Christians view people as having two main features that pretty much explain every kind of behavior. First, the “in His image” part. In Genesis 1 (vs. 26), God says He is created mankind in His image. That means more than looking like God. It means BEING like God in many ways. Briefly, we believe that our ability to think, create, work, reason, relate and imagine are all from being created in God’s image. There is much more to that passage in the Bible than that, but the bottom line is that in spite of our weaknesses and wrongdoing, we bear His image in how we act, think and relate.
Perhaps the biggest application of this in society is the view that people deserve respect and have dignity simply BECAUSE they are created in His image. We feel that as individuals and cultures move away from Christianity, the less (in general) they hold to that view, and after a time, the respect for the dignity of human life diminishes.
The other main feature of mankind is the aspect of humanity that we think causes all the problems. We believe that man, while created originally in God’s image, is part of a fallen race, and that we are all sinners and have separated ourselves from God. We believe that we as individuals have inherited a nature from our forefathers that prefers selfishness to selflessness, and that without God’s help (even invisibly), we default to putting ourselves before God and others.
Christians believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus is what ultimately takes care of that fallen nature for us as individuals. But whether a person is a Christian believer or not, we feel that everyone struggles with that tension between being made in His image and being part of a fallen, sinful race.