Race and the Image of God

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Black and white photo - a collage of close-ups of 18 people's faces, most smiling, a few serious-looking
Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

It's not hard to see how race-based discrimination is a direct assault on the sanctity and dignity of human life.

For Christians, the foundation of a pro-life ethic is the image of God. We believe that humanity – in all of its expressions and dimensions – is sacred because all individuals bear the imprint of their Creator. To the extent that racism is rooted in the twisted belief that one segment of the population is superior to another, it’s not hard to see how race-based discrimination is a direct assault on the sanctity and dignity of human life.

The Oxford Dictionary defines racism as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”

Now consider how, with just a few tweaks, that same definition could also be applied to a host of other pro-life issues:

“Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against preborn babies based on the belief that they are not fully human.”

“Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against those with physical or intellectual disabilities based on the belief that ‘regular’ people are superior.”

“Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against orphans … or prisoners … or the economically disadvantaged … based on the belief that they are inconvenient and a burden to society.”

In every case, we see one group being persecuted by another; the vulnerable overlooked or discarded by the powerful. When people are categorized in this manner, whether overtly or subtly, the effect is dehumanizing. This is why racism so clearly fits within the sphere of pro-life concerns.

Of course, the Bible offers a clear antidote to this. Paul reminds us that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him” (Acts 17:26-27).

While this passage and others help explain why all human beings are worthy of dignity and respect, there are many others in Scripture that focus specifically on the church. Our identity in Christ unites us in ways that transcend race, class, culture and even gender:

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28).

This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must be “colorblind” in our efforts to combat racism. Cultural and ethnic diversity are wonderful gifts from God. When the book of Revelation gives us a tantalizing glimpse of the new heaven and the new earth, it is not a world of nameless, faceless, colorless beings. On the contrary, the coming kingdom will be one of rich diversity:

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ ” (Revelation 7:9-10, emphasis added).

Is this picture of a redeemed and diverse church worshiping in spirit and in truth not the ideal model for our congregations and communities? In order for that to happen, we must understand that race is intricately connected to the sanctity of human life. We are all made in the image of God, and condoning or turning a blind eye to the evils of racism represents an assault on that image.

Trillia Newbell of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission understands that connection: “I believe there are compelling reasons why we should all care about the struggles of various ethnic groups in the U.S. The greatest of these [is] love. We should love our neighbor sacrificially through learning, listening, hospitality and sharing gospel truths.

“God loves so much that He deemed it necessary to give His only Son as a sacrifice for us. The very least we could do is ask God to give us a heart that cares for those He created in His image.”

The very least, indeed.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Read More About:

You May Also Like

A woman looking out as she thinks about abortion complications
Becoming Pro-Life

Abortion Complications

There are many physical and psychological abortion complications that every woman should know about.

Laura Huene prepares to meet pearl, her daughter who isn't supposed to live.
Adverse Diagnosis

Feeling Alone: Pearl Pt. 3

I throw myself into making arrangements for the end: a care plan for Pearl at birth, as well as how we will hand her into the arms of Jesus.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others!