The Assault on the Image of God (Imago dei) and Biblical Truth

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

All Scripture is inspired by God… 2 Tim. 3:16

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100:5

But can God’s Word can be trusted in this generation? Does His truth expire, does it depend on popularity, is Jesus Christ really the same yesterday, today and forever?

“God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

“And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” Matthew 19:4

Somehow this is now a debate in our culture. Forces of darkness are assaulting the very truth of Scripture and blaspheming God.

At what point is God’s wrath released, and when do we know it is being poured out on a people or society?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Rom 1:18

It is understood that creation is evidence of a Creator and men are w/o excuse. They abandoned common sense and the ability to reason, “and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools…“ (Rom. 1:21-22)

What we’re witnessing today is a result of God giving them over to a depraved mind. Any attempt to define humanity and morality differently than how God has clearly defined it in His Word is an act of rebellion. And yet, evil is called good in today’s culture.

Things have changed so radically and rapidly in such a short time, many of us feel like we have whiplash. Just a few examples:

  1. A conservative student at William and Mary University, Skylar Culbertson wrote an article last month stating, “I told my peers men cannot have babies. They’ve threatened to kill me because of it.” (actual death threats)
  2. Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona refused to define a “woman” under oath at a congressional hearing two weeks ago. Cardona’s job includes enforcing Title IX, which prohibits discrimination (including on the basis of sex) in education programs! Biden Democrats want to alter Title IX and punish states that protect women/ girls from males competing against them, using their locker rooms.
  3. A bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week by Florida’s Greg Steube and co-sponsored by 93 Republicans. H.R. 734 will prohibit school athletic programs from allowing individuals whose biological sex at birth was male to participate in programs for women or girls. Every Democrat voted against it.
  4. In Keil, WI, three 8th grade boys were suspended for not using the preferred pronouns of a classmate.
  5. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defined homosexuality as a mental illness, but were forced to alter that classification. The APA also considered transgenderism a mental health issue but again, due to pressure from the LGBTQ activist lobby, they have defined it as “gender dysphoria” since 2013.

Make no mistake: this is a clash of worldviews; a spiritual battle that has manifested and metastasized in our culture, on our watch. How do we respond?

A.W. Tozer said,

“The Holy Scriptures tell us what we could never learn any other way: they tell us what we are, who we are, how we got here, why we are here, and what we are required to do while we remain here.” 

Once waiting in the wings to be rolled out, transgender ideology has been unleashed like a blitzkrieg. It has evolved from a behavior to a disorder needing treatment, then to an orientation, a political movement, and finally, to an identity and even a “right.”

A young mom contacted me back in 2016 and shared a disturbing experience regarding her six-year-old daughter and gender ideology being promoted in public schools.

“I’ve been struggling. After the very first day of school, my daughter comes home from her first-grade class and says, ‘There is a girl in my class who is going to be a boy! She is going to take medicine and have a p___s put on!’ The kids are forced to call the girl by her ‘boy’ name and she uses the teacher’s bathroom.

“Shocked, I needed to take a breath. I told her, ‘No matter how much medicine that little girl takes or if she has surgery, she will still be a girl. God does not make mistakes, and we are exactly who we are supposed to be.’ I’m upset that my child has to be subjected to this. We are moving both our girls to private school next year, and it’s going to be worth every penny! I never thought this could happen in a small Wisconsin town. What six-year-old wants to be the opposite sex?”

Good question! Small town USA, this deviance has come to your door.

Christians in America who adhere to the Bible and its authority have been put into a very difficult position. Truth defenders are now the minority of believers. The silence of the American church has opened the door for this pervading darkness.

God-hating activists now demand we accept what the Bible considers sin. Those who do not approve of certain sexual behaviors and lifestyles are marginalized.

Romans 1:26-27 says,

“…their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, 27 and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women…”

The sexual revolution peaked in the 1960s, then the homosexual revolution took off in the wake of radical feminism and lesbianism. Naturally then, what has been under attack is life in the womb, marriage, family, fatherhood and masculinity.

