“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
This week’s devotional is going to be a bit different.
Because in writing my latest novel, EDEN: Biblical Fiction of the World’s First Family, I have frequently pondered the disparity between the world’s view of gender, and God’s.
Because at the beginning of all things, God wove our sexual identity into his own personhood by saying that he crafted us, male and female, in his own image.
Men were created to reflect an element of God’s personhood. Females were created to reflect another element of God’s personhood. I am convinced this is strong proof of God’s intention that there be only two genders.
Yet the rest of the world seems to think this is not only a dated concept, but a dangerous one.
This puts the words of God against popular opinion, and even political platform.
When we are faced with such confusion, and potential danger to our ability to practice our faith in God, we must clearly seek what God desires from us, then attempt to discover why man’s opinion falls short of God’s truth.
It is clear that the basic idea that gender is binary is the worldview of the Christian. And it has historically been the worldview of the majority of all people in the entirety of human history.
This is primarily because it’s a worldview that both everyday experience and science back.
Men have different body parts than women. Men have XY chromosomes and women have XX chromosomes. Mutations exist, but they remain exactly that – mutations.
For example: We affirm the value and life of those with Down Syndrome (a genetic mutation) as equal in every way. Yet we do not promote surgeries and drug therapy to pretend to be a person with Down Syndrome. Doing so would be seen as a mockery at worst, or a delusion at best.
The world, at this point, enforces a double-standard. If genetic mutations are good, why abort a baby with Down Syndrome? If genetic mutations are bad, why affirm transgenderism as normative because of genetic mutations?
We must be consistent, because without being consistent, we cannot be Christ-like. (Remember, from last week, the double-minded man, unstable in all his ways? )
In addition to the simple differentiation between XY and XX chromosomes, there are countless other differences between the two sexes which remain profound and pervasive. These differences, from anatomy to genes, cannot be undone by hormone replacement or surgery.
In Scripture, God tells us that the church – the people whose hearts and bodies belong to God – are his body. (1 Corinthians 12:27) That we are to take on what he says is our identity, along with observing in our own lifestyles what he says is his intended order for creation. (1 Corinthians 12:15-20)
The Bible over and again affirms that God’s creation was intended to be sexually binary and heterosexually monogamous.
The world promotes transgenderism, polyamory, and whatever sexual preference you choose.
In re-defining the terms sex, gender, and sexuality, they also redefine our differing beliefs as violence against those who disagree. They do this while ignoring that to be a Christian is to believe that we are to love and defend all human beings as equal in significance.
So, as Christians in a hostile world, our primary concern likely will not be what laws are passed. Instead, our primary concern will be whether our lives look how Jesus intended.
As 1 Peter 2:12 says, “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”
This is the primary way that we protest behavior that offends God in a hostile world: through quiet obedience to God, and through consistent love toward our neighbors.
We are commanded to do good to all (Galatians 6:10). To bear persecution with grace (Matthew 5:44). To love our enemies, and to defend the lives of all, so far as we can (Luke 6:27, James 4:17).
As Christians, we also believe that the greatest good is that all would come to know and love God as their intimate Savior and friend. In addition, we believe God when he says that all sin drives a barrier between us and him.
This is why, when the world says that transgenderism is normal because of genetic abnormalities, we refuse to promote such confusion.
It’s why, when the world says that a fetus with Down Syndrome is so distorted that it’s worthy to abort, we argue otherwise.
This is why, when the world beats and murders those who are transgender, we defend their lives and refuse to treat them with disrespect or hate.
It’s why, when the world says that sexual deviancy is not only permissible but enviable, we refuse to bow to any desire other than the purity that the Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts.
Because we choose to love Christ, and to obey him, and to trust what he says about reality, rather than some politician or social leader.
Scripture says that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). It is because he loved us that we now love him (1 John 4:19). If we are to be like God, our relationship to our neighbors should be thus.
Isaiah 58:7 says, “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” This includes those who are transgender or homosexual.
Similarly, Scripture says that we can know Christians by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). Love is the first fruit of the Spirit, and if love does not characterize our lifestyles and behavior, something is terribly wrong (Galatians 5:22).
This is why, as Christians in a hostile world, our primary job is not to attempt to force Christian morality through legislation.
We would do well to remember that the Gospel proclaims that only Jesus can effectively enforce morality (Galatians 5:1, Romans 8:2). Indeed, our belief is that all who are without Christ are enslaved to evil, and cannot live any other way (Romans 6:6, Romans 7:14).
The book of Romans tells us that the sin inside us even uses the law to incite evil. To those without Christ, the law becomes wood for the fire burning inside them.
“But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. … It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.” Romans 7:8-13
Is it any wonder that when the world sees us trying to impose God’s impossible morality on them through a law devoid of the power of Christ, it says, “You’re doing violence to me!”?
The Gospel, not politics, is the answer to everything. This is why we strive to share the Gospel with every breath we have.
And the way we share the Gospel begins with us living it faithfully. It seasons every action, every word, every attitude, every interaction with another person.
If we care more about laws than about looking like Jesus, we’ve disqualified ourselves.
We must begin with looking like Christ, living like Christ, and loving like Christ.
Then, when the world sees how we care for each person, and how God transforms us through his Gospel, they may listen when we say, “Murdering children should be illegal.”
Jesus, give us clarity to see your will. Take away any confusion we may have on these topics. Clear out the muck of fleshly arguments, and leave only your Word, your Spirit, your will! Then purify and strengthen us to live pure lives that convince others of the reality of your good news, that you offer us forgiveness, redemption, and transformation leading to eternal joy in a perfect body in the next life! Forgive me for when I’ve been harsh, or prideful, or foolish. Give us wisdom, humility, gentleness. Amen.
Do you feel unsettled about any of the topics we talked about today? If you do, search the Scriptures for what they say! Sometimes, I google “verses about ______” and put it whatever topic I want to find verses on. It can be a very helpful tool!