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Let US Make OURSELVES In OUR Own Image
Homo sapiens is most unique among the species of God's creation; he has been imbued with the power to create. What man conceives in his mind he can bring to fruition by the works of his hands. I would not be writing this article using Microsoft Word, nor would we all have personal computers had it not been for the creative genius of Bill Gates. There would not be a smart phone in every hand throughout the world without the enterprising vision of Steve Jobs. Man would have never walked upon the moon were it not for his ability to create the means of space flight. Inasmuch as man's creations have revolutionized the world to the betterment of mankind, he also has the capacity to create evil; we would not live with the specter of nuclear weapons but for man's genius in figuring out how to split the atom.
The mind of man seemingly knows no boundaries. As the Lord Himself observed in looking upon the tower men had purposed to build in the plain of Shinar, "Behold, they are one people…And this is what they began to do; and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them" Genesis 11:6. Indeed, when men of vision put their heads together they can accomplish anything conceived in their minds; and therein lays the flaw. Man's conceptions are born out of their vast knowledge bestowed by the fruit of the tree of both good and evil. For all the inventiveness of man, those creations are but the product of the carnal mind; and some of man conceptions can go terribly awry.
Consider, for instance, man's inventiveness in creating his own God. Void of any true spiritual reality or understanding of the nature of God, man has created a multitude of religions by which he may characterize and define God out of the carnal imaginations of himself. After all, what other source does he have but that which he imagines to be true according to his own nature? The "gods" of religion wear many faces. The god of Roman Catholicism bears a closer resemblance to the Chaldean liturgies of Baal and the worship of the "Blessed Virgin" than to the Living Christ. The god of Judaism still has men living in the Old Testament, bound by the Law of Moses and performing the ritual ordinances that are no longer even valid as types and shadows; they have yet to discover the God of grace and redemption. Krishna, the god of the Hindus, is an exalted one, as is Buddha for those who subscribe to Buddhism. Islam venerates Mohammed while invoking Allah before detonating their car bomb. The Latter Day Saints preach the gospel according to Joseph Smith. Even atheists worship their own god, although they deny that one exists; it is the god of the self, created out of the vain imaginings of Humanist philosophy. Yes, man has indeed made his god after his own image and likeness; even so far as to ascribe to him the vindictive brand of "justice" that is part and parcel of man's own corrupt sense of righteousness.
If that is not vanity enough, men will not cease in imposing their image and likeness upon all of mankind as well, both religiously and secularly, and the consequences of non-compliance can be severe. Religion mandates conformity of belief and doctrine if you are to be a member of our church: Our pastor preaches the Rapture for the saved and eternal damnation for the lost, and if you think the Bible says otherwise you are not welcome in our pews, heretic! You may be ostracized, maligned, stoned, and thrown from the nearest cliff. The unbelieving who refuse religion's invitation to "accept Jesus" as their "personal Savior" are consigned to hellfire for eternity; although the fate of the infidel Muslim comes much more swiftly; he is simply beheaded! Roman Catholicism enforced the dictates of her apostate bondage by similar means. During five hundred years of the Inquisition carried on by the Dominicans, hundreds of thousands of "heretics" were tortured to death or burned at the stake with the blessing of the Vatican and for the "glory of God." The message was clear; conform to our image or suffer the consequences.
The nations of the earth face dire consequences as well if they fail to assimilate the image and likeness of World Empire imposed upon them through the omnipotent power of political and financial deceit. Saddam Hussein fell out of favor and you see what became of him; and just to make the point we will bomb Iraq back to the Stone Age; never mind that hundreds of thousands of civilians become "collateral damage." Vladimir Putin has fallen into disrepute; sanctions are in order; and no, your emissary is not welcome at our G-8 (make that the G-7) convocation. And if Iran does not walk lock-step with the dictates of the Empire, well we can always cook up another war. Where do men get the notion that their image of godly superiority must be dictated by coercion or by force upon the whole of humankind? Why, it is born out of the image and likeness of themselves that they imagine such dominion! "Let us remake mankind in the image of ourselves," saith man, "according to our likeness and glory that the entire world may know that we are the Supreme Beings."