Romans 1:30 says these depraved minds are “inventors of evil things” such as convincing children they’re unhappy, confused about gender, and selling life-altering surgeries that leave them scarred, depressed, and often suicidal.

This assault on the image of God and sexuality is not a modern phenomenon. Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, who lived during the first century, expressed disgust about effeminate males who used cosmetics on their face and hair.

Here’s one translation of Philo on the subject:

“Another evil, much greater than that which we have already mentioned, has made its way among and been let loose upon cities, namely, the love of boys, which formerly was accounted a great infamy even to be spoken of, but [now] which sin is a subject of boasting not only to those who practise it, but even to those who suffer it…”

Philo lived during the time of Christ; a time in which the Imago Dei was understood to be a foundational truth in the Old Testament.

In a brief overview of the history of the Jewish people in Psalm 106, verses 19-20 state:

They made a calf in Horeb; And worshiped a cast metal image. 20 So they exchanged their glory For the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Savior…

Sound familiar?

Those who “identify” as LGBTQ+ can now get married or undergo gender “reassignment” surgery (which doesn’t exist). They create a persona (idol) in their own image. Man’s.

The Hebrew phrase for “image of God” is tzelem Elohim. Tzelem is likely the root of the word meaning ‘shadow.’ In practical terms, we are like mini shadows that the Lord casts on the world. The deeper understanding is that there is something uniquely sacred about human life, unlike the animal kingdom or any other created life.

Imago Dei is a Latin phrase. The image of God refers to the immaterial part of humanity, a likeness mentally, morally, and socially.

In Genesis, chapter 1, the Word states:

Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the livestock and over all the earth…” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; Genesis 1:26-28

Note the use of “Us” and “Our” indicating the triune God. Mankind was created in the image and of Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. God even repeated it twice. It is also clear He created them male and female.

He then told them to procreate, which two people of the same sex cannot do. To be fruitful and multiply, a man and a woman are needed. Context will show in Genesis 2 exactly how the two different genders were created.

Pastor David Guzik at Enduring Word states:

“Men are not women, and women are not men. One of the saddest signs of our culture’s depravity is the amount and the degree of gender confusion today. It is vain to wonder if men or women are superior to the other. A man is absolutely superior at being a man. A woman is absolutely superior at being a woman. But when a man tries to be a woman or a woman tries to be a man, you have something inferior.”

Imago Dei is an order established and maintained by the Creator. Contrary to modern delusion and opinion, it’s impossible for man lose this image. But they’re trying.

Hebrew references to “image” (tselem) and “likeness” (demût) convey the idea of an object similar to or representative of something else, but not identical to it.

Humanity is unique among all God’s creations, having both a material body and an immaterial soul/spirit. We’re different from angels and the animal kingdom. Even after the Fall of mankind, the Bible reinforces the value of every human life:

 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” Genesis 9:6

The New Testament Greek word for image (eikōn) conveys virtually the same meaning as the Hebrew. Both languages indicate that God created humans to be similar to himself, but not identical to himself.

Imago Dei is one of the key doctrines of the Old Testament, the Christian faith, and Western culture.

Ephesians 4:24-25 states:

“and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor…”

As new creations in Christ, our identity is in Jesus, the author, Creator, and sustainer. Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God…” and verse 17 states, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Jesus Christ; the Word, Mighty God, Everlasting Father; His Truth is our final authority!

Hebrews chapter 1 says in these last days, God has spoken to us through His Son, and:

He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. Heb. 1:3

Jesus is the beam, the light, the “radiance” of God’s glory. We’ve never seen the sun, only the rays of its light shining on the world. We have also not seen God the Father, but we see Him through the Son. Jesus exactly represents God. He and the Father are one.

Other translations: The express image of His person; exact imprint of his nature.

Can you see why this demonic movement today is trying to pervert the fact mankind was made in the image of God?

If we take Him at his Word, the created order has always been two sexes. The science most people agree on is males have a pair of XY chromosomes and females have a pair of XX chromosomes.

The Bible and observational science agree on these foundational truths.

