Respect Life

Stephen Ashton 5 Comments

A Christian should see great dignity and value in human life because we are made in the image and likeness of God himself. In God’s eyes, our value is not based on our gender, our skin color, our physical ability, our mental capacity, our successes, or our failures. “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27)”

Beginning January 17th, 2024, Trailmen will spend a month examining the special value God places on humanity and study the role we play as God’s image bearers. At the heart of the pro-life/abortion issue is this question:  Does a human life begin at conception, or does it begin when the baby is physically born? Both Scripture and science are clear. The book of Genesis tells us that mankind is created in God’s image and as God’s image bearers are to rule over creation – “to fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:26, 28). The Scriptures leave no room to be partially or potentially created in God’s image. Every human who “fills the earth” serves as God’s image bearer.

Trailmen learn that God’s image is not an ability we have, but a status we hold. All humanity: men and women, boys and girls, infants and elderly, born and unborn, sick and healthy, the vigorous and the vegetative, the sinner and the saint – are created in God’s image and are worthy of respect, compassion, and care. Our shortcomings (sins) do not diminish our value in God’s eyes.

At Christmas, we remember that Jesus came as an infant to live with all humanity and to pay the ransom for our sin with his death. Through his death Jesus brought about the adoption into God’s family for all who believe unto salvation. As God’s children, who he created in his image, we eagerly await the day we are reunited with our father, and see his image face-to-face.


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About the Author
Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashton is the National Director of Marketing for Trail Life USA and serves as an adjunct professor at Clarks Summit University and Anchor Christian University. Prior to his work at Trail Life, he spent 15 years working with at-risk youth in residential therapeutic wilderness programs and served as the Vice-President of the Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association. An author and a speaker, he has written for journals and published a book chronicling the foundations of therapeutic camping. He frequently speaks on the topics of fatherhood, biblical masculinity, outdoor education, and wilderness therapy. Stephen lives in South Carolina with his wife and 4 sons.

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