Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Capped Idol of Copeland-Hagin, Part 7: More on the Image of God

A thought occurred to me, as it has a tendency to do, that I hadn’t considered when I wrote my multi-part series on the Word of Faith — or, as I called it, the Word™ of Faith™ — movement. One of the foundational thoughts behind the idea that we “mere mortals” can harness the power that God allegedly harnessed when He “spoke the world into existence” is that Adam and Eve, and therefore every single one of their descendants (that includes you), resembles God.

In this article I want to examine a little better the first story of the first man & woman as told in Genesis 2:5-3:24.

Genesis 2:5-7 tells of the specific creation of Adam, the first man. While it does not say that Adam was created “in the image of God,” let’s assume that this is an extended version of the short story recorded in Genesis 1:26-28. That would indicate that Adam, and later Eve in Genesis 2:18-23, were created in God’s image.

The great struggle with that term “in the image of God” has always been the extent of that image. Does it mean that God is humanoid? Does it mean that God has 5 fingers on each of 2 hands, a single head, and so forth? More importantly, does it mean that Adam and Eve were replicas of God, with all the abilities He has? And what about their offspring?

Consider †his: no matter how much Adam, Eve, you, and I resemble God, we were never like God … not even before the first sin.
How can I say this? Let’s start with Genesis 2:16-17. God gave Adam his diet plan: every tree except one is available. That tells us two things: first, Adam ate, and second, Adam wasn’t allowed to eat from one specific tree.

So does that mean that God eats? Does that mean that God is not allowed to do certain things? That leads to an even more important question: is God subservient to someone or something else? Well, Charles Capps alleged that God used “the power of His [Faith™]” to create all this, as if God’s power wasn’t adequate. That, though, would result in circular reasoning, since Capps concluded that based on tons of misinterpretations of other Scriptures ripped from their context.

Genesis 2:18-24 brings forth a second trait of Adam: it wasn’t good that he be alone. But he wasn’t alone, for God walked with him. Still, God said that he needed a helper, and none of the animals filled that slot. Thus God created Woman, later named Eve, from one of Adam’s ribs. That leads us to know that Adam needed Eve.

So what about God? Many have speculated that He somehow “needs” mankind to love, since He is love (1 John 4:7-8). That’s stretching things a bit, though. After all, what did He do before He made us? He is I AM. He is eternal. He existed before anything was created. How did He fulfill this alleged “need” before He created Adam? Yes, the Bible refers to those who choose Him as their God as His “bride,” but the connection is still rather thin.

The biggest difference, though, comes in one of the saddest sections of the Bible: Genesis 3:1-7. The serpent tempts Eve by first trying to claim that God lied. Genesis 3:5, though, pegs it: he claims that Eve will be like God after she eats the fruit. How could this have been a temptation to someone “made in the image of God” if that truly meant that she was exactly like Him? Can God sin? (James 1:13 is just one of numerous answers to that question.)

In summary, Adam and Eve, before they sinned, if they were created “in the image of God,” were not identical to God in that:
  • they had a command to follow;
  • they needed someone other than God;
  • they didn’t know the difference between good and evil;
  • they could sin.

So, you tell me: does “made in the image of God” really mean that we are exactly like Him? Did it ever mean that?
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