Why We Are Highlighting Human Dignity
Everywhere we turn today, it seems our fellow human beings’ lives—and their inherent value—are under attack. But it’s not mainly from the faraway actors we might expect, though there is some of that. Tragically, it’s neighbor against neighbor, family member against family member, Christian against Christian. Yet, we’re not talking about the type of division Jesus told us to anticipate on account of him (Matt. 10:34-39). Instead, we see abortion, genocide, character assassination online, belittling, sheer hatred, abuse, racism, and petty division—among other things. All of these are assaults on one another’s dignity and come from those we should rightly assume will protect us; a parent, a doctor, a government leader, a fellow citizen, a brother or sister in Christ, or even a pastor.
The opening chapter of Genesis leaves no doubt as to the worth of each person we see (and those who are still hidden in the womb): “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’”(Gen. 1:26). We are lovingly and intentionally crafted in the imago Dei—the image of God. Whatever else that means, it certainly signifies that we have infinite value that should be respected. This reality makes each act of violence against one another, whether in word or deed, particularly egregious. We cannot attack one another without attacking the image of the very God who created us.
We chose to make this issue of Light about human dignity around the globe because of the clear assault it is under on a daily basis. We are calling Christians to wake up to what others are facing—and how we might be participating in it—so that we can uncover the works of darkness, repent where needed, and walk as children of the light, in part, by advocating for the sanctity of every single life (Eph. 5:10-11). As we do, we show the world a truer picture of who the God of the universe is and remove stumbling blocks to the gospel being proclaimed and heard.
In order to stir our hearts to prayer and action, Michael and Chelsea Sobolik highlight the tragic Uyghur genocide taking place in China; Mindy Belz, world-class journalist, recounts the perseverance of Christians persecuted in the Middle East; Elizabeth Graham talks with pro-life advocates facing an abortion culture in Northern Ireland; and Jenny Yang covers the plight of refugees. In addition, Jedd Medefind writes about caring for children who have lost parents during the pandemic; Juliana and Jordan Wootten call us to contend for the lives of those with disabilities; and Jason Thacker explains how we can use the digital age for the good of our neighbors—among other important contributions.
We, as the people of God, should be on the frontlines of pleading for the correct thinking about and just treatment of everyone, from conception to natural death. We have heard the authoritative voice of God through his infallible Word, and he has spoken clearly about the value of those made in his image—and the price he was willing to pay for their eternity: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). May he purify his people so that we wholeheartedly live this out, for the sake of God’s glory and the salvation of the nations.