What is Man, that Thou Are Mindful of Him – Part 1
Each January many recognize “pro-life Sunday,” a day advocated by pro-life groups nationwide as a reminder of the Roe vs. Wade decision that was issued on January 22, 1973. In a 7-2 decision by the U. S. Supreme Court, “… the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.” That fateful decision resulted in abortion on demand nationwide, leading to the murder of an estimated 60,000,000 unborn babies since 1973. A key battle within our culture is between pro-life advocates, who believe that the murder of children in the womb is among the greatest of sins, and the pro-abortion activists who seem totally committed to this barbaric practice.
I have been amazed at the number of Christians that have not heard of “pro-life Sunday,” even those attending evangelical churches. Only the Lord and the church leadership know why; I can only assume it’s because the leaders don’t want to deal with the issue for any number of reasons.
So how important is it for Christians to be pro-life? Why is it important to protect human life from those who want to destroy it? I’ll attempt to answer these vital questions, at least in part.
In Psalm 8 we find the phrase “What is man” in v. 4. It is one of the foundational and philosophical questions of the ages. Your response establishes and reveals your faith and worldview in this era! Once the truth about “man” is determined, the remainder of the phrase should create wonder and amazement in the heart of every believer. In essence the Psalmist is asking “What is man, that Thou – the Most High God Who is holy, self-existent, sovereign, independent of creation, infinite, glorious, … why would this Awesome God even give thought, care or concern about man – especially fallen humanity?
It begins with the dignity of man. The creation account in Genesis reveals that mankind is created in the likeness and image of God, the “Imago Dei,” Gen. 1:26-28. There are other texts confirming this foundation for the sanctity of human life, Gen. 5:1, 9:6, 1 Cor. 11:7, James 3:9. Though the Divine image in every person has been corrupted by sin (as Scripture and experience testifies) every person still possesses the Divine image.
For example, the texts referencing His Image in man following Genesis 1 were written chronologically after the fall. Further, the fact that man alone can relate to God (and others) with rational, relational, volitional, emotional and regal capabilities proves it. No other earthly creature even begins to approach these inherent abilities, as there is no Divine image within.
It is thus ludicrous for the godless and desperate attempt to unite the fact of Divine creation with godless theory of evolutionary origins. Rather, every person is a special creation, each is made in the likeness and image of God, and each is unique by design of the Creator, Psalm 139.
Thus, the status of human beings as created beings, each unique in design and purpose yet each bearing God’s image, establishes the foundation for the sanctity of human life. This is the reason multitudes, especially Christians, are pro-life. This is the teaching of Scripture in which the illegitimate taking of human life is murder, thus opposed to God’s Word, purpose and design, whether in abortion, euthanasia, … Be certain, God hates the shedding of innocent blood!
Herein lies the great divide in our culture. The non-biblical, secular, evolutionary view of humanity rejects and even repudiates any concept of Divine purpose. The evolutionists believe human beings are simply cosmic accidents, the product of millions of years of chance, biological accidents and mutation, with the survival of the fittest through natural selection and evolutionary processes. There is simply no God, and therefore human beings have no more inherent dignity than any other earthly creature. In the thinking of such secularists, human life has no inherent value, no ordained purpose and no rules to live by outside of oneself. This is the “faith” of millions of Americans, and a key reason for the pro-life battles. Secularism is a society based on life without God, and we are compelled to accept the philosophies of this world. Yet we know by Scripture, conscience and experience, God, life and truth matter!
Man has inherent dignity as he is created for God’s Purposes. He has, for example, glory in being. Scripture clearly reveals, as noted in Gen. 1:26-28, 5:1, … that humanity is created (as is all of creation) for the glory of God. Bearing His image, we have a unique capacity to know, love and serve our Creator. He created man and woman in His image, for His own good pleasure and purposes. (Ultimately, every Christian will complete His creative purposes when we are with Him in glory forevermore, fulfilling what God desired from the time of creation!)
Man also has glory in God’s created order. Genesis 1:26-28 reveals God’s earthly purpose for the creation of man. After God created the heavens and earth, the stellar bodies, … He created all the living “things” after their kind to inhabit the earth. Then, on the sixth day of creation, God created man in His image, the living being that could know, love, worship and obey his Creator, the one being that could fulfill God’s purposes to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over …” His created order. He named him Adam, and from his side He created Eve. Bearing the Imago Dei, they were set above all other earthly creatures, Psalm 8:5. This Imago Dei places each and every person far above every other earthly creature, and inherently makes his or her life sacred to God!
This article will conclude in the April devotion of the Baptist for Life of Wisconsin website. May our Lord give us a deeper understanding of the Imago Dei and the significance of that likeness as we pray, minister and work to protect innocent human life – from the womb to the tomb.
Pastor Richard C. Rogers
Calvary Baptist Church of Sturtevant
President of the Board, Baptists for Life of WI