When human beings give their heartfelt allegiance and worship to that which is not God, they progressively cease to reflect the image of God. One of the primary laws of human life is that you become like what you worship; what's more, you reflect what you worship, not only back to the object itself but outwards to the world around. Those who worship money increasingly define themselves in terms of it, and increasingly treat other people as creditors, debtors, partners or customers rather than as human beings. Those who worship sex define themselves in terms of it (their preferences, thei practices, their past histories), and increasingly treat other people as actual or potential sexual objects. Those who worship power define themselves in terms of it, and treat other people as either collaborators, competitors or pawns. These and many other forms of idolatry combine in a thousand ways, all of them damaging the image-bearing quality of the people concerned and of those whose lives they touch. My suggestion is that it is possible for human beings so to continue down
this road, so to refuse all whisperings of good news, all glimmers of the true light, all promptings to turn and go the other way all signposts to the love of God, that after death they become at last, by their own effective choice, beings that once were human but now are not, creatures that have ceased to bear the divine image at all. Tom Wright, Suprised by Hope
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