Way way back when I was in high school, a Christian singer named Geoff Moore brought out a song called “Evolution, Redefined.” My favorite part was when he mocked the idea that man came from monkeys. In one section, the song even contained the sound of monkeys grunting and swinging through trees. I must admit that even today, when we hear this song, my brother and I still imitate the monkey noises in the background. (No matter how old the song, we’re still young at heart.) If you’ve never heard the song, you may ask, “Why are their monkey noises?” (Because kids today are too sophisticated to be that silly.) The answer is that the writer was trying to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the teaching that humans were created in the image of monkeys. Yet, many do not consider this ridiculous. According to evolutionary theory, it is established science that man evolved from monkeys. However, this theory is in stark contrast to the Biblical account of Creation that says that God created man “in His image.” “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27, ESV) It’s absolutely essential that we understand the phrase “in the image of God.” First, let’s look at what it does not mean. It doesn’t mean that our physical bodies are just like God’s. This is not possible because God is spirit. It also doesn’t mean that we are “little gods.” Psalm 8:5 says we are made: “a little lower than the heavenly beings.” (ESV) Instead, the phrase “in the image of God” refers to our moral-intellectual-spiritual nature. It’s what separates us from the animal kingdom and includes our ability to sense and have a relationship with God, our free will, our ability to choose right and wrong, and the fact that even after our bodies die, our souls go on for eternity. Other Scriptures, like James 3:9, go on to show that all of Adam and Eve’s descendants (all human beings) are still image-bearers. We all still possess the qualities described above. Knowing this about ourselves is very important to understanding our purpose in life. It shows that we were designed for the purpose of a relationship with God both here on earth and throughout eternity. It shows that because man was born with free will, we can choose to love God and have a personal relationship with Him or reject Him. Being created "in the image of God" means that we have the capability to make the right moral choices. Even though we were born sinners, we can learn God's ways and live by them. Because we are created in the image of God, we have a purpose. We were created to have a personal relationship with God and fulfill the destiny He designed for us. Knowing that our soul is eternal shows us that the choices, mainly the choice of whether or not we accept Christ as our Savior, will affect our tomorrow. Most importantly, because we are created in the image of God, men and women can respond to a unique personal relationship with God that reflects His love and character. We can choose to love God, obey Him, and love other people.
The fact is that we are not just evolved animals with higher intelligence. Human beings are unique life forms created with souls that will last for eternity. This essential element of our existence gives our lives meaning, purpose, and value. When we remove this truth and say that man "evolved from monkeys," all of these truths are lost. This theory--and it is a theory it cannot be proven ---removes the value of human life and our sense of purpose. Life has no meaning except to enjoy today, for tomorrow we die. Equating humanity with monkeys removes the value of our souls. It means that we don't have to worry about the state of our souls or prepare for where we will spend eternity after we die. Rather than stealing these essential parts of human life, Creationism gives us purpose--a God-given destiny to fulfill today and hope for eternity in Heaven for those who accept Jesus as their Savior. Made from monkeys, no way! We were made by and for God. As Paul said in Acts 17:28, ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we are indeed his offspring.’ (ESV)
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."