The BSU is a Southern Baptist ministry, and one of the greatest benefits of that is our association with the Baptist Faith & Message, the Southern Baptist statement of faith. The BF&M helps inform our belief and behavior, acting as a guideline and guardian for us in our daily lives. This semester, we have chosen to highlight a few of the articles contained therein…
“Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image.” So begins article three of the Baptist Faith and Message. It’s an important sentence. Within that sentence are sown the seeds of much of what we believe. What is says is that people are special, stamped with the image of God, and “every person of every race” bears that special mark. That’s a good thing to keep in mind, because throughout scripture it is clear that God is very concerned about His image and the way that image is treated.
Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image. (Genesis 9:6)
Often that concept, that we are created in the image of God, has been used to defend the rights of the unborn in the fight against abortion (and rightfully so), but what is all too often overlooked is how that applies to so many other social justice issues. God is just; justice is as much a part of His character as love. Article 15 of the Baptist Faith & Message helps us understand what that looks like in practice. There, among other things, we find these words:
We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death…
Social justice is an issue for us because we bear the image of God. So the next time you see someone, anyone, and begin to feel a seed of irritation, apathy or superiority, keep in mind that they bear the image of God, and He is a jealous God. Try instead to, “act in the spirit of love without compromising… loyalty to Christ and His truth.”