Image of God

This entry is part 265 of 332 in the series Inquiring Minds
Image by Uwe Baumann from Pixabay

If we are all made in the image of God, why do we have racism, sexism, and homophobia?

We are all made in God’s image. Genesis 1:26-27 is very clear that God planned to make humans in his image. But scholars debate what it means to be made in the image of God. For some, and very few today, they link it to a physical feature of humanity.

The Bible doesn’t give us the idea that God’s image has to do with a physical feature of humankind. It is more that the Bible anthropomorphizes God. In other words, it is not that we share physical attributes with God. God is Spirit (John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17).

It is more that the Bible speaks of God in human physical features and terms so we understand and relate him better. His anger is like a burning nose, he makes things with his hands, and he has a strong arm of strength, to provide some examples. Today, this idea of the image of God being tied to a physical feature among humans is a rare view to hold.

Some might think that image of God relates to how we interact with one another. For instance, it says that God made man in his image, in his image he made man and woman. So there might be something about the compatibility of man and woman together that demonstrates God’s image.

It might ring true with the Trinity, how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit interact with one another. This is a fairly minority view as well.

Probably one of the most popular views of the image of God is that it has to do somehow with our faculties and emotional abilities. Unlike any other parting creation, humans have the ability to imitate God.

We demonstrate creativity, intelligence, volition, and the ability to evaluate and understand ourselves, introspection. These are only a few.

We also have the ability to demonstrate a lot of emotions that imitate God’s own emotions. We have anger, love, jealousy, joy, hatred, and a host of other emotions God gave us. Animals may demonstrate some of these, but the more complex emotions are in our wheelhouse.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, sin, and some of the other major problems in our world today and with humanity are not the fault of the image of God in us. When humanity fell from God’s grace in Genesis 3, God’s image remained in each of us, but it was marred or tainted by the fall.

This means that it is not as shining and complete as it was before the fall. When God put his image in us, it was his complete image. But sin has made God’s image less perfect in us. It has not removed his image from any human being. But it has allowed us to demonstrate the acts of the sinful nature so readily.

This is why we have sin and mistreatment of one another in the world. We used our free will to choose to rebel against God and make our own morality. We will have these problems in the world until Jesus comes back and sets it right again.

The faults that we see in our world and society are not because of God or his image. They are because of our choice. They are because we allowed sin to enter into the world and take God’s good image in us.

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