"And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast…and they worshipped the beast saying 'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" Revelation 13:3-4.
Actually, we need only to look within our own relationships to uncover the beast and the supposed supremacy of man. Spouses do the same to one another in an attempt to form the other into the likeness of what they imagine to be their perfect husband or wife; an imagination of what they envision as the ideal self-mate. Husbands and wives employ suggestion, coercion, control and manipulation tactics, and will even use sex as leverage to get what they want. For instance, Mr. Self may have always preferred blondes, perhaps he once had this big crush on Jane Mansfield, and by golly, he wants a Jane Mansfield for his wife. Never mind that he married a brunette that put on a few pounds after a child or two; one step in the transformation will be complete when she dyes her hair blonde. Now Mr. Self will make subtle suggestions concerning her weight and get her a membership at the gym; it won't be long before she'll be able to slip into that size two dress with the twenty-four inch waistline. And Mrs. Self has just about had enough of her husband's habit of dropping his clothes wherever he takes them off. "How many times do I have to tell you to hang up your clothes and put your dirty socks in the laundry? Were you born in a barn? What do you think I am - your maid?" Frustration with the ever-imperfect spouse gives way to anger, accusation, and estrangement. I believe most marriages that fail are due to husbands and wives not being able to create the other in their own self-made image, according to their own image and likeness, or some fantasy of what they think the other should be. Soon the honeymoon is over and before long they are headed for the big divorce.
As parents we employ similar tactics in rearing our children. Our intentions are that they become disciplined, courteous, respectful, and responsible young people. The parent who demonstrates such virtues in their lives are likely to have a measure of success, as children will surely tend to emulate the virtues (or lack thereof) of their parents. But what to do with the "problem child," the headstrong, tantrum-throwing little monster who defies mom and dad at every turn, for whom we had every imagination of goodness and greatness? Gentle guidance and a good example make no impression whatever. More persuasive measures must be employed; scolding, corporal punishment, restrictions, grounding, depriving them of television for the night, or time out from the Internet. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. When neither the child nor the parents relinquish their stand, such an impasse is built up that there is seldom any peace in the home, and it is not unusual for the child to leave home as a cracked vessel when they are of age (if they wait that long) to never return except when they are in dire need of assistance. Then again, they may never return at all and become more fractured as they create themselves according to the misaligned images of what they think would make them happy.
Indeed, "Man Makers" create others in their own image, according to the imaginations of what they want and expect. But before doing so, man must first create HIMSELF in HIS own image. It is that image of self, whether molded for good or for evil, that a man projects upon all that he may touch. And he gives little or no thought to the gravity of the, matter for he has spent a lifetime creating himself in the image of himself, and it is only himself that he knows and relates to. He finds himself wondering what's wrong with everyone else.
We read in the Proverbs: "A man's heart deviseth his way..." Proverbs 16:9. And in Isaiah: "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High..." Isaiah 14:13-14.
Sounds like a classic case of narcissism, doesn't it? Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, and he stayed gazing at his image until he died. Currently it is used to describe the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes that are derived from arrogant pride. It is an inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love, extreme vanity. Narcissism is characterized by self-centeredness, conceit, egotism, even erotic gratification derived from the admiration of one's own physical or mental faculties. It is pride, par excellence!
Pride is one thing; but arrogance is pride on steroids. It is pride that has been magnified by self-serving, self-aggrandizing selfhood. It is about "ME," "ME," and more of "ME" to the destruction of everyone else. It's not that pride in itself is necessarily evil; it is good that a man or a woman has a sense of pride, a feeling of worth and satisfaction derived from achievement or from reaching a desired goal. This normal sense of pride is also tempered with humility. The Olympic medalist deserves the pride of winning the race and standing upon the podium as the flag of their country is raised and the national anthem is played; and when asked how they feel about taking the gold they defer to the team without whom their victory would not have been possible. They are proud that the countless hours of grueling hardships and training has paid off, and there is no feeling whatsoever of: "It's about time. For once, the judges took notice of the greater athlete. That which I have deserved from day one has finally arrived. Now, eat your hearts out all of you who can't measure up to my majesty."
Arrogant pride comes with a feeling of superiority. It produces the idea of entitlement, and disparages those of lesser standing, those not counted among the elite class. Arrogance alienates the big "ME" from the little "we".
Whether man in general is narcissistic or not, he comes close to it. It has been said: When men are the most sure of themselves, and especially when accompanied by pride and arrogance, they are usually the most mistaken. There is a wicked and pervading arrogance throughout the earth like a rabid beast in the world. It can be seen in religion, in politics, in the corrupt corporate structure of business, and in every stratum of society. This beast breeds contempt, for that's the way arrogance is, believing that nothing is of any relevance but itself. This beast first creates itself in this boisterous image, and then does everything in its power to create others in the image it wants them to be, that is, something of lesser value than themselves so that their imagined position upon their high pinnacle of power may remain secure. The corporate CEO is entitled to a salary that is 412% more than that of the working class rabble, and entitled to that multimillion dollar bonus. The cries of the desperate poor, the debt slaves, and the protest of the 99% are of no more significance than the distant howling of a dog in the night.
Sometimes confident people are confused as being arrogant; but we should be careful to not make that mistake. Arrogance is being full of oneself, feeling he or she is always right, and believing their accomplishments and abilities make them better than other people. We should not confuse arrogance as being someone with exceptional confidence; for arrogance is usually the lack of confidence. Arrogant people are insecure and very often repel others. People who are truly confident feel good about themselves and attract others. One would think it strange that as temporal as our lives are that a man would go to great extremes to seek the adoration of those who have made themselves in the same image of self-esteem, while caring nothing about those of a lower estate. And when they are dead they will have a bank or a football stadium named after them; quite the legacy!
There is a mantra common to the wealthy elite: Gain wealth; forget all else but self.
History demonstrates that these high and powerful ones believe that the common man, the "rabble," as our second President, John Adams called them, are incapable of thought or action apart from their enlightened rulership, and would flounder in their own ignorance and irrationality if left to their own devices. Governments and religions of the world have taken that stand. So these creators, changers, transformers, molders are hell-bent on fashioning everyone after their own imaginations. And they will crush anyone or anything that stands in their self-imposed, superior way. Like clay pots on spinning wheels, people are spun and formed according to men's whims. We know that the Master Potter molds our lives to be fit vessels for His house; but when arrogant, pompous men get at the wheel they will more likely make the pot and then destroy it for the sake of their own contempt.
Post World War II German author, Wolgang Borchert, wrote that after a man dies there are only a few circles left in the water that proves he was ever there. And even they quickly disappear. After he is gone for a short time, he is forgotten without a trace, as if he'd never even existed. "Draußen vor der Tür" (The Man Outside). The apostle James shared the same thought in different words: "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away." James 4:14.
We would think that after six thousand years of man creating God, humanity, and himself in his own image and likeness that by now he would have figured out that the world's present condition of darkness, death, and despair is the fruit of his very own imaginative creations. We would think that every soul would forsake their trust in self-made lords, and would even forsake creating themselves in their own imaginations. We would think that they would cry out to the living God to save them from their own folly and their contributions to the imminent fall of the nations. But this will not happen; for it is contrary to the lowered nature of man who was created to create, and he will continue to create a world to his own destruction regardless how dark and dismal it may become.
Rather than calling upon the One who can deliver them from their own evil, they will continue to seek out yet another mate, maybe the perfect one this time (I understand there is a pretty good selection on E-harmony.com), or the right religion, or the honorable political candidate, the better form of government, or whatever other lying deceptions that may patronize their futile dreams. They will keep looking to themselves while denying their real Creator. They are seized by their own snare while disbelieving the sure words of the Psalmist:
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psalm 24:1.
Ray Prinzing penned these powerful words:
"There is an understanding that is developing in the consciousness of the 'called out ones,' those who are going beyond the creeds and traditions of men, to know that ALL the earth is the Lord's. Not just a twig or two, not just a mountain or two, but all of it, the very fullness thereof.
