Imagebearers. We cannot love people until we see them through the lens of Jesus: as his precious people, whom He was willing to shed His own blood for. John 3:16 "For God so loved THE WORLD.." (not just those that accept Him).


What about your life would change if you started viewing every other human being as an Imagebearer?


C.S. Lewis reminds us in his book The Weight of Glory...


“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

Keep following Jesus, he's 1000% worth it!

~tiana


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