It was largely accepted that there were only two genders and you were either one or the other.
It was largely accepted that males’ anatomy was designed for sexual intimacy with females, vice versa.
It was largely accepted that the best, safest, and most secure place for sexual intimacy was marriage.
It was largely accepted that marriage was between one woman and one man.
Today, these concepts are no longer widely accepted.
A huge prevailing notion today is that of gender fluidity.
We have traditionally assigned someone’s gender according to biology –chromosomes and anatomy. However, today, many argue that gender should be assigned to the gender I feel I am – even if that does not match my biology and anatomy.
New York City is introducing a third option on birth certificates: Male/ Female/ Gender X
At this very moment, a professor in Sweden is being investigated for teaching that there are biological differences between men and women.
Another huge prevailing notion in today’s world is that of non-judgemental sexual practice.
The current world’s motto is: “If it feels good, do it”
Lady Gaga’s song, Do what you want, goes:
So do what you want
What you want with my body
Do what you want
Don’t stop, let’s party
R. Kelly is featured in the song 1. He sings:
Do what I want with your body
Back in the club, taking shots, gettin’ naughty
No invitations, it’s a private party
Do what I want, do what I want with your body
Today’s thinking says that we decide what is right for us, our sexuality, and even our gender.
The third huge prevailing notion in today’s world is that of authenticity.
You need to be true to yourself. Whoever you may think you are or however you may want to express yourself and your sexuality.
Are these concepts helpful and right? What is the best way forward?
The great news is that the Bible gives us clarity and hope about gender and sexuality.
The Bible gives us a realistic worldview:
1. You are created by God
Genesis 1:1 says,
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:27 says,
“God created man (humans) in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
The story of the Bible begins at creation
The universe and ourselves are not random, by chance, or evolved from slime, but created by a loving God.
God creates human beings as males and females.
Being human and flourishing as a human, is knowing and embracing who God created us to be: male or female.
Imagine that a fish becomes frustrated at being a fish. He feels like he is a lion trapped in a fish’s body. He jumps out of the river onto the sandy bank. He soon discovers that being a fish is best.2
God’s created order is always best.
What’s best for human well-being is that we embrace what God created us to be.
Therefore Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”
The point is that we are to embrace who God created us to be, not try to be who we think we want to be.
Some people think that their true selves are different to their bodies and biological gender 3.
In other words, the idea is that our body can be one thing and our “true self” can be something else. And somehow we need to escape our bodies to be who we really are.
The Bible tells us that God created our entire person, body included.
We are our bodies. God created our body, mind and soul.
Intrinsic to our human well-being is to accept the gender God has given us.
God also created us as sexual beings.
God created us male and female.
Having male or female body parts is not an accident. It’s God’s good intention.
The notion of male and female and the notion of marriage between one man and one woman, is not a man-made tradition; it’s fundamental to who we are as human beings.
God’s great plan for sex is that it happens between one man and one woman in the context of marriage.
Any, and all, sexual activity outside that context is harmful to us and not for our good.
It dishonours God and is sin.
2. You are fallen and live in a fallen world
Point 1 may have seemed very idealistic, even naïve.
The real world is not that simple or clear, you may argue. You’d be right. The real world is radically messed up.
The third chapter of the Bible (Genesis 3) tells us why.
Humans rebelled against God. The creature defied the Creator. Human beings thought they knew better than God.
Adam and Eve believed they could decide for themselves what’s right and wrong. They believed in the autonomy of the individual and told God to get lost.
Adam and Eve tried to de-throne God and take the throne for themselves.
Because of this human rebellion, we live in a fallen, broken, messed up world, where human beings continue rebelling against God, consciously and subconsciously.
We can see the evidence, not only in the news headlines, but also in our own lives.
We are broken. We don’t live up to our own standards. We struggle. We do what we know is wrong. We are fallen and scarred. We sin.
Our minds are fallen. Our bodies fallen. Our sexuality is fallen. Our wills are fallen. Our sense of gender is fallen.
One person may struggle with same-sex attraction; another may think they’re the wrong gender; another struggles with pornography; another with pride; another with gossip.
Just because we have these feelings and struggles, does not make them right.
Not honouring God as God, but wanting to be our own masters, leads to all kind of bad things, STD’s, divorce, pain, restraining orders and hurt.
Human independence of God does not bring freedom and happiness, but sadness, pain, frustration and sin.
We all rebel against God’s order is all kinds of ways. Sexual rebellion is simply a very obvious rebellion.
We must remember that we are profoundly broken people.
3. You can be restored
This restoration centres around Jesus.
Jesus was born a human being – he was the perfect human being.
Instead of doing what he thought was right, he always sought to do the will of God his Father.
He went to the cross for our sin and rebellion, not his.
He experienced the judgement of God for our sin and brokenness, so that we may be forgiven and restored.
Jesus’ resurrection was a foretaste of the new life God gives to all those who put their faith in Jesus.
One day, God is going to renew the entire universe to be what He intended it to be.
On that day, God will remove all brokenness, fallenness and rebellion.
Until that time, we still live in this world.
When we put our faith in Jesus, God forgives us of our rebellion and sin, and restores us to be what he intended us to be.
Yet we know we will only be fully restored in the renewed world to come, in the future.
Until that time, even as Christians, we struggle with all kinds of wrong desires and temptations.
As Christians, we are called to fight wrong desires and temptation, including sexual temptation.
As Christians, we are called to put to death sin in our lives, including sexual sin – whatever that sexual sin may be.
As Christians, we won’t be sinless, but we will sin less.
Whatever temptation we may struggle with – be it homosexuality, transgender, pornography, lust, pride or greed – we are called to turn from it and to trust Jesus as Saviour.
And to keep turning from it.
4. You are not your sexuality
Jackie Hill Perry, who was previously engaged in a lesbian lifestyle, wrote in her book, “Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been”.
“I don’t believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one’s past or the temptations of one’s present, but rather to only be defined by the Christ who overcame both of those for those He calls His own.
All men and women, including myself, that are well acquainted with sexual temptation, are ultimately not what our temptation says of us.
We are what Christ has done for us; therefore, our ultimate identity is very simple: we are Christians.”
Lady Gaga sings:
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Oh there ain’t no other way
The Bible tells us there is another way.
His name is Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
- R. Kelly is facing sexual abuse allegations.
- I think Vaughan Robert’s first used this illustration.
- I’m not thinking of those born intersex i.e. with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals.