And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them . (Genesis 1:26-27)
The description of the Creation tells us that man is special. All of the rest of Creation seems to have been fashioned for the Man and the Woman and their children. No other creature shares the distinction bestowed upon man; He (and she) alone bears the Image of God.
“…In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…”.
In what sense does man bear the Image of God? Man can speak, and choose his Words, He is self conscious, pondering eternity, He can reason and choose, He is creative and has been given dominion over Creation.
Perhaps most crucially, the Image of God imprinted on man’s being, enables him to have the capacity to enter into a communion with the Father and the Son, for all men are spiritual, and have a capacity to worship God, and enter into fellowship with Him on a level none of the rest of Creation is capable of.
Even after the fall of man, Man bears the Image of God. The Image is defaced and marred by our sin, but Man still bears the Image of God, and thus is worthy of the respect due to God’s highest Creation.
Modern man has forgotten this truth, which is the only basis for complete human dignity.
Dennis Prager, the author, thinker, Rabbi and Radio talk show host, tells of frequently asking his callers or those who come to his popular speaking tours, ‘If there was a fire in a building , would they seek to save a person or their favorite pet?’ He reports that many, many of those questioned were conflicted. They could not instantly tell you which they would save, a person or an animal!
Recently in a zoo in America, a small child inadvertently made his way into an enclosure which featured a magnificent Silver backed Ape. The Ape treated the child as a plaything, dragging him through pump puddles across the enclosure, until a Marksman shot Him, (The Ape).
When the news came out that the Ape was killed to save the child there was an immediate outcry! People treated the incident as though the marksman and those who authorized him had done something wrong.
This is the consequence of our modern repudiation of Genesis. People are now confused about the value of Human Beings, no longer seeing them as being bearers of the Image of God, and worthy of infinitely more respect and consideration than a thousand silver backed Apes.
Men and women are not mere animals. They are something much higher than animals or mountains, trees, birds or oceans. Man and Woman are bearers of the Image of God, and have been bestowed that honor by their Creator.
Once that basic denigration has occurred, it becomes possible to see and treat people in a vast variety of ways. Are we animals too? Are we mere matter, to be experimented upon, or improved upon? Should we use technology to ‘improve’ upon nature? Are we interchangeable in function and role?
Welcome to the ‘brave new (godless) world’ which we are embarking upon.