“Hitler believed that the Jews were subhuman – parasites that needed to be exterminated. In a 1923 speech in Munich, he said,
“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human. They cannot be human in the sense of being an image of God, the Eternal. The Jews are the image of the devil. Jewry means the racial tuberculosis of the nations.”
And, because they were deemed to be in the same category as animals, Hitler made sure they could be killed without reprisals. He would change the law to ensure that extinguishing the race was not a crime.”
Like Hitler and the laws of our land, Satan loves to downplay how precious humanity is through the evolutionary lie that we’re just another beast that evolved from random matter and processes without a purpose. He loves the depressing, dark evolutionary lie that steals purpose, kills dignity, and destroys hope for so many today. In God’s Word, however, we find quite the opposite – and the answer to today’s cries of racism – because it reminds us that man is made in God’s image as the pinnacle of His creation!
After a great break in the creation narrative of chapter 1 of Genesis, there is a divine deliberation in the Godhead in Genesis 1:26,
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
The relationship essence of God is a great part of what it means to be made in God’s image. God is a relational being with a mind, emotion and will. So are we! We are not like the beast who primarily functions with other beasts through instinct, but are uniquely made and have been given authority over the beasts. We have a much more complex personality created with God’s communicable attributes – His nature and moral likenesses – able to express love, mercy and grace, and make decisions that are good and righteous. Unlike animals, we also have a spiritual nature that gives us the ability to have a relationship with God.
Of the differences between man and beast, Warren Wiersbe writes,
“No matter how intelligent some animals may appear to be, or how much they are taught, animals are not endowed with the “image of God” as are humans.”
Henry Morris also gives us a quote to remember:
“Plants possess a body, and animals a consciousness…but man was also to possess a third created entity, the image of God, an eternal spirit capable of communion and fellowship with his Creator.”
If society really believed that mankind was made in the image of God, what problems would that solve? What are the consequences of believing what evolution teaches, that we were made in the image of lesser animals? You’re seeing it today. There is struggle for the dignity of man though there is nothing to base it on because without a belief in God, nothing is unconditionally wrong. As Christians who stand firmly and lovingly on the Word of Truth, we proclaim as the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence does,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Because of sin, our relationship with God has been fractured and the image of God in man has been marred, but not totally destroyed. And God Himself provided the remedy for man to have an up close and personal relationship with Him again by taking on flesh Himself through the virgin Mary in the person of Jesus Christ and by living a perfectly sinless life was able to offer Himself on the cross for our sins so that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life with God, starting now through a born again relationship by His Spirit. Have you placed your faith in Christ?
1 Erwin Lutzer, When a Nation Forgets God (Chicago: Moody Press, 2010).