Tag Archives: Made in image of God

Where did we come from and who are we?

Having started a new year after one we probably all want to forget very quickly, we do hope soon to come out of the darkness.

At the beginning of all times there was also darkness and void. There was no form when everything came into being. In 2020 lots of things seemed to have lost form and meaning. Suddenly there seemed something wrong with the world. All over the globe people had become frightened by what one president smilingly called the Chinese disease. Many came to wonder:

What has gone wrong with the world? What can we do to fix it? How now shall we live?

2020 was a year that gave us enough time to think. Many were in isolation in their own home or were locked up in a care home. Lots of people suddenly got enough time for themselves and their own family. They got now some time to reflect on the response to the first and most foundational of these questions  –

where did we come from?

and

Where are we going to?

There are a limited number of answers at our disposal: We came about by chance (the naturalist contention), we don’t really exist (the Hindu response), or we were spoken into existence by God. Some believe mankind was placed here on earth by extraterrestrials.

For the Christian, the answer to

“Where did we come from and who are we?”

gives a foundation for thinking that no other answer gives. Because we were created, there is value in each person. There is meaning and purpose to every life. There is Someone above and outside our existence who stands over it as authority.

As human beings, all created in the image of God, somehow we all can carry something of God in us, even without knowing it or willing to know. Several people claim Jesus is God because there is written he was in the image of God. They forget that the first Adam was also created in God’s image like all the other human beings, but for sure they are not God, the same way as Jesus is not God.

Last month several Christians celebrated the birth of a man who changed the course of this world. They claim to be his followers though reject many of his words, his teachings and those values as a part of shaping our culture for the future. They look at a King, but forget that he came from the root of another king (King David).

Perhaps this world has gone “buzark” because people living in this materialist world have forgotten those important ethics and values. For centuries people were truthful to the teachings of Jesus, but they were always in the minority because their way of life was based on something not of this world that the world no longer recognizes.

After the darkness and isolation of the CoViD year there is some hope with the upcoming vaccines. Let us also hope more people would come to the realisation that we seriously have to do something to protect the animals and the nature around us. This so maniest coronavirus was a very serious one which had brought the economy and life to a standstill. It was a time to reflect and to think about the way we are treating mother nature.

With the opening of the “Newer Year” we do hope you and our other readers would find the way to make the best out of this life.

Stay healthy & All the best for 2021

4 Comments

Filed under Announcement, Ecological affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

Reasons Why Racial Reconciliation Should Be a Church Priority

2020 has been a year when in several countries more division was created and more hatred was spread. Therefore it is not bad to remember once more why Christians have to avoid division and should do their best to unite people.
Let us look at what an American Baptist preacher has to tell about racism in church and in a community of followers of Christ.

“Pastor, why is racial reconciliation important for our church?”

This is a question I often faced as a pastor, posed by sincere church members who wanted to grow and learn. Here are three reasons why I believe racial reconciliation should be a church priority.

1. Racial reconciliation is important because every single person was created in the image of God.

The Bible is clear that there is no other way to look at your fellow human being other than someone sculpted by the hands of a loving God (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 139). It is this idea of the imago dei that informs our ethic. This means that there is no such thing as an “other”, only humans, image bearers of their Creator.

Prejudice is fueled by sin, sin that corrupts and divides. Sin causes us to favor people who look and sound and think like we do and causes us to disrespect and diminish the value of people who don’t. Christ came to heal that sin, to tear down walls, and to bridge the divide between races.

When we work toward racial reconciliation, we are saying, by our actions, that we agree with the gospel.

2. Racial Reconciliation is important because the Church is an outpost of the kingdom.

Revelation 5 and 7 describe a scene in Heaven where every nation, tribe, and tongue gather before the throne of God. This is not just some embellishing detail in John’s vision, this is an intentional display of the unifying power of the gospel to bring together in a new humanity what sin destroyed in the Fall. This tells us that racial unity is not just a nice thing for ideal communities, but something close to the heart of God. The vision of the Kingdom in Revelation tells us, this is what God desires.

Churches that work intentionally to model diversity show the world a glimpse of what is to come in full when Christ comes. Church becomes the place where disparate people from all walks of life are united by their love for Christ and their need for grace.

Racial reconciliation is important because it is the way we love our neighbours and contribute to their flourishing.

Christians are called to seek the welfare of the city, to love their neighbors, to be an agent of gospel renewal to the communities they serve. Many of our communities are beset by racial strife and filled with people who long for unity but feel powerless to achieve it. The church has the answer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we intentionally cultivate a thriving and diverse community, we offer a model for the rest of the community.

Racial reconciliation is one way we love our neighbors, by empathizing with the minorities in our communities who feel marginalized and by listening to the stories of our minority Christian brothers and sisters who might feel marginalized by the American Church.

Imagine if local churches could be safe places for people from different walks of life could work through their differences, incubators of racial reconciliation. Imagine if the Church became the one place where what is envisioned in Revelation 5 and 9 actually started happening and burst through the doors and into the community?

Racial reconciliation is not an idealistic notion; it’s a gospel imperative. It is difficult, slow, risky work whose full fruits will not be seen this side of Heaven. But those who bear the name of Christ are compelled by His love to pursue it, not only as a fresh gospel witness, but also to make glad the heart of the Father.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC). He is a regular contributor to Leadership Journal and the author of several books, including his latest, Activist Faith. He regularly blogs at danieldarling.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDarling.

