Is The Transgender Movement Twisting Back Towards Biblical Ideals?

Ctransgender bloglose to two weeks ago, a monumental story broke with little fanfare. The Multnomah County Circuit Court of Oregon declared that Jame Shupe could legally change his sex to “non-binary.” The ruling is a historic win for the transgender movement. For the first time in the United States, a person has been officially declared to be a gender other than male or female. In the future, Jame Ship maybe able to write non-binary on his driver’s license.

Though the full ramifications of the ruling are yet unknown, Jame naturally considers the ruling a personal victory and a win from the transgender movement. As he said in a recent interview:  “I was assigned male at birth due to biology…I’m stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology. Being non-binary allows me to do that. I’m a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex.” The ruling finally allows Jame to be truly himself.

And while the declaration is clearly a win for transgender movement, it also comes with a silver lining for Bible believing Christians By asking to be recognized as a third sex, Jame is discovering what Christains already know. Jame is admitting that hormone therapies, surgeries, and emotional perferences do not make a person a woman or a man. People are born we an inherent sexual identity that affects every cell of their body. Regardless of how hard they try, they cannot transform themselves into the other sex. By getting a judge to declare him to be non-binary, Jame is admitting that the natural and biblical reality is true and to some degree impermeable. As he said, “I have to own up to my male biology.”

At this point, I and those in the transgender movement disagree. Jame and those on the left are eager to create new genders. But as Christians I do not think the solution is to create additional genders. The way forward is to encourage Jame and all of humanity to embrace their God given biological gender. Instead of seeking to be non-binary, the scriptures encourage Jame to embrace the humanity of his masculinity. Freedom in found in the redemption of the created order and not in it violent manipulation.

Regardless, I think Christians should be excited that people in the transgender movement are starting to realize once again that gender is bigger than a mental disposition. They are starting to twist back to reality. Biology matters. I encourage all who read this post to join me in embracing God’s creative design. Join me in affirming the biological order. Join me in recognizing that all people are either man or woman.

Science Says Girls Are Girls and Boys Are Boys

Girls are girls boys are boysBoys and girls are different. I know much in our culture says they are not. But the biologically boys and girls are different. The arrival of our second child has made this every so clear in recent days. Girls just do a lot of things faster than boys. Although she is only a month old, our little girl is far more interactive than our son every was at this age. And if you go and talk to a pediatrician or pediatric nurse, they will tell you that girls almost universally accomplish their milestones before their male counterparts. According to the website What To Expect, infant girls read emotions faster, talk about a month before most boys, and almost universally get out of diapers quicker. Boys on the other hand tend to be more active, more spatial aware, and are more physically aggressive.  As one psychologist told CNN,

And while 18 months is old enough to have been influenced by stereotyped gifts, research suggests that many of the differences we see are evident from birth, and may even be hardwired.

And the biological differences between boys and girls don’t disappear with age. Teenage girls have more body fat than teenage boys. Men tend to have more muscles. Women tend to have more white blood cells and are better equipped to fight off infections.

Regardless what we call people, their reproductive organs, bone size, blood cells, and true gender remain unchanged. We can call a man a woman, but he still can’t have an ovarian cyst. Much more than hormone levels must be altered for one to fully change genders. Not even surgery can do it. For a doctor to treat a person well and compassionately, he must treat them according to their gender at birth. To do otherwise, the doctor would waste time and medical resources. Biological gender is not a social construct, it is science and has to be dwelt with.

Thankfully, the Bible gets this. In Genesis 1.27, we read,

God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

As Christians who affirm the word of God, we are not affirming bigotry. We are affirming nature, good parenting, and good medical practice. God created male and female babies. Both have an equally immense value. Although we appreciate both boys and girls, we don’t get to assign their gender. Nor do we help our kids pick what they want to be. God and nature have already done that. The chromosomes are already set irrespective of our wants.

To care for our kids in a loving and understanding way, we must embrace their physical characteristics. We must treat our boys as boys and our girls as girls. This doesn’t men boys always wear blue and girls always wear pink. It means we give our boys more time to talk before we call our doctor in a panic. It means we don’t get mad at our daughter for not being able to lift what her little brother could. Nature demands this. God requires this. To be a loving parent, we must treat our kids according to their gender.

