Of Monsters, Tribes, And Our Neighbor

The twentieth-century apologist, Francis Scaheffer, once said something to the effect, "No matter how flawed a person is, one must never forget that they were created in the image of God." His point being, mankind was originally and uniquely created in the image of God; it should not be forgotten, especially in conflict. Therefore, when we critique and debate those opposed to us, it is of utmost importance that we do so while recognizing and sustaining their humanity - not losing sight that our opponents are individuals that Christ died for.

Tragically, though, it is so very easy to forget that mankind was originally created in the image of God, and then make our opponents into monsters. Our tribalism would actually prefer that our neighbor be a monster. It is easier that way. Monsters - and everything they say - can be written off as monstrous. Furthermore, when we view our opponents as monsters, it drives us back to the comfort and security of our tribes, where we are given to plotting, scheming, and devising ways in which we can destroy them.

As far as destruction? Monsters are meant to be destroyed - just consult children's books. Every happy ending always has a dead monster with a victorious-righteous-hero. The point being, one feels good and morally justified when swinging a sword at a monster.

While there are a few people in society that indeed act monstrous, the majority of people are not. Due to our insecurities, fears, and tribalism, though, we make too many opponents into monsters, when they are in reality, our neighbors originally created in the image of God.

To the point; should we 'not' disagree, debate, and wrestle with the political, ideological, and ethical situations in our culture? No! We 'should' disagree, debate, and wrestle with others but do so with 'always remembering' our neighbor's humanity. We 'should' disagree, debate, and wrestle with others while resisting the temptation to make them into monsters. Because in the real world, those who often supposedly slay monsters are, in actuality, monsters themselves - monsters posing as righteous heroes.

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