And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things…
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen…
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; (Romans 1)
In our previous post we discussed the fact that Romans 1 is a Divine analysis of the psychology of godlessness. The godless man is conflicted because he is suppressing the Truth that he already instinctively knows, about God, creation, sin and the inevitability of judgment.This is unrighteousness and the wrath of God is daily being revealed against it.
Paul describes the exchanges that are the necessary outcome of this truth suppression. The word in the text , ‘change’ is more accurately rendered ‘exchange’. Truth, we are told in proverbs 23, can be bought, sold or bartered, but there are definite consequences to such transactions.
“Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom and instruction and understanding.(Prov 23:23)
The first ‘exchange’ that man makes when he suppresses truth, is the exchange of the “Glory” of the incorruptible God– for a mere corruptible image, of man, beasts,and even lower creatures. This is a reference to man’s sense of himself, his identity.
In what sense did humanity ever have ‘the glory’ of God ? Just the fact that Man is” made in the Image of God” elevates him into the glory Paul is speaking of here. Glory here is dignity, the idea that humanity is special, and that just being a human being invests every individual with a kind of sanctity.
When man suppresses the truth about God, as the benevolent,personal creator , He rejects the specialness of man. If I believe that every man is a bearer of the Image of God, regardless of how productive, healthy, beautiful, handicapped, intelligent, they are, each individual is worthy of respect. This is what fallen man is said to have ‘traded off’ in his willful rejection of truth.
What did we receive in the swap? An Image like unto corruptible man (humanism- man as the measure of all things), birds,beasts, and creeping things,(evolution,man is a highly evolved animal,a creature of instinct).
This is the new ‘dignity’ of man that we have bartered away the Image of God for. This is the meaning of the coarsening of our civilization, because if Man is just a highly evolved animal, why should human life be dignified above any other kind of life?
It’s the story of the human race, from the beginning until now, although for our purposes it is being graphically played out for us in the degeneration of our western civilization. We have seen this rejection of the ‘Glory’ God conferred upon man, in our lifetime.
The willful acceptance of Darwinism, has resulted in the previously unthinkable cheapening of human life. Darwin’s disciples, first the Nazi’s, then the World wide Communist attempts at Utopia, basically had the theory on the value of human life,that “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette”. Stalin is quoted as saying, “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic!” Finally in our own previously christian nation, the holocaust of Abortion, euthanasia and Zero population growth all testify to what Proverbs told us centuries ago, in the person of the Wisdom of God, “All those who hate me love death!”.
Our generation has become coarse, crude and even bestial because of secularism, the abandonment of God is the abandonment of humanity itself. Without the belief that man is truly a bearer of the Image of God, by what rationalization are there “inalienable rights endowed by our Creator”? Why bear a downs syndrome child, why preserve an elderly, sick relative? What do we do about those who are unproductive, expensive, inconvenient? These are serious considerations in the brave new world of exchanged Truth. to be continued…