Imago Dei II: Freedom, Virtue and Relationship

“But we are not mere animals. Made in the image of God, our capacities for reason and virtue are also obligations to put them to use. We must be honest people who keep our word, engage with one another and meet the needs of those around us. That’s the only kind of economic stimulus package we need, because there is no prosperity without freedom, no freedom without virtue, and no virtue without relationship.”  This quote from Wesley Gant’s “Values and Social Capitalism

points to three inter-related concepts: freedom, virtue and relationship. The last concept, relationship, is the linchpin of society and the axis around which the spirituality of Christ’s followers revolves. Christ reconciled our broken relationship with God and one another by his unselfish virtuous act of sacrifice on the cross. “But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].”  1 John 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

How will we ever master the art of being confident enough in our own skin to no longer discredit, stereotype, demonize and marginalize others for their differences? The real culprit is alienation and I don’t mean that some of us are secretly extraterrestrials masquerading as humans. While we often push others away, we have much more in common than what divides us.

Our goal should be to build the bridge to unity and autonomy. When we ask the question of who we are, our answer should be that we are Imago Dei (created in the image of God). This puts us all on an equal playing field and allows us to work towards deeds and actions that engage one another across the ethnic/cultural divide. Believing we are all the same allows us to build the bridge of trust and reciprocity through small group settings. The actions of forming transparent relationships bring the alienated into our personal spheres where phileo (brotherly love) develops.

This kind of relationship building finds the virtue needed to overcome our differences and develops empathy over prejudgment. Immigrants, documented or undocumented, deserve phileo and freedom along with empathy, reciprocity and relationships. African Americans, who many still see as aliens, need freedom to succeed in our culture. Asians need virtue to be freed from being stereotyped and being seen as a homogeneous group. Arabs and Latinos need to be freed from the opinions and philosophies of hatred against them. Even the Anglos need to be given the freedom to admit they were wrong without the fear of being ostracized.

“Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Gant’s terms of freedom and virtue color our picture of unity by understanding that justice is  paramount in society. We must take the high road of virtue over divisions, political philosophies, doctrinal debates and placing blame.  Where there is no virtue, the anarchy of every man for himself takes us all to a place where our freedom is lost. There are more people that need a helping hand or a friendly slap on the back rather than a slap in the face. The responsibility resides on all sides of the ethnic/cultural divide by “Building the Bridge Together” one relationship at a time.

Kevin K. Robinson, Executive Director of Accord1

4 Responses to “Imago Dei II: Freedom, Virtue and Relationship”
  1. Altamira says:

    nice thank you for sharing most informative ideas and also your good view.

  2. accord1 says:

    Reblogged this on accord1 and commented:

    We all remain in lack when we only see our world through a dominated cultural lens. For too many years the identity thief has hobbled the potential of this rich diversity to develop a genuine and lasting synergistic pattern. This pattern is one that all can have human identity that involves what is below our three layers of skin.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] grow those subtle seeds of discontentment, eliminate equality for all ethnisities created in the Imago Dei (Image of God). Reconciliation rest upon God’s Amber Waves of […]

  2. […] or clout which is only made complete through attributing value to each member of our human (imago dei) family. This can include those that share our various ethnic or cultural background as well as […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: