Hitler’s Image Discussion (continued)

If you arrived at his page and want to see how this debate got started, go to the "Sheep to Sheep" article in the May 2011 edition of eTouch. The "Boutique" section of June 2011 edition of eTouch has the some of the responses which then continue on in the July edition.

Better still read the whole of May, June & July's eTouch - it's worth it! Wink


*I read Genesis 5:3 and feel it had nothing to do with Jim's statement. Nor did I think Romans did either. As I read my bible I understand we are all made in the image of God. What we do as being made in his image is entirely up to us. We are all born with sin and all sinners but by the grace of God we are saved, forgiven and unconditionally loved.  My thought: Hitler, like all of us some of the time, get greedy and want to do our own thing . . . more power, $$$$, toys, etc. Murderers are forgiven when they come before God with true repentance. God still allows the consequence of their sin as they get life etc. As much as that grates on me as a colossal outrage and unjust for those of us who don't murder, God sees sin as just that, sin. It is us that put it in graduating boxes of degrees of sin. (Mass murderers) should not be forgiven but (white collar criminals) should? Good thing I am not God as He is way better at reading the heart and meting out the consequences for what I do wrong in my walk. Lynne Baker, Canada


*Regarding the assertion by "Jim in Washington" that only Adam was made in the image of God: it seems to me that since Adam was made in the image of God, and Seth in the image of Adam, that Seth (and all following) must also have been made in the image of God. also, after the Flood, this is what God says: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for *in the image of God has God made man*." (Gen 9:6) the Hebrew word for "man" (which can also mean Adam) is the same one used throughout this verse. it must be referring to man in general rather than to Adam specifically, since by this time Adam has been gone for many generations. So it sounds to me like God doesn't make any difference between Adam, Seth and the rest of us. We are all made in the image of God... if one were to believe that they were not made in the image of God, but of man... how that would affect their worldview and especially their own view of themselves? And I wonder, what might motivate a person to want to believe they are not made in the image of God... but only in the image of man. Guess you have opened up a can of worms :) Enid Ning, Canada

*I’d like to say that we should accept what God says about making us in His image. He tells us this in the beginning of the Bible (Gen 1:26), and He also repeats this same phrase to Noah, saying, “for in the image of God has God made man.” (Gen 9:6).  This statement is way after Seth, and includes Seth. It is important to know that, since we are made in God’s image, we have great potential to be like Him.  There would be no need to judge between good and evil if some men did not have the same potential as others.

The fall did not erase that image from us, for we see that the image itself did not ensure perfection, or there would have been no fall.  But the fact that our “new self” is “being renewed in the knowledge in the image of its Creator,” (Col 3:10) tells us that we have the potential to grow into God’s image through Christ, and not remain in the fallen state.
Helen Kraemer, USA

*ONE thought I have is that the true image of God has become distorted by sin through the generations since Adam's fall - and is only redeemed and reinstated when we become believers and Christ comes to dwell, be Himself, in us… ANOTHER thought is: If the previous thought is NOT true, then which part of us is made in the image of God? (My inclination is toward the first thought, I think :) I don't know yet exactly what my belief on it is, but am looking forward to hearing what others think about it.  Always wanting to learn! Jenny Lowen, UK

The name "Adam" means "Humanity". It wasn't just the guy who was made in the image of God, it was Humanity - male and female. I think it was all humans who were made in the image of God (including Hitler, Stalin, Churchill and  Roosevelt, as well as George Bush and Osama bin Laden). I also think the image of God is not (just) found in one person - but in all Humanity – an image of the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12). ("Image" (Hebrew tselem) is the word used for idol - I think that's why we are commanded not to make idols - we already know something of what God looks like - we are like God.) I also believe that it was not just our ancestor Adam who ate the forbidden fruit, but in a deeper way all humans who disobeyed. The clue is there in his name - it's our name too - Humanity. Gen 5:1 reiterates that God made Adam/Humanity - male and female - in his likeness different word in Hebrew, but similar idea). Then it, becomes complicated. After the fall, Seth was born in both the likeness and image (tselem) of Adam. The Bible doesn't say whether or not that was still in the image of God. A lot of Christians and theologians would say we weren't - that the image of God was lost. I prefer to go along with others (some theologians, too) who would say that the image of God was not lost – rather tainted. These are weighty thoughts and I don't often express them. I also hold them lightly. I may be wrong! They are not central to the gospel - whether the image of God was lost or tainted, something is definitely wrong with the world, and that's why God's Son came and lived and died and rose again. Such thoughts should not to be used to divide between Christians, but to drive us deeper into the heart and mind of our living, loving God. After all God does call us love Him with all our being—including our thinking—and with all our mind.” Ross Millar, NZ

*Jim, I loved your thought and chewed on it a bit. I think we can gather from a re-occurring theme in scripture that all humans are made in the image and likeness of God our Creator. There is of course Genesis 1:27, but beyond that we discover how marvelously this continues. We were not spoken into existence, like the rest of creation, but formed by God (Genesis 2:7). This formation was after careful forethought and was how God could know Jeremiah before he formed him in his mother's womb – like an artist who gets an idea, cultivates the idea and then gets to work in the process of creating their art (Jeremiah 1:5). This is why David was able to pen, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139:14)
Another passage speaks of how we are "knit" together by God (Psalm 139:13). And it is not just us, but all of creation testifies of the glory of God and aspects of Him can be seen in everything He has made. The heavens drew David to the conclusion that God’s law is perfect and that he was not perfect. This led him to express he was in need of his thoughts and meditations to be pleasing in God’s sight through the forgiveness of errors and willful sins (Psalm 19). All of these imply that at the point of formation, God puts time, effort and thought into what and whom He is making and that everything He makes reflects Him.
The Hebrew word for image (tselem) speaks to visible similarity and the word for likeness comes from the Hebrew word for substantial similarity (demuwth). My son resembles me in facial features (image) but also in how he walks and talks (likeness). Here is where the image bearing of our Creator gets even more exciting. The reference refers to not just those features, but also our spirit and soul. My son does not resemble my spirit or soul. That is a uniquely God-like resemblance that my son and I both have. God is spirit (John 4:24).
Very few people think about how the spirit of a child is 100% intact and able to interact with God despite being physically in a stage of development. So in both, we are reflections of God and yes, so was Hitler. And before you get too upset – remember so are you – and so am I. Although this is an egregious thought for some, after all, aren’t dictators horribly cruel? It brings us to the wonder of the cross: murderous sinners on either side of Jesus, each bearing a resemblance to the One in the middle, each a choice away from eternity with God, or eternity without Him, each forming words with breath on loan from God Himself and each resembled by Jesus in His humanity – the question was would they also resemble Him in their will? Would they choose to be obedient or rebellious? Would they see Him again as welcoming Redeemer or as Judge of consequence? Would the likeness be completed or ruined?
Smile. Derek Schoenhoff, USA