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.

How To Answer 3 Pro-Transgender Arguments

pastor-response-to-transgender-blogThe past week, the news cycle and social media have been abuzz with Transgender discussions. Because of President Obama’s new bathroom guidelines, we all may have to live with the reality of men being allowed to use female restrooms, locker-rooms, and dressing rooms. Quite naturally, many conservative Christians (self included) are greatly troubled by the transgender movement.

In attempt to help people like me embrace the pending changes, many on the cultural left are appealing to religious themes. So how do we respond to the claim that God is pro-transgender? Let’s take a look at how to refute three popular pro-transgender arguments.

Jesus Was Transgender

According to this argument based on a ‘literal’ meaning of scripture, Jesus was born with a set of XX chromosomes. Because Jesus did not have a biological father, God had to transform hm into a man. And he was not the first transgender person. Eve, the first woman, went through a similar experience. She was taken from Adam. She had XY DNA but was transformed into a woman. As Suzanne DeWitt Hall concludes, “If Jesus and Eve were walking around today…they’d have to swap restrooms.”

Response:

No. Jesus was born as a man. He was fully human down to his chromosomes (Heb. 2:17). If he was not a biological man, he could not save us from our sins (Rom 8:3).

Moreover, the lack of a human father does not necessity that Jesus lacked a Y chromosome. Jesus’s humanity was ultimately based on God’s plan and not on his mother’s biology (Luke 1:35).  And, Jesus clearly taught that God created the two genders (Matt. 19:4). Because God created the XX and the XY chromosome packages, we can be certain that Jesus had XY chromosomes. God never goes against himself.  Neither Jesus nor Eve evolved according to some half-hearted, miraculous process governed by the modern view of sexuality. Eve was created as a woman with XX chromosomes and declared good (Gen 1:26:31). And, Jesus is the perfect son of God and is beloved by his heavenly father (Matt 3:17). God did not have to transform anything.

Intersex

But not all people are created male and female. Every year, thousands of people are born with both male and female genitalia. The presence of these intersex humans challenges the very concept of our binary understanding of sex. And when intersex children are born, the child or the child’s parents get to pick the child’s gender. To be consistent with nature and our loving God, Christians must admit that they don’t fully grasp the diversity of found in God’s creation. We must be willing to expand our views of sex and gender. Or so the argument goes.

Response:

It is true that intersex persons do exist. And it is true that people have assigned intersex children a gender. But intersex persons do not represent a new gender. And, they do not disprove the existence of two genders.

Intersex is rather a perversion of gender caused by the fall. When genetic testing is done, intersex persons have either and XX or and XY chromosome set. In short, their genitals are different and may not correspond perfectly to their gender. But those deemed to be intersex are still biologically either male of female. Gender expands beyong genatilial but never exceeds the realm of nature.  Instead of assigning intersex children a gender or categorizing them as another gender, we should work with doctors and scientist to determine their God given identity.

Once we discover their idenity, we should use medicine to help them live out their God given gender. When a child is born with a cleft palate the loving response is to use modern medicine to help them return to health. The same principle should apply to intersex children. We should seek to help them overcome the effects of the fall as best as possible.

The existence of intersex people does not disprove the biblical view of gender.

It Feels Right

But what about feelings? Christians are encouraged to let men use the girl’s bathrooms and to let women shower in the men’s locker-room because we should want everyone to feel loved and validated. As Bruce Jenner famously said, “My brain is much more female than it is male. That’s what my soul is.” For Bruce to be fully himself, he needs the freedom to be a woman. And he needs culture to treat him as a woman. If people deny him access to women’s restrooms, people are attacking his very humanity and happiness. Surely Christians do not want to stand opposed to love?

Response:

I do not deny Bruce Jenner’s or any other transgender person’s feelings. I’m sure they are very real. And, I don’t deny that their expression of gender brings them happiness.

But for the Christian, one’s true humanity and happiness are found in Jesus. Happiness is never found in following one’s mental inclinations (Prov. 12:15). True happiness in found obeying Jesus. To be fully human, we believe one must be like Jesus. And to be like Jesus, we have stop listening to what our hearts say. We have to follow God as Jesus did.  Notice what Jesus says in Matthew 16:24. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” To love people, we must encourage them to escape from the recesses of their minds and embrace Jesus. We must encourage them to deny their transgender identity that leads them away from their creator.

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.