One of the starkest contrasts between human life and every other life form is the sacredness of human life—meaning how it’s set apart from everything else in honor and value. As a believer, I believe that it is only through Christ and the word of God that sacredness has the right context, but all of humanity chooses what is sacred to them. If there is anything that makes atheism and secularism untenable to me, it’s the way humanity automatically separates what is sacred versus what isn’t.
The reason we automatically distinguish between what is sacred and what isn’t is because we reflect God, and are made in His image. The image of God is not discovered physically or scientifically, yet there is so much proof of it in our own experiences and that makes the difference in one’s worldview and philosophy. It’s also the difference-maker in how we view sacredness as Christians versus the views that come from other religions and philosophies. If you read up about the philosophies and religions of the Greeks and the Romans, for example, you’d see that they didn’t treat the physical as sacred as they did the spiritual. They claimed the human body was a trap to the “real” you, which is inside your physical shell. This played a part in those societies fulfilling whatever physical desires they had, from sex to greed, as well as any other desires.
We still have these ideas around today, but they are expressed in a different way. Instead of giving a religious reason for hedonism, we hear of the freedom to choose what we want to do. For example, sex isn’t sacred, it’s just a human desire that we get to fulfill when we want, and with any consenting adult we want. Beyond sex, you can reduce the sacredness of everything from family to music. When we take away the element of sacredness, we see the consequences of that mindset everywhere.
Take a look at your life and take some inventory concerning the things you hold sacred in it. Meditate on the things that God has declared sacred or set apart in honor and value. Sacredness is not exclusive to the religious realm, it makes a difference in how you form relationships, treat God’s creation, and look at yourself. Psalms 8:5 says that humanity is crowned with glory and honor, we were created as a sacred creation of God. Knowing that reality makes the difference in what choices you decide to make in life.