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Image-bearers of God


By Marshal Ausberry

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. (BP) — My Christian worldview dictates that all human life is sacred. I come to this bedrock foundational belief informed by Genesis 9:6, which tells us that we are created in the image of God, the imago Dei. We are His image-bearers.

In light of that, I hold that life inside the womb is sacred. That is why I am wholeheartedly and unashamedly pro-life! But my worldview does not stop at the womb. I also hold that all human life outside the womb is sacred.

That is why I am disturbed, brokenhearted, and deeply grieved when I see and read that another black man's sacred life has been unjustly snuffed out. The life of George Floyd was ended by those charged to protect and serve. They became judge, jury and executioner.

Ultimately, the lack of respect for the dignity and sacredness of all human life is sin.

If we hold that all human life is sacred, then why is it that black and brown lives are ended way before their time? The facts speak for themselves. There is a striking racial problem in America.

So, what should our resolve be?

We must remain ever prayerful and hopeful. But as someone has said: we must pray as if everything depends upon God and work as if everything depends upon us. We pray, we lament before God, we ask God for a healing of an ever-growing racial divide.

We must demand that our elected leaders eliminate racial vitriol and innuendo, whether intentional or implied.

We must demand that our local authorities deal ethically and justly with citizens of every hue.

We must demand that our Southern Baptist leaders and entity heads guard their words, actions and deeds to promote unity across racial lines to foster unity in the body of Christ. Not compromising the Word of God, but respecting one another as image-bearers of God.

And, we must ask each pastor and each church to work even harder to love one another. The world needs to see all of us loving one another, sincerely and honestly. We may not be able to change the world, but we can make our communities safer places for all of the image-bearers of God.

Marshal Ausberry is the first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention; president of the National African American Fellowship; and senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va.


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