"We are His whether we know it or not, we are His whether we like it or not, whether we desire to serve Him, or whether we are presently in rebellion. Not always, however, shall men be in opposition to our Creator, for after all present travail is ended, and man has run his course of self-will and rebellion, there shall be an inflow of the love of God into every heart which shall draw the creature back to his Creator, to serve Him with a whole heart, and to worship Him in complete, wonder-filled obedience. So great a transforming power is the operation of His grace in man that we shall come to Him in love, and serve Him because we want to serve Him, freely and joyfully.
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17). His was not a ministry of condemnation, but into salvation. 'We have seen and do testify that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.' (1 John 4:14).
"Negative religions claim this isn't so - that God will not receive all men back to Himself again. Their belief is in some devil that gains the vast multitudes, while God is left with a 'little flock.' Ah, well spoken are the words of our Lord, they do 'err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.' (Matt. 22:29). For His kingdom shall come, and HIS WILL shall be done, 'Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.' (I Tim. 1:4). The earth truly is the Lord's!"
Although many reject this wonderful truth, and they keep forming terrible things in the earth, it is good to keep in mind that all of man's creative works should not be discarded as wicked; for sometimes they are very good and work toward the betterment of mankind; but as we have seen, the exact opposite is too often the case. Regardless, man usually believes he is his own savior of the world and that he has all the answers to all his problems. I am somewhat amused at the "experts" who propound that the ingenuity of man will free the world from what some call an addiction to oil and resolve the planet's climate crisis, real or not, the jury, from the left and right, is still out and are denying each others' claims. However, If real, the "experts" have themselves created it. For man creates calamity and war but is woefully lacking in creating tranquility and peace.
Man feels the need to rule over others in some fashion or another and in doing so he has to mold his own life into such a superior being that he may appear as a human sacrifice for the good of the many. This sets himself up as a god of some sort, and this little demigod will have others to bow to his wants and whims because he has given so much and deserves it. He will have them to suck it up as he chips away at every ounce of joy and life that could have been theirs. He has convinced himself that if others will submit to his superiority, they too will enter into his rest, his paradise, his wonderful kingdom; and while promising that the people shall be lacking in nothing (his wealth, we are told, will "trickle down") he takes all things from all the people so he can enrich himself all the more, leaving the crumbs that trickle from his table to placate the underling, Samaritan dogs beneath his table.
Be it Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, Nazism, Fascism or whatever political, religious or humanist ism you care to name, the agenda is much the same; Selfism is the dragon that will subjugate the masses to form them in such a fashion that they will do for their creators as intended and designed. There seems to be no limit or boundary set upon these lesser "gods." But like the raging seas of the world, the true God says, "thus far and no more." Until that time, however, they will build and destroy nations along with the lives of the people. They are no respecter of persons, without conscience, void of empathy. None are immune, it would seem, from the all-consuming force of the gods who create themselves in their own imagination.
We have wondered how people who feign to care for others can brandish such ill upon them. Of course, we know that psychopathic narcissists live among us who are incapable of feeling anyone's pain but their own. Like cold blooded reptiles, empathy and mercy are alien to them. The pain of their discontent is compounded by the cruelty and injustice they perceive to have been inflicted upon them by family, friends, and society as a whole. They can then inflict unimaginable harm upon others without giving it a second thought. Such is the depraved heart of the serial killer, the rapist, the angry young man who thinks nothing of shooting up a grade school or a movie theater before taking his own miserable life. Their hearts have been seared over and they feel as if it is somehow owed to them because of the unjust pain that they had suffered at the hands of their tormentors. George Bernard Shaw must have known something of this for he said: "Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing."
The world is full of those who believe they have been sorrowful sacrifices, martyrs, that they have been mistreated and grossly misunderstood. Therefore, they are never shamed by the atrocities that they have brought upon others. If they feel that they have been martyrs and were all their lives a sacrifice, it is, "Pity poor me. But I'll have pity on no one. It is finally about ME, MYSELF, and I!" Thus, SELFism in bold fashion!
There is no end to what man can create within himself. The good he can create is boundless, and so is the evil. Man is a master of both, and if it were not for the good part of Adam, he would have already destroyed himself. And as God, who created from out of the source of Himself the heavens, the earth, the universe and all that is in them, so it is with man. Even as God drew from Himself and created all things visible and invisible as the manifestation of His being and glory, so man, being a creator in his own right draws upon the depths of his imagination; everything he creates originates in him and will always be an expression of his created self.
