Image and Likeness of Godgreenspun.com : LUSENET : St Dominic's Encounter : One Thread
If we are created in the so-called image and likeness of God, shouldn't that mean that we are eternal, all-powerful, ever-present, and always likeable? So where have we got it wrong? Furthermore, are George Bush and Osama Bin Laden and cohorts also created in the image and likeness of God? Any offers?
-- Anonymous, October 09, 2001
I now question what are we referring to when we describe ourselves as being in the image and likeness of God. St Isaac of Syria describes the human person as being born into the the kingdom of God by God's grace and there are labour pangs associated with this. But the kingdom is something which we experience in this life and all the crappy things may just be part of the labour pains which we pass through. He also talks of the experience of the kingdom as one which gives rise to a river of tears which are accompanied by the evocation of immeasurable compassion... the point being that this compassion and this experience is possible (apparently) in this life because we are borne by the grace of God and in some way, maybe, transfigured into the image and likeness of God in what we are becoming. Does God have feelings, though?
-- Anonymous, October 31, 2001
Hi Ray - I've never been on a bulletin board before but I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing from it. Your question is a difficult one to start with - George Bush well what can I say, John Wayne eat your heart out. He wants his enemies like in the good aul days 'dead or alive'. He's operating out of the OT theology - an eye for an eye, a bit like our Rev. Ian in Norn Iron. Soon we'll all be blind and deaf. As a human being there must be something of the Divine in him, its just that it's very difficult to see (well he does like to shoot from the shoulder).
-- Anonymous, October 09, 2001
I've always taken the "image and likeness" phrase to refer to the extraordinary, wonderful and terrible gift of Free Will: the ability to make decisions, and even create our own standards in as much isolation and reference to those around us as we choose.
We're not actual gods so we won't live forever, know everything or be all-powerful, but we can choose amazing evil & good, create beautiful things (or destroy them), express tremendous love (& hate): all that's pretty godlike really. Maybe we wouldn't place such value on good & beauty and even God if we weren't aware of evil, horror & dirt. Try explaining day and night to someone who has been blind all his/her life!
Maybe it's good, maybe its part of The Plan that there is evil, that we're forced to choose, and to choose freely: to freely align ourselves with God?
-- Anonymous, October 14, 2001
It makes a lot more sense if you look at what God got up to in the Old Testament; things like bombing Sodom and Gomorrah for their immorality, having bets with the devil to mess up Job's life and the like. If you think about it, it does look kind of familar. It reminds me of a bit in a book by Joseph Heller. Moses was ordered by God to tell the Pharoh to set his people free. Instead the Pharoh kicked him out and punished the Jews. Moses asked God "why did you do that?" "To harden his heart" God replied. "But it only made him angry and he took it all out on me" Moses whined. "I'm God. I can do what I like"
In the Old Testament, God could be angry, loving, forgiving, vengeful and occasionally whimsical, but despite all of this, had people's best interest at heart. Very like ordinary people.
-- Anonymous, October 15, 2001
Most of the time I do not feel as if I am 'eternal', 'all powerful', 'ever-present' and 'always likeable'!!! Yet I do believe I am created in the image of God. But I also know that the language of humankind does not begin to describe God. Maybe 'just' being apart of creation is not enough, George and Osama may be made in the same image of God but they do not try to Live this truth. They live for their own 'god-given' right to do things their own way.
But do any of us live as though we are made in the image of God? Because if we did would this not have a huge impact on our lives? If we lived REALLY believing that we are the image of God and that all those around us are also the image of God and that all Creation is the image of God. If we truly believed this we wouldnt be doing half the crappy things we do.
-- Anonymous, October 30, 2001
I would interpret our being created in the "image and likeness of God" as an expression of our being manifestations of God's presence in the world - he is present in us in our many different forms - he is part of the very essence of what we are. In this way, we are eternal, ever-present, all powerful...even if we don't feel it to often.
So where have we gone wrong? I think most of us (for many reasons) are forced to live our lives in a way that is very disconnected from who and what we truely are and what we are called to be - we live in a world that is often full of anger, stress, violence, fear...and we do the best we can with it. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it horribly wrong. In it's most extreme form, living in the world we have created breeds the Osama Bin Ladens and the George Bushs of the world. But I do believe we are all, in some way, responsible for the creation of the world we live in ...
-- Anonymous, November 06, 2001
As well as being eternal, all-powerfull and stuff... I have an image of God before me for this weekend's celebrations which depicts a poor beggar of a man, beaten, naked, broken, betrayed, brutalized, and dying in agony on a cross. Is this icon for western civilization more reconcilable with the human experience of "image and likeness of God"?
-- Anonymous, November 22, 2001