Last Saturday, we saw what happens when the truth of Genesis 1:27, that God made man – all humanity – in His own image, is forgotten. There can be no equivocation, no half-statements, no second guessing what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hatred of other people, merely for the color of their skin, ruled the day.
The man who drove his car into the crowd and those white supremacists he came to join showed pure and utter evil. Their hatred of the image of God should shock us all.
Let me be abundantly clear: You can be a follower of Christ or a white supremacist, but you can’t be both.
The dignity of every human life is a tenet of Christian faith. It is derived from the belief that God creates every person “in His image” (Gen. 1:27). Because of Imago Dei, every person has inherent dignity, is precious, and has rights.
But, this conversation should not begin and end when we see overt racism. It should not stay on our conscience for only as long as the memory of the young woman who lost her life is still fresh. The celebration of the Imago Dei, the cherishing of all human life, should drive our passion to eradicate eugenics-driven Planned Parenthood centers around our nation, and it should flow through our conversations as we consider genetic “screening tests” for preborn babies.
You see, as the nation was rightly riveted and outraged by the events of Charlottesville, few discussed a CBS News story that proclaimed Iceland ahead of other nations in “eradicating” Down Syndrome. The story seemed pleased that the condition was “disappearing” in the nation.
The truth, however, is that Icelanders – believing themselves genetically superior to those with Down Syndrome – are killing preborn babies based on a genetic test.
How disgusting! Yet, such attitudes toward human life are very much alive here in our nation. Preborn babies who are unwanted or somehow wrongly defined as “flawed,” the infirm, the elderly, and, yes, those of a different race, are often discarded and even hated for the diversity the Maker endowed upon them. All of them fully bear the image of God.
Man’s original sin was largely rooted in a belief in his wisdom over God’s. Shortly thereafter comes a hatred of the very image of God and a destruction of human life. How it must grieve the heart of our Lord to see hatred of His own image in our nation!
To consider oneself superior to another for any reason is to reject God; it is sin.
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville attack, some (including me) expressed hope that pastors would talk about it from their pulpits. The Gospel has something to say about racism. It has something to say about how we value human life. For victims of racism, it is a message of hope and justice; for those with racism in their hearts, the Gospel brings conviction and calls for repentance.
Did your church address what happened in Charlottesville? If not, this may be the time to politely ask your pastor, “Why not?” Ask whether your church exists to provide answers to a world in need? And, can your church glorify its King if we fail to discuss the important issues today surrounding the Imago Dei?
At Family Policy Alliance of Georgia, we will work to empower the church here to speak out, and we will work to protect the image of God, alive and well in all people, in our political and policy efforts.
Your prayers for our nation, our state, the church, for our witness, and for our efforts to honor our Savior are, as always, much appreciated.
Joining you in sorrow and in hopeful prayer,