Paul mentioned something of their illusions when he wrote, "Because...they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God unto an image made like to corruptible man...." Romans 1:19-23.
If they change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto themselves, the image of corruptible man, how much more will they change the glory of God's creation, His people, into the image of their own corruptible self? They have been doing it since their expulsion from Eden's Garden, from the Babylonian days of old, down through centuries and millennia; it has been the stronghold of their power over people.
Men take pride in their creations, and it pains them when their masterpieces are infringed upon by others. Lobbyists work tirelessly to nullify or circumvent any legislation or regulation that may inhibit the profit margin of their corporate masters. The kingdoms of religion establish dogmas and doctrines to fortify their belief systems against any heretical intrusion. Governments imprison any who dare to dissent against the tyranny, injustice, and inhumanity of the "dear leader." Leakers and whistleblowers are prosecuted as "terrorists" when they unmask treachery and deceit in high places. Men of base nature resort to abuse and murder when their kingdom of self is violated.
Although they do not consciously or outwardly say, "Let us make them in our likeness and after our corrupt image," this is exactly what they do when they project their own imperfect imaginations that were mixed in the apothecary mortars of their minds. From therein they seek to create their world as they see fit for their idealistic, self-aggrandizing, fractured illusions. It is strange that men cannot leave God's creation alone.
Jesus was somewhat less than pleased with the religious elite of His day: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows' houses....ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." Matthew 23:14-15. And Paul wrote: "For you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone takes advantage of you..." 2 Corinthians 11:20, Lexham English Bible. And Peter said: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil (i.e. Pharisees and Sadducees) as a roaring lion walks about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Revelation 12:4.
Religion has an uncanny way of devouring its offspring. The heartless serpent is a master of deception and forms men in the image it desires by consuming them. Once snared, the proselyte is devoured in the bowels of deceit, lies, accusation and fear. Our own religious devil will lie to us from within to deceive and accuse us in our own hearts and minds. And the religious devil of the world's church system will lie, deceive, and accuse us outwardly. The preachers of the harlot churches remind us with much frequency of our sin and shortcomings, the consequences of "backsliding," the prospect of being counted among the goats lest our walk be something less than "Christ-like." The self-condemnation can drive us to despair, and when we condemn ourselves there will be no need for anyone else to do so; for the accuser has succeeded in his purpose; to devour this child, to make him twofold more the child of hell. Once devoured by their rituals and dead letter doctrine it doesn't take long before they lose their identity in Christ. All that then remains is the empty shell of another Baptist, a Pentecostal, a Charismatic, an Evangelical (insert your favorite denomination here) made in the image of man's religious likeness.
Accusations will surely come when it is seen that we are drawing close to God; for this poses a real threat to the power of the religious hierarchy over the people and the security of their belief system. Woe to the one who comes to the understanding by the Spirit of Truth that indeed God will have ALL MEN to be saved; that the "blessed hope" of the Rapture has no Scriptural basis; that the hell, fire, and brimstone doctrine of eternal hell is a myth of pagan imagery and Christian fantasy! Heresy! Blasphemy! Such a one will be cast from the temple as profane. And these so-called "heretics" are even forsaking the assembling of themselves together. They don't even come together to worship the Lord! Backsliders! Reprobates! Some will say that we have left the protective "covering" they provide for us, and there is no way to know the truth without being overshadowed by them. We will sink deep into Satan's pit of deception until there will be no hope left for us. The caldron of eternal damnation will be our lamenting portion if we do not goose-step to their religious gait and be conformed to their image. But please know, such is not the spirit of the Faith of Jesus, but that of man-made religions created after the image of man whose father is the devil (ref. John 8:44-45).
Brethren, they eat their own babies! They devour them! And nothing visible remains except the image of the host by which they have been consumed.
