In my last post I explored how the Biblical account of creation offers a solid foundation for understanding your purpose for existence. I argued, briefly, that if there is a Creator then there is a a cohesive design for the universe. All is intentional. But if there is no creator, if this world is a random and mathematically impossible accident, then there is no ultimate purpose, plan or moral standard. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow is pointless anyway…
But this world is not amoral (it is very immoral, though). We demand morality, but if there is no inherent value to being human, if all this biology was just an accident, then what’s the difference between mowing the lawn and mowing down men in war? Do we care more because the men have thumbs? What is the standard of value?
If this world is just an evolutionary tree, then who/what are the lower branches?
In our day, egalitarianism is en vogue, which posits that everyone is the same. But how do they square that with a belief in evolution? Who is evolving first? Who is more enlightened? You can’t hold those two beliefs together.
Societies who took this seriously in the past tried to get rid of the unadvanced and unfit. In fact, the full title of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. That type of thinking was grotesquely used and manipulated to annihilate millions of lives. It was used as the foundation for the eugenics movement and the holocaust. But if you believe from the start that there is no God and no purpose, then why does it matter? At the end of the day, the universe is indifferent to all the runnings around of the tiny ant-like life on earth. Listen to your heart — God has built us to care deeply!
A wonderful alternative to the bleak worldview of pointlessness is Christianity. It isn’t just a nice story, a sort of wishful thinking; it’s truth that comes blazing in to correspond with reality.
The Bible says that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). This means that we have the markings in ourselves of God. We can create; we can love; we can show mercy; we can act morally, etc. This isn’t a text that says we merely look like God or that God looks like a human; it means that above all living creatures we are crafted in the likeness of God.
Now, to correspond to reality even more, the Bible says that since we are made in the image of God, our purpose is to reflect that image. Literally, we are image bearers. Our purpose, like a beautifully written melody or a blooming flower, is to display or point to a rich and beautiful glory. But the Bible says that “all men have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So, instead of displaying that glorious image that we were made to display, we display something else – a lie. We display our sin instead of God’s true and holy image. We display lust, pride, greed, selfishness, murder, theft, anger, and a million other distortions. But that’s just it, they are distortions! By God’s grace, the world still sees that these things are wrong. We know that somehow we were not meant to live like this. We know that something must change – something must make us whole.
I’ll keep this post brief — I can feel myself wanting to explain all the nuances of this good news. But here’s what this means in a nutshell:
There is a plan for your life, but your life needs to be redeemed.
You are made in the image of God. You are not some random and pointless bi-ped that will live less than a century and be forgotten. The whole of your existence matters. God crafted you to reflect Him. Like a sunrise or a snow-capped mountain, you are made to point to grandeur. But you’re a broken image – a mess that needs fixing. A valuable and purposeful design that needs help to finally experience what it’s like to live restored and to enjoy your purpose.
A life lived in the image of God is one that loves its neighbors as itself. It’s a purpose that will give its own life to demonstrate love. It’s a life of courage and hope.
Don’t you dare believe the lie that you are a cosmic accident. Rush into the arms of Christ who came to make us new creations and experience the joy of being redeemed.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:16-19).