How do you judge the value of another human being? By their looks, education or achievements? Do you look at their family life, their character or their generosity? Do we measure how much they can contribute to society when we measure someone’s worth?
Our world often judges people by all these things, and much more besides, and that’s bad news for the homeless, the convict, the disabled, the housebound, the terminally ill and the unborn infant. Based just on ‘societal worth’ we would be better off without them.
Fortunately, our society does not take its belief about the origin of life to its logical conclusion. Our society may have rejected much of the Bible, but the Bible’s impact over the centuries cannot simply be erased. The Bible tells us that all people, regardless of age or ability or wealth or status are made in the image of God. That truth crowns men and women with a special dignity not found in the rest of creation. We are all knit together by God, known by God, loved by God and called by God to know him and walk with him. As people in his likeness we are moral beings with eternal souls, and that is true however much we mar his image through our sin and wickedness.
It’s this dignity and value we must demonstrate by our welcome to all who come through the doors of the church, whatever their beliefs or background. It’s why we should care for the poor, speak to the homeless, visit the prisoner, sit with the dying and offer the gospel to all people, whoever they are. Real dignity + value in all people: That’s our better story.