The Bible declares: “God created human beings in his own image” (Gen. 1:26). These exact words are used in Gen 5:3 when stated Adam “had a son in his own likeness, in his own image.” We are suggesting commonality when we say “that is human nature.” We know what God is like because we are made in God’s image. We can know God even if we don’t have a Bible, but the Bible can aid in informing what God is truly like. God surely is like the perfect human being. When our interpretations suggest otherwise, we must carefully examine our views.
Our biblical interpretations must be plausible based on what a loving God should be like. Deep down we all know what a truly loving God is as a spiritual Parent as we know what a truly loving earthly parent is like. God would not reveal anything about Himself in the Bible that is unworthy of human, rational belief as it would go against God’s nature. When two debatable interpretations in Scriptures exist, we must err on the side that portrays God as the most relational and rational to the human mind since interpretations are fallible.
God is just like the perfect human lover. We all know what perfect love is; we just have a hard time living up to our expectations. Similarly, there is a consensus among rational people about right from wrong. We all have an internal moral compass that allows most to agree on matters of morality. God is like the perfect moral human being. God surely is not a reflection of our parents but the perfection of parents we always desired or wanted to be.
We must not undermine the importance of human reasoning. God created such reasoning. Questions about God are solved on biblical and rational grounds as interpretations are imperfect. The Bible can be a doubled-edge sword. The Bible is no longer a book of wisdom if we can’t share and consider one another’s opinion gracefully, so to work out our own convictions with as much consistency as possible. For theologians such as St. Augustine and Calvin to suggest that God’s grace has a quota is not a plausible view of a loving God. Our views must portray God as an unconditional lover. We all know what that is.
The following beliefs must be incorrect or at least scream for further contemplation since we are made in God’s image:
- God isn’t a sadistic torturer. Hell surely has been an invention over the centuries to scare people into submission and obedience.Such sadistic punishment serves no purpose and humans don’t even keep their enemies alive so we can keep torturing them
- God doesn’t hate the divorcee but what divorce does to people. If the divorce is our fault, let him or her who has not sinned throw the first stone
- God doesn’t favor men over woman as leaders and pastors. God would not put males in charge when they are prone to abuse of authority as warned by God (Gen. 3:16). God desires we come directly to Him. Priests aren’t intermediaries. Women don’t need a go-between.
- God isn’t a God of wrath but love. Who thinks of a parent any other way? When parents stand up to their child’s mistreatment of others, most understand this is simply an aspect of their unconditional love for their child
We may need to reconsider the things we believe or have heard about God. Those beliefs may keep us from knowing who God truly is, thus enjoying God and life to the fullest. Think of what you desire for your children if you are a parent or what you desired from your parents. This is God. We are made in God’s image!