+

Preceding

Looking at an American nightmare

Diversity and Equality

++

Additional reading

  1. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  2. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Religious affairs, Social affairs

First man’s task still counting today

Today many people do forget their role to play in our society and which position of responsibility they have to take in this universe of living creatures. Too many years human beings have found themselves superior to all other beings and did not have much interest for their well being, neither for the safeguarding of the environment.

Today we are faced with the consequences of human beings their selfish attitude and have to find a solution for the global warming of which we are a victim because of our “own stupidity”.

oil on wood panel

oil on wood panel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may not forget that when this universe was created the Maker of it had a purpose for the created elements. At that time of the beginning the first man and mannin (Adam and Eve) received a task. Though they went into rebellion against their Maker and were expelled from the Garden of Eden, their given task still counts for us. Our job and our identity as human beings is still to make sense of the world around us.

It is interesting to realize that in so many ways we are still striving to create a language to make order of the chaos of our experience of the world. {Naming the Naming Project: A Deep Look at Adam and the Human Project}

For centuries man has been looking for his purpose and for more insight in all the things around him. Several ideas were uttered and many sciences found their light.

It seems Adam’s job is hard-wired into who we are as human beings. We just need to name it that in a very deep way Adam is who we are striving to become. {Naming the Naming Project: A Deep Look at Adam and the Human Project}

writes Rabbi Avi Katz Orlow who wants to make the world a better place.

In arts and science man has always looked at man’s surroundings and the existence of things.

Children have the delight of discovery. As adults, we acquire a more organized way of learning and studying, but also lose the feel of the freshness of things. Because of that, most adults are – almost by definition – slightly dull. Creative ability is only found in those who retain a part of their childhood. The artist and the scientist both have this freshness of view. An apple falls from a tree: the child asks – why does it fall and not fly? –and such questions are the beginning of science. {What is the Purpose of Childhood}

Growing older lots of people do loose the innocence of the child and also loose the interest to ‘look beyond’. those who call themselves Christian should remember the one who they say they are following, rabbi Jeshua, and should also to take on that innocence that man had as an unselfish attitude. He went even so far that he gave up his only life for the betterment of all people. All people can learn a lot from him, who did not want to do his own will but always did the Will of his heavenly Father, the Only One true God, Hashem Jehovah.

Most of us should get red cheeks and be ashamed that they often do not manage to take on such an attitude as their master teacher. But every day we should work on it and go for it. Not one moment should be lost by not trying. As long as we do our best, it is not bad.

Lots of people do place themselves in the centre of the universe. Part of growing up and becoming older is that we should become wiser and be able to set ourselves more at the site and be forgiving for bad things that happened in the past. We can always look back at one of the best examples in the Holy Scriptures, though having had to face several bad years he opened his heart for his brothers and welcomed them again.

Yosef has matured. Looking into the pit Yosef sees how far he has come in his life. He no longer sees himself at the center of the universe. Yosef responds:Have no fear! Am I a substitute for God? Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the present result–the survival of many people. (50:19-20) {What, Too Soon?}

Every day in our life we have to learn and to grow further. Some may think that learning is difficult or that

Learning should be hard, but not to hard and definitely not out of reach. {Getting Past the “How” of Torah: For the Love of Learning}

Being made in the image of God, we all inherited from the Source of Life, the inability to think and to use our brains and limbs to act and to create in the right way. There are people living in regions were it is also very easy to get a good education. Others live in regions where not such ideal conditions exist and where not many are helping others to get the right and good education.

In a certain way god provided enough material to get the right ideas and to make the best out of life. It is all there for everybody everywhere in the world. But many do not see it or want to be blind for it.

We can read about the reception of the Torah.

For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say: ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say: ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ (Deuteronomy 30:11–13)

For rabbi Avi Katz Orlow learning should not to hard and definitely not out of reach.

Here we see learning Torah depicted as some elaborate scavenger hunt. What zeal would we bring to trying to learn Torah if it was in fact hidden in the heaven or on the other side of the ocean? {Getting Past the “How” of Torah: For the Love of Learning}In our community there are many efforts to make Torah more accessible, but still people feel alienated. What are we missing? Perhaps we have made Torah too accessible? We have lost our zeal. Would we try harder if it was in heaven or across the sea? But I do not think that is all of it.We fail because we have not done a good job expressing the “why”? Yes I am Hassid of Simon Sinek.  And if you have not seen this TED talk please stop everything and watch it now. {Getting Past the “How” of Torah: For the Love of Learning}

***

Simon Sinek discusses the principal behind every successful person and business. A simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”

***

Why is learning valuable? I have my thoughts on this, but for now I just want to put the question out there. In Sinek’s words,

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.

As we prepare for the High Holidays it is interesting to think about your own “why”. And once we figure out our “why” it will not matter if learning Torah is in heaven or across the sea, that is just a “how”. {Getting Past the “How” of Torah: For the Love of Learning}

+

Preceding article: A little ray of sunshine.

++

Additional reading:

  1. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  2. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  4. An unbridgeable gap
  5. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  6. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  7. Shared inheritance plus integral and integrating vision
  8. Not many coming out with their community name
  9. To find ways of Godly understanding
  10. We are ourselves responsible
  11. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  12. What part of the Body am I?
  13. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  14. With the gift of Jesus comes an awesome responsibility
  15. Training for the kingdom
  16. From pain to purpose
  17. My 2 Words
  18. Teach children the Bible
  19. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  20. The Greatest of These is Love

+++

21 Comments

Filed under Ecological affairs, Educational affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Video, World affairs