Controversy surrounding North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” has inspired impassioned debates representing every world view — except for one. What does God have to say about gender identity?
[Darris McNeely] In the news this week is North Carolina’s decision to sue the federal government because they have cast their bathroom bill as a common sense bodily privacy law. The federal government calls it discrimination. And so it will be face off in federal court. The lawsuit claims that last week’s demand that North Carolina remedy its Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act or risk being in violation of federal law North Carolina feels is a baseless charge. The act bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond with their biological sex, as dictated by their birth certificates. So latest round in the gender wars sweeping through many parts of the world, especially in the United States.
Here’s the question. What should Christians think about gender identity issues? North Carolina’s brought it to the fore. It is in the news. It is a hot topic right now. What the Bible says is this. In Genesis Chapter 1, verse 27, basic teaching principle, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female” (Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×). That is the beginning of what the Bible says about it, and in essence, that is the last word after the Bible says a great deal more about morality, about sexual identity, about sexual teaching, and how we are to look at our lives, our human lives, our bodies, treat them in so many different ways, not just this matter of gender issues and whether or not a person thinks that they really are a woman or that they really are a man.
The Bible has a lot to say about sexual morality. On this particular issue, we should be very clear that God created man and woman, and there is a distinct sexual identity that, no matter what happens by biological operations or operations of that nature, it doesn’t change. In essence, the identity, sexually, of a person is to be either male or female.
This is something that is very critical to understand. Good science understands this. In fact, good science, psychiatric science, still believes that this particular movement and these desires that people have to change their identity really are abnormal feelings and a symptom of deeper psychological problems. Again, good science says that. Even many science psychiatrists will hold to that, even though it is not politically correct.
God’s will is this —And lets again get back to what is God’s will— it is for each person to appreciate and to embrace his or her gender and through each, male or female, glorify God. When we look at the creation, God loves variety, not only male and female or men created, but we have a great deal of variety when it comes to personalities, interests, aptitudes, talents, appearances, voices, body shapes, and the list goes on and on and on. This is the variety God has designed within us as human beings. Again, we should appreciate that.
Now, this issue of transgender matters are also tied up with the larger issue of morality, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, all types of immorality that the Bible forbids. In fact, you can’t have the discussion without really going into what the Bible does show in regard to morality. The book of Corinthians, 1 Corinthians chapter 6, discusses this beginning in verse 9.
Paul makes a seminal statement regarding morality. He says, “Know you that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Be not deceived, neither fornicators…” —which is dealing with sex outside of the confines of marriage between a husband and a wife, man and a woman— “nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, or covetous, drunkards, revilers, or extortionists. None of these shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such,” he says,” were some of you, that you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of the lord Jesus, and by the spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
American King James Version×).
Now, the Bible gets very specific about types of immorality in this section. It even does talk about the matter of cross-dressing. In Deuteronomy chapter 22 and verse 5, God had a specific teaching there. He says, “The woman will not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garments, for all that do so are an abomination to your God” (Deuteronomy 22:5 Deuteronomy 22:5The woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination to the LORD your God.
American King James Version×).
Again, the point is this. God wants people to do their best to avoid confusion when it comes to gender identity, if there is confusion, if there is conflict, that a person has emotionally and mentally about this, competent, reliable counseling should be obtained. These things sometimes can be worked through.
There are exceptions of certain births or some of the chromosomes, and even sometimes there is confusion in the male or female organs, which can be corrected accordingly and in a right manner to the proper sexual orientation or gender of the individual. Those are exceptions. And what the Bible is talking about is people who make a decision to willingly go against God’s teaching about sexual identity and, as well as we’ve seen, sexual immorality.
God’s people must seek to follow God. Christ, when He saw and dealt with people who were caught in sin of all different types in His ministry, He was compassionate, He was merciful, and He was willing to show that mercy to those who sincerely wanted to worship and obey Him in spirit and in truth.
And so as we look at this issue, as it is a very key hot topic right now, anyone who has been confused about their sexual identity, we can help guide that person to a resolution in understanding how to deal with the way they were born. If a person has already done certain things that are irreversible, such as going through a sex change operation, but then come to an understanding that they made a mistake and they wish to repent spiritually before God, we can also work with that person and should be willing to and deal with him in a godly, compassionate, and merciful manner. But the orientation has got to be to seek what is God’s will and to seek to obey God. When we do that, then we can come to, not only understanding about what God’s will is, but how to treat one another in a right and proper way.
That’s BT Daily . Join us next time.