Drinking Deeply

Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 4:29 PM

The image of God

So yesterday I was thinking, "you know, there are a lot of times when people appeal to the image of God in saying why we should love our neighbors, why we should do this, why we should do that, but I can't really think of a place in Scripture where the argument "They're made in God's image, so you should..." is ever used."

Today I woke up and I was reminded somehow of the appeal to God's image in the prohibition of murder in Genesis 9:6

6"Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.

Now, in one sense, to even be angry at a brother we're guilty of committing murder (per Christ's instructions), but does that apply to not loving our neighbor?

Personally, I don't like the idea of saying that we should love our neighbors because of the image of God. It seems to ascribe a worth to one's neighbor that they posess in and of themselves. Now, of course, the image of God isn't something they posess in themselves, (as birth comes by God's grace), but in another sense, it kind of is. I would much prefer to say "love your neighbor, because God said so." Or maybe "love your neighbor, because if you say that you love God, yet hate your neighbor, you're lying." Both of these statements put our relationship with our neighbor not just on the person-person level, but extends it to God-person.

Thoughts?

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Anonymous theocentric522 said...

"God created them in His image." Isn't this also a God-person level, since we are saying that human value comes from God who created him? We can also extend this to gender issue...women are created in the image of God, therefore, they should be regarded as being ontologically equal to men. We are called to love them as fellow human beings, because they bear God's image. That doesn't sound too man-centered, does it? ;) However, I sympathize with your sentiments.  

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