Ready, Set, Pick Your Gender!

transgender blog 2Ready, set, pick your gender! Yes, that’s right. British school children as young as 4 have begun switching genders. According to the Telegraph as many as eighty 3-5 year-olds in England will want to dress and act like the opposite sex. Admittedly, 80 British primary students do not constitute a statistically significant number. (There are more than 900,000 primary students in Great Britain). But the number and the increasing number of non-profits supporting kids with transgender feelings signifies that the transgender debate is gaining steam. Are we ready to parent our kids through these choppy waters of the sexual revolution? Here are three things to consider.

Three Biblical Responses

  1. We don’t need to panic or start throwing our transgender neighbors overboard. We need to extend love and compassion to them, realizing that their struggles are very real. And then, we need to offer them the hope of the gospel.
  2. We need to start charting a biblical worldview for our kids. We need to teach our kids the full counsel of God. When it’s time to read Genesis 1-2, I Corinthians 5:1-5, and Ephesians 5, we need to talk to our kids about gender, sex, and marriage. Instead running for the topsails when our kids bring up sex, we need to thoughtfully engage them and encourage them to keep the questions coming. We need to foster of spirit of openness with our children. And then, we need to teach our kids how to sail through life by modeling male leadership and demonstrating biblical femininity within the home. We need to show our kids about God’s view of gender. Jesus doesn’t think gender is a choice. Let’s make sure our kids know God’s plan.
  3. Let’s be patient. Studies have shown that around 80% of kids with transgender feelings will re-identify with their biological gender. Practically, we don’t need to panic when our son puts on a play dress. Nor should we worry that all of our little girl’s friends are boys.  At 4, most kids have no clue what they are doing and have no clue what being transgender means.  And we shouldn’t expect them to. There is a reason why preschoolers have parents and can’t apply for credit cards and mortgages. What adult in his or her right mind thinks preschoolers can understand the ramifications of hormone replacement therapy or a sex change operation? Instead of asking our kids to make decisions they cannot hope to fathom, we should patiently teach them biblical view of gender. We guide our little boys to be masculine, selfless leaders and our girls to be feminine, thoughtful helpers. And in time, most kids will embrace their God given gender.

What About The Other 20%?

But what about the other 20%? How do we help children who honestly feel that they are trapped in the wrong body? How do we help our kids and their friends overcome their angst, their fears, and their suicidal thoughts? Shouldn’t we want all kids to feel happy and fulfilled?

And the answer is a resounding yes! But according to Jesus, happiness and fulfillment are not found within. As Christians, we should never encourage people to recreate God’s will so that he matches their feelings. Instead, we should call people to recreate their feelings to match God’s will. Notice what Jesus says in Mathew 16:24 ““If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Bending the world to match our mental perceptions does not bring us closer to God. Self-realization actually only brings separation and harm. Just ask Jewel Shuping who had her psychologist pour drain cleaner into her eyes, enabling her to fulfill her lifelong dream of being blind. Steering our lives by the stars of human ingenuity always leads us away from the peace of God and often into physical harm. To find the joy of eternal life, we have to abandon our earthly desires and set our minds on the things above. Nothing else will make us right with God. Nothing else will must us happy.

Recently, the former psychiatrist-in-chief of John Hopkins Hospital, Dr. McHugh, noted that those who undergo a sex change do not gain peace. They continue to struggle with depression after surgery.  After all, a sex change cannot truly change one’s biological nature. Hands, hips, chromosomes, and a whole host of other things cannot be remade this side of heave. Salvation cannot be achieved with the scalpel…only destruction. True hope is found in Christ alone!

In 2016, we will continue to see more and more stories about transgender kids. And some of us will directly encounter a child wrestling with transgender leanings in 2016. But, we don’t have to be scared. The Bible clearly and compassionately speaks to gender. We have access to real hope: Jesus!  Are you and your kids ready for the transgender debate?