Since we are truly made in the Image of God, even though that image has been tainted by sin, then each person is created with inherent dignity, value, and worth. We know this instinctively, even though we live at a time when common sense is out the window and people are working to deceive, undermine, and pervert this truth.

The Bible is crystal clear on this. Deuteronomy 22:5 states:

“A woman shall not wear a man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

*This prohibited a man from wearing any item of feminine clothing or ornamentation, or a woman from wearing any masculine clothing or ornamentation. The same word translated “abomination” was used to describe God’s view of homosexuality. Here, transvestism.

Why? The creation order distinctions between male and female were to be maintained without exception.

There’s an alarming perversion of Imago dei permeating academia. Somehow, it has flown under the radar. It is the cancerous movement of D.E.I. (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

Whereas Verbum Dei is Latin for the Word of God, the modern, deceptively named acronym DEI stands for quite the opposite. These three redefined words may seem harmless and even sound good, but they have become weaponized.

Christopher Rufo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute says the radical left in the U.S. is hiding behind a Trojan horse. Inside are perpetrators of a new religious cult: diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). They are using DEI to mask tyranny. They push Queer Theory, for example, a ruthless criticism of God’s creative order and the male-female gender binary that is assumed by most societies. 

More and more colleges and universities have DEI departments. They are being used to enforce “ideological conformity” and silence dissent across America.

The University of Florida (UF) is one quick example: UF hosts 31 DEI initiatives at a cost of $5 million per year. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is not a series of standalone programs but an ideology that has been embedded in virtually every department on campus.

The university has created over a thousand (1,018) separate DEI initiatives;

  • 73 percent “have a DEI committee” and “DEI officer”;
  • 70 percent “espoused commitment to DEI”;
  • 53 percent “have a DEI strategic plan”;

Many of our kids have endured years of woke education in the nation’s public school system followed by more years of cultural Marxism in American colleges.


We must never tire of speaking the truth and giving to causes that honor the dignity of human life. Believers today must interpret cultural, social, and so-called “political” issues through the lens of Scripture and the image of God.

Contributing writer to Bible Study Tools, Rylie Fine states:

This lens will apply to issues like abortion, sex trafficking, immigration, war, civil rights, pornography and prostitution, criminal justice, [LGBTQ issues] and more. Many Christians on both sides of the political aisle have allowed these topics to become partisan issues rather than Imago Dei issues.

In a world that increasingly suppresses and manipulates the truth of us all being made in the Image of God—mostly by saying there is no God to make us in his image—Christians must be bold in their defense of God’s good design. We must proclaim that every human being is valuable, from the tiniest baby to the oldest, sickest hospice patient. 

Christians can be confident in the truth of Scripture and God’s good design.

Psalm 139:13-16 states:

For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You When I was made in secret,
And skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my formless substance; And in Your book were written
All the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Not surprisingly, attacks on God’s image-bearers has increased dramatically in the U.S. Family Research Council (FRC), released a report documenting highlighting a 300% rise in acts of hostility against the church in 2023. These acts include “vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats, and more.”

Author and Pastor Mark Hitchcock recently spoke about the “growing hatred for Christians in America.” He said:

“The battle lines are being drawn, and we’re seeing a real clash of kingdoms, the clash of Satan’s kingdom versus God’s kingdom, a clash between darkness and light, a clash between the culture of death and life, a culture of disorder versus peace, a culture of dysphoria versus divine order.”

Opposition will come, but so will God’s wrath and justice.

I wish we had time to go through this whole chapter, but I’d like to conclude with 2 Thessalonians chapter 1.

“…we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for you in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you indeed are suffering. For after all it is only right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict youand to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us, when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These people will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified among His saints on that day…” 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10

God’s judgement will be swift on the unbelieving world, He will deal out retribution – away from the presence of the Lord – as part of their eternal destruction.

In contrast, He promises to never leave us or forsake us and will give you relief when the Lord is revealed from heaven. And we will be in His presence forever.

HIS truth endures to all generations!

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