From the March 2006 Idaho Observer:
In whose image?
While we are "ruffling a few feathers" this month, why not go all the way? I want to know, "In whose image was man really made?"
The prevailing belief from our Biblical roots is that man was created in God’s image. I take that to mean that people are born looking like God and have the innate desire to act God like. My experiences among men have not generated much support for this belief. It is impossible for me to believe that the Creator of the universe and the life force in all things is a petty coward who makes decisions motivated by fear and greed. God does not rule the universe by wheeling and dealing—then doubledealing and backstabbing; God does not cheat on His wife or commit adultery with the wife of His best friend; God does not view honesty as a weakness to exploit; God does not rape resources and pollute everything in sight; God does not lie; God does not cheat; God does not steal; God does not...you get the picture.
I have been blessed with the joy of coming in contact with a few wise, honorable, infinitely patient and boundlessly loving people whose human frames glow with Godliness. But, I must sadly report that outward expressions of innate Godliness are rare among humans though we are all presumably created in the image of God. So rare, in fact, that people of the Earth traditionally do not treat each other as if they are all children of God—they endeavor to take whatever they can from one another or divide each other up in groups to manage each other like herd animals—often in God’s name.
After internalizing the following examples, ask yourself, "What’s the difference between common human behavior and that of cattle?"
1. When a few brothers and sisters are culled from the herd (to be sold or slaughtered) the remaining cattle barely, if at all, notice and just continue eating the (now) chemically-treated grass their owners have provided for them. In America, when our brothers and sisters are culled from society as innocents sent to prison, the remaining "chattel" also continue "grazing" as if nothing happened.
2. When farm animals are injected with antibiotics, vaccines and hormones, they haven’t the sense or the power to resist—even though these things make them sick. In America, people allow themselves and their babies to be given antibiotics, vaccines and hormones and haven’t the sense to resist, or the will to exercise their power to resist—even though these things are making them sick.
We are being treated like cattle by our "owners" because we are behaving like the human form of cattle—chattel—with the added frailty of an ignoble capacity for vice. In whatever image God created us, He gave us the capacity to behave like herd animals. Yet, unlike herd animals that do appear unable to be anything but herd animals, God did give people the potential to think and act nobly. He even gave us a model to follow—it’s too bad we, acting in our chattel capacity, killed Him and then let his teachings be taught to us by those who prefer to manage us like herd animals.
This column is not intended to insult anyone’s beliefs. I prefer to respect all beliefs—so long as they compel the believer to be strong and noble. It is, however, intended to discourage people from insulting the Creator of the universe by making the blanket statement that all men are made in the image of God when their individual and collective behavior is generally less dignified than herd animals.
The upside to my commentary is that we have the intelligence to recognize our petty natures and the capacity to overcome them. It is my sincere desire to overcome my own tendency to act like a chattel human and realize my full potential as a child of God. I also wish for the world’s common people to realize they have been perpetually managed as herds of humans because they have forever failed to recognize the herdability of their chattel ways.
It is my belief that Jesus did not die for our sins, but because of them. I also believe that we were not "created in the image of God" but created with the capacity to behave in ways pleasing to God if we choose to follow His light through the example He sent to us in the form of Jesus. I think that we should not consider ourselves created in God’s image but strive to conduct ourselves in a Christ-like manner. (DWH)
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