The image of God distinguishes people from everything else in creation. The supreme value of the imprint of God in us far outweighs any other consideration when we determine our worth. An attack on any human being is tantamount to an attack on God Himself. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image (Gen. 9:6 ESV).
Any time we elevate any of our personal features or characteristics over those of others – our race, sex, class, appearance, age, mental capacity, ability or disability, anything—we are quite literally preferring, demeaning, and devaluing the image of God in others. This is why acts of discrimination are some of the worst kinds of sin. They are acts that insult God by devaluing and attacking His image.
The phrase “sanctity of life” reflects the belief that, because people are made in God’s image, human life is inherently sacred and should be protected and respected at all times. The church has done a wonderful job since Roe v Wade recognizing and rallying to protect the sanctity of life of the unborn and is to be applauded for caring for this group of citizens who literally cannot speak for themselves.
It is important for Christians to be aware that sanctity of life applies as much to those who are living as it does to the unborn. Sanctity of life should motivate Christians to combat all forms of injustice perpetuated against human life: right to die legislation, gun violence, racial injustice, violence, immigrant and refugee needs, poverty, abuse, oppression, human trafficking, and many other evils.
In the greatest commandments, Jesus explains why we care for the needs of others: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
Live and Proclaim Ministries seeks to raise awareness of the call to respect the sanctity of life of all persons from those unborn to the person living his or her last day of life.