Let me pose this question: Do we accuse our brethren, our wives, our husbands, our children, and anyone who may fall short of our image? Do we accuse whoever does not measure up to what we imagine they should be? If we do, we are part of the dragon's many-membered body; for that is what the dragon does; he accuses the brethren! Revelation 12:10. Moreover, accusers are self-made gods whose vendetta is to create everyone and everything in their own self-made, self-absorbed, narcissistic imaginations. To be a self-made man or woman has generally been viewed as a virtue; but it is not when it involves making oneself into a demigod. Such is not a virtue, not by any means! It is a strike against every man or woman who aspires to such self-aggrandized goals of creating themselves in their own proud image. As beautiful as the Adamic man and woman may visualize themselves, they will always be found either naked or covered with fig leaves; that is, their religious façades of outward pretense. They will by default manifest the spirit by which they are inspired--the devil! "You are of your father, the devil."
It has been debated as to whether the devil and the carnal mind are one and the same. Due to at least one crucial point, this is not possible. To be reminded, God is the Creator, and those who are in His image and likeness can create; and although the carnal heart and mind of man can be evil they are part of man's constitution that was created in the image and likeness of God, for God also creates evil. "I form the light, AND CREATE DARKNESS: I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I THE LORD DO ALL THESE THINGS" (Isa. 45:7). God creates evil? He says He does. From out of the source of man all manner of good and evil may be imagined, formed, and brought to fruition. Man can create, which is one of the attributes of Elohim. The devil has never been declared to hold such attributes. He cannot create! He can only influence that which has been created. The devil can inspire the carnal mind of man that has the ability to create, but he simply cannot create! The carnal mind is like the devil's *henchman. The devil cannot create so much as a gnat; therefore, he uses that which he tempted so successfully from the outset to do his bidding, man's heart and soul. He is not like God, he is not in the image of God for he has been a LIAR FROM THE BEGINING; he is void of any portion of Elohim the Creator; he cannot create. Period!
*henchman: a trusted follower or supporter who performs unpleasant, wrong, or illegal tasks for a powerful person (such as a politician or criminal)
We might question if he could possibly create that which is born in darkness. No, he cannot; for that which originates in darkness comes from the carnal heart and mind of man, not the devil. "That which proceeds OUT OF THE MAN, that is what defiles the man. For FROM WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and WICKEDNESS, as well as DECEIT, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evils proceed FROM WITHIN and defile the man" Mark 7:20-23. The list of evils which Jesus said come forth FROM WITHIN a man covers the spectrum. Curious those among them are also WICKEDNESS and DECEIT, those qualities inherently associated with the devil. The word here for "wickedness" is the Greek poneria, from the root poneros which means "pernicious evil"—evil which is highly injurious and destructive in character. This is not merely an act that is wicked in itself, but that which seeks to perpetuate its wickedness upon everything it touches. It is malicious and vicious, the stuff of demented minds, the cancerous disease of evil. This very word, poneros, is used repeatedly in the Scriptures when referring to "the wicked one," the devil. This wickedness, declares Jesus, proceeds FROM WITHIN THE HEART OF MAN! The devil is surely instrumental in the ministration of evil, but he is not the source. There is a fine line between the source and the inspiration, they are intricately interwoven; but there is a difference; man can create, the serpent cannot. The serpent can bring forth after his own kind, such as Pharisees and Sadducees, but that is as far as it goes.
As humans it is in our nature to create the imaginations that foster both good and evil; we cannot help but do so. But let us be aware of how we create ourselves and then attempt to create those among us in our image and likeness; our own immediate family would be a good place to get some practice. Getting angry and sullen over our loved ones’ shortcomings, whether real or imagined, does nothing to edify and encourage them; not only does it compound the problem, but also reveals our own lack of maturity and our own selfish assertions. We may want to take a moment to look in the mirror and ponder what we are creating. Let us not break an already bruised reed. Let us not douse the flickering light in the lamp of our loved ones’ lives; but rather, let us say and do that which will minister life rather than condemnation. Let us encourage the hurting child who appears to be falling short of his or her abilities, or our expectations. The harsh words of condemnation will only weaken and break them. Discipline them when necessary, mindful that discipline in the spirit of love is always unto correction; the spirit of anger and contempt will only break the child, leaving the scars of condemnation and rebellion. What will you create when the opportunity arises?
Let us consider again, as quoted in MAN Makers, what our friend, Royce Kennedy, wrote in his book, "Life Can Be A Symphony."
