Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 ESV)
This was true of Isaiah’s day and it is certainly true today, where people live sinful lives as if they were the norm (Proverbs 14:12). We live in an age of moral confusion. What was once viewed as evil and unacceptable has witnessed a 180 revolution where evil is touted as being good, and liberating—the epitome of a “liberal” society. Many people begrudgingly go along with the LGBTI agenda or shrug it off by saying things like, “they can do what they’d like” or “so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or bother me…” The reason behind the shift? Our present state of moral confusion has derived from their ceasing to exist in the minds of the populace a moral authority as to what is right and what is wrong. Even for those who have mild moral bearings standing up for what is right is often hard to do and so if the squeaky wheel gets the grease… “hang on a second shouldn’t we think about this…oh bother with the fuss, I’d rather go watch tennis.” This article attempts to reasonably think through this vast issue of gender confusion in an introductory manner from a Biblical and Christian perspective. While many other helpful arguments that support the Biblical view of gender can be found in natural law, etc, (appealed to by non-Christians of religious and non-religious persuasions alike), this post will limit itself to the Biblical argument believing the Bible to be the authoritative Word of God and therefore sufficient in all matters of morality, faith and practice.
The LGBTI agenda has been the squeaky wheel that has got the grease. It has been a silent and stealthy force creeping through Western civilization, often without any thought or resistance. Recently transgenderism has been the issue in vogue. The US has been debating toilet laws and whether transgendered people could join the army. Canada is moving towards gender neutral statements on government issued ID cards as if we are all androgynous. Suddenly transgenderism and homosexuality are being plastered across the media and film in an attempt to enculturate society into believing that the old evil is the new norm.
Part of the issue in trying to stick one’s neck out and offer an honest plea for common sense is that one’s neck risks being cut off. Opposition is branded as the enemy or as hate speech. Let me stop and be clear. This article is not hate speech, it is being offered calmly and collectively, putting forward the Christian view, one filled with truth and love. This is being done in a traditionally liberal spirit (meaning the view open to broad learning and dialogue) and indeed the LGBTI view represents the illiberal view (close-minded to other views than its own). Funny how words change in meaning when those who used to espouse the liberal arts of listening and dialogue, and have largely come to believe the worldview that there is no grand truth and yet militantly use threats to quell any challenge to the norm that is being imposed. For those who are illiberal I am already the enemy. For those who are open to reason and would like to know more of the teaching of the Bible on the subject, I invite you to continue with me.
Before we turn to the Bible one helpful clarification on gender and sexuality.
The World Health Organization records that, “Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.”
To be fair there have been times in the past where aspects of gender have been stereotypically pinned to one sex or another whilst in reality they could be common to the sexes (i.e. the old saying that girls couldn’t play sports). So in this sense the challenge to aspects of traditional gender association has been liberating (for men and women). However, while there are some gender attributes that may be legitimately shared across the sexes many find their roots not in what “society considers appropriate” but in the sex that God assigned to us. For example, there is something in the biological hardwiring of men that make them providers and women nurturers. What separates men and women is not just our physical anatomy. Men really are men and women truly are women. The differences do not only revolve around reproductive systems, but the totality of our biology and calling as being created in the image of God fashions us as men and women, distinct but equal in God’s sight. Therefore the Biblical view sees gender and sex as being inextricably linked and assigned by God, whereas the contemporary developing view sees gender (and sex via sex changes) as a subjective matter of choice.
The Biblical View of Gender
Why is it that Deut 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. (Deuteronomy 22:5 ESV)
This verse against transvestitism (dressing like the opposite sex) is a prime example of how the Bible places boundaries between male and female because God has fearfully and wonderfully made us and assigned to us our sex which is a gift to be cherish and not denied or confused. To deny your sex is to deny who God has made you to be and to rebel against God.
On the creation of the sexes let’s turn to Genesis 1:27:
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:27 ESV) [emphasis added]
This truth is the fountainhead of all other conversations about human gender and sexuality in the Bible. Every one of them harkens back to this truth. After Gen 1:27 it says God saw that it was “very good” (Gen 1:31). Therefore to deny who we are is to rebel against God’s good design for us. It bespeaks arrogance, pride, revolt, selfishness and self-indulgence whereas accepting and rejoicing in who God made you speaks of humility, celebration, gratitude, submission and worship.
This is why as part of the FIEC we have collectively proposed adopting the following statement on gender:
God created us male and female, and calls us to live according to our gender identity which is inseparable from our biological sex determined at conception. Our gender may not be changed or reassigned.
*This said we need to acknowledge that there are difficult and very rare cases such as biological “transgenderism” (when a child is born as a hermaphrodite or intersex [having both sets of sexual organs]). As Jesus said, “there are eunuchs who have been so from birth” (Mt 19:21). Physical defects such as this are a general result of the Fall. Being confronted with these parents have an enormous decision to make, one in which I would argue they as parents have the authority to exercise parental judgement in one way or the other. In such cases families require all the care and counsel Christians can offer. However, a rare exception should never be allowed to trump the rule.
How Christians Should Treat Transgendered People
Have compassion on the lost and confused as Jesus did:
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36 ESV)
Because these people are troubled, insecure and often possess deep wounds, they are therefore in great need of healing, teaching and care. We need to do this firmly but with gentleness and respect (1 Pet 3:15) remembering they are our fellow sinners and that the only thing that separates us is grace:
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. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV) [emphasis added]
We must love them while presenting the truth to them with the firm believe that true healing for their gender confusion can only be found in their finding their identity in Christ.
In a generation in which morality sways with the wind may those who follow Christ resolutely place their feet upon the rock trusting He will be the anchor that will keep us in the storm, and may the Lord use such steadfastness to be a light in the moral confusion of our time.
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,
 “Freedom” however is often pure licentiousness and underneath its cover is the truth that people who think they are free—free from God, authority, moral obligations— are actually slaves to Satan and sin (Ro 6:18). Our inalienable rights are truly only those that God has established in His word.
 Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans-gendered or Inter-Sex.
 To be transgendered refers to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.
Being neither male nor female in sex and gender.