Identity Theology

 
God said, “Let us make humanity in our image.”
(Genesis 1:27)
 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
(Psalm 139:14)
 
From these incredible passages we see that God alone is the Author of life. In distinction to the other forms of life which God created, only humanity is said to be made “In his image” (i.e., as rational, volitional, and spiritual creatures) and has within it the very breath of God (Genesis 2:7). Therefore, this life is intrinsically precious, sacred, valuable, and full of worth. David celebrates “spectacular-ness” of all human life calling it, “Fearfully and wonderfully made.”
What has dominated the American political landscape the last decade or so is a thing called identity politics. Simply put, identity politics is the creation of political forces aligned around a specific group’s identity, e.g., skin color, sexual preference, religious choice. Although every American has the right to political representation, identity politics, by its very nature, is insidious in that it tends to fracture our overall national identity as Americans. As a citizen of America, I am concerned about this ongoing polarization and wonder how a divided nation can survive let alone flourish?
 
As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, however, I want to encourage my fellow Christ followers not to fall for identity politics based on the simple truth that our identity is first and foremost in Christ. One of the primary objectives of Jesus’ redemptive work on the Cross was to remove all barriers that sinful humanity has enacted and erected against itself. Paul, in Galatians 3:28 revels in this astonishing fact:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
 
Regardless of our created identity, we are a redeemed and transformed humanity in Christ. We are a new humanity and are no longer divided along racial, class, or gender considerations! This doesn’t mean however, that we can’t praise God for our “born identity” regardless of what politicians or critical race theorists may say. I am not inherently evil because God has created me with the immutable characteristics of a white male. I had no choice in the matter! Because I am created in “God’s image” my white maleness reflects God’s creative will and even something about his personality much as it does for everyone else regardless of his/her gender or color. I celebrate in WHAT God has created me and I celebrate in WHAT he has created you.
 
Let’s rejoice that God has created us with such amazing diversity. However, let us never allow this same diversity to divide us, either as a Church or as “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
 
Here’s praying we won’t.
 
Agape,
 
Pj
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