"Systematically the Church blames the vessels fitted for wrath and destruction, instead of recognizing that all creation—the good—the bad—and the ugly (borrowing a term used in a movie) is by the good will of the Creator and no blame can be made against the vessels, except to seek correction in thought and directions.
"A wise man wrote away back in about the early part of the fifth century B.C.: ‘A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Proverbs 16:9, 20:24). A major prophet added his thought: ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man (mankind in general) is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.’ (Jeremiah 10:23, 24).
"It seems to me that if we present this case to the Church, it would be denied solely on the premise that man must be punished for the wrongs he committed. With that mind-set, mercy is discarded by the call for justice. ‘Somebody must pay’ becomes their mantra. The greatest area of disconnect between good and evil exists between the Church and unbelievers. Let me share with you a very tragic story.
"Many years ago in a Welsh mining village, a young girl got pregnant by a young lad who ran away from the trouble he created.
"The young girl hid her pregnancy for as long as she could; but when it became visible, her parents threw her out. Like an animal recovering from the effects of a tranquilizer gun, she drifted from place to place as if disoriented and in a daze. In her desperation, she showed up at the only church in her small village. As she sat quietly, the other ladies in the same pew began to gesture to others that the girl was pregnant. They looked at her cross-eyed, raised eyebrows and twitching lips that meant to convey a sinister message. At the end of the service they all hugged and kissed one another, making sure that their backs were turned to the young pregnant girl. She left the building and was quickly out of sight.
"Possibly, all these God fearing, charitable folks let out a sigh of relief, because the girl was nowhere in their midst. Perhaps deep within, some were saying ‘Good riddance! We don’t need her kind around in this God fearing community of ours.
"The young girl returned for the evening service. This time around, it was worse at the church. No one sat in the pew she occupied, while many were standing around the aisles that surrounded the main sanctuary. At the end of the service, again they greeted and loved themselves, carefully avoiding the girl who came for help to the only place in her village she thought she could find it.
"She must have figured that the Church is for helping the helpless, a shelter to the homeless, and would welcome even the vilest sinner. She must have thought that since she had made such a grave mistake only once in her whole life, that those in the church of her village wherein she was raised would open their hearts and help in her darkest hour of despair, especially, since the sin was more self-inflicted than upon others.
"Notwithstanding, she drifted into the dark, cold night air and was soon out of sight. Again, we can only suppose that these ‘righteous folks’ breathed another sigh of relief in that they did not have to deal with the shame the young lady had brought upon their nice, God-fearing village. (The very thought makes me angry and deeply saddened.)
"Three days later, the girl’s body was found by a fisherman at the bottom of a cliff, mangled among the rocks. In her hand was a crumpled piece of paper that said: "Nobody cared.’ Forgive me; but I get emotional at this point! The news went back to the church and a few broke down and shed what I call ‘crocodile tears’ that came too late to save two lives that were taken in a single act.
"Now, my Friend, pull up a chair and answer a few questions! Did God punish this girl by taking her life? Was God so mad at her that He simply could not forgive her, and He had no choice but to kill her and her unborn child? I say ‘NO’ to all the above! God’s hand is not shortened that He cannot save, and He never runs out of mercy. What happened in this case is that there was not a single person willing to become a savior.
"Many times we think of Jesus as being the only savior, but God uses our hands to save others. He uses us as saviors in Christ’s stead, yet it is still Christ, among our fellow men."
The parents of this young girl were, no doubt, not only embarrassed because of what their neighbors, the people of their village, and their church would think; but were angered that their daughter did not measure up to their self-created moral image. They were enraged that their daughter chose to mar the beautiful image that they had spent all of her life in shaping. The family’s church was no different, so she was scorned and cast away from all that she knew and had loved. She was no more to them than a piece of disgusting trash. These self-made creators accused and destroyed that which was not conformed to their imaginations and likeness.
We have been given the divine ability to create that which is in the image and likeness of God, for we know His nature, we have beheld His glory. His sons will create the nations in His image and likeness and to set the creation free from the bondage of corruption and death. We are made to be partakers of His Life; let us therefore seek to create Life and liberty, not pain and destruction, in all that we touch among His creation.
Elwin R. Roach
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