Christians who reject this idea maintain that man’s primary religious duty is to obey God and submit to His Will. In this they are perfectly correct. Obeying God and submitting to His Will is indeed the primary duty of Christians. The crux of the disagreement concerning man’s role in Creation resides exclusively in the interpretation of what obedience and submission entails.
Those who dismiss the idea of man as co-creator regard redemption as the cornerstone of obeying God and carrying out His Will. Rather than venturing forth guided by some mysterious creative pursuit that is likely to end in waywardness and apostasy, those who reject the idea of co-creation insist man should concern himself primarily with the overcoming his sinful, fallen nature in the hope of attaining salvation.
In other words, man’s main goal is to know his place as a creature rather than as a co-creator in Creation. His role is to subjugate the bulk of his spirit and force to the external forms of God. Within this understanding, carrying out the Will of God is reduced to a kind of formalism – to strict adherence to prescribed external forms.
From the perspective of operation, obeying God and submitting to God’s Will is largely a matter of obeying a set of established external rules, doctrines, and practices. Within this framework, the pinnacle of co-operation between God and man resides in man observing predetermined rules of arrangement of outward form over inner reality and subjective experience and meaning.
Though this conceptualization of the limits of man’s co-operation with God is far superior to atheistic, secular, humanist, materialist conceptions of man as a “natural” and necessarily subjective sole operator locked in his own little subjective world that is ultimately ruled over by nature with no possibility of co-operating with the Divine, it remains intensely restrictive and does little to address the deeper significance of the imago Dei in man.
The danger of adhering to mostly exclusive forms has become undeniably apparent. Most (if not all) forms of organized Christianity have willingly and actively merged with the external forms of Satanic global totalitarianism. Consequently, observing the predetermined rules of arrangement of outward form over subjective reality carries the very real risk of not obeying God nor following His Will.
Man must obey God and man must obey God’s will. He must overcome his ego, his self-centeredness, and his seemingly infinite false selves and become God-centered in order to carry out God’s Will – but the Will of God demands that man rise up in creative spiritual liberty, a creative spiritual liberty that holds the imago Dei highly in hand.
Man’s spiritual mission in the world now depends on his creativity, but this, in turn, depends on his becoming conscious of himself – of his real self – in freedom. Man’s creative thoughts and actions can add to and continue the creation of the cosmos, but this can only occur through alignment with God, which is grounded in man’s freely given love for God.
Rather than submit his creative forces and spirit to the prescribed external forms of God in the hopes of salvation, man seeks salvation by offering up his latent creative forces to God as a gift. Through this, man aspires to actively work with God and through God and have God work with him and through him.
In the words of Nikolai Berdyaev, “Man is called not only to seek for divine assistance and salvation, but to help God in the realization for His plan for the world."